• Portland legislator pushes bill to legalize, tax marijuana in Maine

    Randy Billings
    The Forecaster (Maine, US)
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Imagine walking into a neighborhood store to buy beer, wine, liquor and cigarettes. But on your way home you make one more stop – to buy marijuana, legally. That's the vision Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, will outline at a press conference at Portland City Hall, when she introduces LD 1453: An Act to Legalize and Tax Marijuana. The bill would legalize and regulate marijuana much the same way the state regulates the alcohol and tobacco industries. It would allow adults over 21 to cultivate, possess, purchase and use marijuana within certain limits.

  • Dying for a change on safe-injection site

    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, April 18, 2011

    trust-evidenceA health-care facility that saves lives and prevents the transmission of deadly diseases should be hailed as an innovative advancement in medical care – not a political football to be punted around by the government of the day. Unfortunately, however, the federal Conservatives continue to play deadly games with Insite, North America’s first supervised injection site.

  • Jeremy Sare on drug sentencing

    Jeremy Sare
    BMJ Blog
    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Most drug users are not addicted. Most suppliers of drugs are not dealers. These central truths about patterns of drug use in Britain are incompatible with the policies adopted by those in power who believe ever more muscular enforcement will somehow steer young people away from taking them. In drugs policy, there remains an unparalleled disconnect between power and knowledge. And power means both ministers and media who, on drugs policy, are intertwined in a deadly embrace.

  • Vancouver's safe injection site cuts overdose deaths

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, April 18, 2011

    insite-injecting2The number of drug-overdose deaths on Vancouver’s notorious downtown Eastside fell sharply after the opening of a safe injection site, new research shows. The study, published online Monday in the medical journal The Lancet, shows that fatal overdoses dropped 35 per cent in the vicinity of Insite in the two years after it opened. By comparison, OD deaths dropped only 9 per cent in the rest of Vancouver in that same period.

  • Ruling brings optimism for medical marijuana users

    Bradley Bouzane and Jordan Press
    Postmedia News (Canada)
    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    The Ontario Superior Court in Canada declared the rules that govern medical marijuana access and the prohibitions laid out in sections 4 and 7 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act “constitutionally invalid and of no force and effect,” effectively paving the way for legalization. If the government does not respond within 90 days with a successful delay or re-regulation of marijuana, the drug will be legal to possess and produce in Ontario, where the decision is binding.

  • Jamaica panel to review pot decriminalization

    David Mcfadden
    Associated Press
    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    cannabis-plantTop government officials will review recommendations to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal and religious use in Jamaica. Six Cabinet ministers in Prime Minister Bruce Golding's administration will evaluate a 2001 report by the National Commission for Ganja -- as marijuana is known locally. The commission, which included academics and doctors and was appointed by a government led by the current opposition, argued that the drug was "culturally entrenched" in Jamaica and that moderate use had no negative health effects on most users.

  • How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs

    As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," said a federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank's $12.3bn profit for 2009. The conclusion to the case was only the tip of an iceberg, demonstrating the role of the "legal" banking sector in swilling hundreds of billions of dollars – the blood money from the murderous drug trade in Mexico and other places in the world – around their global operations.

  • Drug laws 'may make matters worse'

    Mark Easton
    BBC News
    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Police efforts to fight drug gangs tend to lead to more violence and an increase in murders, according to a new international study. The authors, writing in the International Journal of Drug Policy, admit they were surprised by their own findings. Their hypothesis was that the results "would demonstrate an association between increased drug law enforcement expenditures or intensity and reduced levels of violence". But that's not what they showed. Instead, they report: "From an evidence-based public policy perspective and based on several decades of available data, the existing scientific evidence suggests drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organisations involved in drug distribution could paradoxically increase violence."

  • Pot Politics on Capitol Hill: Proponents Aim to Shift Industry's Image

    Supporters Step up Lobbying Efforts, Tout Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana
    ABC News (US)
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Supporters of decriminalizing marijuana are hoping to build momentum on Capitol Hill after a historic election that saw the politics of pot take center stage in four states. Forty-six percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, a new high, according to a survey conducted by Gallup in October. The trend has shifted upward in recent decades while opposition to such a move has declined. For medical marijuana use, the support is even higher. Seventy percent of Americans said they favored making marijuana for medicinal purposes legally available.

  • Drug sentencing public consultation launched

    BBC News (UK)
    Monday, March 28, 2011

    A public consultation on the sentencing of drugs offenders in England and Wales has been launched. The consultation, launched by the Sentencing Council, proposes new guidelines to cover offences in both the crown and Magistrates' courts.

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