Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Pass the Duchy: Luxembourg’s grand plan to legalize cannabis

    Health minister confirms plans and calls on neighbouring countries to relax their laws
    Politico (EU)
    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    luxembourg cannabisLuxembourg has ambitions to legalize recreational cannabis and convince other European countries to do the same. The Duchy would legalize the entire cannabis market, from issuing licenses for its production to legalizing its consumption, under a highly regulated structure. The health ministry is slated to unveil a proposal to start the legislative process this fall, and the goal is for it to become law within two years. It would ban home cultivation and likely impose an age restriction — possibly 18 — for purchase. Health Minister Etienne Schneider also envisions prohibition on purchases by non-residents, as a way to avoid drug tourism. He admits it will be difficult striking a balance between keeping borders open and regulating this new market, especially if Luxembourg's neighbors fear undesired spillover.

  • Cannabis to be 'fully legal in UK within years'

    ‘I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs,’ says Labour MP David Lammy after trip to Canada
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, July 29, 2019

    uk poll 30072019A group of cross-party MPs said the UK could completely legalise cannabis use within a decade following a research trip to Canada. Labour’s David Lammy, the Liberal Democrats’ Sir Norman Lamb and Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly visited the country to study the legal weed market, set up after the drug was decriminalised there last year. The Tottenham MP Lammy said he had shifted his stance on the drug, deciding to back legalisation in a departure from his party’s official position. “I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs,” the Tottenham MP told BBC’s Newsbeat. “I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised in this country.” (See also: Over half of Brits support cannabis legalisation in the UK)

  • Economics of legalising cannabis – pricing and policing are crucial

    Combination of getting the price level right and cracking down on illegal activities crucial to reach the right balance between reducing criminality and avoiding increases in cannabis consumption following legalisation
    The Conversation (UK)
    Monday, July 29, 2019

    cannabis leaf plantsLegalising cannabis can have major benefits for all citizens. If carried out correctly, everyone will benefit from less crime and stronger rule of law. Legalising the drug will especially help protect young people and may even lower their consumption of the drug. It is also a way of raising taxes for the state, instead of fuelling criminal organisations, which currently control the illegal market. These benefits are increasingly recognised by the public. Crucial to seeing these benefits come about, is the way legalising cannabis is done and how the drug is priced once it is made legal. These are the findings from researchI’ve carried out with colleagues in France. (Read also: Millions use cannabis, but figures for how many become dependent aren't reliable)

  • New York governor signs bill decriminalizing marijuana use

    Possession under two ounces will not be met with criminal penalties
    The Hill (US)
    Monday, July 29, 2019

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill decriminalizing the use of marijuana in the state and expunge the records of some people convicted on cannabis-related charges. "Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,"  Cuomo said in a statement. "By providing individuals who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by reducing draconian penalties, we are taking a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process." The new bill, approved by New York’s state legislature earlier this year, will reduce unlawful marijuana possession to a misdemeanor punishable by a fine.

  • St Kitts Gov't tables legislation to allow for marijuana use

    The High Court has ruled that some prohibitions on cannabis use were too broad and inconsistent with the Constitution
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Monday, July 29, 2019

    The St Kitts-Nevis government said it would table legislation in the Parliament allowing for the regulated and controlled use of marijuana for medicinal, scientific, religious and recreational purposes amendmending the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019. “The far-reaching legislative amendments come after the Cabinet established a National Marijuana Commission to ascertain the views of citizens and residents on cannabis use,” noting that the consultations, which were chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws, had “found unanimous agreements for the decriminalisation of marijuana in the Federation”. (See also: St Kitts-Nevis review of Cannabis laws reflect changing view)

