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  • Lift the Ban!

    Kofi Annan on Why it's time to legalize drugs
    Der Spiegel (Germany)
    Monday, February 22, 2016

    In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions. Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed. Scientific evidence and our concern for health and human rights must shape drug policy.

  • Federal prosecutors maintain hard line on pot as legalization looms

    The prosecution service maintains it is applying the same rules after the election as it did before
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, February 22, 2016

    canada-trudeau-cannabisAs Canada heads toward a new era of legal marijuana use, federal prosecutors are still trying to jail people who grow small amounts of cannabis in their home to sell to others, sending a tough-on-drugs message that some say is at odds with the new approach. And they continue to seek criminal records, and sometimes jail time, for people charged with simple possession of marijuana for their own use. (See also: Vancouver pot dispensaries face hurdle in ‘ridiculous’ board review)

  • Laws in the works for marijuana decriminalization

    The gamut of recommendations on the decriminalization of marijuana in Belize also includes drug education and rehabilitation for repeat offenders
    Amandala (Belize)
    Saturday, February 20, 2016

    belize-drugs-illegalLaws for the decriminalization of marijuana, for possession of up to 10 grams, are in the works in Belize. After Cabinet gave its nod for the legal drafting, the Attorney General’s Ministry began working on amendments to the Criminal Code which would remove criminal penalties in the event that persons are found with marijuana. The Government is not moving to legalize marijuana use. Persons found with small quantities of marijuana would instead receive a fine through a sort of ticketing system. It is only in the event that the person fails to pay the fine that he or she would face incarceration.

  • Ex-NSW DPP boss pushes to legalise drugs

    Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery is pushing to get all illicit drugs decriminalised
    AAP (Australia)
    Friday, February 19, 2016

    Nicholas CowderyFormer NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery joined federal Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale to call on Australian governments to reconsider treating drug users as criminals. "I am calling on the legalisation, regulation, control and taxation of all drugs," Mr Cowdery said. "It's extremely frustrating to see the criminal justice system brought in to attach criminal records and all of the trauma that goes with it to people that are not criminals and who are not harming society."

  • UNGASS 2016: What prospect for change?

    Don’t even expect to see a consensus around those two words ‘harm’ and ‘reduction’
    Matters of Substance (New Zealand)
    February 2016

    ungass2016_nyWith the UN’s drug control policy setting bathed in opaque diplomatic light, civil society advocates are left looking for the subtleties of language and tone to spot any sign of change. The NGOs closest to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world’s drug problem in April aren’t expecting dramatic changes, but they do see things moving in the right direction. “We’re not going to have the end of prohibition in April, the treaties are not going to be torn up and started afresh in April. There are still a lot of repressive voices in there."

  • Aus für Coffee-Shop-Idee? Kreuzberger Pläne erneut abgelehnt

    Im Herbst 2015 hatte es den Antrag des Bezirks abgelehnt, mit dem die Genehmigung von Cannabis-Verkaufsstellen erreicht werden sollte
    Die Welt (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 18. Februar, 2016

    In dem Vorhaben reguliert weiche Drogen wie Haschisch und Marihuana zu verkaufen, muss der Berliner Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg erneut eine Schlappe hinnehmen. Das zuständige Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) hat einen Widerspruch des Bezirks abgewiesen. Das BfArM erklärte, der Verkauf von Cannabis zu Genusszwecken sei mit dem Betäubungsmittelgesetz nicht vereinbar. Das Gesetz verbietet Cannabis und lässt nur wenige Ausnahmen in medizinisch begründeten Fällen zu.

  • Legal pot has its benefits, but little economic impact

    Trudeau has stated that he expects only "modest returns" from legalization
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Each week, there seems to be a new headline declaring that piles of cash will soon flood into the economy once legalization comes into effect. The latest report, from CIBC World Markets, says Canada’s federal and provincial governments could pocket $5-billion a year in tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. A few major players are set to cash in, most notably Tweed Marijuana Inc., which absorbed its closest competitor, Bedrocan Cannabis Corp., in a $61-million deal this past summer. As for the rest of us? We’ll hardly notice. The economic impact of legalization will be negligible.

  • The right way to do drugs

    The argument for the legalisation of cannabis has been won. Now for the difficult bit
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, February 13, 2016

    It is like a hash-induced hallucination: row upon row of lush, budding plants, tended by white-coated technicians who are bothered by the authorities only when it is time to pay their taxes. Cannabis once grew in secret, traded by murderous cartels and smoked by consumers who risked jail. Now, countries all over the world have licensed the drug for medical purposes, and a few are going still further (see article). Four American states have so far legalised its recreational use; Uruguay will soon be joined by big, G7-member Canada in the legal-weed club. Parliaments from Mexico to South Africa are debating reforms of their own.

  • 'Cannabis clubs' set for four Swiss cities

    Four Swiss cities have agreed to launch pilot projects for the creation of cannabis clubs allowing members to use the drug without penalty
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    switzerland-cannabis2Representatives of the cities Zurich, Basel, Bern and Geneva met to discuss how to regulate the sale of cannabis, broadcaster SRF reported. Cannabis is illegal to possess in Switzerland, even if police in many cantons turn a blind eye to personal use. A maximum of 2,000 people will participate, which remains a small share of the more than 500,000 people who use cannabis. Geneva’s proposed pilot project would authorize the controlled use of cannabis for youth and adults suffering from serious problems linked to the drug.

  • EU finance ministers call for restrictions on €500 note over crime fears

    According to Europol, the high-value banknote accounts for a third of all the euro notes in circulation
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    500-euros-smallEU finance ministers have called for an investigation into the €500 note, amid growing concern it is making life easier for terrorists, money launderers and drug barons. The French finance minister, Michel Sapin, said it was right to ask questions about the use of the euro’s largest-denomination note. “The €500 note is more used to conceal then to purchase, more used for easing dishonest transactions than to allow you and I to buy something to feed ourselves,” he said. (See also: Criminal links of €500 banknote could spell its demise | Swiss 1,000-franc note here to stay, says national bank)

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