Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • The pros, cons and unknowns of legal cannabis in Canada 3 years later

    Legalization has had a positive effect on the justice system, but public health data is lacking, experts say
    CBC News (Canada)
    Sunday, October 24, 2021

    canada cannabis retailThe legalization of cannabis in Canada just had its third anniversary, which means it's time for the federal government to review and possibly tweak the policy. In some areas, the reviews are positive. Legalization has resulted in the emergence of a multibillion-dollar industry, new jobs and tax revenue. There have also been fewer cannabis-related drug convictions among young people. But some health experts are concerned that the rapid growth of the industry combined with a lack of recent data about potential public health impacts means we could be missing some warning signs. Many of the concerns around legalized cannabis — including potential increased cases of cannabis-induced psychosis and schizophrenia, and driving under the influence of drugs — have not materialized.

  • No smoking allowed: An early look inside Malta’s planned cannabis associations

    People can only be members of one cannabis association and will be able to purchase up to 7g of cannabis a day and 50g a month
    Lovin Malta (Malta)
    Saturday, October 23, 2021

    malta cannabis flagMalta will soon allow people to purchase weed from “cannabis associations”, an exciting step forward for the country’s long-suffering cannabis communities. However, don’t expect these associations to resemble the famous social clubs of Barcelona or the coffeeshops of Amsterdam, places you can visit to smoke the plant in a relaxed atmosphere. Anyone who wants to set up a cannabis association must first set up a NGO by registering with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations and then apply for a license with the newly-established Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis. Lovin Malta recently met up with Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici to delve into the specifics of the bill which he presented to Parliament this month.

  • Vancouver's chief medical officer recommends compassion club model to reduce illicit drug deaths

    Dr. Patricia Daly takes recommendations to city hall, reminds councillors opioid crisis still raging
    CBC News (Canada)
    Friday, October 22, 2021

    canada safe supplyVancouver's head doctor said more headway needs to be made on the opioid crisis in British Columbia and one way to stop people from dying sooner rather than later is to move toward a compassion club model for distributing safe drugs in the city. Patricia Daly, the chief medical officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, made the recommendation to Vancouver City Council during a presentation on the current illicit drug death situation. Daly said she spoke to city policy makers to reiterate the province is still battling a public health emergency other than COVID-19 — one that has killed 3,000 people between January 2020 and July 2021, compared to 1,800 who died from the novel coronavirus in the same period.

  • Government scales back legal cannabis plans in policy revamp

    Luxembourg's government is still working to legalise cannabis production and sale but is facing "international constraints" delaying its 2018 election promise
    Luxemburger Times (Luxembourg)
    Friday, October 22, 2021

    cannabis plantingLuxembourg's governing coalition continues to drag its feet on fulfilling its election promise to legalise the production and sale of cannabis, but could allow plants to be raised at home. Adult residents would be allowed to grow four cannabis plants per household if proposals announced by government ministers are adopted into law. The moves to decriminalise cannabis also would sharply lower fines punishing people who carry three grams or less from the current €250 to €2,500 to between €25 and €500. But consuming cannabis in public would remain illegal. The government is still working to legalise cannabis production and sale but is facing "international constraints" delaying its 2018 election promise. (See also: Growing cannabis for personal use to become legal In Luxembourg, a first In the E.U.)

  • 80% of Moroccans believe legalizing cannabis will have positive impact

    The debate about the legalization of cannabis has been one of the most divisive topics in Morocco in the past year
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Thursday, October 21, 2021

    cannabis cultivation moroccoAbout 80 % of Moroccans say legalizing cannabis for therapeutic, cosmetic or industrial use will have a positive impact on society. The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) surveyed 1,054 individuals aged 18-69 years on legalizing cannabis as part of its 2020 report on Morocco’s socio-economic situation. The survey aims to identify attitudes and perceptions towards cannabis and determine the perceived impacts of the legalization of the use of cannabis for therapeutic and industrial purposes. 86% of those surveyed said that legalizing cannabis would contribute to economic development, while 61% percent argued that areas where cannabis is cultivated should be supported with public investment in infrastructure, including the construction of roads, hospitals, schools, etc.

