Latin American nations call for treatment strategy, claiming UN's prohibition stance plays into hands of paramilitary groupsThe Observer (UK)
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Major divisions over the global "war on drugs" have been revealed in a leaked draft of a UN document setting out the organisation's long-term strategy. The draft, written in September shows there are serious divisions over the longstanding US-led policy promoting prohibition as an solution to the problem. Instead, a number of countries are pushing for the "war on drugs" to be seen in a different light, placing greater emphasis on treating drug consumption as a public health problem, rather than a criminal justice matter. (See also: Drug control policies are changing: Why? And why has it taken so long?)
The Gleaner (Jamaica)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
History is expected to be created next week when Jamaica's first medical marijuana company, which is intended to be instrumental in extracting the medicinal value from the addictive elements of ganja, comes into being. Internationally renowned Jamaican scientist Professor Henry Lowe, the brainchild behind the initiative, has high hopes for the use of medical marijuana in Jamaica.
BBC News (UK)
Friday, November 29, 2013
Councillors in Berlin have voted to launch the country's first cannabis cafe in their district. A large majority in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg council have backed the move as part of efforts to curb local drug dealing, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reports. District Mayor Monika Herrmann says the "prohibition policy" of the past few decades has failed: "We now have to think about offbeat solutions." (See also: Berlin borough pushing for Germany’s first cannabis coffee-shop | Kreuzberg stimmt für Coffeeshop)
Stimulant widely used by Somali and Yemeni communities was criminalised without proper evidence of its harm, committe saysThe Guardian (UK)
Friday, November 29, 2013
MPs are urging Theresa May, the home secretary, to reverse the government's ban on the herbal stimulant qat, which is widely used in Britain's Somali and Yemeni communities. A Commons home affairs select committee report said the decision to ban qat, also known as khat, was not based on any evidence of medical or social harm and that it would be better to license importers of the plant. (See also: Why the khat ban will be almost as pointless as the drug itself)
The Gleaner (Jamaica)
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A recent study has found that a majority of Jamaica’s population may be in support of relaxing the laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. The study, which was conducted by pollster Don Anderson, reveals that 55 per cent of those interviewed felt that the laws criminalising marijuana should be relaxed. Anderson notes that 55 per cent of respondents also believe that marijuana should be commercialised. (See also: Ganja Medicine: Local doctors approve patients' use of marijuana)
Kenyan MPs have appealed to the UK not to "condemn people" by banning the herbal stimulant khatBBC News (UK)
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The leafy substance khat, grown by many Kenyan farmers, is of economic and cultural significance to many Africans. The UK government has decided, against the advice of its own experts, to treat khat as a class C drug to "protect vulnerable members of our communities". In July, UK Home Secretary Theresa May said khat would be banned "at the earliest possible opportunity" but a ban has yet to be imposed. A team of Kenyan MPs lobby the UK government not to follow suit.
Norman Baker tells MPs 'we should be prepared to follow the evidence' in first appearance before parliamentary committeeThe Guardian (UK)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The new Liberal Democrat minister responsible for drugs policy, Norman Baker, has refused to rule out a policy of legalising cannabis but said that it is not his prime objective in the job. "I think it needs to be considered along with everything else. It is not my prime objective and I am not advocating it at the moment. We should be prepared to follow the evidence and see where it takes us," he said.
Mit einer Petition wollen Befürworter die Legalisierung der Droge erreichenDie Welt (Germany)
Montag, 25 November 2013
Liberale Strafrechtsprofessoren fordern, dass sich der Bundestag erneut mit dem Drogenverbot auseinandersetzt und haben eine entsprechende Petition unterzeichnet. "Uns geht es nicht um die Verharmlosung von Drogen, sondern um die Kriminalisierung der Konsumenten. Die Strafverfolgung ist das Problem", sagt Lorenz Böllinger von der Universität Bremen. Die Juristen fordern, dass der Bundestag eine Enquete-Kommission einsetzen soll, die die Wirkungen der Betäubungsmittelgesetze analysieren soll.
The number of deaths due to drug use is the lowest since 1993Politiken (Denmark)
Monday, November 25, 2013
"It is encouraging that we have been able to achieve a drop in numbers in an area where Denmark’s figures are otherwise too high," says Health Minister Astrid Krag. Fixing rooms are said to be one of the main reasons. The number of drug-related deaths has been relatively constant since the mid-1990s, but the 2012 figures – 210 deaths of which 76 per cent are men and 24 per cent women – is a noticeable drop.
The Pan-American Post
Friday, November 22, 2013
Speaking at a meeting of the hemisphere's security ministers in Medellin, United States Attorney General Eric Holder touted the Obama administration's efforts to curb mandatory minimum sentences. He also backed a more heterodox approach to citizen security, a sign of a subtle shift in the U.S.-backed 'War on Drugs' in the region. Holder delivered his address at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV), a biannual OAS-sponsored conference designed to promote policy coordination on the issue. (See also: Open letter to Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas)