The status of cannabis in the UN drug conventions is controversial. It is now scheduled among the most dangerous substances. How and why did cannabis in the conventions? Does it belong there? What are the options to review the status of cannabis according to current scientific data? Is making cannabis subject to a control regime similar to harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco a solution?
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  • Possession of cannabis for personal use

    International Drug Policy Consortium

    The legal status of cannabis for personal use is one of the most controversial policy issues in the European Union. Although cannabis is a classified narcotic drug placed under control by the United Nations and by all EU Member States, the measures adopted to control it at national level vary considerably, as shown in the table, click here to access the information country by country.

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  • Better to Ask Forgiveness Than Permission

    Spain’s Sub-national Approach to Drug Policy
    Constanza Sánchez & Michael Collins
    GDPO Policy Brief 12
    June 2018

    In recent years, the international debate on drug policy reform has intensified, and with it has come a productive exchange of information between academics, activists and advocates on the diverse models and approaches in different countries. Portugal’s decriminalization model is the subject of numerous reports and articles, the legalization of cannabis in a number of U.S. states and Uruguay is heavily studied. Heroin-Assisted Treatment (HAT) in Switzerland is often discussed, and the Czech Republic’s progressive drug policy has been much heralded. On the outside looking in is Spain, a country with a curious mix of cannabis clubs, decriminalization of drug possession for personal use, innovative harm reduction policies, drug checking, and more. It also occupies an interesting geographical position as a transit hub for drugs entering Europe from the Americas and North Africa. Yet in mainstream drug policy discussions, little is known of the Spanish approach to drug policy, with the possible exception of cannabis clubs.

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  • Medicinal cannabis policies and practices around the world

    Sofía Aguilar, Víctor Gutiérrez, Lisa Sánchez & Marie Nougier
    International Drug Policy Consortium
    April 2018

    Although cannabis remains a prohibited substance worldwide, in recent decades a series of political, legislative and judicial processes in various parts of the world have given rise to various forms of legal regulatory regimes for the medical and therapeutic use of the plant. This trend seems to be consolidating in the Americas, in particular in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the largest number of available experiences is concentrated, and where the regulatory changes are occurring successively, in a sort of domino effect.

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  • Want teens to smoke less pot? Legalize it

    Evolutionary psychology predicted it, data now confirms it
    Psychology Today
    Monday, February 5, 2018

    Those favoring strict drug laws believe that, as marijuana becomes more available and less stigmatized, teen drug use will go up. It's a straightforward and logical belief. The reality is that, to date, not one jurisdiction, either in the U.S. or elsewhere, has seen a marked increase in teen drug use following the relaxation of marijuana restrictions. Not one. Both Colorado and Washington, the pioneer states of marijuana legalization, have actually seen drops in teen marijuana use following legalization. The drop in Colorado was particularly dramatic. Despite the wave of legalization, nationwide, teen drug use is at a 20-year low.

  • CBD may protect against psychiatric risk from high-THC cannabis strains

    Neuroscientists find cannabidiol reduces symptoms such as impaired memory in adolescent mice simultaneously exposed to THC
    Indiana University (US)
    Wednesday, 6 September, 2017

    A study by neuroscientists at Indiana University finds that a nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis called cannabidiol, or CBD, appears to protect against the long-term negative psychiatric effects of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. "This is the first study in a rigorously controlled animal model to find that CBD appears to protect the brain against the negative effects of chronic THC," lead author Dr. Ken Mackie, said. "This is especially important since heavy use of cannabis with higher levels of THC poses a serious risk to adolescents." An analysis of cannabis seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that while THC levels rose 300 percent from 1995 to 2014, the levels of CBD have declined 60 percent.

  • Let’s learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers

    It is just as important to discuss how cannabis is going to legalised as it is whether it is going to be legalised
    Volteface (UK)
    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Countries around the world are moving towards a legally regulated cannabis market. But what can we learn from them about the implications of cannabis legalisation? What are the different models available to those looking to draft legislation? What mistakes have been made by the pioneers in this area? These are questions that are addressed in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The journal contains a variety of articles and studies examining specific consequences of cannabis policy reform, from levels of consumption to pesticide regulations. The editorial, entitled ‘Advancing knowledge on cannabis policy, using evidence from North America’ gives background to the debate and offers a neat synthesis of the content of the journal.

  • Risk of psychosis from cannabis use lower than originally thought, say scientists

    Previous research at York showed that regulating cannabis use could result in more effective strategies aimed at helping drug users to access the right support and guidance
    University of York (UK)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Scientists at the University of York have shown that the risk of developing psychosis, such as hallucinations, from cannabis use is small compared to the number of total users. The research, published in the journal, Addiction, also showed for the first time that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that for patients who already have schizophrenia, cannabis makes their symptoms worse. In order to prevent just one case of psychosis, more than 20,000 people would have to stop using cannabis, as shown by a previous study led by the University of Bristol.

  • Cannabis legislation in Europe

    An overview
    Brendan Hughes
    EMCDDA
    March 2017

    At a time of increased debate on the laws controlling the use of cannabis in the European Union, this report answers some of the questions most often asked about cannabis legislation. Using a question and answer format, basic definitions and the obligations of countries under international law are set out in a section on ‘What is cannabis and what are countries’ obligations to control it?‘ Two following sections examine the links and disparities between the content of the laws and their guidelines on the one hand and the actual implementation of the laws on the other. The final question and answer section considers whether changes in law have affected cannabis use and how much public support for legal change exists, as it looks at the future direction of cannabis legislation in Europe.

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  • Morocco and Cannabis

    Reduction, containment or acceptance
    Tom Blickman
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 49
    March 2017

    This policy briefing discusses whether or not the aim of reducing cannabis cultivation is realistic or beneficial for Morocco, what it would actually mean for the major production area the Rif – one of the poorest, most densely populated and environmentally fragile regions in the country – and what that could imply for meaningful sustainable development. The briefing will give some historical background, discuss developments in the cannabis market, and highlight environmental and social consequences as well as the recent debate about regulation in Morocco and about European policies.

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  • Ganja di Indonesia

    Pola konsumsi, produksi, dan kebijakan
    Dania Putri & Tom Blickman
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 44
    February 2017

    Penggunaan ganja tidak pernah menimbulkan masalah besar di Indonesia, namun kebijakan prohibitionist (pelarangan) tetap diberlakukan sampai sekarang. Meskipun prevalensi konsumsi ganja cukup tinggi, diskusi lokal atau nasional terkait kebijakan ganja jarang sekali dilakukan. Hal ini juga diperburuk oleh sikap anti-narkotika serta kegagalan institusi publik dalam merancang dan menerapkan kebijakan yang berbasis ilmiah. Karena perundang-undangan anti-narkotika yang berlaku saat ini, terdapat banyak hambatan dalam proses penelitian tentang ganja, baik dari segi medis maupun antropologi.

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