• The punishment must fit the crime, even for drug users

    Australia's exports could include its approach to drug possession
    Gino Vumbaca
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    The case of the Australian boy arrested on drug charges in Bali offers the opportunity to review our nation's own response to drug use, both here and abroad. While empathy for the boy's family is warranted and genuine, the case should also raise the question of what would happen to someone in Australia caught with a similar small amount of cannabis or other illicit drug.

  • Doctors refuse to OK marijuana use

    Some users risked being jailed for using a drug that helps them function
    Sharon Kirkey
    The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    A decade after Canada legalized the medical use of marijuana, most doctors are still refusing to sign the declarations patients need to get legal access to pot - meaning patients in pain risk being jailed if they use a drug that helps them function. It's a predicament that threatens to become worse because of proposed changes to how Health Canada regulates access to the drug.

  • Viewpoints: Patient safety is priority in medical pot policy

    The Sacramento Bee (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Recently, the California Medical Association, representing more than 35,000 physicians, the largest statewide physician organization in America, boldly decided to adopt a different, more pragmatic approach to the polarizing issue of marijuana decriminalization. The decision – the result of a carefully considered process, painstakingly researched and debated for more than one year – is centered on one concern above all others: patient safety.

  • Chicago’s pot dilemma: Should marijuana users just be ticketed?

    The Chicago Sun-Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Last year, Chicago Police officers arrested more than 23,000 people on misdemeanor marijuana charges, and most of those cases were dropped. From 2006 through 2010, cases for possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana were dismissed 97 percent of the time. Eighty-four percent of pot possession cases involving 2.5 grams to 10 grams were tossed out of court; and 57 percent involving 10 to 30 grams met the same end, according to the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

  • Congress on Speed

    Partisan Conflict Led to Many Problems in 1986 Drug Law
    Eric E. Sterling, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    If Congress were functioning properly, it would take the time to consider the many potential improvements in drug policy that could save lives by preventing overdose, reducing the spread of HIV, and lessening violence, preventing crime, and saving money. With a commitment to governing, instead of grandstanding, Congress could make a careful analysis and weigh the alternatives.

  • California Medical Assn. support of marijuana legalization has doctors talking

    American Medical News
    Monday, October 31, 2011

    The California Medical Assn.'s recent decision to support marijuana legalization has drawn mixed opinions from physicians and others. At the same time, legal challenges continue across the country over state medical marijuana laws. And in recent months, the federal government has threatened to shut down marijuana dispensaries for violating federal law.

  • Rep. Sam Farr, House members question California pot club crackdown

    San Jose Mercury News (US)
    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Several members of California's congressional delegation are taking their concerns about a federal crackdown on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries directly to President Barack Obama. In a bipartisan letter signed by nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lawmakers criticized what they called an "unconscionable" multi-state effort targeting medical marijuana dispensaries. They also called for the reclassification of marijuana as a controlled substance subject to fewer federal restrictions.

  • Legalizing pot would cut gang violence: experts

    The Canadian Press (Canada)
    Friday, October 28, 2011

    A new coalition of high-profile health, academic and justice experts is mounting a campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana in British Columbia, arguing the policy change would reduce gang violence and convert criminal profits into new tax revenues. The push comes as the federal Conservative government moves to pass polar opposite legislation, an omnibus crime bill aiming to toughen penalties for drug traffickers along with other law-and-order measures. Calling itself Stop the Violence BC, the group released it first report and is pledging to issue further scientific research, poll results and hold public forums in an effort to pressure politicians towards its cause.

  • Colombian president calls for legalisation of marijuana

    Daily Telegraph
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, has called for the global legalisation of marijuana to help combat the trafficking of harder drugs and related violence. "The world needs to discuss new approaches ... we are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years," he said. Asked if making marijuana legal could offer a way forward, Mr Santos said it could and that he would support it "provided everyone does it at the same time".

  • Medical cannabis may get approval

    Draft law should be presented for green light by end of year
    The Prague Post (Czech Republic)
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    A group of medical and criminal law experts are moving forward with drafting a plan that would clear marijuana for medicinal use. "There is a consensus between parties in the coalition and with the opposition that making marijuana legal for medical purposes is a good thing," said National Anti-Drug Coordinator Jind?ich Vobo?il, deputy chairman of the committee drafting the proposal.

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