Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Washington Court decriminalizes drugs: Will lawmakers let it stand?

    Law enforcement all across the state—from the Seattle Police Department to rural sheriff’s departments—announced they would no longer arrest or detain people solely for drug possession
    Filter (US)
    Tuesday, March 2, 2021

    decriminalizationIn February 2021, two states decriminalized drug possession. One was much anticipated; the other seemed to come out of nowhere. On February 1, Oregon’s ballot Measure 110 became law, making possession of small quantities—less than 1 gram of heroin, for example—no longer criminally punishable. Then, to the bewilderment of many, drug possession was decriminalized in Washington state on February 25. In an opinion authored by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, a majority of state Supreme Court Justices found the statute RCW 69.50.4013—establishing felony criminal punishment for drug possession—to be unconstitutional. Washington is the only US state to criminalize the unknowing possession of drugs, subjecting defendants to up to five years in prison and large fines.

  • As BC’s overdose crisis deepens, Province defends efforts

    Drugs becoming ‘even deadlier, underscoring urgent need for supervised consumption, safe supply and treatment,’ says coroner
    The Tyee (Canada)
    Tuesday, March 2, 2021

    canada bc overdose covidAt least 165 more British Columbians died of illicit drug overdoses in the first month of 2021, more than double the number of deaths recorded last January. An average of more than five people died each day in the deadliest January recorded since the overdose crisis was declared a public health emergency nearly five years ago in April 2016. January was the 10th consecutive month where more than 100 people died as pandemic-driven border restrictions contributed to an increasingly toxic street supply, and progress dragged on promises of safer supplies for substance users. The devastating report comes just weeks after the province confirmed 1,726 people died in 2020, making it the deadliest year for overdoses.

  • "Cannabis récréatif" : une légalisation plébiscitée par une large consultation citoyenne

    80 % se disent pour une autorisation de la consommation et de la production dans un cadre régi par la loi
    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    Lundi, 1 mars 2021

    france bientot legaliserUne large majorité des quelque 250.000 personnes qui ont participé à une consultation citoyenne sur le cannabis dit "récréatif" plébiscitent la légalisation de cette drogue dont l'usage est interdit en France, a-t-on appris de sources parlementaires. Quelque 80,8% des répondants se disent d'accord avec une autorisation de la consommation et de la production dans un cadre régi par la loi, selon les résultats de cette consultation lancée mi-janvier par une mission d'information parlementaire. 13,8% se déclarent favorables à une dépénalisation. A l'inverse, 4,6% sont pour un renforcement des sanctions et seulement 0,8% pour le maintien du cadre légal en vigueur. (Lire aussi: Interrogés lors d’une consultation citoyenne, les Français se disent partisans d’une légalisation du cannabis récréatif)

  • MP to propose debate on cannabis legalisation in France

    Record levels of consumption mean the current situation is untenable, according to the head of a parliamentary commission on the subject
    The Connexion (France)
    Monday, March 1, 2021

    Jean Baptiste MoreauThe legalisation of recreational cannabis is “possible” in France, and the country should hold a public consultation or referendum on its use, the head of a parliamentary commission on the subject has said. The suggestion was made by Jean-Baptiste Moreau, MP for Creuse and the head of a parliamentary commission on the use of recreational cannabis. On Sunday February 28, he said: “We will make proposals within a month." He said that “decriminalisation would not be enough” and that the government would need to establish a system of “checks on the quality of products and the price of products sold”. Asked if he believed that the legalisation of recreational cannabis would be politically possible in France, the MP said: “I think so.”

  • Virginia joins 15 other states in legalizing marijuana

    Virginia is the 16th U.S. state to pass an adult-use marijuana legalization law, though sales would not start until 2024
    Politico (US)
    Saturday, February 27, 2021

    smoking pot3The Virginia Legislature approved adult-use marijuana legalization Saturday in a historic vote marking the first state in the Old South to embrace full legalization. Virginia is the 16th U.S. state to pass an adult-use marijuana legalization law, though sales would not start until 2024. Only two other states — Illinois and Vermont — have passed legislation to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana through the legislature. The move puts pressure on neighboring states such as Maryland, where an adult-use legalization bill got its first hearing this month. New Jersey also recently enacted legalization, after voters overwhelmingly backed a referendum in November.

