Daily news - 28th June 2018

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UK news

Cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products

The government has announced a review of the scheduling of cannabis. The review will be in 2 parts: part 1 will cover the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products. part 2 will provide an assessment based on the balance of harms and public health needs of whether cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products should be rescheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | Home Office, UK

Press release: New expert panel set up to advise on medinical cannabis licence applications

An expert panel of clinicians set up to advise Ministers on medicinal cannabis licence applications has started accepting applications | Home Office, UK

Cannabis based medicinal products panel - terms of reference

This terms of reference sets out the scope of the expert panel, who assess applications for special licences to prescribe cannabis based medicinal products | Home Office, UK

Spotlight on Substance Misuse: Emerging good practice across PCC areas (PDF)

This spotlight, the seventh in the series, focuses on substance misuse. Government strategies, such as Transforming Rehabilitation, the 2017 Drug Strategy and the 2012 Alcohol Strategy highlight the association between substance misuse, health risks and offending | Revolvin Doors, UK

Fentanyl: Sentencing

I beg to move, That this House  has considered sentences for supplying Fentanyl | They work for you, UK

Why young LGBT people need alcohol-free safe spaces

LGBT people in London could be getting a new alcohol-free space to meet, thanks (in part) to The 1975 | BBC, UK

Midwives in cash call to cut smoking in pregnant women

More investment is needed to help pregnant women quit smoking and manage their weight, the Royal College of Midwives Wales has said | BBC, UK

Drugs: Pregnancy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is an aggravated offence for a pregnant women to use (a) cannabis, (b) ecstasy, (c) heroin and (d) other illegal or street drugs during pregnancy; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Prisoners desperate for nicotine are now vaping in UK jails as sales top 65,000 a week

Vaping has become wildly popular in UK prisons with 65,000 refill and e-cigarettes sales in jails every week | Metro, UK

Smoking: Should it be banned at the school gates?

Standing up for a cause you believe in can be hard, particularly if it means maybe standing up to adults! | BBC Newsround, UK

CO2 shortage: Britain's biggest pub chain runs low on beer brands

Britain's biggest pub group says some outlets are running out of certain beer brands as CO2 gas shortages continue to hit the food and drink sectors | BBC, UK

This is why people are breaking the law to grow medical cannabis in the UK

Britain is the largest exporter of medical cannabis – so why is it still illegal to grow for use? | New Statesman, UK

Gambling Commission announces further plans to protect children

The Gambling Commission has set out further commitments to protecting children and young people from the dangers of gambling, building on work already underway in this area | Gambling Commission, UK

Seized at sea: international operations net more than three tonnes of cocaine

More than three tonnes of cocaine has been seized in the Atlantic Ocean following two separate international operations involving the National Crime Agency | NCA, UK

Death fall drug dealer given community service

A student who supplied drugs to a friend who later fell to his death has been given community service | BBC, UK

Drug-smoking dealer set off shopping centre fire alarms

A man was caught with £56,000 worth of drugs after smoking heroin in a Dundee shopping centre toilet and setting off fire alarms, a court was told | BBC, UK


International news

Misuse of opioids such as tramadol and fentanyl is 'global epidemic', report finds

UN figures reveal deepening opioid crisis in Africa, with cocaine and opium production at records levels worldwide | Guardian, UK

Drones to battle Colombian cocaine crop

Colombia has started using small drones to drop herbicide on illicit coca crops - which produce the drug cocaine | BBC, UK

Prescription drug use "soaring" in Africa, warns UN

The abuse of prescription drugs is a growing threat in parts of Africa and Asia with rates “soaring”, the United Nations has warned | Telegraph, UK

Algeria's powerful police chief Gen Abdelghani Hamel sacked

Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika has sacked his powerful police chief, who was seen as a possible successor to the 81-year-old head of state | BBC, UK

Customs BANS smokers from using a website selling cigarettes to Australians for just $4 a pack - with the new laws coming into force on July 1

A  website which sells cigarettes for up to 80% less than the retail price is set to be banned in Australia | Mail Online, UK

Changes to laws will help tackle use of drugs

Groups working at the coalface of the drugs problem are to lead calls today and tomorrow, in Dublin and Cork, for the decriminalisation of drug possession | Irish Examiner, Ireland

70K opioid-related deaths likely went unreported due to incomplete death certificates

Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Doctors Should Be Handing Out Addiction Meds on Demand

“Every dose of buprenorphine consumed is at least a dose of heroin not getting consumed, if not several.” | TONIC, USA

Beyond Books: How Libraries Are the Latest Front in the Opioid Fight

Libraries across the country are training their staff to administer the drug that can reverse an overdose | Governing, USA

India’s largest liquor company is now backing a booze-delivery startup

United Spirits (USL), the Indian subsidiary of British alcohol major Diageo, announced on June 25 (pdf) that it will pick up a 26% stake in liquor-delivery startup HipBar for Rs27 crore ($4 million) | Quartz, USA

Colombia is leading a massive resurgence in global cocaine production

A new report published this week by the United Nations shows global cocaine production is on the rise, reversing a long downturn in coca-plant cultivation that had started in 2000 | Quartz, USA

Why alcohol and drug problems continue to be so severe in Australia

The idea that drug abuse is confined to illegal drugs is a mistaken one that is often magnified by the media | The New Daily, Australia

LSD as a therapeutic treatment

As the counter-culture drug of choice, the now infamous experimental use of LSD during the 1960s led to a moral panic about its effects on individuals and on society as a whole. Today, media outlets continue to report LSD as a drug that makes people dangerous, psychotic, and in some cases homicidal, further entrenching public fears about it | ADF, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Police Commissioners’ good practice on substance misuse

Revolving Doors Agency spotlights emerging good practice on substance misuse commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners | Russell Webster, UK

Drug users, take responsibility for the harm that you cause

John Keane is appalled by the death toll related to Mexico’s drug trade, and says western consumers of drugs must take their share of the blame; Catriona Rainsford says Mexico’s use of armed forces to tackle criminal violence has seen attacks against human rights activists increase | Guardian letters, UK

Reframing America’s Opioid Epidemic to Find Solutions

Framing the opioid epidemic as a crisis and an individual problem obscures the power of prevention and society’s role in promoting it | SSIR blog, USA

Approval of drug derived from cannabis not necessarily a win for weed

The Food and Drug Administration on June 25 approved for the first time a drug made from cannabidiol (CBD), a molecule derived from the cannabis plant. The drug, Epidiolex, was approved for the treatment of two types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that have been resistant to treatment | Conversation, USA

How opioid addiction alters our brains to always want more

At a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this year, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander asked an important question: Why is most of the treatment for opioid addiction more opioids? | Conversation, USA

Residents in Deep Red Oklahoma Just Voted to Legalize Medical Marijuana

The question now: Will the governor and her allies try to override the will of the voters? | Reason blog, USA