Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Morocco’s cannabis legalization bill: Translated and annotated

    Farmers need to restrict production to state-approved strains of cannabis, that will be determined by upcoming legislation from the agency
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Thursday, March 18, 2021

    morocco cannabis billMorocco is legalizing cannabis at a breakneck pace, with its legalization bill likely to receive approval within a month of its conception. The bill, so far only available in Arabic, contains a wealth of information on the government’s framework on which it aims to build a legal cannabis industry. Many sections of the bill, primarily involving the domestic market, require additional legislation, yet the bill in its current state allows for a good overview of Morocco’s intended cannabis framework. One noticeable missing element in the bill is any mention of the rights and obligations of future domestic medical cannabis users. However, the bill does include most provisions for international export.

  • Met may change stop and search tactics on cannabis possession

    Reforms are part of London mayor’s plans amid concerns police powers damaging race relations
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, March 18, 2021

    uk stop searchThe Metropolitan police could change how it deals with cannabis possession amid concerns stop and search powers damage community relations, and yield little in the way of illegal drugs. The move is part of plans drawn up by London’s mayor to ease the race crisis engulfing policing. More potential changes will be unveiled later on Thursday to the way Britain’s biggest force deals with communities in London. Research starting this month will examine how effective the Met’s pursuit of those suspected of possessing cannabis is in tackling violence in London. Suspicion of drug possession is the most common reason given by officers when using controversial stop and search powers, with black people more likely to be stopped than white.

  • New Yorkers want marijuana legalization with home grow and deliveries, poll finds as negotiations proceed

    A slim majority (51 percent) said that people from areas most impacted by the drug war should have licensing priority
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    us ny legalize nowA majority of New Yorkers want marijuana to be legalized for adult use, according to a new poll—and they further favor allowing for home delivery, cultivation for personal use and letting retail and cultivation facilities operate in their neighborhoods. The poll from Consensus Strategies asked New York residents about a variety of cannabis-related issues, including those related to social equity and licensing. At a top level, it showed that people in the state are ready for a policy change that largely aligns with proposals moving through the legislature this session. It found, for example, that 61 percent of New York adults support recreational marijuana legalization. But it also offered unique insights into the specifics of what residents hope to see out of a legal cannabis market.

  • GG says gov’t to introduce game-changing Cannabis Bill

    Simple possession will no longer be an indictable offence
    The Loop (St Lucia)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021

    Governor-General Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac has announced that the government will be proposing a Cannabis Bill to govern the industry in Saint Lucia. Under the bill, simple possession of cannabis will no longer be an indictable offence. Cenac — who made the announcement while delivering his Throne Speech at the Sixth Session of the Eleventh Parliament of Saint Lucia today — did not give a timeline for the presentation of the bill. The governor-general said the initiative is intended to support the creation of jobs and boost the economy. The bill will also address the purchase, distribution and selling of cannabis and will prohibit the use of cannabis in specified circumstances. (See also: Governor General on Cannabis: “Simple possession will no longer be an indictable offence”)

  • Calls backed for European-style shooting galleries where addicts can take their own heroin

    Experts say the rooms can help cut both drug related deaths and offending
    Teesside Live (UK)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021

    European-style drug rooms where users can take illicit substances have been backed by a Teesside panel. Councillors have spent more than a year examining Middlesbrough’s opioid crisis - and what can be done to bring down the town’s high number of drug deaths and reduce dependency. Now a health scrutiny panel has urged the Government to reconsider its policy on “drug consumption rooms” among a raft of recommendations. Middlesbrough has been dogged by drug-related deaths - and has one of the highest mortality rates in the country. According to the most recent statistics, drug related deaths in Middlesbrough tally 16.3 per 100,000 people - compared to a rate 4.7 per 100,000 for the rest of England.

