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Friday, June 28, 2013

Medical Marijuana Proponents Call For Tighter Laws

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...
Medical marijuana is constantly in the spotlight for what seems like lack of oversight. Now, supporters of medical marijuana legislation are calling for tighter restrictions; this is in reaction to critics’ fear that passing such laws will lead to increased use.

Medical marijuana laws that were passed in the 1990’s in Colorado, California and Oregon made it relatively easy to obtain recommendations for the drug, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pain is one of the most common symptoms for marijuana recommendations. Of Colorado’s 107,000 residents who use medical marijuana, more than 100,000 have pain as their qualifying condition. In California, almost complaint or ailment is considered for grounds for marijuana use.

New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware have patient bans for growing their own marijuana. These states have increased oversight on commercial growers and distributors, and do not allow physicians to recommend marijuana for general pain, The Wall Street Journal reports. New Hampshire and Illinois are looking to pass similar legislation.

“It’s clear that if I had proposed a California-type law, I would’ve had no chance of passing it,” said Illinois Representative Lou Lang. He sponsored the Illinois medical marijuana bill that now awaits the signature of Governor Pat Quinn, who says he is “very open-minded” about the bill.
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Urban Outfitters Will Remove Rx Products

English: Novamoxin Prescription Drug - Amoxici...
That battle against Urban Outfitters and their products that promote drugs and alcohol was a victory. On Friday, the company announced that it will discontinue selling products that promote prescription drug abuse. Public health groups, state attorneys general, and legislators have been pushing for this in the recent months due to Urban Outfitters appeal to America’s youth.

Urban Outfitters has been selling pint glasses, flasks, and shot glasses that look like prescription pill bottles.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org suggested that consumers contact Urban Outfitters and ask them to cease selling products that promote prescription drug and alcohol use. The Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers, urged Urban Outfitters to stop selling the products.

In late May, 23 attorneys general sent a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO and Chairman Richard A. Hayne.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers and 57 local poison centers contacted Urban Outfitters last week, asking them to discontinue such products.

In a statement, Urban Outfitters said, “In the 20,000 products that comprise our assortment, there are styles that represent humor, satire, and hyperbole. In this extensive range of product we recognize that from time to time there may be individual items that are misinterpreted by people who are not our customer. As a result of this misinterpretation we are electing to discontinue these few styles from our current product offering.”
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Drug Court in America

3D Judges Gavel

Can Drug Court save lives?

In Durango, Colorado a lady named Tammy, whose husband became pastor of a local church, life spiraled out of control. They have three kids together and were well known in the community. On April 6, 2004, Tammy’s husband had a fatal heart attack while asleep in bed. Tammy was devastated by the event and turned to a drinking alcohol to cope with the loss of her husband. Just, six years later, Tammy was on the verge of losing everything, as well as coming close to killing herself in a car crash. Tammy was given the opportunity to enter Drug Court. 

Research has shown that those suffering from addiction are much better served outside of jails and prisons when it comes to rehabilitation.

Please take a moment to read a commentary from West Huddleston, CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals: 

"During the month of May, I traveled over 5,000 miles across the country visiting communities that save money, cut crime and reduce recidivism through Drug Courts. The tour was part of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ National Drug Court Month celebration. We called it All Rise America! From small towns like Page, Arizona to major cities like Denver, Colorado and Brooklyn, New York, this trip put a spotlight on what can be achieved when justice and treatment professionals work together to give addicted offenders the opportunity for treatment.

But All Rise America! and National Drug Court Month is not just a celebration for individual programs and communities. It honors each and every person who believes that treatment, not prison, is where addicted people belong. It is a call to action. The incredible stories of redemption and transformation brought to bear every day in Drug Court uplift us, but they also remind us that there are far too many people for whom treatment is still out of reach.

I heard someone say that once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Anyone who has seen a Drug Court in action would certainly agree with this. Once you have seen someone thank the police officer who arrested them because it led to their first opportunity for treatment, or a mother thank a judge for giving her back her daughter, or a veteran stand at parade rest in a courtroom full of his peers and accept the help that is being offered, then you know that the pace of reform does not match the urgency it requires.

This is precisely the reason for All Rise America! The statistics on Drug Courts are compelling, but we want every American to see for themselves the faces behind the numbers. We want to show you how Drug Courts work, the people they serve and the professionals who work tirelessly to make them successful. Whether you are familiar with Drug Courts or new to the concept, All Rise America! demonstrates the incredible capacity for human beings to change. It gives you hope that there is a part of our criminal justice system that not only works to reduce substance abuse and crime, but saves lives. We want you to know about Drug Court so that you can’t unknow it.

We met Tammy on our swing through Durango. We were there for her graduation from Drug Court. With her baby grandchild cooing and crawling about, Tammy stood before the court and told her story. She was poised and spoke with dignity and gratitude. She thanked each member of the team for what they had done for her. “At 48 years old, it was the first time that someone told me I was enough. I was enough to be a good mom. I was enough just the way I am to be a good grandmother, a good friend. I was enough,” she said. Tammy has rebuilt her relationship with her family and is finding her way in the community. Judge Martha Minot thanked her for her hard work and noted that earlier in the year, when Tammy was laid off from a job she loved, she did not drink. She used the tools she had learned in Drug Court and got through it sober.

Throughout May, as I saw the transformation that takes place in Drug Court, I couldn’t help but think about the incredible capacity of human beings to change if they are just given a chance. But I also couldn’t help but think about those who do not get this opportunity. In a neighboring community with no Drug Court, Tammy would probably be in prison right now. Instead, I got to see her hold her grandson, surrounded by friends and family, and enjoy living in her well-earned moment.

There are over 2,700 Drug Courts in the United States today. Their success is no longer up for debate. Rigorous scientific research continues to show that Drug Courts cut crime, reduce drug abuse and recidivism, and save taxpayers money. There remains, however, roughly 1.2 million people in the criminal justice system today who research says would benefit from Drug Court, but are unable to gain access. We can, and must, do better.

The only way we will reach our goal of putting Drug Court within reach of every American in need is with the support of people like you. We invite you to visit AllRiseAmerica.org and read the inspiring stories of Drug Courts coast to coast. If you feel moved to help, consider a donation so that we can continue to expand these programs or tell your friends, families, and colleagues to see for themselves. All Rise!”
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Friday, June 7, 2013

Google Aids Illegal Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of Medicine
The Internet is a place where just about anything is possible and there is hardly an item that cannot be acquired - including drugs. Yesterday, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) said that Google still allows ads for illegal online pharmacies which distribute counterfeit or illegal drugs.

Two years ago, to avoid prosecution, Google agreed to pay $500 million for aiding illegal online pharmaceutical sales. Google acknowledged that it knowingly assisted online pharmacy advertisers run ads for illegal pharmacy sales that targeted American customers.

At the top of Google’s keyword search results, websites known to sell counterfeit goods are still listed, USA Today reports.

“On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods, including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description,” Hood said. “This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior.”

Google said, “We take the safety of our users very seriously and we’ve explained to Attorney General Hood how we enforce policies to combat rogue online pharmacies and counterfeit drugs. In the last two years, we’ve removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies, and we routinely remove videos that are flagged for violating YouTube’s guidelines regarding dangerous or illegal content.”
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