Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • CLA tasked with fast tracking cannabis licensing process

    One of the critical priorities would be incorporating traditional growers in the legal cannabis industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Saturday, March 16, 2019

    Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green has directed the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to fast track the cannabis licensing approval process. Green met with the heads of the authority on Tuesday to discuss the functioning of the authority, the implementation of the alternative development programme and the cannabis licensing application process. He expressed concerns about the length of time between application and decision, and asked the agency to explore ways to reduce the time, noting that a significant proportion of the delay in the decision making process was as a result of the due diligence requirements. (See also: Accompong targeted for hemp pilot)

  • Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society €200 mil. per year

    The number of illegal cannabis plantations closed down per year has been decreasing for several years
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Friday, March 15, 2019

    Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society around 200 million euros per year, through stolen electricity and missed taxes, according to the sector organization for gas and electricity network operators Netbeheer Nederland. Netbeheer Nederland estimates that there are around 30 thousand illegal cannabis plantations in the Netherlands. Together they steal nearly 1 billion kWh of electricity per year - more than all households in Rotterdam use annually. This costs network operators, and everyone connected to them, around 60 billion euros per year, according to the organization. On top of that, the government is also losing out on 135 million euros in tax revenue each year, Netbeheer Nederland said.

  • Glyphosate alone won’t fix Colombia’s complex coca woes

    Former President Juan Manuel Santos criticized the “high human cost” of forced eradication
    InSight Crime
    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court is debating lifting a judicial ban on the spraying of glyphosate during the aerial fumigation of illicit coca crops, a decision that is unlikely to fix the nation’s coca problems. The court announced that it would accept President Iván Duque’s request for a hearing to debate the lifting of a 2015 ban on the aerial spraying with the herbicide glyphosate. Colombia Attorney General Humberto Martínez and Defense Minister Guillermo Botero supported Duque’s request that the Court permit a return to the use of glyphosate during aerial fumigation, arguing that the current methods being used have been ineffective. (See also: Colombia cocaine production breaks new record levels: UNODC report | Aggressive coca eradication threatens voluntary substitution efforts in Colombia)

  • Medicinal cannabis users left high and dry by Dutch tolerance policy

    Guidelines from the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) recommended prescribing cannabis for pain relief in the palliative phase only
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    Despite the relaxed attitude to cannabis in the Netherlands, acquiring the alternative medicine is often a battle. Around half a million people in the Netherlands use cannabis medicinally – the vast majority without a prescription – yet Dutch law-makers and prevailing attitudes have been slow to catch up. Under the hazy tolerance law, marijuana – including CBD – is still officially illegal and patients who self-medicate do so at their own risk despite its widely-demonstrated positive effect on certain conditions. Patients who do get prescriptions must bear the cost of their medication. According to The Dutch Care Institute, there is insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for it to be included in basic health insurance.

  • In Moroccan cannabis fields, illumination of Jewish role in country’s hash trade

    Religious sources from the time reference issues related to hashish, none mention any prohibition on the consumption, or even trade, in the substance
    The Times of Israel (Israel)
    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    “The Jews in general did not grow cannabis,” explains Dr. Doron Danino, an expert on Moroccan Jewry. “But they received a monopoly from the king for the sale of tobacco in Morocco, and that included sales of the cannabis plant and the hashish produced from it.” A close examination of religious texts written by local community rabbis during the 18th and 19th centuries reveals fascinating information about the involvement of Jews in Morocco’s hashish scene. Written in the 18th century and printed in Jerusalem in the 1930s, the book “Avnei Shayish” by the chief rabbi of Sefrou, Rabbi Shaul Abitbul, details the annual licensing fee Jewish hashish merchants were forced to pay the king each year — 24,000 Spanish rials.

  • Demand for supervised injection sites steady as funding decisions loom

    There have been more than 70K visits to Ottawa's 4 supervised drug injection sites
    CBC News (Canada)
    Monday, March 11, 2019

    As toxic and often deadly fentanyl began popping up in the city's illicit drug supply fatal overdoses surged. Despite strong opposition, four supervised injection sites, including this one, opened their doors in Ottawa. Later this month, the provincial government will decide whether the facilities will continue to get funding. Without that money, some may not survive, and advocates fear the same is true of their clients. The government insists on calling them "consumption and treatment services," and is making treatment options other than supervised injection a condition for continuing funding.

  • Ce que gagnerait le Maroc à légaliser le cannabis

    Si le Maroc venait à légaliser le cannabis, l'impact social et économique serait bénéfique
    Finance News (Morocco)
    Lundi, 11 mars 2019

    Mohamed Ben Amar, professeur de pharmacologie à l’Université de Montréal, connaît bien ces questions et milite pour une légalisation du cannabis, notamment pour un usage médical. Et il ne manque pas d’arguments. Si un jour le Maroc venait à légaliser le cannabis, l'impact social et économique serait très bénéfique. La culture du cannabis (kif) dans la région du Rif profite très peu aux cultivateurs. Ce sont les trafiquants qui se remplissent les poches. D'autre part, le Maroc pourrait éventuellement exporter légalement un cannabis médical et récréatif de grande qualité dans les pays où c'est légal, ce qui générerait de l'emploi et des revenus substantiels à l'Etat.

  • ReLeaf urge government to present tangible proposals to legalise cannabis for personal use

    Legalising cannabis for personal use will not lead to a free for all but rather ensure the drug is removed from the hands of criminals, activists insist
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Monday, March 11, 2019

    cannabis bud2Cannabis campaigners want government to present tangible proposals for the legalisation of marijuana for personal use as they contest fears that regulation will lead to a free for all. ReLeaf, an organisation campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis, was reacting to a recent statement by the Maltese Association of Psychiatry and Oasi Foundation warning against legalisation. Government is in the process of drawing up a legal framework to legalise cannabis for personal use, however few details have so far emerged on what type of regulation was being considered. The organisation insisted that the fears expressed by MAP and Oasi were based on the notion of a legalised and commercialised cannabis market, rather than a regulated one. ReLeaf backs a regulated market.

  • Canadian company partners with Westmoreland farmers to grow ganja

    Wiisag is a First Nations company that forms strategic partnerships with indigenous communities
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, March 8, 2019

    Wiisag Corporation, a Canadian indigenous integrated cannabis company, has signed an agreement to partner with the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganga Farmers Association (WHGFA) to grow two crops of medical marijuana on a 10-acre property in that parish. Based on the agreement, which was signed last month in Negril, Wiisag Corporation will provide funding and management services to WHGFA under a pilot project set to begin in the second quarter of 2019. “Both parties seek to forge a strategic partnership to grow and develop medical marijuana products,” WHGFA Chairman Delroy Johnson, who chaired the signing, said.

  • Marijuana farmers, company haggle over price

    A marijuana amnesty law passed last year will waive criminal penalties for farmers who can sell illegally grown marijuana to the medical marijuana industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, March 8, 2019

    Spirit CottleThe President of the Cannabis Revival Committee (CRC) in St Vincent and Grenadines, Junior “Spirit” Cottle, is urging marijuana farmers not to accept anything less than EC$300 (EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) for a pound of their product after a locally-based medicinal cannabis company said it was offering US$50 a pound. “We are not saying we are not going higher. But we are not going below that. And, under the medical industry, we're looking for more than that. We will be negotiating but, as it stands now, under the amnesty, it mustn't go below that,” Cottle said. In a statement, the CRC called on traditional cultivators of cannabis “to be on the lookout for some foreign investors who want to offer them lower than the unofficial EC$300 minimum which they have been receiving for one pound of cannabis”.

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