• Marijuana legalization initiative signatures in

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Backers of an effort to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use in Washington state submitted more than 340,000 signatures Thursday to try to qualify their initiative, a move protested by some legalization supporters who say the proposal would hurt medical-marijuana patients. About a dozen protesters carried signs that read "Legalize, not penalize," and shouted as members of New Approach turned in signatures for Initiative 502 to the Legislature.

  • Colorado seeks new pot classification

    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Colorado has become the third state to ask the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana in a way that allows doctors to prescribe it as a medical treatment. The state asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1, a category that includes heroin, to Schedule 2. The change would allow doctors to prescribe pot and pharmacies to fill marijuana prescriptions. The governors of Rhode Island and Washington have made similar requests.

  • Meth Hype Could Undermine Good Medicine

    Overstating the dangers of methamphetamine may impede treatment of drug abusers, asserts a review by Columbia University researchers
    Gary Stix
    Scientific American (US)
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Four scientists from Columbia University published an analysis of previous studies on methamphetamine use that called into question some of the purported damaging effects of the drug on brain functioning. The review in Neuropsychopharmacology found that short-term effects of the drug actually improve attention, as well as visual and spatial perception, among other things. Moreover, chronic users—the ones who would be expected to suffer most—remain largely unimpaired.

  • Bolivia’s Morales wants UN to lift ban on chewing coca leaves in 2012

    RIA Novosti
    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Bolivian President Evo Morales believes that in 2012 the United Nations will finally agree that chewing of coca leaves is a legal ancient tradition of all people living in the Andes. Bolivia signed an agreement with the United Nations in 1961 that gave the country 25 years to eradicate the growing of coca. “I am convinced that next year we will win this international ‘fight’ for the recognition of chewing coca leaves as a tradition of peoples in Latin America, living in the Andes,” Morales said in an interview

  • Increased enforcement not curtailing marijuana use, report finds

    The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    community-protect2Increased funding for anti-cannabis law enforcement does not meaningfully reduce the drug’s potency, price or availability and creates a lucrative opportunity for organized crime, according to a report by a group of marijuana policy reform advocates. The report, entitled How not to protect community health and safety: What the government’s own data say about the effects of cannabis production was released by Stop the Violence BC, and argues that marijuana should be regulated, taxed and sold in a restricted capacity. The report looks at 20 years of data collected by the Canadian and U.S. governments and highlights the failure of marijuana prohibition to restrict access to the drug.

  • B.C. medical group recommends pot legalization

    The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Some B.C. medical health officials are now advocating for marijuana to be legalized, arguing that the government's costly enforcement activities are making little difference. The Health Officers' Council of B.C., which represents B.C.'s medical health officers and other physicians, researchers and consultants, is endorsing a report, How Not to Protect Community Health and Safety by Stop the Violence BC, that suggests a direct link between the province's $7-billion illegal cannabis industry and the increase in gang-related homicides in B.C. from 1997 to 2009.

  • Introduction of 'Weed Pass' in the Netherlands

    Statement by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC)
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    The government in the Netherlands has a legislative programme that includes making all of the country’s coffeeshops private clubs accessible only to customers issued with a club card. The membership cards – known as the 'wietpas' or 'weed card' – would be obtainable only by residents of the Netherlands aged 18 or older. Foreign tourists would no longer be allowed into Dutch coffee shops if the scheme becomes law. The aim of the government is to put an end to 'drugs tourism' in the Netherlands, especially in the southern provinces (Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland).

  • Latin American leaders fault U.S. drug users

    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Latin American leaders have joined together to condemn the U.S. government for soaring drug violence in their countries, blaming the United States for the transnational cartels that have grown rich and powerful smuggling dope north and guns south. Alongside official declarations, Latin American governments have expressed growing disgust for U.S. drug consumers — both the addict and the weekend recreational user heedless to the misery and destruction paid for their pleasures.

  • President Obama's puzzling silence on marijuana policy

    Neal Peirce / Syndicated columnist
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    The youth vote helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency, but that enthusiasm has declined sharply. One issue might reignite youthful enthusiasm: marijuana — partly its medical use, but especially the right to recreational use free of potential arrest. Police arrest youth for marijuana possession by the hundreds of thousands, threatening life prospects for a young man or woman saddled with a permanent "drug arrest" record that's easily located by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks. Small wonder that 62 percent of young Americans (ages 18 to 29) now favor legalizing marijuana, as a Gallup poll reported.

  • Evo does not convince the INCB on coca chewing

    "We convinced some of its members, but there are also some technicians who do not yet understand"
    Transnational Institute (TNI) with Reuters & Associated Press
    Friday, December 16, 2011

    The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, yesterday asked inspectors of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) of the United Nations to support his petition to decriminalize coca leaf chewing or "akulliku" but acknowledged that he failed to convince everyone. The Board pointed out this year that Bolivia “addresses the coca-chewing issue in a manner that is not in line with that country’s obligations under the international drug control treaties.”

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