Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • When poppies don’t pay

    With a stark decline in the price fetched by opium gum, Mexico’s government should take strides toward making crop substitution proposals a reality in Guerrero
    Foreign Policy (US)
    Monday, June 24, 2019

    “Then and there, I went to sell it, because I needed the money,” sing Los Armadillos, a band from La Sierra in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The popular song, “Cosecha Nocturna” (“Night Harvest”), is about growing and selling opium poppies, a crop that campesinos, or small-plot farmers, have relied on in the mountainous regions of La Sierra and La Montaña for decades. But that could be about to change. Between 2017 and 2019, the price per kilogram of the gum scraped from the flower fell from $1,059 to $265, making it much harder to earn a living from cultivating poppies. And, as farmers petition the government for subsidies to replace that income with traditional crops like corn, beans, and avocados, there’s a chance it could be a change for the better.

  • French economists tell government to legalise cannabis to bring in extra €2.8bn

    Based on annual consumption of 500 to 700 tonnes a year, taxes on legal pot could bring as much as €2.8 billion to the state and create up to 80,000 jobs
    The Local (France)
    Friday, June 21, 2019

    france bientot legaliserA group of French economists have recommended legalising marijuana, arguing it would add billions to state coffers, but President Emmanuel Macron's government ruled out letting recreational users get legally high. The Council of Economic Analysis (CAE), a body tasked with advising the government, noted that despite having some of Europe's toughest drugs laws, the French are the continent's heaviest users of pot. Around 700,000 people are believed to use the drug every day. "The system of prohibition promoted by France over the past 50 years has been a failure," the CAE said in a report, accusing the ban of fuelling organised crime. The report, which was not commissioned by the government, comes amid a growing debate in France over whether to legalise recreational marijuana.

  • Légalisation du cannabis : le Luxembourg enfume l’ONU

    Le projet de légaliser le cannabis au Luxembourg va à l’encontre de la convention de l’ONU sur les stupéfiants
    Le Quotidien (Luxembourg)
    Jeudi, 20 juin 2019

    luxembourg cannabisLa volonté du Grand-Duché de légaliser le cannabis récréatif est clairement opposée à l’engagement pris pour limiter l’usage de cette substance à des fins médicales ou scientifiques. L’Organe international de contrôle des stupéfiants (OICS) confirme que «la légalisation du cannabis à des fins non médicales par un État parti à la convention de 1961 constituerait une violation manifeste des obligations juridiques qui lui incombent». Cette limitation reste «un principe fondamental auquel aucune dérogation n’est permise». La tournure diplomatique pour répondre à l’OICS est que «le Luxembourg reste engagé en ce qui concerne la mise en œuvre des conventions et reste ouvert à discuter avec les autres pays et organisations des problèmes qui résulteraient éventuellement de la légalisation nationale».

  • Des députés de plusieurs bords plaident pour une légalisation contrôlée du cannabis

    Des députés de quatre groupes politiques, dont certains LRM, vont déposer jeudi une proposition de loi en faveur d’un monopole d’Etat pour la production et la vente du cannabis en France
    Le Monde (France)
    Mercredi, 19 juin 2019

    france cannabis2Un monopole d’Etat pour la production et la vente de cannabis. Des députés de quatre groupes politiques, dont certains du parti présidentiel, prônent une « légalisation contrôlée » du cannabis, dans une proposition de loi. « La constitution d’un monopole pour la production et la vente du cannabis par la création d’une société nationale, la SECA (Société d’exploitation du cannabis), permettra de réguler la production et la vente tout en contrôlant la consommation », estiment ces députés qui devraient. La vente serait interdite aux mineurs, imagine cette proposition de loi. Un arrêté du ministre de la santé fixerait par ailleurs le taux autorisé de tétrahydrocannabinol (THC). (Lire aussi: L’appel de 70 médecins, élus, économistes : « Pourquoi nous voulons légaliser le cannabis »)

  • Dagga high on new Eastern Cape premier’s list

    The premier said they wanted to have a fully-fledged dagga industry in the province
    City Press (South Africa)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    A flourishing dagga industry is high on the agenda of new Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, especially in the Pondoland area, where locals have been farming the wisdom herb for a long time. If he has his way, Mabuyane says he intends to formalise the cultivation and trade in dagga which he says would have immense economic benefits for the people in the province. Mabuyane said those who had been growing dagga illegally for years would have to be embraced. “My attitude is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but [we] must affirm those people who have been in the industry formally or informally, and set up cooperatives, formalise them and make them understand that they must work within the law so that we maximise opportunities out of this,” he said.

