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  • U.S. has been quietly helping Mexico with new, high-tech ways to fight opium

    The Drug Enforcement Administration said in a report last year that Mexico supplies 93 percent of all heroin consumed in the United States
    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    In the past few opiate-soaked years, U.S. officials say, nearly all the heroin coursing through American cities has come from one place: Mexico. “There are still a lot of question marks around the figures,” said Martin Jelsma, director of the drug program at the Transnational Institute, a research organization based in Amsterdam, and the co-author of a forthcoming study on Mexican and Colombian poppy production. Equally challenging, Jelsma said, is identifying the source country of a heroin sample. He doubts that the DEA can always tell whether heroin is made from Mexican or Colombian poppy, given that Mexican drug traffickers in some cases have hired Colombians to teach heroin-production techniques, so the product is similar.

  • U.S. marijuana friends and foes cautious at signs of softer Trump

    The agreement made it "even more politically difficult for Sessions to initiate a crackdown"
    Reuters (UK)
    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    us buying marijuana dispensaryBoth advocates and opponents of legalized marijuana reacted with caution to signs from the White House that growers in U.S. states where the drug is permitted would be shielded from federal prosecution, saying it was too early to know the final impact. U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado announced that he had convinced President Trump, a fellow Republican, to protect from federal interference those state laws that legalize marijuana for certain uses. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who opposes marijuana use, rescinded a memo issued by Obama, that dialled back enforcement of the federal ban in states that legalized the drug. That decision unnerved the fast-growing U.S. marijuana industry, which has been legalized in more than half of all states.

  • 'I will arrest you': Duterte threatens ICC lawyer over 'war on drugs'

    Duterte has cited numerous reasons why he believes the ICC has no jurisdiction over him
    SBS News (Australia)
    Friday, April 13, 2018

    rodrigo dutertePhilippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor if she conducts activities in his country, arguing it was no longer an ICC member so the court had no right to do any investigating. Hitting out at what he said was an international effort to paint him as a “ruthless and heartless violator of human rights”, Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the ICC’s Rome Statute a month ago and promised to continue his crackdown on drugs, in which thousands have been killed. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in February announced the start of a preliminary examination into a complaint by a Philippine lawyer which accuses Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity, and of killing criminals as a policy.

  • Japan reports sharp increase in marijuana arrests, triggering concerns for drug issues seen in the West

    There was an almost 20 per cent increase between 2016 and 2017, as more youth say they tried it out of curiosity
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Friday, April 13, 2018

    Japan has seen a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests, especially among teenagers and people in their 20s, prompting warnings of drug-related issues typically associated with the more tolerant West. But the number remains relatively low for a country of more than 127 million people. National Police Agency figures show 3,008 people were arrested on marijuana changes in 2017, up almost 20 per cent from 2,536 cases in 2016. The spike marks a new record for the largely drug-intolerant country and comes as arrests for hallucinogenic substances are declining – apparently due to a police crackdown on “dangerous drugs”.

  • Mexican states should start legalizing marijuana - tourism minister

    Drug policy is one of the major issues in Mexico's July 1 presidential election
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Taking a lead from the United States, Mexico should allow states to begin legalizing marijuana while broader efforts are in limbo, Tourism minister Enrique de la Madrid said, as the country seeks ways to tackle record gang violence. De la Madrid, confronting rising lawlessness in and around the resort cities of Cancun and Los Cabos, said it made no sense for Mexico to maintain prohibition given permissive U.S. policies in states such as California. "I think in Mexico we should move towards regulating it at state level," he said, calling it "illogical" to divert funds from fighting kidnapping, rape and murder to arrest people using marijuana. (See also: Former Mexican President Fox calls for opium poppy legalization)

  • Can excessive marijuana use lead to psychosis?

    Correlation is not the same as causation
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, April 11, 2018

    Psychosis is quite rare – fewer than three in 100 people will experience a psychotic episode in their lifetime. People who smoke or otherwise consume cannabis, especially in significant quantities, have a higher incidence. Some people have vulnerability, a genetic predisposition to psychosis, and cannabis can be a trigger, as can other things like trauma or amphetamines. Severe mental illness like schizophrenia tends to arise in late teens and early adulthood, the same time young people tend to experiment with drugs, so the psychosis can be coincidental. Finally, many people with severe mental illnesses that feature psychotic episodes self-medicate, with cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis.

  • Massachusetts is the new testbed for cannabis legalization

    The Cannabis Control Commission will allow small “craft” cultivators to cultivate collectively
    Forbes (US)
    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    For the past several years, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have served as the testbeds for policies governing state-legal cannabis markets. But now it’s Massachusetts’ turn. Massachusetts, whose residents voted in 2016 to legalize cannabis for adult use, is on the cusp of implementing experimental, never-before-seen rules that will be closely watched by both the cannabis industry and regulators around the country. Last month, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, the regulatory agency tasked with overseeing the rollout and implementation of Massachusetts’ new adult-use cannabis industry, released the final rules that will govern the market.

  • Senate Foreign Affairs Cmte won’t have time to examine how cannabis bill will affect international treaties

    It is rare and may be unprecedented for the Senate to send a bill other than a budget bill to multiple committees
    The Hill Times (Canada)
    Monday, April 9, 2018

    The Senate committees are under a ‘tight timeline' to review the cannabis bill, and Conservatives say they could save major cannabis amendments for the final debate. Meanwhile, Senators are still hashing out whether or how to change the bill, while Canadians flood their email inboxes. The Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee won’t be able to examine all the ways the government’s cannabis legalization bill will affect Canada’s international treaties before reporting back to the Senate by May 1, says Saskatchewan Conservative Senator Raynell Andreychuk, who chairs the committee.

  • Cannabis : le gouvernement souhaite mettre en place une amende de 300 euros pour les usagers

    Le gouvernement s’oriente vers un système d’amende forfaitaire
    Le Monde (France)
    Mardi, 3 avril 2018

    Le gouvernement avait annoncé, en janvier, vouloir mettre en place un système d’amende forfaitaire pour usage de stupéfiants, et en particulier de cannabis, que pourraient infliger directement les forces de l’ordre sur la voie publique. On connaît maintenant le montant que pourrait représenter cette amende : 300 euros. Le choix du gouvernement va au-delà des préconisations du rapport parlementaire consacré à « l’application d’une procédure d’amende forfaitaire au délit d’usage illicite de stupéfiants » et qui envisageait une amende comprise entre 150 euros et 200 euros. (Lire aussi: Légaliser, dépénaliser ou non le cannabis : le débat résumé en une conversation SMS | Cannabis : Esther Benbassa dénonce « une pénalisation à deux vitesses »)

  • Regulated marijuana production test will include health warnings

    The aim of the experiment is to try to remove the grey area between the sale of small amounts of cannabis at licenced coffee shops and marijuana cultivation which is illegal
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    The Dutch government’s experiment with regulated marijuana is unlikely to start before the end of 2019 at the earliest and will run for five years and two months, the Volkskrant reported. The trials will go hand in hand with a publicity campaign warning people about the risks associated with smoking marijuana and coffee shops which sell the ‘legal’ drug will have to actively inform their clients about potential health problems. The Volkskrant bases its claims on a draft of the law legalising regulated cultivation which has been sent out to consultation to various organisations, including the police, public prosecution department and local authority association. (See also: Maximum of 10 Dutch municipalities to test regulated cannabis | Coffee shops react with caution)

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