Drugs in the news

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  • Despite U.N. treaties, war against drugs a losing battle

    Less than eight per cent of drug users worldwide have access to a clean syringe programme
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    As the call for the decriminalisation of drugs steadily picks up steam worldwide, a new study by the London-based charity Health Poverty Action concludes there has been no significant reduction in the global use of illicit drugs since the creation of three key U.N. anti-drug conventions, the first of which came into force over half a century ago. “Illicit drugs are now purer, cheaper, and more widely used than ever,” says the report, titled Casualties of War: How the War on Drugs is Harming the World’s Poorest.

  • Ganja law passed but awaits regulations

    An opposition MP said the country should seek to renegotiate some of the international treaties
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    The law effectively clears the way for the decriminalisation of two ounces of marijuana, making possession a ticketable offence. Under the amended law, the Rastafarian community will have the opportunity to use ganja as part of its religious sacrament. National Security Minister Peter Bunting told his parliamentary colleagues that the implementation of the new law would take some time, as regulations would have to be developed and the Cannabis Licensing Authority established. This oversight body would have responsibility for establishing a lawful regulated hemp and medicinal ganja industry.

  • Indonesia's executions: Drugs diplomacy in a diplomatic crisis?

    In 2007 the Indonesian constitutional court cited the international drug trafficking treaty of 1988 to justify such killings
    The Huffington Post (UK web)
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    All diplomatic efforts earlier this month to save Brazilian and Dutch citizens from execution in Indonesia failed. Both were executed by firing squad. The harrowing final hours of Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira have since been revealed. Australia has been told that two of its citizens face imminent execution and nationals of the United Kingdom and elsewhere must now be losing hope. Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo has said that 'nothing whatsoever' will stop the executions.

  • St Lucia Cannabis Movement commends Jamaica for passing 'Ganja Bill'

    Recent developments in Jamaica could put pressure on St Lucia and other CARICOM states to follow suit
    Jamaica Observer
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Chairman of the Cannabis Movement of St Lucia, Andre De Caires, has welcomed Jamaica's decision to give the green light to the so-called Ganja Bill, but chided authorities in St Lucia for dragging their feet on the issue. “I feel more angry than vindicated,” De Caires told reporters adding that he had been advocating for years for the decriminalization of marijuana here, to no avail. Pointing to the current economic challenges facing St Lucia, he said that decriminalizing marijuana could be this country’s salvation.

  • Report illustrates dynamics of Colombia's domestic drug trade

    InSight Crime
    Wednesday, 25 February, 2015

    Colombia-DrugOllaA recent analysis on the relationship between local drug markets and violence and crime in Colombia illustrates the dynamics driving the domestic drug trade, and provides recommendations for comprehensive government interventions designed to result in long-lasting security improvements.

  • Marijuana activists push legalization of medical cannabis in Costa Rica

    Robert Isenberg
    The Tico Times (Costa Rica)
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    TicoTimesPien Metaal, who follows Latin American drug law reform ... told The Tico Times ... that legalizing medical marijuana in Costa Rica “would clearly send  a message that can spark a debate in the region... Of course, the debate should not just be about medicinal use,” Metaal wrote, “since in fact recreational use is the largest actually existing phenomena, [for] which simple possession and use are being criminalized and prosecuted.”

  • Ganja law gets green light

    Lawmakers pass anticipated legislation that reduces possession of small quantities to a petty offence and paves way for medical cannabis industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    The much anticipated amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as the ganja law, has been passed in the House of Representatives of Jamaica. The Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, defended the bill. The act will decriminalise small amounts of marijuana and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical cannabis industry on the island. Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana will be a non-arrestable, ticketable offence, that attracts no criminal record.

  • Alaska becomes third US state to legalise recreational marijuana use

    Softening of law follows similar move by Colorado and Washington states, but smoking in public and buying and selling drug remains illegal
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Alaska has made smoking, growing and owning small amounts of marijuana legal, becoming the third US state to decriminalise recreational use. The Republican-leaning state, which narrowly passed the measure in November, followed similar moves by Colorado and Washington states, reflecting a rapidly shifting legal landscape for the drug. It remains illegal under federal law. Anyone aged 21 or older can now possess up to an ounce of marijuana and can grow up to six marijuana plants, three of which can be flowering. (See also: Baked Alaska)

  • February 23: A big day for Uruguay’s marijuana experiment

    A better-articulated enforcement strategy is needed in Uruguay
    The Pan-American Post
    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Uruguay’s experiment with legal domestic cannabis cultivation is about to enter a new phase, marking a key opportunity for the country to demonstrate what an effective enforcement model for the law will look like in the future. Until now, Uruguayan cannabis-growers have been allowed to register their existing plants with authorities, but moving forward they will have to obtain prior permission to legally possess the six flowering female plants permitted under the law.

  • Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say

    New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Compared to other recreational drugs -- including alcohol -- marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use. Those are the topline findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.

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