Drugs in the news

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  • Fear of flakka: Anti-drug hysteria validates itself

    Tales of superhuman strength have been associated with various drugs over the years
    Forbes (US)
    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Recent news reports about "the dangerous new drug sweeping Florida," told you two things about flakka: It gives you "superhuman strength," and you should avoid it because it will turn you into a raving lunatic running naked through the streets, chased by invisible enemies, until you drop dead of hyperthermia or a heart attack. Flakka’s dangers are not imaginary, but the hype illustrates once again how yellow journalists collaborate with drug warriors to keep the public in a constant state of panic about the latest chemical menace, which is always worse than the last one.

  • Swedish politician calls for legal cannabis shops

    The current centre-left coalition is not in favour of changing the country's approach to cannabis
    The Local (Sweden)
    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Hanna Wagenius, chair of Sweden's Centre Party's youth wing, thinks that Sweden should take its lead from several places around the world which have legalized cannabis, such as the Netherlands and a number of US states. Sweden has a highly regulated sale of liquor, with government-owned chain Systembolaget (literally translated as 'the System Company') being the only retail store allowed to sell alcoholic beverages that contain more than 3.5 percent alcohol. Wagenius has something similar in mind for cannabis. (See also: Center Party youth vote to legalize marijuana)

  • Drug users should be able to get heroin from the health system

    Politicians may not like it, but evidence shows that giving heroin to some users reduces harm
    BMJ (UK)
    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    No fewer than six randomised controlled trials – in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada, and England – concluded that heroin assisted treatment is more effective than conventional treatments in a subgroup of heroin users. The most recent Cochrane Collaboration review concurred, stating, "Available evidence suggests an added value of heroin prescribed alongside flexible doses of methadone for long term, treatment refractory, opioid users, to reach a decrease in the use of illicit substances, involvement in criminal activity and incarceration, a possible reduction in mortality, and an increase in retention in treatment."

  • In debate over legalizing marijuana, disagreement over drug’s dangers

    In their own words: Supporters and opponents of legalization
    Pew Research Center (US)
    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    pew140415bPublic opinion about legalizing marijuana in the US, while little changed in the past few years, has undergone a dramatic long-term shift. A new survey finds that 53% favor the legal use of marijuana, while 44% are opposed. As recently as 2006, just 32% supported marijuana legalization, while nearly twice as many (60%) were opposed. Millennials (currently 18-34) have been in the forefront of this change: 68% favor legalizing marijuana use.

  • Cannabis-Klubs in Schweizer Städten in weiter Ferne

    Nicht ausgeschlossen ist, dass eine der Städte im Falle einer Blockade ohne Zustimmung des Bundes vorangeht
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
    Samstag, 11. April 2015

    In den Schweizer Städten wird Cannabis ungehemmt konsumiert. Die Städte möchten deshalb Pilotversuche für einen kontrollierten Konsum in Klubs. Doch die juristischen und politischen Hürden sind hoch. Seit in Genf vor zwei Jahren die drogenpolitische Debatte mit einem Vorstoss für legale Cannabis-Klubs wiederbelebt wurde, flammt die Diskussion nach und nach auch in der übrigen Schweiz auf. Für Druck sorgen dieses Mal die Städte, in denen der Cannabis-Konsum für viele selbstverständlich geworden ist. (Mehr dazu: Cannabis-Bussen: Kiffer werden häufiger bestraft)

  • US president cautions against hopes of ganja legalisation

    Big multinational companies will come in and try to market and control and profit from the trade
    The Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, April 10, 2015

    President Barack Obama cautioned persons who have hopes of marijuana being legalised, as he explained the difference between legalisation and decriminalisation. "We had some discussion with Caricom countries about this. I know ... that a lot of folks think that if we just legalise marijuana then it will reduce the money flowing into the transnational drug trade, [bringing in] more revenues and jobs created," Obama said. He expressed reservation about the methods that some countries continued to use in their war on drugs with a lot of emphasis being placed on incarceration.

  • Im Görlitzer Park wird weiter gedealt

    Null-Toleranz-Regelung in Kreuzberg
    Berliner Zeitung (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 9. April 2015

    Seit dem 31. März gilt im Görlitzer Park die Null- Toleranz-Regelung. Wer mit kleinsten Mengen Marihuana oder Haschisch erwischt wird, muss mit einer strafrechtlichen Verfolgung rechnen. Die Toleranzregel für zehn bis maximal 15 Gramm Marihuana und Haschisch zum Eigenbedarf ist im Park aufgehoben. Rund anderthalb Wochen nach der Einführung der Null-Toleranz-Regelung am Görlitzer Park verkaufen Dealer dort nach wie vor Drogen. Kreuzbergs Bezirksbürgermeisterin Monika Herrmann hält an der Idee des kontrolliertem Verkaufs fest. (Mehr dazu: Görli: Mehr als 2000 Anzeigen)

  • France votes to legalize drug 'shooting galleries'

    Drug addicts would be allowed to take illegal drugs, up to a limit, without being arrested
    The Local (France)
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    France's National Assembly voted this week to legalize drug consumption rooms - safe places for addicts to consume drugs - in the hope of keeping users off the street. The move has already proved controversial, with opponents calling the galleries "death rows". After four hours of animated debate, French MPs approved a six-year testing of so-called shooting galleries ("salle de shoot") for drug addicts in Paris and in at least two other cities. (See also: Addressing opposition to France’s Safer Consumption Rooms)

  • U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades

    The DEA used its data collection extensively and in ways that the NSA is now prohibited from doing
    USA Today (US)
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    For more than two decades, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed logs of virtually all telephone calls from the USA to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking. The Justice Department revealed in January that the DEA had collected data about calls to "designated foreign countries." The now-discontinued operation, carried out by the DEA's intelligence arm, was the government's first known effort to gather data on Americans in bulk, sweeping up records of telephone calls made by millions of U.S. citizens regardless of whether they were suspected of a crime.

  • Chile opens debate on marijuana bill

    The bill now moves to the full Chamber of Deputies before passing to the Senate, a legislative process that could take years
    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    Chile's congressional health committee approved a bill that would legalize the cultivation of marijuana for private recreational or medicinal use, sending it to the floor for a full debate. The bill would take marijuana off the list of hard drugs and make it a soft drug like alcohol. It would allow people over the age of 18 to grow up to six cannabis plants for their own use, or for use by minors if they use the substance as part of a prescribed treatment. But it would maintain the country's ban on using marijuana in public and limit the amount a person can possess to 10 grams.

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