Daily news - 21st June 2018

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UK news

Alcohol industry involvement in science: A systematic review of the perspectives of the alcohol research community

[Open access] Alcohol companies have recently invested large sums of money in answering research questions to which they have clear vested interests in the outcomes. There have been extensive concerns about corporate influence on public health sciences, following the experience with the tobacco industry | DAR, UK

Police demand rewrite of drug laws as cannabis arrests slump

[Free article] Rank-and-file police officers called for a rethink on drug enforcement after they accepted for the first time yesterday that the present laws were not working | The Times, UK

This New Data Reveals the Scale of the UK's Cannabis Industry

As the Home Office reviews the use of medical weed, campaigners say data shown to VICE demonstrates more hypocrisy from a government who say it has no medicinal benefits, while quietly granting hundreds of cannabis cultivation licenses | VICE, UK

What next after cannabis oil? Banned substances that have medicinal uses

The case of Billy Caldwell, the 12-year-old with a rare form of epilepsy that can be treated with cannabis oil, has ignited debate about the medicinal uses of the form of marijuana, which is illegal in the UK | Telegraph, UK

Billy Caldwell: Campaigner's company sells cannabis oil

A mother who has been campaigning for a law change on medicinal cannabis is the director of a company that sells cannabis oil | BBC, UK

'We are young and we don't drink'

A report earlier this week said Scots drink over the recommended weekly intake. However, one in six adults north of the border do not drink and young people are more likely than any other age group to keep off the strong stuff. Why is that? We speak to three young teetotallers | BBC, UK

Binge Drinking: Face the consequences - BBC iPlayer

A wheelchair user who broke his back on an alcohol-fuelled night out confronts four young binge drinkers about their dangerous drinking | BBC, UK

Prisons: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2018 to Question 149637, if he will place in the Library the analysis that was carried out on the effect of the tobacco ban on prison safety and security | They work for you, UK

How vaping helps even hardened smokers quit

Vaping helps people stop smoking - even when they don't want to, according to new research from the University of East Anglia | EurekAlert, UK

Social housing tenants face smoking ban as SNP crackdown on cigarettes in common stairwells

The Scottish Government set out the idea in a list of 44 actions designed to raise a “tobacco-free generation” | Daily Record, UK

Come and join the fight against stigma

Free event. Wednesday 11 July 2018, 5-7.30pm. Westminster, London. Please join us as we launch our campaign against the stigma experienced by families affected by a loved one's drug or alcohol | Adfam, UK

Beer could fall flat for World Cup as CO2 runs short

A shortage of CO2 could take the fizz out of beer and other sparkling drinks this summer, just as the World Cup and barbecue season get under way | BBC, UK

Gosport hospital deaths: Prescribed painkillers 'shortened 456 lives'

More than 450 patients died after being given powerful painkillers inappropriately at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, a report has found | BBC, UK

Convicted cannabis in Devon grower calls for law change

A convicted cannabis grower wants the law changed to allow the drug to be used for medical and pain relief purposes | BBC, UK

British man blocked from entering UK with his wife discovers his house has been transformed into a cannabis farm

Labour Party chair accuses government of 'over-zealous' immigration policy | Independent, UK

Cocaine in rivers could be making eels hyperactive and damaging their muscles

Even low levels of the drug could be putting them at risk of serious injury, say researchers | BT, UK


International news

GFN 2018 Programme

Presentations from the recent conference in Warsaw are now available online | Global Forum on Nicotine, UK

French government ‘to close’ newly opened Paris cannabis coffee shops

Darkness descends on ‘le weed light’ | Independent, UK

Canada's Trudeau says cannabis will become legal in mid-October

Prime minister says measure ‘will almost completely replace the organised crime market’ | Guardian, UK

Drug Checking in Latin America: the Countries Leading the Way

Drug checking at UK festivals has made unprecedented headway over the past year and garnered significant media attention along the way. While relatively new domestically, these initiatives have a longer history in other countries, as the experience in Latin America highlights | Talking Drugs, UK

