Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Morocco's House of Councilors passes cannabis legalization bill

    Under Bill No. 13.21, personal, non-medicinal use of cannabis will still remain prohibited
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Tuesday, June 8, 2021

    morocco flag cannabisAfter several amendments, Morocco's House of Councilors has approved the hotly-debated bill on the limited legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. Morocco's Parliament put Bill No. 13.21, concerning the commercialization and legal uses of cannabis, up for vote during today’s governmental plenary session. It passed by a majority vote, with 41 advisers voting for and 11 voting against. The bill aims to improve Moroccan farmers' income as well as to give rise to "promising and sustainable" job opportunities in the country's rural regions. Interior Minister Abdel-Wafi Laftit, who introduced the draft bill at the session, underlined that the main goal of the bill is to improve cannabis farmers' quality of life and general wellbeing.

  • Cannabis divides opinions in Morocco ahead of general elections

    The legalization of cannabis is dividing the political landscape in Morocco, but proponents of the bill say it will benefit the economy
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Saturday, June 5, 2021

    morocco cannabis grower2As Morocco's 2021 round of elections approaches, the cannabis question is once again on the table. The Moroccan government approved the bill to legalize medicinal cannabis for export on March 11 of this year. Proponents of the bill argue that the legalization of cannabis is intended for the promotion of its medical use and that the lucrative revenues will boost the Moroccan economy. The bill was introduced by Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, who said it would positively impact the underdeveloped regions of northern Morocco and improve economic prospects for the Riffian population. Amid the run-up to the 2021 elections, the question of the legalization of cannabis legalization has grown more divisive among political parties and is being weaponized to glean votes. 

  • Congress only has one chance to legalize marijuana the right way

    “We only have one shot to get this right. If we don’t, the consequences will be devastating and difficult to reverse, not just for racial justice but for public health”
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

    Shaleen TitleCongressional Democratic leaders filed a marijuana legalization bill last week aimed at remedying the injustices of the drug war. But my experience as a regulator overseeing the implementation of Massachusetts’s effort to end marijuana prohibition tells me that without stronger measures, their plans will fall short of that worthy goal. In every state that has attempted to equitably legalize cannabis, big corporations quickly took over the market while those who were arrested and imprisoned under prohibition got next to nothing. We need to reverse this outcome at the federal level. But as federal lawmakers grapple with the complexities of beginning to repair the harms of the unjust war on drugs, it is critical that they study the experiences of states that have already attempted this.

  • Légalisation thérapeutique du cannabis : la Chambre des représentants dit “oui”

    Des 117 amendements proposés par les députés, seulement deux ont été retenus par le gouvernement
    Tel Quel (Maroc)
    Mercredi, 26 mai 2021

    morocco cannabis farmerLa Chambre des représentants a adopté le 26 mai au soir le projet de loi relatif à l’usage thérapeutique et industriel du cannabis par une majorité confortable, mais inhabituelle. Les groupes parlementaires ont tous présenté des arguments en faveur d’une légalisation de la plante. Tous sauf le PJD, paradoxalement à la tête de la majorité gouvernementale. Le projet de loi adopté devra être soumis à la Chambre des conseillers dans les tout prochains jours. Le Parlement promulguera le texte une fois qu’il sera adopté en Commission, puis en session plénière de la Chambre haute. (Lire aussi: Légalisation du cannabis : dernière ligne droite, des amendements vains et un PJD plus hostile que jamais)

  • Morocco’s House of Representatives adopts bill on legal use of cannabis

    The Justice and Development Party (PJD) was the only party of the government majority to refuse to vote on the bill
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Wednesday, May 26, 2021

    Morocco’s House of Representatives adopted today Bill 13.21 on the legal use of cannabis for medical purposes. The bill received a majority of votes (199) against 48 votes, who  voted no. The Justice and Development Party (PJD) was the only party of the government majority who rejected the bill. Morocco’s government first adopted bill 13-21 on March 11. The decision to adopt the bill made Morocco the first African country to allow the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The Ministry of Interior said in a statement the bill will benefit farmers by raising their incomes. The bill is expected to create “promising and stable job opportunities,” it argued.

