Drugs in the news

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  • U.S. won't stop Native Americans from growing, selling pot on their lands

    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice. The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues.

  • Drug policy: we need brave politicians and open minds

    BMJ (UK)
    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    When it comes to policies for tackling drug misuse, we need an evidence based approach. These are not my sentiments, though I share them; these are the views of the leaders of all the UK political parties as expressed in recent government reports and a debate in parliament that gained cross party support. So we at The BMJ asked ourselves: what would an evidence based drug policy look like?

  • Drugs policy in Canada: Local heroin

    Legal narcotics in a liberal city
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    heroin_syringeSome European countries prescribe heroin for the most severe cases of addiction. Patients taking heroin are less likely to use illicit drugs and drop out of treatment than those who use methadone, a substitute. Vancouver’s eagerness to follow is not surprising. It has long had Canada’s most liberal drug policies, and it has a big problem. Addicts congregate in Downtown Eastside, two derelict blocks right next to tourist attractions and the financial district. In the late 1990s the city had the highest rate of HIV infection outside sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Pot industry plants seeds on Capitol Hill

    National Cannabis Industry Association doubles lobbying spending
    USA Today (US)
    Friday, December 5, 2014

    ncia-logoThe legal weed industry is trying to grow something else these days: political influence. The National Cannabis Industry Association has spent $60,000 lobbying Congress and federal regulators during the first nine months of this year — double its lobbying expenses for all of 2013. Its political action committee also shelled out campaign money to help politicians in tough midterm races, including Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, where voters in 2012 approved the recreational use of marijuana.

  • Drug control body concerned by pot legalization in some U.S. states

    The federal government needs to comply with its treaty obligations, which include ensuring implementation "in all its territories"
    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    lochan-naidooThe head of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) monitoring compliance with international drug control conventions expressed concern about the moves by U.S. states to legalize marijuana. Lochan Naidoo said "legalization for recreational use is definitely not the right way to go". Oregon and Alaska voted last month to allow recreational marijuana, in a sign of its growing social acceptance in the United States. Washington state and Colorado legalized it in 2012. Marijuana remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. federal law but President Obama's administration has given individual states leeway.

  • No, legal US drugs aren’t being trafficked into Mexico en masse

    The worth of Mexican marijuana declines as high-grade US-grown weed becomes more favorable to US customers
    Vice News (US web)
    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    The US Drug Enforcement Agency has now walked back statements it made about the trafficking of marijuana grown in the US to buyers in Mexico, after being met with skepticism by other law enforcement agents and experts and being pressed to divulge more information on the allegedly burgeoning problem. The claim that Mexican drug cartel members were taking US-grown weed and selling it at a premium to Mexican customers first emerged in a broader NPR report on the effects of legalized marijuana on the illicit drug trade.

  • 'You will not be arrested for using drugs'

    What a sane drug policy looks like
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Authorities in the Netherlands are warning Amsterdam tourists about heroin masquerading as cocaine, which has already killed several people and sent a number of others to the hospital. The campaign is striking because you'd never see one like it in the U.S.: "You will not be arrested for using drugs in Amsterdam," the fliers promise. Instead, they give information on how to receive medical assistance and how to keep potential overdose victims alert while waiting for help.

  • How powerful synthetic drugs will upend drug markets globally

    Some traditional approaches to drug interdiction would be obsolete in a drug market dominated by synthetic drugs
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Illicit drugs made from plants (e.g., cocaine, heroin) are being replaced in some national drug markets by those that are synthesized (e.g., methamphetamine, fentanyl). The U.S. has had a parallel experience in the past decade with the rise of illicit consumption of synthetic opioids and cannabinoids. If illicit drug markets continue to separate from an agricultural base, it would upend traditional understandings of drug markets and drug policy.

  • Uruguay: Marijuana law gets boost in presidential vote

    The South American nation became the first in the world to have a system regulating the legal production, sale and consumption of marijuana
    CNN (US)
    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Uruguay's politicians who led the charge to legalize marijuana and same-sex marriage appeared to win another ringing endorsement from voters in the South American country. Exit polls placed Tabaré Vazquez of the left-wing Broad Front coalition in the lead in the country's presidential runoff. Candidate Luis Lacalle Pou of the conservative National Party told supporters that he had conceded to Vazquez and wished him well. A win for Vazquez would give Uruguay a third consecutive five-year term with a leftist leader at the helm.

  • Legal pot in the U.S. may be undercutting Mexican marijuana

    "If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they'll run us into the ground"
    NPR (US)
    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Made-in-America marijuana is on a roll. More than half the states have now voted to permit pot for recreational or medical use, most recently Oregon and Alaska. As a result, Americans appear to be buying more domestic marijuana, which in turn is undercutting growers and cartels in Mexico. "Two or three years ago, a kilogram of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," says Nabor, a 24-year-old pot grower in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa. "But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference." (See also: DEA: Cartels now smuggle U.S. pot into Mexico)

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