quote:Philippines at UN tells world not to interfere | Daily Mail Online
The Philippines' foreign secretary on Saturday pushed back against criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, telling the United Nations not to interfere.
"We urge everyone to allow us to deal with out domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals, without undue interference," Perfecto Yasay told the UN General Assembly.
There has been growing international alarm over the rising death toll from Duterte's crackdown on crime, with human rights groups saying that security forces are engaging in extrajudicial killings.
Duterte won elections in a landslide in May after vowing to eradicate the illegal drug trade in six months, and promising that 100,000 criminals would be killed in the process.
Since he took office on June 30 about 3,000 people have been killed, about a third of them suspects shot dead by police and the rest murdered by unidentified attackers, according to police statistics.
"We have not and we will never empower our law enforcement agents to shoot-to-kill individuals suspected of drug crimes," the foreign secretary told the General Assembly.
"Extrajudicial killings have no place in our society, and in our criminal justice system."
The top diplomat told the General Assembly that Duterte enjoyed a 92-percent approval rating at home for his stance and suggested that his campaign was misunderstood.
"Our actions, however, have grabbed both the national headlines and international attention for all the wrong reasons," he said.
He argued that corruption and drugs had "torn apart many of our communities, destroyed our families and snuffed out the hopes and dreams of our people -- young and old -- for a bright future."
Invoking the UN's new sustainable development goals adopted last year, Yasay said his country would not be able to meet those goals without tackling corruption and drugs.
Relations between Duterte and the United Nations have been tense after the newly-elected leader launched several tirades against the world body for its criticism of his tactics, even threatening to pull out- a threat he later withdrew.
Earlier this month, Duterte declined a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of a meeting in Laos of South East Asian leaders.
quote:More than 82 million U.S. residents will have the chance to cast ballots on marijuana measures when they go to vote for president come Election Day in November. Marijuana laws – whether it be to legalize or decriminalize – have been added to the ballot in nine states. Here's everything you need to know about the marijuana proposals voters will decide on come Nov. 8.
The feds might not realize it yet, but legal weed is a fait accompli. Recreational marijuana is already legal in four states plus the District of Columbia, and it's decriminalized in 14 more states. Legalizing medical marijuana has the support of nine in 10 Americans — a shocking unanimity in this partisan age — and various pot-related initiatives will be on the ballot in a record nine states this November.
We're still hammering out the peace accords, but the war against pot prohibition has been won. Now it's time to turn our attention to an inevitably harder fight for legalizing harder drugs, the most pressing of which, from a public health perspective, is undoubtedly heroin.
The U.S. government should legalize heroin.
The last five years have seen heroin overdose deaths dramatically spike in the United States, from just over 3,000 in 2010 to more than 10,500 in 2014, the latest year for which the National Institutes of Health provides data. In fact, drug overdose deaths now outpace car crashes in taking American lives, and about half those overdoses are attributable to heroin and other opioids.
Heroin was once seen as an urban, minority problem — think 1980s Baltimore — that was subjected to a rotation of stigma, punishment, and silence. Today, heroin users are overwhelmingly white, working class, and rural. This demographic shift has helped catapult the heroin epidemic to national attention, but arguably accomplished little in the way of meaningful political change. (The cynical might be tempted to suggest this stagnation has something to do with the present unpopularity of the white working class among the political establishment, yet even their supposed champion, Donald Trump, has been mostly quiet on this point.) As much as we hear of white voters demanding a "gentler war on drugs," substantial reform has been slow to nonexistent.
Sure, the White House has requested (and so far not received) $1.1 billion to expand treatment options and educational efforts. But harsh mandatory minimum sentences have gone unchallenged, as has the basic assumptions that keeping heroin illegal and punishing possession with jail time are the best ways to prevent the devastation heroin wreaks.
That is a dangerous and callous mistake. Recent history and present practicalities alike make clear that the best way to cut down on heroin abuse is to legalize it — or at the very least, decriminalize it.
The crown jewel of evidence for this point is the experience of Portugal, whose culture and form of government are similar enough to our own to make comparison reasonable. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. All drugs.
A decade later, hard drug abuse had dropped by half. Drug overdose deaths in Portugal are now all but nonexistent: just three for every million people each year. (Were overdose deaths happening in America at a Portuguese rate, we'd see fewer than 1,000 die annually, more than a 90 percent drop from the current numbers on opioid-related deaths, let alone total overdose deaths.) Portuguese use of sketchy "legal" substitutes is way down, too, because there’s no need to mess with dangerous unknowns when you’ll only get a small fine and maybe a rehab referral if you’re caught with the real thing.
Heroin addiction — suffered by fully 1 percent of Portugal's population pre-decriminalization — is estimated to have dropped by about half, and most of those who are still addicted are on substitution treatment and in no statistical danger of overdose.
By contrast, here in the States, strict prohibition has utterly failed to prevent drug use rates at world-record levels. Drug war spending is perhaps the only thing to spike faster than heroin addiction, and we have nothing to show for it. In 2016, Rolling Stone notes, "the federal government is spending more than $1,100 per person to combat the habit of America's 27 million illicit-drug users, and 22 million of them use marijuana." With more than $1.5 trillion down the drain, U.S. addiction rates have utterly failed to improve.
