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  • It’s time to kick our addiction to the war on drugs

    Expecting the criminal justice system to solve a health crisis does more harm than good
    Stat (US)
    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    As New Jersey Governor Chris Christie takes the lead in crafting the Trump administration’s response to the opioid crisis, he and his colleagues need to understand that we can’t fix the problem until we kick our long-term addiction to the war on drugs and accept overdoses for what they are: a health issue. Although the majority of Americans who consume illicit drugs do so without addiction, opioid overdose has become a deadly reality. Every day, 120 to 140 people in the US die from drug overdoses, more than from gunshot wounds or car accidents. About 90 of these are due to opioids.

  • The No. 1 reason why Trump’s wall won’t fix the drug problem

    Smuggling drugs in cars is far easier than carrying them on the backs of people through a really harsh desert terrain
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Experts on the drug trade say a border wall, even one as big and beautiful as Trump promised, would be near-impotent in stemming the supply of illegal drugs. The primary reason? Drugs that flow across the Southwest border, like heroin, are primarily transported through existing border checkpoints via cars and trucks. Those checkpoints will be there whether the wall gets built or not. Mexican drug cartels “transport the bulk of their drugs over the Southwest border through ports of entry (POEs) using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers,” the DEA writes in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment.

  • Swiss group launches new initiative to legalize cannabis

    Legalize It has long campaigned to legalize the drug but all previous attempts have failed
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Monday, April 24, 2017
    The Swiss public could have another chance to decide if cannabis consumption should be legalized after the group Legalize It launched a popular initiative to that effect.Cannabis is illegal in Switzerland though the law was relaxed in 2013. Instead of facing criminal proceedings, adults caught with ten grams or less of pot can be subjected to a 100-franc spot fine, though that is enforced to varying degrees across the country. This new popular initiative proposes cannabis consumption and production for personal use should be made legal – except for minors – and that its sale should be regulated and taxed by the government, reported the Tages Anzeiger.
  • Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can't NSW legalise cannabis?

    Legalising cannabis is not an issue dominated by the left or the right
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Monday, April 24, 2017

    australia cannabisIn Australia the long arm of the law still has a long reach, waging a war on drugs. Last year, there were more than 26,000 criminal incidents of cannabis possession in NSW. These made up more than half of all drug possession offences and more than all other drugs combined. These failed attempts to wipe out cannabis use continue to drag people through the criminal justice system causing unnecessary harm to them and their families while also wasting limited police resources. Australian National University's 30-year election study published this year found less than a third of people support the current system of criminalisation.

  • Charge Rodrigo Duterte with mass murder, lawyer tells The Hague

    The court may take cases only under certain conditions, including when a nation’s own judicial system is unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, April 24, 2017

    Filipino lawyer Jude Josue Sabio asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to charge President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the killings of thousands of people. Sabio said in a 77-page complaint that Duterte was the “mastermind” of a campaign that has killed more than 9,400 people, mostly poor young men, since 1988, when Mr. Duterte was first elected mayor of Davao City. The court has the authority to accept cases brought by individuals as well as by nations and the United Nations Security Council. (See also: Why not decriminalize drug use? VP urges gov’t to study Portugal move Why do many young, liberal Filipinos support Duterte’s drug war?)

  • ‘An awful lot of expertise’

    Black market marijuana growers shouldn’t be shut out of legal market, says task force chair
    The Financial Post (Canada)
    Monday, April 24, 2017

    Black market marijuana growers should be included in the legal market as they can provide valuable expertise as it evolves, Anne McLellan, chair of the federal government’s task force on legalization, said. The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, whose recommendations were broadly adopted in the government’s proposed Cannabis Act, concluded that previous criminal convictions during marijuana’s century of prohibition “shouldn’t be an automatic bar to them coming into the legal system.” The task force’s November report called on the federal government to set up a system that allows various-sized producers to participate, including independent and craft growers.

  • Too much ‘dilly dallying’ around ganja issue, says minister

    No public official should be allowed to stand in the way of the industry’s careful development
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, April 21, 2017

    As the debate over the legalisation of ganja for medical use heats up, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley has thrown down the gauntlet to his colleagues to speed up the process. Dr Wheatley told the House of Representatives that there was too much “dilly dallying” around the issue. “We have to take a conscious decision where we want to go, as it relates to medical marijuana,” he said. “It is either that we support it or we are going to just sit by and let it pass by. We have to start leading from the front because we have a crop with significant medicinal nutraceutical value, which is lying idle because we are not serious in relation to the direction in which we would like to go with medical marijuana,” the minister said.

  • World Cannabis Day: ‘Flying leaves’ defy stigma to soar to new heights

    South China Morning Post (China)
    Friday, April 21, 2017

    Ironically, in Asia where cannabis cultivation first began, cannabis laws remain the strictest. China will probably be the last country to relax such laws because of its painful history with drug use. But even here, the story is not straightforward. China is by far the world’s largest cultivator of industrial cannabis, or hemp, and a leading researcher on the medicinal use of cannabis, accounting for more than half of the patents filed globally last year. In 1985, China became a signatory of the International Drug Control Conventions. Under the heavy influence of the US, cannabis was included as one of the major banned plants. The Chinese government followed suit and started to crack down on marijuana.

  • Support for marijuana legalization at all-time high

    Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal
    CBS News (US)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal, a five-point increase from last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll. Eighty-eight percent favor medical marijuana use. Seventy-one percent oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and its use in states that have legalized it, including opposition from most Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Sixty-five percent think marijuana is less dangerous than most other drugs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asserted a connection between marijuana and violent crime, but few Americans see it that way: just 23 percent think legalizing pot increases violent crime.

  • Six things to know about weed in Germany

    As of the 2017 law, medical marijuana can be prescribed for seriously ill patients
    The Local (Germany)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    There's long been talk of fully legalizing cannabis in Germany, especially in the capital of Berlin. But how close is Deutschland actually to making marijuana mainstream? The debate about legalizing cannabis continues in Germany - the Bundestag (German parliament) in January 2017 passed a law to officially legalize medical marijuana. But that doesn't make things any more lax for recreational smokers. The amount that an individual can possess without generally being prosecuted varies across the 16 states. Here's a look at the basic facts.

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