Import Temp

Treatment Instead of Incarceration Bill Passes Senate 36 to 1

SB 620 Now Heads to the House

Santa Fe -- A bill proposing treatment instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug possession arrestees passed the Senate today by a vote of 36 to 1. SB 620 calls for supervision and community-based substance abuse treatment to be an option for individuals facing prosecution for first- or second-time nonviolent drug possession charges.

The diversion program would be used at the discretion of the judge and applied on an individualized basis.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (505) 983-3277

Great Britain

Heroin Maintenance Proven Success in Reducing Drug-related Disease, Death and Crime among Chronic Addicts, Should be Explored in US, says Drug Policy Expert

Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in the U.K., made headlines last weekend by recommending that heroin be prescribed for people with long term addiction problems.

Jones asserted that prescribing heroin would both reduce crime and lower the number of overdose deaths, a claim backed by scientific studies in several countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland have both experimented with prescribed heroin and reported reductions in crime as a result.

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384

White House Pushes Controversial Student Drug Testing Agenda at Summit in Newark on February 27

Concerned Citizens to provide Educators with Missing Information; Parents, Students and Experts and Others Available for Interview

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is conducting a series of regional summits designed to convince local educators to implement across-the-board random, suspicionless student drug testing. This policy is unsupported by the available science and opposed by leading experts in adolescent health.

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee 9 to 2

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act Now Heads to the House Floor

Santa Fe -- The House Judiciary Committee passed the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (SB 238) Monday afternoon by a 9 to 2 margin. The bill would allow qualified patients suffering from certain illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy, to use medical cannabis for relief of their symptoms.

The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote, which could occur as early as Thursday.

"All we've ever wanted is an 'up or down' vote on the bill," said Reena Szczepanski, director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Julie Roberts at (505) 983-3277

Vancouver to Start Prescribing Oral Stimulants to Treat Addiction to Cocaine and Methamphetamine

Studies in the U.S., U.K. and Australia Show Promising Results

Vancouver's mayor, Sam Sullivan, has introduced a pilot program to determine if prescribing oral stimulants can help people struggling with addiction to cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants.

The program, the Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment program (CAST), will administer oral doses of stimulant drugs, dispensed at local pharmacies, to chronic addicts who volunteer for treatment. The project also will include counseling and homelessness services. A heroin maintenance trial is already underway in Vancouver and Montreal.

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384

State of the Art Medication Assisted Drug Treatment Program Heads to Gov. Richardson

HB 528 Passed the Senate by 32-2 Margin
Treatment Pilot Project in the Women

Santa Fe -- A bill to create a buprenorphine treatment pilot project at the women's prison passed the Senate 32-2 last night, sending the medication assisted drug treatment measure to Gov. Bill Richardson's desk for approval. HB 528, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) creates a two-year pilot project in the women's prisons to treat 50 women inmates who have a history of addiction to heroin or other opiates.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (646) 335-2242

Legislative Analyst

Report Says Gov.

SACRAMENTO, February 21-- The Legislative Analyst's Office today recommended the Legislature reject Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal to cut funding to Proposition 36, California's voter-approved, treatment-instead-of-incarceration law. The Drug Policy Alliance welcomed the LAO report, which acknowledges that the governor's plan would undermine the cost-effective program and could lead to legal conflicts.

Margaret Dooley, Prop.

Margaret Dooley at (858) 336-3685 or Dave Fratello at (310) 394-2952

Medical Marijuana Bill Begins Journey through the House on Saturday, Feb. 24

SB 238, The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act to be Heard in House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee This Weekend

Santa Fe--SB 238, The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, will be heard before the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee on Saturday, February 24. The bill would allow qualified patients suffering from serious illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy use medical marijuana.

SB 238 recently passed the Senate by a 34-7 margin. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-District 12, has 14 co-sponsors, including Senate Minority Leader, Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. Recently, Governor Bill Richardson issued a statement supporting SB 238.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Julie Roberts at (505) 983- 3277

New Mexico Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill by 32-3 Margin

Senate Substitute Bill for SB 523, the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act, Heads to the House

A New Mexico Senate substitute bill for SB 523, the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act, passed the Senate by a 32-3 margin today, sending the bill to the House of Representatives.

During Senate floor debate, bill sponsor, Sen. Shannon Robinson, D-District 17, moved to pass the Senate floor substitute for SB 523, which is mostly a duplicate of SB 238, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. SB 238 was recently killed in a contentious House floor vote last Thursday.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (505) 983-3277

Medical Marijuana Bill Clears House Judiciary, Heads to House Floor for Vote

Senate Substitute Bill for SB 523, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, Passed Judiciary by 10-3 Margin

A Senate substitute bill for SB 523, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, passed the House Judiciary Committee 10-3, sending the bill to the House floor for a vote.

After a motion to table the bill was voted down, committee members quickly approved the measure with no debate.

"We're excited about the possibility of the bill getting a House floor vote," said Reena Szczepanski. "This is an important issue to New Mexicans and it deserves a fair hearing on the House floor."

SB 523, sponsored by Sen.

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (505) 983-3277
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