Daily news - 14th May 2018

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UK news

BMJ calls on more doctors to support legalisation of drugs

The BMJ has again called for the legalisation of drugs in an editorial by the journal’s editor-in-chief which calls for more doctors to support its stance. Fiona Godlee says the UK is now the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, yet recreational and medicinal use are criminalised | i news, UK

High time to rehash drug policy, think tanks say, as legalisation could save taxpayer £900m

The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) argue that legalising the drug would reduce spending by police, prisons, courts and the NHS and put a huge amount of money back in taxpayers' pockets | BBC, UK

Spiraling drug deaths blamed on swingeing funding cuts to services

New figures suggest £117m less being spent on treatment now than five years ago | Independent, UK

Special Section: Naloxone

Special edition including open access papers | Drug and Alcohol Review, UK

Vaping industry figures reject e-cigarettes on prescription

Leaders of the vaping industry told MPs that while it may help some smokers switch from cigarettes, smokers would not want to view e-cigarettes as a medicine and they should not be provided on prescription | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

Rise in drug arrests among teenagers prompts 'county lines' concerns

Urban gangs are using children as young as 12 to help move drugs in out-of-town locations | Guardian, UK

Children exploited by 'county lines' gangs need help, mother says

'Helen’ criticises lack of support after her son was groomed and made to sell drugs in rural areas | Guardian, UK

‘Once you get in, it’s hard to get out’: county lines drug dealer on how she almost died

Kate was 17 when she was shot and left in a coma after trying to quit her life of drug dealing | Guardian, UK

Don’t blame violent crime on gangs alone – blame it on the inequality that made them

Over the past few days, the media has been warning us that Albanian gangsters are fuelling the rise in violent crime on Britain’s streets. It is claimed that this year’s surge in stabbings and shootings, most notably among young black people in London, is a direct result of the cocaine trade, a business being increasingly controlled by organised Albanian crime gangs | i news, UK

Ex-'county lines' drugs teen reveals how boxing turned his life around

A London teenager who became caught up in “county lines” drug dealing has revealed how a boxing and mentoring programme in Croydon has helped him turn his life around | Evening Standard, UK

Illegal raves: How the underground scene has never really gone away

A few minutes' walk from Tufnell Park station in north London, a steady stream of teenagers is flocking towards an industrial area. Muffled 140bpm beats thud through the walls of a warehouse, where a crowd gathers outside a door that’s clearly been forced open | BBC, UK

Drug minister Victoria Atkins’s husband oversees cannabis farm

[Open access] Victoria Atkins has given up part of her role after being accused of a conflict of interest | Sunday Times, UK

Online shopping allows guns to be smuggled into Britain, NCA warns 

Rising gun violence in  Britain is being fuelled by online shopping as gangs smuggle weapons hidden among legitimate parcels, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned | Telegraph, UK

'Class A drugs' found at Home Office headquarters

Police were called to the Home Office after suspected Class A drugs were found in the department's headquarters | BBC, UK

Michael Pollan: ‘I was a very reluctant psychonaut’

The bestselling author and activist has been exploring the use of psychedelic drugs in medical research for his book How to Change Your Mind. And yes, he had to try them for himself | Observer, UK


International news

Harm Reduction International calls for changes to Global Fund policy

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is the largest funder of harm reduction globally, but its eligibility policy currently precludes certain Upper Middle Income Countries (UMICs) from applying for funding | IDPC, UK

The struggle to turn psychedelics into life-changing treatments

Scientist Robin Carhart-Harris wants to use psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. Early results are promising – but can he convince big pharma and the public of their potential? | WIRED, UK

How Britain offered the murderous President Duterte materials for “urban warfare”

The Philippines leader said he wanted to slaughter three million drug addicts | New Statesman, UK

Mexico's Streets of Blood - BBC iPlayer

A showcase of BBC journalism with programmes that expose and evaluate global topics. Mexico's murder rate reached a record high in 2017, with close to 30,000 dying in drug related violence | BBC, UK

'He was gone': fentanyl and the opioid deaths destroying Australian families

Investigators feared the deaths might have been linked to a bad batch of imported opiates. The truth may be more unsettling | Guardian, UK

