Drugs in the news

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  • Pro-marijuana groups eye Northeastern states, including Maine

    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    maine2Marijuana advocates want to take their legalization drive — so far the province of Western states — to the Northeast, and they say the first state to do it here might be Maine. The Pine Tree State has a long history with cannabis — Maine voters approved medical marijuana legalization 15 years ago, becoming the first New England state to do so. Now, national marijuana advocates say, the state represents a chance for pro-marijuana forces to get a toehold in the Northeastern states they have long coveted.

  • The great American relapse

    An old sickness has returned to haunt a new generation
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    The face of heroin use in America has changed utterly. Forty or fifty years ago heroin addicts were overwhelmingly male, disproportionately black, and very young. Most came from poor inner-city neighbourhoods. These days, the average user looks different. More than half are women, and 90% are white. The drug has crept into the suburbs and the middle classes. And although users are still mainly young, the age of initiation has risen: most first-timers are in their mid-20s. The spread of heroin to a new market of relatively affluent, suburban whites has allowed the drug to make a comeback, after decades of decline.

  • Vancouver addicts soon to receive prescription heroin

    The federal Health Minister objected to Health Canada’s approval of the treatment
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    In a North American first, heroin addicts in Vancouver will soon receive prescription heroin outside of a clinical trial. Doctors at the Providence Crosstown Clinic received shipment of the drug this week for 26 former trial participants and will begin administering the drugs next week. In all, 120 severely addicted people have received authorization from Health Canada to receive the drugs; the rest are expected to get them soon. This development comes after more than a year of battles between Vancouver doctors and federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose.

  • Cannabis legalisation returns to Swiss agenda

    The idea is to set up clubs where anyone over 18 can smoke marijuana in a regulated setting
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Switzerland has always played a pioneering role in drug policy. In 1986, it was the first to open shelters for addicts and in 1994 it medically prescribed heroin. Today, its cities are looking at introducing cannabis social clubs – a controversial issue. "We propose experimenting with a possible new model because we need evidence of how the black market, crime and public health would change as a result of regulation," former interior minister Ruth Dreifuss, also a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, explained. "The pilot project will give us experience and facts so we can design a new policy."

  • Un peu moins de fumée autour des politiques antidrogues

    L’étude de deux députés, dont un favorable à une légalisation, pointe l’échec des mesures contre la consommation de stupéfiants
    Libération (France)
    Jeudi, 20 novembre 2014

    Il faut changer la loi de 1970 pénalisant l’usage de cannabis : c’est ce que préconisent deux députés, auteurs d’un rapport sur les drogues illicites dans lequel ils actent l’échec de la politique de prohibition, suivie depuis quatre décennies. Mais ils divergent sur la conduite à tenir : pour l’UMP Laurent Marcangeli (Corse-du-Sud), il convient de punir l’usage d’une simple contravention. Pour la PS Anne-Yvonne Le Dain, une légalisation s’impose dans l’espace privé, avec «une offre réglementée du produit sous le contrôle de l’Etat». (Cannabis : une contravention pour les consommateurs ?)

  • All the progress made on marijuana legalization could vanish with a new president

    The Huffington Post (US web)
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    The movement to end marijuana prohibition has made significant progress recently, but it could all be undone when the next president takes office in 2017. Harvard economist Jeff Miron, a supporter of marijuana policy reform, highlighted the precarious nature of state marijuana laws in an op-ed for CNN on why Congress needs to act now on federal marijuana policy. "Federal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition," Miron wrote.

  • Why Congress should legalize pot

    Federal prohibition creates problems even if enforcement is nominal
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, Naovember 19, 2014

    obama-changeFederal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition. So far, the federal government has mostly taken a hands-off approach to state medicalizations and legalizations, but in January 2017, the country will have a new president. That person could order the attorney general to enforce federal prohibition regardless of state law. Whether that will happen is hard to forecast. If more states legalize marijuana and public opinion continues its support, Washington may hesitate to push back.

  • Fatal attraction: Brownfield's flexibility doctrine and global drug policy reform

    Martin Jelsma Dave Bewley-Taylor Damon Barrett
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    State-level cannabis reforms, which gathered steam this month, have exposed the inability of the United States to abide by the terms of the legal bedrock of the global drug control system; the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This is something that should force a much-needed conversation about reform to long- standing international agreements. But while ostensibly 'welcoming' the international drug policy reform debate, it is a conversation the US federal government actually wishes to avoid.

    Read more...
  • Is ‘Big Marijuana’ inevitable?

    What’s the right approach to legalizing recreational marijuana?
    The New York Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    It looks like the use of recreational marijuana is heading down the path of legalization across the country. Voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia approved legalizing measures on Nov. 4, but with key differences. Some say a profit-driven model for legalization runs the risk of increasing marijuana use, while others argue that a regulated market is the best way to keep use safe for consumers. What’s the right approach to legalizing recreational marijuana?

  • Positives Echo auf Cannabis-Modellversuch

    Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Die CDU will den von der Gesundheitsdezernentin Rosemarie Heilig angestrebten Modellversuch zur Entkriminalisierung von Cannabis erst einmal in Ruhe prüfen. Die SPD begrüßt dagegen den Modellversuch und drückt aufs Tempo. Die Experten hatten sich auf der Ersten Frankfurter Fachtagung zu Cannabis einhellig geäußert, dass das Betäubungsmittelgesetz, das den Cannabiskonsum verbietet, versagt hat. Es habe keine abschreckende Wirkung, der Cannabiskonsum habe zugenommen, auf dem Schwarzmarkt seien gefährliche Beimischungen unterwegs. (Mehr dazu: Drogenkonsum: Ex-Oberstaatsanwalt fordert Straffreiheit | Polizei fordert Spielraum bei Haschisch-Delikten)

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