New York Marijuana Legalization: Last-Minute Push To Legalize Underway In Albany

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/06/17/new-york-marijuana-last-minute-push-to-legalize/

 

 

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – With the legislative session coming to an end mid-week, a last-minute push is underway to legalize recreational marijuana in New York State.

 
 

Despite meeting with members of the Senate and Assembly over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there still isn’t a firm proposal in place.

The main issue?

“What’s the right of the locality? Does the locality have a voice in the decision,” Cuomo said on a radio show Monday morning. “Does New York state say Yonkers must do this or do they give the locality the option, and does the locality have the option to opt in or opt out in terms of the market?”

Cuomo acknowledges while New York City is in favor of recreational marijuana, parts of Long Island think it will make the opioid crisis worse.

In March, Nassau County released the findings of a task force created to study the impact of legalizing pot. It found that treatment providers were unanimous in expressing concerns about minors, those with mental health disorders, and “a treatment system strained to the breaking point by the heroin and opioid crisis.”

In January, Nassau’s police commissioner spoke out against legalization, saying “Now we’re going to legalize marijuana not knowing how long that stays in your system.”

According to a Siena Research Institute poll released last week, New York voters polled are supportive of legalizing the recreation use of marijuana, 55 to 40 percent.

But time is running out. The legislative session ends Wednesday.

A new bill normally needs three days of public review before a vote, so Cuomo would have to decree this a “special necessity” to rush it to the floor by Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Cuomo said he would sign a bill if it passed the legislature, but he didn’t think the votes were there. Now, that may have changed.

So what’s changed?

“You’re right, we’ve had a number of different twists and turns and people saying they support it then don’t support it, then do support it. But to me dealing with a legislative body, whether it’s New York state legislature or federal legislature, you don’t know what they’re going to do until they do it,” Cuomo said.

So basically he says he still doesn’t know if they have the votes, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

Another question they’re trying to iron out: If there’s a local opt-out rule, does that mean county or village?

Beijing says US legalization of marijuana is a ‘threat to China’

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/17/asia/china-us-marijuana-smuggling-intl-hnk/index.html

 

Beijing’s leading drug enforcement body has blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and parts of the United States for a spike in the amount of drugs smuggled into the country, describing it as a “new threat to China.”

At a press conference in Beijing Monday, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said that the number of cannabis users in China had grown by more than 25% in 2018, rising to about 24,000 people.
Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, at a press conference on Monday June 17.

 
Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, at a press conference on Monday June 17.

“In two years, we have found increasing cannabis trafficked from North America to China,” he said, though he conceded there were “few cannabis abusers in China” relative to the total population.
According to Liu, China intercepted 115 packages sent through international postal parcels, containing a total of “55 kilograms (1940 ounces) of cannabis and cannabis products” in 2018.
Liu said that most of the suspects connected to the seized parcels had been foreign students or students who had come home after working abroad. He said most of the drugs had been transported through international express delivery. Liu did not specify how many of the packages came from North America.
China severely punishes those caught smuggling or trafficking drugs, including foreigners. Anyone found with more than 50 grams (1.76 ounces) of a controlled substance can face the death penalty.
China has stepped up its efforts to combat the sale of illegal drugs in recent years. Authorities in major cities, including Beijing, have been known to carry out spot drug tests at bars and nightclubs in a bid to clamp down on recreational drug use.
The move puts it at odds with North America, where cannabis has increasing levels of social acceptance.
The first marijuana dispensaries opened their doors in Canada in October 2018 after it became just the second country in the world to fully legalize the drug. South of the border, it is legal to buy and possess marijuana in 10 US states, while many others have decriminalized possession of the drug or legalized medical marijuana.
Cannabis isn’t the only drug which has caused divisions between the US and China. Washington has been trying for years to get Beijing to crack down on the country’s production and distribution of fentanyl, a deadly prescription drug which is devastating parts of the US.

 

 

 

 

 

Fentanyl is about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was linked to one in four overdose deaths in the US in 2018.

US President Donald Trump has previously accused China of being behind the US opioid crisis, saying in August 2018 that fentanyl was “pouring into the US postal system.”
The Chinese government announced in April that it would crackdown on fentanyl-related substances in what was seen as a concession to the Trump administration, who had been pushing hard for greater enforcement.

