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  • The facts about ganja in Jamaica

    Each household is allowed to legally grow no more than five ganja plants on its premises
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    When the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 came into effect on April 15, 2015, new provisions were put in place regarding the possession and smoking of ganja, use of ganja by persons of the Rastafarian faith, and use of ganja for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes. Possession of two ounces or less of ganja is no longer an offence for which one can be arrested, charged and tried in court, and it will not result in a criminal record. The police may issue a ticket to a person in possession of two ounces or less of ganja, similar to a traffic ticket, and the person would have 30 days to pay the sum of $500 (US$4) at any tax office. (See also: Call for Caricom to give ganja green light)

  • Caricom: The people say 'legalise it'

    Caricom's Marijuana Commission was established in 2014
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    caricom marijuana commissionAcross the Caribbean the strongest view expressed about cannabis is that it ought to be decriminalised or legalised, says head of Caricom's Regional Commission on Marijuana, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine. Speaking to reporters after a town meeting in New Providence, in The Bahamas, Antoine said, “[It was an] excellent meeting, very well attended, and my distinct impression is that this is a very important issue for The Bahamas. “… One of the interesting things, too, is what I said in the beginning: that marijuana isn't just about marijuana — it's about so many other social issues, like poverty and equality in a society, and that came out as well, so I was very pleased. But [it was] a very, very powerful meeting, I think.” (See also: Call for Caricom to give ganja green light)

  • New York to look at legalizing recreational marijuana

    Incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has also said he supports legalizing recreational marijuana
    USA Today (US)
    Thursday, January 18, 2017

    New York will study whether it's plausible to legalize marijuana for recreational use as neighboring states move ahead with it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Cuomo called on lawmakers to approve funding for a feasibility study as part of his annual state budget address, in which he laid out his spending proposal for the coming year. The study would examine the effect legalization in Massachusetts, Vermont and possibly New Jersey would have on New York and what types of potential roadblocks could exist if the state were to relax its marijuana laws, particularly as the Trump administration has given prosecutors more leeway to prosecute federal-level marijuana laws. (See also: GOP and Democratic gubernatorial candidates agree: legalize marijuana)

  • Could a medically supervised distribution program be the answer to the opioid crisis?

    We need to think of ways that start to address the root of the problem, which is a change in the drug supply
    Global News (Canada)
    Monday, January 15, 2018

    hydromorphone pillsCanada should develop a regulated program to distribute opioids and prevent deaths if it wants to address the opioid overdose crisis, argues a commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). According to Dr. Mark Tyndall from the B.C. Health Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, the public health response to any poisoning epidemic should be to provide safer alternatives for people at risk. In this case, he says, this would be to provide a regulated supply of pharmaceutical-grade opioids to people who have the highest risk of overdose. Tyndall suggests that provinces roll out medically supervised dispensing of opioids, dispensing of slow-release oral morphine or large-scale dispensing of hydromorphone pills, which he says are inexpensive and available.

  • Marijuana addiction is real, and teenage users are most at risk

    In the rush to legalize marijuana in Canada, medical experts are warning about weed’s alarming side, particularly for younger users
    Maclean's (Canada)
    Monday, January 15, 2018

    canada ottawa cannabisCases of substance-use disorders are exactly what the federal government is hoping to avoid in its push to legalize recreational marijuana, and they may be the biggest test of whether legalization is ultimately successful. They could also prove to be immensely challenging. That it’s even possible to become dependent on cannabis could come as a surprise to many, especially young people. A survey conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), published last year, found that a majority of youth were unaware that cannabis can be addictive and lead to withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana use among young people has declined over the past few years, but Canada still has one of the highest rates in the developed world.

  • Greece set to allow medical cannabis use

    The government last year authorised the import of several pharmaceutical products based on medical marijuana, as well as hemp cultivation for industrial purposes
    AFP (France)
    Sunday, January 14, 2018

    greece cannabis demoGreece's parliament is expected to approve the medical use of cannabis in the coming weeks, a deputy minister said Sunday, adding that the change would attract investment to the country. "In a few weeks' time, an amendment will be brought to parliament to define the legislative framework for the cultivation and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products based on , which will open the way for Greek and foreign investments," deputy agricultural development minister Yannis Tsironis told AFP. Tsironis said the legalisation of medical cannabis could attract investments of 1.5 to 2 billion euros ($1.8 to 2.4 billion), with Greek, Israeli and Canadian companies already expressing interest.

  • Legal marijuana cuts violence says US study, as medical-use laws see crime fall

    Murder and violent crime found to have decreased most in states bordering Mexico as drug cartels lose business to regulation
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, January 14, 2018

    The introduction of medical marijuana laws has led to a sharp reduction in violent crime in US states that border Mexico, according to new research. According to the study, Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime, when a state on the Mexican border legalised medical use of the drug, violent crime fell by 13% on average. Most of the marijuana consumed in the US originates in Mexico, where seven major cartels control the illicit drug trade. The researchers studied data from the FBI’s uniform crime reports and supplementary homicide records covering 1994 to 2012. (See also: Mexico maelstrom: how the drug violence got so bad)

  • On the hunt for poppies In Mexico — America's biggest heroin supplier

    The farmers aren't financed by the cartels. The costs of eradication are absorbed by farmers
    NPR (US)
    Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Mexico's southwestern Guerrero state is now the top source of heroin for the American drug epidemic, which resulted in more than 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, mostly from heroin or other opioids. The Drug Enforcement Administration says 93 percent of heroin analyzed by the agency in 2015 came from Mexico, more than double the amount from five years before. "The farmers are the ones who get exploited most. But if they aren't offered a better alternative, they'll just keep returning to poppy," says Lt. Col. Juan Jose Orzua Padilla. "I'm not justifying it, I just understand their needs."

  • Bahamas contemplates decriminalising marijuana

    CARICOM Regional Commission on Marijuana seeks to determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana thereby making the drug more accessible for all types of usage
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, January 12, 2018

    cannabis plantsA movement is building in the Bahamas to decriminalise marijuana. This follows a town hall meeting held here by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Commission on Marijuana. The initiative is one of several in  Caribbean countries, with some stakeholders eager to join other international communities and embrace the region's marijuana culture. The meeting is part of CARICOM's mandate to ascertain public opinion in CARICOM member-countries on the issue. The Commission was established by CARICOM leaders in 2014 with the objective being to conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean. (See also: Cabinet to discuss marijuana issue)

  • U.S. city mayors stand up for cannabis against Trump crackdown

    Activists say the regulated use of the drug is good for city economies and an important weapon in the fight against an epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, January 12, 2018

    City mayors in the two U.S. states with the oldest legal cannabis industries are leading the pushback against the Trump administration’s announcement of stricter enforcement, saying its regulated use is a boost to city coffers. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era set of guidelines known as the Cole and Ogden memos, which indicated the federal government would not interfere with state cannabis regulations as long as the drug was not marketed to minors, trafficked by cartels, sold across state lines, or cultivated on federal land. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan were the lead authors of a Jan. 10 letter to Sessions from 10 U.S. mayors, including New York City’s Bill de Blasio.

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