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  • Bipartisan “Path to Marijuana Reform” bills introduced to decriminalize, protect, regulate cannabis industry

    Three marijuana-related bills address issues such as taxation, banking, civil forfeiture, de-scheduling, decriminalization, research, individual protections and regulation
    The Cannabist (US)
    Thursday, March 30, 2017

    U.S. lawmakers introduced a package of marijuana reform bills aimed at protecting and preserving existing state-based programs while creating a framework for the federal regulation of cannabis. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, announced the Path to Marijuana Reform, a bipartisan package of three related bills that address issues such as taxation, banking, civil forfeiture, descheduling, decriminalization, research, individual protections and regulation. “This is the most comprehensive package that’s (yet) been advanced,” Blumenauer said. While some other marijuana-related bills have been introduced to get at portions of the issue, “this is an opportunity to have the big picture.” (See also: Prosecuting pot: Nation’s DAs seek consensus)

  • SPD-Politiker will Abgabe von Cannabis nach der Wahl legalisieren

    "Es ist höchste Zeit für einen Paradigmenwechsel", sagt Burkhard Blienert
    The Huffington Post (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 30. März 2017

    Der drogenpolitische Sprecher der SPD, Burkhard Blienert, plädiert dafür, dass die schrittweise Legalisierung der Cannabis-Abgabe in das Wahlprogramm der SPD aufgenommen wird. Dieses soll im Juni vorgestellt werden. „Wenn es nach mir geht, sollten wir nach der Wahl die regulierte Abgabe von Cannabis in Deutschland schrittweise vorantreiben. Hierfür ist es höchste Zeit“, fordert Blienert. Blienerts Vorschlag sieht vor, die Abgabe der Droge von „unten nach oben“ zu legalisieren. Bedeutet: „Bevor wir den Cannabiskonsum deutschlandweit entkriminalisieren, sollten wir mit Modellprojekten in allen Teilen der Bundesrepublik Erfahrungen sammeln.“

  • Trump misses the mark with opioid crisis plan, health advocates say

    Commission to tackle painkiller addiction is being called redundant, as Trump plays catch up with an issue that’s been a priority concern for years
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, March 30, 2017

    The White House plan to address the opioid crisis runs counter to the administration’s health and justice policies, said politicians and advocates. The Trump administration announced it was launching a commission to study the crisis, which sees 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Congress has presented an unusually united front in its commitment to responding to the crisis, adopting federal policies that mirror legislation in states across the political spectrum. And Trump’s centerpiece plan to convene a commission that develops recommendations on the drug crisis is viewed by many as redundant.

  • Public support for marijuana legalization surged in 2016

    The survey indicates two significant fault lines when it comes to marijuana policy: age and political party
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    General Social Survey 2016Public support for marijuana legalization in the US surged in 2016, according to data just released from the General Social Survey. Last year 57 percent of Americans told the survey's pollsters that they "think the use of marijuana should be legal," up from 52 percent in 2014. The numbers from the the General Social Survey – a large nationwide survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research – comport with other national surveys last year, which found support ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s.

  • Marijuana industry faces challenge in gaining Canadians’ trust, survey finds

    While legalization over all enjoys popular support, the devil will be in the details and there is abundant room for missteps as the marketplace is created and governed
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Marijuana stocks may have leapt higher on the news of Ottawa’s plans to legalize the drug by next year, but the industry is facing an uphill battle in building trust with Canadian consumers, according to a new survey. When Environics Communications asked whether they trust companies in each sector to “do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society,” survey respondents ranked marijuana dead last among roughly 20 sectors – giving it a lower trust rating than such sectors as pipelines, social media platforms, and pharmaceutical companies. Just 13 per cent of roughly 1,500 people gave marijuana companies a rating of five or higher on a seven-point trust scale.

  • Ganja data war - MOH backs drug watchdog in weed clash, lobbyist standing ground

    Chief medical officer, Dr Winston De La Haye, has in the past presented "controversial and ... dubious reports inimical to the use of ganja"
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    jamaica selling ganjaA standoff between the Ministry of Health minister and a lobbyist of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has forced the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) to defend its research methodology which provided data suggesting increase ganja use among adolescents since possession of two ounces or less is no longer a criminal offence. Health Minister Christopher Tufton responded sharply to criticisms from CLA Director Delano Seiveright that the ministry and some of its officials were the biggest humbug to efforts of the CLA to advance ganja decriminalisation efforts in Jamaica. The NCDA provided data for The Sunday Gleaner story titled 'Ganja babies'. (See also: Professor Wendel Abel slaps down interpretation of NCDA ganja report)

  • Pot legalization: Canada doesn’t need another profit-seeking drug industry

    Cannabis law reform provides an opportunity to introduce an approach that truly places the priority on social justice and public health over revenue
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    When Canadians have expressed concerns about upcoming cannabis legalization, the government has assured them that the legal cannabis industry will be strictly regulated to protect public health. This promise raises important questions: Has legalization of our other drug industries – alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals – prevented harm from their misuse? Have these drug industries effectively balanced the pursuit of revenue with protection of public health? Has government regulation of drug industries been effective? Canadians have far more to fear from a revenue-obsessed, poorly regulated cannabis industry than they do from cannabis itself. (See also: Marijuana stocks ‘a bubble ready to burst’ | The wild west of weed: will legalisation work for Canada?)

  • Ottawa's plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces

    Other contentious aspects of legalization included how much people should be allowed to possess, whether edibles should be sold and how to tackle drug-impaired driving
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, March 27, 2017

    Ottawa’s plan to legalize marijuana by next year could hit serious roadblocks across the country, as provinces and territories are expected to have different approaches to solving complicated policy issues such as where to sell cannabis and how much to tax the drug. The government expects to roll out legislation before April 20 and that the recreational use of the drug would be legalized by July 1, 2018. But the federal government has indicated that it will leave the contentious issues of regulating the wholesale distribution and retailing of cannabis up to the provinces and territories, a move that could make next year’s target seem too ambitious for some jurisdictions, according to several industry insiders and academics.

  • Israel seeks piece of projected $50 billion medical marijuana market

    Over 500 Israeli companies have applied for licenses to grow, manufacture and export cannabis products as U.S. market booms
    Haaretz (Israel)
    Monday, March 27, 2017

    Israel, a leader in marijuana research and health technology, is attracting international investment as it tries to position itself as a cutting-edge exporter in the rapidly growing market for medical cannabis. With estimates that the global market for medical marijuana could reach $50 billion by 2025, the Israeli government is set to allow the local industry to start exporting and projects annual revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The government gave the go-ahead in February to legislation that would allow export. (See also: Israel's medical marijuana pioneers look to cash in on $20bn market)

  • Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018

    Provinces will have right to decide how marijuana is distributed and sold
    CBC (Canada)
    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018. CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan. Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend. (Read more: Ottawa rushing to draft marijuana legalization bill ahead of 4/20: sources)

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