Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Medical-pot shops feel heat amid new laws, federal prosecution warning

    The Denver Post (US)
    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Colorado's medical-marijuana industry took a battering from all sides, as new laws restricting the businesses took effect and the Obama administration made its most explicit threat yet that dispensary raids are still possible. Perhaps the most pressing challenge to Colorado's medical-marijuana businesses came in a U.S. Department of Justice memo . In this week's memo, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote that people "who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana and those who knowingly facilitate such activities" are in violation of federal law, regardless of their state laws.

  • California medical marijuana growers face pressure

    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    cannabis-cultA new Obama administration memo approves federal prosecution of anyone in the business of growing or supplying marijuana for medical patients even if they are complying with state law, a contradiction, advocacy groups say, of President Obama's pledge to let states set their own policies. The memo, issued Wednesday by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, insisted that the Justice Department hadn't abandoned the policy it announced in a set of guidelines in October 2009.

  • Portugal drug law show results ten years on, experts say

    AFP
    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Health experts in Portugal say that Portugal's decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked. "There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal," said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction. A report published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said Portugal had dealt with this issue "in a pragmatic and innovative way."

  • Drug club: Spain’s alternative cannabis economy

    Red Pepper (UK)
    June 2011

    While public opinion seems to be shifting towards support for legalisation; there is surprisingly little discussion in the drugs counter-culture of what a socially just model of cannabis consumption might look like. Nick Buxton examines the experience of cannabis social clubs in Spain.

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  • Justice Department "Clarifies" Stance on Medical Marijuana: It's Illegal And They Will Arrest You

    SF Weekly (US)
    Friday, July 1, 2011

    For a few weeks now, medical marijuana activists have been waiting for Attorney General Eric Holder to "re-clarify" exactly what the Justice Department plans to do about state-legal, federally-illegal medical marijuana. In a memo dated June 29, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole did just that: marijuana is illegal, and the federal government can prosecute any user, any time for growing, selling or transporting it, state law be damned, he wrote.

  • Bolivia formally renounces UN narcotics convention because it penalizes coca-leaf chewing

    The Associated Press
    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Bolivia's government has informed the United Nations it is renouncing the world body's anti-drug convention because it classifies coca leaf as an illegal drug, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Bolivia's decision comes after a proposal by President Evo Morales to remove language obliging countries that have signed the convention to ban the chewing of coca leaves was rejected following U.S. objections.

  • The Way Forward

    Jorge G. Castañeda
    Time Magazine (US)
    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Since time immemorial, Mexicans have argued that were it not for U.S. demand for illicit substances, Mexico would have a manageable drug problem. More recently, we have also contended that absent the U.S.'s laxity on arms sales and its tolerance for the possession of extraordinarily dangerous weapons, the violence in our country would not be what it has become. Lately our leaders have added a new gripe: Americans are hypocrites because they support prohibitionist and costly drug-enforcement policies — yet, through the specious fallacy of medical marijuana, are legalizing drugs without saying so.

  • Let the states decide their own marijuana policies

    Lawmakers for the first time have introduced legislation in Congress to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana
    Paul Armentano
    The Hill (US web)
    Wednesday, June 28, 2011

    The bipartisan measure -- H.R. 2306, the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011' and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess personal use amounts of marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

  • Drug death 'capital' Brighton to put treatment ahead of punishment

    Green MP says the coalition's 'localism' policy enables seaside town to follow Portugal's decriminalisation strategy
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called for a new approach, having identified an unlikely ally. She wants to exploit the localism agenda of communities secretary Eric Pickles, the no-nonsense cabinet bruiser from Bradford, to decriminalise drug use in the city. If Lucas, the first Green MP in England, gets her way, a town which has gained a reputation as one of the most tolerant in the country will become a pioneer in liberal drugs policy as well.

  • Bolivia to denounce and rejoin the 1961 UN Single Convention with respect to coca leaf chewing

    Press conference by Pablo Solon, Permanent Representative of Bolivia
    New York, Friday, June 24, 2011

    Press conference by H.E. Pablo Solon, Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia on the theme, "denounce and rejoin the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, with respect to coca leaf chewing”.

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