Drugs in the news

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  • FDA to evaluate marijuana for potential reclassification as less dangerous drug

    The review process is being completed at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    marijuana-handThe US Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the medical evidence surrounding the safety and effectiveness of marijuana, a process that could lead to the agency downgrading the drug's current status as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous classification. "FDA conducts for Health and Human Services a scientific and medical analysis of the drug under consideration," FDA Press Officer Jeff Ventura said. "HHS then recommends to DEA that the drug be placed in a given schedule. DEA considers HHS’ analysis, conducts its own assessment, and makes a final scheduling proposal in the form of a proposed rule." (See also: Scheduling in the international drug control system)

  • Qat ban: UK police officers told to use their discretion in enforcement

    Policing the ban on the mild herbal stimulant, used by Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian people in the UK, poses challenges
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Police have been officially advised to use their discretion in deciding how to enforce the ban on qat, a mild herbal stimulant, that has been widely used in Britain's Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities. Official guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers tells constables that in applying a "three strikes" enforcement policy they should take into account that qat has "historically not been a controlled drug and was part of the culture of certain communities linked to the Horn of Africa." (See also: Stimulant khat banned as illegal class C drug in UK)

  • The war on drugs killed my daughter

    Martha Fernback, 15, died from taking 91% pure ecstasy. Anne-Marie Cockburn is campaigning for drug legalisation to spare others her ordeal
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Martha Fernback, 15, died from taking 91% pure ecstasy. The response of her mother, Anne-Marie Cockburn was unusual. She refused to blame her daughter, her friends, or the dealer or the manufacturer. Cockburn, a single mother, focused on a greater target: the government. "It quickly became obvious that prohibition had had its chance but failed," she said. "Martha is a sacrificial lamb under prohibition. The question is: how many more Marthas have to die before we change our approach? It's not acceptable to allow the risks to remain."

  • Dope to your door

    Why pot is the new pizza. The economics of home-delivered marijuana
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Evan Cox used to deliver pizza. But 18 months ago, as he was running out of money at college in Seattle, he had a new business idea. The state of Washington was in the process of legalising the sale of marijuana, but he guessed it would take time for pot shops to open. So he set up Winterlife, a marijuana-delivery service. Dope-delivery services are also popular in states with stricter laws. More than a dozen illegal delivery services now serve tokers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

  • Genève devrait tester le marché régulé et taxé du cannabis

    Le groupe de travail sur la régulation du cannabis s'inspire des modèles espagnols et portugais pour sortir du cercle vicieux répressif
    Tribune de Genève (Suisse)
    Vendredi, 20 juin 2014

    Le groupe interpartis, qui planche sur la régularisation du marché du cannabis à Genève, vient de publier son deuxième rapport. Il dit avoir bien entendu les critiques émises en décembre 2013 et les préoccupations des opposants, mais il tient à son idée, celle d'implanter à Genève le modèle de consommation espagnol. Il s'agirait d'autoriser pour les adultes exclusivement, sur une période d'essai de trois ans, la distribution, la vente et la consommation de cannabis dans le cadre d’associations contrôlées par l’Etat.

  • Albania cracks down on marijuana production in key southern village

    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    With the fruits of its labor turning up in Italy, Greece and, last year, Germany, Albania has come under increasing pressure from the European Union to crack down on cannabis production in Lazaret long considered untouchable, out of reach of the law thanks to a web of corrupt connections to the police and politicians. Albania hopes to get approval later this month from each of the EU’s 28 member states to become an official candidate for inclusion in the group. Crime and corruption are sure to be top of the list of issues that must be resolved before it can join.

  • Councils can ban tourists from coffee shops, Council of State rules

    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Local councils in the Netherlands do have the power to ban people who do not live in their area from visiting cannabis cafes, the Council of State ruled. Preventing drugs tourism and combating organised crime are legitimate aims to allow selection on the basis of nationality, the country's highest legal body said. 'The residence criterion is a proportionate measure for combating drugs tourism and this legitimate objective cannot be achieved by other, less radical means,’ the council said in a statement. (See also: Most Dutch councils ignore ban on marijuana sales to tourists)

  • Légalisation du kif : Des associations rifaines mènent la fronde contre les projets du PAM et l’Istiqlal

    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mercredi, 18 juin 2014

    morocco-parliament-cannabisIl n’y a pas que les islamistes du PJD qui s’opposent aux propositions de loi du PAM et de l’Istiqlal visant la légalisation de la culture du kif. Le tissu associatif rifain adopte la même position, mais pour d’autres raisons. Deux ONG du Rif accusent les deux partis de servir les intérêts des multinationales et non des petits agriculteurs.

  • The difference between legalisation and decriminalisation

    The Economist (UK)
    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    The war on cannabis seems to be slowly burning out. On June 12th Jamaica announced that it plans to decriminalise possession of small amounts of the drug. Several countries, including Mexico and Portugal, have already taken this step, and many others are considering it. A handful of other jurisdictions—so far only Uruguay and the states of Colorado and Washington—have taken a different approach, not decriminalising but instead legalising cannabis. Many people mistakenly use the terms “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” interchangeably. What is the difference?

  • Jamaica anticipates a marijuana rush as decriminalisation looms – but is it too late?

    The prospect of growing ganja for medical purposes has triggered a wave of heady economic optimism, but it faces stiff competition
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, June 16, 2014

    cannabis-cultivation-jamaica2Possession of a mere handful of marijuana has for decades clogged Jamaican courts with petty cases and distracted an undermanned police force from tackling the crime cartels pushing drugs and guns. The recently proposed decriminalisation of marijuana has been long anticipated and much unfulfilled. Fearing those big-stick-wielding neighbours, the United States, would crack Jamaica's backside, politicians have avoided pressing the reset button on a law that has proved unwieldy, expensive and downright stupid. (See also: No fall-out expected from decision on ganja)

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