As the founder of DanceSafe, I have worked in public health for over twenty years. I’ve seen firsthand how public policy decisions directly affect people’s lives. Take drug prohibition, for example: Last year approximately 70,000 Americans died as a result of prohibition and the unsafe drug supply it creates, a more than threefold increase since the year 2000. Conversely, countries like Portugal, who decriminalized all drugs, have reduced their drug-related fatality rates by half. And Switzerland, who took it a step further by implementing widespread opioid maintenance programs (including heroin maintenance) saw a 64% drop in overdose fatalities. Proper public health policies, enforced by law, can mean the difference between life and death. This is true when it comes to drug use, and it is true for pandemics like COVID-19.
Late last night California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 186 which would have allowed San Francisco to open overdose prevention services that would let drug users use controlled substances under the supervision of staff trained to treat and prevent drug overdose and link people to drug treatment, housing and other services. AB 186, authored by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) and co-authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) passed the California Assembly and Senate earlier this year. “I am shocked that the Governor turned his back on the science and the experts and instead used outdated drug war ideology to justify his veto,” said Laura Thomas, Interim State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Philadelphia, PA - As a key federal official vowed to move against Philadelphia's plans to open a safe injection site for drug users, several legal experts countered Thursday that the site could be seen not as breaking the law, but as a lifesaving measure amid an opioid crisis that has resisted traditional measures. "It's not clear to me that when the city decides legitimately to fight the opioid crisis through medical means, that that violates federal law in any way," said David Rudovsky, a civil rights attorney. "The city is not doing this for criminal purposes. They're doing this in good faith...
By Eric Eyre for Charleston Gazette-Mail - The trail of painkillers leads to West Virginia's southern coalfields, to places like Kermit, population 392. There, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive — and potentially lethal — hydrocodone pills over two years to a single pharmacy in the Mingo County town. Rural and poor, Mingo County has the fourth-highest prescription opioid death rate of any county in the United States. The trail also weaves through Wyoming County, where shipments of OxyContin have doubled, and the county's overdose death rate leads the nation. One mom-and-pop pharmacy in Oceana received 600 times as many oxycodone pills as the Rite Aid drugstore just eight blocks away.
I love Alexander Shulgin. I’ve loved him from the first moment I read about him. He is my idol, my hero, my sun, my O2. I love each of the 978 pages of his phenethylamine magnum opus, PiHKAL(Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved), and every milligram of his 1.13-kilogram tryptamine treatise, TiHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved). Above my bed I’ve pinned a large picture of Shulgin cuddling with his wife, Ann. I often sleep with a copy of PiHKAL not under my pillow, butas a pillow. He is the grandfather of Ecstasy, the molecular magician, the atomic conquistador. Over the span of 50 years he has created more new psychedelic drugs than the Amazon jungle ever has. He is more of a mythological creature, a chemical centaur, than he is a real person. But he does exist, as I am about to attest.