Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Justice Department "Clarifies" Stance on Medical Marijuana: It's Illegal And They Will Arrest You

    SF Weekly (US)
    Friday, July 1, 2011

    For a few weeks now, medical marijuana activists have been waiting for Attorney General Eric Holder to "re-clarify" exactly what the Justice Department plans to do about state-legal, federally-illegal medical marijuana. In a memo dated June 29, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole did just that: marijuana is illegal, and the federal government can prosecute any user, any time for growing, selling or transporting it, state law be damned, he wrote.

  • Bolivia formally renounces UN narcotics convention because it penalizes coca-leaf chewing

    The Associated Press
    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Bolivia's government has informed the United Nations it is renouncing the world body's anti-drug convention because it classifies coca leaf as an illegal drug, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Bolivia's decision comes after a proposal by President Evo Morales to remove language obliging countries that have signed the convention to ban the chewing of coca leaves was rejected following U.S. objections.

  • The Way Forward

    Jorge G. Castañeda
    Time Magazine (US)
    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Since time immemorial, Mexicans have argued that were it not for U.S. demand for illicit substances, Mexico would have a manageable drug problem. More recently, we have also contended that absent the U.S.'s laxity on arms sales and its tolerance for the possession of extraordinarily dangerous weapons, the violence in our country would not be what it has become. Lately our leaders have added a new gripe: Americans are hypocrites because they support prohibitionist and costly drug-enforcement policies — yet, through the specious fallacy of medical marijuana, are legalizing drugs without saying so.

  • Let the states decide their own marijuana policies

    Lawmakers for the first time have introduced legislation in Congress to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana
    Paul Armentano
    The Hill (US web)
    Wednesday, June 28, 2011

    The bipartisan measure -- H.R. 2306, the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011' and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess personal use amounts of marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

  • Drug death 'capital' Brighton to put treatment ahead of punishment

    Green MP says the coalition's 'localism' policy enables seaside town to follow Portugal's decriminalisation strategy
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called for a new approach, having identified an unlikely ally. She wants to exploit the localism agenda of communities secretary Eric Pickles, the no-nonsense cabinet bruiser from Bradford, to decriminalise drug use in the city. If Lucas, the first Green MP in England, gets her way, a town which has gained a reputation as one of the most tolerant in the country will become a pioneer in liberal drugs policy as well.

  • Bolivia to denounce and rejoin the 1961 UN Single Convention with respect to coca leaf chewing

    Press conference by Pablo Solon, Permanent Representative of Bolivia
    New York, Friday, June 24, 2011

    Press conference by H.E. Pablo Solon, Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia on the theme, "denounce and rejoin the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, with respect to coca leaf chewing”.

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  • Bolivia to withdraw from drugs convention over coca classification

    President Evo Morales says chewing coca leaves is a cultural heritage and ancestral practice
    Mattia Cabitza in La Paz
    The Guardian
    Friday, June 24, 2011.

    coca-dryingBolivia is set to withdraw from an international narcotics convention in protest at its classification of coca leaves as an illegal drug. President Evo Morales, who is also the leader of one of the country's main coca producers' unions, has asked Congress to pass a law that would take Bolivia out of the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The government says that the convention contravenes the Bolivian constitution, which states that the country is obliged to preserve and protect the chewing of coca leaves as a cultural heritage and ancestral practice.

  • Analysis: Mexican ex-presidents lead debate on legalizing drugs

    Reuters
    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Once praised lavishly by the United States for waging a war on drugs, Mexico's last two presidents now say legalizing them may be the best way to end the rising violence the U.S.-backed campaign has unleashed. Though public support for some legalization is growing on both sides of the border, resistance is firmly entrenched in the U.S. government and analysts say Mexico is very unlikely to liberalize its drug laws without Washington's approval.

  • Breaking the Taboo: A Global Drug War Film

    The Huffington Post (US web)
    Friday, June 24, 2011

    "If you can't control drugs in a maximum security prison, then how can you control drugs in a free society?" Those are my words that close Breaking theTaboo, a poignant new film about the global drug war. Breaking the Taboo is a stark and honest portrayal of the global war on drugs and its failure to resolve the many issues that derive from prohibition. The main character of the film is the former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

  • Barney Frank and Ron Paul Introduce Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    The bill would essentially treat marijuana like alcohol on the federal level
    Rob Kampia
    AlterNet (US web)
    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    The bill introduced today would allow states to determine their own marijuana laws -- not just medical marijuana laws -- without federal interference. The bill would also remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Since Congress and President Nixon placed marijuana in the strictest of five schedules in 1970, marijuana has been in the same category as heroin.

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