If anything, the drug war makes illicit opioid use more dangerous than it otherwise would be. Heroin abuse often begins as an extension of opioid addiction fostered by over-prescription, and once users get their supply from the street instead of the pharmacy, prohibition produces tainted and mislabeled products that make overdose more likely — just like it did with alcohol nearly a century ago.
Criminalizing the heroin supply chain produces a risky and therefore lucrative market for violent criminals, leading to casualties far beyond the toll of drug abuse itself. To argue for legal heroin "does not, at first blush, appear to put one on the side of the angels," explains Harvard's Danielle Allen, but "the war on drugs drives violent crime, which in turn pushes up incarceration and generates other negative social outcomes. You just can't move $100 billion worth of illegal product without a lot of assault and homicide."
Prohibition even makes safe treatment less likely for addicts who know they have a problem and actively want to change their lives. After decriminalization, Portugal saw the rate of people seeking addiction treatment nearly double, because now there is essentially no downside to doing so. With a looming threat of jail or coercive court-mandated rehab stints shaped as much by policy goals than each individual's unique health care needs, the same cannot be said here.
My own advocacy for ending the drug war stems largely from convictions about personal choice and bodily autonomy. But the health care argument actually may be the most persuasive case for legal heroin. The vast majority of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana because they’ve come to understand what a source of relief it can be for people suffering from cancer, epilepsy, and other chronic diseases.
Heroin addicts need relief too — relief from their addiction itself, yes, but also from dangerous products, organized crime, and a government eager to lock them up in a prison environment hardly conducive to improving physical or mental health. Of course, there is an element of choice in opioid abuse that is missing from a cancer diagnosis. Still, the heroin epidemic is a health crisis, and legalization is a viable and practical solution that compassion dictates we must consider.
quote:Common Sense Proposal Would Treat Marijuana Like Tobacco in New Jersey - Hit & Run : Reason.com
A New Jersey state lawmaker has introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state and regulate it like tobacco, making it available at grocery stores and gas stations.
State Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, R-Morris, tells Politico he "never quite understood the allure" of marijuana, but believes legalizing pot makes a lot more sense than continuing a destructive and counter-productive fight against it.
"The whole point here is to get the government out of the business of treating at least marijuana use as a crime and treat it instead as a social problem," Carroll told Politico. "To me it's just not a big deal. It's already ubiquitous. Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19."
Carroll's bill would allow retailers to sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 19 (the legal age for buying cigarettes in New Jersey) and includes civil penalties for vendors who sell to underage customers. The bill would not include any limits on the amount of marijuana that an individual can possess and, importantly, it would allow past marijuana-related offenses to be expunged from criminal records.
Another bill introduced in the state legislature this week would regulate marijuana like beer—making it legal to be sold in liquor and grocery stores to anyone over the age of 21. That bill is being sponsored by state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer.
"I think what's really exciting is that folks across the political spectrum have realized that prohibition isn't working in New Jersey and they are looking to follow the good example set by Colorado and other states," said Kate Bell, legislative council for the Marijuana Policy Project.
If Carroll's bill is passed into law, New Jersey would have some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the country. But making pot available in convenience stores could create complications with federal policy, since marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug.
As a result, any convenience store selling marijuana would be unable to deduct business expenses from their taxes under IRS policy, Bell said in an interview with Reason on Friday. Like marijuana retailers in Colorado and elsewhere, stores selling pot in New Jersey might find themselves cut-off from banks as well.
Hopefully those problems will be addressed at the federal level—delisting marijuana would be the best way to do it, Bell says—as New Jersey and other states work to remove limitations on where and how marijuana can be sold.
The other major stumbling block, in New Jersey, is Gov. Chris Christie, who has vowed to veto any bill decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana and who promised during the 2016 GOP primary to "crack down" on states that have legalized recreational marijuana if he were elected president.
Christie is in his second term and cannot seek re-election in 2017 due to term limits preventing a governor from serving more than two consecutive terms.
To Christie's credit, he did sign a bill in 2010 to allow residents of New Jersey suffering from certain diseases to access medical marijuana. On Thursday, Christie signed a new bill adding PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for what the state calls "cannibis therapy."
A third bill in the New Jersey legislature would legalize marijuana only in Atlantic City and is being pitched as a possible way to revitalize the economically struggling city. It would allow the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana by adults over age 21 and would have the state regulate pot the same way it regulates gaming.
That bill, also introduced by Gusciora, would put the issue in front of voters as a statewide referendum, but has so far not received a vote in the legislature.
Eric Boehm is a reporter at Reason.com.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Tests were being conducted to figure out which drugs were involved in the deaths, which happened on Saturday, Cuyahoga County medical examiner Thomas Gilson said. Officials believe the drugs involved were either heroin or fentanyl.
“This cluster of deaths is deeply concerning,” Gilson said in a statement. “Although there is no clear link between the individuals, this number clearly raises the possibility of a very deadly drug in our community.”
