Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) vol. 184 no. 8
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Canada’s new mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders are based on “very bad criminal law policy” and constitute a threat to public health as well as the concept of judicial proportionality, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Arbour says. The law should, and almost certainly will, face a justifiable constitutional challenge, Arbour adds of the omnibus crime legislation, Bill C-10, which received royal assent in March. Forcing judges to impose minimum sentences for drug offences endangers the legal precept of proportionality, under which judges must tailor the level of punishment to the severity of the crime, adds the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights.
The Global Post
Monday, May 14, 2012
Prison riots in Venezuela. Jailbreaks in Mexico. Prison fires in Honduras. Latin America is displaying violent cases of the ails of its prison systems. Overcrowded and rundown, many of the region’s jails are out of control and ready to burst. In this in-depth series, GlobalPost gets inside some of the most violent jailhouses of the Americas to figure out what’s gone horribly wrong.Read more...
City council members criticise the government, arguing that legalisation is the only solution to the crime created by the booming and illicit trade of cannabisThe Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
Monday, May 14, 2012
State-run hash and marijuana dispensaries won't be popping up in Copenhagen any time soon after the Justice Ministry this weekend turned down Copenhagen City Council's request to experiment with legalising cannabis in the city. In a letter to the council, the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), wrote that the government could not permit the experiment as they believed that legalising hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.
‘Working in a small country certainly has its positive aspects,’ Raphael Mechoulam says. ‘It couldn’t have happened in the United States’Israel21c (Israel)
Monday, May 14, 2012
Half a century ago, Hebrew University Prof. Raphael Mechoulam isolated and synthesized THC, the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. By 1963, Mechoulam and his research partners had revealed the structure of cannabidiol (CBD), a key ingredient in cannabis. By the following year they had isolated THC for the first time, established its structure and synthesized it.
Aleksander Kwasniewski, former president of Poland from 1995 to 2005The New York Times (US)
Friday, May 11, 2012
In the year 2000, as the president of Poland, I signed one of Europe’s most conservative laws on drug possession. Any amount of illicit substances a person possessed meant they were eligible for up to three years in prison. Our hope was that this would help to liberate Poland, and especially its youths, from drugs that not only have a potential to ruin the lives of the people who abuse them but also have been propelling the spread of HIV among people who inject them. We were mistaken on both of our assumptions.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The introduction of the 'weed pass' in the south of the Netherlands is leading to growing problems. Since 1 May, only Dutch residents are able to purchase soft drugs in coffeeshops. Foreigners are barred. In protest against the move, many coffeeshops in Maastricht and other southern Dutch cities have closed their doors. Foreign drug tourists and Dutch residents who don’t have a pass are heading further north. In cities in the weed pass area, like the eastern border town of Venlo, growing numbers of illegal drugs dealers are hanging out near coffeeshops. They’re harrassing not only drugs tourists but also local residents.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A week after a contentious rollout of a new Dutch law to stub out cannabis sales to foreigners, enforcement is in disarray as some police are untrained and several coffee shops have closed in protest. Drug tourists are simply dodging the "cannabis card" law by heading elsewhere in the country for their fix, since the rule has entered into force in just three southern Dutch provinces so far. "It takes time for everything to be put into place," Justice and Safety Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Menten admitted.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Connecticut lawmakers' approval of the use of medical marijuana includes strict regulations for the cultivation and distribution in an attempt to avoid problems other states have run into when legalizing the plant for medical use. The bill, passed by the state Senate, is headed to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who said in a statement that he plans to sign it, as he believes the law would "avoid the problems encountered in some other states."
Yes, in Amsterdam, tooThe Christian Science Monitor (US)
Friday, May 4, 2012
For visitors to the Netherlands who enjoy the relaxing effects of marijuana, life has just become a little less easy going, particularly for those Germans living just west of the border who used to just pop over for a fresh supply. New legislation is restricting the sale of cannabis to residents of the country and banning tourists from purchasing the drug at the coffee shops, famous for selling it.
Time Magazine (US)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
For a brief moment in 2009, medical marijuana advocates exhaled. A new President had taken office promising to call off the federal prosecutors in states that had legalized weed for the sick. Medical marijuana patients and the growing industry thought they were in the clear. But they weren’t. Two years later, the Obama Administration is cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers just as harshly as George W. Bush did. In 2011, the Department of Justice revised its guidance to U.S. Attorneys, allowing them to target any medical marijuana activity except for ill patients and their immediate caregivers.