• WHO recommends rescheduling cannabis in international law for first time in history

    The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has recommended that cannabis resin and other marijuana products should be removed from a schedule IV
    Newsweek (US)
    Friday, February 8, 2019

    The World Health Organization has suggested that cannabis should be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention given the mounting evidence showing that the drug could prove beneficial in treating a number of health problems. International drug policy expert Martin Jelsma from the Transnational Institute said this was the “first time in history” that the WHO had undertaken a proper critical review of cannabis and related substances. Nevertheless, he said the committee’s proposals don’t go far enough, noting that its rationale for keeping cannabis in schedule I is “highly questionable.”

  • Green gold rush: Thailand, Malaysia race to legalise medical marijuana

    Support for liberalisation is not unanimous: China, South Korea and Japan last month warned citizens visiting Canada to avoid cannabis and Singapore maintains a blanket ban
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Asia has the toughest penalties against drug use and trafficking but the legal landscape is shifting in several countries where cannabis once deemed ruinous to young lives, is emerging as a lucrative industry. In Thailand parliament has set in motion plans to legalise the drug for medical use. This would position the country as the epicentre of the burgeoning industry and advocates claim Thailand’s legal marijuana market could make US$5 billion by 2024. Malaysia, which recently scrapped the death penalty, has begun informal cabinet discussions on legalising medical marijuanag. The “green gold rush” has begun and Asian nations are eager to share in the windfall. (Thailand: Marijuana bill shortened to allow quicker legislation)

  • Canada's legalization of marijuana could hurt farmers in poorer countries

    The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has set up a marijuana commission which recently published recommendations to decriminalize the drug
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Cannabis cultivation in MoroccoFor decades poor farmers in countries like Jamaica and Morocco have risked the wrath of governments to grow cannabis as a cash crop. But as Canada becomes the first country in the G7 leading industrial nations to legalize marijuana, those countries where the crop has traditionally been grown risk losing out on new legal markets worth billions of dollars. And with no international institution to represent them because of the illegality of marijuana in most of the world growers risk being left behind. "It's all about trying to bring some of these small farmers into the opening market," says Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute (TNI). "The big risk is there is a complete corporate capture going on."

  • Seek drug reform within international law: Tom Blickman

    Stigmatisation and international laws that tilt towards prohibition of drugs make it difficult to find a common ground for a rational debate
    Delhi Post (india)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Tom Blickman Dating back to the latter part of 1800s, precisely in 1894-95, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission consisting of medical experts of Indian and British origin concluded that moderate use of cannabis was the rule in India, and produced practically no ill-effects. “What countries like Uruguay and Canada are doing now, India had already proposed 120 years ago,” says Tom Blickman from the Transnational Institute (TNI), an international policy think tank based in the Netherlands. “Had the wisdom of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission’s recommendations prevailed, we would have prevented a lot of misery by erroneous drug control policies,” he points out. (See also: A legal hallucination)

  • Pays-Bas : Le haschich marocain s’invite à la Chambre basse

    La quantité et la qualité du cannabis marocain «n’ont pas d’égal»
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mardi, 25 septembre 2018

    Le trafic et la commercialisation du cannabis marocain aux Pays-Bas sont actuellement étudiés par les partis politiques néerlandais. Plusieurs propositions ont été faites, l’une d’elle serait d’en discuter avec le Maroc pour réglementer le marché. Certains proposent de réglementer et de légaliser l’importation du haschich marocain. Une utopie que Martin Jelsma, directeur de recherche à l’Institut transnational de recherche et de plaidoyer (TNI), défend par la possibilité d’une «consultation attentive entre le Maroc et les Pays-Bas». Une option qui, selon lui, pourrait se confronter «à de nombreux obstacles juridiques, mais qui est tout de même nécessaire». (Voir aussi: Du kif au haschisch hybride, le Rif dans la mondialisation du cannabis)

  • U.S. has been quietly helping Mexico with new, high-tech ways to fight opium

    The Drug Enforcement Administration said in a report last year that Mexico supplies 93 percent of all heroin consumed in the United States
    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    In the past few opiate-soaked years, U.S. officials say, nearly all the heroin coursing through American cities has come from one place: Mexico. “There are still a lot of question marks around the figures,” said Martin Jelsma, director of the drug program at the Transnational Institute, a research organization based in Amsterdam, and the co-author of a forthcoming study on Mexican and Colombian poppy production. Equally challenging, Jelsma said, is identifying the source country of a heroin sample. He doubts that the DEA can always tell whether heroin is made from Mexican or Colombian poppy, given that Mexican drug traffickers in some cases have hired Colombians to teach heroin-production techniques, so the product is similar.

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