• B.C. drug injection clinic can stay open, Supreme Court rules

    Globe & Mail (Canada)
    Friday, September 30, 2011

    insite-victoryThe Supreme Court of Canada has opened the door to supervised drug injection clinics across the country in a landmark decision that ordered the federal government to stop interfering with Vancouver’s controversial Insite clinic. The Court was persuaded by evidence that drug addicts are considerably safer administering their own injections under medical surveillance rather than obtaining and injecting hard drugs on the streets of the city’s troubled Downtown Eastside.

  • Ecstasy trial planned to test benefits for trauma victims

    Scientists hope to overcome tabloid anger after US trial suggests clubbers' drug can bring dramatic improvements for PTSD sufferers
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, September 30, 2011

    ecstacy-pilssDoctors are planning the first clinical trial of ecstasy in the UK, to see whether the drug can be beneficial to the traumatised survivors of child abuse, rape and war. Professor David Nutt, the psychopharmacologist who used to head the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs until he fell out with the Labour home secretary and was sacked, said: "I feel quite strongly that many drugs with therapeutic potential have been denied to patients and researchers because of the drugs regulation."

  • Medical marijuana law under review

    Current law pits doctors against patients and creates backlogs, critics say
    CBC (Canada)
    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    pot-protestHealth Canada began two days of closed-door talks Wednesday about changes to the controversial medical marijuana law that has faced legal challenges and criticism for being ineffective. But even as meetings get underway in Ottawa, there are concerns Health Canada is on the wrong track with a law that asks doctors to ignore a sworn obligation to protect patients’ health, while forcing patients to go to great lengths to obtain a drug that many say eases their pain.

  • Four pot smokers get their stash from U.S. government under little-known program

    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around as part of a little-known program that grew out of a 1976 court settlement and created the country's first legal pot smoker. The program once provided 14 people government pot. Now, there are four left.

  • Scientist's research produces a dangerous high

    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    John W. Huffman, a professor of organic chemistry, unwittingly contributed to the spread of "designer marijuana" so potent that the Drug Enforcement Administration has declared some of what he created illegal. Huffman's years of scientific research at Clemson University on the interaction between drugs and brain receptors led to so-called fake marijuana with effects far more powerful — and dangerous — than garden-variety marijuana. "Spice," "K-2," "Skunk" and similar products made using the chemical compounds he formulated have surged in popularity in recent years.

  • Counting the Costs of Archaic Drug Policies and Strategies in Southern Africa

    Annette Hubschle
    Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    In June 2011, fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and forty years after former US President Nixon launched the US government's 'War on Drugs', the Global Commission on Drug Policy released an explosive report on the failings of the war on drugs and its devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.

  • Cocaine's becoming king in Peru

    Peru's new government changes its drug-fighting tactics
    Global Post
    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    For years, Peru had a simple policy to fight cocaine: destroy the coca plants that were the key ingredient in the drug. It did not go so well. That has nearly propelled Peru to the top of the cocaine-production ladder. “We need to move from eradication to reduction,” said Ricardo Soberón, Peru’s new anti-drug tsar. He is drawing up a broader, more sophisticated strategy that accepts that simply wiping out coca by force will not succeed.

  • Canada needs a more realistic public health approach to cannabis, study finds

    The Canadian Press
    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Canada's existing public health approach to cannabis use is unrealistic and should be adjusted to reflect the way the system approaches alcohol. An article, Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Canada (LRCUG): A?Narrative Review of Evidence and Recommendations, concluded the high prevalence of marijuana use throughout the country requires public health practitioners to adjust their thinking around the substance. Current practices advocating for total abstinence are unrealistic given the drug's widespread popularity, and less tolerant than public health positions towards alcohol, tobacco and even injection drugs, co-author Benedikt Fischer said. (See also: New Study Proposes Public Health Guidelines to Reduce the Harms from Cannabis Use)

  • US teens smoke more pot than Dutch

    East Bay Express (US)
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    MacCounA new study, What Can We Learn from the Dutch Cannabis Coffeeshop System?, published in the journal Addiction earlier this month challenged the United States' "provincial" drug policy, especially as it relates to youth. The study compared cannabis use among US teens to newly available data on usage rates in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. The results: The Dutch have about 700 adults-only clubs that sell 50 to 150 metric tons of cannabis per year, yet Dutch teens report lower levels of weed usage than youth in the United States.

  • Mexico president hints legalizing drugs may be needed

    Market solution may be needed to curb drug gangs' power | Drug wars have hurt Mexico's ruling conservatives
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday turned up pressure on the United States to curb demand for illicit drugs, hinting that legalization of narcotics may be needed to weaken the drug cartels. Mexico, which has been racked by a bloody conflict between the government and drug cartels, is paying the price for its proximity to the United States, Calderon said in a speech to the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in New York.

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