Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Cannabis: French high court ruling puts CBD products back on sale

    In its ruling, the court noted that the flowers and leaves of certain varieties of cannabis were “devoid of narcotic properties” and could therefore be marketed in France
    The Local (France)
    Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    france cofyshopFrance’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, has temporarily overturned a ban on the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) flowers and leaves in France, less than a month after it was introduced by the government. This is just the latest stage in France’s convoluted history with cannabis. A ministerial order had banned the sale of hemp flower and leaf loaded with CBD, from December 31st 2021 – but the Conseil d’Etat has provisionally overruled that decision, pending further examination of the order. Following the Conseil’s decision, the only requirement is that the finished CBD product must have a THC content of 0. As with leaves and flowers, the sale of these products is prohibited to minors.

  • Narcotics Control Board approves delisting of cannabis

    Under the new rule, people can grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    thailand marijuana awakeningThe Narcotics Control Board meeting has endorsed the Public Health Ministry's latest draft list of narcotic substances, in which all components of cannabis no longer appear as a Category 5 narcotic substance. After the meeting, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said this decision is in line with the government policy to promote the use of cannabis for medical, research and educational purposes. It also complies with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's order to have people benefit from cannabis. However, cannabis extracts must have less than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight. With cannabis legalisation being a flagship policy of Mr Anutin's Bhumjaithai Party, he said the party will propose a draft bill on the issue to the House of Representatives.

  • Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace is on a mission to legalize cannabis

    And Amazon just got behind her
    Forbes (US)
    Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    The rNancy Maceepresentative from South Carolina introduced a bill to end federal pot prohibition and says legalization is an issue that unites America—“just like apple pie.” In November, the 44-year-old freshman Congresswoman, who represents South Carolina’s coastal swing district spanning Charleston to Hilton Head, introduced the States Reform Act, a bill that would end the federal government’s 85-year prohibition on marijuana. Mace is certainly not the first politician to introduce a cannabis legalization bill, although it’s been impossible to get one passed by both chambers of Congress. But Mace already has one of the most powerful conservative groups in the world in her corner: Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity. And now she has one of the world’s largest companies supporting her bill: Amazon.

  • 'Malta will not become another Amsterdam': cannabis authority chair

    "We will make sure to provide people with all the relevant research so they are able to take responsible, evidence-based decisions"
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    Mariella DimechPsychotherapist Mariella Dimech has been appointed the first executive chair of the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis. She tells how she plans to stifle the black market and raise awareness on cannabis use in Malta. "Back when I worked at Caritas I was concerned that legalisation would create a ‘free for all attitude’. I had just come back from rehabilitation training in the US, where we were taught a zero-tolerance, punitive approach towards drug rehabilitation. And I was very adamant about it during my time as programme coordinator at Caritas. But I learned from experience that it’s not the only way to go about it. And I now believe that a harm-reduction approach is also necessary." (See also: Cannabis may be legal. But it’s not a ‘free-for-all’: Mariella Dimech)

  • Drogenbeauftragter über geplante Cannabis-Freigabe: "Ein Ritt auf der Rasierklinge"

    Der Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Burkhard Blienert, warnt vor Schnellschüssen bei der geplanten Legalisierung von Cannabis
    Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
    Thursday, January 20, 2022

    Burkhard BlienertMit der kontrollierten und regulierten Abgabe von Cannabis in Deutschland werden wir europäische Geschichte schreiben. Denn als größtes EU-Land sind wir beispielgebend für andere Staaten. Das Thema ist extrem komplex und voller Fallstricke. Es macht keinen Sinn, jetzt die Legalisierung übers Knie zu brechen, wenn dann wenig später die Verkaufsstellen wieder schließen müssen, weil wir etwas vergessen haben. Das ist kein Gesetz, das man so einfach aus dem Ärmel schütteln kann. Es gibt aber schon zahlreiche Vorarbeiten, auf die wir aufbauen können, etwa der Entwurf der Grünen für ein Cannabis-Kontrollgesetz. (See some relevant quotes in English)

