Drugs in the news

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  • Federal government set to crack down on drug courts that fail addicts

    Applicants for drug court grants will be required to affirm that they will allow access to substitution treatment
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    drug-courtThe federal government is cracking down on drug courts that refuse to let opioid addicts access medical treatments such as Suboxone, said Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. Drug courts that receive federal dollars will no longer be allowed to ban the kinds of medication-assisted treatments that doctors and scientists view as the most effective care for opioid addicts, Botticelli announced.

  • Mexico’s missing marijuana mystery

    Freakish weather is a better explanation to the Mexican marijuana mystery than either piecemeal legalization in the US or a major shift in counternarcotics policy
    Alejandro Hope
    The Reality-Based Community (US)
    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Every year, soldiers roam Mexico’s hinterland in search of illegal marijuana plots. Massive eradication campaigns have been part of Mexican life since the 1940’s. No other country on Earth has impounded so much cannabis for so many years. That could be changing. According to recent official numbers (p. 51), marijuana seizures and eradication declined steeply in 2013, to lows unseen since the early 1990’s. Does this signal a major policy shift? Maybe. Here are the facts.

  • Why is Europe refusing to change course on drugs?

    Politics (UK web)
    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Is Europe being left behind? Sometimes it feels that way. In the US, Colorado and Washington have regulated recreational cannabis use, with Oregon and Alaska following suit. Uruguay is doing the same. Latin America leaders across the continent are turning against the war on drugs. So it can be somewhat dispiriting to see such little progress in Europe. As the world changes, it feels as if Europe is in stasis. But a briefing paper by Tom Blickman of the Transnational Institute shows that below the surface there is a vibrant and optimistic push for drug law reform in Europe.

  • Legislation passed to formally regulate Catalonia's cannabis clubs for first time

    More can be done in terms of regulating cultivation and sale in order to better protect clubs and the health of users
    Talking Drugs (UK web)
    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    The Catalonian government in Spain has passed a new set of guidelines to formally regulate cannabis social clubs (CSCs) for the first time in the autonomous region. Under the new regulations, published on January 29 in the Official Journal of the Catalonian Government (DOGC) and formally approved the same day by the legislature, cannabis clubs will have 17 points to follow in order to be granted legal status.

  • Mexican opium farmers expand plots to supply U.S. heroin boom

    Mexican government seizures of opium and eradication of poppy plantations have skyrocketed in recent years
    Time (US)
    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Red and purple blossoms with fat, opium-filled bulbs blanket the remote creek sides and gorges of the Filo Mayor mountains in the southern state of Guerrero. The multibillion-dollar Mexican opium trade starts here, with poppy farmers so poor they live in wood-plank, tin-roofed shacks with no indoor plumbing. Once smaller-scale producers of low-grade black tar, Mexican drug traffickers are now refining opium paste into high-grade white heroin and flooding the world’s largest market for illegal drugs, using the distribution routes they built for marijuana and cocaine.

  • 'High time' for medical marijuana in Germany

    The federal government wants to make cannabis more accessible to sick Germans as a means for pain relief
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Federal Drugs Commissioner Marlene Mortler said that seriously ill patients should have access to cannabis through their health insurance provider. "My goal is that in the future, more people than before will be able to use cannabis as a medicine," Mortler told Die Welt. "We want to bring the law through the Bundestag (German parliament) within this year, so that it comes into effect from next year.” (See also: Legalize it – ein bisschen | Opinion: Withdrawing troops in the war on drugs)

  • Le Sénat examine l’usage « contrôlé » du cannabis

    Mais la sénatrice ne se fait pas d’illusion sur son sort
    Le Monde (France)
    Mardi, 3 fevrier 2015

    Le Sénat doit examiner la proposition de loi de la sénatrice écologiste Esther Benbassa visant à permettre un usage «contrôlé» du cannabis. Elle prévoit d’autoriser la «vente au détail» de «produits» à base de cannabis via un réseau de débitants agréés, comme l’est aujourd’hui le tabac. Le texte maintient toute une série d’interdits, comme la vente aux mineurs, l’usage dans les lieux publics et toute forme de publicité. (Voir aussi: Cannabis: débat fumeux au Sénat | Le Sénat n'a pas adopté la proposition de loi d'Esther Benbassa autorisant l’usage contrôlé du cannabis)

  • The science of decriminalizing drugs

    What happens when states ease up on penalties for possession
    Popular Science (US)
    Monday, February 2, 2015

    The legal landscape for marijuana has never looked this relaxed. Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. voted during the recent election season to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Other states reduced the punishments for possessing small amounts of the drug, a move the American Academy of Pediatrics just endorsed. According to polls, more Americans than ever support legalizing cannabis. As legal and public views shift, we thought we'd take a look at the science of decriminalizing drugs.

  • Daily marijuana use doesn't really change brains of adults or teens, study finds

    Phoenix New Times (US)
    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Late last year, the press and marijuana-legalization opponents gave a lot of attention to a study suggesting that daily marijuana use shrinks users' brains. New research indicates that claim and other reports of cannabis-caused changes to brain structure simply aren't true. The new study, "Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults," published in the latest edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that alcohol use was responsible for previous studies finding brain changes.

  • Obama budget would clear path for legal sales of recreational marijuana in D.C.

    Obama’s budget would remove the congressional restriction, allowing D.C. leaders to spend the city’s tax money to develop a regulatory scheme
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, February 2, 2015

    President Obama’s budget would do a lot of things, but one of the most controversial may to be allowing legal sales of marijuana in the nation’s capital. D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to legalize pot for recreational use. But in December, outgoing Democrats and incoming Republican leaders in Congress moved to halt the measure. Under a broad budget deal, they prevented the District’s mayor and council from spending any money to work out the specifics of how pot would be sold, which the ballot measure left up to local politicians to decide.

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