Daily news - 20th June 2018


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UK news

Oral statement to Parliament: Home Secretary statement on medical use of cannabis

Sajid Javid announces review of the scheduling of cannabis. [Watch the debate in parliament from 12.59] | Home Office, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, UK

UK Government Details New Medical Cannabis Plans

The UK government will begin accepting applications to prescribe cannabis-based medicines within a week, and the home secretary has outlined plans for a broader review of cannabis law | Talking Drugs, UK

Minimum alcohol price law passes final stage

The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill, backed by Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, is passed in the Senedd, with Wales following in the footsteps of Scotland by setting a minimum price per unit | BBC, UK

MESAS monitoring report 2018

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2018 brings together the latest available data on key alcohol indicators in Scotland. Supporting datasets and infographics that summarise the findings are available | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Adults in Scotland drink almost 20 units a week

More than 10 litres of pure alcohol was drunk last year for every adult in Scotland, a report on the nation's drinking has revealed | BBC, UK

What is cannabis oil and how does it work?

Your questions about the medical use of cannabis oil answered | Guardian, UK

Cannabis: What are the risks of recreational use?

The government has said there will be a review into the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes but has rejected suggestions by former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague that its recreational use could be legalised | BBC, UK

Young people 'see cannabis as safer than alcohol'

"For me, having cannabis in the evening is the equivalent of having a glass of wine on a Friday night | BBC, UK

Cannabis users smoke openly as calls mount for drug to be legalised

The sweet sickly smell is unmistakable, that and the cloud of smoke wafting above the heads of the crowds flocking to one of London’s most popular street markets | Telegraph, UK

Lib Dem MP: Probably half the Cabinet have used cannabis

ormer health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug | ITV, UK

Risks of cancer and mortality by average lifetime alcohol intake

The risk of mortality, and of developing a number of cancers, is lowest in light drinkers consuming an average of less than one drink per day across their lifetime, and the risk of some cancers increases with each additional drink per week, according to a new study | Science Daily, UK

Performance feedback critical to workforce development

Key studies on management and supervision in psychosocial therapies for problem drug use. Findings challenge managers to invest in the post-training ‘coaching’ needed to make a difference for patients, and to set up systems alerting therapists to how well their clients are doing - especially when they are doing badly | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Vaping helps smokers quit - even if they don't want to, study finds

Lead author Dr Caitlin Notley, from the University of East Anglia, said: 'They hadn't intended to quit smoking and had tried vaping on a whim, or because they had been offered it by friends | Mail Online, UK

Up in smoke: Is the vape shop boom about to end?

In 2015, when James Restarick opened his first shop in Kent selling kits for vaping, his friends were surprised | BBC, UK

Drugs, Women, and the Media (with Jenny Valentish)

Podcast. This week Elle is joined with Jenny Valentish, the author of Woman of Substances! Together they find out What’s the Crack with her new book, the media’s representation of women and drugs, the language used by the media, and more! | What's the crack?, UK

Indivior wins injunction against maker of copycat opioid addiction drug

UK drugmaker Indivior has won the latest legal skirmish in its wide-ranging attempt to block generic versions of its top-selling opioid addiction treatment from entering the US market | Telegraph, UK

'Super head' with alcohol problem killed himself amid fears he would lose his job, inquest hears

A"super head" with an alcohol problem killed himself amid fears he would be suspended from his job, an inquest has heard | Telegraph, UK

The ex-drug lord hoping to cash in on legal cannabis

In the 1990s 'Freeway' Ricky Ross was a drug lord in Los Angeles, and is thought to have made millions of dollars from dealing cocaine | BBC, UK

Takeaway owner jailed for enslaving homeless alcoholics and drug addicts in 'despicable' crimes

Harjit Singh Bariana made victims clean sewage pipes by hand, court hears | Independent, UK

Drug dealers behind £66m haul have sentences increased

Two drug dealers who were part of a gang jailed for smuggling Class A drugs into the UK have had their sentences increased | BBC, UK

Dealer smuggled heroin attached to lorry into Scotland

A man who arranged for 20kg of heroin to be smuggled into Scotland in tool boxes attached to the underside of a lorry has been jailed for nine years | BBC, UK

 

International news

Canada legalises recreational cannabis use

The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold | BBC, UK

Cannabis legalisation: How it has worked out for other countries around the world

As the Home Office announces a review into medical marijuana, we examine the rules around the world | Independent, UK

Life after Mr Heroin - video

Maurice Abbey Bey is a former drug user who now works in harm reduction, distributing condoms and clean needles on the streets of Washington DC | BBC, UK

Pill-testing success in ACT proves it should go national, organisers say

Trial at music festival found many of those tested didn’t know what drug they were taking | Guardian, UK

Labour TD defends opposition to labelling linking alcohol with cancer

Health implications should also be debated in other areas like pregnancy, says Sherlock | Irish Times, Ireland

