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  • Huff, puff, pass? AG’s pot fury not echoed by task force

    The tepid nature of the recommendations signals just how difficult it would be to change course on pot
    The Associated Press (US)
    Saturday, August 5, 2017

    The betting was that law-and-order Attorney General Jeff Sessions would come out against the legalized marijuana industry with guns blazing. But the task force Sessions assembled to find the best legal strategy is giving him no ammunition, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a group of prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials, has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana.

  • This cannabis company plans to turn a California desert town into a pot paradise

    A gold rush created Nipton in the early 1900s when the precious metal was found nearby
    Time (US)
    Friday, August 4, 2017

    American Green announced it is buying all 80 acres of Nipton, which includes its Old West-style hotel, a handful of houses, an RV park and a coffee shop. Its plans are to transform the old Gold Rush town into what it calls "an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination." American Green says it plans to expand that farm and also bottle and sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton's plentiful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one. The buyers are also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses, hoping they'll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them.

  • U.S. Attorney General Sessions criticizes Washington state’s legal marijuana system

    State officials say Sessions is ill-informed and relying on outdated information
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Friday, August 4, 2017

    Is U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about to crack down on legal marijuana? A recent letter he sent to top Washington officials, critiquing the state’s legal pot system, “raises concerns significantly,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee said that shortcomings of Washington’s legal pot system cited by Sessions are inaccurate and out-of-date. “Honestly, it’s hard to take him seriously if he relies on such outdated information,” Ferguson said in an interview. “Do your homework, get good information,” he said in panning Sessions’ letter and pledging to uphold the state’s pot law, which allows adults to possess small amounts.

  • Congress is heading for a confrontation with Sessions over marijuana

    Lawmakers consider measures relaxing federal marijuana ban
    Bloomberg (US)
    Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Cory BookerSessions is seeking to crack down on marijuana use while lawmakers from both parties are pushing legislation that would do the opposite. Measures have been attached to must-pass bills in the Senate that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to counsel patients on the use of medical marijuana, and to continue blocking the Justice Department from pursuing cases against people who use medical marijuana in states that have legalized it. Some lawmakers are pushing to go even further. Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, unveiled legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level. (See also: Legal-weed States tell Jeff Sessions their programs are working)

  • We already know how to stop people dying from drugs – but the Government refuses to do it

    Drug consumption rooms will save lives, that would be the right thing to do even if it won’t win votes
    The Independent (UK)
    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    heroin syringeLast year saw the highest number of drug-related deaths since records began in 1993. More than half of these deaths involved an opiate, such as heroin. Those aged 40 to 49 made up the largest group dying as a result of drug poisoning. Compared with the general population, this group is dying decades before they should. It is difficult to know what impact austerity has had in shortening the lives of people who use drugs. But is it a coincidence that since the change in policy in 2010, which saw a move from trying to reduce the harm that drugs cause to one that promoted abstinence, more people have lost their lives? (See also: Drug deaths: Cocaine contributes to record number | Government must 'accept responsibility' for record number of drug deaths as Tory policy fails, say experts)

  • What LatAm cities can learn from the failures of Brazil's UPP policing model

    The shift toward more "humane" policing was impeded by how heavily the institution had been shaped by military influence
    InSight Crime
    Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    Community policing has become the go-to security strategy in the Americas. But as the case of the Rio de Janeiro's "pacification" policing experiment shows, its impact has been limited and short-lived. The UPP program was once welcomed by many in the marginalized favelas as a radical change from the traditionally heavy-handed and militarized policing approach reserved for the city's impoverished areas. Security gains proved short-lived. By 2015, homicides were again on the rise. Impunity toward police abuses and extrajudicial killings -- which was singled out in Rio -- constitutes a challenge to normative changes within institutions. (See also: Rio is burning, the first UPP was literally set on fire | Why police reforms rarely succeed: Lessons from Latin America)

  • White House panel recommends declaring national emergency on opioids

    Some public health experts said the main effect of declaring an emergency would be to make Americans regard the epidemic more urgently
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, July 31, 2017

    President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis asked him to declare a national emergency to deal with the epidemic. The members of the bipartisan panel called the request their “first and most urgent recommendation.” “With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to Sept. 11 every three weeks,” the commission members wrote, referring to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina considered the report “incomplete when it comes to making sure all Americans have access to affordable health care, which includes mental health and substance abuse treatment.” (See also: Thousands died in opioid crisis while Trump commission stalled on delivering crucial report)

  • Union minister Maneka Gandhi suggests legalising marijuana for medical purposes

    Draft policy for drug demand reduction which seeks to address the problem of drug and substance abuse
    The New Indian Express (India)
    Sunday, July 30, 2017

    Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has suggested legalising marijuana, a psychoactive drug, in India for medical purposes on the lines of the practice adopted by some developed countries like the US to curb drug abuse. The suggestion was made by Gandhi at a meeting of a group of ministers (GOM), which examined the draft cabinet note National Drug Demand Reduction Policy, according to the minutes of the second meeting. Gandhi also stressed on the need for regulating the sale and availability of pharmaceutical drugs such as codeine cough syrups and inhalants among others which are being abused. (See also: The movement to make marijuana legal in India now has support from one of Narendra Modi’s ministers)

  • Philippine police 'dumping bodies' of drug war victims

    Local fishermen tell Al Jazeera they have been hired by authorities to dispose of bodies as 'trash' in the Manila Bay
    Al Jazeera
    Friday, July 28, 2017

    Fishermen in the Philippines have revealed that they have been dumping bodies of drug suspects, killed as part of the country's so-called war on drugs, on the orders of the police. The bodies, called "trash" by authorities, have been thrown on the sides of highways and in Manila Bay over the past year. "Police are the ones coming to my house ordering me to take out trash," said Manuel, a local fisherman who has personally disposed of 20 bodies. "We usually throw them out in Manila Bay," he told Al Jazeera. "Sometimes we put weights on it, so it doesn't float up."

  • Cyprus follows in the footsteps of Greece and approves medical cannabis bill

    The bill must now be approved by the parliament
    Greek Reporter (Greece)
    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    The Cyprus government approved a bill allowing the cultivation and provision of medical cannabis, Health Minister Giorgos Pamborides said. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Pamborides said that the aim of the bill was to get international investors to express interest in the two licenses that will be granted for the cultivation of medical cannabis in Cyprus, attracting capital and boosting the field of research and development in the pharmaceutical sector and industry. "I believe that Cyprus can be a pioneer in the region due to the favorable weather conditions required to cultivate it," he said. (See also: Cyprus cabinet green lights medicinal cannabis)

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