• Drug experiment

    Keith O’Brien
    The Boston Globe (US)
    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Faced with both a public health crisis and a public relations disaster, Portugal’s elected officials took a bold step. They decided to decriminalize the possession of all illicit drugs — from marijuana to heroin — but continue to impose criminal sanctions on distribution and trafficking. The goal: easing the burden on the nation’s criminal justice system and improving the people’s overall health by treating addiction as an illness, not a crime.

  • Marijuana advocates debate a new legalization effort

    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    The campaign for Proposition 19, which lost 54% to 46% in November, wants to start drafting a new initiative in the spring and to complete it by July, turning then to the expensive and time-consuming task of building support and qualifying it for the November 2012 ballot. Prop. 19 lost support of defense attorneys and medical marijuana distributors; its backers hope to write a legal pot initiative with wider appeal. All sides agree it'll be a complicated endeavor.

  • Cannabis clubs plug a gap in Spanish drugs laws

    Member-only clubs spring up as smokers exploit law allowing consumption of cannabis in private
    Giles Tremlett
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Private cannabis clubs are at the vanguard of a new movement of pro-cannabis campaigners in Spain. The members spotted a gap in Spain's drugs laws which, they say, makes the activities of private clubs like these entirely legal. Spain does not have a law banning consumption in private and members claim it is safer to use the club than go out to parks and smoke in public. "The club recognises that cannabis is not good for everyone. We propose a responsible form of consumption. Not everyone should smoke. We know there are risks."

  • Ending the futile war on drugs

    Prohibition has failed and we must redirect our efforts to the harm caused by drugs, and to reducing consumption
    Fernando Henrique Cardoso
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Monday, December 27, 2010

    The war on drugs is a lost war, and 2011 is the time to move away from a punitive approach in order to pursue a new set of policies based on public health, human rights, and commonsense. These were the core findings of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy that I convened, together with former presidents Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia.

  • Portugal's drug policy pays off; US eyes lessons

    Barry Hatton & Martha Mendoza
    The Associated Press
    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    The United States, which has waged a 40-year, $1 trillion war on drugs, is looking for answers in tiny Portugal, which is reaping the benefits of what once looked like a dangerous gamble. White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske visited Portugal in September to learn about its drug reforms, and other countries – including Norway, Denmark, Australia and Peru – have taken interest, too.

  • Juries are giving pot defendants a pass

    In cases involving small amounts of marijuana, some people aren't willing to uphold the law in court
    Kim Murphy
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Prosecutors say they are increasingly mindful of as marijuana use wins growing legal and public tolerance: Some jurors may be reluctant to convict for an offense many people no longer regard as serious. "It's not on a level where it's become a problem. But we'll hear, 'I think marijuana should be legal, I'm not going to follow the law.' "

  • All parties must see that the drugs war has failed

    Bob Ainsworth is not alone in craving a rational debate
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    It is clearly expecting too much of Westminster that, when a recently retired cabinet minister calls for mature debate on drugs policy, a mature debate might actually follow.

  • At least Bob Ainsworth dares to speak about drugs

    Our leaders are too addicted to power to upset voters by demanding we have a proper debate about the possible legalisation of narcotics
    Nick Cohen
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    People often say we have the prohibition of drugs in Britain. But illegal drugs are not prohibited, they are everywhere. What we have is a prohibition of political debate on what to do with them and that is the greatest drug crime of all.

  • Court backs Dutch ruling on coffee shops

    The European Court of Justice today upheld rules in the Netherlands preventing non-Dutch residents from entering coffee shops that sell soft drugs
    European Voice
    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said that a municipal regulation imposed by the city of Maastricht prohibiting local coffee-shop owners from admitting non-residents of the Netherlands was justified as it aimed to reduce drug tourism and public nuisance.

  • Ex-minister Bob Ainsworth: Make drugs legally available

    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Bob Ainsworth, a Home Office minister under Tony Blair, said successive governments' approaches had failed, leaving criminal gangs in control. The MP wants to see a system of strict legal regulation, with different drugs either prescribed by doctors or sold under licence.

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