Drugs in the news

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  • Racism's Hidden History in the War on Drugs

    Judge Frederic Block, Federal judge
    The Huffington Post (US web)
    Wednesday, January 3, 2013

    reefer-madnessThe first anti-drug law in the US was a local law in San Francisco passed in 1875, outlawing the smoking of opium and directed at the Chinese. Marijuana prohibition also had racist underpinnings. This time it was the Mexicans. Just as cocaine was associated with black violence and opium with Chines white slavery, in the southwest border towns of the US marijuana was viewed -- beginning in the early 1920s -- as a cause of Mexican lawlessness.

  • Many towns have no plans to ban tourists from cannabis cafes

    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    coffeeshop-salesTourists will not be banned from a majority of the Netherlands’ cannabis cafes, despite new residency requirements which came into effect on January 1, according to a survey by NOS television. Coffee shops are required by law to ensure only official residents of the Netherlands are allowed to buy cannabis. However, the legislation gives scope for "local circumstances" to be taken into account. A survey by The Amsterdam Herald found more than a dozen municipalities are not planning to enforce the rule that customers must show evidence that they live in the Netherlands. (See also: Foreigners still welcome in Dutch coffeeshops)

  • Studying marijuana and its loftier purpose

    New insights on marijuana in Israel, where it’s illegal
    The New York Times (US)
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    Marijuana is illegal in Isramed-marijuana-israelel, but at a government-approved medical marijuana farm at a secret location near the city of Safed, is at the cutting edge of the debate on the legality, benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis. When Zach Klein, a former filmmaker, made a documentary on medical marijuana that was broadcast on Israeli television in 2009, about 400 Israelis were licensed to receive the substance. Today, the number has risen to about 11,000.

  • Brazil debates treatment options in crack epidemic

    Associated Press (US)
    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    With a boom in crack use ovcrackolandia-rioer the past decade, Brazilian authorities are struggling to stop the drug's spread, sparking a debate over the legality and efficiency of forcibly interning users. Brazil today is the world's largest consumer of both cocaine and its crack derivative, according to the Federal University of Sao Paolo. Adults can't be forced to stay in treatment, and most leave the shelters within three days. But children are kept in treatment against their will or returned to parents if they have a family.

  • Call for end to anti-drug aid for regimes with death penalty

    Human rights groups urge government to stop giving money to countries such as China and Iran
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    death-penaltyHuman rights groups have urged the UK government to heed the recommendations of an influential parliamentary committee that has told the government to stop funnelling money into anti drug-trafficking programmes in countries that administer the death penalty. Over the past decade, the UK has given millions of pounds to help Pakistan, China and Iran combat drug smuggling. MPs and human rights groups are horrified by credible claims that the increased aid has met with a corresponding rise in arrests which, in turn, has led to more people ending up on death row, including several Britons.

  • Pro-marijuana campaign looks ahead after 2012 victories

    Reuters
    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    After a decades-long campaign to legalize marijuana hit a high mark in 2012 with victories in Washington state and Colorado, its energized and deep-pocketed backers are mapping out a strategy for the next round of ballot-box battles. They have their sights set on ballot measures in 2014 or 2016 in states such as California and Oregon, which were among the first in the country to allow marijuana for medical use. Although those states more recently rejected broader legalization, drug-law reform groups remain undeterred.

  • Parts of Colorado's pot legalization strategy exported to other states

    The Denver Post (US)
    Saturday, December 29, 2012

    colorado-marijuanaThe sequential strategy will look familiar to Coloradans: first, pass a medical-marijuana law; then put dispensaries in place; then go for recreational legalization. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is pushing medical-marijuana laws in New York, Illinois and New Hampshire, along with contemplating a ballot initiative in Idaho. The true test for marijuana activists will come in 2016, the next presidential election year. That is when MPP hopes to run legalization initiatives in California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Maine.

  • ‘It opens your heart’

    Canada approves use of ecstasy in study into post-traumatic stress disorder
    National Post (Canada)
    Friday, December 28, 2012

    ecstasy2Exactly a century after ecstasy was first patented, Health Canada has approved the drug’s import for the first Canadian study using the illegal substance in trauma survivors’ therapy. The Journal of Psychopharmacology reported that more than 83% of several PTSD patients treated with MDMA and therapy had completely recovered, “without evidence of harm.” A follow-up study published last month found that the patients still had virtually no symptoms two years later.

  • Ex-president slams Brazil's tough anti-drug bill

    Agence France-Presse (AFP)
    The Daily Star (Lebanon)
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

    fernando-henriqueA bill calling for tougher sentences for drug possession and mandatory internment of addicts in Brazil has drawn fire from ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a strong advocate of drug decriminalization. "Treating drug use as a police case is useless and disastrous," he said in an interview with the daily O Globo. "Mandatory internment (of addicts) has been internationally condemned as inefficient, stigmatizing and a violation of human rights," said Cardoso who was in office from 1995 to 2002.

  • Les coopératives de cannabis sans but lucratif aspirent à la légalité

    Le Monde (France)
    Mercredi, 26 decembre 2012

    dominique-broc-representant-des-cannabisL'autoculture de cannabis croît et se multiplie. C'est la tendance observée par l'Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies (OFDT) qui dénombre 200 000 cultivateurs particuliers de marijuana en France. Une culture domestique généralement pratiquée à l'abri des regards et sous les néons d'un appartement. Mais pas seulement. Depuis 2009, certains se réunissent dans des "cannabis social clubs". Des coopératives, calquées sur le modèle espagnol, au sein desquelles les adhérents font pousser et partagent leurs plants.

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