Controlled Substances

Yesterday, Connecticut lawmakers gave final approval to a bill (SB 1014) that will make the possession by an adult of up to one-half ounce of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia a civil infraction, punishable by a $150 fine. Violators will no longer be subject to jail time and will not receive a criminal record. Currently, it is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. 

By a margin of just 4,341 votes, Arizona voters approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use for people with certain chronic or debilitating conditions.  The measure started out losing by about 7,200 votes on Election Day, but the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days, as provisional and mail-in ballots were counted.

Under Proposition 203, licensed physicians could recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and...

California voters soundly defeated Proposition 19, which would have allowed people 21 and older to possess, grow and transport marijuana for their personal use.  Medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot in three states also fared badly.

California voters soundly defeated Proposition 19, which would have allowed people 21 and older to possess, grow and transport marijuana for their personal use. It would also have permitted cities and counties to decide whether to regulate and tax the commercial production and sale of the drug, possibly creating a system of "wet" and "dry" counties for marijuana, similar to those that exist with alcohol laws.  With 97% of precincts reporting, the measure has been defeated, 46.2 percent to 53.8 percent.

Tomorrow, when they enter the polling booth, California voters will face a dizzying array of ballot initiatives, nine in all.   Among other things, voters must decide whether to suspend the state’s landmark global-warming law, whether to repeal three corporate tax breaks, whether to allow the Legislature to approve budgets with a simple majority instead of a two-thirds vote, and whether California will be the first state to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana beyond medical use.

E-Newsletter Issue #53: August 5, 2010

Kentucky pharmacies filled nearly 700,000 prescriptions written by prescribers in its seven border states last year.

That doesn’t even count the prescriptions written in nonborder states, including more than 9,000 written in Michigan, according to Dave Hopkins, project manager for the state’s prescription drug database, the Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting, or KASPER.

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This week, both the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported on the growing popularity of "spice," the generic term for a legal synthetic substitute for the active ingredient in marijuana.  Sold in many locations as packages of incense, the herbal mixture is coated with a chemical that causes some of the same effects of marijuana. 

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive, synthetically produced, central nervous system stimulant that, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is the most common synthetic drug manufactured in the United States. The recent, rapid growth of methamphetamine users in the United States largely is due to the ability to produce it using conventional, easily  accessible chemicals and supplies.

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