Gibson issued a warning to take extreme caution and advised people not to use illicit drugs.
The deaths were reported across the county – in both Cleveland and its suburbs – and were not limited to one area, Chris Harris, a spokesman for the medical examiner, said on Sunday.
The deaths came after 52 people died from heroin or fentanyl during August in the Cleveland area. The opioid deaths last month were the most in the county’s history, the medical examiner’s office said.
Cuyahoga County, which has about 1.2 million residents, is on pace to record more than 500 overdose deaths from heroin or fentanyl this year, Cleveland.com reported.
quote:justitie :: Politie heeft geen zicht op dumpingen drugsafval
De politie heeft geen zicht op dumpingen van drugsafval. Dat blijkt uit het rapport “Elke dump is een plaats delict” van de stichting Politie & Wetenschap dat in handen is van Eenvandaag.
Het is voor het eerst dat onderzoekers het dumpen van drugsafval in kaart hebben gebracht. Hoeveel er wordt gedumpt en geloosd in Nederland is “een dark number”, aldus het rapport dat morgen officieel verschijnt.
Onderzoekers spraken met betrokkenen bij politie en gemeenten en keken naar de illegale dumpingen en lozingen in de periode 2010-2015. Vanaf 2010 loopt het aantal aangetroffen dumpingen en lozingen sterk op van 32 naar 176 in 2014.
Maar in 2015 is er sprake van een lichte daling (zie tabel hieronder). Dat betekent overigens niet dat er ook daadwerkelijk minder dumping is. De cijfers gaan alleen over de dumps die zijn gemeld bij de politie:
De inschatting van de politie is dat de aangetroffen dumpingen in vaten en jerrycans slechts het topje van de ijsberg vormen en dat er buiten zicht van politie veel drugsafval wordt geloosd.
Het rapport heeft ook gekeken naar de wijze waarop wordt gedumpt en geloosd. Naast de klassieke vatendump, bedenken criminele bendes steeds meer creatieve vormen van dumping.
Zo zijn er lozingen geconstateerd in autowasstraten en ook in gierkelders van boerderijen. Dat was al bekend, maar uit het onderzoek blijkt dat dit “meer dan incidenteel plaatsvindt”. Inmiddels zijn er al amfetaminesporen aangetroffen in voedermais.
Nederland produceert vooral amfetamine en XTC (MDMA). Het afval van deze productie bevat schadelijke chemicaliŰn, die bij blootstelling kunnen leiden tot ernstige gezondheidsklachten zoals hoofdpijn, misselijkheid ernstige brandwonden, stuiptrekkingen en bewusteloosheid.
Nu blijkt dat 10 procent van alle dumpingen heeft plaatsgevonden in of nabij een Natura 2000 gebied. En in Brabant en Limburg heeft 20 procent van het aantal geregistreerde dumpingen plaatsgevonden bij een grondwaterbeschermingsgebied, waar drinkwaterwinning plaatsvindt.
Wat de gevolgen van deze dumpingen zijn, is onduidelijk. Het rapport concludeert dat het “zeer wenselijk” is om nader onderzoek te doen naar de impact van lozingen op de drinkwaterwinning en op de kwetsbare natuurgebieden.
Het rapport heeft kritiek op de werkwijze van de politie. Dumpingen worden nog teveel gezien als ge´soleerd delict. Dat is een gemiste kans, want dumpingen kunnen ook informatie verschaffen over de bendes achter de dumping. Het rapport adviseert om de dumpplek meer te beschouwen als een plaats delict, inclusief bijbehorend tactisch en forensisch onderzoek.
Ontwikkeling van geregistreerde dumpingen/lozingen
EenVandaag besteedt vandaag aandacht aan het rapport in de TV en radio uitzendingen. In Radio EenVandaag een gesprek met Yvette Schoenmakers, de maakster van het rapport.
quote:Een vrouw heeft geprobeerd een kind van 3 softdrugs de gevangenis in Vught te laten binnensmokkelen. De beveiliging heeft dat weten te voorkomen.
Dat meldt een wijkagent op Twitter. Volgens Omroep Brabant is jeugdzorg ingeschakeld voor de peuter. Wat de relatie van de vrouw tot de peuter is, is onduidelijk.
De penitentiaire inrichting in Vught omvat onder andere een extra beveiligde inrichting, een huis van bewaring en een psychiatrisch centrum.
Wie op bezoek komt bij de inrichting, wordt streng gecontroleerd. Zo moet de bezoeker door een detectiepoort lopen. Het binnenbrengen van drugs (of alcohol) is ten strengste verboden.
Ach, alcohol is geen drugs natuurlijk.quote:Alcoholgebruik kost Nederland jaarlijks 2,5 miljard euro | NOS
Alcoholgebruik kost de Nederlandse samenleving elk jaar ongeveer 2,5 miljard euro. Dat staat in een rapport van het RIVM, dat vandaag is gepubliceerd.
De totale kosten van alcoholgebruik waren ruim 8 miljard euro, maar alcoholgebruik leverde ook geld op. Onder de streep blijft er aan kosten ongeveer 2,5 miljard euro over, zegt het RIVM.
