• Poland: Cannabis for everyone?

    Poland has some of Europe's most restrictive drug laws. But lax medical marijuana rules have healthy people lining up for prescriptions
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, November 23, 2022

    poland cannabisThe distribution and use of cannabis for medical purposes became legal in Poland in 2017. By 2021, doctors across Poland were writing roughly 3,000 marijuana prescriptions a month. But how many monthly prescriptions go to patients who really need medical marijuana, and how many to others faking illness in order to gain access to cannabis? "That's hard to say," explains Andrzej Dolecki, chairman of the Free Hemp movement, one of the oldest organizations in the fight for the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in Poland. "Rules for medical cannabis are very liberal, not because politicians designed them that way but because of their amateurism." (See also: Polish activists advocate for cannabis legalisation)

  • High hurdles face Germany's cannabis legalization plans

    The German government is moving towards legalizing marijuana, creating an entirely new industry in the country. But the effort faces significant challenges, including European law
    Der Spiegel (Germany)
    Tuesday, November 22, 2022

    germany cannabis flagThe legalization of cannabis is a prestige project for the current coalition government. Berlin doesn't just intend to decriminalize the substance, but also wants to regulate its cultivation and distribution, to change regulations on legal limits for driving and, to advance health and youth protection regulations. However, there are doubts in Brussels as to whether the German plans are consistent with EU regulations. Current EU law requires member states to criminalize all activities relating to the trafficking of cannabis – from production to preparation and distribution to sale. The Commission has also hinted at a loophole: EU law does not lay down any requirements for the personal use of cannabis; that is a matter for the member states. Whether that is broad enough to get the green light from Brussels for the entire legalization plan is questionable.

  • Activists fear medical cannabis companies want in on recreational market

    MaltaToday understands that a medical cannabis company has already reached out to the government over its intention to “know the way forward” on recreational cannabis
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Monday, November 21, 2022

    malta reform nowEstablished medical cannabis companies could be looking to set their foot in Malta’s flegdling recreational cannabis market, according to sources. Releaf, the NGO that led the campaign to legalise recreational cannabis, fear that the sacking of the Authority for Responsible Use of Cannabis’s first director could lead to the dealer-driven black economy for cannabis poised for a takeover “an equally profit-driven market run by a few friends in high places”. Mariella Dimech was sacked after 10 months in the job, with not one single licence for the non-profit cannabis ‘clubs’ having yet been issued. Dimech complained that she had been left without a functional office, staff, budget or political strategy with which to carry out her job. (See also: McKay appointment a ‘direct insult to the spirit of the law’, says Releaf Malta)

  • New York has $750m worth of cannabis stockpiled that growers can’t sell

    Cannabis farmers have ‘an unclear path to market’ as the state has yet to approve retail dispensaries
    The Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, November 19, 2022

    us ny cannabisA strong smell of weed hangs over many New York neighbourhoods, the result in part of cannabis decriminalization in 2019 – but cannabis growers in the state are at an impasse when it comes to getting their crops to market. Almost 300,000 pounds of the drug, worth as much as $750m, from last summer’s production at 200 state-licensed farms are stockpiled, without a place to be sold and in danger of deteriorating, according to a Bloomberg report. Distribution issues are to blame. Although the New York City has vape shops selling marijuana and CBD products on almost every street, and there are mobile weed vans on Times Square, New York’s office of cannabis management has yet to approve retail dispensaries. (See also: New York approves firms to build first social equity marijuana dispensary storefronts days before key regulators meeting)

  • Anutin calls for patience as debate over hemp bill drags on

    With the new ministerial announcement in place, the control of recreational cannabis use will slightly improve while the country waits for the cannabis and hemp law
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Thursday, November 17, 2022

    thailand anutinA new announcement categorising flowers or buds of the cannabis plant as "controlled herbs" is a temporary measure to curb the proliferation of recreational cannabis use in Thailand while the deliberation of the bill on cannabis and hemp continues to drag on, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said. This latest announcement is only one of the many small legal measures being used to control the recreational use of cannabis that has increased rapidly following the decriminalisation of cannabis in June. The problem of the increasing recreational use of cannabis continues while Thailand waits for the cannabis and hemp bill -- an all-in-one legal mechanism to ensure better control of cannabis use in the country and limit it to medicinal purposes -- to be passed into law.

