Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Oakland explores possibility of opening safe injection site

    The city’s housing crisis has exacerbated the use of illicit drugs in public
    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Monday, May 13, 2019

    dcr supervisionOakland officials are exploring building a safe injection site for illicit-drug users in hopes of lowering open-air drug use on city streets. Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato Bas introduced a resolution to the City Council Thursday to support AB362, a state bill that would allow the city and county of San Francisco to operate a supervised center for drug users. The resolution also requests that the state bill be amended to include Oakland. A similar bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in October. But Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he is receptive to the idea of a safe injection site, even though opening one would remain illegal under federal law.

  • Thousands register for amnesty

    People must present identification cards, marijuana possession-related documents and medical certificates that indicate their illness
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Sunday, May 12, 2019

    thailand marijuana awakeningAlmost 10,000 people have registered with public health agencies to be eligible for the amnesty over marijuana possession, says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA set the deadline for the registration as May 21. FDA secretary-general Thares Karasnairaviwong said that as the deadline draws nearer, more people have turned out to register, prompting the Public Health Ministry to add places for registration, including allocating officials to work on registration during the weekend. He warned the registration is open only for those in possession of marijuana for medical purposes. “This does not mean to give permission for individuals to grow marijuana plants,” Dr Thares told the media. (See also: Medical cannabis moving ahead in Thailand, but who stands to benefit?)

  • High expectations for ganja in St Kitts, Dominica and Antigua

    The announcement comes while the government of St Kitts and Nevis is moving to legalise medical use of cannabis products, and decriminalise marijuana use
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, May 10, 2019

    caribbean ganjaAmerican businessman, Chase Ergen and Greek billionaire, Alki David, have formed a consortium aimed at developing the cannabis business in the Eastern Caribbean nations. The duo has disclosed plans to purchase agricultural land and partner with farmers to create a cooperative entity modeled after the ones in Switzerland. The first plane load of hemp seed for a designated parcel of land totaling 300 acres arrived in St Kitts and Nevis, but focus will also be placed on Dominica and Antigua. Ergen and David intend on reaching out to business and government leaders across the region. The cannabis initiative is expected to create thousands of jobs and will also tap into the rich cultural history and cannabis know-how of the strengthening Rastafarian movement in the region.

  • Is it possible the decriminalization of drugs in Mexico?

    The NDP does not specify which drugs would be decriminalized
    El Universal (México)
    Friday, May 10, 2019

    The presentation of the National Development Plan (NDP) by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has put on the table again the issue of drug decriminalization, while the country struggles to contain the growing violence of organized crime. According to the NDP the Mexican federal government has undertook a “paradigm change” in national and public security, due to the “unsustainable” and “catastrophic results” of the prohibitionist strategy. “The only real possibility of reducing the levels of drug consumption resides in lifting the prohibition of [those] that are currently illegal and in the redirection of the resources dedicated to combatting drug trafficking, in order to apply them in—massive yet personalized—rehabilitation and detoxification programs," the document states.

  • Through all the smoke, the cannabis industry needs to develop a bigger vision

    The cannabis industry has a truly unique opportunity to address and face head on the issues that plague other industries and have been identified as not just bad for business, but also bad for society in its entirety
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, May 10, 2019

    The cannabis industry can build a better and regenerative culture, rather than falling into the same old tired and destructive human and corporate patterns of extractive companies. We can create a diverse industry from the ground up. The federal and provincial governments can incentivize and support the creation of small sustainable environmentally friendly farms. In a transparent legal market, consumers can purchase cannabis aligned with their values, whatever they may be. We can promote gender parity and inclusiveness in the boardroom, and foster equity in the licencing process with buy-in from local, provincial and federal governments. Let’s create fair trade standards that will help farmers to not just survive but thrive, and give back to our communities economically, in the spirit of good stewardship.

