Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Middlesbrough Heroin Assisted Treatment scheme to begin

    Fifteen people have been selected to take part in the scheme
    BBC News (UK)
    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    heroin syringeA scheme that will see drug addicts given daily doses of medical-grade heroin will begin. Costing £12,000 per person, the scheme in Middlesbrough, on Teesside, will see people take diamorphine twice a day under medical supervision. The Heroin Assisted Treatment facility was announced last September but organisers said they had only recently secured the necessary licences. Critics have said the scheme would perpetuate addiction. Danny Ahmed, of Foundations Medical Practice which will host the clinic, said: "This treatment and recovery pilot is aimed at those for whom all other current methods have failed. This removes the constant need to commit crime in order to fund street heroin addiction."

  • Facing stiff competition, will Colombia's marijuana industry go up in smoke?

    Swift regulation in Uruguay, Peru, Mexico and possibly Brazil could erase Colombia’s initial head-start
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, October 7, 2019

    colombia industrial medical cannabisCannabis company Clever Leaves has only managed to export a few marijuana derivatives because of the tight regulations threatening to choke Colombia’s ganja industry. Colombia was one of the first countries to regulate the cultivation, commercialization and export of marijuana products. But businesses that invested in cannabis complain delays in regulatory adjustments are stemming exports and discouraging potential investors. The problem is especially serious given competition from other Latin American countries like Uruguay. Colombia has complicated regulations that demand legal cannabis growers get permissions from bodies ranging from agriculture and medical authorities to the anti-narcotics police and drug regulators. (See also: Cocaine country is embracing cannabis exports)

  • Paritätische Bremen fordert Cannabis-Legalisierung

    Der Wohlfahrtsverband möchte, dass die Landesregierung in Bremen neue Wege in der Drogen- und Suchtpolitik geht
    Weser Kurier (Germany)
    October 7, 2019

    cannabis germany2Der Paritätische Bremen fordert eine Neuausrichtung der Drogen- und Suchtpolitik in Bremen. Der Spitzenverband der Wohlfahrtspflege will, dass legaler Konsum und kontrollierter Verkauf von Cannabis möglich werden. Ebenso plädiert der Verband in einem veröffentlichten Positionspapier für einen Drogenkonsumraum in Bremen, mehr Hilfen für Suchtkranke, bessere Prävention und weniger Strafverfolgung. Der Paritätische spricht sich dafür aus, dass Cannabis in Bremen zum Eigengebrauch legal gekauft und angebaut werden kann. Das bei der Strafverfolgung eingesparte Geld solle in die Jugendarbeit und Prävention gesteckt werden. Auch solle der Führerschein nicht allein auf der Grundlage von Cannabisfunden eingezogen werden, heißt es im Positionspapier des Verbands.

  • Expert quits Home Office drug panel over 'political vetting'

    Prof Alex Stevens resigns after appointment of Release director vetoed by minister
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, October 6, 2019

    Alex StevensA criminal justice expert has quit the Home Office’s drug advisory panel, claiming political interference in the appointment process is undermining its independence. Prof Alex Stevens, a senior member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), resigned over the alleged “political vetting” of panel members by the government. The resignation comes a few months after the crime minister Victoria Atkins vetoed the appointment of Niamh Eastwood, the executive director of the drugs charity Release, after government vetting found she had previously criticised the Home Office and called for drug policy reform.

  • Australia could be the first country to legalise ecstasy – are we going too far?

    We have to remember that any drug reform is about young people’s future health and safety
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, October 4, 2019

    ecstasy5Matt Noffs, the chief executive of the Ted Noffs Foundation and a spokesman for the Take Control Campaign for Safer, Saner Drug Laws, and Alex Wodak, the president of the Drug Law Reform Foundation, discuss the legalization of ecstasy. "People need time to think about it. Despite the breakthroughs, the politics of this is still fiercely difficult. But, on the other hand, let’s remember what’s important about this: it’s human life, the sacredness of human life and also the difficulty that young people have in the world today. Drug reform makes a material difference to young people – it’s about their future health and safety." (See also: Now that the ACT has given marijuana the green light, could (and should) MDMA be next?)

  • Legalisation is killing our market, say small-scale dagga growers

    “I’m worried that now everyone will be able to plant their own dagga in their own homes, so we won’t be able to make money from selling what we are growing here”
    GroundUp (South Africa)
    Friday, October 4, 2019

    No one knows with confidence how many small-scale cannabis farmers there are in South Africa, but the number is large: one organisation estimates 900,000. Millions of people probably depend on income from cannabis. In Pondoland, these growers have been cultivating the plant for over 200 years, with most of their harvest in more contemporary times bound for Cape Town townships and taxi ranks, as well as other South African cities. Pondoland is among South Africa’s least economically developed regions, and dagga is the only cash crop in a subsistence economy. There have been a number of failed efforts to eradicate the plant from the area.

  • 'No plantation mentality!'

    Cannabis advocate warns investors against exploitation
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Thursday, October 3, 2019

    Ras Iyah VNoted cannabis advocate Ras Iyah V has issued a warning to prospective overseas investors who may have intentions of exploiting small ganja farmers to line their own pockets. "Don't come with the sugar cane plantation mentality that you going to work these boys and make yourselves rich and put the money in your pocket and gone." Meanwhile, Iyah V, who is a CLA board member, invited foreign investors to partner with grass root ganja farmers to make up the shortfall in government funding. While his Orange Hill community in Westmoreland was chosen, along with Accompong Town in St Elizabeth, as ganja planting pilot projects under the Cannabis Licensing Authority's (CLA's) Alternative Development Project (ADP), the Westmoreland project is yet to sprout as a result of a dearth of suitable lands.

  • Judge rules planned supervised injection site does not violate federal drug laws

    The decision means that the country's first supervised injection site can go forward
    NPR (US)
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019

    us safe consumption nowA judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open the first supervised injection site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility. U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh ruled that Safehouse's plan to allow people to bring in their own drugs and use them in a medical facility to help combat fatal overdoses does not violate the Controlled Substances Act. "The ultimate goal of Safehouse's proposed operation is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it," McHugh wrote in his opinion. (See also: Huge court win for Philly safe consumption site⁠ — But fight isn’t over)

  • Mexico could have state-owned cannabis company

    The proposal aims to prevent, at least temporarily, the vertical integration of the industry so as to avoid big commercial interests to capture the regulator
    El Universal (México)
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019

    The coordinator of the MORENA party at the Lower Chamber Mario Delgado Carrillo presented an initiative for the creation of a legal market for the purchase and sale of marijuana with the creation of a public company, owned by the government, called Cannsalud. The firm will be exclusively authorized to perform the purchase of cannabis and its derivatives from those that have obtained the corresponding licenses for such means. The initiative also considers the possibility for Mexicans to be able to grow their own cannabis. “Without the need of a license, they would be able to own, grow, harvest, prepare, or process up to six cannabis plants, as long as they are for personal use, allowing, too, shared use at home.”

  • State marijuana packaging must be ‘as unattractive as possible’

    The four-year experiment is part of the current government’s coalition agreement
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019

    More rules about the pending experiments with regulated marijuana production are becoming clear. In particular, officials are keen to make sure non-users do not take up the habit, so state-produced cannabis will be sold in ‘unattractive’ packaging. Growers may only use the Helvetica typeface on the packages and black ink. In addition the packet must be ‘free of all processing and branding which could make it more appealing’. Nor may the packaging state what the likely effect of taking the drug is. The package must, however, also include a health warning. The government said in August it will press ahead with trials of regulated marijuana production with the maximum 10 cities when the experiment starts in 2021.

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