Drugs in the news

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  • The war on drugs is lost – legalise the heroin trade

    I did not believe it before I went to Afghanistan. But it's now clear that prohibition is no answer to this deadly scourge
    William Patey, British ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010-2012
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    When Tony Blair deployed British troops in Afghanistan, ending the illicit production and supply of opium was cited as a key objective. In 2001 the prime minister linked heroin use in the UK with opium cultivation in Afghanistan. Yet after 10 years of effort with tens of thousands of troops in the country, and having spent billions trying to reduce poppy cultivation, Afghans are growing more opium than ever before. For the sake of both Afghans and British citizens, politicians must take responsibility for the failings of global prohibition, and take control of the drug trade through legal regulation.

  • Let's look again at Sweden's 'successful' drug policies

    On the UN international day against drugs (Thursday, 26th June), some reality checking is needed
    The Huffington Post (UK)
    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Sweden is often portrayed as a success story in relation to drugs policy, not least by its own diplomats on the international stage and by the UN. But the evidence warns of urgent public health problems that Swedish politicians are currently failing to address. In the face of urgent concerns about communicable diseases and drug-related deaths, none of the main Swedish political parties have called for a proper assessment of where drug policies are working and where they need to change.

  • Pourquoi la légalisation du cannabis bloque

    Tel Quel (Morocco)
    Mercredi, 25 juin 2014

    Deux projets de loi légalisant la culture du cannabis ont été déposés par le PAM et l’Istiqlal. Depuis, ces deux partis se sont montrés étrangement silencieux malgré des critiques émanant de la société civile. Les détracteurs de la légalisation prennent les devants alors que les voix favorables à l’usage thérapeutique et médicinal du « kif » se font discrets. Pour l’instant donc, les 48 000 cultivateurs du Rif continueront de cultiver le cannabis dans l’illégalité.

  • CARICOM did not consult us on ganja law reform - US

    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    william-brownfieldWilliam Brownfield, assistant secretary at the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, has charged that Jamaica and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states that are now moving to change their marijuana laws did not consult the United States (US) government. He conceded that he has had informal talks with some CARICOM states but said those discussions were "not structured as formal dialogue between governments or between international partners".

  • Banning Khat is another pointless drug law that will do more harm than good

    It raises millions in taxes, has been chewed on for centuries, and is harmless. So why is Khat now illegal?
    The Independent (UK)
    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Today, khat joined the range of prohibited substances that fall under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Those who distribute this Class C drug can now face 14 years imprisonment – the same maximum sentence that applies to individuals who cause death by dangerous driving, and four years more than the maximum penalty for sexual assault. So what exactly is khat, and why has it attracted such harsh legislation? (See also: Khat: Update - Ban to be implemented on the 24th of June)

  • FDA to evaluate marijuana for potential reclassification as less dangerous drug

    The review process is being completed at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    marijuana-handThe US Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the medical evidence surrounding the safety and effectiveness of marijuana, a process that could lead to the agency downgrading the drug's current status as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous classification. "FDA conducts for Health and Human Services a scientific and medical analysis of the drug under consideration," FDA Press Officer Jeff Ventura said. "HHS then recommends to DEA that the drug be placed in a given schedule. DEA considers HHS’ analysis, conducts its own assessment, and makes a final scheduling proposal in the form of a proposed rule." (See also: Scheduling in the international drug control system)

  • Qat ban: UK police officers told to use their discretion in enforcement

    Policing the ban on the mild herbal stimulant, used by Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian people in the UK, poses challenges
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Police have been officially advised to use their discretion in deciding how to enforce the ban on qat, a mild herbal stimulant, that has been widely used in Britain's Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities. Official guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers tells constables that in applying a "three strikes" enforcement policy they should take into account that qat has "historically not been a controlled drug and was part of the culture of certain communities linked to the Horn of Africa." (See also: Stimulant khat banned as illegal class C drug in UK)

  • The war on drugs killed my daughter

    Martha Fernback, 15, died from taking 91% pure ecstasy. Anne-Marie Cockburn is campaigning for drug legalisation to spare others her ordeal
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Martha Fernback, 15, died from taking 91% pure ecstasy. The response of her mother, Anne-Marie Cockburn was unusual. She refused to blame her daughter, her friends, or the dealer or the manufacturer. Cockburn, a single mother, focused on a greater target: the government. "It quickly became obvious that prohibition had had its chance but failed," she said. "Martha is a sacrificial lamb under prohibition. The question is: how many more Marthas have to die before we change our approach? It's not acceptable to allow the risks to remain."

  • Dope to your door

    Why pot is the new pizza. The economics of home-delivered marijuana
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Evan Cox used to deliver pizza. But 18 months ago, as he was running out of money at college in Seattle, he had a new business idea. The state of Washington was in the process of legalising the sale of marijuana, but he guessed it would take time for pot shops to open. So he set up Winterlife, a marijuana-delivery service. Dope-delivery services are also popular in states with stricter laws. More than a dozen illegal delivery services now serve tokers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

  • Genève devrait tester le marché régulé et taxé du cannabis

    Le groupe de travail sur la régulation du cannabis s'inspire des modèles espagnols et portugais pour sortir du cercle vicieux répressif
    Tribune de Genève (Suisse)
    Vendredi, 20 juin 2014

    Le groupe interpartis, qui planche sur la régularisation du marché du cannabis à Genève, vient de publier son deuxième rapport. Il dit avoir bien entendu les critiques émises en décembre 2013 et les préoccupations des opposants, mais il tient à son idée, celle d'implanter à Genève le modèle de consommation espagnol. Il s'agirait d'autoriser pour les adultes exclusivement, sur une période d'essai de trois ans, la distribution, la vente et la consommation de cannabis dans le cadre d’associations contrôlées par l’Etat.

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