Without the fullest description, the pill testing equipment at Canberra's youth festival on April 29 2018, was presented as basically state of the art. To seek confirmation,  I consulted a renowned  toxicology company, and was told Infrared spectroscopy will tell you little or nothing about the dose, a key life-saving consideration in determining toxicity, and that  only testing a 'scrape' of the pill for sampling is inadequate because more than 90% of the total drug in any pill is not uncommonly in less than half of the volume -  so the only way to determine the exact contents of any pill, especially from backyard/uncontrolled preparations, is to test the entire mass of the pill, which renders it user-resistant or rejectable.

I was also informed that High Performance Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (HPLC- MS), which is never going to be a portable instrument, is regarded as the gold standard for pill analysis but was not used at the Canberra event. It requires a very stable surface, constant and non variable electrical supply, operating environment of 20-25C etc. The best possibility might be a purpose built, air-conditioned shipping container or the like, but that’s a very expensive proposition.Typically, on higher-end instruments, it will come with a probability score, but it is virtually guaranteed that anything less than about a 98% match is just a wild guess – an analogy would be saying chimps have 98% of the same DNA as a person, but they’re quite different animals!  Less sophisticated models won’t even attempt to give you a probability match – they’ll just say whatever they think is the closest match in their library.

. Given that  pill-testing was the first in Australia at a youth festival, and to my knowledge no other jurisdiction has plans for one, it may be helpful for these particular professional - sourced views to be available for public reference.

Colliss Parrett

Director (R'td) Durgs of Dependence, Australian Department of Health

Drug Policy Adviser, Australian Family Association (A.C.T.)

Fellow, Drug Free Australia

Member, Drug Advisory Council Australia

Member, The Dalgarno Institute

 

Notice of Liability Memo: To Canadian Parliamentarians, Canada Senators and

The Marijuana Industry.

This Notice of Liability Memo and attached Affidavit of Harms give formal notification to all addressees that they are morally, if not legally liable in cases of harm caused by making toxic marijuana products legally available, or knowingly withholding accurate information about the multiple risks of hemp/marijuana products to the Canadian consumer. This memo further gives notice that those elected or appointed as representatives of the people of Canada, by voting affirmatively for Bill C45, do so with the knowledge that they are breaching international treaties, conventions and law. They do so also with the knowledge that Canadian law enforcement have declared that they are not ready for implementation of marijuana legalization, and as they will not be ready to protect the lives of Canadians, there may arise grounds for a Charter of Rights challenge as all Canadian citizens are afforded a the right to security of self.

Scientific researchers and health organizations raise serious questions about the safety of ingesting even small amounts of cannabinoids. Adverse effects include risk of harm to the cardio-vascular system, respiratory tract, immune system, reproductive and endocrine systems, gastrointestinal system and the liver, hyperemesis, cognition, psychomotor performance, psychiatric effects including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis, a-motivational syndrome, and addiction. The scientific literature also warns of teratogenicity (causing birth deformities) and epigenetic damage (affecting genetic development) and clearly establishes the need for further study. The attached affidavit cites statements made by Health Canada that are grounded in scientific evidence that documents many harms caused by smoking or ingesting marijuana.  

Putting innocent citizens in “harm’s way” has been a costly bureaucratic mistake as evidenced by the 2015 Canadian $168 million payout to victims of exposure to the drug thalidomide. Health Canada approved thalidomide in 1961 to treat morning sickness in pregnant women but it caused catastrophic birth defects and death.

It would be instructive to reflect on "big tobacco" and their multi-billion-dollar liability in cases of misinformed sick and dead tobacco cigarette smokers. Litigants won lawsuits for harm done by smoking cigarettes even when it was the user’s own choice to obtain and smoke tobacco. In Minnesota during the 1930's and up to the 1970's tobacco cigarettes were given to generally healthy "juvenile delinquents' incarcerated in a facility run by the state.  One of the juveniles, now an adult, who received the state's tobacco cigarettes, sued the state for addicting him. He won.

The marijuana industry, in making public, unsubstantiated claims of marijuana safety, is placing itself in the same position, in terms of liability, as the tobacco companies.
In 1954, the tobacco industry published a statement that came to be known during Minnesota's tobacco trial as the "Frank Statement." Tobacco companies then formed an industry group for the purposes of deceiving and confusing the public.