  • Netherlands prepares legal recreational cannabis cultivation experiment

    The Dutch lower chamber approved the experiment in January, but implementation is not imminent
    Marijuana Business Daily (US)
    Thursday, May 9, 2019

    coffeeshop4The Netherlands is laying the groundwork to become the first country in Europe to allow commercial production of adult-use marijuana – although initially the program would be considered an “experiment.” Under the Dutch plan, a limited number of companies would be allowed to legally grow marijuana to supply coffee shops in the country that would, in turn, sell the products to consumers. While Dutch authorities tolerate the sale of recreational cannabis in such shops under certain conditions, cultivation and wholesale for that market remains completely illegal. The government is looking to address the contradiction with the closed cannabis supply-chain experiment.

  • Berlin park's 'drug dealing zones' spark outrage

    Allowing the dealers to work legally would tackle the issue
    The Local (Germany)
    Thursday, May 9, 2019

    The manager of Berlin’s notorious Görlitzer Park has come under fire after creating zones for drug dealers to conduct their business. Amid harsh political criticism, the dealers say they have few other options. Berlin government authorities have strongly criticized the plan as an ‘open invitation to break the law’. Authorities have long considered drug dealing in Berlin’s Görlitzer Park to be a problem. Police raids are frequent but efforts to curb the sale of illicit substances have largely failed. Cengiz Demirci, the newly appointed park manager’s ‘solution’ to the issue has drawn criticism from the Berlin government, who argue that the move “supports organized drug trafficking”. (See also: Berlin park designates 'pink zone' areas for drug dealers | Neue Regel im Görlitzer Park: Platzanweiser für Dealer)

  • Cannabis can be grown outdoors for pennies on the dollar. So why is hardly anyone doing it?

    Prior to legalization, outdoor cultivation, even for medical purposes, was illegal
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Thursday, May 9, 2019

    Cannabis companies have spent the early days of the legal recreational cannabis era building massive growing facilities, but the chief executive of 48North Cannabis Corp. has been focusing on a plot of land in Brantford, Ont. That’s where her company hopes to launch one of the country’s first major outdoor cannabis operations, a 100-acre site that will, at capacity, be able to yield 40,000 kilograms of cannabis flower. Gordon is banking on getting approval from Health Canada to begin outdoor growing in time for the spring planting season, five months before the legalization of cannabis edibles, expected in October. "Cannabis is meant to be grown outdoors. It went indoors because of Prohibition." (See also: To apply for a licence to grow cannabis in Canada, you now have to have a fully built site ready to go)

  • Düsseldorf: Gesundheitsdezernent hält an Cannabis-Pilotprojekt fest

    Venlo zeigt Interesse an Cannabis-Projekt
    Rheinische Post (Deutschland)
    Donnerstag, 9. Mai 2019

    germany nicht highPolitisch ist es umstritten, doch die Ampel-Kooperation im Düsseldorfer Rat und Gesundheitsdezernent Andreas Meyer-Falcke halten eine lizensierte Abgabe von Cannabis an Erwachsene im Rahmen eines Pilotprojekts für wünschenswert. Die Verwaltung habe deshalb einen interkommunalen Austausch angestoßen. Positive Rückmeldungen gebe es aus den Niederlanden. Die Gemeinde Venlo habe Interesse an einem Gedankenaustausch und würde sich „gegebenenfalls an einem gemeinsamen Cannabis-Projekt beteiligen“. Zudem werde mit dem Leiter des Deutschen Instituts für Sucht- und Präventionsforschung der Katholischen Hochschule in Köln eine Untersuchung abgestimmt. (Mehr dazu: Demonstration in Düsseldorf: Breites Bündnis fordert Legalisierung von Cannabis)

  • First three stores closed in 'war on cannabis'

    Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Salvini said the issue could spark a government crisis
    ANSA (Italy)
    Thursday, May 9, 2019

    italy cannabis salvini di maioDeputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that his drive to close all of Italy's 'cannabis shops' has started with the closure of three stores in central Italy. These shops sell 'cannabis light' - hemp flowers and products that have an extremely low level of the psychoactive compound that makes people high. At the moment cannabis light' can be sold legally, although, in theory at least, the aromatic hemp flowers must not be smoked or eaten and any eventual seeds must not be cultivated. The issue is the latest to expose differences between Salvini's League and its government coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement (M5S). (See also: League voted for cannabis shops, notes M5S MP | Italy’s interior minister declares war on cannabis, but stakeholders expect limited impact)

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