SARA BRITTANY SOMERSET March 12, 2018
The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recently issued its 2017 annual report, and the takeaway with regard to cannabis is clear: The INCB is deeply concerned with the spread of adult-use legalization.
Countries pursuing legalization are acting in 'clear violation' of the UN's 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, says the International Narcotics Control Board.
The report contains stern warnings, accusing countries like Uruguay of acting in “clear violation” of global drug control accords.
The Board, which monitors compliance with international drug control treaties, is made up of individuals, not U.N. member states. That’s meant to protect it from political pressure. The Board’s charter also stipulates, however, that it must include individuals with “medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience.” That means Big Pharma is well represented, while advocates for cannabis legalization—whether medical or adult-use—have no seat at the table.
International drug control treaties, signed by most member states decades ago, are meant to prohibit the proliferation and non-medical use of dangerous drugs. Cannabis is specifically covered under most of the treaties.
However, in recent years countries like Uruguay have legalized and regulated the non-medical use of cannabis. Canada is planning to legalize later this year. In the United States, nine states and the District of Columbia have implemented some form of adult-use legalization.
That does not sit well with the INCB. “Governments and jurisdictions in North America have continued to pursue policies with respect to the legalization of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, in violation of the 1961 Convention as amended,” states the Board’s 2017 report.
Warnings to Uruguay, Jamaica
The Board strongly cautioned Uruguay, which legalized cannabis nationally in 2013, and currently sells cannabis in pharmacies, that the nation is “acting in clear violation” of the drug treaties.
“The limitation of the use of controlled substances to medicinal and scientific purposes is a fundamental principle to which no derogation is permitted under the 1961 Convention as amended,” the INCB report says.
The U.N. board members also criticized Jamaica for legalizing cannabis for religious use three years ago. Cannabis is considered a religious sacrament among adherents of the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarians take their spiritual name from Ras Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, (Emperor Haile Selassie I, of Ethiopia). Selassie is considered a direct descendent of King Solomon.
While the U.N. claims to promote global religious tolerance, the INCB strongly disagrees with the religious nature of the rasta cannabis ceremony.
“The Board reminds the Government of Jamaica, and all other parties, that under article 4, paragraph (c), of the 1961 Convention as amended, only the medical and scientific use of cannabis is authorized, and that use for any other purposes, including religious, is not permitted,” the report states.
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:
Data are lacking on drug use among gay and bisexual men (GBM) in New Zealand. We establish a baseline estimate of drug use and investigate associations with sexual health and HIV risk.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:
Drug use was common in this sample of GBM. Polydrug and methamphetamine users had especially high sexual health needs, but risks remained elevated among GBM consuming other drugs. Drug harm reduction programs and HIV prevention should target GBM with problematic drug use. Limitations include an inability to attribute causation. [Saxton P, Newcombe D, Ahmed A, Dickson N, Hughes A. Illicit drug use among New Zealand gay and bisexual men: Prevalence and association with sexual health behaviours. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000].
13/2/18Bottom of Form Mixing Alcohol and Marijuana Amplifies THC in the System
Three news stories exemplify the tragic results of mixing alcohol and marijuana before getting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Most recently, a suspected-DUI driver crashed into a California Highway patrolman in a parked vehicle on Christmas Eve. Andrew Camilleri, 33, died instantly. He left behind a wife and three children.
A driver who drank alcohol and smoked marijuana killed CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri, on Chrstmas Eve.
A New York teen admitted that he used both marijuana and beer before the crash that killed his 16-year-old friend on August 31. Another 14 year-old in the vehicle was injured. Authorities have charged the teen with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Yet, the teen claimed that he didn’t feel that he was ‘messed up.’ He said that he had taken 3 or 4 hits of a joint, and drank from two partial cans of beer. But when driving, he “encountered a deer on the road and swerved to avoid it,” leading to the crash.
January 29, 2018 - According to a recent study, the use of weed or tobacco cigarettes is connected to the increased risk of psychotic-like experiences, which could include hallucinations or delusions.
The study, published by JAMA Psychiatry, is entitled “Association of Combined Patterns of Tobacco and Cannabis Use in Adolescence With Psychotic Experiences,” and analyzes data from a longitudinal cohort study of more than 3,300 teens.
While both marijuana and tobacco smoking were associated with psychotic experiences, they found that the risk was greater with weed.
"Individuals who use cannabis regularly have a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of a psychotic outcome," researchers from the University of Bristol wrote
January 26, 2018 10.17am AEDT Updated January 31, 2018 5.11pm AEDT
One of the enduring myths about marijuana is that it is “harmless” and can be safely used by teens.
Many high school teachers would beg to disagree, and consider the legalization of marijuana to be the biggest upcoming challenge in and around schools. And the evidence is on their side
As an education researcher, I have visited hundreds of schools over four decades, conducting research into both education policy and teen mental health. I’ve come to recognize when policy changes are going awry and bound to have unintended effects.
As Canadian provinces scramble to establish their implementation policies before the promised marijuana legalization date of July 2018, I believe three major education policy concerns remain unaddressed.
These are that marijuana use by children and youth is harmful to brain development, that it impacts negatively upon academic success and that legalization is likely to increase the number of teen users.
‘Much safer than alcohol’
Across Canada, province after province has been announcing its marijuana implementation policy, focusing almost exclusively on the control and regulation of the previously illegal substance. This has provoked fierce debates over who will reap most of the excise tax windfall and whether cannabis will be sold in government stores or delegated to heavily regulated private vendors.
All of the provincial pronouncements claim that their policy will be designed to protect “public health and safety” and safeguard “children and youth” from “harmful effects.”
However, a 2015 report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse cites rates of past-year cannabis use ranging from 23 per cent to 30 per cent among students in grades seven to 12 in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador during 2012-2013. And notes that, “of those Canadian youth who used cannabis in the past three months, 23 per cent reported using it on a daily or near daily basis.”
The report also describes youth perceptions of marijuana as “relatively harmless” and “not as dangerous as drinking and driving.”
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Presentations, Statements & Conference Resources from WFAD 2018 Forum