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Allison Myrden talks about her use of medical marijuana

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  • Welcome to my Power Point show for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition discussing the need in Canada for Harm Reduction of all Drugs .
  • Myrden Leap Pps

    1. 1. DRUGS and HARM REDUCTION a LEAP Presentation 2005
    2. 2. Alison Myrden Hello my name is
    3. 4. I am currently Canada’s only female resource for L.E.A.P. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition www.leap.cc
    4. 5. <ul><li>LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) is an important new international nonprofit educational organization that was created to give voice to the countless numbers of current and former members of law enforcement who believe drug policies of the United States have failed. </li></ul><ul><li>Membership in LEAP exists in two catagories: </li></ul><ul><li>Law Enforcement Personnel -- anyone who is currently or was formerly a member of law enforcement (this includes local, state, and federal police, prosecutors, judges, and corrections, probation, and parole officers); </li></ul><ul><li>Friends of LEAP – any others who wish to support LEAP’s efforts by declairing they are in agreement with our goals; provided the prospective member believes the US war on drugs is failed policy and that he or she wishes to support alternatives to that policy aimed at reducing the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending prohibition. </li></ul>
    5. 6. LEAP presentation continued… The mission of LEAP is (1) To educate the public, the media, and policy makers, to the failure of current drug policy by presenting a true picture of the history, causes and effects of drug abuse and drug related crime; (2) To create a speakers bureau staffed with knowledgeable and articulate former drug-warriors who describe the impact of current drug policies on: police/community relations; the safety of law enforcement officers and suspects; police corruption and misconduct; and the financial and human costs associated with current drug policies; (3) To restore the public’s respect for law enforcement that has been diminished by its involvement in imposing drug prohibition; and lastly, (4) To reduce the multitude of harms resulting from fighting the war on drugs by ultimately ending drug prohibition. LEAP is an international nonprofit educational entity based in the United States with tax-exempt status under IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3).
    6. 8. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
    7. 9. I am also one of the first Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptees in our Country.
    8. 11. I am constantly keeping busy by being involved in Media interviews all over the World for the full Legalization of Cannabis and ALL Drugs, on a regular basis.
    9. 13. Radio interview Ottawa Ontario, Canada
    10. 14. Drugs of all kinds play a huge role in my life.
    11. 20. This is one full day of Medication for me… Marijuana items in front Photo courtesy of Burlington Post April 2001
    12. 21. This is one full day of Cannabis for me … I have one of the largest prescriptions for Marijuana in the Country.
    13. 23. From the age of 13 I have been battling chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I have been suffering around the clock from an excruciating associated facial pain called Tic Dolloureux, for the last ten years. Hence, my need for unbelievable amounts of medication at all times. 1977
    14. 24. 1980 1978 1981 1982 1983 1977
    15. 25. For the past 15 years I have relied heavily on 32 pills a day and 2,000 mg of Morphine. With this regime I have no quality of life.
    16. 27. I choose not to live this way any longer ! Photo courtesy of Globe and Mail January 2003
    17. 28. What about Harm Reduction?
    18. 29. <ul><li>Overdoses </li></ul><ul><li>Addiction </li></ul><ul><li>Purity of Drugs </li></ul><ul><li>Role of Police and the criminal justice system </li></ul><ul><li>Funding of Programs </li></ul>In the following order we will address the issues at hand:
    19. 30. Overdoses <ul><li>Few drug overdoses many years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>“ People rarely die from heroin overdoses - meaning pure concentrations of the drug which simply overwhelm the body's responses.”* </li></ul><ul><li>*Source: Peele, Stanton, MD, &quot;The Persistent, Dangerous Myth of Heroin Overdose,&quot; from the web at http://www. peele .net/lib/ heroinoverdose .html </li></ul>
    20. 31. Overdoses con’t… <ul><li>An excellent example from the Drug War Facts “Heroin” page on Overdose is: </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the frequency of drug overdoses. Deaths substantially reduced. </li></ul><ul><li>Heroin users discouraged from injecting alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Dr. W.D. Hall, “How can we reduce Heroin 'overdose' deaths?”* </li></ul><ul><li>* The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA 1996; 164:197), from the web at http://www. mja .com.au/public/issues/feb19/hall/hall.html </li></ul>
