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  • Duterte hits drug war critics

    Duterte says he will continue his war on drugs despite pressure from international human rights groups and other institutions
    Rappler (Philippines)
    Monday, July 24, 2017

    President Rodrigo Duterte blasted his critics who allegedly turn a blind eye on crimes in the country while supporting "Western experts" who have condemned his bloody drug war. The President was referring to international human rights organizations and institutions that have called him out over alleged human rights violations in carrying out his war on drugs, one of the topics he discussed in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA). This tirade comes 4 days after US lawmakers held a hearing on human rights complaints against his administration – the latest action from the international community in connection to his drug war.

  • Joko Widodo: Police should shoot suspected drug dealers

    Widodo supports increasing use of force against suspected drug traffickers as country faces 'narcotics emergency'
    Al Jazeera
    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has instructed police to shoot suspected drug dealers to combat what he considers a narcotics emergency facing Indonesia. His remarks have drawn comparison to that of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a controversial anti-drug crackdown about a year ago that saw many alleged drug dealers killed in an operation widely condemned by the international community. The statement came following the largest seizure of crystal methamphetamine, locally known as shabu-shabu, weighing one ton from Taiwan last week. (See also: Indonesia to implement Duterte's drug war approach? | Indonesia’s police chief touts killing drug dealers as crime solution)

  • Trump's DOJ gears up for crackdown on marijuana

    Sessions wants to do away with an amendment prohibiting the agency from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own State laws that authorize medical marijuana
    The Hill (US)
    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    The Trump administration is readying for a crackdown on marijuana users under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Sessions, is expected to release a report that criminal justice reform advocates fear will link marijuana to violent crime and recommend tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking the plant. Sessions sent a memo in April updating the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice Department (DOJ) component heads on the work of the task force, which he said would be accomplished through various subcommittees. In the memo, Sessions said he has asked for initial recommendations no later than July 27.

  • Albania cracks down on cannabis trade ahead of hoped-for EU talks

    Small producers see income hit as Tirana seeks to boost legitimate agriculture
    Financial Times (UK)
    Friday, July 21, 2017

    Thousands of small producers have made Albania, Europe’s second-poorest country, its biggest open-air producer of cannabis, exported mainly to western Europe through Greece and Italy. But as Albania tries to clean up its act ahead of hoped-for EU accession talks next year, the government is cracking down on the drug trade. In the past year alone, the area under plantation has dropped by 75 per cent. In the desperately poor countryside, there is a strong economic imperative to grow the crop. Cannabis cultivation provides a cash income in rural areas, where the estimated unemployment rate is 70 per cent. Local growers are estimated to have earned around €300m last year, a similar amount to the annual remittances sent home by Albanians working in western Europe.

  • Uruguay’s marijuana law turns pharmacists into dealers

    Uruguay’s law has been rolled out in phases
    The New York Times (US)
    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    The rules are a bit of a buzzkill. Drug users must register with the government. Machines will scan buyers’ fingerprints at every purchase, and there are quotas to prevent overindulgence. But when Uruguay’s marijuana legalization law takes full effect today, getting high will take a simple visit to the pharmacy. As American states legalize marijuana and governments in the hemisphere rethink the fight against drugs, Uruguay is taking a significant step further: It is the first nation in the world to fully legalize the production and sale of marijuana for recreational use. (See also: Uruguay pharmacies start selling cannabis straight to consumers)

  • After blowing July 1 deadline, Canada seems likely to legalize pot while ignoring UN treaties

    The INCB has aimed criticism at Canada’s plans to legalize recreational pot
    Global News (Canada)
    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    Since a July 1 deadline to start withdrawing from international narcotics treaties has passed, the federal government is left with fewer, and much more awkward, ways of legalizing marijuana by July of 2018 without breaking international law, says Steven Hoffman, a professor at York University in Toronto who specializes in global health law. Heavily censored documents released to Global News under access-to-information laws, and the fact that the deadline has passed, seem to indicate that Ottawa is looking at a fourth option: legalizing pot, staying within the treaties, and just living with the inconsistency. (See also: Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties)

  • After decades of war, Colombian farmers face a new test: Peace

    The Colombian government sees peace as its biggest chance in decades to uproot the rebel-controlled drug trade and replace it with crops that are legal
    The New York Times (US)
    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Every three months or so, Javier Tupaz, a father of six, heads downhill from his clapboard home to work in his cocaine laboratory. Under a black tent in the jungle, he shovels coca leaves into a giant vat with gasoline, then adds cement powder — the first steps in his cocaine recipe. Like everyone in his village, Mr. Tupaz depends on coca for cash and has survived decades of war here in Colombia. He churned out his product during the seemingly endless conflict between the rebels and the government, which tried many times to destroy his coca plants. He simply replanted. But there is one thing that Mr. Tupaz says his crops may not survive: peace.

  • Canada’s premiers discuss delaying the legalization of marijuana

    Details such as traffic safety, age of majority and health impacts need to be better understood, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    It’s time to take a deep breath and put pot in Canada on the back burner for an extra year, says Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. He’s trying to persuade his provincial and territorial counterparts at their annual conference to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to delay the legalization of cannabis 12 months to July 1, 2019. That would increase the chances of avoiding the “hodge-podge” of different provincial ages of majority and regulations now seen with beer, wine and spirits, Pallister said. “I would hope we could learn from that and not re-create that for cannabis,” he added, acknowledging age of majority and regulations such as where pot will be sold are under provincial jurisdiction.

  • Death toll mounts in Rio de Janeiro as police lose control of the city – and of themselves

    The demise of the UPPs
    The Conversation (US)
    Monday, July 17, 2017

    Even in Brazil, where homicides are really common, Rio de Janeiro’s crime rate is stunning. It is now impossible not to notice that the city’s Police Pacification Units (UPP), once a much-vaunted anti-violence force, have all but collapsed. Launched nine years ago, the UPP program stationed some 9,500 officers in some 37 favelas, serving nearly 780,000 people. This new model, which included components of successful community policing initiatives in Los Angeles and Medellin sought to end violent confrontations between rival gangs, and between police and gangs, by getting weapons out of the favelas and maintaining a permanent police presence.

  • Where there’s smoke, there’s political fire

    The Legalise it! association plans to launch a citizens’ initiative for the legalisation of cannabis consumption in Switzerland
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Sunday, July 16, 2017

    The rising popularity of marijuana that doesn’t make you high – a product known as “cannabis light” or “CBD cannabis” – is causing a headache for Swiss politicians. It is sold in many Swiss shops and generates millions of Swiss francs in sales. Swiss authorities now ban growing, selling or consuming cannabis with a THC content, the main psychoactive element in the plant, over 1%. Above this limit, cannabis is considered a narcotic. Now, as the legal cannabis market continues to boom in Switzerland, supermarket giant Coop says that by the end of July it will stock the first ever ‘cannabis cigarettes,’ made by a local tobacco producer. The Swiss Customs Administration has now registered 250 manufacturers – a gold rush of sorts since it was just five at the start of the year.

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