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  • Legal minds demand new drugs policy respectful of human rights

    More than 550 Argentine magistrates, judges and lawyers will call for wholesale reforms based on human rights
    Buenos Aires Herald (Argentina)
    Monday, August 29, 2016

    despanalizacion-marchaIntroducing a declaration endorsed by 250 magistrates and 300 legal experts, an Argentine civil society organization dealing with criminal law (Asociación Pensamiento Penal) asks for a modification to the national drugs law 23.737, which still allows for the criminalization of possession for personal consumption. The new push coincides with the 30-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark "Bazterrica" ruling. They call on the government are seeking a fresh approach, which includes decriminalization, the end of forced anti-drug treatment and the creation of policies focused on harm reduction.

  • Ten years of drug policy failure in Brazil

    Under the 2006 law many users have simply been prosecuted as traffickers
    Human Rights Watch (US)
    Sunday, August 28, 2016

    brazil-prisonTen years ago this week, Brazil passed a law intended to distinguish dangerous drug traffickers from simple drug users. By replacing jail sentences for users of any illegal drug with penalties such as community service, and increasing penalties for drug trafficking, the new law aimed to reduce the number of people detained for drug possession and weaken criminal organizations that smuggle and sell drugs. None of that happened. In 2005, 9 percent of those in prison were detained on drug charges -- now it’s 28 percent, and among women, 64 percent.

  • Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis

    Most politicians are positively inclined to holding the trial
    The Local (Denmark)
    Tuesday, August 24, 2016

    denmark-cannabisThe Region of Southern Denmark agreed to move forward on a plan that could see the region become the first in the nation to prescribe cannabis for medicinal use. Despite ongoing debates about legalizing cannabis use – and Danes’ overwhelming support of legalizing it for medicinal use – Denmark has historically taken an official hard-line stance on cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use. Parliament is currently considering loosening the national laws on medicinal cannabis. (See also: Danish politicians positive over medicinal cannabis trial)

  • Weed is effectively legal in the UK

    The law needs to catch up
    Vice (UK)
    Monday, August 23, 2016

    Arrests for cannabis possession in England and Wales have fallen by 46 percent since 2010. Cautions have dropped by 48 percent and charges by 33 percent. Durham's police chief said cannabis growers will only be targeted if they're growing commercially, and that users wouldn't be targeted unless they smoke it in a "blatant" way. Sara Thornton, Leader of the National Police Chiefs Council, said policing weed has "never been a top priority", and that police are more likely to simply "record" reports of small-scale cannabis farms, rather than investigating them. Only one in four people caught with weed are actually charged, and 40 percent are let off with a caution.

  • Duterte ready to answer UN queries on drug killings

    Two UN experts earlier urged the Philippine government to put an end to the wave of extrajudicial executions
    The Inquirer (Philippines)
    Monday, August 22, 2016

    President Duterte dared United Nations (UN) experts to come to the Philippines and face him in a public meeting where he would answer all their questions on drug-related extrajudicial killings. Two UN human rights experts urged the Philippine government to stop the unlawful killings of people suspected of drug-related crimes, as the number of suspects killed during police operations climbed to over 850 between May 10 and August 11, this year, 650 of them killed in the last six weeks alone. (See also: Duterte threatens to pull Philippines out of UN | Philippine senators investigate hundreds of drugs killings)

  • Ex-top undercover drugs cop forfeits anonymity to fight against the War on Drugs

    'I only caused harm'
    Huffington Post (UK)
    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    A police surveillance photo of Neil Woods while undercover in Derby, around 1996Neil Woods insists nothing good came of his 14 years as one of the UK’s most successful undercover cops, fighting the war on drugs. His painstaking, months-long investigations put people guilty of sickening violence in prison for a combined total of more than a 1,000 years, so, surely, there must be something he is proud of? "No. No. I did not good at all, absolutely no good at all," he says with disdain. "I did nothing of any benefit whatsoever, I only caused harm." Woods' new memoir Good Cop, Bad War argues that the way we fight the drugs war is worse than fruitless, it escalates the violence it is meant to prevent.

  • California voters will most likely legalize recreational marijuana this November

    The latest polls show that more than 60% of likely voters favor legalization
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Friday, August 19, 2016

    California's Proposition 64 would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. No disrespect to Colorado or Washington or Alaska, but California’s pot business would totally dwarf those already legal markets. Colorado, for instance, collected more than $135 million in pot-related revenues last year. California could collect up to $1 billion annually within a few years of legalization. And if California votes to legalize, other states will follow. (See also: Despite liberal pot laws, California has seen nearly a half-million weed arrests | Why marijuana legalization campaigns could fail in 2016)

  • Legalise soft drugs like marijuana, opium to wean away addicts: Punjab MP

    The NDPS act has failed and the only solution to the problem is for the government to start regulated supply of soft drugs to addicts
    The Hindustan Times (India)
    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    dharamvira-ghandiSuspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Patiala Dr Dharamvira Gandhi wants the Centre to legalise the use of drugs like opium and marijuana to discourage the use of stronger, synthetic narcotics and end drug mafia in Punjab which is currently in the grip of what is perceived to be a widespread drug abuse problem. “Punjab is in severe crisis. Many young people have died,” Gandhi said. He believes the problem started with the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 which prescribes harsh punishment for possession and distribution of all categories of drugs.

  • These are the States that might legalize pot next

    The November elections are shaping up to be a big test for marijuana
    Mother Jones (US)
    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    us-cannabisThis November, voters in five states will decide whether to authorize recreational use: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Another four states, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota, will vote on legalizing medical marijuana. Michigan, Missouri, and Oklahoma may also vote on medical marijuana. With the presidential election likely to boost voter turnout and polls showing as many as 54 percent of Americans in favor of legalization, pot supporters are feeling confident. (It's Official: These 5 States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November)

  • Duterte may face international court for drug deaths, senator says

    The “Kill List” showed that a total of 601 drug suspects were killed since Duterte was installed last June
    Asian Correspondent
    Monday, August 15, 2016

    rodrigo-duterte2Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could face charges for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the spate of killings that followed his declared war on drugs, Senator Leila de Lima said. According to the Inquirer, De Lima told a media interview that her claim was not meant to threaten the president but was based on fact. Hundreds have been killed since the Duterte administration took over, and this can trigger greater international concern. Should charges be brought against Duterte at the ICC, the president would not be protected by immunity.

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