Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Mexico Supreme Court says ban on recreational marijuana unconstitutional

    Congress would now have to act to regulate the use of marijuana in Mexico
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that an absolute ban on recreational use of marijuana was unconstitutional, effectively leaving it to lawmakers to regulate consumption of the drug. Announcing it had found in favor of two legal challenges filed against prohibition of recreational marijuana use, Mexico’s top court crossed the threshold needed to create jurisprudence: five similar rulings on the matter. That creates a precedent other Mexican courts will have to follow. The ruling does not create an absolute right to use marijuana and consumption of certain substances could still be subject to regulation. (See also: Mexico court sets precedent on legal, recreational pot use)

  • Cannabis producers could be chasing global market worth $194 billion in seven years: BMO report

    High valuations justifiable if investors factor in potential of U.S. legalization on a federal level and legalization in the EU
    Financial Post (Canada)
    November 1, 2018

    The potential of the global cannabis industry is so vast that it could eventually make the sky-high valuations of some Canadian licensed producers look like bargains, according to a new report from Bank of Montreal. In the report, the bank’s cannabis sector analysts, Tamy Chen and Peter Sklar, sought to determine just how big the total addressable market Canadian producers will be competing for in the coming years, one that doesn’t stop at Canada’s borders. Assuming a blue-sky scenario in which the U.S. and all 28 countries in the EU legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use — and in which Latin America allows the medical use of cannabis — they project that in seven years the market could reach $194 billion.

  • Please allow small farmers to benefit from ganja industry, says senator

    Jamaica has the ability to put mechanisms in place that would drive legislation to legalise it
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, October 30, 2018

    Senator Kerensia Morrison is calling on the Government to ensure that small farmers and the little man are not left out of the emerging ganja/cannabis industry. “Perhaps the most critical point that I am going to make on this issue is that our small farmers, the little man, must not be left behind on this lucrative ganja ship,” Senator Morrison said as she opened the 2018/19 State of the Nation Debate in the Senate. "Small traditional ganja farmers, the same ones who were persecuted and who bore the full brunt of the law, the same ones who first believed in the power of the herb, the same ones who were seen as worthless and as criminals, must not be pushed aside by those who never believed in it, but who today have the big bucks to get into the industry,” she said.

  • Why L.A.'s recreational weed industry can't go straight

    Recreational cannabis became legal in California in January. But unlicensed dispensaries outnumber licensed ones in Los Angeles—and the gap is only growing
    Citylab (US)
    Tuesday, October 30, 2018

    Given Los Angeles’ status as one of the largest cannabis markets in the world (and California’s status as a trailblazer for medical cannabis), it should have been prepared when recreational weed was legalized in January. While the city’s smokers may have been ready for the transition, its byzantine and restrictive licensing system was not. As a result, unlicensed dispensaries have been popping up throughout the city at a rapid clip, and now dwarf their licensed counterparts in number. Dispensary owners still complain of an inhospitable regulatory environment—one that they say makes it nearly impossible for most shops to operate legally.

  • Majority of British public support legalisation of cannabis, survey reveals

    More than three in four people willing to use cannabis if advised by a doctor
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, October 29, 2018

    uk legalize cannabisThe British public strongly supports the legalisation of cannabis, according to a new poll. Fifty-nine per cent of people surveyed strongly support or tend to support legalisation of the drug, compared to just 31 per cent who oppose the idea. The poll was commissioned by the think tank Volteface and the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, and carried out by Populus. Its results show that support for cannabis legalisation is highest amongst younger people. More than two-thirds (68%) of 18-24 year olds support the policy, although almost half (49%) of over 65s believe the same. Two-thirds (65%) of the public believe cannabis laws should be reformed, though the number is split between the 40 per cent who support legalisation and 25 per cent who prefer decriminalisation.

  • Barcelona police launch massive crackdown on narcopisos

    "Narcopisos" have led to a rise in muggings and violence between different drug trafficking rings that operate in the area
    The Local (Spain)
    Monday, October 29, 2018

    el ravalHundreds of police backed by a helicopter raided dozens of apartments in central Barcelona used for selling and consuming heroin and other drugs, making dozens of arrests. A court in the northeastern Spanish city authorised the search of 40 flats in the central Gotic and Raval neighbourhoods. Residents of the two central neighbourhoods which are popular with tourists have long complained that empty flats, many of which are owned by banks and investment funds following Spain's property crash a decade ago, had been taken over by drug traffickers as places where people come to buy and use drugs.

  • Pardons don't go far enough. Convictions for cannabis possession must be expunged

    A future government could retract pardons for simple possession en masse by amending the Criminal Records Act
    CBC News (Canada)
    Monday, October 29, 2018

    Today, more than 500,000 Canadians are encumbered with a criminal record for doing something that is now legal: possessing a small amount (30 grams or fewer) of cannabis. A criminal conviction has real and lasting consequences. It can restrict the bearer's access to employment, housing, travel and the opportunities that accompany them. This impact is grossly disproportionate to the actual harm caused by the simple possession of marijuana. Pardons do not go far enough. If the Liberals are serious about eliminating past convictions as a source of future prejudice, they must expunge convictions for simple possession.

  • What the Dutch can teach the world about cannabis

    The Dutch state didn’t legalise cannabis, partly for fear of upsetting foreign allies
    The Financial Times (UK)
    Friday, October 26, 2018

    On October 17, Canada became the first large economy to legalise recreational weed. (Uruguay blazed the trail in 2013.) From November 1, doctors can prescribe medical pot on Britain’s National Health Service. Thirty US states have already legalised medical cannabis, while nine allow recreational use and Donald Trump has signalled that he supports decriminalisation at a federal level. Cannabis could soon become a normal part of daily life across the anglophone world, just like alcohol or coffee, displacing cigarettes, which are becoming socially unacceptable. Judging by nearly 50 years of Dutch decriminalisation, is this a good thing? And can pot treat our pain and ailments?

  • Berne veut des essais pilotes sur le cannabis

    La volonté du gouvernement est d'autoriser des essais pilotes pendant une durée de cinq ans au maximum, en Suisse
    Tribune de Genève (Suisse)
    Jeudi, 25 octobre 2018

    Le Conseil fédéral veut dorénavant autoriser les essais pilotes avec cannabis. Les résultats de la consultation semblent lui être favorables. UDC mis à part, un large consensus réunit les partis et les organisations de prévention des addictions. Ils espèrent que ces essais seront instructifs pour la gestion de cette substance à l'avenir. C'est le refus d'autorisation d'une étude qui a motivé le processus de changement de loi. Plusieurs villes et cantons ont voulu que les effets de la vente de cannabis légal sur les consommateurs soient étudiés scientifiquement. L'Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP) a rejeté la demande, en indiquant que les bases légales faisaient défaut.

  • Pot pioneers who went to jail for the cause now watch legal opportunities pass them by

    New regime sees former police officers and politicians who once punished marijuana advocates landing lucrative gigs with cannabis producers
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    October 25, 2018

    At the outset of legalization, people who defied prohibition in high-profile ways appear to be getting shut out of a burgeoning industry just as the former police officers and politicians that they once battled continue to land lucrative gigs working with commercial cannabis producers. Those caught and sentenced for operating large production networks or running illegal dispensary franchises, like Marc and Jodie Emery, have so far been unable to get past the security screening and into the regulated space under the current rules. They also won’t qualify for the amnesty that Ottawa has promised for the tens of thousands of other Canadians saddled with a conviction for the possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis.

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