• Obama’s Drug Policy: Yet Another Broken Promise

    White House Drug Policy Bound to Become Major Administration Issue
    Natalia Cote-Muñoz
    Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)
    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    obama-cannabisWhen Obama first took office in 2009, he promised a drug policy more focused on public health. However, recent statements from the DEA and raids on medical marijuana providers have proved  otherwise. External pressures are escalating as drug cartel-led violence across the border intensifies. Internal pressures are also becoming more widespread, as the public is seeing few changes affecting drug policy. Obama should seriously consider re-evaluating his approach to drug policy for his 2012 campaign.

  • Former Mexican president urges legalizing drugs

    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Part of the solution to end drug violence in Mexico should include legalizing drugs like marijuana for personal use, according to former President Vicente Fox. "In order to get out of this trap (of drug violence caused by organized crime), I'm specifically proposing the legalization of the drug," Fox said. He also said the Mexican government should "retire the army from the task of combating criminal gangs."

  • The Pot Republic

    Inside the country's oldest, largest and most wide-open marijuana market — California
    PBS Frontline (US)
    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    pot-republicThe bulk of the marijuana consumed in the United States used to come across the border from Mexico, Canada and elsewhere. Now, more than half of it is believed to be home grown in California, where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law. With more than a third of all states now experimenting with some form of legalization and decriminalization — and several California counties attempting to openly regulate pot production — Frontline and the Center for Investigative Reporting team up to investigate the country’s oldest, largest and most wide-open marijuana market. Is the federal government now moving to shut it down?

  • New California marijuana ballot measure starts circulating

    Proponents are not affiliated with the backers of Prop. 19
    Contra Costa Times
    Monday, July 25, 2011

    A new marijuana legalization ballot measure was cleared Monday to start seeking petition signatures. But its proponents aren't affiliated with the Oakland-based backers of last year's Proposition 19, who intend to mount a 2012 initiative of their own. The state attorney general's official summary says the measure, named by its proponents as "The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012," would decriminalize marijuana sales, distribution, possession, use, cultivation, processing and transportation by people at least 21 years old.

  • Nixon's 'war on drugs' began 40 years ago, and the battle is still raging

    Ed Vulliamy
    The Observer
    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Four decades ago, on 17 July 1971, President Richard Nixon declared what has come to be called the "war on drugs". Nixon told Congress that drug addiction had "assumed the dimensions of a national emergency". Drug abuse, said the president, was "public enemy number one". Despite decades of battling against narcotics, the levels of addiction, trafficking and violence continue to rise. The war on drugs has failed. Now, politicians in Latin America are calling to review all options – from full legalisation to a new war.

  • Legal Marijuana in Arizona, but Not for the Sellers

    The New York Times (US)
    Friday, July 22, 2011

    marijuana-fakeVoters narrowly approved a ballot initiative last November allowing medical marijuana in the state, but the result has been just the opposite of an orderly system of dispensing cannabis to the truly sick. Rather, police raids, surreptitious money transfers and unofficial pot clubs have followed passage of the new law, creating a chaotic situation not far removed from the black-market system that has always existed.

  • New medical pot law in Wash. brings uncertainty

    Gov. Chris Gregoire's decision to veto key parts of a bill regulating medical marijuana in Washington has left the state with a patchwork system of oversight that is mystifying patients, providers and the cities in which they live
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    The uncertainty comes after lawmakers worked for months on a plan that would help clear up the state's medical marijuana laws. The Legislature approved a plan that would have created a system to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. But Gregoire, citing fears that state workers could face federal prosecution for participating in the licensing scheme, vetoed much of it. The remaining parts of the law allow collective marijuana grows with up to 45 plants, serving up to 10 patients.

  • Seattle's Marijuana-Garden Ordinance: The New Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    Seattle Weekly (US)
    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Like every section that's left of the mostly vetoed medical-marijuana-reform law that passed in April, section 403 is vague, confusing, and inadequate to the task of regulating cannabis. Section 403, however, might be the single most important scrap of law to survive Gov. Chris Gregoire's veto pen. It's from this section, after all, that the City of Seattle, just three days ago, effectively legalized medical-marijuana gardens and dispensaries (city officials prefer the term "access points").

  • "The war against drugs has failed"

    A report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy has concluded that the war on drugs has failed, triggering a heated debate in the United States
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    branson-dreifuss The report, written by a high-profile panel including former Swiss cabinet minister Ruth Dreifuss, criticises the repressive approach in the US and calls for the legalisation of some drugs and an end to the criminalisation of drug users. Dreifuss recalled the “powerful experience” of Switzerland, “an experience in public health which leads to police and criminal interventions increasingly connected with the policies of social integration and which has given excellent results under very serious scientific supervision, for example the almost total elimination of overdoses and the remarkable drop in petty crime”.

    French version: "Guerre contre la drogue… un constat d’échec"

  • Coca is not Cocaine

    Thomas Grisaffi, Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology
    Comment and opinion
    London School of Economics
    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    On June 22nd under instruction from President Evo Morales (an ex-coca grower and leader of Bolivia’s powerful coca federation), Bolivia’s congress voted to withdraw from the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The government’s decision to step out of the most important international legal framework for drug control generated unease in international government and policy circles. Opposition parties in Bolivia responded to the news by claiming that the government had caved into pressure from drug traffickers. Meanwhile The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime classified the decision as ‘worrying’. Contrary to these voices the Bolivian government has very good reasons to abandon the convention.

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