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  • Filipinos flee Duterte’s violent drug crackdown

    The Roman Catholic Church has vocally opposed Mr. Duterte’s deadly campaign
    The New York Times (US)
    Sunday, June 4, 2017

    Every morning before dawn, Rosario Perez checks to make sure her sons are still alive. The three brothers, all in their 20s, sleep at the houses of friends and relatives, moving regularly, hoping that whoever may have been assigned to kill them won’t catch up with them. They are not witnesses on a mob hit list, or gang members hiding from rivals. They are simply young men living in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte. Residents are cobbling together strategies to hide and survive. Many young men are staying indoors, out of sight. Others have fled the urban slums, where most of the killings occur, and are camping out on farms or lying low in villages in the countryside. (See also: Neuroscientist Carl Hart says 'infant thinking' drives Philippines meth war)

  • What a regulated UK cannabis market might mean for business

    Nick Clegg has warned of the risks of 'unfettered commercialisation', but how could the UK build a model that works for both small and large enterprises?
    The Independent (UK)
    Friday, June 2, 2017

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg claimed that legalising cannabis in the UK would improve public health, but warned of the “risks of unfettered commercialisation”. In doing so, Mr Clegg highlighted the potential tension between building a model that works for health and one that works for business. So what might that model look like and what could it mean for UK business? Key policy areas include price controls, taxation policy, licensing of production for retailers and the regulation of vendors themselves.

  • It took Jeff Sessions just one month to turn Obama-era drug policy on its head

    Mandatory minimums are back
    The Washington Post (US)
    Friday, June 2, 2017

    In the month of May alone, the Trump administration, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions's Justice Department, steadily ratcheted up its tough-on-crime rhetoric and put in place some policies that give that rhetoric some real-world bite. The big news was a memo from Sessions directing federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties possible for any crime, including drug offenses. That means more mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes, a policy that the Justice Department administration had backed away from under President Barack Obama. Changes to policies governing marijuana and civil asset forfeiture are under consideration, according to the Associated Press.

  • Ban on cannabis infused edibles retrograde step — ganja association

    Justice ministry says no more sale or sampling of weed edibles at entertainment events
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, June 2, 2017

    jamaica browniesThe Ganja Growers and Producers Association of Jamaica said the recent ban on the sampling and sale of all cannabis infused edibles at entertainment events is a retrograde step and not one forthcoming with the emergence of Jamaica's cannabis industry and the development of the human resource capabilities of the industry players.The association along with another organisation, Scarce Commodity, said consultation and dialogue is needed to advance the discourse towards the implementation of regulated infused cannabis edible products that meet international standards and certification. (See also: Ganja stakeholders call for audit, protocol on weed-infused edibles)

  • Ottawa urged to withdraw from UN drug treaties ahead of pot legalization

    The federal government will announce how it plans to address the treaties. Canada is compliant with its international obligations right now
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, June 2, 2017

    Opposition parties and international legal experts are calling on Ottawa to say what it plans to do about three UN drug treaties that pose a conundrum for the Liberal government and its plans to legalize cannabis by the summer of 2018. Conservative foreign affairs critic Peter Kent says Canada’s international reputation is at stake, adding the government should pull out of the agreements rather than violate the letter of the treaties. A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland would not say when the federal government will announce how it plans to address the treaties and said Canada is compliant with its international obligations right now.

  • Recreational drugs market should be managed by 'governments not gangsters', says expert

    Steve Rolles argues the war on drugs has been a ‘spectacular failure’ and has led to ‘the most rapid expansion of drug use in human history’
    The Independent (UK)
    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    Steve RollesOver the 50-odd years the global war on drugs has been fought, it’s been a catalogue of failure on pretty much every level you’d care to examine – bar the bank balance of those profiting from the outcome. In his latest book, Legalizing Drugs: The Key to Ending the War, Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst on drug policy with the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, provides a brief history of the global war on drugs, outlining the cost five decades of the policy has had on public health, the economy and human rights, and then goes on to suggest how the market should instead be “managed by governments, not gangsters”.

  • The push to decriminalise drug use in Myanmar

    Proposed changes to a 1993 narcotics law will treat drug addiction as a health problem rather than a crime and emphasise treatment and rehabilitation over long prison sentences
    The Frontier (Burma)
    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    Nang Pann Ei KhamThe amendments provide for police to be able to send drug users to receive treatment at medical facilities before being sent to rehabilitation centres. Adults will be required to attend the centres for two hours a day until they have completed a minimum of 180 hours and a maximum 240 hours of rehabilitation. Minors will be sent to child rehabilitation centres. Drug Policy Advocacy Group-Myanmar coordinator Dr Nang Pann Ei Kham said she was concerned some sections of the draft law lacked clarity. It is essential for the amendments to stipulate that treatment and rehabilitation programs are voluntary and appropriate to the needs of users.

  • In Mexico, the price of America’s hunger for heroin

    Along the country’s heroin highway, signs of a booming drug business and horrific bloodshed
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    The opioid epidemic that has caused so much pain in the United States is also savaging Mexico, contributing to a breakdown of order in rural areas. Heroin is like steroids for drug gangs, pumping money and muscle into their fight to control territory and transportation routes to the United States. Mexico provides more than 90 percent of America’s heroin, up from less than 10 percent in 2003, when Colombia was the main supplier. Poppy production has expanded by about 800 percent in a decade as U.S. demand has soared.

  • We have waged war on drugs for a century. So who won?

    Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines show how prohibition has made a global problem far worse
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, May 29, 2017

    philippines human rightsWhile Rodrigo Duterte was campaigning to be elected president of the Philippines last year, he said on many occasions that he would arrange, if elected, for people who sold or used drugs to be killed. Extrajudicial killings began even before his inauguration, with victims usually shot and then drugs and guns planted to make it look like the assailants had acted in self-defence. A 77-page application last month by a lawyer, Jude Sabio – requesting the international criminal court to commence a preliminary investigation – estimated that at least 9,400 people have already been killed by police and vigilantes.

  • Uruguay, the first country where you can smoke marijuana wherever you like

    A new law makes the South American country the first in the world to sell the drug over the counter
    The Observer (UK)
    Saturday, May 27, 2017

    Not everyone is pleased with how legal marijuana is being implemented in Uruguay. “I’m happy because now you can plant without going to prison,” says Juan Manuel Varela, the 28-year-old manager of MDAR (Spanish-language acronym for high-quality marijuana), one of the cannabis clubs that have been set up under the new legislation. “But like many things in Uruguay, the new law is a good idea that is being applied badly.” Cannabis activists are upset that the new law falls short of full legalisation. “This law actually stigmatises marijuana more than it legalises it,” says Daniel Vidart. “Why should there be a registry of marijuana consumers and not one of alcohol consumers? Alcohol is a much deadlier drug."

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