• These are the countries most likely to legalize weed next

    Mexico? Likely. India? Not so much
    Vice (US)
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    In October 2018, Canada became the second country after Uruguay—and the first G7 nation—to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, politicians took the plunge largely to reduce underage access to weed. So who's next? To formulate some well-educated predictions, we spoke to an ace team of weed experts who have been on the frontline of reform, from region to region, for decades. Come with us as we peek into our bud-crusted crystal ball. “Mexico will almost certainly legalize and regulate in 2019,” said Tom Blickman, senior project officer at the Transnational Institute.

  • UN report on Myanmar opium crop criticized

    Kachin Independence Army denies UNODC claims and says crops grown in government-controlled areas
    Asia Times (Thailand)
    Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    The recently-released "Myanmar Opium Survey 2018" by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) distorts reality, accuses ethnic rebels who are not involved in the drugs trade for being responsible for the scourge while turning a blind eye to official complicity in the trade. That is the basic message in a commentary published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), a Dutch-based international research and advocacy group. After the Kachin rebels complained about the UNODC report, its Bangkok and Yangon offices issued a statement on February 27, which, however, did not address the main issue of wrongful identification of armed groups in the opium growing areas. (See also: UN opium survey distorts the facts, says think tank)

  • WHO recommends rescheduling cannabis in international law for first time in history

    The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has recommended that cannabis resin and other marijuana products should be removed from a schedule IV
    Newsweek (US)
    Friday, February 8, 2019

    The World Health Organization has suggested that cannabis should be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention given the mounting evidence showing that the drug could prove beneficial in treating a number of health problems. International drug policy expert Martin Jelsma from the Transnational Institute said this was the “first time in history” that the WHO had undertaken a proper critical review of cannabis and related substances. Nevertheless, he said the committee’s proposals don’t go far enough, noting that its rationale for keeping cannabis in schedule I is “highly questionable.”

  • Green gold rush: Thailand, Malaysia race to legalise medical marijuana

    Support for liberalisation is not unanimous: China, South Korea and Japan last month warned citizens visiting Canada to avoid cannabis and Singapore maintains a blanket ban
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Asia has the toughest penalties against drug use and trafficking but the legal landscape is shifting in several countries where cannabis once deemed ruinous to young lives, is emerging as a lucrative industry. In Thailand parliament has set in motion plans to legalise the drug for medical use. This would position the country as the epicentre of the burgeoning industry and advocates claim Thailand’s legal marijuana market could make US$5 billion by 2024. Malaysia, which recently scrapped the death penalty, has begun informal cabinet discussions on legalising medical marijuanag. The “green gold rush” has begun and Asian nations are eager to share in the windfall. (Thailand: Marijuana bill shortened to allow quicker legislation)

  • Canada's legalization of marijuana could hurt farmers in poorer countries

    The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has set up a marijuana commission which recently published recommendations to decriminalize the drug
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Cannabis cultivation in MoroccoFor decades poor farmers in countries like Jamaica and Morocco have risked the wrath of governments to grow cannabis as a cash crop. But as Canada becomes the first country in the G7 leading industrial nations to legalize marijuana, those countries where the crop has traditionally been grown risk losing out on new legal markets worth billions of dollars. And with no international institution to represent them because of the illegality of marijuana in most of the world growers risk being left behind. "It's all about trying to bring some of these small farmers into the opening market," says Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute (TNI). "The big risk is there is a complete corporate capture going on."

  • Seek drug reform within international law: Tom Blickman

    Stigmatisation and international laws that tilt towards prohibition of drugs make it difficult to find a common ground for a rational debate
    Delhi Post (india)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Tom Blickman Dating back to the latter part of 1800s, precisely in 1894-95, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission consisting of medical experts of Indian and British origin concluded that moderate use of cannabis was the rule in India, and produced practically no ill-effects. “What countries like Uruguay and Canada are doing now, India had already proposed 120 years ago,” says Tom Blickman from the Transnational Institute (TNI), an international policy think tank based in the Netherlands. “Had the wisdom of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission’s recommendations prevailed, we would have prevented a lot of misery by erroneous drug control policies,” he points out. (See also: A legal hallucination)

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