  • Switzerland to legalise recreational and medical cannabis usage

    Switzerland will legalise cannabis production and consumption, although the specifics of the law remain to be seen
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    switzerland cannabis3Switzerland will draw up a draft law for the legalisation of cannabis usage, after a parliamentary commission ruled the drug should no longer be banned. The production, cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis will no longer be banned after a commission investigating the drug said the laws should be changed, Swiss news outlet Blick reported on Tuesday. The Social Security and Health Commission of the Council of States (SGK-S) said cannabis should be regulated in order to control the “cannabis market for better youth and consumer protection”. The aim of the SGK-S is to eliminate the black market for the drug in Switzerland. A draft law will now be drawn up in Swiss parliament.

  • Germany should make cannabis available at pharmacies not ‘coffee shops’, says FDP boss

    Germany's possible new government could well relax the country's strict cannabis laws. But FDP leader Christian Lindner says he doesn't want to go down the Netherlands route
    The Local (Germany)
    Monday, October 18, 2021

    medical marijuana2The Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) are set to engage in coalition talks in a bid to become the next German government. And the future of cannabis will likely be one of the topics to be thrashed out. In drug policy, the three parties are not too far apart in their positions. So it’s possible that the drug could be decriminalised. The leader of the Liberal FDP, Christian Lindner, has now come out in favour of allowing cannabis products such as hashish to be sold in a controlled manner. Consumers should be allowed “to purchase a quantity for their own use, for example, in a pharmacy after health education,” Lindner told a live broadcast on German daily Bild on Sunday.

  • A roundup of countries that permit recreational cannabis

    Germany's budding coalition is considering the legalization of cannabis. DW takes a look at a few countries that have already adopted a softer stance
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Friday, October 15, 2021

    cannabis leaf plantsMarijuana may be an issue of easy agreement in the ongoing coalition talks between Germany's leading parties. Despite numerous points of contention, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens can find themselves aligned when it comes to cannabis legalization. The FDP emphasizes the revenue that the state could earn from taxing prerolled joints, cannabis flower and edibles. The Greens say legalization would put an end to illegal sales and reduce organized crime. Social Democrat health expert Karl Lauterbach urged the next government to legalize cannabis. Here is a look at countries that have already loosened their policies.

  • Three years post-legalization, Canada's cannabis industry ready for a reset

    At 776 producers, the amount of licensed cannabis companies has reached a staggeringly high figure that many industry observers and analysts alike believe contributed to the oversupply of legal pot in the market
    BNN Bloomberg (US)
    Friday, October 15, 2021

    canada cannabis ottawaThree years after Canada legalized cannabis, the industry appears ready for a reset. When midnight struck on Oct. 17, 2018, Canada became the first developed nation to allow the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, and since then the industry has had its share of ups and downs. While billions of dollars worth of legal pot has been sold across thousands of licensed stores, helping to stamp out roughly half of the illicit market, it's also seen many cannabis companies cumulatively post billions of dollars in losses as market dynamics warped lofty expectations made in the early days of legalization. But change may be afoot as the Canadian government undertakes a lengthy 18-month-long review of the legislation that legalized cannabis.

  • Sanjay Gupta explains his marijuana reversal and discusses ‘very biased’ U.S. research with Joe Rogan

    Scientists outside of the U.S. were taking a different approach, investigating potential therapeutic applications for marijuana for conditions like pain and seizures
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Thursday, October 14, 2021

    cannabis scientificCNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta wasn’t always on board with medical marijuana, but things changed when he looked for the science, he said during an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience. But to find the science that ultimately convinced him of the therapeutic potential of cannabis, he had to look internationally, because there seemed to be a “very biased set of data” in the U.S. that focused almost exclusively on the potential harms rather than benefits. “If you’re just looking at papers—well, this one [says there’s] potential long harm, this one possible addiction, this one gateway—you know, you’re seeing all those individual studies, but at a broader level, one step upstream, you realize that most of the studies that are getting funded are designed to look for harm,” Gupta said.

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