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  • Uruguay’s year in weed: 3 big successes, 3 burning questions

    Wasn't Uruguay supposed to become a marijuana mecca of the south? Here's why that hasn't happened, just yet
    Global Post
    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    It’s been just over a year since Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica signed a law creating the world’s first nationalized market for the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. But along with the successes of Uruguay’s weed experiment are some notable hold-ups. For starters, a year into the new paradigm, it’s still impossible to buy marijuana legally here. To date, the government still hasn’t chosen the companies that will grow its cannabis.

  • Superman ‘ecstasy’ pill deaths are result of ‘illogical and punitive drugs policy’

    Former government adviser Dr David Nutt says ban on MDMA has resulted in more dangerous drugs coming on to market
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, January 5, 2014

    The deaths of four men who had taken pills they thought were ecstasy are the result of the government’s "illogical and punitive drug policy", says Dr David Nutt, who was sacked as the government’s senior drugs adviser in 2009 after criticising its decision to toughen the law on cannabis. He argues that current policy had targeted the production and sale of MDMA only to see it substituted by a more toxic substance.

  • Austrian health agency exports cannabis

    Austria exported 142 kilos of cannabis to foreign pharmaceutical companies last year
    The Local (Austria)
    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Austria’s health agency AGES has revealed that the medical grade cannabis was sold to pharmaceutical companies which used it to make cannabinoid painkillers, used for treating cancer patients. Such medications are banned in Austria. Greens MP Eva Mückstein said it was outrageous that AGES was able to produce and sell cannabis but Austrian patients could not benefit from this. (See also: Greens launch cannabis legalization tour)

  • Myanmar returns to what sells: Heroin

    A toxic mix of civil war and poverty has driven some Burmese farmers back to poppy, satisfying a growing global hunger for heroin
    Thomas Fuller
    The New York Times (US)
    Sunday, January 4, 2015

    opium-burma-nyt030115A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle. Today, valley after valley in these mist-shrouded mountains is covered with resplendent opium poppies, tended by farmers who perch on steep hillsides to harvest the plant’s sticky, intoxicating sap.

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  • Medical marijuana a challenge for legal pot states

    Associated Press (US)
    Friday, January 2, 2015

    A year into the experiments with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales. In Washington, the black market has exploded with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system. Licensed shops say taxes are so onerous that they can't compete.

  • One year after law's approval, Uruguay waits for commercial cannabis sales

    Talking Drugs
    Friday, January 2, 2015

    A year after Uruguay's historic marijuana law was signed, officials have green-lighted homegrown cannabis, cannabis clubs, and hemp cultivation, but the specifics of its signature provision – a regulated commercial cannabis market – remain unclear. It seems one will have to be patient for the country to roll out commercial sales. Drug czar Julio Calzada has told reporters that marijuana could be made available in pharmacies by March, but El Observador has noted that even if the final growers are selected in the near future it is unlikely the drug will go on sale before March 1.

  • Is Obama finally ready to dial back the war on drugs?

    Jacob Sullum
    Forbes (US)
    Thursday, January 1, 2014

    obama-changeAs Obama embarks on the third year of his second term, here are some of the ways in which Obama has begun to deliver on his promises of a more rational, less punitive approach to psychoactive substances. Obama's most significant drug policy accomplishment may be letting states go their own way on marijuana legalization. Even if our next president is a Republican drug warrior, he will have a hard time reversing that decision, especially given the GOP’s lip service to federalism.

  • Genf macht vorwärts mit Cannabis-Pilotprojekt

    In Genf liegt bereits ein Projekt einer Arbeitsgruppe auf dem Tisch, wie man den Cannabiskonsum besser kontrollieren kann
    SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (Schweiz)
    Dienstag, 30 Dezember 2014

    switzerland-cannabisIn mehreren Schweizer Kantonen sind Diskussionen im Gang, ob und wie der Konsum von Cannabis legalisiert werden könnte. Eine Vorreiterrolle spielt Genf. Dort hat eine Kommission um alt Bundesrätin Ruth Dreifuss der Kantonsregierung Vorschläge für ein Pilotprojket vorgelegt. «Es sollte Vereine geben», sagt die Vorsteherin der Genfer Suchtkommission, die frühere Bundesrätin Ruth Dreifuss. In den Vereinen sollte der Cannabiskonsum dereinst legal sein, so das Ziel der Arbeitsgruppe. Bis dahin ist es aber noch ein weiter Weg.

  • Genève doit s’adresser à Berne avant de pouvoir réglementer le cannabis

    Le Conseil d’Etat a reçu une feuille de route. Une dérogation sera nécessaire pour tester les associations de consommateurs
    Tribune de Génève (Suisse)
    Lundi, 29 decembre 2014

    A l’avenir, les Genevois pourront-ils fumer du cannabis dans des clubs? Quoi qu’il en soit, la feuille de route en vue d’une légalisation du cannabis est sur le bureau du Conseil d’Etat. Ruth Dreifuss, présidente de la Commission consultative en matière d’addictions: «Nous avons remis le plan de travail. Le rapport viendra à la fin de l’année prochaine.» Genève doit adresser une demande d’autorisation exceptionnelle et à titre d’expérience scientifique à l’Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP). (Lire aussi: Et si Genève devenait le laboratoire de la légalisation?)

  • Poll: One year of legalized pot hasn't changed Coloradans' minds

    The Denver Post (US)
    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    A year of legalized recreational marijuana hasn't changed many Coloradans' minds on the groundbreaking shift — though more than one-third say the state's reputation has taken a hit, according to a SurveyUSA poll done for The Denver Post. More than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election on Amendment 64 — the measure allowing adults to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent — said they would vote the same way today.

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Study: The ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol, not marijuana

A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.

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