The power of local councils in the UK extends only about as far as deciding when our bins get emptiedVice (UK)
Monday, February 23, 2015
In 2012, Green Party councillor Ben Duncan suggested that cannabis cafes should be licensed in the city in a bid to boost tourism. In 2014, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, petitioned the government to review the Misuse of Drugs Act, obtaining 134,811 signatures. A Green Party's working group on drugs policy is working on what is called the "Brighton Model" for cannabis legalisation, based on a similar policy reform that was first proposed in Copenhagen.
Corruption and social exclusion behind rampant violence in Brazilian state, say expertsEl País (Spain)
Thursday, February 19, 2015
While Brazil has the dubious honor of having the highest homicide rate in the world – with 56,337 killings reported in 2013 – Rio has the most number of murders committed by police than any other Brazilian state. The mayor points to the widely held belief in the city that successful drug traffickers need to control a territory. "There is cocaine and marijuana in every western capital. But that crazy idea of thinking that traffickers need to dominate an area is one of our peculiarities [...]."
Last year St Gallen police uncovered some 70 plantations in the cantonThe Local (Switzerland)
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The public prosecutor of St Gallen ordered the detention in custody of two suspects following a shooting at an industrial building in Altstätten which led to the discovery of a large cannabis plantation. Police found and dismantled the plantation after a shootout in which two Swiss men allegedly shot and injured two others, one of which remains in a critical condition. (See also: La guerre du cannabis s'intensifie en Suisse)
Ketamine is a vital medicine, and restricting it has harmed patients without cutting recreational use. Britain should stand up to the UN’s failed ‘war on drugs’The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Ketamine is a unique anaesthetic and analgesic that has unfortunately become a popular recreational drug. In an attempt to reduce recreational use, and on the recommendation of its Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the UK government decided to ban all ketamine-like drugs (analogues) and also put ketamine itself under greater controls. The recreational use in other countries could lead to an even more outrageous decision: the restriction of ketamine as a medicine world-wide by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
The Senate last week pushed through the ganja billJamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Executive director of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), Michael Tucker, has warned that the misinformation circulating among Jamaicans about marijuana could be dangerous. Tucker is quite concerned that people are confusing decriminalisation with legalisation. "It is illegal to grow it and it's illegal to sell it. Despite people not going to be locked up for two ounces or less, it is still illegal."
Research that looks at different potencies of cannabis could advance our understanding of the relationship between the drug and psychosisThe Guardian (UK)
Monday, February 16, 2015
The Mail on Sunday has shouted that "cannabis TRIPLES psychosis risk" and that skunk is to blame for "1 in 4 of all new serious mental disorders". Is this what the study shows? Well, no, they found that those with psychosis were much more likely to have used skunk every day, than to have never used cannabis. Conversely, people who smoked hash every day were no more likely to have psychosis than people who never tried cannabis. (See also: What media reports on the new cannabis study don't tell you | Why cannabis studies are needed | Skunk's psychosis link is only half the cannabis story)
While the Justice Department was busy prosecuting American HSBC customers for tax evasion, it has taken no action against the bank for nearly five yearsThe Daily Beast (US)
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
A money-laundering investigation as big as the bank itself ended with a deferred prosecution agreement that allowed HSBC to escape criminal charges and suffer only a fine. This while the US Department of Justice was jailing non-bankers by the dozen for laundering drug money, including cash from the Sinaloa cartel, which had been a prime HSBC co-conspirator. HSBC got a pass on helping the Sinaloa bunch acquire an airplane that was used to smuggle drugs by the ton. (See also: HSBC has form: remember Mexico and laundered drug money)
A Columbia professor argues that research that exaggerates the effects of marijuana is spurring people to reject other types of research as wellEast Bay Express (US)
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Columbia professor Carl Hart: "The National Institute on Drug Abuse funds 90 percent of the world's research on drug abuse with our tax dollars. The mission of NIDA is to focus on pathology, or drug addiction. ... You have this disproportionate focus when, in fact, 90 percent of the people who use marijuana smoke it with no problems." (See also: Black leaders were misled about marijuana, Columbia professor says)
Vancouver drug users want their illegal crack-smoking room backThe Province (Canada)
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
For three years, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users’ (VANDU) operated an unsanctioned, peer-run “safer smoking room” for crack users in a small ventilated washroom in its Downtown Eastside facility. It protected crack users from violence, connected them with health care services, kept them away from public spaces and prevented the spread of disease from pipe-sharing, according to the authors of a recently-published study titled “We need somewhere to smoke crack.”
The techniques of fear and manipulation are nothing new. Here's how they've been applied with great success in crafting our harsh drug policiesAlternet (US web)
Monday, February 9, 2015
If moral entrepreneurs and interest groups manage to whip up enough fear and anxiety, they can create a full-blown moral panic, the widespread sense that the moral condition of society is deteriorating at a rapid pace, which can be conveniently used to distract from underlying, status quo-threatening social problems and exert social control over the working class or other rebellious sectors of society.