Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Cannabis goes corporate: Lobbyists, unions seek to shape marijuana industry

    Lobbying on federal marijuana policy picked up in the first quarter of 2021, as banks and tobacco and alcohol companies begin to weigh in
    The Wall Street Journal (US)
    Saturday, May 8, 2021

    us flag cannabis capitolThe rally at the state capitol on April 20, the unofficial holiday for pot aficionados, brought out green-wigged supporters ringed in wisps of smoke. These days, they are far from the only people advocating for the legalization of marijuana. Black Lives Matter activists, who are seeking business opportunities for minority communities and say they have been hit hard by drug laws, joined the Hartford rally, as did labor organizers who want to see the industry unionized. More broadly, cannabis companies, banks and new marijuana trade organizations are deploying platoons of lobbyists to state capitals and Washington, D.C., to help shape the ground rules for the industry as more states legalize use, and as Congress weighs measures that could further legitimize the market.

  • France should legalise cannabis, says MPs report

    If cannabis were legalised, 2 billion euros (around $2.4 billion) could be raised to fund prevention policies, MPs said
    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    france cannabis2France should legalise cannabis so as to regain control of sales and better protect minors, a group of cross-party MPs said in a report, a finding at odds with the government's tough anti-drugs stance. Despite an expensive clampdown approach that excessively mobilises the police, "the state is helplessly witnessing the normalisation of cannabis for young people and the deterioration of security", MPs said in the report. The budget allocated to police and border controls for anti-drugs policies almost doubled between 2012 and 2018, reaching 1.08 billion euros (around $1.30 billion) a year. Yet France has the highest cannabis consumption in the European Union, with 5 million users a year and 900,000 daily users. 

  • Medical cannabis: Morocco to target European market

    The ministry said the priority markets of Moroccan medical cannabis are Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Morocco’s Ministry of Interior developed a study, showing the country’s interest to prioritize the European market in terms of the supply of medical cannabis. The ministry presented a feasibility study to the Committee for the Interior, Local Authorities, and  Urban Policy in the House of Representatives, showing that the annual net income from cannabis for medical use could reach MAD 110,000 ($12,316) per hectare. The study stipulates that the annual net income represents an improvement of 40% compared to the current numbers. The study also outlines the expectations of the share of Moroccan production in the European market. (See also: Légalisation du cannabis : revenus potentiels, marchés cibles... que dit l’étude de faisabilité du ministère de l’Intérieur ?)

  • After Aphria deal, the new Tilray eyes transformation into a global cannabis brands giant

    Company, which will have market value in excess of US$8 billion, is eyeing selling cannabis in everything from drinks to skin creams to snack bars
    Finacial Post (Canada)
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    dollar cannabis2Tilray Inc. shareholders approved the merger with Aphria Inc., creating a cannabis powerhouse that’s both the largest medical marijuana company in Europe and a major player in Canada’s recreational market. The company’s ambitions don’t end there, though. Irwin Simon, the former head of Aphria who is now chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company, has ambitions to transform it from an edgy Canadian marijuana company into a global consumer products giant, potentially selling cannabis in everything from drinks to skin creams to snack bars. The company will have a market value in excess of US$8 billion, making it a giant in the fast-growing cannabis industry.

  • Mexican lawmakers fail to legalize marijuana ahead of Supreme Court deadline

    After the Chamber of Deputies approved the Senate-passed legalization bill, senators said that the revised proposal was critically internally conflicted
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    mexico scnj amparoMexican lawmakers have failed to meet a Supreme Court deadline to end marijuana prohibition after spending months going back and forth on a legalization bill that passed both chambers of Congress in differing forms. The result is a lot of uncertainty. This session, it seemed like the reform would finally be achieved. The Senate approved a legalization bill late last year, and then the Chamber of Deputies made revisions and passed it in March, sending it back to the originating chamber. A couple of Senate committees then took up and cleared the amended measure, but leaders quickly started signaling that certain revisions made the proposal unworkable. Lawmakers have begun floating the idea of holding a special legislative session after June’s elections in order to get the job done this year.