In the Frank Statement, tobacco industry spokesmen asserted that experiments linking smoking with lung cancer were "inconclusive," and that there was no proof that cigarette smoking was one of the causes of lung cancer. They stated, "We believe the products we make are not injurious to health." Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick instructed the Minnesota jurors: "Jurors should assume in their deliberations that tobacco companies assumed a "special duty" by publishing the ad (Frank Statement), and that jurors will have to determine whether the industry fulfilled that duty." The verdict ruled against the tobacco industry.

Effective June 19, 2009, marijuana smoke was added to the California Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) “determined that marijuana smoke was clearly shown, through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles, to cause cancer.”

Products liability and its application to marijuana businesses is a topic that was not discussed in the Senate committee hearings. Proposition 65, requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other types of reproductive harm. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide their customers with notice of these cancerous causing chemicals when present in consumer products and provides for both a public and private right of action.

The similarities between the tactics of "Big Tobacco" and the "Canadian Cannabis Trade Alliance Institute" and individual marijuana producers would seem to demand very close scrutiny. On May 23, a witness testified before the Canadian Senate claimed that marijuana is not carcinogenic. This evidence was not challenged.

The International Narcotics Control Board Report for 2017 reads: “Bill C-45, introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on 13 April 2017, would permit the non-medical use of cannabis. If the bill is enacted, adults aged 18 years or older will legally be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or an equivalent amount in non-dried form. It will also become legal to grow a maximum of four cannabis plants, simultaneously for personal use, buy cannabis from licensed retailers, and produce edible cannabis products. The Board wishes to reiterate that article 4 (c) of the 1961 Convention restricts the use of controlled narcotic drugs to medical and scientific purposes and that legislative measures providing for non-medical use are in contravention of that Convention....

The situation pertaining to cannabis cultivation and trafficking in North America continues to be in flux owing to the widening scope of personal non-medical use schemes in force in certain constituent states of the United States. The decriminalization of cannabis has apparently led organized criminal groups to focus on manufacturing and trafficking other illegal drugs, such as heroin. This could explain why, for example, Canada saw a 32 per cent increase from 2015 to 2016 in criminal incidents involving heroin possession….The Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse issued “Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines” in 2017. The document is a health education and prevention tool that acknowledges that cannabis use carries both immediate and long-term health risks.”

https://www.incb.org/documents/Publications/AnnualReports/AR2017/Annual_Report_chapters/Chapter_3_Americas_2017.pdf

Upon receipt of this Memo and Affidavit, the addressees can no longer say they are ignorant or unaware that promoting and/or distributing marijuana cigarettes for recreational purposes is an endangerment to citizens. Receipt of this Memo and Affidavit removes from the addressees any claim of ignorance as a defense in potential, future litigation.

Pamela McColl www.cleartheairnow.org

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

AFFIDAVIT May 27, 2018

I, Pamela McColl, wish to inform agencies and individuals of known and potential harm done/caused by the use of marijuana (especially marijuana cigarettes) and of the acknowledgement the risk of harm by Health Canada.

Marijuana is a complex, unstable mixture of over four hundred chemicals that, when smoked, produces over two thousand chemicals.  Among those two thousand chemicals are many pollutants and cancer-causing substances.  Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, all are bioactive, and all may remain in the body's fatty tissues for long periods of times with unknown consequences. Marijuana smoke contains carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances such as benzo(a)pyrene, benz(a)anthracene, and benzene in higher concentrations than are present in tobacco smoke.  The mechanism by which benzo(a)pyrene causes cancer in smokers was demonstrated scientifically by Denissenko MF et al. Science 274:430-432, 1996. 

Health Canada Consumer Information on Cannabis reads as follows: “The courts in Canada have ruled that the federal government must provide reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.”

“Cannabis is not an approved therapeutic product and the provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, or of marijuana generally, by Health Canada.”

“Serious Warnings and Precautions: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) contains hundreds of substances, some of which can affect the proper functioning of the brain and central nervous system.”

“The use of this product involves risks to health, some of which may not be known or fully understood. Studies supporting the safety and efficacy of cannabis for therapeutic purposes are limited and do not meet the standard required by the Food and Drug Regulations for marketed drugs in Canada.”

