Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Cannabis reform is one vote away from becoming law

    Opposition MPs raise a number of concerns on cannabis reform in committee stage but do not put forward substantial amendments
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    malta cannabis flagThe cannabis reform Bill in Malta is one step away from being passed in parliament after it cleared committee stage. In a four-hour-long sitting MPs discussed the individual clauses and approved minor changes to the Bill that will allow people to possess up to 7g of cannabis, grow the plant at home and buy from regulated clubs. However, despite being against the reform, the Opposition MPs on the committee did not put forward any substantial amendments. The Bill now has to pass the Third Reading in parliament, which is a mere formality given government’s majority, before being signed into law by the President.

  • Supervised injection sites for drug users to open in New York City

    The Manhattan facilities will provide clean needles, administer medication to reverse overdoses and provide users with options for addiction treatment
    The New York Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    dcr nycIn an attempt to curb a surge in overdose deaths caused by increasingly potent street drugs, New York City will authorize two supervised injection sites in Manhattan to begin operating. Trained staff at two sites — in the neighborhoods of East Harlem and Washington Heights — will provide clean needles, administer naloxone to reverse overdoses and provide users with options for addiction treatment, city health officials said. Users will bring their own drugs. New York, the country’s most populous city, will become the first U.S. city to open officially authorized injection sites — facilities that opponents view as magnets for drug abuse but proponents praise as providing a less punitive and more effective approach to addressing addiction.

  • Germany's next government aims to legalise recreational cannabis

    The German example could inspire other European countries
    Reuters (UK)
    Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    cannabis germany2Germany could become the first European country to legalise cannabis and authorise its sale for recreational purposes, according to a coalition agreement for a new government struck by three parties. Many European countries, including Germany, have legalised cannabis for limited medicinal purposes. Others have decriminalised its general use, while stopping stopping short of making it legal. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Green and libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) agreed to introduce legislation during their four-year term to create the controlled distribution of weed in licensed shops. "We would evaluate the (weed) law after four years for social impact," the pact read. 

  • Getting closer! Final stage before Malta’s cannabis reform becomes law to start next week

    “We have no intention of shelving this bill or reducing the rhythm and we’ll stick with the same pace”
    Lovin Malta (Malta)
    Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    malta reform nowIt’s looking ever more likely that Malta will pass a landmark cannabis reform bill into law. The bill passed its second reading (the debate stage) in Parliament, with all government MPs voting in favour and all opposition MPs voting against. It will now move on to the final stage – the Consideration of Bills Committee, where MPs will discuss the finer details of the proposed law. And while bills can remain stuck at this stage for months, that isn’t the government’s intention with the cannabis reform. Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici said that the plan is for this debate to start next week, ideally on Monday. After it gets through the committee stage, the minister said he will present it for its third reading without delay, after which it will officially become law.

  • Burt: Bermuda has ‘no intention’ of tailoring laws to fit UK cannabis conventions

    The legislation does not conform to the UK international obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs of 1961
    The Royal Gazette (Bermuda)
    Monday, November 22, 2021

    bermuda cannabis reformBermuda’s Government had “no intention” of tailoring its laws licensing cannabis production to fit with the UK’s conventions allowing the drug for medicinal use only. David Burt, the Premier, reiterated that legislation for legal cannabis in Bermuda is set to go before the legislature in the current session of Parliament. The statement came after the Premier’s return from the Joint Ministerial Council in London between the UK Government and elected heads of the Overseas Territories' A question mark hung over the cannabis legislation, passed by the House of Assembly but turned back by the Senate in the last parliamentary session, as to whether it would receive Royal Assent.

  • Germany moves to legalise cannabis in economy-boosting bid after Merkel departure

    Proposals for recreational legalisation of cannabis will also include expanded drug checking measures
    The Express (UK)
    Thursday, November 18, 2021

    germany flag cannabisThe political parties known as the "traffic light" coalition are pushing for a change in legislation meaning the sale of cannabis will be legal for consumption purposes, it is suggested. According to Der Spiegel a representative of the working group tasked with evaluating the policy change said: "We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops." The policy will be revisited after four years to assess its social impact. A survey, carried out by the Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at the Dusseldorf Heinrich Heine University, found that a legalised cannabis market in Germany could add around 3.4 billion euros in tax revenue to the nation's economy. It would also save the judicial system in the country around 1.3 billion euros every year.

  • US saw 100,000 drug overdose deaths in one year amid pandemic, CDC says

    Data reveals deaths caused by opioids rose 28.5% compared with the year before, with fentanyl involved in over 60% of the deaths
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, November 17, 2021

    fentanyl alert nyThe estimated number of drug overdose deaths in the US during a 12-month period ending in April rose by 28.5% compared with the same period the year before, according to new provisional data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. There were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths across the country during a 12-month period ending in April, compared with 78,056 deaths reported during the same period the year before.The data also reveals that estimated overdose deaths caused by opioids jumped from 56,064 in the previous year to 75,673. Overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids – primarily fentanyl – and psychostimulants including methamphetamine also increased during the 12-month period.

  • Pot of gold? Cannabis could bring Germany $5 billion a year - survey

    Legalising cannabis in Germany would give a boost to a ballooning European market
    Reuters (UK)
    Tuesday, November 16, 2021

    germany cannabis flagsLegalising cannabis could bring Germany annual tax revenues and cost savings of about 4.7 billion euros ($5.34 billion) and create 27,000 new jobs, a survey said as politicians thrash out rules for the budding sector. Negotiators for the SPD, Greens and FDP are still working out details of their coalition deal, including rules under which the sale and use of recreational cannabis would be allowed and regulated in Europe's largest economy. The survey by the Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in Duesseldorf, and commissioned by the German hemp association, found that legalising cannabis could lead to additional tax revenues of about 3.4 billion euros per year. At the same time, it could bring cost savings in the police and judicial system of 1.3 billion euros per year.

  • Modi govt plans changes to NDPS Act, could decriminalise possession of small quantities of drugs

    Mandatory treatment for de-addiction
    The Print (India)
    Sunday, November 14, 2021

    india chillumIn an attempt to help the victims of drug abuse to come out of addiction, the Narendra Modi government is planning to decriminalise personal consumption of small quantities of drugs including cannabis, narcotics and psychotropic substances. The recommendations in this regard arrived at a high-level meeting on 10 November at the Prime Minister’s Office with top officials from the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Home Affairs, Narcotics Control Bureau, Social Justice Ministry and health ministry. The recommendations made by the various ministries are likely to be considered and included in the draft of an amendment bill that could be presented in the upcoming Parliament session, sources said.

  • The UK countryside is ablaze with hemp farms. But how do they help the climate?

    Hemp absorbs more CO2 than it takes to cultivate
    Euronews (Europe)
    Thursday, November 11, 2021

    industrial hempDespite the lack of state support, more and more farmers in the UK are turning to hemp production for its economic and environmental benefits. It's legal for them to sell a variety of hemp-made products, like milk and seed powers, to supermarkets and other businesses. In the right conditions, hemp absorbs more CO2 than it takes to cultivate - sequestering nine to 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. That’s almost twice as much as a forest of the same size, according to a Cambridge University researcher. Could it be the next big carbon sucker? As well as absorbing carbon, “hemp regenerates the soil it grows in, cleaning it of heavy metals and toxins left behind from other crops,” explains Tommy Corbyn, co-founder of the National Hemp Service.

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