Drugs in the news

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  • Guatemalan leader sees paradigm shift on drug policy

    Reuters (UK)
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    perez-molina2Guatemalan President Otto Perez said he is feeling less alone in his drive to re-think the fight against drug-trafficking than a year ago, when he shocked fellow Central American leaders with a proposal to decriminalise drugs. Perez has proposed what he calls a "third way" in between all-out drugs legalisation and complete prohibition. He says the latter approach has failed as illegal drug use remains high despite decades of being outlawed around the world.

  • Mexico unveils new strategy in war on drugs and for preventing crime

    President Peña Nieto says his government will spend billions on social programmes in the most violent areas of the country
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    pena-nieto-new-strategyMexico's new administration has offered the first details of its new strategy in the country's war on drugs, saying the government will spend $9.2bn this year on social programmes to keep young people from joining criminal organisations in the 251 most violent towns and neighbourhoods across the country. The government will flood those areas with spending on programmes ranging from road building to increasing school hours, said President Enrique Peña Nieto and Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, the interior secretary.

  • Marijuana legalization raises safety questions

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Marijuana may be coming out of the black market in Colorado and Washington state, but the drug, at least for now, will retain a decidedly underground feel: Users may not know what's in it. Less than a year away from allowing pot sales, regulators are grappling with how to ensure that the nation's first legal marijuana industry will grow weed that delivers only the effects that pot smokers want.

  • Doors swing open for advocates of marijuana legalization on Capitol Hill

    The Hill (US)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Advocates for the legalization of marijuana plan to step up their political giving and lobbying efforts now that members of Congress are taking an interest in changing federal drug laws. The lobbyists say lawmakers who wouldn’t give them the time of day are suddenly interested in meeting with them and introducing legislation following the approval of ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington that legalized recreational use of the drug.

  • Drug users to have secure site in Paris

    Radio France International (RFI)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    salle-de-shootDrug users in France will soon have a state-sanctioned place where they can use heroin, crack and other intravenous drugs, after the government approved a pilot site in Paris. The City Council had already voted to allow a secure injection site to be opened in the city, a controversial measure, which social workers say should help to reduce the number of drug users in the streets.

  • Christiania task force netting arrests but locals call it harassment

    One in three citizens stopped by police outside of the freetown are charged with possession or sale of cannabis
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    christiania-policeCopenhagen Police said that the number of people being charged with possession of cannabis is up 23 percent since the creation of Task Force Pusher Street last September. The police strategy, however, flies in the face of recommendations by Copenhagen's mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), who has openly advocated for legalising cannabis. Police suspect that a recent gang war is related to the cannabis trade.

  • Battle over medical marijuana

    Court ruling and government policy fail to fix systemic problems
    Editorial Opinion
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    More than a decade ago, after several court rulings, the federal government was forced to create regulations allowing people with legitimate needs to possess or grow cannabis for personal medical use without facing criminal charges. Yet it seems Canadians will have to wait longer for a truly workable system that ensures access. Unfortunately, the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the latest constitutional challenge to the current marijuana medical access regulations (MMAR).

  • Denver City Council to vote in April whether to opt out on marijuana

    The Denver Post (US)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    amendment64-winsThe Denver City Council will vote in April on whether the state's largest city will opt out of licensing recreational marijuana sales — a move that could dramatically affect legalization efforts in Colorado. City leaders are wrestling with how to implement Amendment 64, which legalized recreational use and possession, cultivation and distribution of limited quantities of marijuana.

  • How the Latin American drug war will end

    Ending the drug war will necessitate a hemispheric-wide effort and it is here where South America must play a more important role
    Nikolas Kozloff
    The Huffington Post (US web)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    As the underlying rationale for the war on drugs falls apart, some may wonder whether Latin America is really prepared to push back against Washington's militaristic approach toward marijuana trafficking. While such a prospect would have been unheard of just a few years ago, recent developments in the U.S. suggest that change could come fast at the hemispheric level. Indeed, successful pushes for marijuana legalization in Washington state and Colorado brought together some unusual political constituencies.

  • The U.S. drug czar weighs in on Canada’s pot habit

    Gil Kerlikowske on the perils of pot legalization, and how Canada creates drug problems for the U.S.
    Macleans (Canada)
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    kerlikowske3Kerlikowske: "I think a patchwork of policies would create real difficulties. We still have federal law that places marijuana as being illegal. The administration has not done a particularly good job of, one, talking about marijuana as a public health issue, and number two, talking about what can be done and where we should be headed on our drug policy." (See also: Gil Kerlikowske, White House Drug Czar, says Administration hasn't done 'good job' on marijuana)

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