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  • First cannabis club shut down in Catalonia for drug trafficking

    Authorities are keeping a closer eye on member-only associations that claim to be not-for-profit
    El País (Spain)
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Growing numbers of visitors are purchasing a few grams of marijuana while on holiday in Barcelona, a city that is already being described as the "Holland of the South." All one needs to do is become a member of a cannabis club, many of which advertise on the internet, and place an order by phone or online. But for the first time in the Catalan capital, a judge has ordered a club closure on the grounds that it was engaging in drug trafficking.

  • Mexican president hints may be open to change in marijuana laws

    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    Mexico and the United States cannot pursue diverging policies on marijuana legalization, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was quoted as saying, hinting he may be open to following the lead taken by some U.S. states in changing drug laws. Political pressure has grown in Mexico to take a more liberal stance on marijuana. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Pena Nieto said "we can't continue on this road of inconsistency between the legalization we've had [...] in the most important consumer market, the United States, and in Mexico where we continue to criminalize production of marijuana."

  • High times: The next five states to tackle pot laws

    "A lot of legislators are more open, they’re holding more hearings, they’re emboldened."
    NBC News (US)
    Monday, June 2, 2014

    cannabis-plant3Weed is legal in at least some form in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Most allow it for medical use only. Colorado and Washington this year enacted laws that allow recreational use by adults. But more than two dozen states are considering new or expanded marijuana reform legislation, including complete legalization for adults, medical marijuana, hemp use and decriminalization. Which are the next five states likely to legalize marijuana?

  • Global drug policy is still deadly and ineffective

    Samuel Oakford
    Sunday, June 1, 2014

    If you actually read the treaties, while they do set firm limitations on the legal, "non-medical" or "non-scientific" sale of schedule drugs — limits that Uruguay, Colorado and Washington ignored when legalizing cannabis — they don’t otherwise obligate countries to penalize drug use. Even the 1988 convention, the harshest of the three, which instructs countries to criminalize use, still provides an out for states, allowing such laws only as they are "subject to its constitutional principles and the basic concepts of its legal system." This loophole has been used by the Dutch to argue legally for their coffee shops.

  • How dangerous synthetic cannabis became Britain's most popular new legal high

    The Huffington Post (UK)
    Sunday, June 1, 2014

    spiceThe influx of legal, synthetic forms of cannabis that can be more potent and dangerous than the natural, illegal drug exposes Britain's "utterly ridiculous" cannabis laws. "Synthetic cannabis might be the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of cannabis reform," says Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at the charity Transform. "We currently have an unbelievably stupid situation where people can buy fake cannabis that's more dangerous. It's utterly ridiculous.

  • Limburg marijuana growers turn over €240m a year: local paper

    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    Despite efforts to clamp down on marijuana plantations, growers in the southern province of Limburg turn over some €240m a year, according to calculations by local paper De Limburger. Last year the police dismantled 599 plantations in the province. Using the police estimate of finding one in three, this would mean there are 1,800 plantations in the province. (See also: One of Tilburg's biggest industries is marijuana)

  • GOP House backs state medical marijuana laws

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    rohrabacherThe GOP-controlled House voted in favor of blocking the federal government from interfering with states that permit the use of medical marijuana. The surprising 219-189 vote came as the House debated a bill funding the Justice Department's budget. The amendment by conservative GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California -- the first state to legalize medical marijuana -- came as almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical uses. "Public opinion is shifting," Rohrabacher said, noting a recent Pew Research Center survey that found 61 percent of Republicans support medical marijuana. (See also: Is Congress finally catching on about medical marijuana?)

  • Decriminalize drug use and public health

    Drug policies should emphasize health, not punishment, says Dr. Brian Emerson, a medical consultant with the BC Ministry of Health
    CMAJ (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Canada's war on drugs has caused serious harm, particularly for the nation's most vulnerable, according to a Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) policy paper. The report, A New Approach to Managing Psychoactive Substances, calls for the decriminalization of drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine, as well as strategies to reduce harm and address the social conditions underlying problem substance use.

  • Ganja advocates demand gov't develops 12-point plan for the industry

    Th Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Sunday, May 25, 2014

    At the first Cannabis Conference held at the University of the West Indies, stakeholders have called for the criminal records of persons convicted for smoking small amounts of ganja to be expunged and are calling for the laws to be amended to allow for the personal use of small amounts of ganja in private. But while they want ganja to be decriminalised for personal use by adults and for religious purposes, Government must maintain its ban on the smoking of all substances in public and must put in place safeguards and education programmes to reduce juvenile use and demand for ganja.

  • Going to pot: legalised cannabis edges nearer in west after US states end ban

    Debate among health experts switches to regulation of cannabis as drug policy in US, Uruguay and Spain flouts UN conventions
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Legalisation of cannabis is making slow but unstoppable progress across much of the developed world, many experts believe, following the end of prohibition in two US states. In Amsterdam, long famous for its coffee shops, international experts gathering to discuss cannabis regulation said the international conventions, once so heavily policed by the US, would now be increasingly flouted. Already many countries, most notably the Netherlands and Spain, have bypassed the rules.

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