Substance in hair may be a marker for alcohol consumption

A new Drug Testing & Analysis study reveals that measuring levels of ethyl sulphate (EtS), a metabolite of ethanol, in the hair can be used to assess alcohol consumption | Medical Xpress, USA

Daily cannabis use is on the rise in American adults

Study finds adults ages 50 to 64 increased nondaily cannabis use both before and after 2007; uptick among daily and non-daily users in all age categories 18 and older since 2007 | EurekAlert, USA

Opioid overdose survivors face continued health challenges, higher death rate

Survivors of opioid overdose are at great risk of dying in the year after overdose, but the deaths are not always caused by drug use, a new study reveals. In addition to succumbing to drug use, survivors were much more likely to die from respiratory diseases, viral hepatitis, and suicide | Medical Xpress, USA

Study finds religious involvement does little to prevent opioid abuse

Does going to church help people avoid struggles with opioid abuse? New research from Florida State University says no | Medical Xpress, USA

Fewer American Adults Are Smoking Than Ever Before

Smoking rates among U.S. adults have hit an all-time low, new estimates say | TIME, USA

Are e-cigarette flavorings toxic to the heart?

Despite their popularity, little is known about the health impacts of electronic cigarettes. New research investigates the chemicals used to flavor these products and their effects on cardiovascular health | MNT, USA

FIRS: guidance offered for protecting youth from e-cigarettes

Youth should be protected from electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices, according to a position statement from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies published online May 31 in the European Respiratory Journal | Medical Xpress, USA

Trudeau sets date for marijuana legalization in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said that marijuana will be legal across the country starting Oct. 17, according to The Associated Press | The Hill, USA

Canada just officially passed its law to legalize weed

Canada’s Senate passed the federal government's legal weed bill on Tuesday night, the last legislative hurdle in the country's years-long process to legalize recreational cannabis. The new law — which still requires Royal Assent — will allow adults to buy and consume small amounts of cannabis, however edibles won’t be legalized until sometime after next year | VICE, Canada

Is vaping really harmless? South Australian push for stronger regulations on e-cigarettes

When it comes to the benefits of e-cigarettes, Australian opinion is divided | abc.net.au, Australia

Medicinal cannabis - guidance documents

Over the past few years, a number of Australians have expressed interest in the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. There have only been a limited number of well-designed clinical studies on medicinal cannabis and so it is hard for some doctors to find quality evidence to support decisions to prescribe medicinal cannabis | Department of Health, Australian Government, Australia

Are drug drivers really killing us by the droves?

For the first time drug driving deaths have eclipsed drink drivers. Or have they? Don Rowe looks at the media furore around an AA press release some experts argue is unsubstantiated | The Spinoff, New Zealand


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 | Home Office Blog, UK [Attribution correction from yesterday]

While we discuss cannabis oil, we should remember that the government is blocking life-saving research into MDMA and magic mushrooms

The government makes it intentionally difficult for researchers to work with drugs like MDMA and psilocybin despite the fact that these drugs could be potential life-savers for those with psychological trauma | Independent voices, UK

High time that we relaxed the rules on cannabis use

Margaret Gibbs calls for more medical testing, while Douglas Moffat wants an odourless weed before legalisation | Guardian letters, UK

XXXTentacion’s brutal life points to the problem with UK drug policy

The murdered 20-year-old rapped about prescription drug addiction but we debate the merits of legalising cannabis | Guardian, UK

Getting sober

I’m laying next to Lannie. She’s sleeping. I’m gleaming off a smallish handful of oxycontins I chewed up after dinner. I can tell I’m too high. Is this what overdosing feels like. I’m smothered with velvet steam rollers. Alone in the dark. We’re just back from Morocco | BASIS comment, USA

Even if cannabis is legal, please don’t toke and drive

A variety of conditions affect our ability to drive, including poor sleep, some prescription medications and alcohol. Cannabis is another | Conversation, Canada