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  • Recognized for controversy, Vancouver's former drug czar says the fentanyl crisis requires legalizing heroin

    Accepting the 2017 Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, Donald MacPherson called for local governments to ignore federal narcotics laws and work to end the war on drugs
    The Georgia Straight (Canada)
    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Donald MacPherson“Heroin at your corner store.” That was the title of a speech that Donald MacPherson delivered in acceptance of the 2017 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy. MacPherson argued that to an extent, regional governments can take steps without waiting for Ottawa. “We need to immediately decriminalize possession for personal use. That can be done by instructing the police not to bother anyone for personal possession,” he explained. “I’m hoping the provincial authorities can look into that.” He said the goal should be full legalization, were the government brings the distribution of drugs under its control and regulates supply.

  • The green gold rush: Could Africa be on the verge of a weed race?

    The executive director of the Ghana Standards Authority suggested that state-led cultivation and export of marijuana could generate valuable income
    CNN (US)
    Monday, October 9, 2017

    sa cannabis demoSeveral African governments are considering tapping a lucrative natural resource. More than 10,000 tons of cannabis are produced on the continent each year, according to a UN survey, which advocates believe could be worth billions of dollars in a rapidly expanding global market for legal weed. African governments have not yet followed the trend of legalization seen in Europe and the Americas. But Lesotho's recent announcement of the continent's first legal license to grow marijuana is part of a wider shift toward more liberal policies.

  • New Dutch cabinet to run trials in regulated marijuana production

    The local authorities association VNG also recommended regulated production in 2015
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Sunday, October 8, 2017

    The new cabinet is to sanction experiments with legal marijuana production to be sold in cannabis cafes. Details are still sketchy, but between six and 10 local authority areas will probably be singled out for the experiment, which will lead to council-licenced growers producing marijuana for sale in their own locality. Breda and Eindhoven are among the cities which have already come forward. While officials turn a blind eye to the sale of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, how the drug ends up in licenced coffee shops remains a grey area. Dozens of local authorities have for years argued for licenced production to remove drugs gangs from the entire chain. (See also: Legal cannabis cultivation in Netherlands to test organized crime impact)

  • Is the Philippines violent drug war spreading to Indonesia?

    The war on drugs is popular, even as the bodies pile up
    The Diplomat
    Friday, October 6, 2017

    The Philippine war on drugs, led by President Rodrigo Duterte, has been eviscerated by human rights advocates due to its reliance on extrajudicial killings. Meanwhile, neighboring Indonesia has been much more quietly ramping up its own war on drugs, but here, international attention has been limited outside of two series of high profile executions. But in the past few months, several news outlets have reported that the country’s empowered anti-drug forces have killed alleged drug criminals across the country, another sign that Indonesia is borrowing tactics from it’s neighbor.

  • What a probable Jamaica coalition means for possible cannabis legalisation in Germany

    It is uncertain if either Greens or FDP are willing to make this the hill to die on and spent their limited political capital as junior partners on this issue
    Oxpol (UK)
    Thursday, October 5, 2017

    hanfparade berlin 2016bWith the SPD out of the picture, Merkel will depend on two smaller parties, the Liberal Democrats (FDP) and Green Party (Die Grünen) to form a governing coalition. Such a coalition of CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party is known as Jamaica coalition because of the parties’ colours – black, yellow and green – which can also be found in the Jamaican flag. Even though a coalition of CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party is the most probable next Bundesregierung – which means that two parties that have explicitly called for the legalisation of cannabis will form part of it – the possibility that such a Jamaica coalition will bring about legal ganja in Germany seem rather remote.

  • Will Canada be able to fully legalize and regulate marijuana by July?

    Prime Minister Justin Tredeau vowed to legalize marijuana nationwide by next summer. It hasn’t been that easy
    The Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, October 5, 2017

    Canada is set to become the first industrialized nation to legalize and regulate marijuana from production to consumption by next July, but increasingly, Canadians are wondering: What’s the hurry? The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pressing ahead with legislation to legalize cannabis, a move that a majority of the Canadian public supports. But stakeholders such as police chiefs and psychiatrists are urging caution and even delay, worried that a rush to legalization will encourage consumption among young people and increase the incidence of impaired driving.

  • Alaska voters reject local bans on legalized marijuana by wide margins

    The 2014 statewide initiative that legalized marijuana allows local governments to ban pot businesses within their borders
    The Cannabist (US)
    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    Voters in some parts of Alaska rejected efforts to ban commercial marijuana cultivation and retail sales, three years after the nation’s largest state passed a voter initiative legalizing the recreational use of the drug. The votes came during local elections in the state’s major marijuana growing areas — in and around Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. All lost by wide margins. If the bans had been successful, they would have forced retail stores and cultivation facilities to close within 90 days and that would have left a gaping hole for other retail stores across the state in need of product. Personal use and growing pot at home for that use would still be allowed.

  • Commission makes recommendations for tackling opioid crisis in North America

    The Global Commission has called for drug decriminalization and regulation since its creation in 2011
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    Michel KazatchkineThe Global Commission on Drug Policy has issued recommendations on tackling North America's opioid crisis, calling for the immediate expansion of harm-reduction services, the decriminalization and regulation of currently illicit drugs and an initiative to allow interested cities to de facto decriminalize as federal debates over drug policy continue. The position paper, The Opioid Crisis in North America, comes in advance of the final report of the White House opioid commission, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, due out in November. (See also: Former presidents and prime ministers recommend North American cities ignore drug laws to slow overdose deaths)

  • 'Philippines risks ICC intervention if it snubs human rights recommendations'

    39 UN member-states expressed serious concern over alleged extra-judicial killings occurring amid the President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war
    ABS-CBN News (Philippines)
    Monday, October 2, 2017

    The Philippines risks international erosion of trust in its institutions and the intervention of the International Criminal Court if it doesn't act on the alleged human rights violations raised by other nations, said International Center for Transitional Justice's Reparative Justice Program Director Ruben Carranza. Unless the Philippines shows that it respects human rights and investigates seriously and impartially these deaths, the international court may step in and begin preliminary investigation. The court may then "determine whether individuals in the Philippines, including the President of the Philippines, can be held criminally accountable," he said.

  • Britain is developing a weed café culture under the radar

    Enterprising youths are providing an in-demand product that governments around the globe are regulating and taxing
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, October 2, 2017

    smoking pot2There is bipartisan support for cannabis legalisation among MP’s in the UK. However, the only pro-legalisation party, the Liberal Democrats, failed to increase their share of the vote this year while Labour remain opposed to legalisation although Corbyn has said he’s in favour of decriminalisation for medicinal use. There are reportedly at least six clandestine smoking hot-spots in and around the City of London and it’s a growing trend, although places like this have existed across the UK for years. Many cannabis clubs openly advertise the fact that they sell weed over-the-counter but because they do not attract any trouble, they’re often left alone by the law.

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