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  • The year in drug policy: Movement at a crossroads

    2014 cemented the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and propelled a movement into full gallop
    Al Jazeera (US)
    Saturday, December 27, 2014

    The 43-year-old war on drugs had never seen such a barrage of opposition as it did in 2014, with successful marijuana legalization initiatives in several U.S. states, California’s historic approval of sentencing reform for low level drug offenders and world leaders calling for the legal regulation of all drugs — all of which cement the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and offer unprecedented momentum going into 2015.

  • After pot legalization, focusing on a new kind of black market

    The Denver Post (US)
    Friday, December 26, 2014

    The black market for marijuana in Colorado isn't what it used to be. Nine or 10 years ago, the narrative of illicit cannabis in the state focused on illegally grown product filtering in from Mexico, California and elsewhere. Now it seems officials and experts are more concerned about Colorado-grown marijuana infiltrating other states, a trend that is seeing a significant upward trajectory. "In a lot of ways, our legal industry has become the black market for other states," said Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (See also: A Year of Legal Pot)

  • Marijuana use increases in Colorado, according to new federal survey

    The Denver Post (US)
    Friday, December 26, 2014

    As marijuana legalization took hold in Colorado, the percentage of regular cannabis users in the state jumped to the second-highest level in the US. The results come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and represent the average of estimates in 2012 and 2013. Researchers will get a better idea about marijuana use in Colorado once they are able to zoom in on data showing how many people use marijuana daily. A study commissioned by Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division this year found that people who use marijuana almost every day account for about 22 percent of cannabis users. (See also: A Year of Legal Pot)

  • Norman Baker reveals drugs proposals Theresa May stripped from report

    Lib Dem MP says government finally has evidence of ‘what works’ in relation to drug addiction, but that Tories are ignoring it
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, December 26, 2014

    Under pressure from the Lib Dems, the Home Office commissioned a report looking at the international evidence on the impact of legislation on drug use. Theresa May, the home secretary, made no secret of the fact that she had no enthusiasm for the project, and when it was published in October, with Baker taking the lead in publicising it, Conservative ministers signalled that they would ignore it. Baker revealed that the original draft had contained policy recommendations that, on May’s orders, had been removed prior to publication.

  • Cannabis farmers support calls to legalize lucrative crop

    Once a thriving multibillion-dollar business, cannabis cultivation was targeted by the Lebanese government in the early 1990s due to international pressure
    The Daily Star (Lebanon)
    Wednesday, December 24, 2014

    With the war in Syria stifling the economy and bringing in a flood of refugees in the Bekaa Valley, as well as the closure of smuggling roads and persistent state neglect, many of the farmers near Baalbek have turned to planting cannabis, a lucrative crop. But growing production and tighter border controls have also caused a glut of cannabis in Lebanon, driving down prices. Calls to legalize the drug are also gaining traction. (See also: Jumblatt renews calls to legalize marijuana)

  • Law Committee suggests drug control needs radical rethink

    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    The Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Bar Association decided to look at the available research on illicit drugs and the current government drug strategy in order to come to a view on whether law reform was necessary. In a detailed discussion paper, the committee considered options for reform. One possibility is decriminalisation of cannabis, a drug where the risk of harm, while real, appears modest compared with other illicit drugs and even alcohol and tobacco. That would have a significant impact, given that 12,000 offences for possess/use cannabis were dealt with in NSW courts in 2012-13. (Fact sheet: Cannabis and the law in Australia)

  • Lawsuit over Colorado marijuana legalization takes rare legal path

    The infrequency with which states sue other states makes it impossible to predict how the case will play out
    The Denver Post (US)
    Monday, December 22, 2014

    In suing to stop marijuana legalization in Colorado, two neighboring states have embarked down an arcane legal pathway that could take years to reach a conclusion, legal scholars say. Nebraska and Oklahoma last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out portions of Colorado's pot legalization law. The states contend that Colorado's law — and especially Colorado's licensing and regulation of marijuana stores — violates the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which says the federal law reigns when state and federal laws are in irreconcilable conflict.

  • Cannabis : pour la légalisation

    Le Monde (France)
    Vendredi, 19 decembre 2014

    Malgré son arsenal législatif, la France est le pays européen où l’usage du cannabis est le plus répandu. Une légalisation contrôlée pourrait permettre de contrôler les prix – donc une bonne part de la consommation –, de mettre en place une vraie politique de prévention, d’assécher l’essentiel du marché clandestin, enfin, par effet ricochet, de générer des recettes fiscales. Au-delà des postures mécaniques et des anathèmes moralisateurs, le sujet mérite un débat public : la légalisation du cannabis doit désormais être envisagée en France. (Cannabis : les bénéfices objectifs de la légalisation)

  • Lebanon agriculture minister urges cannabis cultivation for export

    “The planting of cannabis must be organized to benefit the state and the industrial sector, and it is one way of helping the farmers.”
    The Daily Star (Lebanon)
    Friday, December 19, 2014

    cannabis-plants-lebanonAgriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb called for the legalization of cannabis farming in Lebanon to allow the state to benefit from the revenue of its export. “We are conducting studies on [how to] organize this type of agriculture so that it becomes monitored by the state, and thus the state can buy the harvest and export it to the countries that need it,” Chehayeb said. He added that the state should end its war on cannabis farmers and find workable alternatives.

  • Pourquoi Terra Nova veut légaliser le cannabis

    Le think tank prône de créer une filière sous monopole public pour assécher le marché noir et rapporter 2 milliards d'euros à l'Etat
    Líberation (France)
    Vendredi, 19 decembre 2014

    Le groupe de réflexion Terra Nova, proche du PS, a publié un rapport, révélé par Le Monde, intitulé «Cannabis : réguler le marché pour sortir de l’impasse». Il y met en pièces la politique actuelle, «l’une des pires qui se puisse imaginer», et construit des scénarios pour en sortir, notamment une légalisation avec monopole d’Etat qui pourrait avoir un impact budgétaire positif de 1,8 milliard d’euros. Scénarios critiquables, mais qui ont le mérite de parler de la réalité.

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