Oft-touted law-enforcement savings from pot legalization may not materialize due to ongoing international obligationsThe Globe and Mail (Canada)
Thursday, January 28, 2016
A new report from CIBC World Markets says Canada’s federal and provincial governments could reap as much as $5-billion annually in tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld crunched the numbers using current estimates of Canadian recreational pot consumption, the revenue experience in U.S. states that have legalized and other factors – such as prevailing “sin tax” rates on alcohol and tobacco.
In Europe there are 100 percent mark-ups which put it out of reach of even affluent populationsRadio Prague (Czech Republic)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Czech Republic took a bold step back in 2013 when lawmakers agreed to legalise the sale of medicinal cannabis or marihuana. But the development of this market, which can conceivably challenge that of the established pharmaceutical companies across a wide range of pain killers and treatments, is showing some local and global growing pains. (See also: Czech grown medicinal cannabis to be delivered in February)
After the government enacted changes to the Dangerous Drug Act which decriminalised possession of small quantities of marijuanaThe Gleaner (Jamaica)
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
National Security Minister Peter Bunting says the police have arrested 14,000 fewer persons for possession of marijuana. The announcement comes months after the government enacted changes to the Dangerous Drug Act which decriminalised possession of small quantities of marijuana. Before the changes, persons criminalised for ganja possession could not get a United States visa, for example, or get a job. Since the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act "hundreds of thousands" of persons have had their criminal records expunged.
Participants expressed support for efforts to end wars in Myanmar and Colombia but called for a more inclusive peace processMyanmar Times (Burma)
Monday, January 25, 2015
Opium poppy farmers from Myanmar attending an international conference on “prohibited plants” have rejected a ban on growing their crops and urged an end to forced eradication. “We reject prohibition and the war on drugs,” small-scale farmers from 14 countries, including Myanmar, said in a joint statement at the end of a Global Forum of Prohibited Plant Producers held in Heemskerk, the Netherlands, that was organised by advocacy group Transnational Institute (TNI).
The statement was shared in front of legislative body as they started a month-long discussion on the drug warThe Lawyer Herald (US)
Monday, January 25, 2016
The President of Chamber of Deputies Jesus Zambrano said that Mexico should move ahead with entirely permitting marijuana usage. Mexico should follow the example of Colombia and Italy in pursuing policies to weaken organized drug syndicates. Narcotics traffickers are more equipped with weapons than the national army thus border control should be one of the main concerns to limit the traffic of arms. Inequality and poverty are also central to any policy addressing gang violence. (See also: Mexico opens landmark debate on marijuana laws)
Deforestation, limiting access to pain relief, forcing farmers into poverty: we need to wake up to the fact that prohibiting drugs causes more harm than goodThe Guardian (UK)
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Global drug control policies, much like tax or climate change, impact heavily on many areas of development and inevitably on efforts to meet many of the sustainable development goals that were launched by the UN last year and came into force on 1 January. Since the mid-20th century, global drug policy has been dominated by strict prohibition and the criminalisation of drug cultivation, production, trade, possession and use, with the intention of creating a drug-free world.
No evidence that adolescent marijuana use leads to a decline in intelligenceThe Washington Post (US)
Monday, January 18, 2016
A 2012 Duke University study found that persistent, heavy marijuana use through adolescence and young adulthood was associated with declines in IQ. Other researchers have since criticized that study's methods. A follow-up study found that the original research failed to account for a number of confounding factors, such as cigarette and alcohol use, mental illness and socioeconomic status. Two new reports tackle the relationship between marijuana use and intelligence from two very different angles: One examines the life trajectories of 2,235 British teenagers between ages 8 and 16, and the other looks at the differences between American identical twin pairs in which one twin uses marijuana and the other does not.
Out-of-state anti-drug crusaders are taking Colorado marijuana to court. Is it their last chance to stop pot before other states vote on retail cannabis?The Denver Post (US)
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Three of the four marijuana-centered lawsuits filed against Colorado officials and businesses were organized and at least partially funded by out-of-state anti-drug organizations and socially conservative law firms. Only one lawsuit, filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, appears to be entirely homegrown. For those who oppose Colorado's marijuana laws, the out-of-state money offers a chance to fight back against what they characterize as a well-heeled marijuana lobby that changed public opinion with misleading messages.
Recent research has shown that differences other than cannabis use might be causing the much-discussed disparities in cognitive functionThe Guardian (UK)
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Whether or not using cannabis can lead to cognitive impairment is a hot topic of research and public interest. Given the extensive media attention to findings that suggest detrimental effects of cannabis on cognition, brain function and mental health, you would be forgiven for thinking smoking a spliff was akin to repeatedly bashing yourself over the head with a giant bong. However, since much of the work to date is cross-sectional (that is, measurements are taken only at one time in a person’s life), we cannot know whether cannabis users would have performed any differently before they started using cannabis.
Bank fined £1.32bn in 2012 argues that legal attempt to release government report would help criminals bypass safeguardsThe Guardian (UK)
Thursday, January 14, 2016
HSBC is trying to prevent publication of a report on how it complies with money-laundering rules imposed on it by the US authorities in 2012, when it was fined a record $1.9bn. The bank is arguing in US courts that it could be left vulnerable to money laundering if the report is published. Under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement with US authorities, made when it was fined for aiding money laundering by Mexican drug cartels, HSBC must be subjected to regular audits about its internal capacity to seek out potentially suspect activity by customers. (See also: Drug smuggling is HSBC’s raison d’etre)