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  • Pot luck

    Mapping America's marijuana muddle
    The Economist (US)
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    us-legal-status-cannabis-20141122Smoking, growing, buying, selling or merely possessing cannabis is a criminal offence, according to America's federal government. Ask the states, however, and you will get almost 50 different answers. In 13 of them possession of the drug has been decriminalised, meaning that tokers face only minor penalties if caught. In 23 it has been legalised for medical use. And in four—including, following ballot initiatives earlier this month, Alaska and Oregon—cannabis has been legalised outright. In all only 22 states, fewer than half the total, continue to treat the drug as criminal contraband under all circumstances.

  • Spice overdoses on the rise in Sweden

    The Swedish Poisons Information Centre has reported more than 300 overdoses caused by the synthetic marijuana known as Spice in 2014
    The Local (Sweden)
    Wednesday, Novembefr 19, 2014

    The statistics were released after six teenagers in Gothenburg were rushed to hospital after taking the drug in excessive quantities. Police have opened an investigation into the matter, while two of the teens remain in a serious condition in the hospital. National broadcaster SVT asked young people in Gothenburg for their feedback on the rise of Spice. Many reported that the drug was cheap and relatively easy to get a hold of.

  • Why Congress should legalize pot

    Federal prohibition creates problems even if enforcement is nominal
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, Naovember 19, 2014

    obama-changeFederal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition. So far, the federal government has mostly taken a hands-off approach to state medicalizations and legalizations, but in January 2017, the country will have a new president. That person could order the attorney general to enforce federal prohibition regardless of state law. Whether that will happen is hard to forecast. If more states legalize marijuana and public opinion continues its support, Washington may hesitate to push back.

  • Fatal attraction: Brownfield's flexibility doctrine and global drug policy reform

    Martin Jelsma Dave Bewley-Taylor Damon Barrett
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    State-level cannabis reforms, which gathered steam this month, have exposed the inability of the United States to abide by the terms of the legal bedrock of the global drug control system; the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This is something that should force a much-needed conversation about reform to long- standing international agreements. But while ostensibly 'welcoming' the international drug policy reform debate, it is a conversation the US federal government actually wishes to avoid.

  • Is ‘Big Marijuana’ inevitable?

    What’s the right approach to legalizing recreational marijuana?
    The New York Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    It looks like the use of recreational marijuana is heading down the path of legalization across the country. Voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia approved legalizing measures on Nov. 4, but with key differences. Some say a profit-driven model for legalization runs the risk of increasing marijuana use, while others argue that a regulated market is the best way to keep use safe for consumers. What’s the right approach to legalizing recreational marijuana?

  • Positives Echo auf Cannabis-Modellversuch

    Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Die CDU will den von der Gesundheitsdezernentin Rosemarie Heilig angestrebten Modellversuch zur Entkriminalisierung von Cannabis erst einmal in Ruhe prüfen. Die SPD begrüßt dagegen den Modellversuch und drückt aufs Tempo. Die Experten hatten sich auf der Ersten Frankfurter Fachtagung zu Cannabis einhellig geäußert, dass das Betäubungsmittelgesetz, das den Cannabiskonsum verbietet, versagt hat. Es habe keine abschreckende Wirkung, der Cannabiskonsum habe zugenommen, auf dem Schwarzmarkt seien gefährliche Beimischungen unterwegs. (Mehr dazu: Drogenkonsum: Ex-Oberstaatsanwalt fordert Straffreiheit | Polizei fordert Spielraum bei Haschisch-Delikten)

  • Stir it up: Bob Marley to headline corporate cannabis brand

    NBC News (US)
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    The Marley family and a Seattle-based private equity firm announced the creation of Marley Natural, "a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy" of one of marijuana’s most devoted sons. Marley Natural will look like a modern consumer product, cleanly packaged and marketed with the help of the same agency that branded New Balance and Starbucks Coffee. The cannabis will be sold as "loose packed" buds, oils or concentrate. "This is what the end of prohibition looks like," said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, which owns Marley Natural. (See also: Riding high: Is pot poised for a (legal) business boom | Marley Natural: The weed that manages to sell out both Bob Marley and Jamaica)

  • California’s Attorney General thinks legal weed is inevitable

    Kamala Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, said she had “no moral opposition” to marijuana legalization. But there are a lot of details to figure out
    BuzzFeed (US web)
    Monday, November 17, 2014

    California was one of the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, but so far hasn’t legalized it for recreational use, like Colorado, Washington. “I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I’m the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective. I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized,” she said. “I don’t think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out,” Harris said. “I think there’s a certain inevitability about it.”

  • Auf dem Weg zur Legalisierung

    Modellversuch zur Entkriminalisierung der Droge
    Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
    Monday, November 17, 2014

    rosemarie-heiligGesundheitsdezernentin Rosemarie Heilig (Grüne) hat sich auf der Ersten Frankfurter Fachtagung zu Cannabis für einen Modellversuch zur Entkriminalisierung der Droge ausgesprochen. Damit soll vor allem der Jugendschutz verbessert werden. Die Städte sollten nach Wegen suchen, um den illegalen Handel einzudämmen. Das im Betäubungsmittelgesetz verankerte Verbot von Cannabis habe sein Ziel nicht erreicht. (Mehr dazu: Niemand will Cannabis im Supermarkt verkaufen | Experten fordern Cannabis-Liberalisierung | Cannabis-Konferenz in Frankfurt)

  • Left to flourish, cannabis farms see profits fall

    Farmers’ cannabis crops are no longer targeted by the Army
    The Daily Star (Lebanon)
    Monday, November 17, 2014

    For the second year in a row, cannabis farmers in the Bekaa Valley have been able to reap their harvests without being harassed or prosecuted by the security forces. But now farmers are facing a new problem: a flooded market and falling prices. The northern Bekaa Valley has been subjected to shelling and threats of attacks by the Syrian rebels, and as a result, the Army and other security forces have been forced to concentrate their efforts on neutralizing the security and military danger posed by the rebels in this area.

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