Legalise cannabis UK campaign boosted as study says it would ease burden on NHS More than a third of people in Birmingham believe legalisation would boost tax revenue and ease strain on NHS resources

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/health/legalise-cannabis-uk-campaign-boosted-16443154

 

More than a third of Birmingham people believe cannabis legalisation would lead to less of a burden on the NHS, reveals a new survey.

Other benefits mentioned include tax revenues, increased quality for users, and less alcohol related problems.

Amazingly, three quarters of Brummies are not aware medical marijuana is now legal.

The same number think the war on drugs has failed.

Cannabis – also called marijuana – contains chemical compounds including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

In the UK, you can get a prescription for oil made from CBD because it won’t get you high.

 

However, THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

 
CBD tablets and CBD oil used by a woman who says they relieved Parkinson's she believes was brought on by the antidepressant sertraline

CBD tablets and CBD oil used by a woman who says they relieved Parkinson’s she believes was brought on by the antidepressant sertraline (Image: North Wales Daily Post)

 

And there is an interesting link to alcohol.

Recent studies claim the reduction in overall alcohol consumption in the USA is directly linked to the rise of medical marijuana legislation in multiple states.

In fact, states in which medical marijuana is legal showed almost a 15 per cent reduction in monthly alcohol sales, and in states where recreational marijuana is legal, sales dropped by 20 per cent.

 

A survey by CBDoil.co.uk found that Brits feel it indeed create less of a strain on the NHS if marijuana – currently a Class B drug – was legalised across the country.

The survey questioned 3,000 respondents and found that just over a third (36 per cent) of Brummies who support legalisation believe its main benefit would be less of a burden on the NHS.

 

In addition, 12 per cent believe legalisation will lead to an increase in quality for users.

At the moment, low-quality cannabis with a high THC (psychoactive compound) content comprises a startling 94 per cent of the drug sold on the streets of major cities.

These low-grade strains can cause psychosis due to the fact that they are unregulated.

 
CBD oil on sale in Holland & Barrett

CBD oil on sale in Holland & Barrett (Image: DAILY RECORD)

 

Fourteen per cent of respondents in Birmingham also feel the legalisation of cannabis would result in an increased tax revenue for the country.

This has happened in the USA, where the economic benefits of legalisation are already apparent in states like Colorado where revenues have reached a new high – in 2015, the state collected more than $135 million in taxes on medical and recreational marijuana.

Read More

 

Additionally, 10 per cent of supporters of marijuana legislation in Birmingham feel it would alleviate the number of alcohol-related problems in the UK.

Since November 2018, Brits have been legally able to access medicinal marijuana.

However, it turns out the majority of people are actually unaware of the cannabis law with 64 per cent of respondents saying they had no clue medical marijuana was legal in the UK.

Read More

 

Broken down by different parts of the UK, the study found that 75 per cent of Brummies were unaware medical marijuana has been legalised.

The study also discovered that over half of Brits would report a neighbour whom they suspected of smoking cannabis, and three-quarters feel the war on drugs has failed.

 

4221396001_5629842200001_5629817842001-vs.jpg?pubId=4221396001&videoId=5629817842001
 
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Everything you need to know: Cannabis oil

 

 

Read More

 

One third (34 per cent) of respondents think that a cannabis store in their area would make a positive contribution.

Mark Fawcett of CBDoil said: “It’s important that people are aware of the incredible benefits that cannabis can have as well as the legislations in place which allow its use.

“CBD oil can effectively relieve things like stress levels, insomnia and anxiety, and improve general wellbeing.”

 

 

UP IN SMOKE Cannabis ‘being unofficially legalised’ as up to NINE out of 10 people caught no longer charged for possession

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9309351/cannabis-unofficially-legalised-nine-out-of-10-caught-no-longer-charged/

 

CANNABIS use is being ‘unofficially legalised’ according to campaigners after new figures show up to nine out of ten people caught with the drug are never charged.

In some areas just 12 per cent of people caught with the drug never go before a court and escape with punishments such as a warning or a caution.