    21. 32. ADDICTION
    22. 33. Purity of Drugs <ul><li>Coca and opium production has doubled since 1987. </li></ul><ul><li>Heroin seven times more pure in 1996 than in 1981, price dropped by two-thirds. </li></ul><ul><li>Half of our nation's high school students tried an illegal drug in 1995. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1996, 63% of the new AIDS cases among women and children under age 13, were injection drug use related. </li></ul>
    23. 35. Purity of Drugs con’t… <ul><li>“ In short, the Drug War has failed according to the very criteria used by the United Nations Drug Control Program - drug production is increasing, drug prices are falling and both drug purity and drug consumption are continually moving up”.* </li></ul><ul><li>* courtesy of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs June 8-10, 1998 </li></ul>
    24. 37. Role of Police, Youth and the Justice System con’t… <ul><li>Youth incarcerated for Drug issues as adults needing their services to avoid risk of Jail time. </li></ul><ul><li>Young adults and adolescents have highest rates of drug-related offences. </li></ul><ul><li>Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2) gives detailed information on individual criminal incidents reported to police. </li></ul>
    25. 38. Role of Police and the Justice System con’t… <ul><li>the UCR2, (the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey) young adults aged 18 to 24 had highest drug-related offence rate in 2002 - (860 offences for every 100,000 people), followed by youth aged 12 to 17 -  (645 offences for every 100,000 people). </li></ul><ul><li>Cannabis possession and cannabis trafficking offences were highest among young adults aged 18 to 24, followed by 12- to 17-year-olds in both instances. </li></ul>
    26. 39. Role of Police and the Justice System con’t… <ul><li>Many children find life of drugs glorified because of exorbitant amounts of money changing hands. </li></ul><ul><li>Children are encouraged to try drugs through many avenues. </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure and Drugs are everywhere. </li></ul>
    27. 42. Role of Police and the Justice System con’t… <ul><li>All Drugs must be regulated so that children no longer exposed. Age appropriate limit must be set in Society. Regulation a must. </li></ul><ul><li>Programs needed to involve Youth to stay Drug Free. D.A.R.E - NOT working. </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs are more available world wide. </li></ul>
    28. 43. Role of Police and the Justice System con’t… <ul><li>This tells us our Country is </li></ul><ul><li>wasting their time, fighting </li></ul><ul><li>a War on people. </li></ul>
    29. 44. Funding of Programs <ul><li>December 6, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>News Release </li></ul><ul><li>Government of Canada renews commitment to fund new drug treatment courts </li></ul><ul><li>OTTAWA - The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Irwin Cotler, and the Minister of Health, Ujjal Dosanjh, today launched a call for proposals to establish new drug treatment courts across Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Drug treatment courts have shown considerable promise in helping to break the detrimental cycle of addiction, criminal behaviour and jail for certain drug offenders,&quot; said Minister Cotler. </li></ul>
    30. 45. Funding of Programs con’t … <ul><li>Governments, communities and individuals - can reduce crime by dealing with its causes. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizing treatment over incarceration, drug treatment courts can reduce tremendous burden of substance abuse and related health, social and economic costs. </li></ul><ul><li>This initiative an important component of Canada's Drug Strategy approach to reducing both demand and supply of drugs. </li></ul>
    31. 46. Funding of Programs con’t … <ul><li>Drug treatment courts aim to reduce crime committed as result of dependency. </li></ul><ul><li>Helping non-violent offenders deal with addictions, improve social stability, reduces criminal behaviour associated with substance abuse. </li></ul><ul><li>Two drug treatment courts already in operation in Toronto and Vancouver. </li></ul>
    32. 47. Vancouver's Four Pillars Drug Strategy <ul><li>Harm Reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Enforcement </li></ul>Injection room
    33. 48. <ul><li>reducing the spread of deadly communicable diseases </li></ul><ul><li>preventing drug overdose deaths </li></ul><ul><li>increasing substance users' contact with health care services and drug treatment programs </li></ul><ul><li>reducing consumption of drugs in the street </li></ul>Harm reduction
    34. 50. Prevention <ul><li>using a variety of strategies </li></ul><ul><li>learning the negative health impacts and legal risks </li></ul><ul><li>encouraging people to make healthy choices </li></ul><ul><li>providing opportunities to help reduce substance abuse </li></ul><ul><li>focusing on recreation and long-term economic development </li></ul>