Het meeste geld, ruim twee miljard euro, gaat op aan vroegtijdige sterfgevallen. Elk jaar overlijden bijna drieduizend mensen aan kanker door alcohol. Ook kost alcoholgebruik bedrijven geld; werknemers zijn minder productief als ze gedronken hebben. Ook de inzet van politie en justitie brengt volgens het RIVM behoorlijk wat kosten met zich mee.
Aan de andere kant levert alcoholgebruik ook geld op. Zo komt er elk jaar ongeveer een miljard euro accijns binnen en ondernemers verdienen aan de verkoop van alcohol. Ook worden zorgkosten bespaard doordat matig alcoholgebruik volgens het RIVM een gunstig effect heeft op hart- en vaatziekten en diabetes type 2.
Het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport neemt de uitkomsten van dit onderzoek mee in de evaluatie en discussie over de drank- en horecawet. Die wordt later dit jaar of begin volgend jaar besproken in de Tweede Kamer.
quote:Seattle plans to open safe spaces for addicts to use heroin — and that's smart
Nearly every major city across the United States has been affected by a wave of heroin abuse and overdoses in recent years, but none have responded with the radical — but proven — approach that Seattle-area officials now plan to take.
A county-level heroin task force recommended Thursday that the city and surrounding municipalities open places where addicts can inject or smoke opioids without fear of arrest and with access to clean needles and treatment.
After unveiling a 99-page report on the subject, which outlined the myriad public health benefits from similar experiments elsewhere in the world, King County Executive Dow Constantine told reporters why he decided to endorse "safe consumption" sites.
"If this is a strategy that saves lives, if there are people who are going to die if we do not do this," he said, "then regardless of the political discomfort, I think it is something we have to move forward with."
Nearly every key local official and agency is on board with the plan, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who reportedly did not say precisely when or where the facilities would open, but vowed to fight the potential "blowback" at the neighborhood level.
Lindsay LaSalle, a senior staff attorney at the Drug Policy Alliance, said that while cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Baltimore have all inched in the same direction with harm reduction programs, Seattle is the first to fully commit to establishing supervised injection sites.
"It's thrilling," LaSalle said. "The support of someone like a mayor is pretty groundbreaking."
Heroin and illicit opioid use will still technically be illegal at the facilities, but police and prosecutors are willing to stop arresting people there and pressing charges. It's the same principal that led to the establishment of syringe exchanges, which are now fairly common across the US. But while some syringe swaps have what LaSalle called "an active bathroom," where users are tacitly allowed to get high, this will the first local government to sanction use.
Related: Severe opioid addicts can now get heroin prescriptions in Canada
"It's just an exercise of discretion we see law enforcement make all the time," said Patricia Sully, a member of the task force and a staff attorney at Seattle's Public Defender Association. "The public health authority has the power to operate a facility like this as a public health emergency measure."
The argument for safe spaces is that it's better for both users and the public to have addicts injecting indoors in a place where they won't die, rather than in a high-risk place like a park, alley, sidewalk, or indoors alone. In addition to providing sterile needles, staff members at safe injection sites typically carry the overdose antidote naloxone.
Just a few hours north of Seattle in Vancouver, British Columbia is Insite, North America's first and only supervised injection facility. Insite has seen its guests inject more than 3 million doses of street drugs since it opened in 2003, according to spokesperson Anna Marie D'Angelo, and it has not had a single fatal overdose. Insite also works closely with Vancouver's police, D'Angelo said.
"They'll put out resources saying 'There's a bad batch, go to Insite, don't inject alone,'" she said. "There's a partnership."
Related: America's new deadliest drug is fentanyl
But as advocates like Sully point out, "supervised consumption sites don't exist to prevent just overdoses." Insite visitors are offered comprehensive medical care under Canada's public health system, and, beyond reducing fatal overdoses in Vancouver by nearly 10 percent, the program reversed what one researcher called "the most explosive epidemic of HIV infection that had been observed outside of sub-Saharan Africa." British Columbia now has one of Canada's lowest HIV infection rates.
Seattle is expected to place its facilities at locations where users can already access rehab programs, clean syringes, and basic health care. A recent survey of Washington syringe exchange participants found that 75 percent were interested in getting help reducing or stopping their use, but only 14 percent were enrolled in treatment. The city and nearby areas saw 132 overdose deaths last year, a slight decrease from 2014 but still way up from 49 opioid-related deaths just five years prior.
The supervised consumption sites in Seattle aren't being pitched as a panacea — the heroin task force report suggests a comprehensive approach that includes county-wide expansions of treatment and prevention programs — but the Drug Policy Alliance's LaSalle says that if the facilities prove successful, they could catch on nationwide.
Related: Here's how zero-tolerance drug policies have damaged public health worldwide
The mayor of Ithaca, New York proposed opening injection facilities earlier this year, but his plan has faced resistance from some local officials and state lawmakers. Opponents claim giving addicts a place to get their fix will only lead to more drug use, but research from Vancouver's Insite has shown this fear to be largely unfounded.