Health Canada – “When the product should not be used: Cannabis should not be used if you:-are under the age of 25 -are allergic to any cannabinoid or to smoke-have serious liver, kidney, heart or lung disease -have a personal or family history of serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, or bipolar disorder-are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breast-feeding -are a man who wishes to start a family-have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or substance dependence Talk to your health care practitioner if you have any of these conditions. There may be other conditions where this product should not be used, but which are unknown due to limited scientific information.

Cannabis is not an approved therapeutic product and the provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of this product, or cannabis generally, by Health Canada.”

Prepared by Health Canada Date of latest version: February 2013, accessed May 2018. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medical-use-marijuana/information-medical-practitioners/information-health-care-professionals-cannabis-marihuana-marijuana-cannabinoids.html

A report published by survey company RIWI Corp. (RIWI.com) can be found at: https://riwi.com/case-study/measuringcanadians-awareness-of-marijuanas-health-effects-may-2018

The report measures Canadians’ awareness of marijuana’s health effects as determined by Health Canada and published on Health Canada’s website. RIWI data indicates: 1. More than 40% of those under age 25 are unaware that marijuana impacts safe driving. Further, 21% of respondents are not aware that marijuana can negatively impact one’s ability to drive safely. Health Canada: “Using cannabis can impair your concentration, your ability to make decisions, and your reaction time and coordination. This can affect your motor skills, including your ability to drive.” 2. One in five women aged 25-34 believes marijuana is safe during pregnancy, while trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. • RIWI: “For women of prime childbearing age (25-34), roughly one in five believe smoking marijuana is safe during pregnancy, planning to get pregnant, and breastfeeding.” • Health Canada: “Marijuana should not be used if you are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding. … Long-term use may negatively impact the behavioural and cognitive development of children born to mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy.” 3. One in three Canadians do not think that marijuana is addictive. • Health Canada: “Long term use may result in psychological dependence (addiction).” 4. One in three Canadians believe marijuana aids mental health. • Health Canada: “Long term use may increase the risk of triggering or aggravating psychiatric and/or mood disorders (schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder).” 5. One in two males were unaware that marijuana could harm a man’s fertility • “Marijuana should not be used if you are a man who wishes to start a family.”

ClearTheAirNow.org, a coalition of concerned Canadians commissioned the survey.

Affiant is willing to provide further sources of information about the toxicity of marijuana.

Pamela McColl

www.cleartheairnow.org

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Injecting Room: Illegal Drug Using Harms at Government Hands; Not Humane – Insane!

Permission empowered models of drug policy interpretation are driving demand for drug use – NOT prohibition models. A new small, but vocal contingent of drug policy interpreters is attempting, yet again, to further the utterly fallacious meme that ‘prohibition’ and ‘supply reduction’ are what is driving drug deaths in this country, not poor policy interpretation and use; interpretation and use that fosters a permission model for the very vulnerable and pop-culture informed community – particularly the young. The new logic; the new ‘sense’, weaponized by pro-drug propaganda and manipulative faux compassion pleas, attempt to create a diatribe for those contending for best practice option of demand reduction and recovery practices around illicit drugs.

Gary Christian, Secretary for Drug Free Australia, has pointed to the lack of success by the Kings Cross Injecting Centre (MSIC) in reducing overdose deaths in the Kings Cross area. He said, “Tracking of overdose deaths in the Kings Cross area from 5 years before the injecting room opened compared with the 9 years after the injecting room was opened showed no change whatsoever in the percentage of deaths in the area as compared to the rest of NSW. The KPMG review showed that Kings Cross had 12% of NSW opiate deaths before the commencement of the MSIC, and in the 9 years after it remained at 12%, such has been its failure to make any difference.” Evidence given to the NSW Parliament indicates that overdoses in the Kings Cross injecting room are 32 times higher than the overdose histories of those entering the injecting room, indicating that clients are experimenting with higher doses of opiates and cocktails of drugs knowing that if they should overdose in their experimentation, someone will bring them around. NSW Hansard records testimony from ex-clients of the injecting room who were rehabilitating from drugs that experimentation with higher doses of drugs is the reason for the inordinately high overdose rate in the room.

https://www.drugfree.org.au/images/pdf-files/library/Injecting_Rooms/InjectingRoomInsanity11.4.18.pdf

 

 

 

   Drug Free Australia                                                                                                            

Promoting Illicit Drug Prevention Initiatives Nationally

 

Important Brief to the Australian Community and Parliamentarian

 

Australia21’s Push for Decriminalisation of Drugs is Disingenuous

The current push for the decriminalisation of all illegal drugs by representatives of Australia21 (including Jeff Kennett)[i],[ii] is entirely disingenuous; it does not accord with Australia21’s main objective of legalising all illegal drugs.

