Drugs in the news

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  • No consensus on changes to Washington marijuana law

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    House Bill 2000, the bill by Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, to modify Initiative 502, marijuana legalization, offers a mix of changes that could help create a functioning market and things that might not. That ambiguity was reflected in the testimony on the bill Wednesday: the bill was opposed by Derek Franklin of the Washington Association of Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention (WASAVP), which opposed legalization, and also by Keith Henson, Pierce County director for NORML, which favored it. (See also: Some K9s trained to ignore pot in Washington)

  • Federal bill to legalize marijuana gains support in Congress

    Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 now has 14 bi-partisan co-sponsors
    The Daily Chronic (US web)
    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) joined the effort to end marijuana prohibition and start regulating marijuana like alcohol at the federal level. Rep. Pingree, as well as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 499, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, on Monday, joining a bipartisan group of supporters in the House. There are currently 14 co-sponsors of the bill. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 on February 5.

  • Duped by dope

    Reality trumps ideals in German drug war
    Der Spiegel (Germany)
    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    germany-drug-warGermany's law-enforcement and legal apparatus devotes enormous resources to fighting illegal narcotics. But users are always a step ahead, and lawmakers seem uninterested in exploring alternatives to a broken system. The country spends an estimated €3.7 to €4.6 billion a year on the fight against drugs, an effort that involves law-enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges. What unites them all is the common goal of achieving a drug-free country. But is that goal even attainable anymore?

  • Legal pot: worth a try

    Copenhagen has already been given permission to experiment with hard drugs. Relaxing cannabis laws – at least on a trial basis – should be a no-brainer
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    In a country that regulates the sale of over-the-counter painkillers, you’d have thought that a reasonable way to decriminalise the sale of cannabis would have long since been rolled out, perfected and exported to other cities grappling with the same topic. Yet, to the annoyance of the city – and perhaps to the surprise of those more familiar with the country’s progressive reputation – cannabis remains on the wrong side of the law.

  • Colorado lawmakers question proposed marijuana business rules

    The Denver Post (US)
    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    pot-plantation-coloradoColorado lawmakers yanked and tugged at the threads of the state's proposals for regulating recreational marijuana, as one legislator hinted to his colleagues that pulling too hard could unravel the whole thing. At its second meeting, the legislature's joint marijuana committee returned again to the question of how to structure the marijuana stores that Colorado voters authorized in November.

  • Portland groups push to legalize pot possession in the city

    Send a message to the state
    Bangor Daily News (US)
    Wednesday, March 22, 2013

    A coalition of political groups and activists say marijuana possession should be legalized in Maine’s largest city, in part because they say the drug is significantly safer than alcohol. The effort comes on the heels of the introduction of a bill in the state Legislature by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, that would legalize, regulate and tax pot possession across Maine. Tom MacMillan, chairman of the Portland Green Independent Committee, said his organization and other like-minded groups need to get 1,500 signatures of city residents.

  • The next marijuana legalization fight? Copenhagen vs. the rest of Denmark

    The city wants to wrest the soft drugs trade away from criminal gangs, but the national government may not let it proceed
    The Atlantic Citylab (US)
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    The city of Copenhagen wants to legalize cannabis and, if possible, get supplies of the drug from the United States. Following a Europe-wide trend, Denmark’s capital has been planning a three-year experiment that would aim to wrest the city’s soft drugs trade away from criminal gangs and place it under direct municipal control. But while city officials overwhelmingly support the move, the Danish national government may not let them proceed. Last year the national government rejected more tentative plans that Copenhagen city councillors had approved by 39 votes to 9.

  • State chief consultant Mark Kleiman knows in, outs of pot legalization

    The state’s new pot consultants were introduced as the best available team by far for helping with the historic task of creating a legal pot system untested on the planet
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    mark-kleimanWashington state’s chief pot consultant remains a bit mysterious, but Mark Kleiman's views on legalizing pot are no mystery. He lays them out in “Marijuana Legalization,” a 2012 book he wrote with three of his team members. Alison Holcomb, the law’s author, said Kleiman’s credentials could ease federal concerns about Washington’s system evolving into an industry that tries to create addictions and market to young people. “I’m glad Kleiman and his colleagues are heading up the consulting group,” she said. (See also: Washington touts credentials of new pot consultant)

  • France catches up with khat users

    This traditional east African stimulant is illegal in France, but customs seizures are on a par with cocaine
    The Guardian Weekly (UK)
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    According to figures released by the French Customs, seizures of khat are soaring, up from 1.8 tonnes in 2011 to 4.5 tonnes in 2012, putting it on a par with cocaine (4.6 tonnes) but still far behind cannabis (24 tonnes). The rising interception rate does not mean consumption in France is increasing. Half of last month's haul was found in the freight zone of Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. "France is a transit country," says Sébastien Tiran, general-secretary at the CDG Customs headquarters. The Netherlands ban has driven prices in Paris sharply upwards.

  • UCLA expert’s team to advise state on new pot rules

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Washington has tentatively chosen professor Mark Kleiman at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to be its official marijuana consultant. His firm Botec Analysis is based in Cambridge, Mass., and has evaluated government programs and provided consulting relating to drug use, crime and public health. Losing bidders for the contract can protest the award. Kleiman has written several books on drug policy, including "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know." Reformers have had a "love/hate" relationship with Kleiman over the years.

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