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  • Why Germany just legalized medical marijuana

    The German parliament (Bundestag) passed a law that officially makes marijuana legal for medicinal purposes
    The Local (Germany)
    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    Patients in Germany suffering from serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea from chemotherapy, will now be able to receive prescriptions from their doctors for medical marijuana. "Seriously ill people must be treated in the best ways possible," said Health Minister Hermann Gröhe, who proposed the law. The new law will expand the amount of patients and eventually allow cannabis products to be grown under state supervision. Private producers could also apply, but the requirements for approval would be very strict.

  • Seiveright urges ganja farmers to look beyond ‘so so weed’

    “Jamaica is not too eager to ignore international treaty obligations like the bigger nations of this world”
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    jamaica cotton ganjaDelano Seiveright, a director of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), says that ganja growers should look beyond farming “so so weed” in seeking to benefit from the relaxation of legislation covering its use for business investment. Growers should, instead, “seriously take on the many value-added products and experiences that emanate from the herb”. He said that international pressure and resultant fear had been the biggest obstacle to reform, despite the hypocrisy of such pressures, given the fact that more than half the states in the United States have liberalised the use of ganja, with eight, including its capital city, Washington, DC, and its most populous state, California, legalising the product.

  • Injecting drugs, under a watchful eye

    90 supervised injection sites exist around the world
    The New York Times (US)
    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    It has been nearly 30 years since the first needle exchange program opened in the United States. America has another epidemic now: overdose deaths from opioids, heroin and fentanyl. A thousand people died of overdose in the city last year — three times the number who were killed in homicides. Nationally, drug overdose has passed firearms and car accidents as the leading cause of injury deaths. Yet there is a potent weapon that we’re ignoring: the supervised injection room. According to a report by the London-based group Harm Reduction International, 90 supervised injection sites exist around the world.

  • Asia is still just saying no to drugs

    Prohibition may be falling out of fashion in the West, but Singapore and its neighbours remain fierce advocates
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    philippines drug lordHarsh penalties for drug offences are common across Asia. The sorts of alternatives now favoured in the West, such as diverting addicts to effective treatment programmes instead of trying them and saddling them with criminal records, are virtually non-existent. Several countries require drug offenders to enter rehabilitation programmes, but these are often like prison. Asia’s harsh anti-drug policies are falling out of step with the rest of the world. Heroin is available on prescription in several European countries. The rich world increasingly treats addiction as an illness rather than a crime. These trends have Asia’s drug warriors worried. (Cambodia: Drug campaign nets 1,000)

  • Marijuana reforms flood state legislatures

    The incoming Trump administration has sent signals that encourage, and worry, both supporters and opponents of looser pot rules
    The Hill (US)
    Friday, January 13, 2017

    jeff sessionsLegislators in more than a dozen states have introduced measures to loosen laws restricting access to or criminalizing marijuana, a rush of legislative activity that supporters hope reflects a newfound willingness by public officials to embrace a trend toward legalization. The gamut covered by measures introduced in the early days of legislative sessions underscores the patchwork approach to marijuana by states across the country — and the possibility that the different ways states treat marijuana could come to a head at the federal Justice Department, where Trump’s nominee to become attorney general is a staunch opponent of legal pot.

  • Governor introduces bill to legalize recreational marijuana

    The proposal would assess a sin tax of 15 percent and would make the age requirement 21 for the purchase, handling and consumption of cannibis
    Pacific News Center
    Tuesday, January 10, 2017

    eddie calvoAs promised and just in the second week into the new year, Governor Eddie Calvo of Guam has introduced legislation for the recreational use of marijuana. The governor is dubbing is the Marijuana Control Law which would regulate the use, production, sale and taxation of marijuana as well as decriminalize marijuana by removing it as a schedule 1 controlled substance under the Guam Uniform Controlled Substances Act. In a transmittal letter to Speaker BJ Cruz, the governor says, "I am introducing this bill, not because I personally support the recreational use of marijuana, but as a solution to the regulatory labyrinth that sprouted from the voter-mandated medical marijuana program."

  • Why addicts take drugs in 'fix rooms'

    Denmark opened its first fix room in 2012
    BBC News (UK)
    Monday, January 9, 2017

    denmark dcrBritain could soon see its first "fix room" for drug users - a safe space where addicts can take illegal narcotics under medical supervision. But who uses such places and how do they work? Injecting rooms have been around for more than 30 years. Drug rooms exist officially in several European countries, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Spain, as well as in Canada and Australia. Recently a Paris hospital started housing France's first "shooting gallery". Glasgow is planning to open the UK's first drugs consumption room and those behind it have been looking to countries like Denmark for inspiration. (Canada: Suddenly, safe-injection sites are mainstream politics)

  • Cannabis : 150 personnalités marseillaises demandent la "légalisation contrôlée"

    Marseille souffre des dommages causés par la prohibition du cannabis
    Journal du Dimanche (France)
    Dimanche, 8 janvier 2017

    france legalisationIls veulent la fin de la "prohibition du cannabis" qui est pour eux "un échec". 150 personnalités marseillaises, dont les députés socialistes Patrick Menucci et Marie-Arlette Carlotti, signent ce dimanche un appel pour une "légalisation contrôlée" de cette drogue. Parmi les signataires, on retrouve aussi des avocats, des magistrats et de nombreux médecins. Tous de Marseille. Car la deuxième ville de France est particulièrement touchée par les conséquences de cette prohibition.

  • Amsterdam’s ‘oldest’ cannabis cafe closes because of school rule

    City bans coffee shops from being within 250 metres of a school
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, December 30, 2016

    coffeeshop mellowAn Amsterdam coffeeshop which can trace its roots back to 1973 will open for the last time because of city rules preventing the sale of marijuana close to schools. Mellow Yellow, now on the Vijzelstraat, first opened in a squatted bakery on the Weesperzijde. It was named after the Donovan song Mellow Yellow, about smoking banana skins, and was ‘code for the fact you could buy weed there,’ founder Wernard Bruining told the Volkskrant. Bruining’s concept involved serving clients a cup of tea so they could then buy marijuana from the house dealer. This enabled him to get exploit a loophole in the law which allowed individuals to sell the soft drug. (See also: Why Amsterdam’s coffeeshops are closing)

  • Ten scientific studies from 2016 showing marijuana is safe and effective

    The year has seen another mountain of marijuana research, and there's a lot of good news
    Alternet (US)
    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    While no psychoactive substance is completely harmless, modern science continues to prove that cannabis is one of the safer and more effective therapeutic agents available. Here’s a look back at some of the most significant marijuana-centric studies published over the past year. The cumulative use of cannabis by adolescents has no ill effect on intelligence, according to longitudinal data published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Investigators concluded: "In the largest longitudinal examination of marijuana use and IQ change, ... we find little evidence to suggest that adolescent marijuana use has a direct effect on intellectual decline.”

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