Drugs in the news

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  • Canada's newly elected Liberals may legalize marijuana

    That could impact US drug policy
    Vox (US)
    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    With the Liberal Party's electoral victory in Canada, the US's northern neighbors could soon undertake an enormous change in drug policy: marijuana legalization. The policy was a big part of the Liberals' campaign: "We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana. Canada's current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug."

  • Cannabis research 'being stifled' by US government, says think tank

    Federal policy is "interfering with the relationship between doctor and patient"
    The Independent (UK)
    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    In a new report, Ending the U.S. government’s war on medical marijuana research, researchers at the Brookings Institution call on the federal government to eliminate roadblocks to medical marijuana research in the U.S. "The federal government is stifling medical research in a rapidly transforming area of public policy that has consequences for public health and public safety," authors John Hudak and Grace Wallack, say. "Statutory, regulatory, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers have paralyzed science and threatened the integrity of research freedom in this area."

  • UN attempt to decriminalise drugs foiled

    The UNODC paper also suggests low-level dealing should not be criminal offence
    BBC News (UK)
    Monday, October 19, 2015

    unodc-brief-decrim-wsA paper from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been withdrawn after pressure from at least one country. The document, which was leaked, recommends to consider "decriminalising drug and possession for personal consumption", arguing "arrest and incarceration are disproportionate measures". The UNODC has been under pressure for some time to make a clear statement regarding decriminalisation. UN agencies including the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS have been explicit in their opposition to drug users facing criminal sanctions on health and human rights grounds. The UNODC says the document is under review.

  • UN poised to call for decriminalisation of drugs, says Richard Branson

    Businessman says he is breaking embargo as he fears political pressure will lead to withdrawal of statement at last minute
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, October 19, 2015

    richard-branson5The United Nations is on the verge of issuing a call for all governments to decriminalise the possession and use of all drugs, according to businessman and global drugs campaigner Richard Branson. In a statement on the Virgin website, Branson has claimed that the call is included in an as-yet unreleased, embargoed statement by the UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC) and marks a “refreshing shift” from a body that has “shaped much of global drug policy for decades”. (Transform: Leaked document shows UN agency in charge of drug war wants world to decriminalise all drugs)

  • Steep fall in cannabis offences points to silent relaxation of drugs policy

    Police cite shrinking budgets and reduced stop and search, as possession offences recorded in England and Wales drop by almost a third
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    uk-stop-searchThe number of cannabis possession offences in England and Wales has plummeted since 2011 as forces divert shrinking budgets into tackling more serious crime and officers rein in stop and search. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal offences – including penalty notices, cautions, charges and summons – fell by almost a third from a peak of 145,400 in 2011-12 to 101,905 in 2014-15. The figures include all cannabis possession offences, not just those that led to arrests or prosecutions. The fall in offences cannot be explained by police opting for quick cautions over lengthy prosecutions. (See also: The other green belt)

  • Mexico supreme court to discuss legalizing recreational marijuana

    Saturday, October 17, 2015

    Mexico's supreme court plans to discuss a proposal that could effectively legalize the consumption and production of marijuana for recreational use in a session on 28 October. Judges will vote on whether to declare unconstitutional parts of a federal health law prohibiting the growth and consumption of marijuana after a nonprofit group filed an injunction against a 2013 decision by health regulator Cofepris. Political pressure on Mexico to liberalize its stance on marijuana has been rising since the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado legalized possession and sale of the drug for recreational use in 2012.

  • La consommation de cannabis désormais passible d'une simple amende

    Objectif : réduire le flot de procédures judiciaires et frapper au portefeuille
    L'Express (France)
    Vendredi, 16 octobre 2015

    Le décret d'application de la transaction pénale ouvre la possibilité aux policiers de proposer une amende aux auteurs de petits délits, comme la consommation de cannabis. Les uns y verront un premier pas vers la dépénalisation de la drogue douce. Les autres, un moyen efficace de soulager les tribunaux sans se montrer totalement laxiste. La transaction pénale est l'une des mesures phares de la réforme pénale de Christiane Taubira. Son décret d'application a été publié en toute discrétion, rapporte Le Monde.

  • Legal and social: this is how the first Cannabis Club in the Netherlands would like marijuana

    Not everyone would immediately associate the concept of Cannabis Social Club to the city of Amsterdam
    31mag (Netherlands)
    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    tree-of-life2How does a Social Club fit in the Dutch capital, with its about 200 coffee shops? "The concept of The Tree of Life is very different than a coffeeshop," says Rosaria Ricci, president of the club. "First of all, it is not for profit. Secondly, it addresses marijuana lovers and not anonymous customers. Plus, the association also has a political goal: to change the current legislation. The cultivation of marijuana is not allowed at the moment. Finally, it focuses on the therapeutic functions of cannabis from a scientific point of view. All these elements are almost entirely absent within the activity of a coffeeshop."

  • Once and for all, marijuana is not a gateway drug

    Correlation isn't the same thing as causation
    Vice (US)
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    As the 2016 election approaches, marijuana legalization is in the air once again, with ballot initiatives likely to succeed in at least five states, including California. As usual, politicians – including some presidential candidates – are trying to turn back the tide by spreading fear that weed is a gateway to more dangerous drugs. But research increasingly shows not only that the "gateway" theory is incorrect, but that weed may actually help people with addictions stop taking other drugs, rather than start.

  • Cannabis legalisation worth millions - government report

    The study notes that 2.2 million people aged 16 to 59 are thought to have used cannabis last year - smoking a total of 216 tonnes
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    Legalising cannabis could generate hundreds of millions a year in tax and cut costs for the police and prisons, an internal Treasury report found. Regulating the market would "generate notable tax revenue" and "lead to overall savings to the criminal justice system". The Treasury study, at the behest of the Liberal Democrats when they were in coalition, was never published. Analysts reviewed the work of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, which estimated that licensing cannabis could help reduce the UK budget deficit by up to £1.25bn a year.

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