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Kanada. Prescription Inhalable Heroin Is Coming to BC. Will the Province Embrace It?

Experts say it’s past time to expand life-saving therapy for drug users. (The Tyee, Kanada, 17.09.2021)

https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/09/17/Prescription-Inhalable-Heroin-BC/

Double-Edged Leaf: Cannabis and Climate Change

(…) On the one hand, hemp farming can be a powerful weapon to help ameliorate the effects of carbon emissions. On the other hand, industrial cannabis production has a formidable and growing carbon footprint. With the ongoing legalization of the plant and the expansion of its impact on the American economy, it is worth exploring how cannabis might be both a potential cure for and a contributor to climate change—and considering whether the plant can be more beneficial than harmful in this regard. (Points: Joint Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, USA, 07.09.2021)

https://pointshistory.com/2021/09/07/cannabis-and-climate-change/

Estland. Estonian harm reduction programme brilliantly reverses its overdose epidemic

Previously a stark example of the harms of synthetic opioids, Estonia successfully implemented a range of harm-reduction programmes that reversed its bleak opioid public health crisis.

A recent European study taking stock of the Estonian response to  the rise drug-related deaths since the turn of the century demonstrates how harm reduction is an essential part of any public health programme. (TalkingDrugs, UK, 17.09.2021)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/estonian-harm-reduction-programme-brilliantly-reverses-its-overdose-epidemic

Kanada. Drug criminalization causing overdose epidemic: lawsuit

The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs is suing Ottawa, saying laws criminalizing the drugs behind the overdose crisis are unconstitutional.

The suit says criminalization of drugs has created fear among drug users and resulted in stigmatization by family, peers, police, doctors, social services and others. (Times Colonist, Kanada, 10.09.2021)

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/b-c/drug-criminalization-causing-overdose-epidemic-lawsuit-1.24357093

USA. Judge Rules in Favor of New York Prisoner Suing for Methadone Access

A District Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction to ensure that a 35-year-old Watertown, New York, resident can continue accessing his medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) while detained in Jefferson County Jail. It’s the first such ruling in the Second Circuit, the Court of Appeals that includes New York state. (Filter, USA, 13.09.2021)

https://filtermag.org/new-york-jail-methadone-lawsuit

Philippinen/Niederlande. ICC to open full investigation into Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’

The Hague-based court says ‘specific legal element of the crime against humanity of murder’ has been met in the crackdown that killed thousands in Philippines. (Al Jazeera, Katar, 15.09.2021)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/15/philippines-icc-agrees-to-probe-dutertes-war-on-drugs

Philippinen/Niederlande. ICC authorises full inquiry into Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’

‘Reasonable basis’ to believe crime against humanity committed in Philippines crackdown, say judges. (The Guardian, UK, 15.07.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/15/icc-authorises-full-inquiry-rodrigo-duterte-war-on-drugs-philippines

Philippinen. Duterte on ICC probe: Over my dead body

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte on Monday insisted he would rather be dead than submit to investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged human rights violations associated with his war on drugs.

“You know if you really want me… it’s over my dead body. You can take my dead body to the Netherlands. You will have a carcass. I will not go there alive. But if I see you here, I’ll go first,” Duterte said. (The Philippine Star, Philippinen, 04.08.2021)

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/08/04/2117431/duterte-icc-probe-over-my-dead-body

Sri Lanka. Drug Control Sri Lanka: A Broken System: Drug Control, Detention and Treatment of People Who Use Drugs in Sri Lanka

Over the past decade, the government of Sri Lanka has adopted a militarised approach to drug control, with the military playing an increasingly significant role in the ‘war on drugs’. This includes not only participation in anti-drug trafficking operations, but also in drug treatment and prevention. (HRI – Harm Reduction International, UK, 2021)

https://www.hri.global/drug-control-sri-lanka

Indien/Iran/Afghanistan. India seizes $2.7bn of heroin from Afghanistan at port

Heroin production has boomed in Afghanistan in recent years and the country produces most of the world’s supply of the drug. (The Guardian, UK, 21.09.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/21/india-seizes-27bn-of-heroin-from-afghanistan-at-port

Afghanistan. 'Now We All Grow Poppies': Afghan Farmers Predict Roaring Opium Trade Under the Taliban

Sources in Afghanistan have told IranWire that so far, the Taliban has failed to implement any restrictions on drug trafficking out of the country and the drug trade is now operating more freely than ever before. Farmers in the border regions are laying the groundwork to grow many times more poppies than before when the planting season gets under way next month. 

In response Molavi Shirahmad Ammar, the Taliban's deputy governor in Herat, told IranWire that a document banning the transit and trafficking of narcotics would be issued in the coming days.

Drug trafficking has been a lucrative business in Afghanistan for decades as the world’s main opium-producing country. Refugees in Iran are often arrested and even hanged for having a role in the trade, although they are a million miles from being the main players. (IranWire, 20.09.2021)

https://iranwire.com/en/features/10385

Mexiko. A secret look at a Mexican cartel’s low-tech, multimillion-dollar fentanyl operation (Video)

Tonight, we begin a three-part look at the production — and devastating effects — of the drug fentanyl. Illicit use of the synthetic opioid painkiller has ravaged the United States, with Mexican drug cartels now seeing huge profits. With the support of the Pulitzer Center, from Sinaloa State, in Mexico, special correspondent Monica Villamizar and videographer Zach Fannin report. (PBS News Hour, USA, 14.09.2021, Video, 08:56)

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-secret-look-at-a-mexican-cartels-low-tech-multimillion-dollar-fentanyl-operation

