Drugs

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN:  An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004.  Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world's biggest drug producers.    AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai  (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »

British boy’s medical cannabis returned

Xil 2b

London: The UK Home Office is returning a severely epileptic boy’s medicinal cannabis oil after confiscating it from his mother at customs. WAtoday PA Charlotte Caldwell tried to bring the medication into Heathrow Airport in a last-ditch effort to treat her 12-year-old son Billy, but it was removed by border officials. After a week of pleading with the Home Office, during which she accused a minister of likely signing the boy’s “death warrant”, the government has relented. Home Secretary Sajid Javid ... Read More »

Lebanon Is Protecting Hezbollah’s Cocaine Trade in Latin America

Images of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah are seen among scores of Hezbollah and Lebanese national flags being waved by Hezbollah supporters during a ceremony to mark first anniversary of the war with Israel, 14 August 2007. Nasrallah reiterated to a mass rally broadcast live on television that his Shiite group had won a divine victory. "Today is the anniversary of the divine victory," Nasrallah told the thousands of men, women and children who had gathered in an empty lot of Beirut's southern suburb of Dahiyeh controlled by Hezbollah. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

The country’s institutions are not a counterweight to Hezbollah, but its enablers. Emanuele Ottolenghi FP Days after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, Washington ramped up sanctions against Hezbollah as part of its offensive against Tehran and its proxies. Yet U.S. policy toward the Lebanese militant group continues to be incoherent. By flexing its muscles against Hezbollah while supporting Lebanese state institutions that it has heavily penetrated or fully controls, the White House ends up undermining its own pursuit of the… Lebanon ... Read More »

‘Not equal before the law’: Why regional drug addicts are often sent to jail, not rehab

Ret 4d

A retired judge has backed calls for more drug rehabilitation centres in the bush, warning addicts in regional areas are too often thrown behind bars. Background Briefing – By Bronwyn Adcock ABC John Nicholson SC served as a New South Wales District Court judge for more than a decade and regularly presided over sittings in Dubbo, where drug-related crime is high. When sentencing offenders, Mr Nicholson told Background Briefing there were times he had no choice but to impose a jail ... Read More »

Crime stats: Victoria sees another big drop in crime

Asf 2b

Police say forensic targeting of known criminals is helping to make some of Melbourne’s offending hot spots safer, as official figures show the annual crime rate down 9.5 per cent across the state, and some of the… Noel Towell & Craig Butt The Age The Crime Statistics Agency says the number of criminal incidents recorded by police in the year to March 31 this year was 380,150, down nearly 9 per cent from 416,925 incidents recorded in the… There were ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

Xuc 1a

DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

‘Give addicts overdose cure’ Doctors desperate to keep opioid epidemic at bay

Drugs 1a Getty LLLL

TENS of thousands of drug addicts should be given anti-overdose medication to keep at home, according to new advice on preparing for a possible opioid epidemic. Kate Devlin Express Doctors and health experts fear a death toll to rival that in the US, where the drugs have been implicated in overdoses and the deaths of pop stars Michael Jackson and Prince. New guidance says addicts should be given an emergency “antidote” called naloxone – which keeps them alive until an ... Read More »

Drug testing dole recipients will only make addiction worse, but the government won’t hear it

Drugometre 1a LLLL

Fifty-two. That’s how many submissions were made to the Senate inquiry into the Government’s drug testing bill for welfare recipients, which handed down its findings this week. Toby Hall ABC The bill aims to trial drug testing for new income support recipients at three sites: Mandurah in Western Australia, Logan on the outskirts of Brisbane and Bankstown in south-west Sydney. It’s estimated that 5000 people will be drug tested over two years as part of the trial. Those who test ... Read More »

Australia should tax and regulate cannabis, not prohibit it

Sak 1a

The decision to ban cannabis was an accident of history. There was no careful root and branch review of the evidence. Alex Wodak ABC Instead, Australia was represented at a League of Nations meeting in Geneva in 1925 where delegates from several countries decried the dangers of cannabis. As Robert Kendell outlines in his book Cannabis Condemned: “A claim by the Egyptian delegation that [cannabis] was as dangerous as opium, and should therefore be subject to the same international controls, ... Read More »

Legal highs: arguments for and against legalising cannabis in Australia

Highs 1a

Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants Australia to legalise cannabis for personal use, regulated by a federal agency. Nicole Lee Jarryd Bartle The Conversation This proposal is for legalisation of recreational use for relaxation and pleasure, not to treat a medical condition (which is already legal in Australia for some conditions). According to the proposal, the government agency would licence, monitor and regulate production and sale, and regularly review the regulations. The agency would be the sole wholesaler, buying from ... Read More »

WA health minister launches plan to ease access to medicinal cannabis

Pluno 2b

Sick West Australians who have been prescribed medicinal cannabis by a doctor will be able to get access within 48 hours under a plan agreed to by Health Minister Roger Cook. Phoebe Wearne The West Australian At the Council of Australian Governments health council meeting in Sydney yesterday, Mr Cook and his State and Territory counterparts gave the nod to having a single approval process for all… The deal means patients will no longer have to apply to both State ... Read More »

Medical cannabis is legal. That does not mean it works

Wod 1a

These days, when Deb Lynch reads that medical cannabis is legal, she just laughs and laughs. “We used to get annoyed about that,” she says. Liam Mannix The Canberra Times “Not any more.” Ms Lynch expected legalisation would mean she could access the drug to treat her autoimmune disease. But, like many, she has been knocked back and told there is no evidence it would help her. For medical cannabis, some experts believe the hype has surged way past the ... Read More »

Europe struggles to face down Big Pharma

Aen 1a

Knocking down drug prices requires more than bargaining as a group. Belgium and the Netherlands teamed up three years ago to negotiate cheaper drugs in the hopes of forming a new front against Big Pharma’s high prices. Carmen Paun Politico It was an attractive idea: Banding together, EU health ministries would wield bargaining power against pharma companies based on their bigger patient pool. Luxembourg, Austria and Ireland agreed with the logic and signed on, stung into action as drug prices reached eye-popping highs. Hepatitis ... Read More »

End the Weaponisation of Water in Central Asia

Plem 2b

Four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have argued over their water resources since the collapse of the Soviet Union. At times these disputes have seemed to threaten war. The forthcoming presidential summit in Astana can help banish that spectre. Alina Dalbaeva ICG On 15-16 March there is a landmark opportunity to promote peace and prosperity in Central Asia when the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana. It ... Read More »

High-strength cannabis now dominates illegal market, study finds

Ceke 3c

Samples showed huge rise in highly psychoactive strains, raising public health concerns Damien Gayle The Guardian Almost all cannabis seized by police now comprises high-strength varieties, with outdoor-grown herbal strains and hashish barely found, according to a new analysis. In the first study of its kind for 10 years, researchers from GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes medicines derived from cannabis, and King’s College London found 94% of samples seized by police were varieties with a high psychoactive content, suggesting they dominate the illicit ... Read More »

Is marijuana the world’s most effective treatment for autism?

Cannabis plant 1a Uriel Sinai Getty

It’s morning in Nahariya, a tiny Israeli town near the Lebanese border, and 4-year-old Benjamin is repeatedly smashing his head against the wall. BY DEBRA KAMIN Newsweek He spins wildly in circles, screeching at full volume. As his mother tries frantically to calm him, he pulls down his pants and defecates on the floor. When they leave their apartment, Benjamin wrestles free of her hand and nearly runs into oncoming traffic. Sharon attempts a trip to the supermarket but leaves before ... Read More »