"It seems like a really radical idea, but we need to help people to understand that it's an incremental step," LaSalle said. "[Users] are already going to exchanges to get clean needles, [but] they're still walking out the door and using somewhere. It makes a lot of sense both medically and politically to reduce all the nuisances around public injection. You improve public safety, and there's all these health benefits for the users themselves."
Legalisering wietteelt door Tweede Kamer gaat lang niet ver genoeg: free drugs!quote:Op vrijdag 23 september 2016 09:58 schreef Basp1 het volgende:
Zou het dan toch ooit nog gaan gebeuren in nederland?
quote:Laten we van dit tijdelijke moment van helderheid gebruik maken om een ander gevaarlijk drugsbeleid af te schaffen: legaliseer partydrugs als xtc ook, en zorg ervoor dat (vooral!) jongeren deze producten zonder risico’s kunnen kopen Ún gebruiken.
Bronquote:Jellinek voorzichtig optimistisch over Filipijns drugsbeleid
Verslavingskliniek zet in op combinatie cognitieve gedragstherapie en doodseskaders
7 oktober 2016 door Jan van Tienen en Laura van der Haar
Gijsbert Kranenborgh van Jellinek vindt het nog te vroeg om van een doorslaand succes te spreken, maar kan niet anders dan de Filipijnse aanpak van drugsverslaafden met groeiende interesse aanschouwen.
“De cijfers spreken voor zich”, zegt Kranenborgh, “daar is iets groots gaande! Volgens de statistieken zijn in de afgelopen twaalf weken al ruim 3500 gebruikers definitief gestopt. Zulke resultaten, daar kunnen wij in Nederland nog een puntje aan zuigen.”
Een belangrijk onderdeel van de Filipijnse success story zijn volgens Kranenborgh de zogenaamde doodseskaders. “Dat zijn een soort in het zwart geklede verplegers, zo heb ik begrepen. Het aantal terugvallen van de gebruikers na een contactmoment staat op nul. Bovendien is er geen sprake van wachtlijsten, ingewikkelde aanmeldingsprocedures en de behandelkosten zijn aanzienlijk lager.”
Kranenborgh is al bezig stappen te zetten om de Filipijnse methode te integreren in de behandelmethoden van het Jellinek. “Momenteel hebben we grofweg drie methoden: cognitieve gedragstherapie, de Minnesotabehandeling en de groepsbehandeling. We denken dat met name een koppeling van gedragstherapie aan doodseskaders snel vruchten af zal werpen.”
Het instituut geeft toe dat het nog niet echt storm loopt qua aanmeldingen voor het programma. “Maar we zijn van plan een proactieve houding jegens onze doelgroep aan te nemen”, besluit Kranenborgh. “We roeien het verslavingsprobleem voor eens en altijd uit!”
Legalize!quote:Tientallen vuilniszakken met wietafval gedumpt in Lelystad | NOS
In natuurgebied Het Hollandse Hout in Lelystad zijn meer dan vijftig zakken met wietafval gevonden. Staatsbosbeheer heeft de zakken vanochtend opgeruimd, meldt Omroep Flevoland.
Volgens de boswachter wordt er wekelijks illegaal gedumpt afval gevonden in natuurgebieden in Lelystad, maar zoveel als nu is uitzonderlijk.
Staatsbosbeheer vermoedt dat het afval 's nachts in het natuurgebieden is geloosd. De politie weet nog niet wie hiervoor verantwoordelijk is.
quote:Slikken, spuiten en snuiven kan nu ook veilig voor Parijse junks | NOS
Er was een speciale wet voor nodig, maar nu kunnen Franse drugsverslaafden op een veilige plaats hun drugs gebruiken. Gisteren is er voor hen een speciale gebruikersruimte geopend in de buurt van station Gare du Nord in Parijs. Het is de enige plek in het land waar drugs niet verboden zijn.
In de zaal lopen artsen en maatschappelijk werkers rond, die de mensen kunnen helpen van hun verslaving af te komen. "Daarnaast is er medische hulpverlening aanwezig voor verslaafden die bijvoorbeeld aids hebben", zegt correspondent Frank Renout. Ook krijgen gebruikers een pakket met onder meer steriele injectienaalden, ontsmettingsdoekjes en een band om hun arm mee af te binden.
Renout bracht een bezoek aan de wijk en de gebruikersruimte. In de buurt van het ziekenhuis staan ook automaten waar verslaafden injectienaalden uit kunnen halen. Op straat liggen gebruikte naalden en veel bloed. Een horeca-ondernemer is het zat: "Recht voor mijn raam wordt gedeald, doen verslaafden hun behoefte en zijn er dagelijks vechtpartijen. Dat zorgt voor een onveilig gevoel."
Over de locatie van de ruimte is lang gediscussieerd. Uiteindelijk koos de gemeente voor een pand naast een ziekenhuis bij station Gare du Nord. In die buurt is drugsgebruik een groot probleem.
Toch zijn veel buurtbewoners niet blij met dat de ruimte wordt geopend. "De meeste mensen zijn vooral heel bang dat er nu juist meer verslaafden en dealers naar de wijk komen", zegt Renout. "De belangenvereniging van de wijk heeft de zaal wel het voordeel van de twijfel gegeven. Die club hoopt vooral dat de verslaafden van de straat worden gehouden."
