• Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could see their drug possession records disappear

    It’s estimated that as many as 250,000 Canadians may have drug possession convictions stemming from cannabis possession alone, when it was still illegal. That may be about to change
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Monday, July 4, 2022

    handcuffsCanadians with criminal records for drug possession will see them effectively vanish within two years after the government’s criminal justice reform bill becomes law — a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. Criminal records can prevent people from getting jobs, volunteer opportunities, housing and hinder their ability to travel. The automatic “sequestration” of drug possession records was made possible due to a New Democratic Party amendment to Bill C-5 and accepted by the government. “I said we needed a better bill ... Highest on my list was trying to get rid of criminal records for simple possession,” said NDP justice critic Randall Garrison, who proposed the amendment.

  • Germany’s move to legalise cannabis expected to create ‘domino effect’

    Coalition government consults health experts, economists and growers in race to clear legal hurdles within two years
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, July 1, 2022

    Germanycannabis germany2 is mulling over the consequences of soon becoming the world’s largest potential market for legally sold cannabis, as the country’s left-liberal government presses ahead with plans to allow the controlled distribution of the drug among adults. Olaf Scholz’s coalition government has in recent weeks reiterated its 2021 coalition-deal vow to legalise for recreational use what its Green and liberal party minister have taken to referring to as Bubatz, a slang word for weed popular among German rappers. A consultation process consisting of five public hearings with health experts, economists and cannabis growers concluded this week, firing the starting gun for a race to clear legal and regulatory hurdles within one to two years. A draft bill is expected within the second half of 2022. (See also: Germany seeks 'safety first' approach to legalizing cannabis)

  • War on drugs prolonged Colombia’s decades-long civil war, landmark report finds

    Truth commission’s report, touted as a chance to heal after half a century of bloodshed, called for a ‘substantial change in drug policy’
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    The punitive, prohibitionist war on drugs helped prolong Colombia’s disastrous civil war, the country’s truth commission has found, in a landmark report published as part of an effort to heal the raw wounds left by conflict. The report, titled “There is a future if there is truth”, was the first instalment of a study put together by the commission that was formed as part of a historic 2016 peace deal with the leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). The report found that a “substantial change in drug policy” should be implemented and that a transition “to the regulation of drug markets” should follow, while also placing some of the blame at the US, who funded Colombia’s armed forces during the war.

  • Inside the process to legalize recreational cannabis In Germany

    More than 200 leading German and international experts will exchange their views on the legalization
    Forbes (US)
    Monday, June 27, 2022

    germany cannabis flagWhen the German government announced in late 2021 its plan to legalize recreational cannabis sales in Germany, experts and cannabis enthusiasts put great expectations on the so-called "traffic light" government's plan to regulate the industry. Although Germany and other European countries focused in recent months on the war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February and the resulting efforts to detach themselves from Russian energy dependence, German officials had time to speed up the process of legalizing recreational cannabis. Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert officially announced on June 13 the kickoff of the first of five expert hearings to prepare for the planned legislative process to legalize recreational cannabis.

  • Banning tourists from cannabis cafes will cut back on crime: Halsema

    Halsema has pledged not to press ahead with the plan without council support
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, June 25, 2022

    nl amsterdam weedAmsterdam’s cannabis cafes are often intertwined with serious crime and play a serious role in money laundering, the capital’s mayor Femke Halsema has told councillors, ahead of Wednesday’s debate on refusing entry to tourists. Closing coffee shops which are involved in criminal activities is both complicated and time consuming, the mayor is quoted as saying by the Parool. But by banning the sale of soft drugs to tourists, the cannabis market will shrink and become less interesting for organised crime. This makes a ban on access for tourists is an unavoidable, temporary move in efforts to get the soft drugs market under control, the mayor told councillors, referring to police report De narcostand van Nederland, which was published earlier this year.

