Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Greece eyes pot of gold as medicinal cannabis licensed

    Thousands of patients in Greece are thought to use cannabis for a range of serious medical conditions
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, November 19, 2018

    Greece issued the first licences to private companies for growing medicinal cannabis in the country, part of an attempt to tap a burgeoning market worth billions. Greece legalised cannabis for medical use last year and in March lifted a ban on growing and producing it. Two licences were granted on Monday, and another 12 will be issued by the end of this year, the Economy and Development Ministry said. "There is huge interest, mainly from Canada and Israel ... some of them (potential investors) are huge," Stergios Pitsiorlas, the deputy economy minister, told a news conference. Legalising cannabis for recreational purposes is not under consideration, Pitsiorlas said in response to a question.

  • Head of Caricom Commission calls for change in cannabis laws

    There has also been an marked increase in public support for a change in legislation around the region
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Monday, November 19, 2018

    rose marie belle antoineChairperson of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Commission on Marijuana, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, has called for a change in the region's cannabis laws, as the majority of Caribbean governments continue to urge caution on the way forward. Belle Antoine said following the Commission's two-and-a-half-year public consultation she had now taken a firm position on the matter. "After reviewing all of the evidence, looking at all of the laws, listening to people in the region, I am personally committed and quite clear in my mind that the law needs to change,” she said, adding that this change could be through legalisation or decriminalisation. “I personally feel it should be legalisation,” she said, noting the health and economic benefits.

  • Here's what's behind Mexico's radical move toward legalizing marijuana during its war on drugs

    The new law would allow individuals to grow up to 20 marijuana plants and produce up to 17 ounces of the drug each year
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Sunday, November 18, 2018

    Mexico may legalize marijuana, a radical shift for a country whose prohibition on narcotics has been at the heart of its long and violent war against drug traffickers. Legislation submitted to Congress by the party of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would regulate cannabis, allowing it to be grown, sold and consumed for recreational use. Proponents of legalization say it would reduce bloodshed in Mexico by weakening drug cartels and freeing up police officers and prosecutors to focus on more serious crimes. But the proposal has critics, including the Catholic Church, which holds significant sway in Mexican politics. A poll in Mexico last year showed a majority of respondents opposed legalizing marijuana. (See also: Drug law reform comes to Mexico)

  • Studie zu legalem Cannabis: Fiskus könnte 2,4 Milliarden Euro einnehmen

    Was würde eine Freigabe für deutsche Staatskassen bedeuten? Eine Studie des Hanfverbands verspricht ein Milliardenplus
    Der Spiegel (Germany)
    Friday, November 16, 2018

    2,39 Milliarden Euro - jährlich. So viel könnte der Fiskus durch die Legalisierung von Cannabis pro Jahr einnehmen und einsparen, unterm Strich. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine Studie für den Deutschen Hanfverband (DHV), der gerne die Politik von den Vorteilen einer Legalisierung überzeugen möchte. Deshalb hat der Verband ein Autorenteam um Justus Haucap gebeten, die Folgen fürs Staatssäckel zu berechnen. Haucap ist Professor an der Universität Düsseldorf und war früher Vorsitzender der Monopolkommission. Knapp 2,39 Milliarden Euro - wie entsteht diese Summe? Sie setzt sich zusammen aus Steuereinnahmen und Kosteneinsparungen. (Mehr dazu: Nüchterne Bilanz: Cannabis-Verbot kostet jährlich 2,66 Milliarden Euro)

  • Des associations étrillent le projet d’amende pour usage de stupéfiants

    La mesure, promesse de campagne d’Emmanuel Macron, prévoit une sanction de 200 euros pour les consommateurs de drogues
    Le Monde (France)
    Mercredi, 14 novembre 2018