Cannabis is being 'unofficially legalised', it has been claimed

2

Cannabis is being ‘unofficially legalised’, it has been claimedCredit: Alamy

Across England, an average of just 22 per cent of possession offences led to a criminal charge last year, down from 27 per cent in 2017.

In Surrey, however, that figure falls to just 12 per cent.

In Leicestershire 13 per cent and in Devon and Cornwall 14 per cent of cases led to a charge, the Daily Mail reports

David Green, director of the think-tank Civitas, said: ‘These figures provide even stronger evidence that the police have unofficially legalised cannabis in many parts of the country.

“Many police leaders want to legalise cannabis. Some are openly in favour of changing the law, while others turn a blind eye.

‘The tragedy is that they are doing so at a time when doctors are increasingly worried about the impact on the mental health of cannabis users, and especially our young people.

“Modern forms of cannabis, such as skunk, are at least twice as potent as varieties that were available in the 1970s.’

‘BLIND EYE’

Earlier this year, a report from Oxford University and published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that cannabis use is to blame for 60,000 people suffering depression in the UK.

Mary Brett, of charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, added: “There’s a law there and it’s the police’s job to enforce it.

“It’s counter-productive and kids know they will be let off with a caution or a warning.’

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin, the lead for drugs at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said the law provides a “range of options for those in possession of the cannabis”.

What is the law on cannabis in the UK and where is it legal?

Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute, sell or grow in the UK.

Currently anyone found possessing cannabis can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both punishments under UK legislation.

Supplying or producing the class B drug can land people in prison for a maximum of 14 years an unlimited fine, or both.

Police can issue a warning or on-the-spot fine if you’re caught with a small amount – generally less  than one ounce – if it is deemed for personal use.

On November 1, 2018, medical cannabis became available to patients in the UK on NHS prescription.

In the run up to the 2017 General Election, the Liberal Democrats announced plans to legalise the drug for sale on the high street.

The policy made them one of the first political parties to fight an election on the ticket of relaxing drug laws.

Think tank the Adam Smith Institute has said £750million to £1bn could be generated in taxes if the drug was regulated like tobacco or alcohol.

Criminal justice savings would also add up, with 1,363 offenders currently in prison for cannabis-related crimes at a cost to the taxpayer of £50million a year.

In some countries – including Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal – it is legal to consume small amounts of marijuana.

In others police do not arrest people for possession, although dealers still face harsh penalties.

Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalise the use of all drugs in 2001.

How they are dealt with has to be “proportionate to the individual circumstances”.

“Charging is one outcome and police officers can use professional judgment to make use of others,” he said.

The Home Office said: ‘Possession of cannabis is a criminal offence and cultivation an even more serious offence.

“How police choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.”

Police raid disused Gala Bingo Hall and seize 2,000 cannabis plants

Drugs seized thought to be worth £2.8m
 

Police officers found almost £3m of marijuana growing in a disused bingo hall during a search in Northamptonshire.

Officers seized 2,000 plants and sophisticated hydroponic growing equipment when they raided a disused Gala Bingo Hall in Kettering.

Northamptonshire Police said the operation could have generated around £2.8m each year.

 

Police became suspicious when officers said they could smell the drug coming from the derelict building, in Kettering High Street, which closed in January.

Thermal imaging also revealed heat sources coming from the building despite it lying empty.

 

Around 25 officers, along with dogs, stormed the building at 10.30am on Friday.

“This is a significant find that will disrupt organised crime groups and the distribution of cannabis locally and further afield,” said PC Colin Gray, from the force’s proactive team.

 

“It is one of the largest I have seen even when compared to a site we found in Corby earlier this year.”

 

In June 2018, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) estimated the UK’s illicit cannabis market to be worth £2.5bn each year, distributed to just over three million users of the drug.

 

Mr Gray said: “These crime groups blight society by manufacturing and selling controlled drugs in Northamptonshire.

 

“We will never stop trying to bring them down and this type of activity will continue.”

 

Nobody was inside the cannabis factory but the bingo hall’s kitchen had been in use.

 

The plants were coming of age and only about three weeks away from being ready for harvest and distribution.

 

The IEA’s 2018 report calculated the UK’s total cannabis consumption at 255 tonnes each year, meaning that the drug would be worth £1bn in tax revenue alone if legalised.

