• Ecstasy is back in clubs as newly potent drug is taken with 'legal highs'

    The drug of choice in the Nineties rave scene is coming back as a powder that can be shared socially like cocaine and distinguishes its more fashion-conscious users from 'pill heads'
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    raveEcstasy, the drug of choice for the clubbers of the early 1990s, is making a comeback. Once synonymous with the rave scene, its popularity declined as the diminishing amount of methylenedioxymethamphe-tamine, or MDMA, the potent chemical once found in ecstasy tablets, saw a new generation of clubbers seek alternative substances. At the peak of its popularity, ecstasy was rarely out of the news with the designer drug blamed for a spate of deaths, often wrongly.

  • Copenhagen votes to legalise marijuana

    Daily Telegraph (UK)
    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Marijuana could soon be legalised in Copenhagen, after the city voted overwhelmingly in favour of a scheme that would see the drug sold through a network of state-run shops and cafes. The scheme, if approved by the Danish parliament at the start of next year, could make the city the first to fully legalise, rather than simply tolerate, marijuana consumption. "We are thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses, where the people aren't interested in selling you more, they're interested in you," said Mikkel Warming, the Mayor in charge of Social Affairs at Copenhagen City Council

  • Poll: Public supports medical marijuana, but not full pot legalization

    CBS News (US)
    Friday, November 18, 2011

    According a recent CBS News poll conducted at the end of October, a slim majority of 51 percent continues to think that marijuana use should be illegal. But support for specifically allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for serious medical conditions - or legalized "medical" marijuana - is far stronger: 77 percent Americans think it should be allowed.

  • Why is it only 'formers' who want to talk about drugs?

    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Former head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller today joins an increasingly long list of "formers" and "exes" who have publicly condemned the so-called "War on Drugs" as a "dead end". She will be among many other retired establishment figures lining up to say that we need to launch a global and national search operation for a workable alternative to prohibition. The question that leaps out, of course, is why didn't any of these people make their argument before they retired from the day-job?

  • British drug policy is not working

    The government is sticking to a criminal justice approach that simply doesn't work. It is time to look at the scientific evidence
    Julian Huppert and Molly Meacher
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    There are clear political sensitivities surrounding drug policies, rendering effective reform a challenging prospect for politicians once they are in government. But most sensible politicians, officials and scientists recognise that 50 years of a criminalising approach hasn't reduced problem drug use. We therefore call on the prime minister to convene an all-party commission to review drug policy and make recommendations for reform.

  • Ex-head of MI5 calls on government to decriminalise and regulate cannabis

    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    The former head of MI5 believes the "war on drugs" has proved fruitless and it is time to consider decriminalising the possession and use of small quantities of cannabis. Eliza Manningham-Buller has backed calls for the government to set up a commission to examine how to tackle the UK's drug culture and consider the highly controversial move of relaxing the law. She was speaking at a meeting held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform.

  • Colorado's Marijuana 'Green Rush'

    Businessweek (US)
    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    There are currently 16 states that allow some form of legalized medical marijuana, but only Colorado allows marijuana businesses to operate as such. It’s the first, and for the moment, only, for-profit marijuana marketplace in the U.S. Predictably, Colorado is in the midst of a marijuana boom. Between 2000—when Colorado voters legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes with Amendment 20—and 2008, Colorado issued roughly 2,000 medical marijuana cards to patients living in the state. By 2011 that number had jumped to over 127,000 paying customers, according to the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry, and at least 25,000 more have applications pending.

  • Swiss cannabis smokers will be allowed to grow four marijuana plants each

    To stop them buying drugs illegally
    Daily Mail (UK)
    Thursday, November 17 , 2011

    chanvre-suisseCannabis smokers in Switzerland will soon be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants each at home to stop them buying drugs on the black market. Four people sharing a house can grow up to 16 plants - but only if each person tends to their own crop. The deregulation of Switzerland's already lax cannabis laws has been agreed by four neighbouring regions in the French-speaking part of the Alpine country. (See also: Les cantons veulent autoriser quatre plants de cannabis par personne)

  • ‘Pacification’ of favelas not just a media circus

    IPS
    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    The "take-over" of Rocinha, one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, by heavily armed police and military units was seen by some as a media spectacle and by others as part of a successful strategy of regaining state control over an area ruled by armed drug gangs. Less than three hours after 3,000 police and soldiers occupied the favela or in the south of the city, Rio de Janeiro state Secretary of Public Security José Mariano Beltrame announced the "recovery of the territory" by the state.

  • Will Marijuana Raids Be the New Normal if Pot-Legalizing I-502 Passes in Washington?

    Seattle Weekly (US)
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    dea-raidCannabis-rights activists who oppose the marijuana-legalization initiative I-502 do so for many reasons, including the notion that should the bill pass, the federal government will immediately preempt it with an injunction. So will the DEA raids that happened yesterday in western Washington be the new norm if I-502 passes?

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