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  • Is Spain becoming Europe's cannabis garden?

    It seems that most of the production is exported out of Spain and sold in other cannabis markets for example in France, in the UK, maybe in Sweden…
    Euronews (Spain)
    Monday, June 12, 2017

    Cannabis production in Spain has grown significantly in recent years with more than 300,000 plants seized in 2015. Marijuana labs are believed to be operated by organized groups who want to export to northern Europe. Spain has long been considered as Europe’s point of entry for cannabis resin, also known as hashish, coming in from Morocco. But now it’s also increasing its own marijuana production to satisfy local and external demand. Seizures of cannabis plants grew by 53.6% between 2013 and 2014 and an extra 40.3% the next year.

  • More fentanyl being found in MDMA, crystal meth in Victoria

    Downtown pharmacy testing street drugs for fentanyl free for users
    Victoria News (Canada)
    Monday, June 12, 2017

    When Victoria pharmacist Alain Vincent began testing local street drugs for the presence of fentanyl, he knew it would be found in heroin. He was surprised to find the oft-deadly additive present in other drugs that users have brought in for free analysis by pharmacists at STS Pain Pharmacy, however, and is concerned about the trend. Recent test results indicate that fentanyl is increasingly being found in MDMA, cocaine and crystal meth. Of the samples submitted of late, Vincent said fentanyl has been found a dozen or so times in MDMA and seven in cocaine and crystal meth.

  • Recreational marijuana sales start July 1 in Nevada

    Establishments applying for retail licenses were required to submit applications by the end of May
    The Spectrum (US)
    Monday, June 12, 2017

    As the Silver State enacts the will of its voters — Nevadans approved recreational marijuana with 54 percent of the vote on Question 2 last November — it will initially be done in limited fashion allowing only existing medical marijuana establishments who are found to be in good standing and operational to sell recreational marijuana on July 1. By early 2018, the Nevada Department of Taxation, the state’s recreational marijuana governing entity, will reopen the application process as regulations become more permanent. As the state and its existing medical marijuana establishments gear up to sell marijuana legally, municipalities are left to sort out the details.

  • Could Thailand, which gave world the bong, legalise cannabis for medicinal use?

    After failed war on drugs, attitudes have softened
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Thaksin Shinawatra considered legalising marijuana, and recently a justice minister aired same idea, amid mounting evidence of its medicinal benefits. If it happened, it could be a game changer for drug policy in Southeast Asia. In 2016, Thailand’s then justice minister, Paiboon Koomchaya, declared the war on drugs lost. Legalising cannabis was one of his proposed solutions. The idea was that legal mild highs would dissuade users from experimenting with harder drugs. Some hope such an approach will also make the country healthier and attract more medical tourism.

  • Pot legislation does not fail Canada’s youth. A criminal record does

    The rationale for legalization is not solely about individual-level health outcomes as potential “harms,” but also the social and legal harms associated with criminalization and prohibition
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Saturday, June 10, 2017

    The Canadian Medical Association Journal released an editorial criticizing the government’s approach to the protection of youth in the proposed Cannabis Act. The editorial took issue with the Act’s mandated minimum age of at least 18. It argued that the minimum age should be raised to 21 and use restricted until age 25, concluding with: “If Parliament truly cares about the public health and safety of Canadians, especially our youth, this bill will not pass.” This is part of an ongoing narrative which misrepresents what it means to take a “public health approach” to drug regulation. Fundamental to a public health approach is an emphasis on the costs of having a criminal record for cannabis possession for young Canadians.

  • Uruguay sets path for Canada on marijuana legalization within international treaties

    Canada and Uruguay must comply with three United Nations drug-control treaties, to which each is a party
    The Canadian Press (Canada)
    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    Uruguay‘s envoy to Ottawa says his small South American country has opened up some breathing room for marijuana legalization within international treaties that have outlawed recreational pot for decades. Uruguay's ambassador Martin Vidal says the challenging task has forced Uruguay to put its international credibility on the line – but he insists there have been small signs of movement. “We see not that the tide is turning, but the international community’s allowing this issue to be part of the discussion,” Vidal said at Uruguay’s embassy in Ottawa. Vidal credits his country, the first to legalize recreational cannabis at a national level, as something of a trailblazer for countries like Canada that are planning to embark on the same path.

  • Drug deaths in America are rising faster than ever

    New data compiled from hundreds of health agencies reveals the extent of the drug overdose epidemic last year
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, June 5, 2017

    us drug deathsDrug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times. The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. Although the data is preliminary, the Times’s best estimate is that deaths rose 19 percent over the 52,404 recorded in 2015. And all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017.

  • Toronto's public health chief wants pot possession decriminalized now

    Unless the federal government acts, young Canadians will be disproportionately affected
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Monday, June 5, 2017

    Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health wants Ottawa to immediately decriminalize possession of recreational pot until legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis comes into force in July 2018. “Given that cannabis possession will soon be lawful in Canada, it is recommended that the Board of Health urge the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of non-medical cannabis for personal use,” says a new report by Dr. Eileen de Villa. Her report on approaches “to protect health and minimize harms of use” notes how the criminalization of cannabis use and possession impacts the social determinants of health.

  • Filipinos flee Duterte’s violent drug crackdown

    The Roman Catholic Church has vocally opposed Mr. Duterte’s deadly campaign
    The New York Times (US)
    Sunday, June 4, 2017

    Every morning before dawn, Rosario Perez checks to make sure her sons are still alive. The three brothers, all in their 20s, sleep at the houses of friends and relatives, moving regularly, hoping that whoever may have been assigned to kill them won’t catch up with them. They are not witnesses on a mob hit list, or gang members hiding from rivals. They are simply young men living in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte. Residents are cobbling together strategies to hide and survive. Many young men are staying indoors, out of sight. Others have fled the urban slums, where most of the killings occur, and are camping out on farms or lying low in villages in the countryside. (See also: Neuroscientist Carl Hart says 'infant thinking' drives Philippines meth war)

  • What a regulated UK cannabis market might mean for business

    Nick Clegg has warned of the risks of 'unfettered commercialisation', but how could the UK build a model that works for both small and large enterprises?
    The Independent (UK)
    Friday, June 2, 2017

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg claimed that legalising cannabis in the UK would improve public health, but warned of the “risks of unfettered commercialisation”. In doing so, Mr Clegg highlighted the potential tension between building a model that works for health and one that works for business. So what might that model look like and what could it mean for UK business? Key policy areas include price controls, taxation policy, licensing of production for retailers and the regulation of vendors themselves.

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