Drugs in the news

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  • Ganja ready for the big times

    Just maybe the Government's decision to decriminalise ganja for medicinal purposes might prove to have been a correct one
    The Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, September 18, 2015

    jamaica-cannabis-leafGoing by the announcement by Canada-based Timeless Herbal Care Limited (THC), Jamaica stands to benefit from a US$100-million deal to develop medical marijuana products here for the international market over the next 10 years. We hope to hear a pronouncement on the investment from the local Ganja Producers and Growers Association which has as one of its laudable objectives the defence of the interest of the hundreds of small ganga growers here. Their fear that the small grower could be pushed out when big businesses take over is not entirely unfounded.

  • The White House blacklisted Bolivia for growing coca while US states sell legal weed

    The US has been quiet about other countries that are possibly running afoul of the UN conventions
    Vice News (US)
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    The US has "decertified" Bolivia over what it calls a failure to comply with the UN drug control conventions, despite recent data showing the country has achieved an unparalleled decrease in coca cultivation compared to other Andean nations in South America. The decision, while widely expected, was roundly criticized by drug policy experts, who called the move hypocritical given that the US may be in contravention of the Conventions due to legalized marijuana markets in several states.

  • Idealistic marijuana growers get suspended jail terms

    By not allowing the safe and responsible production of marijuana, "the court is handing the coffee shops over to organised crime"
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    A couple who grew marijuana ‘by the book’ and informed the tax office about their income have been found guilty of running an illegal plantation and given three month suspended jail sentences on appeal. Last October, a lower court said the couple had always been honest in their dealings with police and justice ministry officials and had acted in the spirit of Dutch soft drugs legislation with regard to public health and public safety. Although they were guilty of running an illegal plantation, they should not face punishment, the court said.

  • Here’s why we hear so many false claims about cannabis

    Scientists often highlight the negative effects of drugs to justify their own source of funding
    David Nutt
    DrugScience (UK)
    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Research on substance use has taught me a major overarching lesson: we are much more likely to demonize drugs for their negative effects than consider their neutral or potentially positive impacts. Or – in scientific terms – there is a built-in bias in the scientific literature, textbooks, and the popular press towards highlighting the negative aspects of drug use. And more ink has been spilled about cannabis than any other drug, perhaps because it’s the most widely used illegal drug and the subject of intense debate concerning its regulation.

  • Dabbing: the ‘cannabis crack’ that makes skunk seem weak

    If smoking a joint is like drinking a pint of beer, doing a dab of concentrated cannabis oil is like necking a quarter pint of vodka. Time for the inevitable tabloid panic?
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, August 31, 2015

    dabbingAs soon as they find out what it is, the tabloids are going to freak out about dabbing. This new technique for getting stoned involves people heating a pinhead of super-concentrated cannabis oil with a blowtorch, then inhaling it through a glass pipe. For detractors, it’s known as “cannabis crack”. Even seasoned smokers are surprised by the strength. Street cannabis has around a 15% concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient. A dab has up to 90%.

  • Region should explore billion-dollar ganja industry, Caricom heads told

    The billion-dollar industry could include research and development and production of medicinal marijuana products
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Monday, August 31, 2015

    The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is considered to have some 'competitive' advantage in the cultivation of the marijuana plant for medicinal purposes and may wish to explore any commercial benefit from a potential multi-billion dollar industry, according to a report now before Caricom heads. The report followed a request by St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and was compiled on behalf of the Caricom Bureau. It has not been officially released but the Jamaica Observer has obtained a copy.

  • Young hands in Mexico feed growing U.S. demand for heroin

    Abusers of prescription pharmaceuticals in America are looking for cheaper highs
    The New York Times (US)
    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    opium-mexicoAs heroin addiction soars in the United States, a boom is underway south of the border, reflecting the two nations’ troubled symbiosis. Officials from both countries say that Mexican opium production increased by an estimated 50 percent in 2014 alone, the result of a voracious American appetite, impoverished farmers in Mexico and entrepreneurial drug cartels that straddle the border. A crackdown on painkiller abuse has made the habit highly expensive. The legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states, has pushed down prices, leading many Mexican farmers to switch crops.

  • Drug sentences rise, while time served for other crimes falls

    A new study finds that drug offenders are serving more time in federal prison while all other sentences are on the decline
    BuzzFeed (US)
    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    pew-prison-graphA Pew study shows that sentences for Americans convicted of federal drug crimes rose 36% — an average of 20 months — in 30 years, while sentences for all other offenders in federal prison declined by 3%. Pew says "the increased imprisonment of drug offenders has helped drive the explosive overall growth of the federal prison system, which held nearly 800 percent more inmates in 2013 than it did in 1980." The jump in inmates has led to huge amounts of increased spending. From 1980 to 2013, federal prison spending increased 595%, from $970 million to more than $6.7 billion.

  • Mexico lost its war on drugs 75 years ago, author claims

    Mexico launched a diplomatic campaign to halt the global trend towards prohibition by addressing the League of Nations about the health benefits of legalisation
    The Independent (UK)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    lazaro-cardenas2Mexico’s drug trade is synonymous with violence, corruption and cartel bosses battling for territory. But it could have been so different, it’s claimed in a new book, had the US not issued an ultimatum 75 years ago which ignited the war on drugs – leading to death and destruction on both sides of the border. Documents in the book reveal that Mexico legalised drugs in 1940, after doctors convinced the then president, Lazaro Cardenas, that prohibition was damaging public health. (See also: The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition)

  • Pioneer pot states have collected more than $200 million in marijuana taxes

    "It turns out government can be pretty good at this"
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    The first two states to legalize recreational marijuana have collectively raked in at least $200 million in marijuana tax revenue, according to the latest tax data -- and they're putting those dollars to good use. In Colorado, after about a year and a half of legal recreational marijuana sales, the state has collected more than $117 million in excise taxes from both the recreational and medical marijuana markets, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Department of Revenue. Washington state got a slower start.

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