Fugitive drug smuggler who lived in Australia under fake name jailed in US

Peyton Eidson, 74, apologised for his deeds after heading major marijuana smuggling operation and fleeing US in 1986 | Guardian, UK

Children of the opioid epidemic

In the midst of a national crisis, mothers addicted to drugs struggle to get off them — for their babies’ sake, and their own | NYTimes, USA

Conventional view of opioid mechanism of action upended in new study

Scientists find new molecular target for developing safer pain medications | Science Daily, USA

Hit hard by opioid crisis, Appalachian states expand clean-needle programs

In 2013, there was just one clean-needle program in all of West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina, and the latter two states had laws banning such programs | Medical Xpress, USA

Latinos Are Hit Especially Hard By The Opioid Crisis In Mass. But Why?

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17 | WBUR, USA

Juuling: If you don’t know what it is, ask your kids

At a high school in Maryland’s capital city of Annapolis, the principal ordered doors removed from bathrooms to keep students from sneaking hits in the stalls | Washington Post, USA

Race Remains a Key Factor in Marijuana Arrests, Analysis Shows

The police explanation that more black and Hispanic people are arrested on marijuana charges because complaints are high in their neighborhoods doesn’t hold up to scrutiny | NYTimes, USA

Many dispensaries in CO proffer marijuana for morning sickness

More than two-thirds of Colorado cannabis dispensaries recommend cannabis products to treat nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to a study published online May 7 in Obstetrics & Gynecology | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis use up among parents with children in the home

Study finds combined use of cigarettes and marijuana may increase children's exposure to second-hand smoke | EurekAlert, USA

Researching medical marijuana for veterans faces more White House hurdles

As scientists try to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a simple problem has emerged: How do you research marijuana if no one can produce it under federal law? | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana Users Don't Mind Being Labeled Stoners And Potheads

There was once a time, decades ago, when being labeled a stoner or pothead was how a person knew they had gotten under the skin of authority | Forbes, USA

(Re)claiming Language, Addict Edition

If somebody needs to call themselves a die-hard dopefiend so they don’t forget where they came from, let them | The Fix, USA

Inside the Insane Story of How Pablo Escobar Was Finally Captured

More than 20 years after the death of the "king of cocaine," countries are still dealing with the aftermath | VICE, USA

Japan, the place with the strangest drug debate in the world

Despite its relatively low drug abuse figures, the Japanese system is failing to treat addicts | Open Democracy, USA

Inquest reveals hidden scourge of opiate deaths

The deaths of six people at the centre of an inquest have highlighted the growing tragedy of a hidden drug problem in Australia | SMH, Australia

A trip into the unknown

LSD and magic mushrooms can help with mental health — and may have profound things to teach us about how the mind works | The Australian, Australia

Vape expectations: The Kiwi law which shows Australia up

Vaping with nicotine — banned in Australia — is now legal in New Zealand | News.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol and mental health: time for concerted action

The links are well known, but we need leadership to change things for the better, says Andy Bell | IAS blog, UK

Expert Reaction: Alcohol and tobacco report

Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human health around the world, a major report on addictive substances has found | University of York, UK

What are your experiences of 'county lines' drug trading?

The issue of children being forced to sell drugs in rural areas has been linked to a rise in the number of slavery victims in the UK. We want to hear from youth workers, police and young people about this topic | Guardian, UK

The UK Government’s Latest Excuse About Medicinal Cannabis Is Yet Another Deception

Nick Hurd MP, the Home Office minister, said again this week that as far as any consideration of cannabis for medical use is concerned, the government will “await the outcome” of the report on cannabis due from the WHO in 2019 “before considering the next steps | Clear, UK

The case for legalising drugs is overwhelming – so why won't governments listen?

In 2001, Portugal made a revolutionary decision when it became the first country to decriminalise drug possession and consumption | Telegraph, UK

Glimmer of light: Could Sajid Javid make a difference on drug policy?

The first time I met the new home secretary was when he came to my house. Sajid Javid is our local MP and he came over to hear the story of how two of our sons had been killed by heroin | politics.co.uk comment, UK

We should never write off drug addicts - with the right help they can turn their life around

When the Daily Record writes about drug addicts, it is often in a negative way. We make no apology for that | Daily Record opinion, UK