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  • Malta Government and opposition parties call for debate, with a view to legalising and regulating cannabis

    'Legalisation of recreational marijuana would not be a free-for-all'
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    malta legalize 2012A Labour government would initiate discussions on the use of cannabis for recreational use in Malta, eventually leading to its regularisation and taking it out of the hands of drug traffickers, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The Labour Party is not alone in calling for a national discussion on the regularisation of cannabis. Both the Nationalist Party and the Partit Demokratiku are calling for a debate, seemingly making the three parties in favour of legalising recreational cannabis. Opposition leader Simon Busuttil called for a discussion based on scientific research, which would in turn provide an informed decision on its possible implementation.

  • Uruguayan pharmacies will start selling cannabis

    Will they drive street dealers out of business?
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    uruguay registroOn the outskirts of Libertad, a small town an hour’s drive from Montevideo, barbed wire and guard towers surround a ten-hectare plot of state-owned land. Inside, greenhouses shelter thousands of marijuana plants. These belong to ICC and Simbiosys, the two firms licensed by Uruguay’s government to grow cannabis for recreational use. Uruguayans will soon be able to sample their product. Since May 2nd they have been able to register at the post office as prospective customers for the corporate weed, which will be sold through pharmacies from July. (See also: Uruguay is creating the world’s first nationwide regulated cannabis market)

  • Bob Marley, ganja and the green stuff – is selling Brand Jamaica just a pipe dream?

    Decades of debt are pushing Jamaica to cash in on its most famous exports, but small farmers fear losing out in the rush to market medicinal marijuana
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    When Bob Marley and the Wailers first performed Get Up, Stand Up to a restive 1970s Jamaica, never could they have guessed that the government would be cashing in on their lyrics, their Rastafarianism and even their spliffs 40 years later. But decades of debt, coupled with a crippling austerity package instituted by the International Monetary Fund, means that nearly everything that makes Jamaica famous today is up for sale. “They look at the American model and intend to use that in Jamaica, and that is why the farmers – who are the real ganja farmers – are not part of the process. You can’t just go into the bush and plant anything and say it’s for medicinal marijuana use: it has to be up to standard, and cost is one of the big issues.”

  • Let’s learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers

    It is just as important to discuss how cannabis is going to legalised as it is whether it is going to be legalised
    Volteface (UK)
    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    regulations marijuanaCountries around the world are moving towards a legally regulated cannabis market. But what can we learn from them about the implications of cannabis legalisation? What are the different models available to those looking to draft legislation? What mistakes have been made by the pioneers in this area? These are questions that are addressed in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The journal contains a variety of articles and studies examining specific consequences of cannabis policy reform, from levels of consumption to pesticide regulations. The editorial, entitled ‘Advancing knowledge on cannabis policy, using evidence from North America’ gives background to the debate and offers a neat synthesis of the content of the journal.

  • Baltimore homicide detectives to begin investigating drug overdoses

    Prosecutors across the state say they lack the tools to charge such cases
    The Baltimore Sun (US)
    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Baltimore Police have begun investigating overdoses in an effort to trace drugs back to dealers, joining a wave of Maryland law enforcement agencies showing up at 911 calls previously left to medics. A task force of five detectives will operate out of the homicide unit, responding when possible to fatal and non-fatal overdose scenes. "Thirty years of drug criminalization has overflowed our prisons and devastated our black and brown communities, but has reduced neither the drug trade nor consumption," Bergstein told legislators during testimony during the General Assembly session against the bill that targeted the drug dealers.

  • New medical marijuana prescription approved in Sweden

    A prescription means that all other medicine and treatments have previously been tried and that they did not give the desired effect
    The Local (Sweden)
    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    A further person has been granted a licence to use marijuana for medical purposes in Sweden three months after an historic decision from the country's Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) to allow the first prescriptions of the drug in the country. The first two Swedish licences to use parts of the cannabis plants to relieve chronic pain were granted last February, and since then there have been ten further applications. One of those has now been approved.The licences allow patients to use cannabis in the form of Dutch medical marijuana strain Bediol. The applications must be written by a doctor and cannot be submitted by a private individual.

  • ASEAN facing ‘massive’ drug menace, says Duterte

    Some Asean leaders expressed support for Duterte and his drug war in Manila
    The Inquirer (Philippines)
    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    President Rodrigo Duterte warned Southeast Asian leaders on Saturday they were facing a “massive” illegal drug menace that could destroy their societies, as he called for a united response. Duterte, who has faced international condemnation for his crackdown on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives, also insisted that outsiders should not interfere in Southeast Asia’s affairs. “With political will and cooperation, it can be dismantled. It can be destroyed before it destroys our societies.” Duterte urged the leaders to be “resolute in realizing a drug-free Asean.” (See also: Duterte opens ASEAN Summit with call for regional anti-drug campaign)

  • Early marijuana sales ‘unbelievably high’ after legalization: U.S. consultant

    Colorado’s marijuana industry churned out nearly US$2.4-billion in economic activity in 2015
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    A U.S. consultant hired by Ottawa to assess Canada’s eventual recreational pot market says jurisdictions that regulate cannabis should expect “unbelievably high” sales growth in the first few years as criminals are driven out of business. Adam Orens, a founding partner of the Marijuana Policy Group, said he is not yet authorized to discuss his findings on the future Canadian pot market because his organization is under contract with Health Canada. However, a look at the group’s estimates for Colorado’s regulated cannabis industry suggests Canada can expect its own sector to generate billions of dollars per year in direct and indirect economic activity.

  • Spice ruins lives and costs taxpayers a fortune. It doesn’t have to be this way

    Antidotes to these dangerous, destructive synthetic drugs are desperately needed. But the government is standing in the way of their development
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, April 28, 2017

    spice3Spice-induced “zombie” outbreaks in New York and in Manchester have hit the headlines in the past year. Use of these new damaging and powerful forms of synthetic cannabinoids is rife in our prisons and by homeless people, with estimates of up to 50 deaths last year. They can produce extremely strong psychotic states often with very violent behaviour. Sometimes a frozen unconscious state results. Either of these outcomes are health emergencies that consume vast amounts of police, prison officer and health professionals time, and so waste a huge amount of public money. The authorities’ focus on herbal cannabis use is the main reason for spice emerging in the UK.

  • Drug controls are 'absolutely pathetic,' activist says regulation will save lives

    The cost of not making changes to update and modernize our drug laws has cost thousands of citizens across the country their lives
    CBC (Canada)
    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    A Vancouver based drug policy researcher has been working for decades to get the federal government to regulate illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. Don MacPherson authored the groundbreaking Four Pillars Approach to Drug Problems in Vancouver in 2001 — calling for this kind of regulation. Now, 16 years later, and in the midst of a year-long public health emergency in B.C. centred around overdose deaths, MacPherson continues to try to convince politicians that this is the only way out of the overdose crisis. "It's clear that every thing we are doing is not working. It's absolutely pathetic that we can not move beyond this paradigm that we have supported for so many years and at the cost of so many lives." (See also: And the band played on: Overdoses, death and a resistance to change)

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