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  • German Green Party leader Cem Özdemir stripped of immunity over cannabis plant

    Berlin's district attorney office is investigating German Greens leader Cem Özdemir after he appeared next to a cannabis plant in an Ice Bucket Challenge video
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Saturday, January 17, 2015

    Like countless people around the world, German politician Cem Özdemir took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge last summer. But now, according to German mass-circulation newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the Greens leader has had his immunity as a member of the German parliament repealed after authorities spotted a cannabis plant in the video uploaded to YouTube. When the video first appeared, Özdemir said that the plant had been "intentionally placed" as a political statement. (Özdemir und der Hanftopf)

  • A dozen ways to legalize the marijuana supply chain, in Vermont or any state

    Marijuana policy is not a binary choice between prohibition and the for-profit commercial model
    The Washington Post (US)
    Friday, January 16, 2015

    After months of research, the RAND corporation released a report for the state of Vermont exploring marijuana legalization and regulation there. The 218-page report, commissioned as a result of a May law, explores every aspect, option and pathway to legalization. The report breaks out 12 ways a state can regulate the supply of marijuana, grouped into three categories. Each of the 12 paths offers different benefits and risks to public health, government control of the industry, the ability to generate revenue and the level of conflict with federal law.

  • Seattle's legal marijuana euphoria over as industry undergoes growing pains

    Prices starting to come down in state’s licensed pot shops, but due to a surplus in supply, growers struggle to sell product
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, January 16, 2015

    The legal marijuana market in the state of Washington opened last summer to a dearth of weed. Some stores periodically closed because they didn’t have pot to sell. Prices were through the roof. Six months later, the equation has flipped, bringing serious growing pains to the new industry. A big harvest of sun-grown marijuana last fall flooded the market. Prices are starting to come down, but because of the glut, growers are struggling to sell their marijuana. Some are worried about going belly-up, finding it tougher than expected to make a living in legal weed.

  • Synthetic cannabis deaths show case for controlled sale of marijuana, expert says

    Researchers say the substances in synthetic cannabis are difficult to identify and constantly changing, making both treatment and law enforcement difficult
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    The deaths of two men in central Queensland after they smoked synthetic cannabis highlight the need to regulate marijuana and allow its controlled sale, the president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation says. Dr Alex Wodak said it was extremely difficult to determine the substances in synthetic cannabis, making its effects unpredictable and treatment for unwanted reactions difficult. He said people were drawn to synthetic drugs because they could be easier to obtain and because of the misguided perception they were legal and safe.

  • Null Gramm Toleranz im Görlitzer Park

    Orte wie der Görlitzer Park, in dem offen gedealt wird, sollen komplett drogenfrei werden
    Berliner Zeitung (Germany)
    Mittwoch, 14. Januar 2015

    Kiffer in Berlin dürfen weiterhin bis zu 15 Gramm Cannabis für den Eigenbedarf dabei haben, ohne strafrechtlich verfolgt zu werden – jedoch nicht mehr überall in der Stadt. Vom 1. April an soll der Drogenbesitz an Orten wie dem Görlitzer Park in Kreuzberg oder an Schulen auch bei geringeren Mengen unter Strafe gestellt werden, wie das bereits jetzt generell bei Konsum und Handel der Fall ist. (Die Gewerkschaft der Polizei spricht von Aktionismus: Junkie-Jogging um den Görlitzer Park)

  • Mexico: Challenging drug prohibition from below

    Sebastian Scholl
    Chapter from TNI's State of Power 2015
    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    The horrific forced disappearance of 43 students in Iguala reveals how organised crime and corruption thrive in conditions of institutional or democratic weakness, shaped to a large extent by distinctive transnational relations (importantly, in this case, with the US). Fortunately groups like the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity are showing a burgeoning 'social power' that has the potential to change politics and policy in Mexico.

  • The war on drugs is burning out

    Leading at the ballot box from Alaska to Washington, D.C., Americans are charting a path to a saner national drug policy
    Rolling Stone (US)
    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    lincoln-smokingThe conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation's capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Regardless of the final presidential matchup, pot initiatives in battleground states will make it impossible for the 2016 candidates to ignore the marijuana issue as they've done so often in the past, says Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority. "The road to the White House," he says, "travels through legal-marijuana territory."

  • Geneva committee backs legalizing marijuana

    Growing and selling marijuana may soon become legal in once staid Geneva
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Authorities are considering a radical liberalization of drug laws in the Swiss canton in a bid to undermine the black market in cannabis. "We are agreed about going forward with this. Repression has failed as a policy," Geneva's Health Minister Mauro Poggia told Swiss newspaper Le Temps. "But that does not stop us thinking about going down other avenues." Geneva's cross-party Advisory Commission on Addiction urged the government to seek approval for the reforms from federal health authorities.

  • Canadian lawyers scent profit as medical marijuana industry prepares to go legit

    Top corporate law firm hopes to benefit if legal hurdles to commercial cannabis trade can be overcome but grow-your-own medical users fear being priced out
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    canada-pot-flag3Since 2001, Canada has allowed patients to grow their own marijuana or designate a grower to do so on their behalf, but a policy change established the opportunity for licensed growers operating under strict quality controls to supply patients – essentially spawning a new legal marijuana industry overnight. The new regulations have been plagued by lawsuits, injunctions and complications for patients. The future shape of Canada’s marijuana trade is likely to be established at a string of court hearings in early 2015.

  • Medical marijuana finds crossbench backers in Australian parliament

    Campaign to legalise marijuana for medical purposes gathers strength with push to get issue on top of agenda in new parliamentary year
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    The campaign to legalise marijuana for medical purposes in Australia is gathering strength with a group of crossbench senators and MPs pushing for the issue to be top of the agenda in the new parliamentary year. A group of senators and MPs are pushing for the legalisation of medical marijuana to help the sick and potentially provide a new industry for "innovative" farmers. (See also: Medical marijuana: let the doctors, not politicians, sort it out)

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Chewing over Khat prohibition


Where strict bans on khat have been introduced they have had severe unintended negative consequences and failed to further the integration, social incusion and economic prosperity of Somali communities in particular, which chew khat most widely.




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