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  • US marijuana legalisation has not led to rise in use by adolescents, study finds

    Data on one million teenagers shows marijuana use did not increase in US states where it was legalised, with fall among youngest children
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    Legalising the medical use of cannabis has not led to a surge in the numbers of adolescents using it in the USA, according to new research that surprised its authors and will encourage those hoping for relaxation of the law elsewhere. A paper in the journal Lancet Psychiatry says that the use of cannabis by adolescents was already higher in the states that have opted for medical legalisation. But the change in the law did not lead to a jump in numbers.

  • Drug warriors are still crying 'reefer madness.' The facts don't support them

    Those concerned about the negative effects of drugs should welcome efforts to control the cannabis market
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Monday, June 15, 2015

    In their op-ed article against cannabis legalization, former drug czar William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn yearn for a time when fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America. Those days are over. Bennett and Leibsohn blame the "marijuana lobby" for re-shaping the way Americans think about what they consider to be a dangerous drug. But the reality is that voters' views on pot have evolved based on both the failures of prohibition and the success of legalization and regulation.

  • Kreuzberg will Cannabis schnell legalisieren

    Wer dann Cannabis kaufen will, braucht dafür einen speziellen, anonymisierten Ausweis
    Der Berliner Zeitung (Germany)
    Montag, 15. Juni 2015

    Seit eineinhalb Jahren wird im Berliner Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg diskutiert den Erwerb und den Konsum von Cannabis zu legalisieren. Noch im Juni will der Bezirk einen Antrag auf eine entsprechende Ausnahmegenehmigung beim Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) stellen, sagte Bürgermeisterin Monika Herrmann. Das Institut, das Gesundheitsminister Hermann Gröhe (CDU) unterstellt ist, muss innerhalb von drei Monaten entscheiden, ob das Betäubungsmittelgesetz, das den Verkauf illegaler Suchtmittel verbietet, gelockert wird.

  • Budget bill outlaws pot sales in D.C. for 2 years

    The House budget language advanced would not block possession but it would continue an ongoing ban on sales
    The Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, June 11, 2015

    House Republicans advanced a budget plan that would prevent legal sales of marijuana in the District until at least 2017. Advocates for legalization, however, called it a victory. What the Republican budget does not do yet is roll back Initiative 71, the voter-approved measure from November that legalized pot for recreational use in the nation’s capital. Since early this year, D.C. residents have been allowed to possess, grow and, in the privacy of their own homes, smoke marijuana.

  • Monitoring legal pot: How do we know if it works?

    It’s going to be tough to quantify how this major social policy change is affecting everything from school suspension rates to traffic fatalities
    The Washington Post / AP (US)
    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    Dozens of government officials and researchers from a half-dozen U.S. states and a few countries that have legalized marijuana or are at least thinking about it are gathering in Washington state this week for meetings focused largely on one question: How do we know if it’s working? Organizers say it’s crucial to get a better handle on what data are being collected about the impacts of legalization and to consider what further research is needed.

  • Companies urged to review drug testing policies to fit with ganja reform

    However, it is an employer's right to decide on who they choose to employ
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Monday, June 8, 2015

    Justice Minister Mark Golding is advising employers to review their drug-testing policies to fall in line with the new regulations that now govern the use of ganja in Jamaica. Some organisations routinely do drug screening for new employees prior to confirmation, and person can be denied employment if prohibited drugs are detected in their bodies. Additionally, some companies also carry out random drug testing of employees, with serious penalties and termination for failed drug tests.

  • Weeded out

    As cannabis use rises in much of Europe, Britons lose interest
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    In 2000 a report by Europe’s drug agency (EMCDDA) found that Britain had an unusually large number of young cannabis users: they "topped the EU league", as one British paper spun it. This year’s report showed that in the past 15 years the tables have turned. While the number of 15-34-year-olds using pot has risen or held steady in most countries, in England and Wales it has almost halved. Meanwhile, Britain’s domestic pot production is booming: the number of growing operations seized more than doubled between 2007 and 2009, overtaking the Netherlands and accounting for half the busts in Europe.

  • Why hardly anyone dies from a drug overdose in Portugal

    As US state legislatures debate issues like marijuana legalization and decriminalization, Portugal's 15-year experience may be informative
    The Washington Post (US)
    Friday, June 5, 2015

    joao-goulart-decrimPortugal decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it -- Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, but now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program -- not jail time and a criminal record. The prevalence of past-year and past-month drug use among young adults has fallen since 2001.

  • Bans on legal highs will drive booming trade underground, drug experts warn

    EU agency report says market is growing rapidly, with two new substances a week being identified, and is increasingly hard to control
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, June 4, 2015

    The booming trade in legal highs will go underground in the face of blanket bans, such as that now being debated in Britain, European drug experts have warned in the annual report of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). They say online "grey marketplaces" selling new psychoactive substances (NPS) and greater use of social media are emerging as alternatives to the high street "head shops" and public websites likely to be shut down by laws enforcing a blanket ban on the trade. (See also: Legal highs: which drugs will be banned in the UK?)

  • Exploring the land-drugs nexus

    Land is one of the key factors of production in the drug economy
    European Development Days
    June 4, 2015

    Opium poppy field in Gostan valley, Nimruz Province, Afghanistan"For many communities in Myanmar who grow opium, for them opium is not the problem, it is the solution to their problems," said local project consultant, Tom Kramer, from the Transnational Institute. And therein lies one of the greatest challenges for policy makers in the fight to eradicate the scourge of drug crops in developing countries. Most drug crop cultivating areas are greatly affected by poverty, physical isolation, landlessness, insecure land rights and conflicts over natural resources. For many poor farmers, the cultivation of drug crops represents a coping mechanism to prevail in difficult environments.


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