Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Tough local drug law enforcement ‘making innocent people homeless’

    ‘It is a sign that the whole battle against drugs has gone mad’
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Friday, May 14, 2021

    Tough anti-drug enforcement is making innocent citizens and children homeless, according to ombudsmen in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Each year ‘dozens’ of family members find themselves on the streets because a member of the household has been discovered in possession of drugs or linked with criminality. Local mayors have the power to immediately close down a building if drugs are found there, but according to ombudsmen this can mean completely innocent family members and children losing their rental contracts and being unfairly discredited. Although buildings are typically only closed for a few months, the incident can often mean that people lose their housing contracts for good.

  • So, what's the deal with Mexico's cannabis legalization delay?

    The cannabis situation in Mexico is extremely complicated thanks to political egos, the long-term impact of drug prohibition, and unprecedented decisions made by the Supreme Court
    Merry Jane (US)
    Thursday, May 13, 2021

    mexico senado descriminlizacionA month ago, Mexican marijuana legalization seemed like a done deal. The bill was approved by the Senate last November, but greatly modified by the Chamber of Deputies, causing senators to have to give the proposed legislation a final approval before sending it to the president. The legalization bill moved through two Senate committees. But then, Monreal said they would ask the high court for more time, meaning the bill would be halted until the next legislative sessions in September. But, senators never officially asked for a deadline extension, or prórroga, which shows a pointed lack of concern for an issue in a country where cannabis users are extorted daily by law enforcement, despite the decriminalization of small-scale possession.

  • Eyeing lucrative profits, Morocco is seeking to legalise cannabis. The main obstacle? Islamist opposition

    Cannabis legalisation in Morocco could provide economic opportunity, dependant upon Europe, party politics, and upcoming elections
    The New Arab (UK)
    Thursday, May 13, 2021

    morocco cannabis grower2The stakes for legalising cannabis in Morocco are rising. On 11 March, the Moroccan government approved Cannabis Legalization Framework, Bill 13-21, to regulate medical cannabis and industrial hemp. However, the bill still must be ratified by Parliament, and political debate on cannabis is intensifying amid the leadup to the September 2021 general elections. This is not the first attempt to legalise cannabis in Morocco. But unlike other efforts, this proposal has come directly from the sitting coalition government. "Although legalising the cultivation of medical cannabis and industrial is a first positive step, the proposal is limited because it doesn't include any regulatory framework on recreational cannabis," said Tom Blickman from the Transnational Institute.

  • Cannabis goes corporate: Lobbyists, unions seek to shape marijuana industry

    Lobbying on federal marijuana policy picked up in the first quarter of 2021, as banks and tobacco and alcohol companies begin to weigh in
    The Wall Street Journal (US)
    Saturday, May 8, 2021

    us flag cannabis capitolThe rally at the state capitol on April 20, the unofficial holiday for pot aficionados, brought out green-wigged supporters ringed in wisps of smoke. These days, they are far from the only people advocating for the legalization of marijuana. Black Lives Matter activists, who are seeking business opportunities for minority communities and say they have been hit hard by drug laws, joined the Hartford rally, as did labor organizers who want to see the industry unionized. More broadly, cannabis companies, banks and new marijuana trade organizations are deploying platoons of lobbyists to state capitals and Washington, D.C., to help shape the ground rules for the industry as more states legalize use, and as Congress weighs measures that could further legitimize the market.

  • Morocco : Cannabis revenues may exceed those of agricultural products

    According to studies carried out by the Ministry of Interior, the net income per hectare of cannabis could reach around 110,000 dirhams per year, which could exceed the income of all agricultural products in the Kingdom
    Yabiladi (Morocco)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    cannabis cultivation moroccoBefore the Committee of Interior, Local Authorities, Housing and City Policy, a summary of feasibility studies related to the legalization of cannabis found that the area planted has declined considerably since 2003, from around 130,000 hectares in the early 2000s to less than 50,000 hectares. According to the last national agricultural census in 2016, plots of less than one hectare represent about 80% of the total number of plots cultivated, and the average area per family is 1.25 hectares. The number of people practicing this still-illegal agriculture is estimated at around 400,000 people, or nearly 60,000 families, while the total annual income rose from around 5.3 billion dirhams (500 million euros) in the early 2000s to around 3.4 billion dirhams (325 million euros) today.