 

An influx of super-strength cannabis has been blamed for London having number the highest rate of psychosis on record in Europe.

 

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cannabis-gala-bingo-hall-police-seize-marijuana-kettering-a8961241.html

 

cannabis-bingo-hall.jpg

Mile High Labs’ Water-Soluble Liquids CBD Launches with Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol Hemp Oil

 

Mile High Labs’ Water-Soluble Liquids CBD Launches with Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol Hemp Oil

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from cannabis and hemp plants is a fat/oil soluble substance. It means that CBD will not dissolve in water or any other solvent except for oil-based solvents.

Our body contains around 65 % water and CBD being fat/oil soluble becomes resistant to dissolution in our blood and further metabolism in our body. This is the reason why many CBD products are not very effective when taken via regular methods like ingestion with food or as a gel. Thus it has been a barrier to use CBD with regular water or making a decoction with water. With the advancement of science and technology we now have CBD products which are water soluble.

How Is Mile High Labs’ Water-Soluble CBD Made

CBD isolates, which contain only CBD extract is made water soluble with an advanced process called nano-emulsification. What it does seems quite simple. First, the isolate is dissolved in a fat/oil based solvent which lacks any color or flavor. Often these oil solvents are derived from natural sources. Common oil solvents used are olive oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oil.

The dissolved CBD in oil is now passed through a high pressure emulsifier. What it does is, the high pressure outlet creates very minute drops of the CBD dissolved oil. These oil droplets have sizes in the nanoparticle range, and hence called Nano-emulsion. This nano-emulsion is then modified with surface binding molecules called surfactants, which help them disperse in either oil or water solvents. The surfactants are molecules that dissolve in oil/water alike. So this makes the CBD molecules trapped inside these oil droplets to disperse uniformly in both oil and water.

This enhances the bioavailability of CBD in our bloodstream and breaking it down in our body becomes easier. This will improve the efficiency of the sought-for effects and also reduce the time of onset.

Mile High Labs, a reputed manufacturer of CBD isolates and products, have reported the production of water-soluble CBD emulsion particles of the size of around 200-300 nanometers. Having a smaller size allows the particles to have a higher surface area and a high surface to volume ratio. Hence this improves the surface efficiency of the particles in the overall solution. Meaning that the oil droplets coated with the surfactants will have better chemical interactions with the body cells.

The prepared concentrates can be included in bulk compounds prior to any filtration methods and this leads to very less alteration in the production and packaging.

Mile High has brought up two water soluble CBD products in the market recently. One of their products is CBD isolate named Cannabidiol Water Soluble which contains around 20 % CBD without any additional cannabinoids.

Their other product is Broad Spectrum Water Soluble. This contains 10 % CBD with additional hemp derived terpenes, alkaloids and flavoring agents which give better flavors and compensatory effects. Currently, they are offering 1 and 5-liter packages of these products.

Final Thoughts on Water Soluble Cannabidiol

Water soluble CBD is a gift from nanotechnology to humanity. The advances in chemistry in the CBD industry are making a stride towards better usage and results of CBD products. With the help of better and successful techniques, the booming industry will be able to offer different CBD products which are more effective, cheaper and readily available.

 

 

Teagan Appleby: Epileptic girl’s seized medical cannabis returned to mother

 

Teagan Appleby: Epileptic girl’s seized medical cannabis returned to mother

 

Family left ‘exhausted and drained’ by fight to secure access to drug

 

 

A British mother who had medical cannabis for her severely epileptic daughter seized by Border Force officials has had the “life-changing” drug returned to her.

 

Emma Appleby, whose nine-year-old daughter Teagan suffers from a rare disorder which causes seizures multiple times a day, had a month’s supply of the drug confiscated at Gatwick Airport after flying back from the Netherlands on 6 June.

She was handed back the THC oil and cannabidiol (CBD) on Saturday, but said the experience had left her “exhausted and drained”.

 

Ms Appleby, from Aylesham in Kent, said: “All I want is the best for my daughter – medical cannabis has transformed her life.

“Since being administered with THC- bearing medical cannabis, Teagan’s seizure rate has plummeted from as many as 300 seizures a day to now maybe just a couple a day, and only when she is sleeping.

