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  • Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can't NSW legalise cannabis?

    Legalising cannabis is not an issue dominated by the left or the right
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Monday, April 24, 2017

    australia cannabisIn Australia the long arm of the law still has a long reach, waging a war on drugs. Last year, there were more than 26,000 criminal incidents of cannabis possession in NSW. These made up more than half of all drug possession offences and more than all other drugs combined. These failed attempts to wipe out cannabis use continue to drag people through the criminal justice system causing unnecessary harm to them and their families while also wasting limited police resources. Australian National University's 30-year election study published this year found less than a third of people support the current system of criminalisation.

  • Charge Rodrigo Duterte with mass murder, lawyer tells The Hague

    The court may take cases only under certain conditions, including when a nation’s own judicial system is unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, April 24, 2017

    A Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to charge President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the killings of thousands of people over three decades. The lawyer, Jude Josue Sabio, said in a 77-page complaint that Mr. Duterte was the “mastermind” of a campaign that has killed more than 9,400 people, mostly poor young men, since 1988, when Mr. Duterte was first elected mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines. The court has the authority to accept cases brought by individuals as well as by nations and the United Nations Security Council. (See also: Why not decriminalize drug use? VP urges gov’t to study Portugal move)

  • Too much ‘dilly dallying’ around ganja issue, says minister

    No public official should be allowed to stand in the way of the industry’s careful development
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, April 21, 2017

    As the debate over the legalisation of ganja for medical use heats up, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley has thrown down the gauntlet to his colleagues to speed up the process. Dr Wheatley told the House of Representatives that there was too much “dilly dallying” around the issue. “We have to take a conscious decision where we want to go, as it relates to medical marijuana,” he said. “It is either that we support it or we are going to just sit by and let it pass by. We have to start leading from the front because we have a crop with significant medicinal nutraceutical value, which is lying idle because we are not serious in relation to the direction in which we would like to go with medical marijuana,” the minister said.

  • Risk of psychosis from cannabis use lower than originally thought, say scientists

    Previous research at York showed that regulating cannabis use could result in more effective strategies aimed at helping drug users to access the right support and guidance
    University of York (UK)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    psychosisScientists at the University of York have shown that the risk of developing psychosis, such as hallucinations, from cannabis use is small compared to the number of total users. The research, published in the journal, Addiction, also showed for the first time that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that for patients who already have schizophrenia, cannabis makes their symptoms worse. In order to prevent just one case of psychosis, more than 20,000 people would have to stop using cannabis, as shown by a previous study led by the University of Bristol.

  • Support for marijuana legalization at all-time high

    Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal
    CBS News (US)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal, a five-point increase from last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll. Eighty-eight percent favor medical marijuana use. Seventy-one percent oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and its use in states that have legalized it, including opposition from most Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Sixty-five percent think marijuana is less dangerous than most other drugs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asserted a connection between marijuana and violent crime, but few Americans see it that way: just 23 percent think legalizing pot increases violent crime.

  • Six things to know about weed in Germany

    As of the 2017 law, medical marijuana can be prescribed for seriously ill patients
    The Local (Germany)
    Thursday, April 20, 2017
    There's long been talk of fully legalizing cannabis in Germany, especially in the capital of Berlin. But how close is Deutschland actually to making marijuana mainstream? The debate about legalizing cannabis continues in Germany - the Bundestag (German parliament) in January 2017 passed a law to officially legalize medical marijuana. But that doesn't make things any more lax for recreational smokers. The amount that an individual can possess without generally being prosecuted varies across the 16 states. Here's a look at the basic facts.
  • Were peasant farmers poisoned by the U.S. war on drugs?

    A jury has the case
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    After a 15-year legal battle, a U.S. jury will begin deliberations over whether a U.S. security contractor must pay damages to 2,000 Ecuadoran farmers who say they were poisoned by the U.S. and Colombian governments’ years-long, coca-eradication campaign. During a trial in Washington a lawsuit against McLean, DynCorp probed one of the bitter legacies of America’s war against Latin American cartels and its own insatiable drug appetite. The peasant farmers, represented by International Rights Advocates, say their families, animals and crops were collateral damage in recklessly executed aerial spraying efforts using glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, when aircraft or clouds of fumigant drifted south over the Colombia-Ecuador border.

  • While waiting to legalize pot, why not decriminalize it in the meantime?

    Ottawa could well bring in an interim regime involving decriminalization
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    The Trudeau government has put itself and many Canadians in a bind with the announcement that it will legalize marijuana by July of next year. On the one hand, Canada has made it clear that the war on this particular drug is over – a decision based on pot’s popularity and ready availability in this country, and in the knowledge that criminalizing its sale and possession for personal use is more harmful, on balance, than allowing its consumption in a tightly regulated market. But on the other hand, Canada intends to continue in the interim to make it a crime to have pot in your possession, except for medical reasons.

  • Decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use considered

    Growing calls in recent years for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use
    The Irish Times (Ireland)
    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    The decriminalisation of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use is one of the policy options outlined in the forthcoming National Drug Strategy. Minister of State for Drugs Catherine Byrne will publish the strategy – which will govern all drugs policy from now until 2020 – before the summer. It proposes a group be established to “consider the approaches taken in other jurisdictions to the possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use”. There have been growing calls in recent years, including from Ms Byrne’s predecessor Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use.

  • Officers rue the return of US 'war on drugs'

    Dealing long sentences to low-level users and distributors damaged community relations and made life tough for frontline police
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    jeff sessions2Attorney General Jeff Sessions likes to reminisce about the aggressive law enforcement of the 80s and 90s and recently labelled cannabis "only slightly less awful" than heroin. Mr Sessions sent out his own memo last month to prosecutors, instructing them to use "every tool we have", including targeting drug users, in a new crackdown on violent crime. But many of those who fought and studied the first war on drugs say it was a proven failure. A 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal found that since 1990 US drug prices nationwide had fallen while purity increased. And a 2012 study by the University of Florida found that the threat of severe punishment was "generally weak and insignificant" at deterring drug crime or lowering addiction rates.

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