Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Dutch weed experiment: The ongoing fight to regulate famed coffee shops

    The real Achilles’ heel of the coffee shop policy is the absence of any regulation of the production or wholesale of cannabis products — the notorious “backdoor paradox”
    BigBuds Magazine
    Friday, January 11, 2019

    When the Dutch government announced in October 2017 plans for an experiment with regulated cannabis production to supply the country’s famous coffee shops, the cannabis industry cautiously welcomed the idea. After more than two decades of increasing repression and criminalization, it seemed the government had finally turned the page and was taking its first step toward firm regulation. However, the initial enthusiasm has since faded as the rules and limitations of the experiment have become clear. The umbrella organization Cannabis Connect favours "phased implementation" — any coffee shop can join the experiment, and participating shops can maintain their current assortment while gradually adding new regulated cannabis to the menu.

  • Enjoy it while you can Cannabis Canada, your edge is already eroding

    Once America federally legalizes, Canadian producers ‘might as well be growing tomatoes’, insiders say
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Friday, January 11, 2019

    A number of industry insiders who argue that the level of government control and intervention in the cannabis landscape in Canada, coupled with the shifting political climate south of the border in favour of federal legalization, will slowly erode Canada’s current place at the top of the cannabis leaderboard. The largest cannabis companies — Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc., Tilray Inc., and Aphria Inc. — are Canadian and they are already carving out footprints and recognition for themselves in Europe, South America and even Africa. But cannabis industry players that straddle investments north and south of the border are acutely aware of the differences between different individual U.S. states and Canada when it comes to the legalization of cannabis.

  • M5S cannabis bill won't pass - Salvini

    Two M5S Senators filed private member's bills on the recreational use of the drug
    ANSA (Italy)
    Friday, January 11, 2019

    A bill approving the recreational use of cannabis in Italy filed by government partner the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) "will never pass", the head of the other partner, the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. "It will never pass and it's not in the government contract," said Salvini. Two M5S Senators, Matteo Mantero e Lello Ciampolillo, filed private member's bills on the recreational use of the drug. The proposal has raised a hail of protest from the League and the centre-right opposition. (See also: Italian cabinet’s conflicts on cannabis policy)

  • Swiss pharmacies want to sell medical and recreational marijuana

    Zurich pharmacies want to start selling marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in the future
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Friday, January 11, 2019

    The President of the Pharmacy Association in Zurich, Valeria Dora, says that more and more people in Switzerland are consuming cannabis, and that selling it legally would provide users with safe products and combat criminals profiting on the black market. The group has penned a position paper stating its desire to decriminalise marijuana for medical and recreational use. Experts have praised the move, saying it is the right thing to do and that the necessary infrastructure and staff already exists. Dora, who represents around 110 Zurich-based pharmacies, says the reality of cannabis use in Switzerland cannot be ignored any longer.

  • AMOR: Legalise marijuana

    Activists unsatisfied with moves to decriminalise plant
    Newsday (Trinidad & Tobago)
    Thursday, January 10, 2018

    trinidad cannabis legalize All Mansions Of Rastafari (AMOR) said it was not enough to decriminalise marijuana in Trinidad and Tobago, but it should also be legalised. Attorney Jesse Daniel said a directive should be issued towards law enforcement officers not to arrest and charge people for small quantities of marijuana until the law was amended. Charging people for possession of marijuana for personal use only clogged the judicial system and was a waste of manpower. He said allowing people to carry a small amount of the herb would give the police more time and space to go after the hardened criminals. AMOR is also asking for the expunging of the records of all those who have been convicted of marijuana-related offences and served their sentences.

  • Legal pot costs almost 50 per cent more than pot bought on the black market: StatCan

    The average price of a legal gram of medical or recreational pot last year was $9.70, versus $6.51 on the illicit market
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Wednesday, January 9, 2019

    cannabis topsA legal gram of cannabis in Canada costs nearly 50 per cent more than illicit pot, according to a new analysis of price quotes compiled by Statistics Canada. The average price of a legal gram of medical or non-medical weed during the fourth quarter last year was $9.70, compared to the black market price of $6.51. The conclusions were based on price quotes gathered using the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application between Oct. 17 — when adult-use pot was legalized in Canada — and Dec. 31. Roughly half of respondents indicated they bought cannabis from a legal channel, such as government-run stores or websites, based on 385 price quotes the agency deemed plausible. (See also: Canadian pot shortage could last up to three years, industry executives say)

  • Monopoly of medical cannabis not in public interest: Experts

    The concept of intellectual protection often served monopolies and should not apply to important things in people’s lives such as drugs
    The Nation (Thailand)
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019

    Authorities in Thailand overseeing a flood of patents for medical cannabis must consider the public interest, otherwise a commercial monopoly of the medicines and cultivation would result, experts warn. Advocacy group Thai Drug Watch said that the Intellectual Property Department is jeopardising public access to cannabinoid medicines and other drugs by limiting its focus to the economic benefits for big business. This would place full control over the entire product chain of medical cannabis in the hands of transnational pharmaceutical companies, it added.

  • Small farmers to begin benefitting from ganja industry

    Alternative Development Programme for the small ganja farmers to produce for the legal trade
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019

    Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that the Alternative Development Programme (ADP), which will provide an avenue for small ganja farmers to benefit from the ganja industry, will start by March 2019. The programme aims to prevent and eliminate the illicit cultivation of ganja and channel the process through legal streams. The pilot, which will commence in Accompong, St Elizabeth and Orange Hill in Westmoreland, will involve the farming of ganja to provide raw material for processors. “It is a real fear that as that [ganja] industry emerges to become more corporatised, that the original ganja man, the original farmer, could very well be left out of the gains and the benefits, when you were the ones singing the praises and the benefits from how long,” Holness said.

  • Canada legalized pot in October. But its black market is still going strong

    The shortage is driving customers back to the black market, further reinforcing it
    The Washington Post (US)
    Saturday, January 5, 2019

    The legal cannabis stores that opened here last fall still look pristine. Curious customers file in, but the shelves they peruse are often bare. Supplies are so short the stores are shuttered three days a week. A few blocks from one outlet, though, a longtime pot dealer was receiving a stream of text alerts one afternoon this winter, a sign of booming business. In a national poll Ipsos conducted for Global News a month after legalization, more than a third of Canadian cannabis users said they were still buying from their regular dealers and hadn’t even tried the legal system. Five illegal sellers in Quebec told The Washington Post their sales are slightly up.

  • Music festivals are offering to test the safety of people’s drugs, and police increasingly like the idea

    Tests raised awareness about the dangers of drug consumption
    The Washington Post (US)
    Friday, January 4, 2019

    the loopFor a long time, authorities at festivals in Australia and elsewhere almost entirely focused on preventing people from taking drugs in the first place. That approach has done little to drive down the number of drug-related deaths, however, and a mounting body of research suggests that pill-testing facilities might be a more promising strategy. Following last summer’s trial effort in Canberra, organizers said they had successfully prevented attendees from unknowingly taking hazardous substances. But in other Australian states, local governments remain opposed, even amid a recent string of deaths.

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