Drugs in the news

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  • Legal marijuana sales projected to reach $6.7 billion in 2016

    The biggest driver of growth in coming years is sure to be new laws being passed by states
    Time (US)
    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Just how big is the market for legal pot? A new report by a leading marijuana industry investment and research firm found legal cannabis sales jumped 17%, to $5.4 billion, in 2015 and they will grow by a whopping 25% this year to reach $6.7 billion in total U.S. sales. ArcView Market Research will release its fourth edition of The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report, and it includes the prediction that the legal cannabis market will see a whopping $21.8 billion in total annual sales by 2020.

  • West Africa: Forging a West African consensus on UNGASS

    Drug policies focusing on law enforcement, incarceration, punishment and repression failed to eradicate supply, demand and harm caused by illicit drugs
    All Africa
    Monday, February 1, 2016

    ghana-ganjaA news story cited Ghana's Deputy Superintendent of Police, David Selom Hukportie, as bemoaning the formidable challenges he faces trying to destroy marijuana farms across the country. Mr. Hukportie, who also heads the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Police Service, said the effort was like "trying to kill a swarm of flies with one's bare hands". The government of Ghana - as well as those of Benin and Senegal - have recently taken a progressive approach to drugs in line with the AU Common African Position for UNGASS 2016.

  • A new deal on drugs is as vital as a climate change accord

    A forthcoming UN summit is the opportunity for a radical approach to curbing the drugs trade
    OpEd by Nick Clegg and Bohuslav Sobotka
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Standing on the podium at the United Nations in New York in June 1998, Kofi Annan declared: "It is time for all nations to say 'yes' to the challenge of working towards a drug-free world!" The leaders assembled at that meeting agreed: illegal drugs were to be eradicated from the face of the planet. They even set a deadline: 10 years to rid the globe of this scourge. A drug-free world by 2008. Annan now strikes a very different tone than he did 18 years ago. Witnessing the effects of drug markets and misguided policies on his own region of West Africa, he recently observed: "Drugs may have destroyed many people, but wrong governmental policies have destroyed many more. Let us not repeat this mistake."

  • Canada’s medical pot producers set sights on recreational users

    Licensed producer Bedrocan Canada has just slashed the price of all of its products to $5 a gram, down from $7.50
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, January 29, 2016

    canada-pot-flag3Canada’s producers of medical marijuana are sitting on a seven-tonne stash of weed, with the inventory steadily growing as supply exceeds demand in the legal system, according to the most recent Health Canada numbers. Faced with this surplus capacity, producers of medical marijuana have launched a lobbying campaign to persuade the government to offer them privileged access to the market for recreational marijuana, once the drug is legalized. (See also: Canada is trying to avoid becoming weed’s wild wild north)

  • Gonsalves calls for collective Caribbean approach towards marijuana

    In 2014, regional leaders announced the establishment of the commission as they discussed the means of decriminalising marijuana for medicinal purposes
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is calling for a collective Caribbean approach regarding the trade and other benefits of marijuana cultivation in the region. Gonsalves raised the idea of banana-producing countries in the Caribbean looking to cultivate marijuana as a more productive crop. He said after 50 years of commercial banana production some islands had become disaster-prone and that it was time the region carried out some serious research on marijuana as a viable regional commercial product.

  • Tax revenues from legal pot could reach $5-billion a year: economist

    Oft-touted law-enforcement savings from pot legalization may not materialize due to ongoing international obligations
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    canada-marijuana-thumbA new report from CIBC World Markets says Canada’s federal and provincial governments could reap as much as $5-billion annually in tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld crunched the numbers using current estimates of Canadian recreational pot consumption, the revenue experience in U.S. states that have legalized and other factors – such as prevailing “sin tax” rates on alcohol and tobacco. (See also: Legal pot has its benefits, but little economic impact)

  • Medical cannabis market shows growing pains

    In Europe there are 100 percent mark-ups which put it out of reach of even affluent populations
    Radio Prague (Czech Republic)
    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

    The Czech Republic took a bold step back in 2013 when lawmakers agreed to legalise the sale of medicinal cannabis or marihuana. But the development of this market, which can conceivably challenge that of the established pharmaceutical companies across a wide range of pain killers and treatments, is showing some local and global growing pains. (See also: Czech grown medicinal cannabis to be delivered in February)

  • 14,000 fewer persons arrested on ganja charges since changes to law

    After the government enacted changes to the Dangerous Drug Act which decriminalised possession of small quantities of marijuana
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    peter-buntingNational Security Minister Peter Bunting says the police have arrested 14,000 fewer persons for possession of marijuana. The announcement comes months after the government enacted changes to the Dangerous Drug Act which decriminalised possession of small quantities of marijuana. Before the changes, persons criminalised for ganja possession could not get a United States visa, for example, or get a job. Since the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act "hundreds of thousands" of persons have had their criminal records expunged.

  • Opium poppy farmers reject crop ban, war on drugs

    Participants expressed support for efforts to end wars in Myanmar and Colombia but called for a more inclusive peace process
    Myanmar Times (Burma)
    Monday, January 25, 2015

    Opium poppy farmers from Myanmar attending an international conference on “prohibited plants” have rejected a ban on growing their crops and urged an end to forced eradication. “We reject prohibition and the war on drugs,” small-scale farmers from 14 countries, including Myanmar, said in a joint statement at the end of a Global Forum of Prohibited Plant Producers held in Heemskerk, the Netherlands, that was organised by advocacy group Transnational Institute (TNI).

  • Key lawmaker urges Mexico to legalize marijuana

    The statement was shared in front of legislative body as they started a month-long discussion on the drug war
    The Lawyer Herald (US)
    Monday, January 25, 2016

    The President of Chamber of Deputies Jesus Zambrano said that Mexico should move ahead with entirely permitting marijuana usage. Mexico should follow the example of Colombia and Italy in pursuing policies to weaken organized drug syndicates. Narcotics traffickers are more equipped with weapons than the national army thus border control should be one of the main concerns to limit the traffic of arms. Inequality and poverty are also central to any policy addressing gang violence. (See also: Mexico opens landmark debate on marijuana laws)

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