    35. 51. Treatment <ul><li>access to services </li></ul><ul><li>including outpatient and peer-based counselling </li></ul><ul><li>methadone programs </li></ul><ul><li>daytime and residential treatment </li></ul><ul><li>housing support </li></ul><ul><li>ongoing medical care </li></ul>
    36. 52. Enforcement <ul><li>need for peace and quiet </li></ul><ul><li>public order and safety by targeting organized crime , drug dealing, drug houses. </li></ul><ul><li>improving coordination with health services and other agencies to coordinate withdrawal management (detox) </li></ul><ul><li>alotting treatment, counselling and prevention services </li></ul>
    37. 53. Cannabis Statistics from Europe <ul><li>Netherlands cannabis use tolerated, not legal. </li></ul><ul><li>Possession is a crime. </li></ul><ul><li>Toleration of hemp has led to coffee shops. </li></ul><ul><li>Under certain conditions people not prosecuted. ie.  (no minors, no more than 5 grams, no nuisance, no hard drugs). </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch Law punishable when above tolerated quantities. </li></ul><ul><li>Max. sentence for sale or possession of no more than 30 g of hemp - 1 month in prison and/or fine. </li></ul><ul><li>4 years and/or fine for imports and exports or professional cultivation. </li></ul>
    38. 54. <ul><li>Max. sentence 1 year in prison for hard drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>12 years in prison for importing/exporting hard drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>Four objectives in Drug Policy Network in Europe: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Prevention of drug use. Prevention and rehabilitation of addicts. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Reduction of harm of drug users. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Diminishing public nuisance caused by drug users. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Combating the production and trafficking of drugs. </li></ul>Drug Policy - the Netherlands con’t…
    39. 55. Drug Policy - the Netherlands con’t… <ul><li>Safe Injection rooms: authorities created safe place to go for hard drug users. Drug dealing is forbidden. </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee Shops: Alcohol free outlet resembling bar. 18 or older. Allowed to purchase cannabis up to 5 grams. Commercial production is high priority for law enforcement. </li></ul><ul><li>Number of opiate addicts in Netherlands is stable and low compared to other European countries. </li></ul>
    40. 56. Cost of Canada’s Cannabis Prohibition <ul><li>2,000 Canadians jailed every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian government spends more than $500 million annually. </li></ul><ul><li>Around $400 million is spent annually by the criminal justice system on cannabis-related offenses alone. </li></ul>
    41. 57. Cost of Canada’s Cannabis Prohibition Officer in a HAZMAT (hazardous materials) suit inside a Cannabis Grow house
    42. 58. Police costs grow exponentially as we continue to lose the War on Drugs
    43. 59. Cost of Cannabis con’t… <ul><li>Here is an excellent quote from a letter to the Editor, which Russell Barth, a friend of ours and an Activist associated with EfSDP (Educa- tors for Sensible Drug Policy), recently wrote: “ In a climate of regulation, Canadians would save about $2 billion every year in enforcement, courts, corrections, and stolen hydro. We could generate $3 billion more in annual tax revenue, and use that money towards education, enforcement, and health care. Grow-ops would be licensed and regulated, which would save millions more annually in property damage. Police and fire fighters would have more information, and therefore more ability to do their jobs successfully. We'd have more police to secure our borders (to make sure pot doesn't go south, and guns don't come north) and to protect us on the roads.” </li></ul>
    44. 60. Canadian Cannabis Policy Public Opinion Polls “ should not be a criminal offence” 1997: 51% “ decriminalization” 1987: 39% “ decriminalization” 2000: 65% “ decriminalization” 2002: 50% “ decriminalization” 2003: 65% “ want pot prohibition to be less stringent” 2003: 83% “ reduced criminal implications” - Decima Research 2003: 58% “ fines rather than jail sentences for marijuana possession” - SES Research 2003: 69% Support for Decriminalization survey terms are shown in quotes “ legalization” 2000 : 47% “ regulating and taxing” 2004 : 53% Support for Decriminalization survey terms are shown in quotes
    45. 61. Drug use in Canada <ul><li>Illicit drug use increased substantially across the country between 1993 and 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannabis increased from 4.2% to 7.4% . </li></ul><ul><li>Cocaine increased from 0.3% to 0.7% . </li></ul><ul><li>LSD, speed and heroin increased from 0.3% in 1993 to 1% in 1994. </li></ul>
