Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Cannabis reform: possession up to 7g, cultivation of four plants at home

    Government will be seeking legal avenues through which cannabis and cannabis seeds can be bought legally
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Tuesday, March 30, 2021

    malta cannabis flagPrime Minister Robert Abela of Malta launched a public consultation process on a White Paper to strengthen the legal framework on the repsonsible use of cannabis. The government is proposing that the possession of more than 7 grams but less than 28 grams for one’s exclusive personal use should be subject to proceedings before the Commissioner for Justice, as currently contemplated for the possession of less than 3.5 grams. Every residential habitation (household) can grow up to 4 plants, in a space which is not visible to the public, and which does not emit smells. The cultivated cannabis cannot be sold, and can only be consumed in the same habitation. (See also: Cannabis reform 'a bold step' in promoting human rights - ReLeaf Malta)

  • La culture légale du cannabis, une opportunité écologique

    Assurer une assistance technique pour éviter la catastrophe écologique
    Medias24 (Maroc)
    Dimanche, 28 mars 2021

    “L’augmentation rapide de la culture illicite de cannabis dans le Rif au cours des dernières décennies, ainsi que les mauvaises pratiques de conservation des sols, ont fait des ravages sur les forêts déjà menacées et les écosystèmes fragiles du Rif (déforestation, érosion des sols, épuisement de l’eau)”, déclare Tom Blickman, connaisseur de la région, chargé d’un projet senior au « Transnational insitute » à Amsterdam. Ce dernier fait partie des nombreux experts-intervenants lors du webinaire organisé jeudi 25 mars par l’IUCN (Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature) et l’AMCDD (Alliance marocaine pour le climat et le développement durable), intitulé « légalisation du cannabis: quel impact sur la biodiversité et les ressources ? ».

  • Safe drug supply program still not reaching enough people in B.C., say advocates

    The province says 3,329 people are now receiving hydromorphone as a safer alternative to toxic street drugs
    CBC News (Canada)
    Friday, March 26, 2021

    canada safe supplyIt's been a year since the province rushed to create new guidelines allowing doctors to prescribe hydromorphone to patients with opioid use disorders, as a way to give them an alternative to toxic illicit drugs. The change came as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take a significant toll in the province. Combined with the overdose crisis dating back to 2016, health officials had two major public health emergencies on their hands. But now, as overdose deaths continue to rise, killing more than five people in the province each day according to the latest BC Coroners Service update, many are identifying shortfalls in the so called 'safe supply' program — technically called the Risk Mitigation Guidance — that kicked off last March.

  • New York reaches a deal to legalize recreational marijuana

    The move paves the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry, with millions of dollars in sales tax revenue reinvested in minority communities each year
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    us ny liberty statueState lawmakers finalized a deal to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country. Lawmakers struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people. The deal would allow delivery of the drug and permit club-like lounges or “consumption sites” where marijuana, but not alcohol, could be consumed. It would also allow a person to cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home, indoors or outdoors, for personal use.

  • France's champagne capital wants to experiment with the legal sale of cannabis

    The mayor of Reims tells why he would like France's champagne capital to experiment with the legal sale of cannabis in the country
    RFI (France)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    Arnaud RobinetArnaud Robinet, mayor of Reims since 2014, is one of the few right-wing politicians supporting the legal use of cannabis in France. He would like Reims to experiment with legalising cannabis, but insists that Reims cannot become a destination for 'cannabis and champagne' tours. "The experiment will be carried out with legal sales for citizens only. There is no question of opening sales to anyone from outside", he says, emphasising that his primary concern is public health. "The subject has always been taboo for the right wing,", Robinet admits. "But we now have a group of mayors as well as parliamentarians working on the legalisation of cannabis, and we'd like to bring up the subject at a national level." (See also: La légalisation du cannabis expérimentée à Reims? On est allé voir sur place)

  • Israel: Can cannabis legalization regain momentum?

