Drugs in the news

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  • UNGASS 2016: What prospect for change?

    Don’t even expect to see a consensus around those two words ‘harm’ and ‘reduction’
    Matters of Substance (New Zealand)
    February 2016

    ungass2016_nyWith the UN’s drug control policy setting bathed in opaque diplomatic light, civil society advocates are left looking for the subtleties of language and tone to spot any sign of change. The NGOs closest to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world’s drug problem in April aren’t expecting dramatic changes, but they do see things moving in the right direction. “We’re not going to have the end of prohibition in April, the treaties are not going to be torn up and started afresh in April. There are still a lot of repressive voices in there."

  • Aus für Coffee-Shop-Idee? Kreuzberger Pläne erneut abgelehnt

    Im Herbst 2015 hatte es den Antrag des Bezirks abgelehnt, mit dem die Genehmigung von Cannabis-Verkaufsstellen erreicht werden sollte
    Die Welt (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 18. Februar, 2016

    In dem Vorhaben reguliert weiche Drogen wie Haschisch und Marihuana zu verkaufen, muss der Berliner Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg erneut eine Schlappe hinnehmen. Das zuständige Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) hat einen Widerspruch des Bezirks abgewiesen. Das BfArM erklärte, der Verkauf von Cannabis zu Genusszwecken sei mit dem Betäubungsmittelgesetz nicht vereinbar. Das Gesetz verbietet Cannabis und lässt nur wenige Ausnahmen in medizinisch begründeten Fällen zu.

  • Legal pot has its benefits, but little economic impact

    Trudeau has stated that he expects only "modest returns" from legalization
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Each week, there seems to be a new headline declaring that piles of cash will soon flood into the economy once legalization comes into effect. The latest report, from CIBC World Markets, says Canada’s federal and provincial governments could pocket $5-billion a year in tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. A few major players are set to cash in, most notably Tweed Marijuana Inc., which absorbed its closest competitor, Bedrocan Cannabis Corp., in a $61-million deal this past summer. As for the rest of us? We’ll hardly notice. The economic impact of legalization will be negligible.

  • The right way to do drugs

    The argument for the legalisation of cannabis has been won. Now for the difficult bit
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, February 13, 2016

    It is like a hash-induced hallucination: row upon row of lush, budding plants, tended by white-coated technicians who are bothered by the authorities only when it is time to pay their taxes. Cannabis once grew in secret, traded by murderous cartels and smoked by consumers who risked jail. Now, countries all over the world have licensed the drug for medical purposes, and a few are going still further (see article). Four American states have so far legalised its recreational use; Uruguay will soon be joined by big, G7-member Canada in the legal-weed club. Parliaments from Mexico to South Africa are debating reforms of their own.

  • 'Cannabis clubs' set for four Swiss cities

    Four Swiss cities have agreed to launch pilot projects for the creation of cannabis clubs allowing members to use the drug without penalty
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    switzerland-cannabis2Representatives of the cities Zurich, Basel, Bern and Geneva met to discuss how to regulate the sale of cannabis, broadcaster SRF reported. Cannabis is illegal to possess in Switzerland, even if police in many cantons turn a blind eye to personal use. A maximum of 2,000 people will participate, which remains a small share of the more than 500,000 people who use cannabis. Geneva’s proposed pilot project would authorize the controlled use of cannabis for youth and adults suffering from serious problems linked to the drug.

  • EU finance ministers call for restrictions on €500 note over crime fears

    According to Europol, the high-value banknote accounts for a third of all the euro notes in circulation
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    500-euros-smallEU finance ministers have called for an investigation into the €500 note, amid growing concern it is making life easier for terrorists, money launderers and drug barons. The French finance minister, Michel Sapin, said it was right to ask questions about the use of the euro’s largest-denomination note. “The €500 note is more used to conceal then to purchase, more used for easing dishonest transactions than to allow you and I to buy something to feed ourselves,” he said. (See also: Criminal links of €500 banknote could spell its demise | Swiss 1,000-franc note here to stay, says national bank)

  • HSBC sued over drug cartel murders after laundering probe

    Bank accused of aiding and abetting Sinaloa, other cartels
    Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Families of U.S. citizens murdered by drug gangs in Mexico sued HSBC Holdings Plc, claiming the bank can be held responsible for the deaths because it let cartels launder billions of dollars to operate their businesses. The lawsuit brings fresh scrutiny to the Mexican activities of HSBC, which in 2012 paid $1.9 billion to resolve a criminal investigation into whether it violated U.S. sanctions laws and laundered at least $881 million on behalf of drug cartels.

  • Elite ‘African Group’ in Vienna undermines AU drug policy

    A small group of African countries in Vienna submited their own document on drug policy to the UN, despite a more enlightened African Union position
    The South African Health News Service
    Sunday, February 7, 2016

    liberia_drugsSouth Africa’s mission in Vienna submitted a minority reactionary “African Group” (AG) position on drug policy to the United Nations, despite the African Union's more progressive “Common African Position” (CAP). The AG position supports stronger control over ketamine, used as an anaesthetic in places without electricity or oxygen supplies. The AG document also does not mention “harm reduction”, focusing only on punishment for supply and use illegal drugs. (See: The AU Common African Position and the Africa Group’s Submitted Position)

  • Liberals’ vow to legalize pot creating chaos, police say

    Different jurisdictions are tackling the matter differently
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Sunday, February 7, 2016

    canada-marijuana-thumbCanada’s frontline officers and police chiefs are alarmed by the growing chaos in the marijuana industry, saying the Liberal Party’s promise to eventually legalize the drug has sparked confusion across the country. Illegal pot dispensaries are opening up from coast to coast at the same time as some users feel they should no longer be subject to the Criminal Code, prompting law-enforcement officials to urge the Trudeau government to remind Canadians that marijuana remains an illegal drug.

  • Städte setzen auf Cannabis-Klubs

    Mit Versuchen zur legalen Abgabe wollen die Städte Schwung in die Debatte bringen
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
    Freitag, 5. Februar 2016

    swiss-cannabis-cowIm Bundeshaus hat Drogenpolitik keine Konjunktur, dafür kommt Dynamik aus den Städten. Vertreter aus Zürich, Genf, Basel, Bern, Winterthur treffen sich um Versuchen mit legalem Cannabis-Konsum zum Durchbruch zu verhelfen. Geht der Plan der Kommunen auf, so sollen die Versuche mit rund 1000 Teilnehmern schon im kommenden Jahr starten. Die Städte sind hochmotiviert, denn die geltende Gesetzgebung macht ihnen zu schaffen: Cannabis wird trotz Verbot praktisch ungehemmt konsumiert. (Mehr dazu: Cannabis-Clubs: Bundesrat Berset wagt sich an die Gras-Frage)

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