    46. 62. Drug Use and Human Rights <ul><li>My friend Eugene Oscapella educated me on his website at the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy in Canada. “Most international treaties have not been examined with respect to their compliance with human rights agreements. Policies that are intended to reduce drug-related harms are most effective in supportive environments.” according to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Also mentioned throughout: “Drug legislation can be compatible with human rights objectives if it seeks the highest standard of health, prevents the spread of disease from drug use and ensures public safety.” </li></ul>
    47. 63. Drug Use and Human Rights <ul><li>“ In short, the &quot;drug problem&quot; must be recast in such a manner that politicians understand that drug use, health and well-being are as much about protecting human rights as they are about preventing disease or compliance with international drug treaties.”* </li></ul><ul><li>*Another wonderful quote from my good friend Lawyer Eugene Oscapella </li></ul><ul><li>and the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy . </li></ul>
    48. 65. Drug Use and Correctional Service <ul><li>Prisons are the single largest response to the drug problem in many countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies in other countries found that 20-30% of prisoners injected drugs at least once a week before committing the crime that sent them to jail. </li></ul><ul><li>The many millions of dollars we spend building newer, stronger and fancier Correctional Facilities the more our Tax Payers money goes to waste. </li></ul>
    49. 67. Drug Use and Correctional Service con’t… <ul><li>Since the early 1970’s, drug offences have accounted for more than a third of the growth in the incarcerated population. </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1980, the incarceration rate for drug arrests has increased 1,000 percent. </li></ul><ul><li>Twenty-five percent of the new inmates in New York State are “drug only” offenders. </li></ul><ul><li>Canada has the highest number of drug arrests per capita of any nation other than the United States. </li></ul>
    50. 68. The Prison System’s Response <ul><li>Many recommendations accepted, including making bleach available in prisons. </li></ul><ul><li>Methadone and needle exchanges would not be available in prisons. </li></ul><ul><li>Among other tactics, use of random urine testing for drug use has increased in federal institutions, visitors are searched more often, and visitors who attempt to bring in drugs not only face serious criminal charges, but may be barred from further visits. </li></ul>
    51. 69. The Prison System’s Response con’t … <ul><li>These measures have been criticized as ineffective, costly and counterproductive. </li></ul><ul><li>This is unacceptable in our Country today! </li></ul>
    52. 70. The Prison System’s Response con’t … <ul><li>Reducing drug-related harm in society means reducing such harm in prisons too, and in that regard the WHO says “we have so far clearly failed.” </li></ul>
    53. 71. Cannabis utility in Canada <ul><li>Cannabis use by all Canadians in 2004: </li></ul><ul><li>12% of Canadians used cannabis more than once over the past year. </li></ul><ul><li>2004: 45.5% of Canadians said they had smoked pot some time in their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>2004: 14% of Canadians said they had smoked pot some time over the past year. </li></ul><ul><li>2002: 25% of adult Canadians have tried cannabis some time in life. </li></ul>
    54. 72. Cannabis utility in Canada con’t… <ul><li>2002: 2.2 million people smoke socially . </li></ul><ul><li>1994: 7.4% of Canadians said they smoked pot some time over the past year . </li></ul><ul><li>2003: 34% of teens tried marijuana more than once. </li></ul><ul><li>2003: Ontario Students: males= 31% , females= 28% tried marijuana more than once . </li></ul><ul><li>1999: almost 30% of teens tried marijuana more than once . </li></ul><ul><li>1993: 13% of teens tried marijuana more than once. </li></ul>
    55. 73. Cannabis utility in Canada con’t… <ul><li>“ Cannabis policy in Canada serves two main functions: to minimize health and safety hazards and to minimize social costs and adverse individual consequences that result from efforts to control use.”* </li></ul><ul><li>*the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy </li></ul>
    56. 74. Cannabis utility in Canada con’t… <ul><li>The majority of Canadians -- 69% -- do not support jail sentences for simple possession of cannabis. </li></ul><ul><li>While redirecting cannabis offenders to community service/treatment, realize that diversion will not affect the outcome of having a criminal record, nor the heavy burden the Courts carry for this non-violent Crime. </li></ul>
    57. 75. You decide. <ul><li>In a perfect World… </li></ul><ul><li>What would YOU do ? </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerely, </li></ul><ul><li>Alison Myrden </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    58. 76. <ul><li>“ Be wise - confuse the Thugs… </li></ul><ul><li>Legalize - ALL the Drugs ” </li></ul>
    59. 77. Thank You for your time Visit L.E.A.P. - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition today www.leap.cc [email_address]

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