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  • Legal cannabis cultivation would cut violent crime: report

    Municipalities are advocating for regulated cannabis cultivation
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Monday, May 30, 2016

    Legalizing cannabis cultivation and trade could reduce violent crime related to illegal cultivation and could therefore protect human rights, according to a study on behalf of Dutch municipalities. Human rights outweigh the UN drug conventions prohibiting cannabis cultivation and trade. A justified argument can be made that regulating cannabis cultivation could be a "positive obligation to protect human rights". Human rights that can be protected include the right to health, the right to life and the right against inhuman treatment. A government can decide to regulate cannabis based on these rights, as long as other countries do not suffer from it. (See also: 'Legal cannabis cultivation would boost human rights' – study)

  • A deadly crisis: mapping the spread of America's drug overdose epidemic

    Overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or guns – and experts say the crisis hasn’t yet peaked
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    us-ovedose-2014America is in the midst of an unprecedented drug overdose epidemic. Nationally, overdose deaths have more than doubled over the past decade and a half, driven largely by opioids – initially prescription painkillers, but increasingly heroin. Today, more Americans die from drug overdoses than car crashes or gun fatalities. In all, drug overdoses killed 47,000 people in the US in 2014. That’s 130 deaths per day, on average. The majority of those deaths – 29,000, or 80 per day – involved an opioid. (See also: Americans are increasingly addicted to opioids. People in poor countries die in agony without them)

  • Marijuana use and abuse rates decline among US teens

    Study finds teen pot use decreased by 10% between 2002 and 2013, adding to growing body of data suggesting legalization is not dangerous for adolescents
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Rates of adolescent marijuana use and abuse have declined across the US, according to a study that casts doubts on one of the central arguments against legalizing weed. Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis surveyed 216,852 teenagers from all 50 states and found that the number of adolescents with marijuana-related disorders dropped by 24% from 2002 to 2013. Overall teen pot use also decreased by 10%, despite the fact that more than a dozen states legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized the drug during that time. (See also: No, legal weed is not ‘dumbing down’ the nation’s teens)

  • Canada's marijuana legalization plan flouts 3 UN drug conventions

    'Canada cannot pick and choose which international laws to follow,' say authors in CMAJ commentary
    CBC (Canada)
    Monday, May 16, 2016

    canada-cannabis-ottawaThe federal government's plan to legalize marijuana contravenes Canada's adherence to the UN drug control conventions, according to a commentary in the CMAJ medical journal. Canada is legally obligated to follow three international treaties that control access to drugs. "The federal government should immediately take proactive steps to seek a reservation to the marijuana provisions of these treaties and/or to initiate their renegotiation," write the authors. "If these diplomatic efforts fail, Canada must formally withdraw from these treaties to avoid undermining international law and compromising its global position." (See also: Will Canada violate international conventions if it legalizes pot? | Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties)

  • In the legal weed business, how deep does the “Suits vs. Stoners” schism run?

    Businesspeople and activists are both committed to ending prohibition — but their motivations are fundamentally different
    The Influence (US)
    Monday, May 16, 2016

    cannabis-capitalismCultural conflict rumbles within a nascent industry that was once a countercultural, underground operation. As fancy dispensaries and stylish products proliferate, many in the industry are calling to “rebrand cannabis” and “shed the stoner stigma.” Those calls rub some people the wrong way. “Some of us take a little bit of an insult to it,” says Russ Belville, a cannabis activist who hosts a show on cannabisradio.com. “[It’s] as if who and what we are is somehow a negative.” Businesspeople couch their calls for legalization in terms of returns, while activists speak of the issue in terms of civil rights.

  • Will Canada become America's cannabis capital?

    Plans to legalise recreational marijuana in Canada have those south of the border worried they’ll lose their lead in the emerging pot industry
    The Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, May 14, 2016

    Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to legalise recreational marijuana consumption on a federal level, opening the door to investment, less restrictive tax policies and banks that can treat the marijuana industry like any other. While legalisation hasn’t yet taken place in Canada, when it inevitably does American marijuana businesses may suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage. Canadian companies might leapfrog the growth and development that’s taken place in the US since legalisation began at the state level. (See also: Vancouver issues first business licence to marijuana dispensary)

  • Health Canada overturns ban on medical heroin

    The reversal comes as B.C. fights an uphill battle against illicit drug overdose deaths, fueled in large part by illicit fentanyl
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, May 13, 2016

    Health Canada has moved to allow doctors to apply for special access to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade heroin to severe addicts, which would overturn a ban imposed by the previous Conservative government. The federal department said in a statement that a “significant body of evidence” supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine. “Diacetylmorphine is permitted in a number of other jurisdictions, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, to support a small percentage of patients who have not responded to other treatment options, such as methadone and buprenorphine,” the statement said.

  • 'Marijuana superstore' wins legal battle over medical pot shops in California

    The dismissal releases the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the US from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    harborside-dispensaryThe largest licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the US, once dubbed the “marijuana superstore”, has won a four-year legal battle with federal prosecutors who tried to shutter its Oakland and San Jose pot shops. The government withdrew its forfeiture action intended to close down Harborside Health Center. The dismissal releases the dispensary from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana. Steve DeAngelo, Harborside’s executive director, hailed the move as a signal of “the beginning of the end of federal prohibition”.

  • Tests for driver impairment by marijuana flawed: AAA

    Driving with "a noisy child in the back of the car" is about as dangerous as using marijuana and driving
    CBS News (US)
    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Six states that allow marijuana use employ legal tests to determine whether someone is driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws. The study commissioned by AAA's safety foundation said it's not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment.

  • Weed shall overcome: Can California help wind down the War on Drugs?

    The Golden State may be about to legalise recreational marijuana use, potentially setting a template for worldwide drugs liberalisation
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, May 9, 2016

    By the end of this year, California could be the world’s biggest legal marijuana market. Backers of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which would legalise weed for recreational use, collected 600,000 signatures in support of the measure – close to twice as many as the 365,880 needed to get the bill on the ballot at the November’s election. The law would permit adults of 21 or over to possess an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. It would create the framework for a distribution and retail market, managed by a new California Bureau of Marijuana Control, with a 15 per cent tax on cannabis product sales.

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