Afghanistan. Back to the future

Over the past weeks, the world has been watching the crisis in Afghanistan rapidly unfold, while commentators are reflecting on what the future may look like. A keen focus on the country’s illicit economies and their potential impacts on Afghanistan’s future political dynamics is now imperative. (Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, 26.08.2021)

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/afghanistan-future-illicit-economies-corruption/

Tobacco giant's takeover bid could affect COPD lung disease treatment and research in Australia

The tobacco giant behind the Marlboro man has sparked outrage in medical circles over a bid to invest in a company that develops inhaler technology, which could see it profit from the smoking-related lung diseases it helped create. (ABCnet News, Australien, 14.09.2021)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-14/smoking-giant-philip-morris-take-over-plans-fears/100452160

USA. The Opioid Settlement, Stigma, Disempowerment, and Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases

“We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible, they are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.” – Dr. Richard Sackler

The multibillion-dollar Opioid Settlement. The infamous first family of overdose deaths, the real criminals get awarded immunity. The “abusers” get hammered, once again. Families lost their chance at justice. We see and feel how our institutions marginalize the marginalized, once again. (Recovery Review, USA, 18.09.2021)

https://recoveryreview.blog/2021/09/18/the-opioid-settlement-stigma-disempowerment-and-nonconsensual-third-party-releases/

USA. An Insider from the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Speaks Out

A new memoir by a victims’ advocate describes a process that seemed fixed from the start. (The New Yorker, USA, 20.09.2021)

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-insider-from-the-purdue-pharma-bankruptcy-speaks-out

USA. US moves to block Purdue Pharma opioid settlement

The US Justice Department has challenged a plan that would dissolve Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the OxyContin drug that has been blamed for the country's opioid crisis, while shielding its founders from lawsuits. (MedicalXpress, USA, 16.09.2021)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-block-purdue-pharma-opioid-settlement.html

Tobacco firm Philip Morris taking over inhaler maker Vectura ‘feels very uncomfortable’, say health groups

‘They’ve got a monopoly now of the disease lifecycle where they’ll give you the disease in the first place and then they’ll treat it’. (iNews Health, UK, 16.09.2021)

https://inews.co.uk/news/health/tobacco-firm-philip-morris-taking-over-inhaler-maker-vectura-feels-very-uncomfortable-say-health-groups-1203250

USA. Warum Amazon jetzt Cannabis-Aktien anschiebt

Amazon öffnet sich zunehmend gegenüber Marihuana. Das schiebt die Kurse von Cannabis-Aktien an. (Börse online, 10.06.2021)

https://www.boerse-online.de/nachrichten/aktien/warum-amazon-jetzt-cannabis-aktien-anschiebt-1030506538

USA. The Sacklers Are Walking Off Into the Sunset. Reform the System.

By Ryan Hampton

Mr. Hampton was a co-chair of the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy. (New York Times, USA, 11.09.2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/opinion/purdue-sacklers-opioids-oxycontin-settlement.html

Neuseeland. Opioid addicts waiting two years for help in Southland and Otago 

Southern opioid addicts have to wait two years for opioid substitution treatment because the program is underfunded. (Stuff, neusseland, 07.08.2021)

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/126308406/opioid-addicts-waiting-two-years-for-help-in-southland-and-otago

Indien/Pakistan. Drone airdrops heroin near India-Pakistan international bord 

Amritsar. Once again a drone originating from Pak soil dropped heroin near Indo Pak international border in the Amritsar sector. (Times of India, Indien, 10.09.2021)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/drone-airdrops-heroin-near-india-pakistan-international-border/articleshow/86098335.cms

The illicit trade of cocaine from Latin America to Europe – from oligopolies to free-for-all?

UNODC and EUROPOL, Cocaine Insights 1, UNODC, Vienna, September 2021.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/publications-documents/cocaine-insights-1

INCB, UNODC and WHO Joint Statement on Access to Controlled Medicines in Emergencies

Access to controlled medicines in humanitarian emergencies remains constrained

Recognizing World Humanitarian Day 2021, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) once again call on governments to facilitate access to medicines containing controlled substances in emergency settings, including during pandemics and the increasing number of climate-related disasters. Joint News Release, 08.09.2021)

https://www.who.int/news/item/08-09-2021-incb-unodc-and-who-joint-statement-on-access-to-controlled-medicines-in-emergencies

Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health

Atwoli, Lukoye et al.

The Lancet, Volume 398, Issue 10304, 939 - 941 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01915-2/fulltext

UK. Community pharmacy pilot provides hundreds of take-home naloxone kits in one year

Exclusive: The naloxone pilot, set up by charity Turning Point, in Somerset and Wakefield has reported providing more than 330 kits to patients in its first year. (The Pharmaceutical Journal, UK, 07.09.2021)

https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/news/community-pharmacy-pilot-provides-hundreds-of-take-home-naloxone-kits-in-one-year

USA. Judge conditionally approves plan to dissolve OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma 

(…) The settlement resolves all civil litigation against the Sackler family members, Purdue Pharma and other related parties and entities, and awards them broad legal protection against future civil litigation.

(…) Under the settlement, Purdue Pharma's operating assets will be transferred to a newly formed public benefit company that will not include any stakeholders from the Sackler family.

The settlement does not protect the Sackler family members and other named parties against potential criminal actions. States attorneys general and the Justice Department could still prosecute. (CNN Business, USA, 02.09.2021)

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/01/business/purdue-sackler-opioid-bankruptcy-ruling/index.html

USA. The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits 

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication.

Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic.

"This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." (npr – National Public Radio, 01.09.2021)

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-pharma-oxcyontin-opioid-epidemic