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  • 'Marijuana superstore' wins legal battle over medical pot shops in California

    The dismissal releases the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the US from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    harborside-dispensaryThe largest licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the US, once dubbed the “marijuana superstore”, has won a four-year legal battle with federal prosecutors who tried to shutter its Oakland and San Jose pot shops. The government withdrew its forfeiture action intended to close down Harborside Health Center. The dismissal releases the dispensary from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana. Steve DeAngelo, Harborside’s executive director, hailed the move as a signal of “the beginning of the end of federal prohibition”.

  • Tests for driver impairment by marijuana flawed: AAA

    Driving with "a noisy child in the back of the car" is about as dangerous as using marijuana and driving
    CBS News (US)
    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Six states that allow marijuana use employ legal tests to determine whether someone is driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws. The study commissioned by AAA's safety foundation said it's not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment.

  • Weed shall overcome: Can California help wind down the War on Drugs?

    The Golden State may be about to legalise recreational marijuana use, potentially setting a template for worldwide drugs liberalisation
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, May 9, 2016

    By the end of this year, California could be the world’s biggest legal marijuana market. Backers of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which would legalise weed for recreational use, collected 600,000 signatures in support of the measure – close to twice as many as the 365,880 needed to get the bill on the ballot at the November’s election. The law would permit adults of 21 or over to possess an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. It would create the framework for a distribution and retail market, managed by a new California Bureau of Marijuana Control, with a 15 per cent tax on cannabis product sales.

  • The failed promise of legal pot

    New marijuana laws were to boost tax revenues and free up cops to go after “real” criminals. But underground sales—and arrests—are still thriving
    The Atlantic (US)
    Monday, May 9, 2016

    cannabis-atlanticThe risk is that, by itself, legalizing marijuana possession does not change the black market and that, even as legalization spreads, young black men will continue to be arrested at disproportionate rates for selling the drug. In turn, this leaves intact a version of the same specter that helped spur legalization in the first place: An arrest record’s scarlet letter will continue to blight the collective futures of urban communities of color, the natural effect of an economic incentive the state did not remove. What is keeping people in Colorado’s black market is price.

  • Britons want cannabis to be legalised – change is inevitable, says ex-minister

    Lib Dem’s Norman Lamb urges MPs to pass the bill to create a regulated market for the drug
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, May 8, 2016

    uk-legalize-cannabisParliament will be failing in its duty to reflect the will of the people if it continues to resist calls to introduce a regulated cannabis market, a former coalition minister has warned. A 10-minute rule bill proposing the introduction of a legal cannabis market in the UK, something that would constitute the biggest shakeup of the drugs laws in the past half-century, will end its passage through the Commons. It was tabled by Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman, and supported by MPs from all parties, as well as experts including a serving chief constable.

  • Why Canada’s cities aren’t cracking down on marijuana stores

    The rush to open more storefronts appears to be accelerating ahead of the federal government’s pledge to introduce a legalization bill next spring
    The Mail and Guardian (Canada)
    Thursday, May 5, 2016

    canada-dispensary-torontoCanada’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)

  • German government to grow marijuana for medical use

    The law would allow cultivation of cannabis plants by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices
    Deutsche 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.

  • Ecstasy is getting stronger, drug testing clinic warns

    Trimbos says the price of drugs has remained relatively stable
    DutchNews (The Netherlands)
    Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    ecstasy3The 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)

  • T&T mulling decriminalising ganja

    Al Rawi told the Trinidad Guardian that the government has started the groundwork to decriminalise marijuana
    Jamaica 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')

  • Rethinking drug prohibition on a global scale

    We need to improve public understanding of the concept of "harm reduction" as the primary goal of drug policy
    Vice (US)
    Monday, May 2, 2016

    ungass2016-ny-plenaryLast 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.

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