Voorlopig blijft het bij een experiment en wordt er gekeken of de overlast in de buurt afneemt. Hulpverleners gaan daarnaast de straat op om verslaafden te benaderen. Ook zal de politie meer toezicht gaan houden in de buurt, om zo dealers op te kunnen sporen.
quote:Two leading civil rights organizations are calling for the complete decriminalization of personal drug use in the US in a comprehensive new report released on Wednesday.
The report, published by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, concluded that last year someone was arrested every 25 seconds on drug use or possession charges.
The research catalogues the enforcement of laws that criminalize personal drug use, for which police make more arrests than any other crime. The organizations’ stand is one of the most forceful yet in the ongoing conversation about the country’s sprawling criminal justice system and the lasting effect that low-level drug offenses can have on Americans.
“This is first time both organizations have come together and made such a strong call for [decriminalization],” said Tess Borden, the report’s author.
The report, titled Every 25 Seconds, after the frequency of drug arrests, looks specifically at personal drug use, and not trafficking or other drug crimes. Last year, more than 1.25 million arrests were made by local law enforcement for drug use or possession alone, and about half of those were for marijuana use or possession, according to the report.
Tyler Marshall, a Louisiana man who spoke to Human Rights Watch using a pseudonym, was charged with marijuana possession in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty. The report quotes court transcripts of Marshall entering his guilty plea, as most drug cases are resolved. After Marshall’s defense attorney instructs him to plea guilty, he tells the court: “Oh, I have to? Yeah. But I’d be lying though.”
The large majority of drug cases are resolved through plea deals. In New York, for example, the report found that 99.8% of adults convicted of drug possession in a five-year period accepted plea deals.
Marshall told Human Rights Watch that his wife has a disability, and was two months behind on rent without him to help support her. “My wife, I cook for her, clean for her, bathe her, clothe her,” he said. “Now everything is on her, from the rent to the bills, everything.”
The rate of drug arrests varies widely by state, although data indicates that non-marijuana drug use is largely consistent throughout the country.
As with other areas of the criminal justice system, arrest data for personal drug crimes shows a sharp racial disparity. According to the report’s findings, black adults are two and a half times as likely as white adults to be arrested for drug possession. Borden said the report was unable to analyze any disparities in arrest rates for Latinos because the FBI does not track data for Latinos arrested.
Other policy experts and international groups, including the World Health Organization, have called for the complete decriminalization of personal drug use. Several states have already decriminalized marijuana, with five more set to vote on the issue in November. Borden said the organizations’ call for complete decriminalization “takes the mainstream drug conversation a step further”.
“We’ve driven drug use underground with criminalization and we’ve failed to provide communities who are dealing and struggling with dependence issues the help and the treatment that they have a right to,” she said.
Arrest data also indicates that people charged with drug possessions are often carrying just trace amounts of an illicit substance, according to the report.
Among the other case studies highlighted by Borden is that of Matthew Russell, who was arrested in Texas for an amount of methamphetamines so small that the lab technician described it as a “trace” amount and couldn’t give the amount a precise measurement.
In March Russell, who maintains his innocence, faced 20 years for the possession charges because of previous felony convictions. Russell, who also used a pseudonym, said the previous convictions were also related to his drug dependence.
“I’m so stressed out that some days it almost makes me want to kill myself … [20 years,] that scares me,” he told Human Rights Watch.
In August, Russell was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
quote:‘Fuck It, I Quit’: Charlo Greene Faces 54 Years In Prison
AUSTIN, Texas — Charlo Greene, the local news anchor from Alaska who became a viral sensation for quitting her job while voicing her support for cannabis legalization during a live broadcast, now faces decades in prison on a growing list of drug-related charges.
“Fuck it, I quit,” Greene famously declared live on KTVA on Sept. 22, 2014 at the end of a report on the Alaska Cannabis Club. In addition to revealing that she was actually the owner of the club, she said she was leaving the station to work on the business and push for cannabis law reform full-time.
In the November 2014 election, Alaska became the third state to legalize recreational cannabis, but Greene stands accused of illegally selling the drug in the time between when the vote to legalize took place and the state fully implemented the law. Alaskan police conducted multiple raids and undercover investigations of the club.
On Sept. 29, Sam Levin, a U.S. reporter for The Guardian, explained the loophole police used to charge Greene:
Initially, Greene was charged with eight separate counts of violating drug laws, which added up to a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. However, on Sept. 29 — soon after the media began to cover her story — the Alaska State Attorney General’s office added an additional six drug-related charges, bringing her total possible sentence to a staggering 54 years in prison.
— Charlo Greene (@IamCharloGreene) September 29, 2016
Greene called the charges a “modern day lynching” in a Sept. 7 blog post. Although 25 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational or medical cannabis, data released by the FBI shows police made a cannabis-related arrest every 49 seconds in 2015. Other data shows that minorities are still disproportionately targeted for arrest.
