Drugs in the news

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  • Cannabis for schizophrenia - A new medication?

    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Thursday, April 2, 2015

    Cannabidiol, which is an active substance in cannabis, helps relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia by helping to normalize brain metabolism. Schizophrenia is a severe and disabling brain disorder. Professor Markus Leweke, a medical doctor at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, describes the potential benefits of medical cannabis and pharmacological treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders, with a focus on cannabinoids.

  • This is what's actually in your ecstasy

    A new breed of super-strong ecstasy has accompanied this peak in quality
    Vice (UK)
    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    The latest data on ecstasy – taken from pills seized by police in England and Wales between July and October of last year – reveals that the average pinger contains 108mg of MDMA, making them the strongest they've ever been in the UK. For context, "back in the day" – i.e. during the Second Summer of Love, as rave took off here in the late-80s and early-90s – most pills were around the 80mg mark. Which is close to what's seen by ecstasy researchers as the "acceptable" dose (70-75mg) for an average-sized adult during one drug-taking session.

  • An injecting room worked for heroin. Let's have one to help beat ice

    To tackle ice, Australia needs brave leaders who understand that there will always be people who take meth
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    In its report on the methamphetamine market, the Australian Crime Commission identified ice as the illicit drug posing the highest risk to Australia. Perhaps it’s time to establish a safe place for ice users along the lines of the heroin injecting centre: a place where users can be monitored, where adverse physical and mental reactions to the drug can be professionally dealt with. This could, like the injecting centre, become a place where users develop a trust relationship with staff and are eventually amenable to referral into treatment. (See also: Australia's drug policy led the world 30 years ago. Now politics holds us back)

  • Governor General gives assent, 'Ganja law' now in effect

    The Act also makes special provisions for people of the Rastafarian Faith and visitors to the island who intend to use medical marijuana
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has given his assent to the Bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence. The House passed the Bill on February 24, 2015, following which it was expected to be signed into law about a week later. During the month-long wait, there was speculation among some ganja advocates that GG Allen, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith, might have been having difficulties giving his assent to the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act. The Ministry of Justice has prepared a fact sheet on the Act.

  • Labour's 'appalling gutter politics' on drugs

    Labour now prioritises crude electioneering over reforming drug policy to save lives
    New Statesman (UK)
    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Campaigners for a more evidence-based drug policy are horrified. "It’s a classic and appalling example of gutter politics,” says Martin Jelsma, Director of the drugs policy programme of the Transnational Institute. “Accusing the Lib Dems of being ‘soft on drugs and thugs’ is a cheap populist slogan that tries to hide the Labour Party's own co-responsibility for destroying the future of thousands of people by giving them a criminal record for no good reason at all."

  • Marijuana cultivation in California is sucking streams dry, says new report

    The drought-stricken state is facing further water shortages due to unregulated marijuana farms
    The Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    With its dense forests, foggy climate and rugged coastline, California’s Humboldt County has long been synonymous with its biggest cash crop: marijuana. Cannabis has thrived here — both before and since the state legalized it for medical purposes in 1996. The industry has been booming in the last few years, and with little regulation it has had a huge impact on the environment. A report, published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, quantifies some of that impact for the first time. (See also: Is pot causing the California drought?)

  • D.C. hosts nation’s biggest legal marijuana giveaway

    Proponents say that a crop from amateur growers could increase supply and reduce the market for illegal street sales
    Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    With D.C. police officers looking on, hundreds of city residents lined up and then walked away from an Adams Morgan restaurant carrying baggies containing marijuana seeds. Taking advantage of a ballot measure approved last fall by voters that legalized possession of the plant, the unprecedented giveaway scattered what organizers said were thousands of pot seeds to cultivate in homes and apartments across the nation’s capital. (See also: Hundreds now have marijuana seeds. But can they grow it?Can Washington’s gift economy in marijuana work?)

  • Critical updates needed in state marijuana laws

    The Legislature must act on new marijuana laws or risk the legalization measure dying on the vine
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    Washington's experiment with legal recreational marijuana is "teetering on the brink" of a market failure. That is the candid assessment of Hayden Woodard, a state-licensed grower in Dallesport who hasn’t given himself a paycheck in a year. A stream of state-licensed marijuana operators recently testified in Olympia about how overregulation and unequal competition from unregulated medical-marijuana dispensaries are jeopardizing Initiative 502, the landmark legalization measure passed in 2012. (See also: Lawmakers propose bill to allow growing recreational pot at home)

  • Is marijuana a gateway drug?

    The gateway theory seems reasonable enough at first
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    In the past few years, the number of monthly marijuana users in America has steadily risen, from 14.4m in 2007 to 18.9m in 2012. If marijuana were a gateway to harder drugs, one might expect those drugs to become more popular too. Yet during the same period, consumption of most other substances actually fell. The number of monthly cocaine users dipped from 2.1m to 1.7m and the number of people using methamphetamine fell from 530,000 to 440,000. Heroin use has been going up, but the gateway drug there seems to be prescription painkillers.

  • Belgium: Allotments for cannabis smokers

    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Cannabis is by far the most frequently consumed illegal drug in Europe, although producing it privately is illegal in the EU. Right outside the gates of the European Union, in Belgium, Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC) are being founded, organizations that are a bit like allotment associations for adult cannabis smokers. Plants are grown and harvested in strictly secret locations. Every club member gets one of the plants from a harvest, and pays an annual fee for it.

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Cannabis social clubs in Spain

Cannabis social clubs are noncommercial organisations of users who cultivate and distribute enough cannabis to meet their personal needs without having to turn to the black market.




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