Drugs in the news

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  • The Guardian view on overdue overhauling of US and global drug laws

    Until Washington DC rewrites its own failed statutes, liberalisation in the states – and the rest of the world – is not going to be secure
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    obama-changeThe war on drugs has been a losing fight for 40 years. The response to unending failure has always been to demand more law enforcement and more prison cells. America led the world to sign up to successive UN protocols and conventions, which reforming countries like Uruguay now find themselves running up against. It seems absurd when states within the US itself are conducting similar legal experiments. Neither federal laws nor UN conventions of the old prohibitionist order can stand in logic any longer. (See also NYT editorial: Repeal Prohibition, Again)

  • Denmark to look at decriminalising drugs

    The WHO's surprising recommendation to decriminalise personal drug use has MPs planning to reevaluate Denmark's national drug policies
    The Local (Denmark)
    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    denmark-flag-cannabisThe World Health Organization’s (WHO) call for the decriminalisation of drugs will be taken up by Danish politicians in the autumn. In the WHO report, which focused on international HIV prevention, the UN agency encourages countries to stop criminalising the use of drugs. “Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalise injection and other use of drugs and, thereby, reduce incarceration,” the report read.

  • Repeal Prohibition, Again

    The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana
    The New York Times (US)
    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. (See also: Why the New York Times editorial series calling for marijuana legalization is such a big deal)

  • Drug courts, meant to aid addicts, now a battlefield of pot politics

    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    drugcourt2Many longtime supporters of drug courts have become dismayed by the extent to which the courts now reach into the lives of people whose only infraction was to light up a joint. More Americans are arrested for pot possession than any other drug offense, with more than 650,000 such arrests in 2012. Some pot users who might have simply faced a fine in the regular court system are instead getting moved into the drug-court system for months on end. They are often required to pay for expensive treatment programs and risk jail time if they break program rules along the way. (See also: Moving Away from Drug Courts)

  • Let states decide on marijuana

    The law should be changed to make sure that future administrations could not reimpose the ban
    The New York Times (US)
    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    legal-patchwork-usRepealing the Controlled Substances Act would allow the states to decide whether to permit marijuana use and under what conditions. Nearly three-fourths of them have already begun to do so, liberalizing their laws in defiance of the federal ban. Two have legalized recreational use outright, and if the federal government also recognized the growing public sentiment to legalize and regulate marijuana, that would almost certainly prompt more states to follow along. (See also: Overdue overhauling of US and global drug laws and Repeal Prohibition, Again)

  • Guatemalan president still mulling whether to legalize marijuana

    The Washington Post (US)
    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Will Guatemala ever legalize marijuana? Maybe. The country's president, Otto Perez Molina, didn't rule out the possibility of legalizing the drug during an interview with The Washington Post. A former military general, Molina caused a stir last year when he used his annual address at the United Nations General Assembly to credit the states of Colorado and Washington for their "visionary decision" to legalize marijuana. Molina first raised the specter of legalization in 2012, just a few months after taking office.

  • Liberal party looks to legalize medical marijuana in Colombia

    Galan proposed a national debate to discuss the legalization of drugs in the face of the corruption and general failure of the police forces
    Colombia Reports

    Colombia’s Liberal Party will support a new bill to legalize medical marijuana in the country. The move was announced by Senator Juan Manuel Galan, who explained that the bill would open the door for the use of currently illicit marijuana for medicinal uses. The Liberal Party’s support comes a few months after an official statement from the General Secretary of the Mayor of Bogota that asked Colombia’s national government to initiate a debate surrounding the regulation and recreational use of marijuana.

  • Recreational marijuana qualifies for Oregon ballot

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    oregon-we-qualifiedOregon voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use after state elections officials said the measure qualified for the November 2014 ballot. The measure would allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess marijuana and would give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the job of regulating and taxing the drug. Voters rejected a legalization measure two years ago, but little money was spent promoting it. By contrast, New Approach Oregon, the group behind the initiative, has received contributions from some of the same donors who backed successful marijuana initiatives in Washington and Colorado.

  • Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis

    Seriously ill patients will be allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for medicinal purposes, a German court ruled
    The Local (Germany)
    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    medical-potWhen no alternative treatment to cannabis exists and buying the drug in a pharmacy is too expensive, home cultivation can take place, the Cologne Administrative Court decided. The hearing, which was first brought two weeks ago, centred on five middle-aged men who were prescribed the drug by doctors when all other treatments failed. The court rejected two of the five cases, but said the other three should be allowed to grow their own cannabis. It said applications to grow the drug should be reviewed on a "case-by-case" basis. (See also: Schmerztherapie: Gericht erlaubt Schwerkranken Cannabis-Anbau)

  • FDA to review marijuana safety

    Drug's current status could be downgraded
    Northwest Herald (US)
    Monday, July 21, 2014

    cannabis-budThe United States federal government is considering easing its position on marijuana, reclassifying it as a less dangerous drug in what marijuana advocates say reflects the changing attitudes nationwide. But drug specialists fear the watershed moment for marijuana research could be a slippery slope for addicts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing marijuana’s classification to consider changing it from a Schedule I drug. (See also: FDA to evaluate marijuana for potential reclassification as less dangerous drug)

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Regime change


The international community needs to revisit the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a view to correcting past errors and inconsistencies within the regime, particularly those relating to scheduling and traditional drug use.




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