Methadone and buprenorphine decrease mortality after nonfatal overdose

A new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction on opioid overdose survivors indicates that two FDA approved medications to treat opioid use disorder save lives, but only three out of 10 overdose survivors receive them | Medical Xpress, USA

New York City Will End Marijuana Arrests for Most People

The mayor will announce that those caught smoking marijuana in public will be given tickets instead, unless they have certain kinds of criminal histories | NYTimes, USA

E-Cig Maker Juul Won't Tempt Instagrammers With Models Anymore

Juul Labs Inc., the maker of the fastest growing e-cigarette brand in the U.S., said it will no longer feature models on its social media platforms as it tries to battle the perception its products are too appealing for underage smokers | Bloomberg, USA

FSU researchers find religious involvement deters recreational and medical marijuana use

Although marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes is at an all-time high in the United States, a team of researchers led by a Florida State University professor has found those who hold strong religious beliefs are choosing to stay away from weed | EurekAlert, USA

Psychedelics Are Promising, But Many Psychiatrists Don't Want to Use Them

I surveyed more than 300 psychiatrists on their knowledge and views of psychedelics | VICE, USA

Senate passes pot bill, paving way for legal cannabis in 8 to 12 weeks

Federal government's bill legalizing recreational cannabis passes 52-29 | CBC News, Canada

Research shows how a moderate dose of alcohol protects the heart

For at least 20 years, research has shown that for many people, moderate consumption of alcohol can protect the heart, but the reason for this is poorly understood | Medical Xpress, Brazil

'Overwhelming success': Calls for expanding pill testing after Canberra trial

More than 80 per cent of participants in the Australian-first pill testing trial at Canberra's Groovin the Moo believed they were taking MDMA, also known as ecstasy, when in reality less than half of all samples contained relatively pure MDMA, a new report has found | Canberra Times, Australia

Helping heroin users have healthier babies

A safer treatment for pregnant heroin-dependent women has been investigated by researchers from the University of Western Australia | Medical Xpress, Australia

False claims of cannabis laced with ice to get kids ‘hooked’ diverts attention from the reality of drug use problems

Channel 10’s alarmist story on 13thJune, claiming the Queensland town of Caboolture was in the midst of an ‘ice epidemic’, is a fear-based work of fiction that merely serves to create moral panic, without providing readers any practical information | AOD Media Watch, Australia

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Factsheet: cannabis for medicinal use

Cannabis is classified as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, based on a harms assessment. This classification dictates the penalties for committing offences with the drug such as possession and intent to supply, and used to prioritise the law enforcement response. The classification of the drug is entirely separate from its scheduling | PHE Blog, UK

Cannabis: how British laws around the drug have evolved

Of the 97 phytocannabinoids in the plant, 12 of them are controlled by criminal law in the UK | Conversation, UK

Billy’s Oil

[Free article] The case of a boy in urgent need of banned cannabis-based medicine highlights a glaring flaw in the law and speaks volumes about this government’s style | The Times Leader, UK

Why we shouldn’t lump cannabis in with all other drugs when it comes to reform and decriminalisation

There are a huge number of drugs being prescribed to patients that could easily kill them. Some drugs even get approved for clinical use after only one or two trials. Yet we treat cannabinoids differently | Independent voices, UK

Don’t deny my daughter the cannabis that could save her

Like Billy Caldwell’s mother, I want to try anything that might help stop my child’s seizures. At the moment, I can’t | Guardian opinion, UK

Light drinkers at a lower combined risk of earlier death or developing cancer

Alcohol misuse is a major public health concern, and there is considerable evidence that heavy drinking is associated with a range of negative health outcomes, including cancer. However, the link between light to moderate drinking and health is more complex | Conversation, UK

Contrary to popular belief, there's no such thing as an addictive personality and this is why

Many would argue that the words 'addiction' and 'addictive' are used so much in everyday circumstances that they have become meaningless | Independent voices, UK

Safeloc kits – reducing harm in Cardiff

Following reports last year of used needles being found discarded on the streets, our Taith Drug and Alcohol Service and our partners responded by giving out Safeloc kits to service users in Cardiff. This has led to a significant increase in the number of needles being returned and safely disposed of | CGL blog, UK

Human Rights Claims and Medical Cannabis in Canada: A View from the Courts

To understand how Canada went from limited access to cannabis for therapeutic purposes to the impending legalization of recreational pot, it is crucial to understand the impact of human rights discourse on the erosion of impediments to accessing medical cannabis | Points blog, USA

Opiate addiction and the history of pain and race in the US

“I have had little or no sleep, owing to the tooth ache or rather stump ache,” Elizabeth Drinker wrote in her diary one night in 1796. “One of my Eye teeth very sore, my face much swelled and painful.” | Conversation, USA

Stop labeling babies as 'born addicted' — it stigmatizes them and is inaccurate

As lawmakers discuss their goals and the media continues to report about babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, I urge them all to be sensitive about the impact their words can have on a child | The Hill, USA