The rush to open more storefronts appears to be accelerating ahead of the federal government’s pledge to introduce a legalization bill next springThe Mail and Guardian (Canada)
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Canada’s municipalities are in a tough position when it comes to pot. Faced with a previous federal government that had no interest in legalizing marijuana or modifying its obtuse mail-order medical-marijuana program, Toronto and Vancouver have swiftly become home to more than 250 dispensaries that operate outside the law, with more than 100 now open in Ontario’s capital. Cities facing pressure from citizens to crack down on the flourishing businesses are discovering they may lack the legal authority to do so. (Editorial: Yes to marijuana legalization. No to the pre-legalization free-for-all)
The law would allow cultivation of cannabis plants by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical DevicesDeutsche Welle (Germany)
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
A proposal from German Health Minister Hermann Gröhe to allow seriously ill individuals increased access to medical marijuana was approved by the German government. The law stipulates that patients for whom other treatments for serious diseases are ineffective will be able to have access to medical marijuana paid for by their public health insurance. Such patients will need notification from a doctor that other treatments were ineffective.
Trimbos says the price of drugs has remained relatively stableDutchNews (The Netherlands)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The amount of active ingredients in ecstasy pills in the Netherlands has almost doubled in 10 years, according to the Trimbos addiction institute, which runs a nationwide testing service. In 2005, there was an average of 81 mg of MDMA in a pill but last year that had gone up to 150 mg, according to the institute’s 2015 monitoring report. The highest concentration of MDMA recorded last year was 293 mg. (See also: Drug users favoring “ecstasy light” as street XTC rises in potency)
Al Rawi told the Trinidad Guardian that the government has started the groundwork to decriminalise marijuanaJamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The Trinidad and Tobago government is examining the possibility of decriminalising marijuana and is reviewing existing legislation as well as planning wide consultation before adopting any position, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has said. He told the Trinidad Guardian newspaper that there has been "a full exercise of analysing the types of crime in our prisons and the pre-trials detention or remand statistics for a range of offences, including possession of narcotics, and particularly possession of cannabis." (See also: Rowley surprised: Gov't not reviewing ganja laws | 'AG did nothing wrong on ganja statement')
We need to improve public understanding of the concept of "harm reduction" as the primary goal of drug policyVice (US)
Monday, May 2, 2016
Last month, the United Nations General Assembly met for the first time in history to reconsider international drug prohibition with an eye toward policies focused on health and human rights. Facing unprecedented drug gang–related violence, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala had insisted the global confab be moved up by two years. Yet somehow there was no sense of urgency, and no actual changes were made, in large part due to the intransigence of Russia and China.
Uruguayan authorities have announced an agreement with every major pharmacy association in the countryAbout News (US)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Nearly two and half years after becoming law, Uruguay’s pioneering plan to regulate every level of the national market for cannabis is finally on the verge of taking shape. While implementation has proceeded at a deliberate pace – in part due to the transition to a new government in early 2015 – recent advances provide a glimpse of what full implementation will look like. Two companies that won contracts to grow cannabis for commercial purposes have planted their first crop, meaning that Uruguayan adults should be able to purchase cannabis for non-medical use at sales points in pharmacies in late 2016.
Pusher Street has long been a flashpoint for confrontation and controversyThe Local (Denmark)
Friday, April 29, 2016
Two videos posted online by the Christiania-based documentary group Cadok show large-scale police action targeting the Copenhagen district’s cannabis market, Pusher Street. While recorded confrontations with the police in Christiania are nothing new, the violent nature of one of the videos has led to widespread sharing on social media and even an offered reward for information on the officers involved. The video shows police officers running through Christiania and hitting people with their batons amidst scenes of chaos. (See also: Danish gov snubs call to clear Pusher Street)
The first meeting in twenty years of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) was supposed to be a game changer. It was notNACLA (US)
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The first meeting of UNGASS since 1998 was supposed to be a game changer in prodding the lumbering and often draconian UN drug policy regime into serious revision. Mass incarceration of the poor, corruption, human rights abuses, public health crises and violence caused by the Drug War have been exhaustingly documented all over the world. The UN Special Session came up short in meeting the expectations of drug policy reformers from around the globe.
A global meeting on drugs failed to deliver a highly anticipated shift from a punitive approach to narcotics, disappointing Myanmar advocacy groupsThe Myanmar Times (Myanmar)
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The outcome of the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs in New York resulted in an outcome document that brings little new to the table. Nang Pann Ei, a coordinator of the Drug Policy Advocacy Groups, called the UNGASS meeting significant because Myanmar civil society was able to speak up for opium farmers facing the constant threat of crop eradication. But she voiced disappointment about the resulting policy document, saying it has "some serious gaps". "It did not mention harm reduction specifically, and decriminalisation of drug use and abolishing the death penalty for drug-related offenses was not mentioned," she said.
"The reason we are being tentative is fear of our brothers from the north"Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The director general of the National Commission on Science and Technology, Professor Errol Morrison, said that while the decriminalisation of marijuana in Jamaica is a good move, it is not enough. While insisting that he is not criticising the Government, the principal of the University of the West Indies Professor Archibald McDonald joined Morrison in urging the Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party Administration to be bolder than the last administration and legalise marijuana in Jamaica. He emphasised that in moving towards legalisation, Jamaica needs to regulate the industry.