  • The forgotten history of European drug-dealer activism

    A Social Dealer Charter, a list of principles for how suppliers ought to engage their customers, was developed.
    Talking Drugs (UK)
    Friday, April 30, 2021

    Today, the contributions of drug suppliers towards harm reduction efforts remain mostly neglected by history, although some within the grassroots end of the movement still emphasise their critical role. The work of Van Dam in The Netherlands and Southwell in the United Kingdom is part of a mostly-forgotten history of drug dealers organising themselves and alongside drug-user activists to advance the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs. In 1996, as the City of Rotterdam was cracking down on the public presence of drug suppliers and consumers, or what they called “nuisances,” the City officially supported drug consumption rooms (DCR). But some drug-user activists were skeptical of these newly above-ground programs. “It is only concerned with regulating and monitoring users.”

  • Un premier pas vers une régulation du marché du cannabis

    La commission de la santé publique du Conseil national a donné suite à une initiative parlementaire proposant de réguler le marché du cannabis plutôt que de l’interdire
    Tribune de Genève (Suisse)
    Vendredi, 30 avril 2021

    switzerland 100percent legalLa Suisse devrait réguler le marché du cannabis plutôt que l’interdire. La commission de la santé publique du Conseil national a donné suite par 13 voix contre 11 et une abstention à une initiative parlementaire de Heinz Siegenthaler (Centre/BE). En régulant de manière détaillée le marché et en le contrôlant, au lieu d’interdire le cannabis, on crée des prescriptions cohérentes et plus conformes à la réalité sociétale, soulignent les services du Parlement vendredi. L’objectif est notamment de mieux protéger la jeunesse et les consommateurs. Pour l’auteur de l’initiative, l’actuelle interdiction du cannabis agit de manière insuffisante: la consommation ne diminue pas, le marché noir se développe et il n’y a aucun contrôle de la qualité, ni a fortiori de protection des consommateurs.

  • Cannabis legalization : The reservations of Moroccan growers

    The coordination also defends the recreational use of cannabis
    Yabiladi (Morocco)
    Thursday, April 29, 2021

    morocco cannabis grower1To accompany Bill 13-21, a coordination of cannabis growers and the descendants of farmers met with the parties represented in the Lower House to present a memorandum. It calls for authorizing the recreational use of this plant, establishing a general amnesty, defining a reference price and granting more roles to cooperatives. Mohammed Kharchiche, a member of the coordination, referred to the question of cooperatives. «The role of these has been reduced in the bill, acting only on collection and distribution of the harvest for companies which creates a sort of monopoly». The coordination considers that «cooperatives must also have the right to proceed with the transformation of the product and its valuation, so that they can really participate in local development».

  • Maroc : Plaidoyer pour une amnistie des cultivateurs et l’usage récréatif du cannabis

    La coordination appelle aussi à une amnistie générale à tous les cultivateurs et les personnes poursuivies
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mercredi, 28 avril 2021

    morocco cannabis grower2A la vielle de la promulgation de la loi sur les usages légaux, la Coordination des zones d'origine du cannabis, qui se compose d'agriculteurs et de descendants de cultivateurs de cannabis dans les régions historiques des provinces d'Al Hoceima et de Chefchaouen est mobilisée. Elle a, en effet, rencontré tous les partis politiques représentés à la Chambre des représentants pour leur présenter son mémorandum. La coordination défend aussi l’usage récréatif du cannabis. «Cela se fera à l'image des pays ayant légalisé le cannabis», explique ce membre qui ajoute qu’il s’agit d’un «marché noir que l’Etat doit exploiter, sinon il tombera entres les mains de barons, de gangs et de cartels». (Lire aussi: Abdelouafi Laftit sur la légalisation du cannabis : “Nous n'avons plus de temps à perdre”)

  • Should the EU help legalize cannabis farms in Morocco?

    Political fights are delaying Morocco's legalization of cannabis. But, thanks to the rise of medical marijuana, the measure fits well with EU development aims and international drug policy
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, April 28, 2021

    morocco parliament cannabisShould draft legislation clear the final hurdles in the next few weeks, Morocco could become the second Arab country to legalize cannabis. Lebanon was the first in 2020. Cannabis legalization has been suggested before in Morocco. It is hard to know whether the draft law will pass, Khalid Mouna, an associate anthropology professor at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes. Mouna said that had mostly been a tactic to gain the support of voters in deprived cannabis-growing areas. This time could be different, said Tom Blickman, a researcher on international drugs policy for the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute. "I think it's serious because the initiative comes from the government, and behind the government is the palace," he said, referring to the Moroccan royal family. "Previous proposals came from the opposition."

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