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  • Cannabis bill skips committee stage, directly to House floor

    Center-right files 1,700 amendments in bid to bog it down
    ANSA (Italy)
    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    A bill to legalize cannabis will go to the Lower House, the justice and social affairs committees decided when presented with 1,700 amendments. Most were filed by the conservative Popular Area (AP) caucus made up of the small New Center Right (NCD) party and the small centrist UDC party. The NCD is a junior ally in Premier Matteo Renzi's left-right government coalition. The amendments will likely be refiled, which means the bill won't be voted on until September. (According to a survey by IPSOS, over 70% of Italians believe that the country should implement a model of marijuana regulation. See also: Italy will debate a proposal to legalize cannabis)

  • Marijuana task force faces ‘fascinating journey’ in crafting legal framework

    Members of the committee state they are approaching the debate with an open mind
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, July 18, 2016

    The government called on former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan to lead a nine-member task force on marijuana legalization and regulation. She was hired because of her political know-how and the expertise she gained as a minister of health, justice and public safety in the 1990s and 2000s. The panel will provide its findings to the government and the public by November, with new legislation to come in the spring of 2017. The background of the nine members on the panel suggests they will recommend a regime that will be more restrictive than liberal.

  • Soaring prison population prompts Thailand to re-think 'lost' drug war

    Institute for Criminal Policy Research data showed Thailand has the eighth highest incarceration rate in the world
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, July 18, 2016

    thailand-prisonMore than a decade after Thailand declared a "war on drugs", the country is admitting defeat. As the prison population soars, Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya is looking at changes to the country's draconian drug laws. "I want to de-classify methamphetamine but Thailand is not ready yet," said Paiboon, meaning downgrading the drug, popularly known as "meth", from a Category 1 substance, which would reduce jail time for possession or dealing. Thailand has approximately 40 percent of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' prison population, despite having only 10 percent of the bloc's total population.

  • The goal of legalized cannabis shouldn’t be corporate gold

    Fixation on economic issues and models of distribution has obscured the basic justification for promoting legalization as a sound policy choice for Canada
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, July 15, 2016

    canada-pot-flag5Canada has a tradition of overregulation and one can already sense that the government is poised to place a myriad of restrictions on production and distribution of marijuana. Invariably, the more complex the regulatory framework, the more likely the market will be overrun by multinational corporations, Crown agencies and the heroes of big business. This completely undercuts the 1960s idealism which spawned our taste for the uplifting effects of marijuana; however, idealism always plays second fiddle to the realism of money markets. (B.C. cities to ask Ottawa for cut of legal pot revenue)

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