Drugs

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 »

UN’s 10-year plan to tackle world’s drug problem has been ‘spectacular failure’ as production and consumption soar, report says

Drug-related deaths increase by 145 per cent and cultivation of opium poppies increases by 130 per cent, figures show Samuel Osborne Independent The UN’s 10-year global strategy to eradicate the world’s illegal drug market has been “a spectacular failure of policy”, a report by a network of 174 NGOs has concluded. The report said there had been a 145 per cent increase in drug-related deaths over the last decade, culminating in around 450,000 deaths per year in 2015. It also found that despite a ... Read More »

Cannabis in Canada: Shortages, fines and Girl Guide cookies

As Canada became the second country to legalise marijuana on Wednesday, some areas faced their first major challenge as supply failed to meet demand. BBC Customers queued for hours. Some retailers sold out on the first day, and shortages continued on Thursday. Online shoppers also faced delays as the new law came into effect, with high volumes affecting websites. Customers were warned to expect shipping delays of up to five days, as a postal strike looms next week. But the ... Read More »

Carl Sagan on why he liked smoking marijuana

Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is facsinating. Scotty Hendricks big think The patron saint of nerds everywhere, Carl Sagan was an awesome human being. He wrote and hosted Cosmos, helped select the playlist of the Voyager Golden Records, had a distinguished academic career, and inspired both Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson to become the… Sagan wrote on a wide variety of topics, including astronomy, the need for truth in public discourse, world peace, and climate change. His brilliance is evident even in articles outside his ... Read More »

Turkey’s intel agency trafficked drugs and stolen vehicles to jihadists in Syria

A hushed-up investigation in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara in early 2014 reveals how intelligence officers on the payroll of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were involved in drug trafficking and… Abdullah Bozkurt TurkishMinute The confidential probe pursued by Turkish military intelligence into the activities of drug traffickers and an auto theft gang in Ankara exposed seven MİT agents who were unlawfully transporting drugs and… The clandestine operation was in clear breach of dozens of Turkish criminal laws as well ... Read More »

More people are dying from overdosing on prescription opioids

Rising numbers of Australians are dying from accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs morphine, codeine, oxycodone and fentanyl, the latest drug deaths data shows. Kate Aubusson The Sydney Morning Herald Australia has so far been spared the magnitude of the opioid “epidemic” in the US and its emerging fentanyl crisis, but drug experts were closely monitoring the creeping death rates linked to the synthetic drug. A total of 1045 people from 15 to 64 years old died from opioid overdoses in ... Read More »

This Man Is Making Cannabis Oil And Giving It Out For Free To Help Terminally Ill People

It is estimated that over a million people in the UK rely on medical marijuana for pain relief. In an unassuming suburban home in a nondescript modern housing estate in Birmingham, Satnam Bains*, a 42-year-old property developer, quietly distills litres of his own cannabis oil in a… Amardeep Bassey HuffPost Bains made it his business to learn how to make oil after his younger brother was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer last year. “It came from nowhere and floored ... Read More »

Rodrigo Duterte commits to war on illegal drugs in Philippines State of the Union address

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not be stopping the war on drugs that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings, saying while his critics’ “concern is human rights, mine is human lives”. ABC Speaking for his annual State of the Union address at a joint session of Congress, Mr Duterte reaffirmed his resolve to fight illegal drugs as he had during his first two years in power. He took a swipe at his critics who say his so ... Read More »