Drugs in the news

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  • Most Canadians want pot laws relaxed, poll shows

    Seven out of ten Canadians polled in a survey for the Department of Justice said they support decriminalization or legalization of marijuana
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    A strong majority of Canadians think the federal government should either legalize marijuana or decriminalize the possession of small amounts, according to a Department of Justice poll, kept secret by the Conservatives for months. Of the 3,000 respondents, 37.3 per cent said the government should legalize marijuana, while 33.4 per cent said the possession of small amounts should be decriminalized. Only 13.7 per cent of respondents supported the status quo, while 12 per cent said they believe Ottawa should impose harsher penalties.

  • The WHO calls for decriminalisation

    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    whoJamaica, Uruguay, Colorado, Washington—more and more places are rebelling against the UN conventions that established the criminalisation of narcotics half a century ago. But the latest organisation to weigh in against the UN’s line is rather surprising. It is a branch of the UN itself. The report, Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, published by the World Health Organisation, an agency of the United Nations, makes a discreet but clear call to decriminalise drugs. And not just cannabis—the report goes as far as recommending the decriminalisation of injecting drugs, which implies the harder sort.

  • Owner of massive cannabis café cleared of most charges on appeal

    The judges said they were surprised the public prosecution department had even begun legal proceedings in the case
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    The owner of the coffeeshop Checkpoint has been found not guilty of most of the charges against him by Amsterdam’s appeal court. The court said the prosecution had not proved Checkpoint had knowingly broken the rules. Checkpoint is guilty of having too much cannabis on the premises but this does not merit a prison sentence, the court said in a statement, since the authorities had encouraged the coffeeshop's growth and must have understood that it needed large volumes of drugs to meet demand. This is the second ruling this month in which judges have refused to jail coffeeshop owners for breaking guidelines.

  • Les Cannabis social clubs peinent à raviver la flamme

    Rue 89/Le Novel Observateur (France)
    Lundi, 14 juillet 2014

    Depuis la dissolution le 20 juin 2013 de la fédération des Cannabis social clubs par le tribunal de grande instance de Tours (Indre-et-Loire), les groupes vivent dans la clandestinité. Alors qu’on pourrait croire que la répression les aurait conduits à l’explosion, les Cannabis clubs continuent d’exister, comme si de rien n’était ou presque. « La dissolution n’a pas changé grand-chose, elle nous a permis de mieux nous organiser », affirme Dominique Broc. Pourtant cette opération de cannabis clubs a un petit côté pétard mouillé.

  • Senators want minister's answers on marijuana supply issues

    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Monday, July 14, 2014

    The senate has written to justice minister Ivo Opstelten summoning him to explain what he is doing to deal with the problem of illegal marijuana production in the Netherlands. Opstelten and home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk will be grilled by senators in September about the grey area between sanctioned sales in cannabis cafes and the supply side. In the letter from the senate’s justice committee, senators state that Opstelten has not changed his position, despite being urged to do so by over half of the country’s mayors.

  • DEA may be losing the war on marijuana politics

    Many lawmakers think marijuana should no longer be classified among the most dangerous drugs
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    fire-michele-leonhartThe Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found itself under attack in Congress as it holds its ground against marijuana legalization while the resolve of longtime political allies — and the White House and Justice Department to which it reports — rapidly fades. How much the agency's stock has fallen was readily apparent in the House debate, when Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) denounced the agency's longtime chief.

  • The great pot experiment

    Legalising a drug is harder than it looks
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    map-us-cannabis-0714On July 8th Washington became the second state after Colorado to offer recreational pot-smokers a chance to buy weed legally at a local store. Marijuana is still illegal in most of America. But there are substantial activities towards more liberal policies. In 23 states the medicinal use of marijuana is allowed and more states are considering legalisation. Oregon and Alaska will vote on legalisation in November; Floridians will decide on permitting medical use. President Barack Obama has chosen to take a hand’s-off approach to the issue of legalisation in Washington and Colorado. Yet if a drug hawk were to succeed President Obama in 2016, a clampdown on pot could well be revived.

  • Catalan cannabis club chiefs held for money laundering

    At least four top members of marijuana association federation arrested in police probe
    El País (Spain)
    Friday, July 11, 2014

    airamThe heads of Fedcac, an umbrella group for Catalonia’s cannabis clubs, have been arrested on charges of money laundering. The vast amounts of money made by these allegedly non-profit associations – in the order of €5 million a month – had raised the suspicions of police. Catalonia has around 400 cannabis clubs with 165,000 members – half of them in Barcelona. “We are seeing a contradictory message whereby we are asked to cooperate on the issue of regulation, yet at the same time we are prevented from conducting our activities normally through periodic police raids,” said Fedcac in a release.

  • Marijuana clubs rise out of decades-old Spanish laws

    Government officials worry that Barcelona’s members-only cannabis clubs are becoming a magnet for marijuana tourism
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    cannabis-club-barcelonaThe number of cannabis clubs that have opened in Barcelona recently has some experts saying this city will soon challenge Amsterdam as the go-to destination for vacationers who want to get high in peace. In the last three years, new clubs have opened, particularly in tourist areas, in many cases circumventing the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. About 300 new cannabis clubs have opened in Barcelona and the surrounding Catalan region, a result, at least in part, of enterprising Spaniards looking for new ways to earn a living.

  • Uruguay legal cannabis sale delayed to next year, says president

    BBC News (UK)
    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has said the start of legal cannabis sales will be delayed until next year due to "practical difficulties". Sales in state-owned pharmacies were due to begin as early as November. But in an interview with the AFP news agency, Mujica said government-produced marijuana could end up in the illegal market if implementation of the law was rushed. Note: Government denies delay (in Spanish), see also Uruguay may delay marijuana sales, or maybe not.

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