  • Cannabis legalisation lobby hopes for meeting with the President

    George Vella expressed reservations about extending the legal use of the drug
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    malta reform nowCannabis legalisation lobby group ReLeaf has expressed concern at 'reservations' by President George Vella on extending legal use of the drug beyond medical care. President Vella said that “as a doctor and a father” he had reservations about how wise it would be to extend the legal use of cannabis beyond medical care. Speaking at a conference on drugs and mental health, Dr Vella said he preferred to rely on the advice of experts in such matters. In a statement, Releaf expressed concern that there continued to be "poor understanding of why and how a legalised and regulated market could operate." The scope of a legalised and regulated market, the group said, would be to address the very basic of concerns surrounding cannabis and cannabis use.

  • Final push to legalize pot fails in New York

    State legislators were considering a backup plan to decriminalize the drug after a legalization effort collapsed amid disagreement about how to regulate the industry
    The New York Times (US)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    us ny legalize nowNew York’s plan to legalize marijuana this year collapsed, dashing hopes for a potential billion-dollar industry that supporters said would create jobs in minority communities and end decades of racially disproportionate policing. Democratic lawmakers had been in a headlong race to finalize an agreement before the end of the legislative session this week. But persistent disagreement about how to regulate the industry, as well as hesitation from moderate lawmakers, proved insurmountable. A recent poll showed that 55 percent of voters supported legalization. But the external pressure could not resolve an intraparty battle between state officials over who should control the estimated $1.7 billion in sales the recreational market could generate each year.

  • Want to grow your own cannabis? Get ready to fight ‘Big Marijuana’

    Big Marijuana joined forces to push homegrow out of New York
    Leafly (US)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    cannabis home growingIllinois is about to make history as the first state to legalize recreational cannabis and allow commercial sales through the state legislature instead of via a voter initiative. But this historic piece of legislation almost died along the way over the increasingly contentious issue of homegrow. Lawmakers compromised by allowing only medical cannabis patients to cultivate for themselves; recreational consumers can’t grow at all. It actually represents a worrying trend for those who believe that the right to grow your own cannabis is an essential part of a truly equitable legalization plan. Lawmakers in New York and New Jersey appear poised to make the same mistake. Some of the biggest players in New York’s nascent cannabis industry have been aggressively lobbying against homegrowing.

  • Swiss smoke 'legal cannabis’ in record amounts

    The Swiss boom in legal, low-THC cannabis shows no sign of abating and is bringing in plenty of tax for the government, new figures suggest
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    switzerland 100percent legalSince 2011, the sale of cannabis products containing up to one percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the ingredient that makes users high – has been legal in Switzerland. These legal products won’t make you stoned but have proven hugely popular, especially in recent years. Tax revenues from legal cannabis as a tobacco alternative hit 15.1 million francs (€13.5 million) last year, up from just 400,000 three years earlier, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) told Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung. Most smokers of the products are young, a survey from Addiction Switzerland suggests. Respondents touted the benefits of their active component cannabidiol (CBD), saying it helped with sleep problems and stress, while promoting well-being.

  • The real failure of Southeast Asia’s drug wars

    Wars against drugs may be winning political campaigns, but they are losing socioeconomic battles
    The Diplomat
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    philippines prisonThere may come a day when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is brought before the International Criminal Court to answer questions about his “war on drugs.” We might have moved one step closer to that end after UN human rights experts this month called on the United Nations to launch an independent investigation into Duterte’s signature policy. But amid the focus on the headlines of drug wars – not just in the Philippines but in Asia more broadly – it is also worth asking broader questions about their effectiveness.  In a report published in February, “10 years of drug policy in Asia: How far have we come?”, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) basically concluded that there was not a whole lot to show for these policies.

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