Australians clearly do not want drugs legalised.  The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of 25,000 Australia[iii], [iv] indicates that:

  • 99% of Australians do not approve the regular use of heroin, speed and ice
  • 98% do not approve use of cocaine and ecstasy 
  • 90% do not approve of cannabis use 
  • 93-95% do not want use of heroin, speed, ice, ecstasy or cocaine legalised
  • 74% do not want cannabis legalised

Australia21’s most recent 2017 report[v] cites various police administrators and judges who believe that the war on drugs has failed and say alternatives need to be found. 

Drug Free Australia’s response is that these Australia21 representatives of law enforcement and the judiciary appear to ignore the fact that:

  1. Australia has never had a war on drugs.  For more than 30 years Australia’s Drug Policy has done everything to facilitate drug use  – i.e. needle and syringe programs, methadone maintenance  and injecting rooms
  2. Claiming  that we are failing with our policing of drugs is the same as saying that the war on speeding has failed, as drivers continue to speed. Should we then legalise speeding?  The same is true of most crime . . . stealing, rape . . . police never seem to eradicate them, but they create an important deterrent.

Australia21’s central rationale for requesting regulation/legalisation of all drugs is that criminals will be put out of business.[vi]  They claim that legalisation erases the profits for criminals selling drugs.  But research shows that decriminalisation still maintains a black market to supply drugs for users, because demand increases under decriminalised regimes.[vii]  Alternately, compulsory rehabilitation of drug users as in Sweden, which moved from the highest levels of drug use in the 1970s to the lowest in the OECD by the 1990s[viii], reduces drug use AND criminal supply.  Australian legislators can transform this country by implementing compulsory rehab in place of jail. Enhancing our state drug diversion processes would go a long way to support this, rather than giving up on people who suffer addiction.

 

[i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-20/jeff-kennett-backs-drug-decimalisation-in-australia/8369970

[ii] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-20/former-top-cops-want-white-market-in-illicit-drugs/8369102

[iii] http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129549469&tab=3 – Policy and Attitudes Table 9.6

[iv] http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129549469&tab=3 - Policy and Attitudes Table 9.18

[v] http://australia21.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Can-Australia-respond-to-drugs-more-effectively-and-safely-Roundtable-report-Final.pdf

[vi] http://australia21.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Can-Australia-respond-to-drugs-more-effectively-and-safely-Roundtable-report-Final.pdf see recommendation 2, page 8 – “The policy should include substantially reducing, if not eliminating, the size of the criminal marketplace by incrementally moving psychoactive drugs from the black market to the ‘white’ market. This should be accomplished by regulating and, where possible, taxing the supply of currently illicit drugs, . . .”

[vii] https://drugfree.org.au/images/13Books-FP/pdf/Decriminalisation.pdf

[viii] https://www.unodc.org/pdf/research/Swedish_drug_control.pdf

Gary Christian­­­­­

Secretary

Drug Free Australia

0422 163 141

www.drugfree.org.au

                                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Urges MDs to Help End US Opioid Epidemic

US Opioid Epidemic Fueled by Prescribing Practices

general surgeonThe first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that  knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences

The US surgeon general has taken on the nation's addiction crisis, issuing a landmark report on substance misuse and related disorders.

"Today I am issuing the first-ever report on alcohol, drugs, and health," Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, told reporters in a conference call.

"With this report, I'm calling our country to action around one of the must underrecognized and underaddressed public health issues of our time," he said.

Dr Murthy detailed the staggering figures that speak for themselves in underscoring the severity of the problem ― 20.8 million people in the country with substance use disorders, which is approximately the same number of people with diabetes and 1.5 times the number of people with all cancers combined.

"Despite this, only 1 in 10 people with substance abuse disorders are getting treatment," Dr Murthy said. "That is unacceptable, and we have to close the gap."

The report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, addresses a broad array of issues, ranging from illicit drug abuse to prescription drug addiction, alcohol use, binge drinking, and teen alcoholism. It is being compared in its significance and potential impact to the surgeon general's 1964 Report on Smoking and Health, which put a spotlight on the health risks of tobacco.

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