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  • D66 devises plan to regulate Dutch marijuana production

    Regulating coffee shop supplies would also generate more tax income for the treasury and cut spending on the police and justice ministry
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Liberal democratic party D66 is introducing its own draft legislation to regulate the production and sale of marijuana in the Netherlands. D66 has called for regulation of the supply side for years and says this will not only save money but cut health risks to users. The current situation, in which officials turn a blind eye to the sale of small amounts of marijuana in licenced cafes but ban growing, cannot continue. The draft legislation does not legalise the cultivation of marijuana but will allow growers to apply for an exemption to the law under strict conditions.

  • Washington DC legalises marijuana possession and use

    The plan was overwhelmingly agreed in a referendum last November
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Washington DC joins Alaska, Colorado, and Washington state as the only places in the US that allow the use of the drug for recreational purposes. Residents and visitors to the city over the age of 21 can possess as much as 2oz (56g) of cannabis, and may grow a few plants at home. Buying and selling the drug remains illegal, as does smoking it in public. The change has created tension between the city's mayor and Congress.

  • Report illustrates dynamics of Colombia's domestic drug trade

    Michael Lohmuller
    InSight Crime
    Wednesday, 25 February, 2015

    Colombia-DrugOllaA recent analysis on the relationship between local drug markets and violence and crime in Colombia illustrates the dynamics driving the domestic drug trade, and provides recommendations for comprehensive government interventions designed to result in long-lasting security improvements.

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  • Marijuana activists push legalization of medical cannabis in Costa Rica

    Robert Isenberg
    The Tico Times (Costa Rica)
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    TicoTimesPien Metaal, who follows Latin American drug law reform ... told The Tico Times ... that legalizing medical marijuana in Costa Rica “would clearly send  a message that can spark a debate in the region... Of course, the debate should not just be about medicinal use,” Metaal wrote, “since in fact recreational use is the largest actually existing phenomena, [for] which simple possession and use are being criminalized and prosecuted.”

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  • Ganja law gets green light

    Lawmakers pass anticipated legislation that reduces possession of small quantities to a petty offence and paves way for medical cannabis industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    The much anticipated amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as the ganja law, has been passed in the House of Representatives of Jamaica. The Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, defended the bill. The act will decriminalise small amounts of marijuana and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical cannabis industry on the island. Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana will be a non-arrestable, ticketable offence, that attracts no criminal record.

  • Alaska becomes third US state to legalise recreational marijuana use

    Softening of law follows similar move by Colorado and Washington states, but smoking in public and buying and selling drug remains illegal
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Alaska has made smoking, growing and owning small amounts of marijuana legal, becoming the third US state to decriminalise recreational use. The Republican-leaning state, which narrowly passed the measure in November, followed similar moves by Colorado and Washington states, reflecting a rapidly shifting legal landscape for the drug. It remains illegal under federal law. Anyone aged 21 or older can now possess up to an ounce of marijuana and can grow up to six marijuana plants, three of which can be flowering. (See also: Baked Alaska)

  • February 23: A big day for Uruguay’s marijuana experiment

    A better-articulated enforcement strategy is needed in Uruguay
    The Pan-American Post
    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Uruguay’s experiment with legal domestic cannabis cultivation is about to enter a new phase, marking a key opportunity for the country to demonstrate what an effective enforcement model for the law will look like in the future. Until now, Uruguayan cannabis-growers have been allowed to register their existing plants with authorities, but moving forward they will have to obtain prior permission to legally possess the six flowering female plants permitted under the law.

  • Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say

    New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Compared to other recreational drugs -- including alcohol -- marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use. Those are the topline findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.

  • Could 'The Brighton Model' help the seaside city make millions with weed?

    The power of local councils in the UK extends only about as far as deciding when our bins get emptied
    Vice (UK)
    Monday, February 23, 2015

    In 2012, Green Party councillor Ben Duncan suggested that cannabis cafes should be licensed in the city in a bid to boost tourism. In 2014, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, petitioned the government to review the Misuse of Drugs Act, obtaining 134,811 signatures. A Green Party's working group on drugs policy is working on what is called the "Brighton Model" for cannabis legalisation, based on a similar policy reform that was first proposed in Copenhagen.

  • Gangs at war over Swiss cannabis plantations

    Last year St Gallen police uncovered some 70 plantations in the canton
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    The public prosecutor of St Gallen ordered the detention in custody of two suspects following a shooting at an industrial building in Altstätten which led to the discovery of a large cannabis plantation. Police found and dismantled the plantation after a shootout in which two Swiss men allegedly shot and injured two others, one of which remains in a critical condition. (See also: La guerre du cannabis s'intensifie en Suisse)

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Publications

Study: The ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol, not marijuana

A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.

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