“But I am being forced to raise thousands of pounds to pay privately for it, and to pay hundreds of pounds more to go abroad to actually get it and then fight all the bureaucracy to get it through customs.”

 

She added: “I plead from the bottom of my heart to [health secretary] Matt Hancock and the NHS to sort this out. For the love of God, parents like me just can’t take much more either financially or emotionally.

“We are at breaking point and no-one seems to be getting a grip on this.”

 

Ms Appleby had cannabis oil worth £2,500 confiscated at Gatwick after travelling to the Netherlands to collect it.

 

It was the second time she has had the medication seized by the Border Force. Officials confiscated a three-month supply of the drug at Southend Airport in Essex in April.

After the first batch was seized, Ms Appleby and her partner Lee had to obtain a prescription from a specialist UK consultant to get it back.

But despite having a private prescription with her at Gatwick, she was told she also needed an import licence.

 

The law in the UK was changed last November to make access to medical cannabis legal following high-profile cases of epileptic children being blocked accessing the drug.

But parents have been struggling to secure prescriptions – in part due to reluctance among doctors deterred by a lack of evidence on safety and effectiveness.

NHS England guidance says it expects that cannabis-based products for medicinal use should “only be prescribed for indications where there is clear published evidence of benefit” and in “patients where there is a clinical need which cannot be met by a licensed medicine and where established treatment options have been exhausted”.

 

The family of a severely epileptic teenager this week launched a legal challenge against the NHS and department of health in Northern Ireland over access to his cannabis-based medicine.

Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy, 13, lodged legal papers in Belfast to contest the Health and Social Care Northern Ireland decision to block GPs from prescribing the drug.

She added: “Between them, the NHS and the medical professional bodies have issued guidance on prescribing medical cannabis that is so restrictive that even the high profile paediatric epilepsy cases of last year would most likely not qualify for a prescription under them.

“The medical profession seem totally resistant to accepting any evidence that medical cannabis works unless it comes from the same sort of trials that conventional pharmaceutical drugs go through.”

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/teagan-appleby-medical-cannabis-seized-thc-epilepsy-gatwick-netherlands-a8960276.html

 

talks underway for first legal cannabis farm in Scotland

talks underway for first legal cannabis farm in Scotland

An Australian company has held talks with a local authority about building the first legal cannabis farm in Scotland, the Herald on Sunday can reveal.

LeafCann, which was recently granted a license to manufacture medicinal cannabis, has been in discussions with North Ayrshire council about identifying potential sites in Irvine.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of interest from LeafCann and we’ve had initial discussions with them. There is nothing imminent or close to being agreed.”

 

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, welcomed the news:

“It’s encouraging to hear that talks are underway that could lead to the improved availability of medicinal cannabis within Scotland’s NHS.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid legalised cannabis-based medicines last year and doctors can now prescribe products which are most commonly used to treat epilepsy or chronic pain.

However, given that it has been illegal to grow the drug in the UK for decades, the medications handed out by the NHS are imported.

It emerged in January that cannabis could be grown legally in the UK, under plans for a special farm to be set up in the West Country.

 

London-based Sativa Investments was given planning permission for a 7.5-acre greenhouse to be constructed in rural Wiltshire.

It has been estimated that the facility could earn the firm around £32m per harvest. Its exact location has not been disclosed.

This newspaper can reveal that talks have taken place between LeafCann and Labour-run North Ayrshire council about a Scottish facility.

In May, LeafCann Group Pty Ltd announced that a subsidiary had been granted a licence to manufacture medicinal cannabis by the Australian Office of Drug Control.

Chief executive Elisabetta Faenza said at the time:  “After several years of Company development, I am delighted that Leafcann can now begin in earnest to execute our business plan

towards delivering medicinal cannabis products to the many patients whose conditions are not treated effectively by existing pharmaceuticals, and whose quality of life could be substantially improved.

 

Leafcann Group Chief Scientist, Dr Jaroslav Boublik, added: “Our team is focussed on delivering the highest quality product, focusing on high-tech indoor facilities.”

A source said there had been a “couple of meetings” between the council and the company, adding that nothing was “signed and sealed”. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Companies House, LeafCann UK Ltd, a British subsidiary, was incorporated in January.

