• Four pot smokers get their stash from U.S. government under little-known program

    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around as part of a little-known program that grew out of a 1976 court settlement and created the country's first legal pot smoker. The program once provided 14 people government pot. Now, there are four left.

  • Scientist's research produces a dangerous high

    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    John W. Huffman, a professor of organic chemistry, unwittingly contributed to the spread of "designer marijuana" so potent that the Drug Enforcement Administration has declared some of what he created illegal. Huffman's years of scientific research at Clemson University on the interaction between drugs and brain receptors led to so-called fake marijuana with effects far more powerful — and dangerous — than garden-variety marijuana. "Spice," "K-2," "Skunk" and similar products made using the chemical compounds he formulated have surged in popularity in recent years.

  • Counting the Costs of Archaic Drug Policies and Strategies in Southern Africa

    Annette Hubschle
    Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    In June 2011, fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and forty years after former US President Nixon launched the US government's 'War on Drugs', the Global Commission on Drug Policy released an explosive report on the failings of the war on drugs and its devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.

  • Cocaine's becoming king in Peru

    Peru's new government changes its drug-fighting tactics
    Global Post
    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    For years, Peru had a simple policy to fight cocaine: destroy the coca plants that were the key ingredient in the drug. It did not go so well. That has nearly propelled Peru to the top of the cocaine-production ladder. “We need to move from eradication to reduction,” said Ricardo Soberón, Peru’s new anti-drug tsar. He is drawing up a broader, more sophisticated strategy that accepts that simply wiping out coca by force will not succeed.

  • Canada needs a more realistic public health approach to cannabis, study finds

    The Canadian Press
    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Canada's existing public health approach to cannabis use is unrealistic and should be adjusted to reflect the way the system approaches alcohol. An article, Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Canada (LRCUG): A?Narrative Review of Evidence and Recommendations, concluded the high prevalence of marijuana use throughout the country requires public health practitioners to adjust their thinking around the substance. Current practices advocating for total abstinence are unrealistic given the drug's widespread popularity, and less tolerant than public health positions towards alcohol, tobacco and even injection drugs, co-author Benedikt Fischer said. (See also: New Study Proposes Public Health Guidelines to Reduce the Harms from Cannabis Use)

  • US teens smoke more pot than Dutch

    East Bay Express (US)
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    MacCounA new study, What Can We Learn from the Dutch Cannabis Coffeeshop System?, published in the journal Addiction earlier this month challenged the United States' "provincial" drug policy, especially as it relates to youth. The study compared cannabis use among US teens to newly available data on usage rates in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. The results: The Dutch have about 700 adults-only clubs that sell 50 to 150 metric tons of cannabis per year, yet Dutch teens report lower levels of weed usage than youth in the United States.

  • Mexico president hints legalizing drugs may be needed

    Market solution may be needed to curb drug gangs' power | Drug wars have hurt Mexico's ruling conservatives
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday turned up pressure on the United States to curb demand for illicit drugs, hinting that legalization of narcotics may be needed to weaken the drug cartels. Mexico, which has been racked by a bloody conflict between the government and drug cartels, is paying the price for its proximity to the United States, Calderon said in a speech to the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in New York.

  • State Dems back marijuana-legalization initiative

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Monday, September 19, 2011

    The Washington State Democratic Central Committee threw its support behind a marijuana legalization initiative this weekend, calling the continuing prohibition against the state's second-biggest cash crop a waste of public money. The Democrats cited law enforcement costs -- "simple marijuana possession charges now account for fully half of all drug arrests in Washington" -- and the potential to raise $215 million in new tax revenue each year if Initiative 502 passes, among other things.

  • Lib Dems vote overwhelmingly to set up panel to consider decriminalising drugs

    Motion also offers show of support for Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, following high profile resignations from body
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    The Liberal Democrat party conference have voted to establish a panel to consider decriminalising the use of all drugs. The panel would also consider a less radical alternative: that possession would remain illegal, but those caught would have to appear before a panel and made to undertake "appropriate education, health or social interventions", replacing the existing fines and jail sentences on the statute book. Any money made available by these reforms would be used for education, treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Medical pot OK in Seattle, in trouble in Spokane

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    marijuana-dispensaryThe largest federal crackdown in the 13-year history of the state medical-marijuana law has sent Spokane's once-open medical-marijuana businesses diving deep underground. Most of the 50-some dispensaries abruptly closed. Those that remain are mostly word-of-mouth secrets. Contrast that to Seattle, where the city's embrace of medical marijuana encourages a flourishing business for storefront dispensaries, bakers, growers and lawyers. An unofficial count, based on Seattle business licenses and advertising websites, finds at least 75 storefront dispensaries open.

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