No guarantee the legislation will actually become law because it still needs to pass the upper house of parliamentDutch News (Netherlands)
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
A narrow majority of MPs backed new legislation which would regulate marijuana cultivation under government control. The vote, by 77 to 72, would allow cannabis cafe owners to buy their produce from licenced growers who produce the marijuana in a closed system The bill, drawn up by D66 MP Vera Bergkamp, was backed by Labour, GroenLinks, the Socialists as well as all the splinter parties. The VVD, PVV and three Christian parties in parliament voted against. Bergkamp hopes that introducing licenced marijuana production will remove the grey area between illegal cultivation and licenced cannabis cafes or coffee shops. The law must still pass the Senate, or Eerste Kamer. It is not clear if a majority exists in the Senate. (See also: Dutch lawmakers extend tolerance to cultivating cannabis)
At least 3,600 people, and possibly thousands more, have been killed by the police or vigilantes since Duterte became president in JuneThe New York Times (US)
Monday, February 20, 2017
A retired police officer racked with guilt over the murders of two of his own brothers has reversed himself and confessed to leading the Philippine death squad that killed them, saying that he was acting on the direct orders of Rodrigo Duterte before he became president. The former officer, Arthur Lascañas, said at a news conference that Mr. Duterte had sponsored the killings of drug and crime suspects while he was mayor of the southern city of Davao. Mr. Lascañas has now become the second professed hit man to level such accusations against Mr. Duterte. (See also: Thousands of Filipino Catholics march against death penalty, war on drugs)
Austrian police say that growers are increasingly renting remote industrial premises or houses in order to set up indoor cannabis plantationsThe Local (Austria)
Monday, February 20, 2017When it comes to drugs, Austrians are increasingly turning to cannabis and buying from ‘home growers’ based in Austria, according to a public prosecutor. “People are not buying so many hard drugs, but are increasingly buying cannabis. What’s interesting is that fewer drugs are being imported and the cannabis is frequently grown in the country," public prosecutor Barbara Haider told the Kurier newspaper. The decline in imported cannabis may be due to the fact that the technical equipment for growing cannabis plants is easily obtainable in so-called grow or head shops and stricter border controls along the Balkans route to Austria, as a result of the refugee crisis.
The key recommendations raised by DPAG included decriminalization of drug use and of small-scale poppy farming by those with limited sources of livelihoodThe Irrawaddy (Myanmar)
Friday, February 17, 2017
The Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) has called for a reform of Burma’s drug laws, demanding new policies focusing on the rehabilitation of drug users. “The 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law focuses on punishment. But what then, after a drug user is given imprisonment?” asked Dr. Nang Pann Ei Kham, coordinator of DPAG, during a panel discussion in Rangoon. According to the law, anyone found guilty “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 10 years and may also be liable to a fine.” DPAG has been working to develop an advocacy platform for “non-punitive, evidence-based drug policy changes”. (See: 'Found in the Dark' - The Impact of Drug Law Enforcement Practices in Myanmar)
There’s now a “Congressional Cannabis Caucus”The Washington Post (US)
Friday, February 17, 2017
Time to dispel any doubts you may still have that marijuana reform is truly a mainstream political issue. This week, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives formed the first-ever "Congressional Cannabis Caucus" to work on legislation related to marijuana legalization and regulation. Democrats Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado teamed up with Republicans Dana Rohrabacher of California and Don Young of Alaska to form the caucus. Not coincidentally, all four representatives hail from states where recreational marijuana use is legal.
It’s the first time a judge has ruled on the issue of overlapping jurisdictions related to marijuanaThe Globe and Mail (Canada)
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Cities have the right to deny business licences to illegal marijuana dispensaries and to prohibit the cultivation or sale of marijuana through their zoning bylaws, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled. The case is the latest development in what has become a patchwork of inconsistent rules and legal skirmishes as cities grapple with changing laws and an aggressive new marijuana industry in Canada. While the sale of marijuana at storefronts, such as dispensaries, remains illegal, some cities such as Vancouver have moved to regulate them through business licences.
Disagreement over whether establishing pot clubs would invite a federal crackdownThe New York Post (US)
Thursday, February 16, 2017
At risk of raising the ire of the White House, Colorado is on the brink of becoming the first state with licensed pot clubs. But the details of how these clubs will operate are as hazy as the underground clubs operating already. Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.
Rising fears about the violence plaguing Brazil's overcrowded prisons and city slumsReuters (UK)
Saturday, February 11, 2017
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice called for the legalization of marijuana and even cocaine to undo the growing power of drug gangs behind a wave of violence that has shaken Latin America's largest country. Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale graduate and constitutional law professor, said 50 years of war against drugs had failed miserably, clogging jails with small-time dealers and fuelling a violent gang battle for control of the lucrative trade. "Unlike the United States and Europe where the problem lies in the impact drugs have on consumers, in Brazil the problem lies in the power drug traffickers have over poor communities," Barroso said.
The case comes as the antidrug program has been temporarily suspendedThe New York Times (US)
Friday, February 10, 2017
As the only known survivor of a so-called buy-bust operation, Mr. Morillo has provided a chilling first-person account that challenges the government’s assertion that the thousands of suspects killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s antidrug campaign were killed by the police in self-defense. And his testimony lies at the heart of the first court case to challenge that campaign. According to his sworn affidavit, none of the five suspects were drug users and none were armed. (See also: Rodrigo Duterte says drug war will go on as police plan purge | Duterte targets Philippine children in bid to widen drug war)
Cambodia's new war on drugs aims to blunt a spike in addiction and trafficking, but critics see a publicity stunt ahead of crucial provincial electionsAsia Times
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Cambodia’s newly launched war on drugs is in full swing, with nearly 3,000 people arrested in the campaign’s first month of crime-busting. Authorities claim they have confiscated over 9kg of illegal drugs in busts on dealers and users, with more than half the haul being crystal methamphetamine, one of the country’s most prevalent and abused narcotics. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government announced the campaign in December shortly after a state visit by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has made global waves through his violent execution of an anti-drugs drive that has seen more than 7,000 deaths. (See also: Indonesians fear Duterte-style assassinations, drug war)
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