• Not That Kind of Smoke-Filled Room

    Why doesn’t anyone in Washington take marijuana legalization seriously?
    Will Oremus
    Slate (US web)
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Potheads had high hopes for President Obama’s Google+ hangout on Monday. The Web superpower had invited citizens to submit questions for the president via YouTube, and it encouraged people to vote on the questions they’d like Obama to answer in a live video chat. The results: 18 of the 20 most popular questions were about marijuana policy.

  • Marijuana Mouth Spray: Will It Be Abused?

    The drug is meant to help those suffering from pain from cancer
    Discovery News (US)
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    The medical marijuana drug Sativex, which could be approved in the United States in the coming years as a treatment for pain relief, has little potential for abuse, experts say. The British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals is currently testing the drug, which is delivered as a mouth spray and called Sativex, in clinical trials. The company plans to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug as a treatment for cancer pain when the trials are completed.

  • Pot legalization efforts forge ahead in key U.S. states

    Campaign for legalization could cost millions. States may run afoul of federal ban
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use are gaining momentum in Washington state and Colorado, despite fierce opposition from the federal government and a decades-long cultural battle over America's most commonly used illicit drug. Officials in Washington state said an initiative to legalize pot has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. In Colorado, officials are likely this week to make a similar determination about an initiative there.

  • Marijuana legalization measure certified

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Friday, January 27, 2012

    A measure to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Washington State is likely to be on the November 2012 ballot, after the secretary of the state's office certified the initiative, saying the campaign had turned in enough valid petition signatures. Initiative 502 now goes to the Legislature, but lawmakers are not likely to take up the issue during the short 60-day session that ends on March 8, meaning it would automatically appear on the ballot in the fall election.

  • Small Dutch city is hub for European khat sales

    Agence France-Presse
    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    chewing-khatA small Dutch city less than 20 kilometres from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has become the hub of Europe's sales of khat, a plant chewed for its stimulant qualities, soon to be banned in the Netherlands. In a discreet warehouse tucked away in the city of Uithoorn, around a hundred Somalis and Yemenis were haggling over the latest delivery: a tonne of khat. But 15 of the European Union's 27 states and Norway have already listed khat as an illegal narcotic and the Netherlands too announced earlier this month it would ban khat.

  • UK could become 'smuggling hub' for herbal high khat

    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    The UK could become a hub for smuggling the herbal stimulant khat, European police and politicians have warned. The Netherlands is the latest country to outlaw the sale of the plant, which is now banned in sixteen EU member states and Norway. Khat is freely sold in the UK and observers say the UK's isolated stance could make it the main base for Europe's khat trade. The British government has commissioned a new review of khat use.

  • Leftists suggest legal cannabis clubs

    The Local / DPA (Germany)
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    cannabis-plantsGermany’s socialist Left party is calling an expert hearing on “legalizing cannabis through the introduction of cannabis clubs” in the German parliament on Wednesday. The idea has met widespread rejection. The Left party’s proposal is to allow Germans to open exclusive cannabis clubs, where members will be able to grow marijuana plants. They also recommend that consumers be allowed to own 30 grams of the drug for personal consumption – double the current limit.

  • The war on the truth about drugs

    So sentencing for some offences will be reduced – but we're still left with an unscientific drug policy obsessed with 'the message'
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    What's the smallest unit of celebration? A whooplet? I need one to mark the news that sentencing for drug offences, in some cases, will be shortened. Following new guidelines from the sentencing council from the end of February those found to have bought drugs to share with friends rather than to profit from them, and those found to have imported drugs under duress, can expect to be locked up slightly less often, and for slightly less long.

  • Drugs mule terms cut in new sentencing guidelines

    BBC News
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    People who smuggle drugs will face more lenient sentences if they have been exploited, under new guidelines. The change in approach on "drug mules" forms part of new comprehensive rules on drugs offences from the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. The council said judges should distinguish between those who have been exploited by gangs and criminals heavily involved in the drugs trade. But it said large-scale drugs producers should expect longer jail terms.

  • Cannabis taxation: a win-win all round, Richard Branson tells MPs

    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    The market for cannabis in Britain should be regulated and taxed, and responsibility for drug policy moved from the Home Office to the health department, Sir Richard Branson has told MPs. The Virgin Group head said the 20% of police time and £200m spent on giving criminal sentences to 70,000 young people for possession of illegal drugs in Britain each year would be better spent going after the criminal gangs at the centre of the drugs trade. "It's win-win all round,'' he told the Commons home affairs select committee.

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