  • Legalise ecstasy and cannabis to combat drugs crime: think tank

    The government needs to take over the national drugs market for cannabis and ecstasy as quickly as possible
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, June 23, 2022

    nl cannabis cultivation policeDutch drugs criminality could be tackled by legalising ecstasy and cannabis and by a taking a much tougher approach to cocaine smuggling, an independent think tank has said in a report. The Dutch need to work on a ‘credible’ policy when it comes to drugs crime, think tank DenkWerk said in its evaluation, and that includes measures such as closing down port terminals which are not doing enough to intercept drugs transports. The think tank based its recommendations on interviews with 25 representatives from police, customs, the public prosecution office, ports and journalism. Legalisation, one of the report’s key recommendations, would deprive criminals of hundreds of millions of euros in profits. At the same time, it would tackle the illegal dumping of chemicals and discourage youngsters just out of school from getting involved in drugs crime.

  • Thailand cannabis: From a war on drugs to weed curries

    Thailand has given away one million cannabis plants to encourage cultivation
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, June 21, 2021

    thailand cannabis plant handoutThailand legalised cultivating and consuming cannabis this month, reversing a hard-line approach of long prison sentences or even the death penalty for drug offences. Cafés and stalls have been openly selling all kinds of cannabis products, or showing off jars filled with potent marijuana flowers. The minister for public health, Anutin Charnvirakul - architect of the new law - was seen sampling weed-laced curries, and being applauded by farmers who hope it will bring them new sources of income. The new law appears to give Thailand what is perhaps the most liberal approach to marijuana anywhere in the world. For the moment, people can grow and consume as much of the plant as they like, though there are a few limits on how they can market and sell it. (See also: Thousands of cannabis offenders being released, but not all)

  • Study reveals economic impact of Swiss cannabis legislation

    Cannabis generates an annual turnover of around CHF1 billion ($1.03 billion) in Switzerland, according to a new study
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Monday, June 20, 2022

    switzerland flag cannabis2Cannabis generates an annual turnover of around CHF1 billion ($1.03 billion) in Switzerland, according to a new study. The figure, published by the University of Geneva, contains production, import and trade in the shadow economy as well as legal economic activity, notably policing, the justice system, social work and healthcare. It is the equivalent of CHF582 million in annual revenue of the Swiss market for recreational cannabis, according to researchers. In addition, the direct and indirect turnover of the other segments of the cannabis system amount to about CHF425 million annually without factoring in the total gross value added, the study said.

  • Luxembourg law lets you smoke a joint - at home

    Watered down version of government's plan includes growing four plants out of the public eye
    Luxemburger Wort (Luxembourg)
    Wednesday, June 15, 2022

    luxembourg cannabis flagLuxembourg has taken a first step to legalising cannabis, launching a watered down proposal which allows people to grow the drug at home, but leaves out the government's promise to take the trade out of criminal hands entirely. Justice Minister Sam Tanson has put forward a new law which would allow people to grow up to four plants at home, although people must keep them out of sight and can only consume the drug at home. Luxembourg's three neighbouring countries have previously voices their discontent about the plan, fearing the easier rules could cause people to buy the drug in Luxembourg and carry it over the border illegally. But Germany's new government is now pushing ahead with its own law, and Malta has become the first EU country to legalise cannabis. (See also: Pas de registre de contrôle prévu pour le cannabis récréatif)

  • Germany takes first step towards relaxing cannabis law

    Health Minister Karl Lauterbach hopes to present a new law in the coming months
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Tuesday, June 14, 2021

    Burkhard BlienertThe first of five rounds of expert testimony on the liberalization of cannabis laws was to begin in Berlin, the first step in Germany's plan to legalize recreational use of the plant. Titled "cannabis, but safe", the first closed-door presentation will come from Social Democrat (SPD) Burkhard Blienert, the federal government's drug policy expert. Legalizing and regulating the cannabis market was one of the progressive reforms promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government when his SPD signed a coalition agreement with the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party last year. Expert testimony, the first step in creating new laws, is expected to last until the end of June. (See also: German officials formally launch marijuana legalization effort, with hearings set to begin this week | 5 things to know about Germany’s push to legalize cannabis)

Page 2 of 445