  • French political left light up an enormous parliamentary doobie

    France is Europe’s biggest consumer of cannabis, according to a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
    RFI (France)
    Sunday, January 16, 2022

    france bientot legaliserFrench MPs discussed a bill this week to legalise the consumption of cannabis. Proposed by the hard-left France Unbowed party (LFI), it is not expected to find government support, but several recent polls show public opinion shifting in favour of legalisation. Caroline Janvier and Jean-Baptiste Moreau from the ruling LREM party were among MPs from five parliamentary groups in support of a bill which would "legalise the production, sale and consumption of cannabis under state control". A similar proposal put forward by Esther Benbassa from the France Unbowed party back in 2014 was rejected.

  • Cannabis companies facing 'crossroads' selling off stores, farms and warehouses

    Companies are at a "crossroads" as they come to terms with the profitability, viability and challenges of the industry
    CTV News (Canada)
    Thursday, January 13, 2022

    canada cannabis industrialCannabis companies are selling off growing facilities, stores and warehouses as they try to better align their offerings with demand. Industry observers say demand for cannabis is high, but there are so many assets available for sale right now because companies have misjudged what consumers want. They say companies are looking to off-load properties as they cut products and pivot toward items more likely to fly off the shelves. Many have realized their business plans are not sound and that demand for particular products is well below their expectations, leaving them with a glut of pot to sell. Others are struggling to stand out as the number of pot products for sale in the country swells, craft cannabis' share of the market grows and illicit sales remain strong.

  • Sadiq Khan drug ‘decriminalisation’ plan ‘does not go far enough’, say experts

    Over 12 police forces already have diversion like this in place for all drugs, not just cannabis
    Evening Standard (UK)
    Wednesday, January 5, 2022

    uk stop searchSadiq Khan’s proposed plan to end the prosecution of young people caught with cannabis in three London boroughs “does not go far enough”, according to experts. It was reported this week that the Mayor of London is considering a new pilot scheme in the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley that would see any under-25s caught with small amounts of cannabis redirected to education or counselling services instead of facing arrest. Experts in the fields of criminal justice and public health have welcomed the move. But Professor Alex Stevens, professor of criminal justice at the University of Kent, has called for the Mayor of London to be more ambitious with his proposals. (See also: A drugs-related criminal record is often more harmful than the drug itself)

  • Sadiq Khan plans pilot to ‘decriminalise’ minor cannabis offences in London

    Scheme could ‘divert young people found with small amount of cannabis’ away from arrest by police
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, January 4, 2022

    Sadiq KhanDowning Street has expressed concern over moves to end the prosecution of young people caught with cannabis in some London boroughs, under a pilot scheme being developed by Sadiq Khan. The mayor of London is understood to be developing a plan based on a successful model from Thames Valley police that would offer classes or counselling, rather than arrest, to under-25s caught with small quantities of cannabis. Khan’s office said the plans for three boroughs to trial the approach were still in development and that they did not have the powers to fully decriminalise any drugs. The pilot is yet to receive approval from the mayor’s office for policing and crime. (See also: Young people won’t be arrested for carrying weed in parts of London)

  • ‘We’re making harm reduction cool’: overdose reversal Narcan becomes a rave essential

    As recreational drugs like cocaine are increasingly cut with fentanyl, a movement has sprung up to prevent deaths in nightclubs
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, December 31, 2021

    fentanyl alert nyFentanyl testing strips as well as the opioid-reversal drug naloxone (commonly known as Narcan) are becoming the sine qua non of the party scene, distributed everywhere cultural denizens hang out: nightclubs, art galleries, downtown streetwear stores, even housewarming parties in Brooklyn. Fentanyl has turned into an indiscriminate spectre in the club scene. The deadly synthetic opioid has been flooding the street market as dealers bulk out recreational drugs like cocaine and heroin with fentanyl. No one can say exactly why it has become so common. Many clubbers now see recreational drug use akin to a game of Russian roulette, and as nightclubs reopened this year, warnings spread through social media about bad batches causing accidental overdoses in these communities.

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