Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Insite’s next battle: supervised inhalation

    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    insite-crackInsite’s operators have twice applied for a federal health exemption to allow crack cocaine smokers to use the room – the request was rejected in 2006, ignored in 2009. Proponents say the room would allow health officials to reach a fast-growing segment of drug users, a group prone to viruses because of dirty crack pipes. Critics say scientific evidence for the benefits of supervised inhalation rooms is scant.

  • Delaware governor signs bill making it the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana

    The Associated Press
    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Gov. Jack Markell has signed legislation making Delaware the 16th state to allow the use of medical marijuana. The new law allows people 18 and older with certain serious or debilitating conditions that could be alleviated by marijuana to possess up to six ounces of the drug. Qualifying patients would be referred to state-licensed and regulated “compassion centers,” which would be located in each of Delaware’s three counties. The centers would grow, cultivate and dispense the marijuana.

  • No evidence to contradict studies that supervised drug injections save addicts’ lives

    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    trust-evidenceUnder tough judicial grilling, the Harper government conceded it had no evidence to counter scientific research showing supervised drug injections save lives and reduce harm to addicts. Federal lawyers said a final decision had not been made whether to extend or end a legal exemption for Vancouver’s Insite injection clinic before local health authorities launched a lawsuit in 2008 to save it. But they were at a loss to explain the basis for the Conservative government’s stated reluctance to allow it to continue.

  • Former mayors speak out for Insite

    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    insite-kitDivided by politics but united by drug policy, five former Vancouver mayors have issued a last-minute plea to Ottawa to drop its appeal of earlier court decisions approving Insite, the city’s supervised drug injection site. “Since opening in 2003, Insite has proven – beyond a doubt – its worth to our community,” the five ex-mayors say in an open letter issued to the federal Conservative government. Open letter supporting Insite from Vancouver mayors.

  • Globe editorial: Supervised injection for the sake of public health

    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    insite-injectingVancouver’s supervised drug-injection clinic, Insite, saves lives and prevents human misery. Providing addicts with a safe, sterile place to inject heroin and other drugs is a pragmatic and effective way to curb the spread of infectious disease, including HIV/AIDs and hepatitis B and C, and to reduce substance abuse and overdoses. Yet the federal government persists in opposing it, viewing Insite not as a critical component of British Columbia’s health-based approach to treating addiction, but as a stark violation of criminal law.

  • The arguments for and against Vancouver’s supervised injection site

    A lightning rod for controversy, Insite attracts support and detractors along several main lines
    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    insite-prepWhen the Supreme Court of Canada convenes to consider Vancouver’s supervised injection site, it will hear detailed arguments that hinge on the fine print of the Canadian Constitution. But besides being a landmark showdown between federal and provincial powers, the hearing also sets the stage for a ruling expected to affect not only the daily lives of injection drug users on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside but drug policy across the country and potentially farther afield.

  • Review drags drug law into 21st Century

    New Zealand Drug Foundation
    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    New Zealand’s 35-year-old Misuse of Drugs Act should be consigned to the rubbish heap of history and replaced with a modern, flexible, health-focussed law fit for purpose for the 21st Century, said the New Zealand Drug Foundation today. The Drug Foundation was responding to the Law Commission’s recommendations for reforming the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, which was tabled today in Parliament.  The report makes 144 recommendations for a new legislative and policy approach to reducing the country’s drug problem, and is a result of a comprehensive 2 year review of New Zealand’s obsolete drug law.

    See: New Zealand Law Commission report: Controlling and Regulating Drugs – A Review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

  • Federal prosecutors step into debate over medical marijuana, warn of potential criminal cases

    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Several states have started reassessing their medical marijuana laws after stern warnings from the federal government that everyone from licensed growers to regulators could be subjected to prosecution.The ominous-sounding letters from U.S. attorneys in recent weeks have directly injected the federal government back into a debate that has for years been progressing at the state level.

  • Federal pot prosecutions have not let up

    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    When the Obama administration declared 18 months ago that it would stop arresting people who complied with their states' medical marijuana laws, advocates were encouraged but wary, saying pot patients and their suppliers were still at risk of federal prosecution. In a new report, the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access said its caution was justified: Prosecutions have continued unabated, and the number of raids has increased.

  • Study: tens of thousands of Finns have grown their own cannabis

    One in five young Finns know a home-grower
    Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    cannabis-indoorAn estimated 40,000 – 60,000 Finns have tried growing cannabis at home. The number of active home growers in Finland is about ten thousand, but they have many friends. On in five Finns under the age of 35 say that they know at least one home grower. The estimates are from a study which is being published in Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, the publication of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

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