    Réforme « inutile et injuste », « combat d’arrière-garde », « échec annoncé »… Les représentants de huit organisations ont étrillé le projet de création d’une amende forfaitaire pour usage de stupéfiant, dont le cannabis. La mesure figure dans le projet de réforme de la justice qui doit être examiné à l’Assemblée nationale. Elle prévoit la possibilité pour les policiers et gendarmes d’infliger directement une amende de 200 euros à des consommateurs de drogue, sans toucher à la loi de 1970 qui fait de l’usage de stupéfiant un délit pénal, passible d’un an de prison et de 3 750 euros d’amende. Son objectif est de décharger forces de l’ordre et magistrats d’une procédure chronophage alors que près de 140 000 personnes ont été interpellées en 2016 pour usage de stupéfiant. (Voir aussi: Drogues: rencontre avec ces policiers qui réclament la dépénalisation)

  • Pot approved for research, medical use

    The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has to determine areas where marijuana can be used or possessed, as well as areas where it can be grown
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    The cabinet approved a draft amendment to the 1979 Narcotics Act to legalise cannabis for medical and research purposes in Thailand. However, all use of the drug will be kept under strict control. Government. Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said the amended version of the act will "level up" marijuana to a Category 2 drug from its current Category 5 status. Mr Buddhipongse said this means the draft amendment to the law will allow the use, import and export, as well as possession of marijuana exclusively for medical purposes. (See also: Cabinet gives green signal for medical use of marijuana but seeks 5-year review)

  • Police drugs lead 'impressed' by cannabis clubs

    There are about 140 cannabis clubs in the UK - but it is thought only about 25 or so are active
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    uk cannabis clubHardyal Dhindsa, who is the lead on substance abuse for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, has said the war on drugs is not working. He said it was time to look at other ways of tackling drug addiction and use. Mr Dhindsa, who is also the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Derbyshire, had previously met three people involved in cannabis clubs to discuss how they worked. He praised the clubs' self-regulation. "What impressed me was that they are offering support, it is regulated, they have got a membership," he said. "They are not allowing people to make profit out of this and allowing for personal use, which many people do in this country irrespective of what the law is."

  • Local officials from across US call for federal marijuana rescheduling

    NLC has adopted a number of less far-reaching cannabis resolutions over the past five years
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    The National League of Cities (NLC), representing over 19,000 cities, towns and villages across the United States is calling on the federal government to take action on marijuana reform and protect states where cannabis is legal. The NLC passed two resolutions related to cannabis at its conference. The first resolution focuses on marijuana businesses’ access to financial services and implores the Trump administration and Congress to “resolve the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws” and “provide guidance to financial institutions that results in the cannabis market having access to the federally regulated banking system.” The second resolution calls for the removal of cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.

  • Green gold rush: Thailand, Malaysia race to legalise medical marijuana

    Support for liberalisation is not unanimous: China, South Korea and Japan last month warned citizens visiting Canada to avoid cannabis and Singapore maintains a blanket ban
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Asia has the toughest penalties against drug use and trafficking but the legal landscape is shifting in several countries where cannabis once deemed ruinous to young lives, is emerging as a lucrative industry. In Thailand parliament has set in motion plans to legalise the drug for medical use. This would position the country as the epicentre of the burgeoning industry and advocates claim Thailand’s legal marijuana market could make US$5 billion by 2024. Malaysia, which recently scrapped the death penalty, has begun informal cabinet discussions on legalising medical marijuanag. The “green gold rush” has begun and Asian nations are eager to share in the windfall. (Thailand: Marijuana bill shortened to allow quicker legislation)

  • Cannabis industry says it needs more approved growers to meet Canadian demand

    The bottleneck can be traced back to the federal government’s pace in approving producers’ ability to market their harvests
    Calgary Herald (Canada)
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    More fully-licensed cannabis growers and cultivation space are needed to meet a voracious demand for legal marijuana, a spokesman for the industry said. That means more licences for both producers and their grow areas need to be issued by Health Canada, said Allan Rewak, executive director of the Cannabis Council of Canada. Earlier this year, Postmedia reported that Health Canada was rejecting three licence applications for every one it approved, over concerns some of those requesting them had been involved in the black market. Millions of square feet of production capacity is being brought on line, which should help ease or erase supply gaps, said Rewak.

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