Drugs in the news

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  • Decriminalize drug use and public health

    Drug policies should emphasize health, not punishment, says Dr. Brian Emerson, a medical consultant with the BC Ministry of Health
    CMAJ (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Canada's war on drugs has caused serious harm, particularly for the nation's most vulnerable, according to a Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) policy paper. The report, A New Approach to Managing Psychoactive Substances, calls for the decriminalization of drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine, as well as strategies to reduce harm and address the social conditions underlying problem substance use.

  • Ganja advocates demand gov't develops 12-point plan for the industry

    Th Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Sunday, May 25, 2014

    At the first Cannabis Conference held at the University of the West Indies, stakeholders have called for the criminal records of persons convicted for smoking small amounts of ganja to be expunged and are calling for the laws to be amended to allow for the personal use of small amounts of ganja in private. But while they want ganja to be decriminalised for personal use by adults and for religious purposes, Government must maintain its ban on the smoking of all substances in public and must put in place safeguards and education programmes to reduce juvenile use and demand for ganja.

  • Going to pot: legalised cannabis edges nearer in west after US states end ban

    Debate among health experts switches to regulation of cannabis as drug policy in US, Uruguay and Spain flouts UN conventions
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Legalisation of cannabis is making slow but unstoppable progress across much of the developed world, many experts believe, following the end of prohibition in two US states. In Amsterdam, long famous for its coffee shops, international experts gathering to discuss cannabis regulation said the international conventions, once so heavily policed by the US, would now be increasingly flouted. Already many countries, most notably the Netherlands and Spain, have bypassed the rules.

  • Rome mayor backs decriminalizing cannabis

    The Local (Italy)
    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said he was in favour of decriminalizing cannabis, calling for a national and international reform on drug laws in order to fight organized crime. said he was “in favour of the possibility of the liberalization of cannabis for medical or personal use.” He was speaking at the Eighth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy in Rome. Beyond the capital he also advocated broader reform of drug laws both in Italy and abroad. (See also: Italy relaxes cannabis penalties)

  • Cannabis regulation: high time for change?

    Rebecca Coombes
    BMJ (UK)
    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Cannabis is the world’s most widely used illicit drug. But for how much longer? In a short space of time we have moved from absolute global prohibition of the drug, with the emergence of legalised and regulated production and retail not in just one nation (Uruguay) but also, surprisingly, in two US states (Colorado and Washington). Do these and other new permissive models in Spain and Belgium, for example, point to a tipping point in the debate? Could cannabis step out of the shadows and join the ranks of alcohol and tobacco, the world’s most popular legal and regulated drugs?

  • Why reports of Uruguay's 'tax free' marijuana are misleading

    InSight Crime
    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    A new report stating that Uruguay will not tax the sale or production of marijuana has received widespread attention, yet the depiction of the legalization legislation focusing on undercutting the black market and not raising revenue is inaccurate. According to a May 19 report from Reuters, the tiny South American nation -- which became to the first in the world to legalize the drug in December 2013 and released details of the legislation in early May -- will exempt marijuana from production and sales taxes as it attempts to undercut the black market economy.

  • L'émergence d'un cannabis made in France

    Le Monde (France)
    Mardi, 13 may 2014

    Les consommateurs du cannabis en France préférant de plus en plus l'herbe, facile à cultiver en France, à la résine marocaine, le marché s'adapte, rendant le cannabis toujours plus disponible sur le territoire. On trouve de l'herbe partout et, surtout, toute l'année, selon les remontées de Trend, dispositif d'observation du terrain de l'Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies (OFDT). Une preuve de l'essor de la culture d'intérieur, qui permet quatre récoltes par an. L'herbe vient des Pays-Bas, peut-être d'Albanie, mais aussi de France. Et plus aucun département n'est épargné.

  • Colorado lawmakers approve plan for pot banking

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Frustrated by the cash-heavy aspect of its new marijuana industry, Colorado is trying a long-shot bid to create the world's first financial system devoted to the pot business. But Colorado's plan to move the weed industry away from dank-smelling cash to easily auditable banking accounts is a Hail Mary pass that won't work, industry and regulatory officials agree.

  • Nobel economists, others urge end to 'war on drugs'

    Reuters
    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    Global efforts to thwart the drugs trade have failed and the time has come for a radical rethink, according to a group of Nobel-prize winning economists, a former U.S secretary of state, the deputy prime minister of Britain and others. "It is time to end the ‘war on drugs’ and massively redirect resources toward effective evidence-based policies underpinned by rigorous economic analysis," the group said in a foreword to a new academic report on global anti-drugs policies Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy of the London School of Economics (LSE).

  • Uruguay unveils marijuana regulation details

    Law will be closely monitored throughout the hemisphere, as more countries mull drug policy alternatives
    Al Jazeera America
    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    The Uruguayan government has unveiled long-awaited regulations for its recreational marijuana market — a move that steers the tiny nation of 3.3 million people away from the prohibitionist war on drugs, with its disastrous consequences in Latin America, and toward a drug policy based on improving public health and security. Although Uruguay’s Congress approved the measure in December — becoming the first country in the world to legalize recreational pot use — it was just this week that the government of President José Mujica announced all the details.

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The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibtion

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The History of Cannabis in the UN Drug Control System and Options For Reform

The question facing the international community today is no longer whether or not there is a need to reassess and modernize the UN drug control system, but rather when and how to do it.

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