Drugs in the news

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  • Medical marijuana is legal in California. Except when it’s not

    Medical cannabis companies continue to be whipsawed by the lack of state regulations and the federal ban on marijuana
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, November 21, 2016

    California’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, by far the nation’s largest, is crawling out from the underbrush after voters opted to legalize cannabis in this month’s election. In Sonoma County alone, an estimated 9,000 marijuana cultivation businesses are operating in a provisional gray market, with few specific regulations, and are now looking to follow the path of the wine industry, which emerged from its own prohibition eight decades ago and rose to the global prominence it enjoys today.

  • Donald Trump’s attorney general pick could destroy the recreational pot industry

    Although a majority of Americans say they support marijuana legalization when asked by a pollster, that doesn’t mean consider it a political priority
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is a fervent foe of marijuana legalization. But if he were confirmed as President-elect Trump’s top law enforcement official, would he really have any power to put his anti-pot views into practice? To review the postelection state of play, a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized recreational marijuana. But the federal Controlled Substances Act still defines production and sale of marijuana as serious crimes. (See also: Jeff Sessions’s ridiculous anti-drug crusade)

  • Ruling party to support regulated cannabis cultivation after all

    Take cannabis production for coffeeshops out of the criminal circuit and monitor the quality of the product
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Monday, November 21, 2016

    nl-cannabis-plantationIt seems that ruling party VVD will support regulating cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands. During a VVD conference a vast majority of party members forced the party leaders to change their positition on this issue by voting in a proposal for "smarter regulation" brought by party members. The commitment to "smarter regulation" of cultivation and sales will now appear in the party’s manifesto for the 2017 general election and clears the way for a shift in the policy of the next government, commentators said. (See also: VVD changes sides on marijuana cultivation | Largest Dutch political party wants to overhaul cannabis laws)

  • Legalisation of cannabis 'only solution to crime and addiction problems'

    Report by Adam Smith Institute says UK’s drug strategy 'has failed in its core aims' and urges government to legalise cannabis
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Cannabis should be legalised in the UK, according to a report that has the backing of several cross-party MPs including the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Current cannabis policy in Britain is a "messy patchwork" of legislation intermittently enforced by regional police and an embarrassment, says the report by the free-market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute. The government must recognise that legalising the Class B drug is the "only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction in the UK and modernise and legalise", the report says. (See also: Cannabis legalisation 'could raise £1bn a year for UK')

  • Paiboon stands by delisting pot, krathom plan

    Controlling the use of krathom requires cooperation from the authorities who can educate people to prevent abuse
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Saturday, November 19, 2016

    Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya from Thailand is standing firm in his aim to remove krathom and marijuana from the narcotic drugs list and treat them as medicinal herbs. He believes the move is necessary because the government has failed to curb them. Gen Paiboon said the strict law against consuming krathom and marijuana has proved unsuccessful, so it is time to "rewrite the law, making krathom and marijuana herbs". "But the law must make clear a legal way to use them," he said, adding that successfully eradicating these plants will not end drug problems.

  • Deaths involving fentanyl rise as curbing illicit supply proves tough

    Keeping up with the inventive chemists sounds nearly impossible
    NPR (US)
    Friday, November 18, 2016

    To get in front of production, the State Department and a group of U.S. senators asked the United Nations in October to add to the list of tightly controlled substances two key ingredients used to make fentanyl. Clandestine labs across China are the main source of the illegally sold fentanyl. Producers then ship the drug to Mexico, where drug cartels mix it into heroin or press it into tablets that look like prescription pills for anxiety or pain. The powder or pills are delivered to dealers, or directly to users, via the Internet or darknet, an online area used for illegal purchases.

  • Jeff Sessions could reverse years of progress on marijuana policy

    Drug reform advocates have a few concerns about President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general nomination
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Friday, November 18, 2016

    Jeff SessionsPresident-elect Donald Trump has nominated hardline drug policy reform opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be Attorney General of the United States, a move that sent shockwaves through the marijuana legalization movement. If confirmed, Sessions would sit atop the DOJ, the federal agency that oversees federal prosecutors and enforces federal law on the plant. Trump has said he would respect states’ rights on the issue, but Sessions' track record of opposing marijuana reform is deeply troubling to people who favor progressive drug laws. (See also: Trump’s pick for attorney general: 'Good people don’t smoke marijuana')

  • The war on drugs has failed: doctors should lead calls for drug policy reform

    Evidence and ethics should inform policies that promote health and respect dignity
    British Medical Journal (BMJ)
    Monday, November 14, 2016

    bmjThree United Nations treaties, the oldest from 1961, seek to "advance the health and welfare of mankind" by prohibiting the non-medical use of some drugs. To this end, countries criminalise producers, traffickers, dealers, and users at an annual cost of at least $100bn. But the effectiveness of prohibition laws must be judged on outcomes. And too often the war on drugs plays out as a war on the millions of people who use drugs, and disproportionately on people who are poor or from ethnic minorities and on women.

  • Berlin likely to semi-legalize marijuana

    Marijuana advocates argue that they're just trying to bring the law in line with reality
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Saturday, November 12, 2016

    hanfparade-berlin-2016bA coalition of political parties in the German capital agreed to push for partial decriminalization of cannabis. The initial effects will be limited. Berlin's Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party agreed to seek a "scientifically monitored pilot project for the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults." The initiative could be a step toward getting marijuana decriminalized. In the past attempts by city districts to legalize pot foundered on the Federal Intoxicants Law, which bans cannabis. The city, which is also one of Germany's 16 federal states, has better chances for success. (See also: Neuer Senat will Cannabis aus Apotheken - nicht aus Coffee-Shops)

  • Marijuana reform went 8 for 9 on the ballot this week

    It could be the tipping point
    The Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, November 10, 2016

    us-21-percent-recreationalMarijuana reform won in eight out of the nine states where it was put on the ballot, the strongest signal to date that the public is ready to embrace change and put the harsh prohibitionist policies behind them. One of the biggest surprises was in Massachusetts where voters approved the measure by a strong 54-46 showing. With the votes in Massachusetts and Maine, reformers have won their first major legalization battles on the east coast. Those victories could set the stage for efforts to legalize marijuana in other New England states via state legislatures. (See also: The opportunities and pitfalls for the legalized marijuana industry)

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