  • Golding pledges to overhaul ganja industry

    "We will ensure inclusion of small farmers, who are now effectively excluded from the lawful industry"
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021

    mark golding speakingLeader of the Opposition, Mark Golding, says Jamaica's ganja industry can assist in the economic recovery of the island, providing much needed foreign exchange and creating employment. Should his party become Government, they would take the law relating to the cannabis industry out of the Dangerous Drugs Act. “We will ... enact a Cannabis Industry Development Act to support the inclusive development and growth of this industry,” Golding told Parliament. Households have the right to grow up to five ganja plants for medical, therapeutic or horticultural purposes. The PNP will empower householders to monetise this, by allowing them to sell their ganja to licensed processors or retailers, creating an important new economic opportunity to supplement the income of Jamaican households.

  • Maroc : Un programme de développement pour accompagner la légalisation du cannabis

    Le projet de loi concerne exclusivement les régions connues pour cette culture, et n’englobe nullement les autres régions du Maroc
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mardi, 16 mars 2021

    morocco cannabis field growerLe directeur général de l'Agence pour la promotion et le développement du Nord (APDN), Mounir El Bouyoussfi a affirmé que l’agence se penche actuellement sur l’élaboration d’un programme de développement pour accompagner la mise en œuvre du projet de loi relatif aux usages licites du cannabis, après son approbation. Ce programme intégré, qui ciblera 98 communes rurales relevant des provinces concernées par la culture du cannabis et dont la population atteint un million d’habitants, repose sur trois piliers essentiels : social, économique et environnemental, a-t-il précisé. (Lire aussi: Usages légaux du cannabis: trois questions au directeur général de l’Agence du Nord)

  • A tale of two public health crises — science is being used to stem coronavirus but not opioid deaths

    Why listen to the scientists and public health experts when it comes to COVID-19, but not safe consumption sites?
    National Post (Canada)
    Saturday, March 13, 2020

    As one public health emergency sees policymakers around the world turn to the best available science to stem its tide, another deadly crisis rages on while science remains noticeably absent. In Canada and many other countries, the rapid scaling up of evidence-based responses to the outbreak of coronavirus has seen politicians standing alongside public health officials to deliver the latest updates on how governments are responding to limit the spread of the virus and minimize its harms. Contrast that to the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, where it seems politicians are too often seen standing next to the critics of those same public health officials. This is a concerning reality given that approximately 12 Canadians die every day of an opioid overdose.

  • Minor drug offences can now be expunged, Minister

    The legislation was to “minimise the legacy effects of discriminatory, racialised and unjust criminal sanctions which continue to hamper those formerly convicted persons from gaining equal treatment”
    Royal Gazette (Bermuda)
    Saturday, March 13, 2021

    handcuffsPeople convicted of minor drug offences can have their convictions expunged, the Attorney-General said. But Kathy Lynn Simmons warned that offenders who had their convictions erased may still be blocked from entering the US. The expungement laws passed last year were now in force. An expungement order would erase criminal conviction records for the offence of simple possession of cannabis of seven grams or less, for offences committed before December 20, 2017, when possession of that amount was decriminalised. “By allowing expungement of criminal records … the Government has ensured that persons formerly convicted are not excluded from the social justice reforms that are being instituted."

  • Ganja growers want meeting with Industry Minister, call for amnesty

    Amnesty to continue for a minimum six month period to give such stakeholders the opportunity to apply, get approved and become a part of the regulated cannabis industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, March 12, 2021

    jamaica cannabis cultivationThe Ganja Growers Association Jamaica (GGPAJ) has called for a meeting the Ministry of Industry Investment & Commerce (MIIC) to discuss the issue of ganja growers, their licenses, the impending and long awaited 'Transitional Permits'. According to the association, the MIIC and the ministries of Security, Justice, Agriculture, and the Cannabis Licensing Authority, need to address the confusion surrounding Rastafari growers and herbalists who also grow herbs and other spices for sacramental, medicinal, therapeutic, and other current and historically acclaimed uses in the industry. “In the interim, the GGPAJ would want an amnesty on the destruction of all cultivations until the much promised and long awaited Transitional Permits are in place.”

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