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  • Why marijuana prohibition failed, and how legalization can succeed

    Globe editorial
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Sunday, September 24, 2017

    Why is Canada legalizing marijuana, and why does the move – if done right – make sense? It's all about harm reduction. Smoking marijuana has real health risks, particularly for young people. But the long-standing ban on the sale of pot isn't addressing them. The drug is widely available and widely used; according to the OECD, Canada has the developed world's highest rate of youth pot use. Prohibition's only real accomplishment is as an unintended industrial strategy, fostering a multibillion-dollar black market. The federal government is ending the criminal ban on pot, but almost everything that happens after that is up to the provinces.

  • How to win a war on drugs

    Portugal treats addiction as a disease, not a crime
    The New York Times (US)
    Friday, September 22, 2017

    Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action — in diametrically opposite directions. The U.S. cracked down vigorously, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. In contrast, Portugal undertook a monumental experiment: It decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001, even heroin and cocaine, and unleashed a major public health campaign to tackle addiction. Ever since in Portugal, drug addiction has been treated more as a medical challenge than as a criminal justice issue. After more than 15 years, it’s clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly.

  • Testing of illicit drugs to be done at Australian event for first time

    ACT agrees to allow pill testing at music festival and harm-minimisation groups hope the rest of the country will follow suit
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has agreed to allow pill testing at a coming music festival, in an effort to reduce deaths and harm to young people taking illicit drugs. It’s the first time the long called for process has been allowed to operate at an Australian event, and harm minimisation advocates have labelled it a win. Safety Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-Safe) would conduct the drug-testing service at the the Spilt Milk festival on 25 November, the ACT health minister, Meegan Fitzharris, said. The majority of Australians support legal drug-testing. Those attending the festival will be able to take their drugs to the testing site – run by trained professionals and not monitored by police – to find out more about the ingredients.

  • A Zurich, posséder jusqu’à 10 grammes de cannabis n’est plus illégal

    La police cantonale change de pratique et renonce aux amendes d’ordre pour possession de petites quantités de chanvre
    Le Temps (Suisse)
    Jeudi, 21 septembre 2017

    A Zurich, la possession de cannabis en petite quantité à partir de l’âge de 18 ans est désormais légale. Jusqu’ici, un adulte contrôlé avec sur lui jusqu’à 10 grammes de stupéfiants était passible d’une amende d’ordre de 100 francs. Mais une récente décision du Tribunal fédéral conduit les autorités zurichoises à «adapter ses pratiques», indique la police cantonale dans un communiqué.  La possession de cannabis pour sa propre consommation n’est pas punissable en dessous de 10 grammes, précise le TF en substance, se basant sur l’article 19b de la loi sur les stupéfiants (LStup).

  • Jeff Sessions’s evidence-free crime strategy

    The emerging Department of Justice crime-control strategy is a criminologist’s nightmare
    The Hill (US)
    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Over the last thirty years researchers, law enforcement leaders and communities have pushed for smarter, better violence prevention — spurred in large part by the incredible violence and community destruction of the crack era, and the utter failure of existing approaches to do anything about it. It’s paid dividends. We now know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Innovative strategies have law enforcement, community leaders and service providers sit down face-to-face with gang members and drug dealers, emphasize that the community hates the violence, offer to help anybody who wants it and explain the legal risks that come with violence. The result can be dramatic reductions in both violence and enforcement.

  • Legalization of cannabis proposed

    The focus point of the bill is the decriminalization of production, sales, and consumption of cannabis alongside the minimum cannabis use age of 20 years
    Iceland Review (Iceland)
    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Pawel Bartoszek, a member of Parliament for Viðreisn (The Reform Party) has proposed a bill for the legalization of cannabis in Iceland. The proposed bill will put in place a framework of rules about the production, sales, and handling of cannabis products alongside a general decriminalization of cannabis use. Pawel released a statement earlier today on his website where it came to light that the Parliament member will open the handling of the case. The bill is based on the handbook How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide that is released on behalf of Transform. (See also: Drug decriminalization debated)

  • Drones used to map ganja cultivation areas

    The department had tried to get a satellite image of the cultivation area
    The Hindu (India)
    Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    A major offensive against ganja cultivation was launched jointly by the Police and the Prohibition and Excise Departments in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam and in the last four days the special teams destroyed standing ganja crop in about 102 acres in four Agency mandals. The Excise department has for the first time used three drones to map the area of cultivation. The department had tried to get a satellite image of the cultivation area. However, as the result was not satisfactory they switched on to drones. Both police and Excise officials are contemplating using chemical spray at the plantations. But this is still in the planning stage. (See also: ADRIN images to aid fight against hemp cultivation)

  • Socialists propose bill to regulate cannabis

    The bill proposes two possible paths for production and distribution
    The Brussels Times (Belgium)
    Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    belgium cannabisThe Socialist Party (PS) has submitted a bill to the Chamber of Representatives proposing a Belgian model for regulating cannabis. The draft law aims to organize public control of the market at all stages, from production to consumption, within a strict legal framework. The bill proposes two possible paths for production and distribution. One is individual production of cannabis strictly for personal use, for which a maximum number of plants would be established by a royal decree. The other path is production and distribution by ‘Cannabis Social Clubs’ on behalf of their members. (See also: Flemish academics make case for legal marijuana)

  • Victorian Parliament can save lives by trialling safe injecting room

    For more than the past decade, a medically supervised injecting centre has operated safely and with community and political support in inner Sydney's Kings Cross
    The Age (Australia)
    Monday, September 18, 2017

    The injecting room at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings CrossDozens of people have fatally overdosed on heroin in the gutters, laneways and front gardens of Richmond. Not a single person has ever died in a safe-injecting space anywhere in the world. Yet the Victorian Labor government and Coalition opposition ignore growing calls to expedite something that not only prevents death, but puts addicts on a pathway to recovery. Experts in addiction and public health want a trial. Although some citizens are concerned by a safe injecting room, more and more residents and business owners, distressed by seeing ill and dead people and by being burgled, support a trial. Academic studies and official inquiries recommend a trial. The Coroner's Court wants one. And now the Police Association is adding its voice.

  • Cannabis, l’envers de la réforme

    Près de 200 000 personnes sont interpellées chaque année pour infraction à la législation sur les stupéfiants ; 80 % d’entre elles sont des consommateurs, principalement de cannabis
    Le Monde (France)
    Lundi, 18 septembre 2017

    france bientot legaliserLa réforme de la politique pénale voulue par le président de la République en matière d’usage de stupéfiants a trouvé ses soutiens. Et fait des déçus, concomitamment. A l’issue des auditions menées au cours des deux dernières semaines par la mission d’information parlementaire sur la mise en place d’une amende forfaitaire en cas d’usage de stupéfiants, une ligne de partage se dessine. Et avec elle, les limites d’une réforme qui s’annonce comme un rendez-vous forcément manqué. Le scénario d’une amende pour usage de stupéfiants augure un transfert majeur de la politique pénale de la justice vers la police et empêche une approche sanitaire et sociale du problème.

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