• Colombia Takes Step Towards Drug Decriminalization

    Elyssa Pachico
    In Sight
    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Colombia's Supreme Court ruled against harsh punishments for small-time drug offenders, in a move towards easing up Colombia's zero-tolerance drug laws, which have achieved little in the fight against organized crime.

  • Medical marijuana advocates seek PM's support

    Prague Monitor (Czech Republic)
    Tueasday, August 23, 2011

    The organisers of a Czech petition for the legalisation of cannabis in medical treatment have asked Prime Minister Petr Necas to support the relevant changes in legislation. The petition committee, including doctors, patients and scientists, recalls that it does not seek the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use. Since its launch on August 16, the petition has been signed by almost 5,000 people.

  • Free crack cocaine pipes enable the saving of lives

    Louise Gallagher (Director, Public Relations & Volunteer Services, with the Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre)
    The Calgary Herald (Canada)
    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    In 2008, Safeworks, an outreach program of Alberta Health Services, began a harm reduction program aimed at mitigating the effects of sharing crack pipes with other addicts. Through the program, users had the opportunity to obtain a clean pipe. It helped cut down on transmittable diseases and it gave outreach workers an opportunity to build relationships and explore safer options with this at-risk population of crack users. It's disheartening that AHS decided last week to let this program go up in smoke because it became controversial.

  • Buzz Kill: Marijuana Genome Sequenced For Health, Not Highs

    NPRs Health Blog (US)
    Friday, August 19, 2011

    jointStoners and scientists alike may be stoked to learn that a startup biotech company has completed the DNA sequence of Cannabis sativa, or marijuana. But here's something that could ruin a high: The company hopes the data will help scientists breed pot plants without much THC, the mind-altering chemical in the plant. The goal is instead to maximize other compounds that may have therapeutic benefits.

  • Free crack pipe service discontinued in Calgary

    Some groups, including the Calgary Police Association, had recently expressed their concerns with the Safeworks program
    The Calgary Herald (Canada)
    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Safer Crack Using KitA decision to stop a clean crack-pipe distribution program has disappointed those working to rehabilitate street addicts. Since 2008, Alberta Health Services had been giving out crack-pipe kits as part of the Safeworks program, an effort to reduce transmittable diseases. The kits contained a glass pipe, mouthpiece and cleaning tool and were handed out in an AHS van. More than 14,500 crack pipes were given out as of June 2011. The program was an effective first step in engaging hardcore, street-involved crack cocaine addicts. However, AHS has discontinued the Safeworks crack pipe program, citing the “potential for a legal challenge with respect to distribution.”

  • Doctors, patients seek permission for marijuana use in treatment

    The Prague Monitor (Czech Republic)
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    czech-pharmacyCzech doctors, patients and scientists launched a petition for the legal use of marijuana in treating sclerosis multiplex, the Parkinson disease, cancer and the AIDS in the Czech Republic whose legislation bans such practice. The petitioners say the ban breaches people's free choice of treatment methods and want it to be lifted. They give research results and practice in foreign countries as arguments in support of their demand.

  • France and marijuana: an altered state

    Laetitia Clavreul
    The Guardian Weekly (UK)
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Should the use of cannabis be legalised to end the dealing that has poisoned life in France's banlieues, and to guarantee the quality of a substance that is widely consumed but is often of very poor quality? The economist Pierre Kopp, of Paris University, has compared the cost of combating cannabis abuse with its possible cost if legalised. He considers that, as with tobacco use, the key factor in cannabis legalisation would be the duty levied by the state: ideally that duty should be high enough to prevent increased consumption of the substance, while bringing in sufficient revenue to fund prevention.

  • Mexico's Drug War, Feminized

    Katie Orlinsky
    The New York Times - SundayReview
    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Mexico's drug war is more than an armed conflict. With government estimates of its death toll well above 30,000, it is now a humanitarian crisis affecting families and shaping the lives of children. Photo reportage

  • Majority of Americans ready to legalize marijuana

    As was the case last year, most respondents believe the “War on Drugs” has been a failure
    Angus Reid Public Opinion
    Press release
    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Many Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but are not supportive of making other drugs readily available, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found. In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 per cent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana, while 40 per cent oppose it. The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), Men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%).

  • Medical marijuana: The Justice Department speaks – again

    Jonathan Caulkins
    The Christian Science Monitor (US)
    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Medical marijuana suppliers complain that the Justice Department is tightening the federal government's approach to enforcement. That's a disingenuous response to the department's latest directive that medical marijuana is not a business – though suppliers sure want it to be. The June 29 memo largely reaffirms one from October 2009 – known as the "Ogden" memo. Both memos advise US attorneys that individual marijuana users with serious illnesses – and their caregivers – are not an enforcement priority, but those in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana are.

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