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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  • 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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  • Regulating Cannabis Social Clubs

    A comparative analysis of legal and self-regulatory practices in Spain, Belgium and Uruguay
    Tom Decorte, Mafalda Pardal, Rosario Queirolo, Maria Fernanda Boidi, Constanza Sánchez Avilés, Òscar Parés Franquero
    International Journal of Drug Policy
    Volume 43, Pages 44–56
    May 2017 (Published online: February 10, 2017)

    Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) are a model of non-profit production and distribution of cannabis among a closed circuit of adult cannabis users. CSCs are now operating in several countries around the world, albeit under very different legal regimes and in different socio-political contexts. In this paper we describe and compare the legal framework and the self-regulatory practices of Cannabis Social Clubs in three countries (Spain, Belgium, and Uruguay). The objective of our comparative analysis is to investigate how CSCs operate in each of these countries. To foster discussions about how one might regulate CSCs to promote public health objectives, we conclude this paper with a discussion on the balance between adequate governmental control and self-regulatory competences of CSCs.

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  • Ten scientific studies from 2016 showing marijuana is safe and effective

    The year has seen another mountain of marijuana research, and there's a lot of good news
    Alternet (US)
    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    While no psychoactive substance is completely harmless, modern science continues to prove that cannabis is one of the safer and more effective therapeutic agents available. Here’s a look back at some of the most significant marijuana-centric studies published over the past year. The cumulative use of cannabis by adolescents has no ill effect on intelligence, according to longitudinal data published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Investigators concluded: "In the largest longitudinal examination of marijuana use and IQ change, ... we find little evidence to suggest that adolescent marijuana use has a direct effect on intellectual decline.”

  • Getting regulation right

    Assessing Uruguay's historic cannabis initiative
    Geoff Ramsey
    Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
    November 2016

    After close to three years, the final element of Uruguay’s historic cannabis law is set to be implemented in the coming weeks, as commercial sales are expected to begin soon. While advancements have been slow and deliberate, Uruguay is not alone in taking such a cautious approach. The U.S. state of Maryland, for instance, approved a medical cannabis program in 2013, but a series of careful adjustments has postponed sales until 2017.

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  • Highs and lows in cannabis policy reform

    Recent developments in cannabis regulation

    Cannabis is the most widely produced and consumed illicit substance globally. A significant number of states have long engaged in soft defection from the UN drug control regime in relation to tolerant policies on the personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis. Recently, there has been growing debate within political circles on the benefits of regulated cannabis markets. This has been driven by a number of factors, including the continuing illegality of supply, the associated and often violent involvement of criminal elements and the use of finite criminal justice resources. In this section you will find an overview of our most recent blogs on the issue.

    Latest: Silver linings: U.S. State votes to legalize cannabis boost reform opportunities in the Americas, John Walsh, November 10, 2016

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  • Cannabis and Cannabis Resin

    Pre-Review Report
    H. Valerie Curran, Philip Wiffen, David J. Nutt & Willem Scholten
    DrugScience
    October 2016

    The scheduling under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs assumes a scientific justification. However, cannabis and cannabis resin have never been evaluated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) since it was mandated the review of psychoactive substances in 1948. The last evaluation for the international substance control conventions were therefore when the League of Nations evaluated them in 1924 and 1935. In 80 years since that decision, both the social context of cannabis use and the science of drug dependence have dramatically changed.

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  • Cannabis in Latin America and the Caribbean

    From punishment to regulation
    Alejandro Corda and Mariano Fusero
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 48
    September 2016

    Cannabis (or marihuana) is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. According to the United Nations World Drug Report, 183 million people, or 3.8% of the world’s population, used cannabis in 2014. Its cultivation was also reported by 129 countries. Cannabis is subject to the United Nations System for International Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereafter “drugs”) and is the most widely consumed of all the drugs. According to that control system, cannabis is among the substances with the strictest legal status; they are the most prohibited, supposedly because of the harm they cause and their lack of medical usefulness.

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