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  • Drugs minister refuses to rule out legalisation of cannabis

    Norman Baker tells MPs 'we should be prepared to follow the evidence' in first appearance before parliamentary committee
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    norman-bakerThe new Liberal Democrat minister responsible for drugs policy, Norman Baker, has refused to rule out a policy of legalising cannabis but said that it is not his prime objective in the job. "I think it needs to be considered along with everything else. It is not my prime objective and I am not advocating it at the moment. We should be prepared to follow the evidence and see where it takes us," he said.

  • Deutschland wird zur Kiffer-Republik

    Mit einer Petition wollen Befürworter die Legalisierung der Droge erreichen
    Die Welt (Germany)
    Montag, 25 November 2013

    Liberale Strafrechtsprofessoren fordern, dass sich der Bundestag erneut mit dem Drogenverbot auseinandersetzt und haben eine entsprechende Petition unterzeichnet. "Uns geht es nicht um die Verharmlosung von Drogen, sondern um die Kriminalisierung der Konsumenten. Die Strafverfolgung ist das Problem", sagt Lorenz Böllinger von der Universität Bremen. Die Juristen fordern, dass der Bundestag eine Enquete-Kommission einsetzen soll, die die Wirkungen der Betäubungsmittelgesetze analysieren soll.

  • Drug-related deaths down

    The number of deaths due to drug use is the lowest since 1993
    Politiken (Denmark)
    Monday, November 25, 2013

    mobile-fixerroom"It is encouraging that we have been able to achieve a drop in numbers in an area where Denmark’s figures are otherwise too high," says Health Minister Astrid Krag. Fixing rooms are said to be one of the main reasons. The number of drug-related deaths has been relatively constant since the mid-1990s, but the 2012 figures – 210 deaths of which 76 per cent are men and 24 per cent women – is a noticeable drop.

  • US Attorney General Holder rejects mass incarceration, 'one-size-fits all' security policies

    The Pan-American Post
    Friday, November 22, 2013

    holderSpeaking at a meeting of the hemisphere's security ministers in Medellin, United States Attorney General Eric Holder touted the Obama administration's efforts to curb mandatory minimum sentences. He also backed a more heterodox approach to citizen security, a sign of a subtle shift in the U.S.-backed 'War on Drugs' in the region. Holder delivered his address at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV), a biannual OAS-sponsored conference designed to promote policy coordination on the issue. (See also: Open letter to Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas)

  • Why do Brazilian police kill?

    InSight Crime
    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    An average of five people were killed by police every day in Brazil last year, according to an annual security report, revealing an entrenched culture of violence within the country's security forces. Brazil's Forum of Public Security joined forces with US non-governmental organization (NGO) Open Society Foundations to conduct an in-depth study of police killings as part of its annual report, concluding that the country's security forces are beset by a "culture of violence."

  • D66 Liberals to draft regulated marijuana production proposal

    Dutch News (The Netherlands)
    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    The D66 Liberal party, currently the second biggest party in The Netherlands in recent polls, is drawing up draft legislation for the regulated production of marijuana. At the moment it is illegal to grow marijuana. This means there is a grey area between the official policy of turning a blind eye towards possessing small amounts of marijuana and the supply to coffee shops. (See also:  Majority of the Dutch favour cannabis legalisation)

  • Academics: "Legalise cannabis in Flanders"

    Flanders News (Belgium)
    Monday, November 18, 2013

    belgian-academicsThree Flemish academics, a criminologist, an economist and a toxicologist, are pressing for the legalisation of cannabis. They believe that making the drug legal and being able to regulate the market would be a far more effective way of tackling the drug. They argue that the present clamp down that costs 400 million euros a year does not work. (See also: 75 euro 'fine' for all cannabis possession in Antwerp)

  • Uruguay's likely cannabis law could set tone for war on drugs in Latin America

    State control of marijuana market should be seen as part of long and pragmatic tradition of market intervention and nationalisation
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, November 18, 2013

    The marijuana regulation bill, which has been passed by the lower house of the Uruguayan parliament, will allow registered users to buy up to 40g a month from a chemist's, registered growers to keep up to six plants, and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants. Julio Bango, one of the legislators who drafted the bill: "This is an experiment without a doubt and it will have a demonstrable effect. That could be important for the world because it could be the start of a new paradigm."

  • Whither Rio de Janeiro’s Police Pacification Units?

    Former police chief explains why
    Inter American Development Bank blog
    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Rio de Janeiro’s Pacification Police Units (UPP) are celebrating their fifth year in 2013. They do so with generally positive approval ratings from the media and society as a whole. A recent study by Instituto Data Favela indicates that 75% of favelas inhabitants approve of the UPPs. Notwithstanding major crises and criticism, the UPP constitute the single most important public security initiative in the state. And yet the persistent informality of the UPP may eventually undermine its sustainability. (See also: Rio slum pacification police accused of torture, murder)

  • Cannabis clubs blossoming in the UK

    There are 49 of them around the UK now, with members meeting to discuss the drug's production, its medicinal use and legalisation – and to get high
    The Guardian Blog (UK)
    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Over the past few years, local cannabis clubs have blossomed over Britain. There are now 49 around the UK, which are united by the UK Cannabis Social Club, an organisation founded in 2011 to represent cannabis users. Operating primarily through Facebook, (the LCC's page has had 39,301 likes) the clubs bring cannabis users together from all over Britain to discuss topics ranging from fertiliser to self-medication and campaigning for the decriminalisation of the drug.

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Count the Costs

Count the Costs

The war on drugs creates massive costs, resulting from the enforcement-led approach that puts organised crime in control of the trade. It is time to count these costs and explore the alternatives.




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