Today's Must-Read: 1. The White House said today that pills are drawing more new users than pot. Seven of the top ten drugs abused by 12th graders are prescription drugs like OxyContin. They have driven a 400 percent increase in drug treatment over ten years. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that prescription and over-the-counter drugs were responsible for the 25% increase in drug-related emergency department visits between 2004 and 2008. ... By 2008, emergency department visits for misused prescription and over-the-counter drugs were as common as emergency department visits for use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Since 1999 deaths from drug use have more than doubled, surpassing homicides, suicides and gunshot wounds as causes of death. This increase in drug overdose death rates is largely because of prescription opioid painkillers.” Damning.
2. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that millions of dollars of federal money is wooing cash-strapped cops away from real crime to cannabis, a plant with zero reported overdoses, ever. “Marijuana may not be the county's most pressing crime problem, the sheriff says, but "it's where the money is."
3. This as Sativex THC throat spray hits UK pharmacies this week. Sativex is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in an "undisclosed location" for treatment of muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. GW Pharmaceuticals and the Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical have just signed a three-year extension to their global cannabinoid research collaboration looking for potential new drug candidates in the field of central nervous system disorders and cancer prevention. This comes amid new reports that elements of pot aid nerve cell formation in mice as well as help effect organ transplantation, decrease inflammation, and prevent colitis, and sepsis.
4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says in a June 23 report that cannabis is the world's most widely produced and used illicit substance. “It is grown in almost all countries of the world, and is smoked by 130-190 million people at least once a year."
5. Berkeley Patients Group, among the most prominent medical cannabis groups in the Bay, wants patients in the crowd at the Berkeley City Council meeting this evening. “The city really needs to hear from the patients about the taxes and patients concerns.” City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, 7 p.m.
6. Philadelphia Magazine decides "Pot is naughty, harmless fun! On a recent episode of Parenthood, a father confiscated his teenager’s weed, and later ended up smoking it with his brother outside the teen’s school auditorium.”
7. A Sac Bee columnist implies blacks don't smoke as much weed, but they do rob and rape more in Sacramento — hence we should continue the drug war. Astounding analysis. Meanwhile, the tip of the anti-Prop 19 spear will be laced with God-juice this year as a Sacramento preacher Ron Allen calls for the resignation of NAACP leadership in response to their support for drug law reform.