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  • Danish gov snubs call to clear Pusher Street

    Justice Minister Søren Pind did not even bother to make an official statement on the proposal
    The Local (Denmark)
    Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    christiania-hashDenmark's governing party has refused calls to crack down on Pusher Street, the open cannabis market that has long operated in Christiania, Copenhagen's hippie 'free town'. The opposition Social Democrats and the populist Danish People’s Party proposed that Denmark's police clears out the dealers who operate in the area once and for all. "It makes no sense for us to have places in Denmark where law and order is not respected," said Trine Bramsen, spokesperson for the Social Democrats. "We want to ensure that we can put an end to the open cannabis trade that takes place every day in Christiania." (See also: Copenhagen politico disagrees with his own party on Christiania)

  • PAM organizes international conference on cannabis cultivation

    The objective of the conference was to highlight the possible alternative uses of cannabis
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    A first international conference on drugs and cannabis was organised in Tangier by Ilyass El Omari, president of the Regional Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima. Under the motto “All for alternatives based on sustainable development, health and human rights,” elected officials, experts and scholars presented their views on the issue of cannabis plantations and alternatives available to local cultivators. The problem of cannabis cultivation requires opening a frank and responsible dialogue between political, economic and human rights actors, placing the issue of job creation at the center of the conversation. (See also: Légalisation du cannabis: Argument démagogique ou réel combat?)

  • Canadian official causes stir with ‘progressive’ speech at UN narcotics conference

    UN body chided Canada for its cannabis intentions, which it said violated the international Convention on Narcotic Drugs
    National Post (Canada)
    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    The Liberal government used its first foray into the global anti-narcotics arena this week to signal a clear shift away from the war-on-drugs philosophy, promising more safe-injection sites, promoting “harm reduction” and touting its plan to legalize marijuana. The speech by Hilary Geller, an assistant deputy minister of health, caused a stir at the generally staid Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, observers said. She defended the government’s plan to “legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to” marijuana.

  • The United Nations is supposed to be negotiating a solution to the ‘world drug problem’, and it’s not going well

    The UNGASS is now perilously close to representing a serious systemic failure of the UN system
    Open Democracy (US)
    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    ungass2016This April, the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs will convene in New York – seen by many as a possible breaking point for the global drug control system, and the first session to be held on this theme for two decades. The UNGASS is happening two years early, because the governments of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala have called for it in advance. The UNGASS is expected to be a crucial moment in which dissenting countries could break the UN consensus over the ‘war on drugs’ and the model of prohibition, proposing alternative approaches towards harm reduction and decriminalisation instead. (See also: The UNGASS outcome document: Diplomacy or denialism?)

  • Colombia’s Supreme Court removes cap on legal amount of drugs

    The latest sentence makes carrying all marijuana for personal use legal
    Colombia Reports (US)
    Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    Colombia’s Supreme Court has overruled a previous ruling in which it had set a maximum amount of marijuana a person can carry. The latest sentence makes carrying all marijuana for personal use legal. The court’s landmark ruling followed a case of a Colombian soldier who had been caught with 50 grams of the illicit herb. Until Monday, the maximum amount of drugs a person can carry was set at 20 grams for marijuana and one gram for cocaine. The latest ruling removed this fixed cap, leaving authorities without the legal possibility to arrest anyone claiming to carry drugs for personal use.

  • France has highest (number of) teen cannabis smokers

    A global survey of pot smokers reveals that France has the highest number of teen pot smokers among 42 developed countries
    The Local (France)
    Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    france-legalisationFrance and Canada have the highest percentage of 15-year-old cannabis smokers among 42 well-off nations surveyed by the World Health Organization. When it comes to policing marijuana, France is far from the most laid-back country in Europe, so the findings come as something of a surprise. Amsterdam flaunts its cannabis cafes and Barcelona its private reefer clubs, but neither the Netherlands nor Spain were among the top eight nations in which teens admitted they had used cannabis in the last 30 days, according to the study. France dislodged Canada as No. 1 nation for teen tokers

  • Bern pharmacies gear up for pot pilot project

    Cannabis could go on sale in selected pharmacies in the Swiss capital after the city authorities gave the green light to a pilot project by Bern University
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Monday, March 14, 2016

    switzerland-cannabis2Bern's city government announced it had commissioned the university’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) to research the effects of selling cannabis in pharmacies. Under the study, cannabis would be put on sale in participating pharmacies in the city, with the ISPM monitoring 1,000 registered users of the service, who must be over 18, living in Bern and already using cannabis. However given possessing cannabis is technically illegal in Switzerland – even if many cantons turn a blind eye – the project must be agreed by the federal government before it can go ahead.

  • Bremen plant Modellprojekt zur Legalisierung von Cannabis

    Die Abgeordneten sollen über diesen voraussichtlich im April beraten
    Die Welt (Germany)
    Montag, 14. März 2016

    Die Fraktionen von SPD und Grünen in Bremen wollen den Konsum von Cannabis legalisieren. Dazu soll der rot-grüne Senat ein wissenschaftlich begleitetes Modellprojekt zur kontrollierten Abgabe der Droge erarbeiten. Nach den Plänen der beiden Fraktionen soll der Besitz von Cannabis für den Eigenbrauch und der Anbau geringer Mengen straffrei bleiben. Einen entsprechenden Antrag wollen die beiden Fraktionen in den Landtag einbringen. (Mehr dazu: Stressfreier kiffen in Bremen | Bremen will Cannabis-Anbau straffrei machen)

  • Opponents of the War on Drugs are not satisfied with the UN's plan to end it

    Drug reform advocates have long criticized Vienna-centric negotiations over global drug policy
    Vice (US)
    Monday, March 14, 2016

    After decades of prohibition, 2016 could be the year governments around the world admit that the war on drugs has failed. Or, just as easily, they could maintain the status quo. Next month, the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) will endorse a resolution that many hoped would encourage countries to stop locking up and marginalizing drug users, and instead embrace harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, and even decriminalization. But, as the UN's Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) convened in Vienna for its annual meeting ahead of UNGASS, nearly 200 civil society groups and opponents of the drug war released a joint letter that said the planning for next month's event is "perilously close to representing a serious systemic failure of the UN system."

  • Unravelling the human cost of global drug policy

    Why has drug prohibition had so many negative effects on communities and human rights? What changes are needed?
    Open Democracy (US)
    March 14-19, 2016

    fumigationcolombiaThe international drug control system has caused much greater damage than the substances it targets. Gross human rights violations have been committed in its name. And after five decades of harsh legal enforcement, criminalisation and militarisation (largely outside the consumption centres of Europe and north America), it has failed to reduce the drug trade. In the articles, videos and personal stories being published this week, we look at the consequences of this punitive approach in different parts of the world, the myths involved, the gender and race implications, security structures and economic links. We also begin to explore alternative policies.

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