Drugs in the news

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  • Mexico's president may have been bluffing about his support for weed decriminalization

    The senate postponed discussion of the bill until next September at the earliest
    Vice (US)
    Monday, June 20, 2016

    The sudden derailing of much-anticipated reforms to legalize medical marijuana in Mexico, as well as raise the possession threshold, has raised doubts over whether President Enrique Peña Nieto's initial promotion of the ideas was ever anything more than good public relations. "It looks like he never really wanted it," said drug policy expert and activist Lisa Sánchez, noting that it is the president's own Institutional Revolutionary Party that has blocked the reforms.

  • Teen marijuana use in Colorado found lower than national average

    A pro-legalization advocacy group said the findings show fears of widespread pot use by minors in states with legalized cannabis are unfounded
    Reuters (US)
    Monday, June 20, 2016

    Marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since the state first permitted recreational cannabis use by adults, a new survey showed, contrary to concerns that legalization would increase pot use by teens. The biannual poll by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also showed the percentage of high school students indulging in marijuana in Colorado was smaller than the national average among teens. (See also: Now we know what happens to teens when you make pot legal)

  • Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market

    Hash stands torn down and arrests made in latest efforts to clean up Christiania
    The Local (Denmark)
    Saturday, June 18, 2016

    denmark-christiania-policeCopenhagen Police on Friday carried out a large-scale operation in Christiania, clearing the alternative enclave's open-air cannabis market. Using saws and hammers, officers tore down 37 cannabis stalls and arrested 18 people. According to reports, cannabis sales resumed within minutes of police leaving Pusher Street, leading many to wonder what actual purpose the action served. (See also: Copenhagen cops cleaning up Pusher Street … again)

  • Drugs in Europe: Not mind-stretching enough

    Liberal drug policies have spread across Europe. But some early adopters are slipping behind
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, June 18, 2016

    European countries’ reforms have lost momentum, or even slipped backwards. Most drug-policy experts consider this a shame. The reformist countries’ experiences not only show how well liberal drug policies work; they suggest they need to go further. One of the problems is complacency – meaning that politicians in countries with harm-reduction policies often think the drug problem has been solved. In Europe “everyone is keeping each other in check,” says Tom Blickman. Europe is no longer a place where policymakers can take risks.

  • Justice Ministry seeking to remove ‘ya ba’ from ‘most-dangerous drugs’ list

    Governments are now changing tack and trying to find ways to “co-exist” with drugs
    Asian Correspondent
    Friday, June 17, 2016

    Thailand's Justice Ministry is looking into a proposal to exclude ‘ya ba’, or pills containing a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine, from the list of narcotics and to instead treat it as a normal drug in order to encourage drug addicts to seek help. Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya said years of fighting against drugs and drug abuse, the world had yet to see any large strides towards victory, and the number of drug addicts is only increasing. He called for Thailand to overhaul its narcotics laws. (See also: Yes to drug policy mend | Time we shook off meth's criminal stigma)

  • Health bodies call for drugs to be decriminalised

    UK should adopt the Portuguese system under which people caught using drugs were offered treatment and support rather than being punished
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    Two leading public health organisations have called for the possession and personal use of all illegal drugs to be decriminalised in the UK. The Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health said the government's approach to drugs policy had failed. There should be a greater focus on treatment and education, they added. The report, Taking A New Line On Drugs, said criminal sanctions failed to deter illegal drug use, undermined people's life chances and could act as a barrier to addicts coming forward for help. (See also: Breaking Good - Times editorial | Leading public health bodies call for decriminalisation of drugs)

  • The first big company to say it’s serving the legal marijuana trade? Microsoft.

    Microsoft will not be getting anywhere near these kiosks or the actual plants
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    As state after state has legalized marijuana in one way or another, big names in corporate America have stayed away entirely. Marijuana, after all, is still illegal, according to the federal government. But Microsoft is breaking the corporate taboo on pot by announcing a partnership to begin offering software that tracks marijuana plants from “seed to sale,” as the pot industry puts it. The software is meant to help states that have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana keep tabs on sales and commerce, ensuring that they remain in the daylight of legality.

  • Thousands of Jamaicans see ganja records wiped clean

    The number of ganja cases dropped from 8,284 in 2014 to 2,285 in 2015
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    Almost 4,000 Jamaicans who had criminal records for minor ganja offenses have so far been issued with clean Police certificates under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act passed in 2015. During a presentation to Parliament, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said amendments to the Act saw 71 persons being qualified to have their offenses automatically erased. Chuck said thousands of other Jamaicans have had their criminal records wiped clean by the state.

  • Human rights study no reason to change cannabis regulation policy

    A vast majority of municipalities call to allow experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation and trade
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    A recent study by Radboud University Nijmegen that concluded that regulating cannabis cultivation could improve human rights is no reason for the Netherlands to change its policy on marijuana, Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice said. He argues that it can not be conclusively stated that regulating cannabis cultivation and trade will decrease violent crime. A recent vote at a meeting of the Association of Dutch Municipalities showed that the vast majority of municipalities in the Netherlands supports experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation.

  • Smoke clears on cannabis licensing regime

    Expectations run high for the potential economic benefits to be derived from the development of a local medical ganja industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Over a year ago Jamaica brought about reform to the legal landscape with regards to ganja through the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act the (DDA). After the establishment of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), stakeholders waited with bated breath for it to develop the regulations to support the licensing regime. Such regulations have recently been issued as the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) (Interim) Regulations 2016. Though only “interim regulations”, completing the legal and regulatory infrastructure required to enable a local ganja industry for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes. (Vision for Jamaica’s new legal ganja industry | Big bucks to go into ganja business)

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Chewing over Khat prohibition


Where strict bans on khat have been introduced they have had severe unintended negative consequences and failed to further the integration, social incusion and economic prosperity of Somali communities in particular, which chew khat most widely.




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