  • St Vincent hops onto ganja train

    Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana now a ticketable offence
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Saturday, July 27, 2019

    ganja rasta smokingThe St Vincent and the Grenadines Parliament has amended legislation that would make smoking two ounces (56 grammes) or less of marijuana a ticketable offence, if the offender admits to the crime. Under the new law, a person who is in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana cannot be arrested, cannot be jailed, and would not get a criminal record as a result. The law also makes it legal for persons to use the drug in their home or at places of Rastafarian worship. If the new law gets the approval of lawmakers, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is still a criminal offence, but the maximum penalty that the court can impose is EC$500 dollars. (See also: Contradictions in new ganja law — Friday)

  • Auxly Cannabis stock soars as British tobacco giant Imperial takes 20% stake

    Imperial is the second major tobacco company to make an investment in the Canadian cannabis space
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Thursday, July 25, 2019

    cannabis investingBritish tobacco company Imperial Brands is getting into the cannabis business with a $123 million investment in Auxly Cannabis, the Canadian company run by former Tweed founder Chuck Rifici. The British firm — which has no ties to Imperial Tobacco Canada — will take a 19.9 per cent ownership in Auxly through a convertible debenture, at a conversion price of $0.81 per share, which is a 11 per cent premium to Auxly’s closing share price as of July 24, 2019. Auxly’s stock soared 20 per cent in early trading today to $0.88 a share. Imperial will also get one out of five board seats at the cannabis company, which will give it some oversight of corporate governance at the company. Auxly, for its part, will obtain the rights to Imperial’s vaping technology.

  • Berlin will kontrollierte Cannabis-Abgabe an Erwachsene

    Vorgesehen sei eine niedrige vierstellige Teilnehmerzahl
    Berliner Morgenpost (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 25. Juli 2019

    cannabis germany2Die rot-rot-grüne Koalition will ein Modellprojekt zur kontrollierten Abgabe von Cannabis auf den Weg bringen. Ein entsprechender Antrag solle im September an das zuständige Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) gehen, sagte Catherina Pieroth, Sprecherin für Gesundheits- und Drogenpolitik der Grünen-Fraktion im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus. Das Projekt solle zwei Jahre laufen und wissenschaftlich begleitet werden. Damit werde eine Vereinbarung aus dem Koalitionsvertrag umgesetzt, heißt es weiter. Geplant ist, dass eine noch nicht näher benannte Zahl von Teilnehmern legal Cannabisprodukte erwerben kann. Sie müssen sich im Vorfeld melden, Angaben über ihren Konsum und ihr Konsumverhalten machen. Zwei bis drei Abgabestellen solle es geben.

  • Luxembourg legal pot plan violates UN rules

    Like Canada, Luxembourg would be in trouble over current plans
    Luxembourg Times (Luxembourg)
    Wednesday, July 24, 2019

    luxembourg cannabis flagLuxembourg met a possible hurdle in legalising cannabis as a parliamentary question brought to light that the current plans are in violation of international drug control treaties. The Grand Duchy is a signatory of three United Nations treaties, which together form a global drug control framework, and which lay down that cannabis may only be used for medical or research purposes. Canada has run into trouble with the International Narcotics Control Board - the guardian of the treaties - over its legalisation of recreational cannabis, and Luxembourg faces a similarly damning verdict. The government is now discussing the issue with UN authorities and with Canada, the country whose model to legalise cannabis it wants to follow, health minister Etienne Schneider in answer to a parliamentary question.

  • U.S. bankers are answering the call of cannabis as deals flow away from Canada

    Small investment banks run by Wall Street veterans are looking to snap up a piece of the action amid a surge in marijuana deals
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Tuesday, July 23, 2019

    After years of Canada dominating the world of marijuana finance, the country’s head start is evaporating and U.S. bankers are increasingly answering the call of cannabis companies. For investment bankers willing to work in weed, the opportunity is large: With legalization spreading across the U.S., the marijuana industry is undergoing a wave of consolidation as large companies race to build a national presence. The rise of cannabis banking comes as investors turn their attention to the U.S. less than a year after Canada legalized marijuana. That has given America’s northern neighbour a head start, and a slew of reverse mergers and public offerings there has helped create the legal market in North America. But the tide is starting to turn as Canadian companies struggle to make a profit.

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