  • Tunisie: un collectif appelle à la légalisation du cannabis

    En 2019, 21,5% des personnes détenues en Tunisie l’étaient pour des infractions liées aux stupéfiants, en large partie pour une simple consommation de cannabis
    H24 (France)
    Samedi, 27 février 2021

    tunisia Karim ChairUn collectif a appelé à une légalisation du cannabis en Tunisie, où la stratégie essentiellement répressive et une loi contestée entraînent chaque année l’incarcération de nombreux jeunes fumeurs de joints. « Il y a un million de consommateurs, dont 400.000 réguliers, c’est presque un dixième de la population et plus de 30% des jeunes », a souligné Karim Chaïr, du Collectif pour la légalisation du chanvre (Colec), lancé en 2019 avec des associations et experts. « La légalisation peut diminuer la consommation, et donner des moyens financiers à l’Etat ». Le débat a été relancé par la condamnation en janvier de trois Tunisiens à 30 ans de prison chacun pour avoir fumé un joint, suscitant des appels à réformer une législation sévère.

  • Le plaidoyer de l’Istiqlal pour une dépénalisation rapide des cultures du kif

    Le parti a été le premier à avoir déposé, en 2014, une proposition de loi demandant "une grâce en faveur des cultivateurs poursuivis et la dépénalisation de la culture du kif"
    Le 360 (Maroc)
    Samedi, 27 fevrier, 2021

    morocco flag cannabis2L'Istiqlal a accueilli avec satisfaction le projet de loi sur la légalisation du cannabis à des fins médicales. Mais, ce parti d'opposition a appelé le gouvernement à dépénaliser le plus vite possible la culture de cette plante qui couvre quelques 73.000 hectares dans le nord du Maroc. "Le gouvernement est appelé à dépénaliser rapidement la culture du cannabis", a déclaré Noureddine Moudiane, le président du groupe parlementaire de l'Istiqlal à la Chambre des représentants. L’autre priorité pour le parti de la Balance, a-t-il souligné, porte sur "une amnistie pure et simple" au profit d'un total de 30.000 cultivateurs poursuivis par la justice pour "culture illégale du kif". Noureddine Moudiane estime qu'actuellement "tous les cultivateurs du kif sont en liberté provisoire".

  • Work on the project is 'still ongoing', says Minister of Health

    The Minister refrained from indicating a date or deadline for the presentation of a concrete plan
    RTL (Luxembourg)
    Friday, February 26, 2021

    luxembourg cannabisWhile legalisation of recreational cannabis in Luxembourg is one of the current coalition's flagship projects, updates on its progress have been rather sparse. Answering a parliamentary question about the progress of the project, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert responded that the government was currently working on a regulatory framework that would protect people who come into contact with cannabis while keeping them away from the black market by making it "less appealing". Lenert, who was very vague in her statements, confirmed that work on the cannabis legalisation project is still ongoing. She did say that "intensive" exchanges between the different ministries had taken place and that the project had been "completed" and "optimised".

  • Morocco set to legalise cannabis production for medical use

    Parliament, where the moderate Islamist PJD is the biggest party, must still approve the plan
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, February 25, 2021

    morocco cannabis5Morocco plans to allow the farming, export and domestic sale of cannabis for medical and industrial use, a move it hopes will help impoverished farmers in the Rif mountains amid a growing legal global market. The bill, which the cabinet is expected to approve next week, aims to improve farmers’ incomes, protect them from drug traffickers who now control the trade in cannabis and gain access to the booming legal international market for the drug. The draft law envisages a national agency to monitor production, transportation and sales. The recreational use of cannabis in Morocco would still be banned.Cannabis is mostly grown in the northern Rif mountains, which in recent years have seen protests over economic inequality. (See also: Confirmed: Morocco will legalize cannabis next week)

  • Mexico could soon become the largest legal marijuana market in the world

    But activists say the law fails to address the widespread pain that decades of militarized enforcement have caused
    The Nation (US)
    Thursday, February 25, 2021

    mexico cannabis plant potAfter decades of strict drug policy, Mexico’s congress is expected to pass a federal law this year that would for the first time create a legal cannabis trade in the country—the Senate passed the bill in November, and the lower house is set to vote on it this spring. But many of Mexico’s marijuana proponents are still opposed: The bill would allow for a cannabis industry on terms that they say favor corporations, and would still impose fines and prison sentences on people without connections or power. If the current version passes, advocates ask, who would the law be for? Mexico’s cannabis market is projected to be worth $5 billion within a few years, according to the National Association of the Cannabis Industry. Canadian and US companies are ready to swoop in.

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