NEWS ABOUT: drugs

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50% of States Have Now Loosened Their Pot Laws

Maryland will jump on the bandwagon with Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature

(Newser) - According to Pew research, at least 24 states have decriminalized marijuana, legalized it, or OKed its medical use (by this map , it looks like 26); Maryland looks poised to be the 18th in the decriminalization category, per the Baltimore Sun's count. With its approval by the state Senate yesterday,... More »

After-Sex Gel Could Block HIV

Researchers test treatment in monkeys

(Newser) - A study on monkeys may offer hope for women in the fight against HIV—especially in cases of rape. The study involved a gel that appears effective in blocking HIV in monkeys up to three hours after sex, the New York Times reports. That could mean protection for rape victims... More »

DC's New Punishment for Pot Possession: $25 Fine

Mayor says he'll sign measure; advocates don't expect lawmakers to intervene

(Newser) - Unless federal officials intervene—a move advocates describe as unlikely—Washington, DC, will soon partially decriminalize marijuana. The city council voted 10-1 yesterday to nix jail time for possession of up to an ounce and smoking at home, instead imposing fines of just $25 for those offenses. That's a... More »

New Pill Could Give Adults Perfect Pitch

And make adult brains more receptive to knowledge in general

(Newser) - Annoyed that your shower singing hasn't quite wowed the neighbors? One day you may be able to improve your pitch—and even acquire perfect pitch—with little more than a trip to the drugstore, NPR reports. That's because researchers are studying a "mood-stabilizing" drug that enables an... More »

Grocery Workers Open Banana Crates, Find Cocaine

From Colombia with, uh, oops

(Newser) - Police in Germany say they have seized a large haul of cocaine after smugglers apparently made a mistake that sent the drug to supermarkets. Workers at five stores in and around Berlin were surprised to find cocaine packed into crates of bananas on Monday—a total of about 310 pounds.... More »

Sick Find Key Drugs Missing From ObamaCare Plans

AIDS, cancer meds could cost patients thousands each month

(Newser) - Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, heath insurers now can't turn away sick people. That's the good news. The bad news: They don't actually have to cover the drugs those patients need. Key drugs are missing from some plans, the Washington Post reports, in what patient advocates... More »

FDA Approves Drug for Penis Curvature

Xiaflex is a little pricey, though

(Newser) - Men suffering from serious and even painful penis curvature have a new medical option—if they can afford to pay $26,000 or more. The FDA has approved Xiaflex , a drug that targets Peyronie's disease by reducing the build-up of a protein that creates scar tissue in the penis,... More »

US Sisters: We Took Flesh-Eating Drug Krokodil

They're among 5 treated for drug-related disease in Chicago-area hospital

(Newser) - More American users of the flesh-rotting Russian street drug Krokodil have emerged. Two sisters from Joliet, Ill., are among five who were treated for the drug's nasty side effects at a Chicago-area hospital last week. Amber and Angie Neitzel, both heroin addicts, say they thought they'd been... More »

For Users of 'Silk Road' Drug Site, It's Time to Worry

More arrests have followed that of its alleged founder

(Newser) - It's the last thing users of the now-shuttered Silk Road website wanted to hear about: more drug-related arrests. Last week, authorities in San Francisco nabbed the site's alleged leader , Ross Ulbricht. Now it appears that the investigation won't stop there. Eight more alleged drug dealers who used... More »

Planet Losing the War on Drugs

Substances getting purer as prices drop: report

(Newser) - In countries around the world, law enforcement is losing the war on drugs, researchers say. Their evidence: Across two decades of data, purity of illegal substances is up and cost is down, the BBC reports. "These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through... More »

'Cartels' Are Fueling Generic Drug Shortage

We must ensure a free market: experts

(Newser) - The US generic drugs business is effectively skirting the free market, prompting dangerous shortages that can make the difference between life and death, a group of pharmaceutical experts and activists argue in the New York Times . The US is currently facing shortages of 302 drugs, and a new law last... More »

World's Most Popular Drug: Pot

But painkillers behind most deaths

(Newser) - Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per... More »

Cocaine May 'Teach' Addiction to Brain—Fast

Scientists see changes to mouse brains after 2 hours

(Newser) - Just one dose of cocaine may physically change the brain as the body begins "learning addiction," scientists say. They investigated the effect of the drug on mice, and noted that within two hours of being injected with the drug, brain changes were visible, the BBC reports. After two... More »

N. Korea's Latest Demon: Crystal Meth

Country is in throes of 'drug epidemic,' says journal

(Newser) - Illegal drugs are a growing problem in North Korea—and some users are turning to the substances to cure common illnesses, the BBC reports. "The whole of North Korean society is being affected by illegal drugs," a defector tells South Korea's Chosun Ilbo . "Some wealthy people... More »

Drug-Seeking Facebook Posts Sink Florida Frat

Pi Kappa Alpha suspended as campus police investigate

(Newser) - Florida International University's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity apparently didn't get the memo that social media isn't the place to go shopping for drugs. The frat has been suspended after its private Facebook page was made public via an anonymous email that included screenshots of 70 posts—some... More »

Guy Tweets Pot Request, Cops Tweet Him Back

'Awesome! Can we come too'

(Newser) - Twitter, it seems, might not be the best place to conduct your weed-related transactions. A worker at an auto shop near Toronto has lost his job after tweeting for pot to be brought to his workplace. "Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr.... More »

Seattle Cops' Job at Pot Fest: Hand Out Doritos

Bags will feature links to facts on legal marijuana

(Newser) - Who knew? Police have a sense of humor, at least in Seattle. Cops there plan to attend this weekend's Hempfest —where they'll distribute 1,000 bags of Doritos on Saturday. A note affixed to each bag will direct munchers to the SPD's "Marijwhatnow" FAQ , which... More »

Holder to Ax 'Draconian' Drug Sentences

For low-level offenders not associated with gangs or drug rings

(Newser) - Eric Holder is set to today to reveal what the Washington Post is calling the planned "cornerstone of the rest of his tenure": a revamp of federal prison policy. And one part of the overhaul—a big change to sentencing for low-level drug offenders—is getting a great deal... More »

Heroin Use Soars in New England's Towns

It's 'our biggest problem right now': Vermont cop

(Newser) - Heroin is not just a city drug anymore: Its use is surging in the smaller communities of New England, the New York Times reports. Last year, 21 people died in Maine from the drug—three times as many as the year before. Over the course of a decade, New Hampshire'... More »

Bath Salts: More Addictive Than Meth

Study finds it is for rats, anyway

(Newser) - "Bath salts" may have become the punchline to many bizarre crimes in recent years, but the drug is no joke: a new study has found it may be more addictive than meth. In experiments with rats, the test subjects worked much harder to get doses of methylenedioxypyrovalerone —or... More »

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