Russia’s contempt for effective drug and HIV policies is killing its citizensThe Economist (UK)
Saturday, October 1, 2016
The Soviet Union began reporting HIV in 1987, and the virus took off in Russia in the early 2000s, mostly among intravenous (IV) drug users. Dirty needles remain the primary means of infection. But with more new transmissions through heterosexual sex, doctors warn that HIV may threaten the general population. Bad policies and neglect have fed the epidemic. Russia has eschewed the kind of sex-education and drug policies that have been shown to work elsewhere. Harsh anti-drug laws keep users in the shadows. Methadone and other forms of non-injected opioid substitution therapy (OST) are illegal.
Farmers were not amused at seeing the crop go up in smoke, and have demanded compensationTimes of India (India)
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
In an indication of the extent of illegal cultivation of marijuana in the hills of Uttarakhand, sleuths from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have destroyed a massive 62 acres of the plant in just three days. The bureau is going to extend their crackdown to other districts in the hill state. While no one has been booked for growing the narcotic plant, villagers are not amused at the crackdown and have launched furious protests against the bureau, the local administration and the government, demanding compensation for their "loss". (See also: Proposal legalising hemp cultivation sent to U’khand govt)
Members of Congress are urging the federal government to delay a decision to ban the herbal supplement kratomThe Huffington Post (US)
Monday, September 26, 2016
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers are asking the Drug Enforcement Administration to reconsider its decision to place the herbal supplement kratom into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. In a letter, 45 representatives ― including 17 Republicans ― called on acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to delay the impending ban in order to “engage consumers, researchers, and other stakeholders, in keeping with well-established protocol for such matters.” (See also: The DEA is about to make life even more dangerous for heroin users)
By contrast, the numbers show police have been making more arrests for cocaine and heroin, and for other non-narcotic drugsThe Washington Post (US)
Monday, September 26, 2016
Arrests for simple marijuana possession in the United States fell to nearly a two-decade low last year, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI. The number of arrests for marijuana possession in 2015 – 574,641 – is the lowest number since 1996. It represents a 7 percent year-over-year drop, and a 25 percent drop from the peak of close to 800,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2007. In 2010, for instance, marijuana sales and possession together accounted for 52 percent of all drug arrests. By 2015, that number had fallen to 43 percent. Still, the marijuana possession arrest rate works out to more than one arrest every minute.
As soon as the Jamaica Government opens up the new industry a lot of new varieties (of ganja) are coming inJamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Anticipating that original ganja strains are likely to become extinct after the new, legitimate ganja industry opens up in Jamaica, American businessman Mark Santiago has committed to taking equipment into the island to ensure that the original genetics of the weed are preserved. Santiago, who invests heavily in the ganja sector in America, is now waiting to get the greenlight from the Cannabis Licensing Authority to kick off his business here in Jamaica with his local partner, Courtney Laing.
A large percentage of the population and local councils support the measure as wellDutch News (Netherlands)
Friday, September 23, 2016
A majority of MPs now seem likely to back draft legislation from the Liberal democratic party D66 which would regulate legalised marijuana cultivation under government control. The bill envisages coffee shop owners buying their produce from licenced growers who produce the marijuana in a closed system. Producers will have to meet certain conditions and be checked by officials. Even though there is a general election next March, D66 is optimistic the bill can be passed by the lower house of parliament before then. However, the government remains opposed to the idea. (See also: Dutch parliament supports proposal for regulated cannabis cultivation)
Over half of worst offending police forces are still not obeying new rules to stop abuse of their powersThe Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Police stops of black people are still at an “eye-watering” level compared with white people, the official police watchdog said and promised a fresh inquiry into every force’s use of the controversial powers. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, which oversees the police in England and Wales, said that stop and search was still of concern as it published a report into 13 police forces found previously to have been the worst offenders in breaking rules designed to prevent abuse of their powers. (See also: Mass stop and search by police doesn't reduce crime, says study)
De Lima’s now-former justice committee had been leading the inquiry on the thousands of drug-related deathsAsian Correspondent
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Accused of bias after she allowed a self-confessed hitman to link Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to over a thousand murders, Senator Leila De Lima was unceremoniously removed from the Senate committee investigating the killings. De Lima was not the only casualty when Senator Manny Pacquiao moved a motion against her and her team. All eight members in the justice committee headed by De Lima were also kicked out after the majority in the chamber voted aye. (See also: Behind Jokowi and Duterte’s "war on drugs")
Philippine leader says there are too many people involved in the narcotics trade and he needs more time to deal with themThe Guardian (UK)
Monday, September 19, 2016
Rodrigo Duterte has asked for a six-month extension for his war on drugs, saying there are too many people involved in the narcotics trade and he "cannot kill them all". Some 3,000 people have been killed since Duterte won May elections in a landslide on a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals to rid the country of illegal drugs in six months. The crackdown has drawn severe criticism from the United States, the European Union parliament and the United Nations over what they say are extrajudicial killings. (See also: Duterte ordered critic, rival supporters killed, mosque bombed, Senate told)
Farmers in northern Cauca province, the centre of the country’s marijuana cultivation, have formed a co-op to capitalise on legalisation of the pot tradeThe Guardian (UK)
Friday, September 16, 2016
Half of Colombia’s cannabis production is concentrated in the northern part of Cauca province, and 50% of that is grown in Corinto alone. Police estimate 100 hectares of land in the municipality are dedicated to growing weed; local farmers reckon the real number could be twice that. So when Colombia recently legalised marijuana for medical and scientific purposes, farmers in Corinto figured they had a corner on the cultivation market. A group of farmers came togetherto create Caucannabis, a cooperative that aims to be a prime supplier to companies hoping to cash in on Colombia’s new legal marijuana business.