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  • Uruguay finds no banks for the bongs

    The country's legalization of the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana runs afoul of the U.S. Treasury
    Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    Understated and simpatico, former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica isn't easily rattled. Just don't mess with his reefer. That was the message from Montevideo last week when a state-owned lender, Banco Republica, followed several private banks in shutting down accounts of clients who deposited money from marijuana sales -- a direct blow to the Mujica era's marquee policy of making Uruguay the first country to legalize the smoking, growing and selling of marijuana nationwide.

  • Decriminalise kratom, make it an energy drink: doctor

    There is evidence kratom has been used as a herb by Thais since ancient times
    The Nation (Thailand)
    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    kratomA leading traditional medicine practitioner has renewed calls for kratom to be removed from the list of banned narcotics and said it could be used to make energy drinks. Dr Supaporn Pitiporn, head of the herb product development project at Chaopraya Abhaiphubejhr Hospital, said the benefits of kratom outweigh its drawbacks. Supaporn made the recommendation in an article she wrote that was posted online. Last week, Narcotics Control Board secretary general Sirinya Sittichai said the Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute is studying how many kratom tree families should be allowed to grow.

  • Belize introduces legislation to decriminalize marijuana

    The parliamentary debate on the bill is expected to take place when the bill is brought back from committee
    Amandala (Belize)
    Friday, August 18, 2017

    belize marijuanaMinister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington, introduced an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act, chapter 103 of the Laws of Belize, to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. While the spirit of the proposed legislation is to let possession of 10 grams or less not be a criminal offense, the new proposed law will take an administrative notice of offenders, who will be subject to pay a small fine. (See also: Understanding Belize’s decriminalization of 10 grams of marijuana)

  • Legal marijuana sale faces challenges by banks in Uruguay

    Running a business without being able to bank is tough in Uruguay
    Associated Press (US)
    Friday, August 18, 2017

    The legal sale of marijuana in Uruguayan pharmacies is facing challenges as banks refuse to deal with companies linked to the drug in order to follow international financial laws. Uruguayan banks risk running afoul of laws that ban receiving money tied to the drug. In July, marijuana went up for sale at 16 pharmacies as part of a 2013 law that made Uruguay first to legalize a pot market covering the entire chain from plants to purchase. But one pharmacy in the capital, Montevideo, has decided not to sell it after a warning by a local branch of Spanish bank Santander. The bank said it has opted to remain out of this line of business.

  • Les Suisses sont prêts à légaliser le cannabis

    Selon une étude récente, deux Suisses sur trois souhaitent qu’une nouvelle réglementation du chanvre soit mise en place
    Tribune de Génève (Suisse)
    Mercredi, 16 aout 2017

    Allumer un petit joint et frémir à la vue de la police, une situation bientôt révolue? La majorité de la population serait favorable à une levée de l’interdiction de la vente et de la consommation du cannabis, selon un sondage du Groupement romand d’études des addictions (GREA). Les Suisses ne sont pas prêts à légaliser la substance à n’importe quelles conditions. Deux tiers d’entre eux souhaitent que la pratique soit encadrée: interdiction pour les moins de 18 ans, pas de consommation au volant et vente réservée à des commerces spécialisés ou des pharmacies avec du personnel formé.

  • Dagga laws are ‘racist and irrational’‚ court told

    It was easier to ban dagga‚ officially in 1922‚ than alcohol because it was only used by Indian‚ coloured and black people at the time
    The Times (South Africa)
    Monday, August 14, 2017

    south africa daggaThe South African law banning the smoking and cultivation of dagga is racist‚ unscientific and not rational or based on good law making. This was the testimony of historian Craig Paterson who works at Rhodes University. His master's thesis investigated how the colonial laws criminalising dagga use came about. He is a witness in the trial brought by Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs asking that the laws banning the sale of dagga be ruled unconstitutional‚ as they are irrational and do not serve their purpose of minimising harm. Paterson's thesis finds cannabis or dagga was "widely used" before colonial times. (See also: State files 4,000 pages of evidence in dagga case | The Cannabis Chronicles: On the upside of moral panic)

  • Should marijuana be legalised?

    Criminalisation of a commodity as widespread as cannabis makes little economic, social or legal sense
    The Hindu (India)
    Friday, August 11, 2017

    In the Indian context, marijuana is mostly considered as being of recreational use, but it is not just that. Recreational use is probably true for not more than 5%; for the rest, it has medicinal purposes. The cannabis plant has tremendous amount of medicinal value and its potential for industrial usage can hardly be overstated. China is investing a few billion dollars in developing different strains of the marijuana plant towards several objectives. It has proper factories for processing marijuana. In Odisha, where weed is still legal, people can buy marijuana for recreational use. (See also: Pot of gold)

  • Secret supervised drug injection facility has been operating at US site for years

    Lives have been saved at site run by a social service agency in an undisclosed city, according to newly released data, in an effort to battle the overdose epidemic
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    For nearly three years, in an undisclosed US city, a social service agency has quietly been inviting people to inject illegal drugs at a clandestine site, without the government’s approval. More than 100 people have injected drugs at the site, according to data released about the 2,754 injections. This data provides the first glimpse of what it would look like if the US decided to follow 10 other countries and open supervised injection facilities. The secret site is modeled after legal facilities in countries including Canada, Denmark and France, where users can take drugs in a safe space with clean supplies. 

  • Dagga is not a gateway drug

    Legal cannabis did not lead to an increase in Dutch users of heroin and other drugs‚ but actually reduced the number of people switching to harder drugs
    The Sunday Times (South Africa)
    Monday, August 7, 2017

    The prohibition on dagga is the "gateway to harder drug use‚ not the use of cannabis itself"‚ Imperial College Professor David Nutt told the Pretoria High Court. Nutt‚ a psychiatrist and neuropharmacologist is testifying in the trial to have the current ban on dagga use ruled unconstitutional. Johannesburg residents Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke are asking the Pretoria High Court to deem the laws banning the adult use and sale of dagga unconstitutional and thus instruct parliament to make new laws. "The gateway theory is a theory that has very‚ very little in the way of empirical evidence‚" Nutt said. (See also: Is the state trying to lose the dagga case?)

  • Government accused of 'squandering' £1.6bn a year on anti-drug policy

    According to the official audit, a lack of robust evidence is also available to assess whether capture and punishment serves as a deterrent for drug use
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, August 7, 2017

    uk police time wastedMinisters have been accused of "squandering" £1.6bn a year after an official analysis of the Government’s drug strategy concluded that illegal drugs remain widely available on the streets of Britain, with little impact made since 2010. The audit adds - due to a lack of robust evidence available - that officials are unable to assess whether capture and punishment serves as a deterrent for drug use in the UK. The report, published last month, claims that despite extensive resources being used to tackle drug use, consumption has remained stable since Theresa May introduced the Government’s strategy in 2010 while Home Secretary.

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