Drugs

The UK’s First Specialist Medical Cannabis Clinic Has Opened

Bosses at the clinic say it will provide a lifeline to those experiencing chronic pain. HuffPost Press Association The UK’s first specialist medical cannabis clinic has opened in Greater Manchester. It follows the Government announcement that specialist doctors could prescribe cannabis products to patients for medicinal use from November. The decisions by medics need to be made on a case-by-case basis and only when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products. The ... Read More »

Proud Boys and antifa: When a right-wing activist met a left-wing anti-fascist

Since the election of Donald Trump, extreme right-wing groups and left-wing activists have battled on American streets. Mike Wendling BBC It’s happened in New York, Berkeley, Charlottesville and elsewhere. But one liberal enclave might be the epicentre of the fighting: Portland, Oregon, a progressive city in the Pacific north-west. Two activists who have been on opposite sides in the Portland clashes agreed to meet and talk. But would they have any common ground? I didn’t think they would both be ... Read More »

Sixth wastewater report reveals Australians spend over $9.3 billion a year on drugs

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission today released the sixth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program providing longer-term insights into drug consumption as the… Using wastewater data between August 2017 to August 2018, it is estimated that more than 9.6 tonnes of methylamphetamine is consumed in Australia each year, as well as more than 4 tonnes of… The street price of this quantity of these four drugs is valued at around $9.3 billion, underlining the ... Read More »

Influential doctors aren’t disclosing their drug company ties

In September, the New York Times revealed that one of the world’s top cancer specialists had quietly received millions of dollars from drug and other companies. And what’s more, he’d failed to disclose the payments in many of his high-profile medical journal articles. Authors: The Conversation A few months before that, a study found that many experts who write medical textbooks received company payments, but again, their readers didn’t know about it. Today our Australian study of the doctors who ... Read More »

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York. BBC In the most gruesome testimony to date, Isaias Valdez Rios described seeing “El Chapo” brutally beat at least three men before shooting them. Guzmán denies charges including trafficking and money laundering. If guilty, he could be jailed for life. The ex-boss of the Sinaloa cartel was held in 2016 after escaping from jail. He used ... Read More »

Three Charts on who uses illicit drugs in Australia

To demonstrate the failure of the war on drugs, NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann came out this week about her own drug use: Since my 20s, I’ve occasionally taken MDMA [ecstasy] at dance parties and music festivals. I know journalists, tradies, lawyers, public servants, doctors, police and yes, politicians (most well into their forties), who have done the same. Nicole Lee The Conversation When asked by journalists on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’d never taken illicit drugs, while ... Read More »

Life as a child in Ireland: ‘Here’s phones. Here’s alcohol. Here’s weed’

NO CHILD 2020 IS AN INITIATIVE BY THE IRISH TIMES, PROVIDING A SUSTAINED FOCUS ON CHILD WELFARE AND CHILDREN’S ISSUES OVER THE COMING YEAR. ITS GOAL IS TO EXPLORE THE PROBLEMS FACING CHILDREN IN IRELAND TODAY, AND OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE THIS A BETTER COUNTRY TO BE A CHILD. HERE, FIVE YOUNG IRISH PEOPLE DISCUSS THEIR EARLY LIVES IN…  – SHELTER – Patrick Freyne is a features writer with The Irish Times Michael: ‘I was never parented. I was like ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

Family of ‘beautiful’ teen plead for pill testing after suspected festival drug overdose

The family of the latest young person to die of a suspected overdose at a music festival has pleaded with NSW Premer Gladys Berejiklian to show ”strong leadership” and introduce pill testing. Sarah Keoghan & Lucy Cormack The Age Central Coast teenager Alex Ross-King, 19, died after taking a suspected dose of pills at the FOMO festival in Parramatta at the weekend. Family members of the teenager have pleaded with the government to introduce pill testing in “legacy” of her death, ... Read More »

Fire and Ice: Conflict and Drugs in Myanmar’s Shan State

Civil strife has turned Myanmar’s Shan State into a crystal methamphetamine hub. ICG The richer the traffickers get, the harder the underlying conflicts will be to resolve. Instead of targeting minor offenders, the military should root out corruption, including among top brass, and disarm complicit paramilitaries.  What’s new? Shan State has long been a centre of conflict and illicit drug production – initially heroin, then methamphetamine tablets. Good infrastructure, proximity to precursor supplies from China and safe haven provided by ... Read More »

Here’s why doctors are backing pill testing at music festivals across Australia

For many years experts in the field of drug policy in Australia have known existing policies are failing. Authors: The Conversation Crude messages (calls for total abstinence: “just say no to drugs”) and even cruder enforcement strategies (harsher penalties, criminalisation of drug users) have had no impact on the use of drugs or the…. Whether we like it or not, drug use is common in our society, especially among young people. In 2016 43% of people aged 14 and older reported ... Read More »

I know all the risks but I’m still going to take drugs at festivals

For many, the solution to drug related deaths is much simpler than pill-testing: just stop taking them. By Anonymous The Age Anyone who has been to a festival in the past few years would quickly realise that as long as this attitude continues, deaths will continue. There’s a large degree of truth to the old stereotype of young people believing they’re invincible. In my group of friends, almost all of whom regularly take drugs at festivals, news of another drug related ... Read More »

The ‘farcical’ drug scanners locking out Melbourne immigration centre visitors

Regular visitors say Serco guards using overly sensitive detectors are making them jump through hoops or refusing them entry to see friends and family Helen Davidson The Guardian “I’m a minister of religion for 30 years, I don’t even drink alcohol and and I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. To be told I had traces of a drug on me was humiliating,” says Colin Elkington, a… “They said it was fentanyl – I had to look it up. ... Read More »

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

Mexico’s New President Squares Up to High Hopes for Peace

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume Mexico’s presidency. He won pledging to end a drug war that has killed tens of thousands. Falko Ernst ICG But, as Crisis Group’s Mexico Senior Analyst Falko Ernst argues, he faces formidable challenges that will make it hard for him to uphold his promises. What are the main challenges facing López Obrador? Andrés Manuel López Obrador inherits several deepening crises. The first is crime: at least 200,000 people have been killed ... Read More »

‘Alarming’ number of women forced to move out of the Gatwick for The Block are now in jail

The lights, cameras and crowds have finally cleared out of St Kilda following the auctions last month at the Gatwick Private Hotel, a run-down three-storey rooming house that was… Hayley Gleeson ABC But as the new owners collect the keys and prepare to move in to their luxury lodgings, ABC News can reveal an “alarming” number of women who used to live at the Gatwick — a place of “last… Channel Nine’s purchase of the 1930s mansion, which in its ... Read More »