Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • New Mexico primed to join US recreational pot wave

    Possession of up to 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana would cease to be a crime, and people would be allowed six plants at home — or up to 12 per household
    Associated Press (US)
    Thursday, April 1, 2021

    us capitol cannabisNew Mexico is joining a wave of states that are legalizing recreational marijuana as its Democrat-dominated Legislature sent a package of cannabis bills to a supportive governor. Lawmakers used a marathon two-day legislative session to push through marijuana legalization for adults over 21 and a companion bill that automatically erases many past marijuana convictions, overriding skeptical Republicans. By signing the bills, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham would extend legal recreational pot sales in the American Southwest by April 2022, when the New Mexico legislation kicks in, and join 16 states that have legalized marijuana. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a legalization bill, and a proposal in Virginia is awaiting the governor’s signature.

  • New York legalizing weed could mean big things for the future of the cannabis industry

    New York makes at least 15 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, and a few more, such as Virginia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, are looking to join the crowd
    CNN Business (US)
    Thursday, April 1, 2021

    New York became the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis, and is poised to become one of the nation's largest markets. The multibillion-dollar business opportunity would be lucrative for cannabis businesses, but industry members and insiders also think that having a prominent state such as New York enact legalization could influence cannabis' future trajectory nationally and potentially help it shed its federally illicit status. Cannabis was one of the few industries to go into the pandemic-dominated 2020 and come out stronger. Sales increased in places where cannabis operations were deemed essential businesses; state legalization measures made a clean sweep at the ballot box in November; and the new administration and slim Democratic majority in Congress fueled optimism about federal law changes.

  • New York is latest state to legalize recreational marijuana

    New York will start automatically expunging the criminal records of individuals with certain past marijuana-related convictions
    Associated Press (US)
    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    us ny cannabisNew Yorkers over the age of 21 can now possess and use up to 3 ounces of cannabis in public under a legalization bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while sales of recreational-use marijuana won’t become legal for an estimated 18 months until the state draws up regulations. Advocates for criminal justice reform hope it will also help redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates. The legislation provides protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court and in schools, colleges and universities, and sets a target of providing half of marijuana licenses to individuals from underrepresented communities. And police could no longer use the odor of cannabis as pretext for searching someone’s car for contraband.

  • Christiania residence ban an abuse of power, contends Danish Institute for Human Rights

    Apparent measures to prevent corona infections have been in place since January 7 – and already extended 11 times!
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    christiania2Christoffer Badse, the head of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has accused the government of abusing its power with the continuance of its residence ban in Christiania, which Copenhagen Police continues to maintain is necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Since January 7, it has been illegal to loiter in the areas known as Pusher Street and the Green Light District, and Badse contends the government should not be using extraordinary powers to fight crime – in this case the sale of cannabis. The ban has now been extended 11 times. Violating the 10:00-24:00 daily ban on loitering carries a potential fine of 2,500 kroner. Badse is concerned the abuse of power could lead to the public ultimately losing its trust in the police. 

  • Cannabis reform: possession up to 7g, cultivation of four plants at home

    Government will be seeking legal avenues through which cannabis and cannabis seeds can be bought legally
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Tuesday, March 30, 2021

    malta cannabis flagPrime Minister Robert Abela of Malta launched a public consultation process on a White Paper to strengthen the legal framework on the repsonsible use of cannabis. The government is proposing that the possession of more than 7 grams but less than 28 grams for one’s exclusive personal use should be subject to proceedings before the Commissioner for Justice, as currently contemplated for the possession of less than 3.5 grams. Every residential habitation (household) can grow up to 4 plants, in a space which is not visible to the public, and which does not emit smells. The cultivated cannabis cannot be sold, and can only be consumed in the same habitation. (See also: Cannabis reform 'a bold step' in promoting human rights - ReLeaf Malta)

  • La culture légale du cannabis, une opportunité écologique

    Assurer une assistance technique pour éviter la catastrophe écologique
    Medias24 (Maroc)
    Dimanche, 28 mars 2021

    “L’augmentation rapide de la culture illicite de cannabis dans le Rif au cours des dernières décennies, ainsi que les mauvaises pratiques de conservation des sols, ont fait des ravages sur les forêts déjà menacées et les écosystèmes fragiles du Rif (déforestation, érosion des sols, épuisement de l’eau)”, déclare Tom Blickman, connaisseur de la région, chargé d’un projet senior au « Transnational insitute » à Amsterdam. Ce dernier fait partie des nombreux experts-intervenants lors du webinaire organisé jeudi 25 mars par l’IUCN (Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature) et l’AMCDD (Alliance marocaine pour le climat et le développement durable), intitulé « légalisation du cannabis: quel impact sur la biodiversité et les ressources ? ».

  • Safe drug supply program still not reaching enough people in B.C., say advocates

    The province says 3,329 people are now receiving hydromorphone as a safer alternative to toxic street drugs
    CBC News (Canada)
    Friday, March 26, 2021

    canada safe supplyIt's been a year since the province rushed to create new guidelines allowing doctors to prescribe hydromorphone to patients with opioid use disorders, as a way to give them an alternative to toxic illicit drugs. The change came as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take a significant toll in the province. Combined with the overdose crisis dating back to 2016, health officials had two major public health emergencies on their hands. But now, as overdose deaths continue to rise, killing more than five people in the province each day according to the latest BC Coroners Service update, many are identifying shortfalls in the so called 'safe supply' program — technically called the Risk Mitigation Guidance — that kicked off last March.

  • New York reaches a deal to legalize recreational marijuana

    The move paves the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry, with millions of dollars in sales tax revenue reinvested in minority communities each year
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    us ny liberty statueState lawmakers finalized a deal to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country. Lawmakers struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people. The deal would allow delivery of the drug and permit club-like lounges or “consumption sites” where marijuana, but not alcohol, could be consumed. It would also allow a person to cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home, indoors or outdoors, for personal use.

  • France's champagne capital wants to experiment with the legal sale of cannabis

    The mayor of Reims tells why he would like France's champagne capital to experiment with the legal sale of cannabis in the country
    RFI (France)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    Arnaud RobinetArnaud Robinet, mayor of Reims since 2014, is one of the few right-wing politicians supporting the legal use of cannabis in France. He would like Reims to experiment with legalising cannabis, but insists that Reims cannot become a destination for 'cannabis and champagne' tours. "The experiment will be carried out with legal sales for citizens only. There is no question of opening sales to anyone from outside", he says, emphasising that his primary concern is public health. "The subject has always been taboo for the right wing,", Robinet admits. "But we now have a group of mayors as well as parliamentarians working on the legalisation of cannabis, and we'd like to bring up the subject at a national level." (See also: La légalisation du cannabis expérimentée à Reims? On est allé voir sur place)

  • Israel: Can cannabis legalization regain momentum?

    Bureaucratic disconnect and political shifts may have scuppered Israel’s once imminent prospect of adult use legalization
    CannabisWire (US)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    israel cannabisAs recently as November, it seemed as though Israel was cruising toward nationally legalized cannabis by summertime. But that effort has stalled at the side of the road, and its proponents are unsure how to get it going again. For a while, it certainly looked like smooth sailing. A Knesset vote last June sent two legalization bills, drafted by Ram Shefa and Sharren Haskel, to the review stage of ratification, at which point they were thoroughly dissected by the Special Committee on Drugs and Alcohol. Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn declared that adult use legalization was expected to be enacted by the summer, and that the bills were examples of “significant, holistic, and responsible reform, which shows the State of Israel isn’t ignoring reality and is going in the footsteps of developed countries.” 

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