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  • U.S. marijuana laws ricochet through Latin America

    Time Magazine (US)
    Monday, January 7, 2013

    mexico-graveyardLeaders from across Latin America responded within days of the Colorado and Washington vote, demanding a review of drug-war policies that have mired the region in violence. Latin American decisionmakers are now openly questioning why they should continue to sacrifice police and soldiers to enforce drug laws when legal markets for marijuana now exist in the U.S.

  • To look tough on drugs, and please the US, the UK is willing to trample on indigenous rights

    Damon Barrett, Director of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy
    The Huffington Post (US web)
    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    coca2The UK says in its objection to Bolivia's reaccession to the 1961 UN Single Convention with a reservation that allows for the traditional chewing of coca, that it 'respects the cultural importance of the coca leaf in Bolivia'. It also recognises the status of traditional uses of coca under the Bolivian Constitution. These words reflect that change in views one would have expected since the 1960s. But in what way does the UK in fact 'respect' the cultural importance of coca when going on to try to see through the destruction of the manifestation of that culture? (See also: Objections to Bolivia's reservation to allow coca chewing in the UN conventions)

  • Groups seek to influence new rules for growing, selling pot

    Lawyers, businessmen and farmers have formed new groups to lobby the Washington State Liquor Control Board as it writes rules for the world's first social-use marijuana-grower license
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Washington-State-Liquor-Control-BoardThe Washington state Liquor Control Board (LCB), charged with launching the world's first regulated marijuana market for social use, expects to begin accepting applications for grower licenses April 17, with the first licenses to be issued in May 2013. State-licensed marijuana stores won't open until at least December, after marijuana-processor and retail licenses are issued. But several groups already have hired veteran lobbyists to influence the LCB, with business interests keenly aware of the potential.

  • In France, Cannabis Social Club growers no longer want to hide

    Some growers that get together to cultivate their plants since 2009 intend on declaring themselves in prefectures in February
    Le Point (France)
    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    “It is an act of civil disobedience. We want to impose our activity,” Dominique Broc, the spokesperson for the project. Without hiding his face, he presents a “cultivation space” of about 100 square feet installed in his home. “We produce to protect our society from the perverse effects of mafias that are entering the territory to produce cannabis (often impure) on a large scale to sell them to our children.” (This is a translation of Les cultivateurs des "Cannabis Social Clubs" ne veulent plus se cacher, an article originally published by the French magazine Le Point)

  • Rocky Mountain high: Pot a $200M industry in Colorado

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    marijuana-indoor-coloradoVigorous regulation of a thriving medical-marijuana industry in Colorado offers the best glimpse of what is coming to Washington when it launches its voter-approved social-use market. With continuous surveillance, bar-coded plants and strict financial background checks, Colorado's rules allowed capitalism to be unleased, creating an instant $200 million industry. With retail prices — averaging about $7.50 a gram — among the cheapest in the country.

  • Mexico considers marijuana legalization after ballot wins in U.S.

    Mexico, which has fought a long war against drug cartels that supply U.S. users, is rethinking its marijuana policy after Colorado and Washington approved legalization
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Friday, January 4, 2013

    mexico-marijuana-protestThe success of legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington has sparked a new conversation in a nation that is one of the world's top marijuana growers: Should Mexico, which has suffered mightily in its war against the deadly drug cartels, follow the Western states' lead? Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, opposes legalization, but he also told CNN that the news from Washington and Colorado "could bring us to rethinking the strategy."

  • Has Bolivia's coca-growing scheme worked?

    We ask if the president's move to reject US drug eradication policies was the best for his country's coca farmers
    Al Jazeera
    Thursday, January 4, 2013

    bags-of-coca-leavesBolivian president Evo Morales, a former coca-leaf farmer, came to power promising to defend the right of Bolivians to produce coca for traditional uses. He kicked out the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2009, and began the country's own system of regulating coca-leaf production. Morales' move brought heavy criticism from Washington, and led the US government to conclude that Bolivia was failing to meet its commitment to fight the production of cocaine. But a new WOLA report suggests that the country's unorthodox measures are working

  • 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.

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