  • Study examines if CBD buffers THC’s effects

    Little evidence shows that CBD can reduce adverse effects of cannabis and THCLittle evidence shows that CBD can reduce adverse effects of cannabis and THC
    High Times (US)
    Wednesday, November 16, 2022

    girl smoking potA study published in Neuropsychology attempted to determine if CBD reduces the adverse effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory loss, but found little evidence to support this theory. Study participants were observed and both pleasurable effects as well as adverse effects like paranoia and memory recall were recorded. The study, called “Does cannabidiol make cannabis safer? A randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial of cannabis with four different CBD:THC ratios” aimed to determine if increasing the amount of CBD can reduce the “harmful effects” of cannabis—notably from THC. The study also suggests that people who report better effects from CBD:THC products say so because they consume less THC rather than any buffering effects from CBD. (See also: Cannabis not made safer by increasing its CBD content)

  • A tale of marijuana charlatans, corruption, collusion and exploitation

    Some businesses, both large and small – and even regulators – are bending logic to fit their needs, if not greed
    Daily Maverick (South Africa)
    Wednesday, November 16, 2022

    Through manipulating trust and exploiting public ignorance, cannabis charlatans – new and old – are trying to construct corporate empires, some of which appear to be based on corruption, collusion and exploitation. Without transparency, credibility and integrity from the get-go, the equitable growth and sustainability of the South African cannabis community stands to be sacrificed purely for the sake of profit. In 2018 the Constitutional Court ruled that the prohibition of cultivating, possessing and consuming cannabis in private in South Africa was unconstitutional. Since then, much has been happening around cannabis. Unfortunately, the bulk of this action has been based on a misunderstanding of what both the new and developing laws mean, creating a great deal of uncertainty.

  • Why Colombia should fully legalize cocaine

    Both Gustavo Petro and Joe Biden misunderstand how supply and demand work. A more radical approach is needed to reduce drug-related crime
    Foreign Policy (US)
    Tuesday, November 15, 2022

    cocaine seizedColombia’s war on drugs dominated the headlines of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s October visit to Bogotá. Michael Crowley, a diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, wrote of policy splits between the Biden administration and Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, regarding their divergent views on the war on drugs. Although they do diverge, both stances on the drug war have more similarities than differences—and they are both wrong, as they are oblivious to the drug trade’s market dynamics. The White House has reinforced the traditional strategy of trying to make the price of cocaine so expensive that U.S. consumers won’t want to buy it. Petro has correctly condemned the drug war for its failures, but his critique has amounted to mere posturing, with no plan to recognize the inescapable facts of market forces.

  • Cannabis authority chair sacked after 10 months

    Mariella Dimech says she disagreed with the 'political strategy' and was fired
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Friday, November 11, 2022

    Mariella DimechPsychotherapist Mariella Dimech has been sacked from her position as executive chairperson of the new cannabis authority on the responsible use of cannabis. Dimech said she was informed by the Home Affairs ministry that her post was being terminated with immediate effect. "Over the last 10 months, I have worked with no functional office, no staff, no budget and a political strategy and decision strategy I disagreed with," she said. She was appointed earlier this year and her term was meant to last three years. Leonid McKay, the former director of Caritas, is expected to be appointed to head the cannabis authority. Malta legalised the cultivation and possession of cannabis at the end of 2021, becoming the first EU country to do so. (See also: Cannabis authority head removed after 10 months, says she disagreed with political strategy)

  • Weed is now legal in Thailand. How long will the high times last?

    Cannabis shops have multiplied since the drug was decriminalized, with caveats, in June. But some lawmakers are pushing for tighter regulation
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, November 10, 2022

    thailand cannabis costumeThailand’s military government is carrying out an experiment: What happens when a country in Asia, a region where drug laws tend to be harsh, essentially legalizes marijuana overnight? In the first few months, lots of people have opened weed dispensaries, and their customers have smoked a lot of weed. Thailand’s marijuana industry has a joyful, freewheeling vibe on a street level. But the high times may not last. Sprawling draft legislation, which is expected to move through Parliament in the coming weeks, will seek to regulate legal gray areas around the cultivation, sale and consumption of the drug. It could become law as early as next year. (See also: MPs slam Bhumjaithai's weed bill)

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