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.
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?
Legal narcotics in a liberal cityThe Economist (UK)
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Some 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.
National Cannabis Industry Association doubles lobbying spendingUSA Today (US)
Friday, December 5, 2014
The 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.
The federal government needs to comply with its treaty obligations, which include ensuring implementation "in all its territories"Reuters
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The 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.
The worth of Mexican marijuana declines as high-grade US-grown weed becomes more favorable to US customersVice 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.
What a sane drug policy looks likeThe 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.
Some traditional approaches to drug interdiction would be obsolete in a drug market dominated by synthetic drugsThe 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.
The South American nation became the first in the world to have a system regulating the legal production, sale and consumption of marijuanaCNN (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.
"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)