• Viewpoints: Patient safety is priority in medical pot policy

    The Sacramento Bee (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Recently, the California Medical Association, representing more than 35,000 physicians, the largest statewide physician organization in America, boldly decided to adopt a different, more pragmatic approach to the polarizing issue of marijuana decriminalization. The decision – the result of a carefully considered process, painstakingly researched and debated for more than one year – is centered on one concern above all others: patient safety.

  • Chicago’s pot dilemma: Should marijuana users just be ticketed?

    The Chicago Sun-Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Last year, Chicago Police officers arrested more than 23,000 people on misdemeanor marijuana charges, and most of those cases were dropped. From 2006 through 2010, cases for possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana were dismissed 97 percent of the time. Eighty-four percent of pot possession cases involving 2.5 grams to 10 grams were tossed out of court; and 57 percent involving 10 to 30 grams met the same end, according to the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

  • Congress on Speed

    Partisan Conflict Led to Many Problems in 1986 Drug Law
    Eric E. Sterling, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    If Congress were functioning properly, it would take the time to consider the many potential improvements in drug policy that could save lives by preventing overdose, reducing the spread of HIV, and lessening violence, preventing crime, and saving money. With a commitment to governing, instead of grandstanding, Congress could make a careful analysis and weigh the alternatives.

  • California Medical Assn. support of marijuana legalization has doctors talking

    American Medical News
    Monday, October 31, 2011

    The California Medical Assn.'s recent decision to support marijuana legalization has drawn mixed opinions from physicians and others. At the same time, legal challenges continue across the country over state medical marijuana laws. And in recent months, the federal government has threatened to shut down marijuana dispensaries for violating federal law.

  • Rep. Sam Farr, House members question California pot club crackdown

    San Jose Mercury News (US)
    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Several members of California's congressional delegation are taking their concerns about a federal crackdown on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries directly to President Barack Obama. In a bipartisan letter signed by nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lawmakers criticized what they called an "unconscionable" multi-state effort targeting medical marijuana dispensaries. They also called for the reclassification of marijuana as a controlled substance subject to fewer federal restrictions.

  • Legalizing pot would cut gang violence: experts

    The Canadian Press (Canada)
    Friday, October 28, 2011

    A new coalition of high-profile health, academic and justice experts is mounting a campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana in British Columbia, arguing the policy change would reduce gang violence and convert criminal profits into new tax revenues. The push comes as the federal Conservative government moves to pass polar opposite legislation, an omnibus crime bill aiming to toughen penalties for drug traffickers along with other law-and-order measures. Calling itself Stop the Violence BC, the group released it first report and is pledging to issue further scientific research, poll results and hold public forums in an effort to pressure politicians towards its cause.

  • Colombian president calls for legalisation of marijuana

    Daily Telegraph
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, has called for the global legalisation of marijuana to help combat the trafficking of harder drugs and related violence. "The world needs to discuss new approaches ... we are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years," he said. Asked if making marijuana legal could offer a way forward, Mr Santos said it could and that he would support it "provided everyone does it at the same time".

  • Medical cannabis may get approval

    Draft law should be presented for green light by end of year
    The Prague Post (Czech Republic)
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    A group of medical and criminal law experts are moving forward with drafting a plan that would clear marijuana for medicinal use. "There is a consensus between parties in the coalition and with the opposition that making marijuana legal for medical purposes is a good thing," said National Anti-Drug Coordinator Jind?ich Vobo?il, deputy chairman of the committee drafting the proposal.

  • Justice Dept. memo writer is mum on pot crackdown

    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    A high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official who wrote a memo saying state medical marijuana laws do not provide immunity from federal prosecution refused to say whether a recent crackdown in California signals a shift in federal policy that may result in a crackdown in other states. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the memo sent to U.S. attorneys in June speaks for itself, and he said U.S. attorneys have discretion in how federal law is enforced in their districts.

  • Injection room operator: Political indecision will cost lives

    During election, coalition parties promised a permanent injection room by end of year
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    The government’s indecision over plans to set up a permanent injection room for drug addicts may cost the lives of over 100 users, according to Michael Lodberg Olsen, the organiser of a mobile injection room. Astrid Krag, the health minister, last week scaled back the government’s election promise to have a permanent room set up by the end of the year.

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