    Bureaucratic disconnect and political shifts may have scuppered Israel’s once imminent prospect of adult use legalization
    CannabisWire (US)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    israel cannabisAs recently as November, it seemed as though Israel was cruising toward nationally legalized cannabis by summertime. But that effort has stalled at the side of the road, and its proponents are unsure how to get it going again. For a while, it certainly looked like smooth sailing. A Knesset vote last June sent two legalization bills, drafted by Ram Shefa and Sharren Haskel, to the review stage of ratification, at which point they were thoroughly dissected by the Special Committee on Drugs and Alcohol. Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn declared that adult use legalization was expected to be enacted by the summer, and that the bills were examples of “significant, holistic, and responsible reform, which shows the State of Israel isn’t ignoring reality and is going in the footsteps of developed countries.” 

  • Cannabis: Black farmers to ‘shut down’ regulator

    The Black Farmers’ Association of South Africa claim they are excluded from opportunities in cannabis cultivation
    Food for Mzansi (South Africa)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    The Black Farmers' Association of South Africa (BFASA) have threatened to shut down the regulatory authority for allegedly excluding them from opportunities in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. BFASA says it has written to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) amid concerns that the cannabis industry is not being steered in a sustainable nor inclusive manner. "SAPHRA has maliciously and deliberately blocked every aspect of the cannabis and hemp industry. Job creation. Investment from keen investors. Untold agricultural, industrial, recreational, and traditional healing methods are thwarted selfishly," Dr Lennox Xolile Mtshagi, BFASA’s national president, wrote in his letter to SAHPRA. "SAHPRA has handed the cannabis industry to 'white monopoly colonialists'."

  • Ganja -- a future cash crop?

    After medicinal cannabis became legal last year, farmers in Buri Ram are working hand-in-hand with the government to scale up production in nurseries and farms
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Monday, March 22, 2021

    thailand legal cannabisGrowing ganja has provided new hope for villagers in Thailand to diversify their income. Since the government legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes in Feb 2019, ganja has become a highly-regarded cash crop. The Kasikorn Research Centre forecasts that the market value of medical cannabis in Thailand will reach anywhere between 3.6 billion to 7.2 billion baht this year. At present, individuals are not allowed to farm cannabis and hemp unless they register themselves as a community enterprise. Each group must have at least seven members and must have contact with a local hospital, including small-scale Tambon Health Promotion Hospitals (THPH).

  • Why New York legalizing recreational cannabis won’t kill the illicit market

    The city that never sleeps has always had a strong illicit cannabis market and adult-use legalization is unlikely to stub it out anytime soon
    Forbes (US)
    Friday, March 19, 2021

    As New York prepares to legalize adult-use cannabis, whether the illicit market will thrive or die seems like an important question. The best place to look to see how legalization affected the illicit market is the Emerald Triangle in Northern California, which is the epicenter of cannabis cultivation in America. When California legalized adult-use one of the main questions was around whether all the illegal production would go above board with recreational use. The answer was no. “I’m speculating, but the same dynamic could happen in New York,” Erick Eschker, an economics professor at Humboldt State University, says.

  • Morocco's bill to legalise cannabis divides growers

    Prices have fallen hard in recent years as more potent, high-yield strains emerged
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, March 18, 2021

    The government of Morocco approved a law to allow the cultivation, export and use of cannabis for medicine or industry. Parliament looks likely to ratify it, despite the issue dividing the governing coalition’s biggest party. The change is meant to improve the lot of farmers in the often restive Rif region where it has been grown for decades, and to tap into a growing global market for legal cannabis. But the law has divided Rif farmers, who fear it will do nothing to address a years-long slide in their income or help them escape outstanding arrest warrants. Some want the law to allow recreational cannabis use and its processing into more lucrative resin - “hashish”. Others want its cultivation limited to their region alone. (See also: Cannabis: «moi, Abdeslam, cultivateur de kif, voici ce que ça me coûte»)

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