Drugs

ICC to probe alleged crimes in Philippines, Venezuela

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The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched initial probes on Feb. 7 into alleged crimes against humanity during the “war on drugs” in the Philippines and political upheaval in Venezuela. THE HAGUE Hurriyet “Since 2016, I have closely followed the situations” in both the Philippines and Venezuela, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement. After “a careful, independent and impartial review… I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation.” In the Philippines, her office would ... Read More »

Teen ‘Widows’ of Duterte’s Drug War Face a Bleak Economic Future

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They are the hidden cost of Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines: single, teenage mothers whose partners have been killed by police or vigilantes. Ana P. Santos News Deeply And without a job or government support, it’s near impossible for them to support their children. MANILA, PHILIPPINES – It was just after midnight when four men in black masks broke down Jazmine Durana’s door. Two of them held Durana and her baby at gunpoint, ordering them to stay inside. The other two ... Read More »

San Francisco offers marijuana conviction amnesty

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The city of San Francisco, one of the most liberal in the United States, is offering an amnesty for marijuana convictions dating back over 40 years, weeks after California legalized the drug. LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet California’s legalization of recreational marijuana took effect at the beginning of January, making the state the largest legal market for pot in the world. “While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead ... Read More »

National response to prescription drug abuse epidemic a matter of urgency

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In the three years before his death on January 6, 2010, 21-year-old Paul Fennessy had obtained, and filled, more than 150 prescriptions for opioids, antidepressants and antipsychotics. The Canberra Times A post mortem revealed not a single one of the seven drugs present in his body was illegal. Paul, like many of the hundreds of Australians who die from overdosing on prescription opioids each year, was a skilled doctor shopper. His suppliers were the 18 different GPs and chemists he used to obtain ... Read More »

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

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Health warnings as image culture drives usage of performance-enhancing drugs Steven Morris The Guardian Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said. This ranges from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to elderly men hoping to hang on to youthful looks. Research suggests that appearance rather than sporting performance is the reason for a majority of those ... Read More »

The missing Alzheimer’s pill

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When it comes to some of the biggest diseases America faces in the future, our drug system is set up to fail. DAVID H. FREEDMAN Politico What needs to happen? If there’s a dream of what a new drug is supposed to do, it might look something like Kalydeco. In 2012, the new light-blue pill from Vertex Pharmaceuticals rocked the world of cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that affects 30,000 people in the United State. It’s best known for its ... Read More »

America Can’t Win the Drug War in Afghanistan

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Twenty-four of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Ted Galen Carpenter  As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The National Interest The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed. Almost every ... Read More »

Peru legalises medical marijuana in move spurred by mother’s home lab

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Proposal to decriminalise the drug came after police raided a makeshift laboratory where a group of women made cannabis oil for their sick children Dan Collyns The Guardian Lawmakers in Peru have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, allowing cannabis oil to be locally produced, imported and sold. With a vote of 68-5, Peru’s Congress approved the bill which will be written into law in 60 days, once regulations for producing and selling cannabis have ... Read More »

We should beware of ceding tobacco to the criminals

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No one who has watched a loved relative die of a smoking-induced disease will have much sympathy for the tobacco industry To see someone with emphysema fighting for every breath, or to watch the painful decline of someone with lung cancer – these are harsh lessons that change lives. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald Smoking doesn’t just kill; it kills with pain, horror and indignity. Many people will thus understand and sympathise immediately with Andrew Forrest’s new anti-smoking campaign, intended ... Read More »

Philippines: Commission on Human Rights budget cut to almost nothing amid Duterte’s drug crackdown

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Philippines politicians allied with President Rodrigo Duterte have slashed the annual budget for the Commission on Human Rights from $17 million to just $25 Barney Porter ABC The public body has clashed repeatedly with Mr Duterte over his violent campaign against illegal drugs, and human rights advocates say the move is aimed at supressing any dissent. About four-fifths of lower house members supported the move to cut the commission’s budget to almost nil. The house speaker and a close ally ... Read More »

‘Drug pushers in suits’: Why the ACT’s bid to ‘legalise heroin’ failed

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It was the bold idea that began in the ACT Legislative Assembly, rattled the prime minister of the day, and raised the hackles of one of the… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times And almost 20 years since Prime Minister John Howard scuttled a scientific trial into the effectiveness of providing prescription heroin to addicts, former ACT independent MLA Michael Moore believes its time to start the… Mr Moore was the chair of an ACT parliamentary committee on HIV, illegal drugs ... Read More »

Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol and it’s failing for marijuana

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Decriminalising marijuana would be a small step and free up resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. So where’s the push for legalisation? Jeff Sparrow The Guardian Why haven’t we legalised marijuana already? It’s a question brought to mind after reading Fairfax crime writer John Sylvester’s recent report on Melbourne as, in the words of assistant commissioner (crime) Steve Fontana, “the engine room of the… Sylvester takes the reader behind the scenes of the old-style anti-pot… Prohibition didn’t ... Read More »

Mexico’s Worsening War without a Name

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The “war on drugs” has morphed into a new rash of killings in Mexico. Froylán Enciso ICG The deadly violence of increasingly well-organised, business-minded criminal groups risks being aggravated by government inaction, corruption and bombastic U.S. rhetoric – exactly what caused the problem in the first place. Murder rates in Mexico have hit a… Mexico’s Worsening War… Read More »

AMA calls for ‘mature conversation’ over decriminalising drugs to reduce harms

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The President of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association says he will continue to push the debate over decriminalisation of drugs for personal use, despite authorities taking a… By David Weber and Eliza Laschon  ABC Dr Andrew Miller said alternative solutions on how the state treated drug users needed to be… He called for a “mature conversation”. “The current situation’s not working, there’s a lot of harm from drugs and there’s a… AMA calls for… Read More »

Cary Grant: how 100 acid trips in Tinseltown ‘changed my life’

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At the height of his fame, Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy for help. He later claimed the drug saved him, but did it also spell the end of his career? Xan Brooks The Guardian In the late 1950s, at the height of his fame, Cary Grant set off on a trip in search of his true self, unpicking the myth he had spent three decades perfecting. He tried hypnosis and yoga and felt that they both came up short. ... Read More »

Minister: Watch over EEZ

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IT is imperative to stay alert and keep a close watch over our exclusive economic zone (EEZ), says Minister for Fisheries Semi… Alisi Vucago Fiji Times He said monitoring our territorial waters was imperative to not only monitor illegal fishing, but also other activities including the trafficking of drugs and… “We need to plan for the future and secure our expansion in… Minister: Watch over… Read More »