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  • Gang-ravaged Mexico stuck in weed ban as U.S. opens up

    The PRI blamed heavy losses in state elections in June on Pena Nieto pushing a liberal agenda
    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    mexico marchaMexican advocates for drug reform are voicing alarm about the country's widening gap with the United States on marijuana legislation, as criminal violence surges again south of the border. Tens of thousands have been killed over the years in Mexico, on the front line of a U.S.-led war on drugs. The country's prohibitionist approach to marijuana is increasingly at odds with the United States, where liberalisation is advancing. California in November became the first state on the U.S.-Mexico border to vote for comprehensive cannabis legalization, further pressuring Mexican legislators to change policy.

  • Ten scientific studies from 2016 showing marijuana is safe and effective

    The year has seen another mountain of marijuana research, and there's a lot of good news
    Alternet (US)
    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    While no psychoactive substance is completely harmless, modern science continues to prove that cannabis is one of the safer and more effective therapeutic agents available. Here’s a look back at some of the most significant marijuana-centric studies published over the past year. The cumulative use of cannabis by adolescents has no ill effect on intelligence, according to longitudinal data published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Investigators concluded: "In the largest longitudinal examination of marijuana use and IQ change, ... we find little evidence to suggest that adolescent marijuana use has a direct effect on intellectual decline.”

  • Mexican attitudes to marijuana mellow

    Drug liberalisation north of the border may speed up the process
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, December 24, 2016

    mexico legalizacion marihuanaIn november 57% of Californians voted to legalise the growing and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Liberalisation in the most populous border state will be felt acutely down south. Mexico has just marked the tenth anniversary of a war on drugs. It has spent millions of dollars on eradicating cannabis. Now it will abut a huge regulated market for the stuff – and one where 30% of the population is Mexican or Mexican-American. Changes in the United States may be prompting a rethink in Mexico, too – among ordinary people, policymakers and purveyors of pot alike. Nearly a third of voters in Mexico currently support legalising marijuana for recreational use. Attitudes are mellowing: in 2008 only 7% approved of legal pot.

  • The growing movement for marijuana amnesty

    As legalization spreads, so do calls to ease sentences for those convicted of possessing pot
    New Republic (US)
    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    prisonerWith an estimated $7 billion in sales in 2016 and potentially exponential growth due to recent ballot initiatives on recreational use, the legal marijuana industry has a lot of businesses seeing green. But as is so often the case in this country, there’s a darker side to this story and it splinters on the lines of race. For decades, the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted black and brown users for arrest and incarceration, and legalization efforts have until recently not addressed what happens to people who have been put in prison for possessing a substance that voters have since opted to make legal.

  • After legalization, teen marijuana use drops sharply in Colorado

    Federal data released this week is the first clear evidence of a drop in teen marijuana use in Colorado following legalization
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    Teen marijuana use fell sharply in Colorado in the years 2014 and 2015, after the opening of that state's recreational marijuana market, new federal survey data show. The state-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 18.35 percent of Coloradans ages 12 to 17 had used marijuana in the past year in 2014 or 2015, down sharply from 20.81 percent in 2013/2014. That works out to roughly a 12 percent drop in marijuana use, year-over-year. Year-over-year teen marijuana use fell in most states during that time period, including in Washington, the other state to open recreational marijuana markets in 2014. But that drop wasn't statistically significant.

  • Ship sails 450 kg of cannabis to Tel Aviv to fight drug ban

    Protesters claim marijuana on board ‘Erdalena’ is intended for medicinal use and distribution among the sick
    Times of Israel (Israel)
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    A ship carrying 450 kilograms of cannabis set sail for Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Activists aboard claimed they were protesting the government’s refusal to decriminalize marijuana. The “Erdalena” — a portmanteau of the Irgun ship the “Altalena” and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan — is set to reach Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach on Friday afternoon, Hebrew-language online magazine Cannabis reported. The marijuana on board is intended for distribution among sick people who are banned from using it for medicinal use, the activists said. In June, Erdan and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman torpedoed a bill that would have decriminalized possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana. (See also: The IDF understands when it comes to cannabis use)

  • Mellow drivers?

    Study says states with medical-marijuana laws have lower traffic fatality rates
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    States with medical-marijuana laws have fewer traffic fatalities than those without, especially among younger drivers, a new study has found. You would think crash rates might be higher, supposing that more drivers are, too — especially around midnight, when a run to a 7-Eleven becomes necessary. But, no. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities on average when examining places that have enacted medical-marijuana laws — 23 states and the District of Columbia. The presence of medical-marijuana dispensaries also correlated with fewer traffic fatalities, the study found.

  • Copenhagen to once again push for legal cannabis trial

    Could it be fourth time’s a charm for legal weed in the Danish capital?
    The Local (Denmark)
    Thursday, December 15, 2016

    After three spurned attempts to get a trial programme for legal cannabis off the ground, city officials in Copenhagen will try once again. Led by Mayor Frank Jensen, Copenhagen officials have thrice requested a trial programme that would legalize cannabis in the city, with sales handled by public authorities. Each time, including the most recent effort in 2014, the request has been rejected by the national government. But now the left-wing Red-Green Alliance and the libertarian-leaning Liberal Alliance (LA) think the time is ripe to try again, especially with an increasing number of Copenhagen shootings that are believed to be the result of rival gangs fighting for control of the illicit cannabis market. (See also: Copenhagen again pushing towards legalising cannabis)

  • Pot task force recommends legal cannabis sales be limited to users over 18

    Federal government has promised to table legislation legalizing cannabis in spring 2017
    CBC News (Canada)
    Tuesday, December 13, 2016

    The task force appointed by the federal government to study the legalization of marijuana said cannabis sales should be restricted to those 18 and older with a personal possession limit of 30 grams in its final report on cannabis legalization and regulation. The Canadian Medical Association had recommended setting the age at 21 – with strict limits on quantity and potency until 25 – but the task force said that higher age limits would simply drive young consumers into the hands of the black market, something the government hopes to actively discourage. (See also: Federal task force advises wide-ranging legalization of recreational marijuana)

  • Mexican Senate passes medical marijuana bill

    Recreational marijuana is still broadly prohibited in Mexico
    Reuters (UK)
    Tuesday, December 13, 2016

    mexico-flag-cannabis Mexico's Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow for the use of medical marijuana, in a further step toward outright legalization in a country long wracked by warring drug cartels. The measure would also allow for production of marijuana for scientific and medicinal purposes. The bill, part of a proposal that President Enrique Pena Nieto submitted to Congress earlier this year, must also be passed by Mexico's lower house to become law.

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