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Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012: Banning Spice and Bath Salts

On July 9, 2012, President Obama signed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. At the end of this bill was the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. As of the signing, many of the synthetic cannabinoids became Schedule I banned substances. Also banned is Mephedrone, and MDPV.

Read more: Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012: Banning Spice and Bath Salts

Second Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Congress

Reaction to the current Federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries has now spawned a second bill in Congress.  H.R. 6335, dubbed "States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Act", was introduced by Rep.  Barbara Lee of California on August 2nd.  While neither this bill nor the earlier introduced "Truth in Trials Act" have a high chance of passing, both can be seen as push-back by States with medical marijuana laws. This new bill would absolve landowners of the risk of forfeiture if medical marijuana dispensaries are on their property.  News reports are telling us that threat of such forfeiture is a major part of the Federal strategy to close down dispensaries.  It would not prevent any other action by Federal enforcement efforts.  So far, only Democrats of signed on as sponsors, while the earlier and more broad bill contained two Republican sponsors.

Raising our voices for the Higher Education Center

As I'm sure you know, the U.S. Department of Education has chosen not to continue the Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention (HEC).  As of August 31st, there will be no Federally sponsored center focused on college alcohol and other drug abuse prevention.  While mandates of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act continue, there will be no resource to guide Institutions of Higher Education on compliance strategies.  There will be no agency mechanisms for disseminating evidence-based prevention methods.

Cuts have been incremental.  First, the National Meeting became sporadic and then disappeared, removing the premier meeting where colleges could gather representatives to learn from each other and experts about AOD prevention.  Then, as that happened, the grant program that spurred so much innovation in prevention strategies was discontinued.  And now the HEC will be gone as well.  It is hard not to conclude that college students' deaths, injuries, academic failure and community disruption spawned by AODs is no longer a central concern. “Between 2005 and 2012, substance abuse prevention funding was cut by 47 percent at the federal level” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

The Network asks that you consider letting decision makers know that you care about AOD prevention on college campuses, and that the resources that the HEC made available were important to you.  Here is a link to a sample letter drafted by The Network to help spark your own message.

We urge you to forward this to your colleagues and contacts throughout higher education and request that they join us in this endeavor to bring light to the need for restoration of resources and support.

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Marijuana Delivery Service

In California, an 18-year old caught holding a can of beer faces a far more severe punishment (misdemeanor charges and $250 fine) than if caught holding a month’s supply of marijuana (1 oz; infraction and $100 fine). Still there is some indication that young people are trying to avoid even that penalty by getting their medical marijuana recommendations from the sketchy cast of doctors advertising two-for-one specials on exams. There are no reliable studies on how prevalent medical marijuana recommendations are, or how often they are obtained for conditions that are either exaggerated or faked (Reinarman et al., 2011); however anecdotal evidence implies that it is rather common, at least among the marijuana using population.

But with the current federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, we are left to wonder how relevant medical marijuana is to our general student marijuana use issue. After all, almost all of the

Read more: Marijuana Delivery Service

NASPA AOD Knowledge Community Dial-in Event

The NASPA AOD Knowledge Community is co-sponsoring with the Higher Education Knowledge Community a free dial-in event titled Maintaining and Thriving: A Dial-in Conference Sharing Ideas for Supporting Students in Recovery on Wednesday August 8, 2012 from 12-1 PM PDT.  Below is information from their announcement:

Although transitioning to college and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge for any student, students who identify as being in recovery may encounter unique obstacles as they navigate the college terrain. This dial-in conference will give you an opportunity to hear what your colleagues are doing to support students (and staff/faculty) in recovery. Following a brief presentation by Dr. Robert Reff, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Oregon State University, we will open the floor for you to share your ideas. How does your campus support students in recovery? Challenges? Successes?

We hope you can join us for this lively and topical call and are prepared to share!

To register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/325179618