Greene, who is 28 years old, told Levin:
The news anchor-turned-legal cannabis advocate is fighting back against her charges, taking to social media to promote an online petition asking for the state to drop the charges and raise money for cannabis law reform. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had 733 signatures.
In an Oct. 5 interview with Tess Koman, an associate editor at Cosmopolitan, Greene said she sometimes struggles with feeling like she lacks support from the local community. Under the terms of her bail, she can no longer be present at her own club.
“In spite of me giving up everything I had and was to fight for Alaskans, it seems absolutely no one here is standing by me in my time of need,” Greene said.
Still, she told Koman she stands by her decisions and encouraged others, especially women, to join the fight for cannabis law reform. Greene told Koman:
“Know that you’re fighting for what’s right. Know that what you’re doing is going to bring about so much good, not just you or your immediate family member you’re fighting for, but to your community and generations to come.”
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quote:in totaal 48 kilo drugs, 231.000 euro cash
WHOEHAHAHAHAHAquote:Vanwege de grote hoeveelheid drugs die werd gevonden, denken agenten dat de verdachten het pand gebruikten als een soort groothandel.
quote:Openbaar Ministerie niet-ontvankelijk in ontnemingsvordering
Het gerechtshof Amsterdam heeft op 17 oktober 2016 het Openbaar Ministerie niet-ontvankelijk verklaard in een ontnemingsvordering. Het eventueel genoten wederrechtelijk voordeel kon niet kon worden vastgesteld door ondeugdelijke verslaglegging met betrekking tot de inbeslaggenomen administratie door de politie.
De politie heeft onderzoek gedaan in 2 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Daar werd een grote hoeveelheid softdrugs en financiŰle administratie in beslag genomen. De rechtbank heeft de eigenaren van de coffeeshops in 2010 onherroepelijk veroordeeld voor het bezit van een grote hoeveelheid softdrugs. Het Openbaar Ministerie heeft een vordering ingediend ter ontneming van het voordeel dat zij zouden hebben verkregen uit de verboden handel in softdrugs. De rechtbank heeft in 2013 beide verdachten veroordeeld tot betaling van in totaal ruim een miljoen euro.
Toerekenbare tekortkomingen bij de inbeslagname
De politie heeft bij de doorzoeking van de coffeeshops ten aanzien van de financiŰle administratie niet volgens de regels geverbaliseerd. Daardoor blijkt niet wat er precies in beslag genomen is, waar dit is gebeurd en op welke wijze en plaats de inbeslaggenomen goederen uiteindelijk zijn opgeslagen/bewaard. De ontnemingsvordering was gebaseerd op een rapport van de Belastingdienst, waaruit evenmin bleek waarop diens berekening was gebaseerd; over welke stukken men de beschikking heeft gehad en of dat de volledige in beslaggenomen administratie betrof. Het OM is in hoger beroep een aantal keren in de gelegenheid gesteld hierover duidelijkheid te verschaffen, maar deze bleef uit.
Geen adequate verdediging mogelijk
De ontnemingsvordering was hierdoor voor het hof niet controleerbaar en toetsbaar. Bovendien was het voeren van een adequate verdediging nagenoeg onmogelijk. Het hof oordeelt dat geen sprake is van een eerlijk proces, omdat het wederrechtelijk verkregen voordeel niet kan worden vastgesteld en evenmin of de veroordeelde eigenaren van de coffeeshops daadwerkelijk wederrechtelijk verkregen voordeel hebben genoten. Het hof vindt in dit geval de niet-ontvankelijkheid van het Openbaar Ministerie de enige passende sanctie, gezien de grove veronachtzaming van de belangen van de verdediging.
Serie documentaires van de VPRO.quote:De plaag: drugsproblematiek in Vermont
Komt Amerika terug op zijn repressieve drugsbeleid? In Rutland, Vermont helpen ze verslaafden met afkicken in plaats van ze achter slot en grendel te gooien. Ook wordt er ge´nvesteerd in de huizen in hun buurt.
quote:Het kleine Vermont met haar biologische landbouw en serene vergezichten is een schoolvoorbeeld van het pittoreske, landelijke Amerika. Maar achter die facade heerst een vernietigende drugsepidemie. In het stadje Rutland lijkt elke inwoner persoonlijk te zijn getroffen. Rutland besloot nu eens niet voor de klassieke Amerikaanse aanpak van drugsoverlast te kiezen - arresteren en opsluiten - maar zocht de oplossingen in een andere hoek. Het blijkt te werken: de gemeenschap als collectieve afkickkliniek.
In deze korte clip legt politieagent Matthew Prouty uit hoe je een buurt kunt decriminaliseren en verslavingsproblematiek kunt bestrijden door de huizen van verslaafden op te kalefateren - met en door de verslaafden zelf. 'Wanneer je ergens in hebt geinvesteerd, zul je er waarschijnlijk ook voor blijven zorgen.' De zogenoemde broken window-theory.
quote:Police in Bristol have stopped arresting people for possessing Class A drugs
Police in Bristol have stopped arresting people for possessing Class A drugs
Hundreds of people caught by police with drugs – even Class A cocaine and heroin – are not being arrested or put through the criminal justice system after police chiefs quietly began a trial in Bristol.