  • Experts warn that keeping tourists out of Amsterdam coffee shops won’t be easy

    Halsema plans to finalise her plans later this year, and has pledged to work out ways of tackling street dealers. The city council itself is divided on the issue
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, May 26, 2021

    nl amsterdam weedSuggestions that foreign tourists be banned from Amsterdam’s cannabis cafes, or coffee shops, have been greeted with alarm by experts. ‘The plan is doomed to fail’ criminologist Ton Nabben told a meeting of city councillors. ‘It will be disastrous for feelings of public safety, particular in alleys and dark corners.’ In January, Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema published a plan to reduce nuisance and crime caused by the soft drugs industry, by enforcing a national law which means only residents can buy from the coffee shops. But opponents say it will lead to more crime and nuisance, as street dealers return and tourists go underground to use drugs. (See also: Support deprived areas or risk social cohesion collapse, mayors tell next cabinet)

  • Rendez-vous en juillet pour le cannabis récréatif

    Dans deux mois, la ministre de la Santé présentera le fruit des travaux des groupes interministériels sur la légalisation de la vente et de la consommation de cannabis au Luxembourg
    Luxemburger Wort (Luxembourg)
    Vendredi, 21 mai 2021

    luxembourg cannabisLe dossier du cannabis récréatif avait été quelque peu mis de côté ces derniers mois, mais le sujet a refait surface à la Chambre. La ministre de la Santé a promis que le débat allait maintenant avancer de façon plus significative. En juillet prochain, un point sera ainsi fait sur ce dossier et notamment les conclusions des sept groupes de travail interministériels traitant actuellement des nombreuses interrogations en suspens. Sachant qu'aussi bien pour ne pas se fâcher avec ses voisins, moins ouverts à l'idée d'une dépénalisation, ou assurer la réussite de sa démarche, le gouvernement avancera plutôt prudemment. Certainement via un «projet-pilote temporaire de légalisation», comme évoqué par la ministre de la Justice.

  • Legalisation of cannabis: Government parties in favour, CSV remains sceptical

    The legalisation of recreational cannabis, one of the big projects in the current government's coalition agreement, was debated in the Chamber of Deputies
    RTL (Luxembourg)
    Friday, May 21, 2021

    luxembourg cannabisThe majority parties in Luxembourg as well as the Left Party (Déi Lénk) and the Pirate Party all agreed that the strategy of criminalisation over the past decades has failed and that it is time for a new approach. On the other hand, the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) views the project with great scepticism. Minister of Health Paulette Lenert announced that the government will release an official update on the progress of legalisation in June. While a number of questions still remain, there is no reason to question the project as a whole, the Minister stated. A motion was passed encouraging the government to move forward with the legalisation of cannabis. (See also: Cannabis accounted for 70% of drug consumption in Luxembourg in 2019)

  • Cannabis reform consultation ends with 350 submissions

    Sources close to the consultation process said the feedback was “encouraging” and reflected the public sentiment
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Tuesday, May 18, 2021

    malta reform nowThe cannabis reform White Paper attracted more than 350 submissions from organisations and individuals. Government is proposing full decriminalisation for adults in possession of 7g or less of cannabis for personal use and proceedings before the Commissioner for Justice, rather than the criminal court, for those with more than 7g but less than 28g. “Many agreed with decriminalisation but were against legalisation but there were responses criticising the White Paper for not going far enough in providing a legal framework that would completely cut out the black market and also create safe spaces outside the home for cannabis users,” sources said. (See also: Cannabis: a very costly prohibition)

  • Free heroin could help Scotland shake off unwanted drugs death title

    Researchers headed up by global addiction expert have labelled Scottish opioid deaths shocking
    Daily Record (UK)
    Sunday, May 16, 2021

    heroin useThe professor behind Dutch addicts getting taxpayer-funded heroin has called on the Scottish Government to do the same in its fight against drugs. Researchers headed up by world-renowned addiction expert Wim van den Brink analysed Scotland’s harrowing addiction death toll. Professor van den Brink, who led a pioneering scheme in the 90s that saw free heroin administered to users in the Netherlands, said he was shocked by Scotland’s drug problem. He compared it to the opioid crisis in the US, where it is estimated 500,000 people have died from misuse since 2000. The professor of psychiatry and addiction at Amsterdam University said: “When I started looking at the data in Scotland, I was left furious."

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