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  • In Duterte’s footsteps, Hun Sen launches a drug war

    Cambodia's new war on drugs aims to blunt a spike in addiction and trafficking, but critics see a publicity stunt ahead of crucial provincial elections
    Asia Times
    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Cambodia’s newly launched war on drugs is in full swing, with nearly 3,000 people arrested in the campaign’s first month of crime-busting. Authorities claim they have confiscated over 9kg of illegal drugs in busts on dealers and users, with more than half the haul being crystal methamphetamine, one of the country’s most prevalent and abused narcotics. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government announced the campaign in December shortly after a state visit by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has made global waves through his violent execution of an anti-drugs drive that has seen more than 7,000 deaths. (See also: Indonesians fear Duterte-style assassinations, drug war)

  • Peru's Government proposes to legalise medical marijuana

    President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski says plan stems from Lima police raid on house where group of parents were found growing marijuana to make oil to treat children's epilepsy
    The Independent (UK)
    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Peru's government says it will present to the opposition-dominated legislature a plan to legalise the medical use of marijuana “for the treatment of serious and terminal illnesses.” President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's administration said the plan was developed after police raided a house in a Lima neighborhood where a group of parents grew marijuana to make oil for treating their children suffering from epilepsy and other diseases. Officials say that trafficking and use of marijuana for other purposes would remain a crime under the proposal.

  • Marijuana, made in Italy

    Italian military dope has less THC but more CBD, compared to its street-bought equivalent
    The Local (Italy)
    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The first batches of made-in-Italy pot have just arrived in pharmacies. Its production is just one of the activities of the military's 164-year-old chemical and pharmaceutical institute (ICFM). The body prides itself on the fact that its cannabis was registered as a pharmaceutical product by Italy's medicines agency in September 2015. The quality has to be reliable because the output from the military's Cannabis Project Team is destined for patients, not potheads.

  • Marijuana health trends mostly positive but still bear watching

    Overall marijuana-related hospitalizations have increased since 2008
    Colorado Springs Gazette (US)
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    colorado marijuanaMarijuana-related emergency room visits dropped, accidental poisonings are down and recreational marijuana failed to bring a much-feared spike in adolescent pot use. The results were detailed in the latest report by the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee - a group of epidemiologists, toxicologists, psychiatrists, physicians and public health officials studying health-related marijuana trends in Colorado. The state's chief toxicologist, Mike Van Dyke, called the trends "encouraging," because it signaled that education campaigns by either the state or the marijuana industry appear to be resonating with users."

  • Jailed for a puff

    Why Tunisia's prisons are crammed with cannabis users
    France 24 (France)
    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Many Tunisian prisons are overcrowded, some at 150 percent of their capacity — and authorities say one third of the inmates are there only for marijuana use. Under Tunisia’s Law 52, authorities can carry out random urine tests that can lead to convictions for marijuana use or possession and an automatic one-year prison sentence. Law 52 convictions have been on the rise, going from just a few hundred to several thousand over the last 15 years. But in February parliament is set to debate reforms that could cut down on overcrowding. (See also: “All this for a Joint” - Tunisia’s repressive drug law and a roadmap for its reformCannabis in Tunisia)

  • The new opium wars

    The links between Australia’s poppy industry and opioid addiction crisis
    The Monthly (Australia)
    February 2017

    Are pharmaceutical companies based in advanced economies the right ones to soothe the developing world’s pains? The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN-established independent body supervising global access to opioids, often points out that millions of people with end-stage cancer and AIDS in developing countries die in avoidable agony each year. One of its officials, Stefano Berterame, recently told the Los Angeles Times this could be solved with “very cheap morphine” – but that this held little prospect of profit for multinational drug firms. “Companies prefer to market expensive preparations.”

  • Marijuana legalization must include justice reform

    People who were previously convicted of marijuana offenses and have since been released from prison or jail should also have their records expunged
    The Hill (US)
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    Across the US, we routinely take a pledge that ends in “with liberty and justice for all.” Yet that fundamental promise has been broken in six of the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, as tens of thousands of people remain in state prison for nonviolent marijuana crimes. Now, it’s the responsibility of these eight state governments, concerned citizens and the leaders of the marijuana industry to also demand justice reform for those who have been the past victims of the war on marijuana, those that will not enjoy the privileges and freedoms that come with this new legislation.

  • Boulder DA Stan Garnett named to group that will advise Trump administration on pot

    The group has toyed with the idea of issuing a majority and a minority opinion on different issues
    Daily Camera (US)
    Monday, January 30, 2017

    The National District Attorney's Association created a policy group featuring 14 district attorneys from across the country who will issue advisements on possible law or policy changes regarding marijuana as more and more states legalize it, and help advise the Trump administration on policies regarding marijuana. District Attorney Stan Garnett is the only active prosecutor from Colorado in the group, but there are also DAs from California and Oregon — other states with recreational marijuana. While a wide variety of states in different stages of marijuana legalization are represented in the group, for the most part NDAA still is conservative.

  • ‘Building the airplane while it’s being flown’

    How California looks to build $7B legal pot economy
    The Denver Post / AP (US)
    Monday, January 30, 2017

    In the outskirts of Sacramento, a handful of government workers face a daunting task: By next year, craft regulations and rules that will govern California’s emerging legal pot market, from where and how plants can be grown to setting guidelines to track the buds from fields to stores. Getting it wrong could mean the robust cannabis black market stays that way — outside the law — undercutting the attempt to create the nation’s largest legal marijuana economy. The new industry has a projected value of $7 billion, and state and local governments could eventually collect $1 billion a year in taxes.

  • In Indonesia, getting this drug is just a text message away

    To buy super tobacco in Indonesia all you need is a mobile phone, an Instagram account and a bank account
    Rappler (Philippines)
    Monday, January 30, 2017

    Gorilla TobaccoSo-called “super tobacco”, particularly a variant known as “Gorilla brand tobacco,” is the street name of a drug that has recently been in the spotlight in Indonesia. It consists of what is mostly normal tobacco that is mixed with a powdered form of the compound AB-CHMINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid - a drug that, though chemically different from cannabis, seeks to simulate the effects of marijuana. Doctors consider AB-CHMINACA to be one of the more dangerous synthetic cannabinoids as, unlike marijuana, which only partially binds to cannabis receptors in the brain, AB-CHMINACA fully binds to receptors, making the effect of the drug all the more powerful. (See also: Cannabis in Indonesia)

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