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  • Philippines' Duterte says no 'justice' for families of drugs war casualties

    The 73-year old leader’s popularity had not diminished, according to opinion polls
    Reuters (UK)
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    philippines stop killings2Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the families of people killed in his controversial war on drugs will not receive “justice”, rejecting calls from rights groups seeking redress for the thousands of deaths. More than 4,200 suspected drug dealers have been killed by police in Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign since June 2016, as well as several thousand more by unknown gunmen who authorities have described as vigilantes, or rival gang members. Rights groups and critics of the campaign say some of the killings were summary executions. He also reiterated that he would not allow the police and the military to go to jail for killing drug users and pushers.

  • Cannabis war 'comprehensively lost', says William Hague

    Conservatives should be as "bold" as Canada where state-regulated recreational consumption was being considered
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    Former Conservative leader Lord Hague has called for a "decisive change" in the law on cannabis - suggesting that the Tories should consider legalising recreational use of the drug. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said "any war" has been "irreversibly lost". Lord Hague goes further than senior Tories who have suggested a law change after a boy with epilepsy was given a special licence to use cannabis oil. The government is creating an expert panel to look into individual cases. It will not be looking at the legalisation or decriminalisation of the drug for recreational use, something Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out "because of the impact that [it has] on people's lives". (See also: Home Office rejects Hague's call for cannabis laws to be relaxed)

  • Hunt wants swift review of cannabis oil law after Billy Caldwell case

    Health secretary defends speed of government’s action in granting boy with epilepsy a temporary licence
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, June 18, 2018

    The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said he backs the use of medicinal cannabis oil and called for a swift legal review after an emergency licence was provided to Billy Caldwell, a boy with severe epilepsy whose medication had been confiscated. In response to Hunt’s remarks, Labour announced it would legalise cannabis oil for medical purposes if it was in government. Billy was discharged from hospital on Monday after being admitted in a “life-threatening” condition on Friday. Labour’s announcement follows calls from a growing coalition of cross-partisan MPs, experts, campaigners and families whose children also have severe epilepsy, for an urgent change to the law.

  • Marijuana bill inches closer to passage with House vote

    Bill C-45 now heads back to the Senate for another debate
    CBC News (Canada)
    Monday, June 18, 2018

    The bill to legalize recreational marijuana has cleared another vote in the House of Commons — but it still has to get a final stamp of approval from an unpredictable Senate before it can become law. The Senate had proposed 46 amendments to The Cannabis Act but the Liberal government rejected several major ones last week — including one provision that would have affirmed the provinces' right to ban home cultivation of marijuana. MPs spent a portion of Monday and last week debating the Senate's amendments before 205 of them voted in favour of rejecting 13 of the proposed changes. NDP members supported the bill while the Conservatives voted against it. (See also: Gov't rep in Senate makes case for accepting marijuana bill as is)

  • New York moves toward legal marijuana with Health Dept. endorsement

    It would require the approval of the State Legislature
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, June 18, 2018

    New York moved a significant step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, as a study commissioned by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will recommend that the state allow adults to consume marijuana legally, the governor’s health commissioner said. The announcement by the commissioner, Howard Zucker, signals a broad turnaround for the administration of Mr. Cuomo, a second-term Democrat who said as recently as last year that marijuana was a “gateway drug.” “We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when we were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons,” Dr. Zucker said, adding, “we have new facts.”

  • Legalising marijuana: An intoxicating affair

    Over the past four years, support for de-criminalising cannabis has come from various lawmakers, be it for medicinal use or recreational
    India Legal (India)
    Sunday, June 17, 2018

    Wild cannabis in UttarakhandCannabis, hemp, pot, ganja, bhang – call it what you wish, but there’s no denying that the venerable, yet also reviled, plant has been endemic to the Indian subcontinent and the use of its derivatives as medicine or recreational drugs is common among spiritual (particularly Shaivites) and ordinary folk alike. Yet today, as the world is waking up to the potential of exploiting cannabis for medicinal use and accepting the rationality behind making marijuana a legal recreational drug, the five-bladed leaf remains a banned substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. In an article for web portal The Print, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, argued for legalisation of marijuana in India, “the land of bhang”.

  • Reform of drug laws begins as bill passes first reading

    New narcotics laws to decriminalise drug users and legalise the controlled use of kratom and marijuana passed first reading at the National Legislative Assembly
    The Nation (Thailand)
    Sunday, June 17, 2018

    The National Legislative Assembly passed by a landslide vote the three narcotics control policy bills, which are an effort by authorities to reform official drug policies and tackle the problem of overcrowded prisons. Academics praised the new laws as heading in the right direction, but cautioned that there remained the need for clear regulations to help prevent drug abuse and segregate drug users from drug dealers. Deputy Prime Minister ACM Prachin Chantong said that the three bills will later be merged into a single law regulating various aspects of drug issues. The final bill will aim to legalise a limited use of narcotics for medical, science and industrial purposes, while enhancing the rehabilitation of drug users and limiting the spread of drug abuse in society.

  • Portugal's parliament legalises cannabis-based medicines

    The bill now goes to President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza to be signed into law
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, June 15, 2018

    Portugal’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalise marijuana-based medicines, after rejecting earlier proposals to allow patients to grow the drug at home. Only one party, the centre-right CDS-PP, abstained in the vote in parliament legalising marijuana-based prescription drugs to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, side effects from cancer therapy, and some other ailments. Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001 to fight a heroin epidemic, and has legal plantations growing marijuana products for export.

  • Cannabis petition reaches vote threshold in under 24 hours

    Petition to legalise 'coffee shops' selling cannabis in Luxembourg will now be debated by lawmakers
    Luxembourg Times (Luxembourg)
    Thursday, June 14, 2018

    It took very little time for petition 1031 on the Luxembourg government's website – calling for the legal sale of cannabis in 'coffee shops' – to reach the 4,500-signature threshold. This means the petition will now be debated in parliament. A coffee shop based on the Dutch model – and, therefore, the legalisation of cannabis sales under controlled conditions – is the aim of petition 1031, filed in May on the Chamber of Deputies website. The petitioner cites a current policy of "acquiescence" in the sale and consumption of cannabis and argues for legalisation to curb drug trafficking in Luxembourg. The petition claims coffee shops would not only reduce pressure on police forces but also create jobs.

  • Pot legalization battle brewing as government rejects key Senate change

    Provinces’ right to ban homegrown cannabis emerging as key issue for some senators
    CBC News (Canada)
    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    The federal government is rejecting several Senate changes to its cannabis legalization bill, setting the stage for a possible showdown between the Senate and the House of Commons. The Senate has proposed 46 amendments, and while the government is accepting some of them, it is passing on several major ones. According to the House's order paper, the changes the government plans to reject include: affirming the provinces' right to ban home cultivation of marijuana; banning branded promotional items; and establishing a public registry of all cannabis companies' directors, officers, controlling parent corporations or trusts, and their directors, members and shareholders. (See also: Trudeau battles provinces, Senate for right of Canadians to grow cannabis)

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