• Young drug users turn to 'bubble' for a cheap high

    After the ban on mephedrone, the market for generic, unidentified white powders has grown, says new report
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    pillsA huge gap is opening up in the country's illicit drugs market, as cash-strapped users switch to generic stimulants while wealthier buyers in search of a high opt for "premium" products. A paper to be published in the online edition of Drugs and Alcohol Today has found that young adults are turning to unidentified white powders following the ban on mephedrone, the former "legal high", and the decline in the purity of popular street drugs such as cocaine.

  • Pro-pot campaign gets big names, deep pockets

    A new marijuana-legalization campaign with deep pockets and prominent supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the issue or send it to the 2012 ballot
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Marijuana legalization in Washington has been an activist's pipe dream for decades, but a new campaign with deep pockets and prominent supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the issue or send it to the 2012 presidential ballot.The group, New Approach Washington, is the strongest mainstream campaign to date, since former federal prosecutor John McKay backed the campaign.

  • Lawsuits filed to block federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries

    The Sacramento Bee
    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Lawsuits were filed today in federal courts in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego in a move to block efforts by U.S. attorneys to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. "A massive organized effort is now going to be launched to bring the issue to federal courts across the state to get some judges to look at this," said San Francisco lawyer Matt Kumin, one of the attorney's representing plaintiffs in the lawsuits.

  • Minister considers Portuguese drugs strategy

    The Irish Examiner (Ireland)
    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Junior Health Minister Roisin Shortall, who is in charge of Ireland’s drugs strategy, said she had an "open mind" in relation to Portugal’s model. She said she was "particularly interested" in the country’s "yellow card" system, which warned users about their behaviour and tried to steer them away from drugs. Dr Joao Goulao, Portugal’s National Drugs Co-ordinator, said decriminalisation of drugs for personal use did not itself lead to benefits. "There is not a causal effect between decriminalisation and these results — it is due to a comprehensive response. But decriminalisation did not affect negatively the evaluation of the phenomenon."

  • Integrative Medicine: Legalization and regulation of cannabis

    The CMA council believes the legalization and regulation of marijuana will allow broader research into the potential benefits and risks
    Drs. Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Friday, November 4, 2011

    The California Medical Association made news when it became the first state medical association to recommend the legalization and regulation of cannabis. The CMA's Council on Scientific and Clinical Affairs noted in its recommendations that there is an increasing body of evidence that marijuana may be useful in the treatment of a number of medical conditions, but research to determine both risks and benefits is hampered in the United States because marijuana still is classified as an illegal drug.

  • Federal policy toward medical-pot businesses remains puzzling

    John Ingold
    The Denver Post (US)
    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Fifteen years after the first state legalized medical marijuana — and set up a confrontation with federal law that keeps cannabis illegal — federal law enforcement's position on medical-marijuana businesses remains something of a mystery. Two memos written in the past two years that attempt to explain the federal position have not answered medical-marijuana advocates' questions. Indeed, federal raids in the past month in Colorado and California have only generated more.

  • Study: legal medical marijuana doesn't encourage kids to smoke more pot

    Maia Szalavitz
    Time Magazine (US)
    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Despite warnings from opponents of medical marijuana, legalizing the drug for medical purposes does not encourage teens to smoke more pot, according to new research that compared rates of marijuana use in Massachusetts and Rhode Island after the latter state changed its laws. Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, but Massachusetts did not.

  • Maastricht loses '£26 million-a-year' after drug tourism ban

    The Daily Telegraph (UK)
    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    A Dutch city has lost income worth £26 million a year to its economy after banning French drug tourists from buying marijuana in legal cannabis cafés. The reduction in turnover in the popular "coffee shops", where cannabis can legally be purchased and smoked, is equivalent to the loss of 345 full-time jobs. As from October 1 this year the city's cannabis cafés have only been allowed to serve Dutch, Belgian and German customers in a bid to drive away millions of French drug tourists. The Association of Licensed Maastricht Coffee Shops has warned that cannabis users are being driven onto the streets, where marijuana smoking is a criminal offence, after getting Dutch people to buy drugs for them.

  • Decriminalize pot, aldermen urge — but mayor says not so fast

    The Chicago Sun-Times (US)
    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he would not be rushed into decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana because doing so creates its own set of problems that other cities have been forced to correct. The mayor shined the light on his deliberations on the hot-button issue as Chicago aldermen formally introduced their decriminalization plan after releasing ward-by-ward statistics that show minorities bear the brunt of marijuana arrests.

  • Cash-strapped Chicago mulls easing marijuana law

    A Chicago alderman says he's found a way for the city to raise desperately needed cash that will also keep more police officers on the street: Marijuana
    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Alderman Danny Solis introduced an ordinance to the City Council that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a ticketable offense with a $200 fine rather than a misdemeanor that carries jail time. He estimates the change would generate $7 million a year and, since the vast majority of such cases are dismissed, would save police and courthouse workers money and time.

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