Report calls for drugs to be viewed as a health rather than a criminal challengeIRIN News (UN)
Monday, September 15, 2014
What would the world look like if governments - instead of crime syndicates - controlled drug markets and drug use was decriminalized? A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, released by Commission members including former presidents and other heavyweights in New York, attempts to vizualize a post “war on drugs” landscape in an era where the 50-year-old policy is widely regarded as a failure and where experimentation is gathering momentum.
Governor Cuomo said that Colorado-style legalization in New York is "a nonstarter for me"The Huffington Post (US)
Monday, September 15, 2014
The state of New York could legalize marijuana for recreational use as early as 2015. State Sen. Liz Krueger (D) will reintroduce the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act during the next legislative session, which begins in January. Krueger's bill would permit the opening of retail marijuana dispensaries, which would be regulated by the State Liquor Authority. The bill would establish an excise tax on all marijuana sales, and adults would legally be able to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.
Freedom to use marijuana for religious worship is one of various amendments to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs ActThe Washington Post (US)
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Jamaica is known internationally for its marijuana, where its use is culturally entrenched despite being legally banned for 100 years. Previous moves to decriminalize the drug failed to advance because officials feared they would violate international treaties and bring sanctions from Washington. With a number of U.S. states relaxing their marijuana laws Jamaica is rethinking its position. Jamaica’s Cabinet has approved a plan to decriminalize marijuana, including for religious purposes, and legislators are expected to authorize it before the end of the year.
The decades-old “war on drugs” is simply not workingThe Tico Times (Costa Rica)
Saturday, September 13, 2014
With the Organization of American States due to hold a special general assembly in Guatemala on illicit drugs in less than a week, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza insisted there now exists "regional consensus" regarding drug use and trafficking throughout the hemisphere. Insulza said the 35 OAS member nations no longer see the drug problem as a public safety matter but rather as a public health issue. Authorities also want alternatives to jailing drug addicts, he said.
The Broad Front's majority in doubtInSight Crime
Friday, September 12, 2014
When Uruguay's historic marijuana regulation law passed the Senate in December, it was a major victory for drug policy reform in Uruguay and around the world. However, opposition leader Luis Lacalle Pou's surge in the October 2014 general election polls is a threat to the law, as his National Party has consistently been critical of marijuana regulation. While the complete repeal of the law is improbable, some concessions to the opposition appear likely, and there is a chance the law could end up stripped of its most controversial elements, like the commercial sale in pharmacies and the cannabis clubs.
Daily users under 17 are seven times more likely to attempt suicide compared with non-users, Australian-led study findsThe Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Teenagers who use cannabis daily before the age of 17 are more than 60% less likely to complete high school or university, research published in Lancet Psychiatry found. The researchers have called for their findings to be considered in cannabis legalisation reform. Alex Wodak of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation said the evidence for the harms of frequent use in the study was "compelling" but added daily use before age 17 would be "pretty uncommon". Many studies show that prohibiting cannabis did not make it any less easy for young people to get hold of it. (See also: How much pot does it take to turn a teenager into a suicidal dropout? | Linking cannabis and suicide doesn't prove causation | Cannabis use in teens, suicide and school dropout: the jury is still out)
The facts speak for themselves. It is time to change courseThe Washington Post (US)
Monday, September 8, 2014
Drug use should be decriminalized and governments should experiment with drug legalization and regulation, a group of former world leaders argues in a new report. The recommendations from the Global Commission on Drug Policy reflect the views of the former leaders of some of the countries hardest hit by the illegal drug trade. They strongly argue that a costly global war on drugs has not only failed but threatens public health, fosters discrimination and fuels the very crime and violence it seeks to prevent. (See also: Coalition urges nations to decriminalize drugs and drug use)
International Press Service (IPS)
Friday, September 5, 2014
Poor young men, slumdwellers and single mothers are hurt the most by anti-drug policies in Latin America, according to representatives of governments, social organisations and multilateral bodies meeting at the Fifth Latin American Conference on Drug Policies held in San José, Costa Rica. Activists, experts and decision-makers from throughout the region demanded reforms of these policies, to ease the pressure on vulnerable groups and shift the focus of law enforcement measures to those who benefit the most from the drug trade.
Kiffer-ClubsNeue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
Donnerstag 4. September 2014
In Genf wird derzeit darüber nachgedacht, ob Lokale für eine kontrollierte Cannabis-Abgabe für den Eigenkonsum eingerichtet werden sollen. Auch andere Städten spielen mit dem Gedanken. Der Bundesrat geht aber davon aus, dass solche Lokale mit dem Betäubungsmittelgesetz nicht vereinbar wären. Der Bundesrat erinnert auch an die Hanfinitiative, die 2008 von Volk uns Ständen deutlich verworfen wurde. Vor diesem Hintergrund sieht er aktuell keinen Anlass, eine Cannabislegalisierung voranzutreiben.
Costa Rica has slowly started to implement politically sensitive, but needed, reformsChristian Science Monitor and Washington Office on Latin America (US)
Friday, August 29, 2014
Prison overcrowding is a widespread problem in Latin America, primarily because of harsh drug-sentencing laws and inadequate budgets, but Costa Rica may be setting a useful example for dealing with it. In most countries, guards control the perimeter, but groups of prisoners or criminal gangs organize and control life inside the prison compound. Rehabilitation and re-integration programs are limited.