Drugs in the news

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  • Health Canada to allow safety testing of medical marijuana

    Hundreds of storefront dispensaries have sprung up across the country, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, remain illegal
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Health Canada is easing its prohibitions against safety testing of medical marijuana, which will allow registered growers and patients to have the product scrutinized at federally certified laboratories to ensure it is safe. The federal government plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use next year, and the move will give added protection in an unregulated market to consumers, many of whom worry that some marijuana being sold as medicine could contain harmful contaminants. The shift follows a Globe and Mail investigation into the contents of marijuana. (See also Pot dispensaries shut out of Health Canada's new safety-testing rules)

  • Un rapport interministériel préconise le recours à l’amende pour l’usage de cannabis

    De fait, l’usage du cannabis semble s’être banalisé en France
    Le Monde (France)
    Jeudi, 11 août 2016

    france-legalisationRéunis sous l’égide de la mission interministérielle de lutte contre les drogues et les conduites addictives (Mildeca), des représentants des ministères de la justice, de l’intérieur, des finances et de la santé sont arrivés à la conclusion qu’il serait pertinent de faire évoluer la loi de 1970 réprimant la consommation de cannabis. Constatant l’inefficacité de la législation actuelle, ils se sont prononcés à l’unanimité en faveur de la suppression de la peine d’un an de prison pour simple usage de drogue et pour la mise en place d’une contravention de 5e classe pour usage de stupéfiant, avec une amende forfaitaire dont le montant pourrait être de l’ordre de 300 euros.

  • Marijuana legalization in California

    Despite schisms, supporters are certain Prop 64 is worth it
    The Influence (US)
    Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    This November, a marijuana legalization measure will be put to voters in the most populous and influential US state. If Californians vote “yes” on Proposition 64 – which beat out 21 competing cannabis legalization initiatives to make it onto the ballot – their decision will resonate far beyond the state’s borders. Why is a small but vocal group of pro-legalization activists determined to #StopProp64? “The marijuana community has always been incredibly fractured,” says Lynn Lyman, California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), one of the organizations behind Prop 64.

  • DEA rejects attempt to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana

    Marijuana again failed an analysis conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and NIDA
    NPR (US)
    Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    cannabis-cultThe Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave "enormous weight" to conclusions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States". (See also: DEA decides not to loosen restrictions on marijuana, keeping it schedule 1 (with heroin))

  • Most of Canada’s marijuana growers are otherwise law-abiding: advocates

    Government data show just 5 per cent of marijuana criminal cases over an eight-year period had links to organized crime or street gangs
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Tuesday, August 9, 2016

    canada-cannabis-ottawaContrary to RCMP wisdom, organized crime groups play a relatively small role in Canada’s underground cannabis trade. The majority of people behind illegal grow operations and dispensaries are otherwise law-abiding, a group of academics and small-scale marijuana businesses have told the federal legalization task force. A Federal Court judge questioned the credibility of the RCMP’s expert witness on illegal marijuana cultivation. In his ruling, the judge noted that the Mounties had no hard data to back up their claims that home growers licensed under Canada’s old medical system were magnets for violent thieves and organized crime.

  • Festival drug checking is here, but it now needs to be expanded across the country

    Getting the message out about drug risks is difficult, and can backfire if not done well
    The Conversation (UK)
    Monday, August 8, 2016

    A step towards safer drug use came about recently with the UK’s first drug-checking service at the Secret Garden Party festival. Operated by The Loop charity, the service provided hi-tech analyses of drugs submitted by festival-goers. In addition to the known toxic effects of street drugs, users are exposed to risks arising from the uncertainties of the illegal market. In the UK, for example, there are ecstasy tablets circulating that contain harmfully high doses of MDMA and other more dangerous drugs, such as PMA/PMMA.

  • Gallup: More than 33 million American adults currently use marijuana

    Marijuana use could become more prevalent than cigarette use in just a few years' time
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, August 8, 2016

    us-flag-cannabisA new Gallup poll finds that percent of American adults who say they currently smoke marijuana has nearly doubled over the past three years. In 2013, only 7 percent of adults said they were marijuana smokers. When Gallup asked again in July of this year, 13 percent admitted to current marijuana use. That works out to more than 33 million adult marijuana users in the U.S. If America's marijuana users resided in one state, it would be bigger than Texas and second only to California in population.

  • Thailand’s novel approach to drugs could offer lesson to neighbors

    Decades of waging war against narcotics had been a failure; usage had actually increased
    Radio Free Asia (US)
    Monday, August 8, 2016

    Forward thinking is not what one has come to expect from the conservative military regime running Thailand for the past two years. But a government which otherwise likes to suppresses dissent and emphasize the need for law and order, has proposed what for southeast Asia is a novel answer to what is seen as a major problem: drugs. It also provides a welcome contrast to the extra-judicial slaughter of alleged drug dealers unleashed in the Philippines by newly-elected President Rodrigo Duterte. (See also: A failing drug war triggers new approach in Thailand and Myanmar)

  • Rodrigo Duterte links 150 judges and politicians to drugs trade

    Philippine president fires police and military officers named in nationally televised speech
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, August 7, 2016

    phillipines-drugwarThe Philippine president has publicly linked more than 150 judges, mayors, lawmakers and military personnel to illegal drugs, revoked their gun licences and asked them to surrender for investigation. Rodrigo Duterte promptly fired members of the military and police he named and ordered government security personnel to be withdrawn from politicians he identified in his nationally televised speech. Duterte’s latest move ratchets up his war against drugs, which has left hundreds of suspected dealers dead and more than 4,400 arrested. Nearly 600,000 people have surrendered to authorities.

  • How legalizing marijuana might stave off 'Spice' epidemics

    European nations with drug decriminalization, such as the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, have the lowest prevalence of synthetic cannabinoid use
    Motherboard (US)
    Friday, August 5, 2016

    spiceK2 overdoses in Brooklyn sent 33 people to hospital. The rise of K2 could be fueled by a twist on the "gateway drug" theory: it’s not marijuana use, but marijuana criminalization, that could lead many to turn to synthetic cannabinoids. Just like marijuana activists are championing studies that suggest cannabis reforms could lead to decreased heroin and opioid use, stopping the spread of K2 could become a rallying point for the marijuana movement. As Adam Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey put it, "In some regions, it could be the best argument for legalization in quite some time."

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