  • France should legalise cannabis, says MPs report

    If cannabis were legalised, 2 billion euros (around $2.4 billion) could be raised to fund prevention policies, MPs said
    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    france cannabis2France should legalise cannabis so as to regain control of sales and better protect minors, a group of cross-party MPs said in a report, a finding at odds with the government's tough anti-drugs stance. Despite an expensive clampdown approach that excessively mobilises the police, "the state is helplessly witnessing the normalisation of cannabis for young people and the deterioration of security", MPs said in the report. The budget allocated to police and border controls for anti-drugs policies almost doubled between 2012 and 2018, reaching 1.08 billion euros (around $1.30 billion) a year. Yet France has the highest cannabis consumption in the European Union, with 5 million users a year and 900,000 daily users. 

  • Medical cannabis: Morocco to target European market

    The ministry said the priority markets of Moroccan medical cannabis are Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK
    Morocco World News (Morocco)
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Morocco’s Ministry of Interior developed a study, showing the country’s interest to prioritize the European market in terms of the supply of medical cannabis. The ministry presented a feasibility study to the Committee for the Interior, Local Authorities, and  Urban Policy in the House of Representatives, showing that the annual net income from cannabis for medical use could reach MAD 110,000 ($12,316) per hectare. The study stipulates that the annual net income represents an improvement of 40% compared to the current numbers. The study also outlines the expectations of the share of Moroccan production in the European market. (See also: Légalisation du cannabis : revenus potentiels, marchés cibles... que dit l’étude de faisabilité du ministère de l’Intérieur ?)

  • After Aphria deal, the new Tilray eyes transformation into a global cannabis brands giant

    Company, which will have market value in excess of US$8 billion, is eyeing selling cannabis in everything from drinks to skin creams to snack bars
    Finacial Post (Canada)
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    dollar cannabis2Tilray Inc. shareholders approved the merger with Aphria Inc., creating a cannabis powerhouse that’s both the largest medical marijuana company in Europe and a major player in Canada’s recreational market. The company’s ambitions don’t end there, though. Irwin Simon, the former head of Aphria who is now chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company, has ambitions to transform it from an edgy Canadian marijuana company into a global consumer products giant, potentially selling cannabis in everything from drinks to skin creams to snack bars. The company will have a market value in excess of US$8 billion, making it a giant in the fast-growing cannabis industry.

  • Mexican lawmakers fail to legalize marijuana ahead of Supreme Court deadline

    After the Chamber of Deputies approved the Senate-passed legalization bill, senators said that the revised proposal was critically internally conflicted
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    mexico scnj amparoMexican lawmakers have failed to meet a Supreme Court deadline to end marijuana prohibition after spending months going back and forth on a legalization bill that passed both chambers of Congress in differing forms. The result is a lot of uncertainty. This session, it seemed like the reform would finally be achieved. The Senate approved a legalization bill late last year, and then the Chamber of Deputies made revisions and passed it in March, sending it back to the originating chamber. A couple of Senate committees then took up and cleared the amended measure, but leaders quickly started signaling that certain revisions made the proposal unworkable. Lawmakers have begun floating the idea of holding a special legislative session after June’s elections in order to get the job done this year.

  • The forgotten history of European drug-dealer activism

    A Social Dealer Charter, a list of principles for how suppliers ought to engage their customers, was developed.
    Talking Drugs (UK)
    Friday, April 30, 2021

    Today, the contributions of drug suppliers towards harm reduction efforts remain mostly neglected by history, although some within the grassroots end of the movement still emphasise their critical role. The work of Van Dam in The Netherlands and Southwell in the United Kingdom is part of a mostly-forgotten history of drug dealers organising themselves and alongside drug-user activists to advance the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs. In 1996, as the City of Rotterdam was cracking down on the public presence of drug suppliers and consumers, or what they called “nuisances,” the City officially supported drug consumption rooms (DCR). But some drug-user activists were skeptical of these newly above-ground programs. “It is only concerned with regulating and monitoring users.”

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