 

It emerged last week that a former police officer, Lisa Quarrell, smuggled a cannabis product into Scotland to help her six-year old son Cole Thomson, who has severe epilepsy.

Quarrell, from East Kilbride, travelled to the Netherlands to bring back medical cannabis oil for Cole, who has had brain surgery and has tried anti-epileptic drugs.

The mother, who has shelled out thousands of pounds to bring back the drug illegally, told the BBC:

“I’d sell my house. I would. I can’t let him get sicker. I need to get him better. There’s nothing else for it.”

She said that a bad day for her son could mean him having up to 16 seizures:

“He’ll convulse, he’ll click in his mouth, his eyes will roll back, he’ll drop to the floor with no notice.

“It’s the most heart-breaking thing to watch. Two-and-a-half minutes has never felt so long as when you’re watching your child take a seizure.

“Cole had never had a dream because he didn’t get to sleep long enough or deep enough to ever have a dream.”

Lennon said: “Urgent action is needed to make sure people who would benefit from medicinal cannabis prescriptions for painful and life-limiting conditions get them.

It would benefit people like my 6 year old constituent Cole Thomson who has a severe form of epilepsy.

“Parents shouldn’t have to go to extreme lengths to obtain medicine for their children and that’s why I’ve supported Cole’s mum Lisa Quarrell and Karen Gray from Parents of Hope,

in their fight to access medicinal cannabis on the NHS in Scotland. I welcome any plans that will make this a reality.”

 

Scottish Tory shadow health secretary Miles Briggs MSP said:

“So long as it is strictly controlled then there should be no issue with it being grown.

“However any potential site must be agreed with the local community to make sure the views of local residents are taken into account, with site security clearly paramount.”

 

source The Herald

 

 

:boxing:

Editor’s Viewpoint: SDLP leader Eastwood deserves credit for his honesty over past cannabis use and his call for better addiction services

Hi

 

My last post as I am flying home later and then am having 3 weeks with my family and friends, Thank you for all your likes keeps us fighting :boxing: —keep safe keep high and most of all be happy :thumsup: once again thank you! c u in 3 weeks

 

Editor’s Viewpoint: SDLP leader Eastwood deserves credit for his honesty over past cannabis use and his call for better addiction services

 

 

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood

 

 

In an age when many politicians try to dodge questions about their possible use of illegal drugs, full marks to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood after he admitted that as a young man he smoked cannabis.

 

His revelation came when this newspaper asked the main party leaders here if they had ever used illicit drugs. All apart from Mr Eastwood said “no”.

Whatever you think of him for making such an admission, he deserves credit for his honesty. He also emphasised that more needs to be done to help people with addiction issues.

Honesty is a good quality in a politician. Mr Eastwood could have easily batted off the question and hoped that his youthful dabbling with cannabis would have remained a secret.

Instead, he turned the question into a means of trying to help others. It is praiseworthy that he is trying to highlight the blight of drugs in our society and asking for more help for those who are mired in addiction and drug use. He also rightly pointed to the lack of a Health Minister at Stormont, and urged political leaders to “deliver on an issue that is tearing people, families and communities apart”.

 

Mr Eastwood is not the only politician to talk about drug issues this week. Michael Gove, a contender in the Tory leadership contest, had to deal with embarrassing revelations about his cocaine habit of some decades ago.

 

It should be pointed out that there is a vast difference between cannabis and a class A drug like cocaine. Mr Gove has also faced serious allegations of hypocrisy over what he said publicly as a minister and what he did in private.

 

However, these disclosures have raised another important issue, as to whether an individual’s misjudgment in the distant past should preclude him or her from holding high office and entering the fray for the election of a Prime Minister.

 

Perhaps there is a lesson here that the older we all get, the more we realise that past mistakes do not have to be the end of the world, and with true repentance and regret we can move on to better things.

 

Belfast Telegraph

 

 

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/editors-viewpoint/editors-viewpoint-sdlp-leader-eastwood-deserves-credit-for-his-honesty-over-past-cannabis-use-and-his-call-for-better-addiction-services-38220454.html

 

Bongme 

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