Since April, Avon and Somerset police have been operating 'diversion' schemes which mean those caught with drugs are offered a workshop which lasts three and a half hours and sees the case against them dropped.
Some arrested might otherwise be facing up to seven years in prison, but can swap the threat of that for three and a half hours in a drug education workshop.
Since April, when the pilot study began, around 215 people caught in the Bristol area have been offered the course instead of being arrested and put through the criminal justice system.
The revelation was made by drugs expert and author Max Daly, writing for VICE, who said not only was it the first time in Britain for 100 years that someone found with Class A drugs did not face arrest, but that it appeared to 'fly in the face of the Home Office's official anti-drug reform mantra'.
"Anyone can be offered the diversion, regardless of their past criminal record, including previous cannabis warnings and drug convictions," he said.
Read more: Bristol Year 7 pupil found with a three-inch knife in school classroom
According to VICE, police are reporting that around 80 per cent of those found with drugs in Bristol take up the offer and complete the workshop. Those with crack cocaine and heroin are least likely to do so, because they are more used to the criminal justice system and many may actually prefer being sent to prison.
The pilot has been extended to April next year and has been going on in Durham too, but those given the course only get the opportunity once – if they are caught again, they will be arrested.
"Over half of those diverted onto the scheme were picked up for possession of cannabis, and a quarter were stopped carrying either cocaine or MDMA," said Mr Daly. "Others have come onto the scheme after being caught with heroin, crack cocaine, speed, ketamine, magic mushrooms and 2CB."
Read more: Man 'snapped' and went to neighbour's armed with a knife after ball landed in his garden
Paul Bunt, Avon and Somerset Police's drug strategy manager, devised the scheme. "In schools, drug education is patchy – it's not taken seriously," he told VICE.
"Being arrested for drug possession is a shock. When someone gets detained by a police officer it's a scary experience for those who have not been arrested before.
"But I wanted a process where I could deal with low-level drug offences without getting people involved in the criminal justice system. As of yet we are not aware of anyone being arrested again after attending one of these workshops," he added.
Drug experts and those involved in the issue said police chiefs at the sharp end of implementing drug laws were more willing to try new things in the 'war on drugs' than politicians.
"The fact that police forces are recognising the futility of criminalising those who use drugs and are willing to implement alternative approaches shows that they are well ahead of the government when it comes to recognising what good public policy can look like," Niamh Eastwood, executive director of drug law charity Release, told VICE.
"We hope that the government takes note and learns from local policing initiatives – such as those in Bristol and Durham – so that they can inform a much-needed shift in national policy," she added.
quote:Kratom reversal an optimistic sign for changing drug policy
In an interesting, but positive turn of events, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has listened to the outraged voices of the citizens and has temporarily lifted the ban of kratom in the United States. Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia and used as a painkiller or safe alternative to prescription or illegal opiates, was previously assumed to be assigned as a Schedule I drug as of Sept. 30 due to an emergency scheduling order.
However, the DEA has surprisingly announced that it has not reached a final decision and is allowing a public discussion period. This is extremely important for recovering addicts who rely on kratom to keep from using heroin, which has increasingly been laced with the even deadlier drug fentanyl. This decision also shows promise for future communication between the public and the DEA, which is especially important in the midst of sporadic marijuana legalization, but also possibly for other incorrectly scheduled drugs such as psychedelics.
The DEA had intended to ban kratom as an, “Emergency scheduling order,” which is a misleading way of saying it did not do its research and made this decision out of fear. Supposedly, a small number of deaths were linked to kratom usage; however, in these rare cases other drugs were also used.
However, this, along with its increasingly widespread usage and association with heroin, seemed like enough reason for the DEA to move to emergency classify it as Schedule I for a minimum of two years.
The mandatory wait time to make this move after deciding was 30 days, which was set to be up on Sept. 30. Since announcing this, the DEA has received numerous protests and unending criticism. Points raised included the safety of kratom, the danger of prescription painkillers and the heroin epidemic. The DEA seemed somewhat surprised by the backlash, and has decided to wait and allow for public discussion. The public comment period will go until Dec. 1.
If the DEA recognizes that the people appreciate being involved in the decision-making process, appreciate being trusted to have valid judgment on what they do with their own bodies and appreciate the value of the possibility of research, then this could have positive implications for the discussions surrounding other incorrectly scheduled drugs as well.
This included marijuana, which is sporadically legalized in some states for recreational use, and in others for medicinal use, but also for psychedelics such as LSD. Many of these drugs are placed in Schedule I, the level supposed to be reserved for drugs with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
However, marijuana, for example, clearly has medicinal value. Many psychedelics were used in experimental psychotherapy treatments with positive results. Additionally, addiction to these drugs is nearly if not outright impossible and overwhelmingly the users of these drugs report positive, not negative, effects on their lives.
The majority of the negative impacts on people’s lives come purely from the fact that they are illegal. At this scheduling level, it is extremely difficult to do research to even prove that the drug were incorrectly scheduled. Hopefully, this discussion period for kratom sets a positive example for the DEA to look to in its future decisions. We can only hope.