Drugs in the news

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  • How neuroscience reinforces racist drug policy

    The seemingly objective science of neuroimaging can be used to justify a moral argument for or against legal marijuana
    Nathan Greenslit
    The Atlantic (US)
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    A recent neuroscience study from Harvard Medical School claims to have discovered brain differences between people who smoke marijuana and people who do not. Such well-intentioned and seemingly objective science is actually a new chapter in a politicized and bigoted history of drug science in the United States. Different-looking brains tell us literally nothing about who these people are, what their lives are like, why they do or do not use marijuana, or what effects marijuana has had on them.

  • West Africa should decriminalise drugs - Obasanjo commission

    Low-level drug offences should be decriminalised in West Africa, according to a high-level report
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    The West Africa Commission on Drugs says drug cartels are undermining the region by using it to transit cocaine. The commission, headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, says the cartels should be tackled but that punishing the personal use of drugs does not work. It argues that current policies incite corruption and provoke violence. Drug trafficking and consumption have become major issues in West Africa since the turn of the century. (See also: West Africa needs to look at partially decriminalising drugs, says thinktank)

  • Cabinet approves proposal to decriminalise small amounts of ganja

    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    The Jamaican government has approved proposed amendments to the law that will decriminalise the possession of small amounts of ganja. Justice Minister Mark Golding says the government will soon table a bill in Parliament that will seek to expunge the criminal records of persons convicted for possession of small amounts of ganja. Speaking at a Jamaica House press conference a short while ago, Golding said Cabinet has approved proposed changes to the Dangerous Drugs Act to make possession of up to two ounces (57 grams) or less a non-arrestable offence. (See also: Jamaica government announces major changes to drug laws)

  • First cannabis club shut down in Catalonia for drug trafficking

    Authorities are keeping a closer eye on member-only associations that claim to be not-for-profit
    El País (Spain)
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Growing numbers of visitors are purchasing a few grams of marijuana while on holiday in Barcelona, a city that is already being described as the "Holland of the South." All one needs to do is become a member of a cannabis club, many of which advertise on the internet, and place an order by phone or online. But for the first time in the Catalan capital, a judge has ordered a club closure on the grounds that it was engaging in drug trafficking.

  • Mexican president hints may be open to change in marijuana laws

    Reuters
    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    Mexico and the United States cannot pursue diverging policies on marijuana legalization, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was quoted as saying, hinting he may be open to following the lead taken by some U.S. states in changing drug laws. Political pressure has grown in Mexico to take a more liberal stance on marijuana. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Pena Nieto said "we can't continue on this road of inconsistency between the legalization we've had [...] in the most important consumer market, the United States, and in Mexico where we continue to criminalize production of marijuana."

  • High times: The next five states to tackle pot laws

    "A lot of legislators are more open, they’re holding more hearings, they’re emboldened."
    NBC News (US)
    Monday, June 2, 2014

    cannabis-plant3Weed is legal in at least some form in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Most allow it for medical use only. Colorado and Washington this year enacted laws that allow recreational use by adults. But more than two dozen states are considering new or expanded marijuana reform legislation, including complete legalization for adults, medical marijuana, hemp use and decriminalization. Which are the next five states likely to legalize marijuana?

  • Global drug policy is still deadly and ineffective

    Samuel Oakford
    Vice
    Sunday, June 1, 2014

    If you actually read the treaties, while they do set firm limitations on the legal, "non-medical" or "non-scientific" sale of schedule drugs — limits that Uruguay, Colorado and Washington ignored when legalizing cannabis — they don’t otherwise obligate countries to penalize drug use. Even the 1988 convention, the harshest of the three, which instructs countries to criminalize use, still provides an out for states, allowing such laws only as they are "subject to its constitutional principles and the basic concepts of its legal system." This loophole has been used by the Dutch to argue legally for their coffee shops.

    Read more...
  • How dangerous synthetic cannabis became Britain's most popular new legal high

    The Huffington Post (UK)
    Sunday, June 1, 2014

    spiceThe influx of legal, synthetic forms of cannabis that can be more potent and dangerous than the natural, illegal drug exposes Britain's "utterly ridiculous" cannabis laws. "Synthetic cannabis might be the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of cannabis reform," says Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at the charity Transform. "We currently have an unbelievably stupid situation where people can buy fake cannabis that's more dangerous. It's utterly ridiculous.

  • Limburg marijuana growers turn over €240m a year: local paper

    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    Despite efforts to clamp down on marijuana plantations, growers in the southern province of Limburg turn over some €240m a year, according to calculations by local paper De Limburger. Last year the police dismantled 599 plantations in the province. Using the police estimate of finding one in three, this would mean there are 1,800 plantations in the province. (See also: One of Tilburg's biggest industries is marijuana)

  • GOP House backs state medical marijuana laws

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    rohrabacherThe GOP-controlled House voted in favor of blocking the federal government from interfering with states that permit the use of medical marijuana. The surprising 219-189 vote came as the House debated a bill funding the Justice Department's budget. The amendment by conservative GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California -- the first state to legalize medical marijuana -- came as almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical uses. "Public opinion is shifting," Rohrabacher said, noting a recent Pew Research Center survey that found 61 percent of Republicans support medical marijuana. (See also: Is Congress finally catching on about medical marijuana?)

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