• S.F. Mayor Breed declares state of emergency in the Tenderloin

    Critics, including the public defender and harm-reduction advocates who work with people who use drugs, were quick to slam her plan for more policing
    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Friday, December 17, 2021

    sf tenderloin overdoseSan Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the Tenderloin, allowing city officials to bypass some bureaucratic hurdles as they try to stem a tide of fatal overdoses and street crime. The declaration would allow city officials to suspend rules around zoning, planning codes and contracts, enabling them to quickly set up a “linkage” facility that offers shelter, mental health and hygiene to people suffering from addiction. Her announcement comes after Breed unveiled a plan for the downtown neighborhood, ramping up funding for police overtime and infrastructure, such as public toilets, while adding social workers and outreach staff to lure more people into treatment — or jail those who refuse. (Opinion: Breed’s plan to shut down Tenderloin drug markets is progressive)

  • Up in Smoke: Is the legal-cannabis industry on the verge of collapsing?

    Huge swaths of California are pot deserts, with no dispensaries within reasonable driving distance
    East Bay Express (US)
    Wednesday, December 15, 2021

    us cannabis cultivation californiaWhen legalization proponents sold voters on Prop. 64 in 2016, one of their chief arguments in favor of the measure was that legal weed would yield a cash bonanza for state and local governments throughout California. And indeed, they seem to have been right. But now, many of those very same people argue that those taxes need to be reduced or eliminated altogether. And indeed, they seem to be right about that, too. Nobody could know precisely what would happen, though plenty of people were certain that they did know, or at least sounded like they did. Most people thought the legal market would overtake the illicit market. The market for illicit pot in California is still much larger than the legal market—approaching three times the size, by some estimates.

  • Berlin metro offers passengers edible hemp tickets

    Berlin's public transport operator is offering hemp-oil laced edible metro tickets for stressed commuters
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Tuesday, December 14, 2021

    hanfticketBerlin's public transport company (BVG) has come up with a way for passengers in the German capital to unwind from the stress of Christmas and COVID. BVG is offering customers the chance to buy day tickets impregnated with hemp oil, which it promises will have a "calming effect" when they are eaten. The tickets, which cost € 8.80 ($ 9.95) each, are made from edible paper and are sprinkled with "no more than three drops" of hemp oil. BVG says the oil was obtained from the seed of the cannabis plant. Unlike the flowers, this contains none of the intoxicating substances such as THC. As a result, the operator says, the oil on the tickets — which are valid for 24 hours — is "completely harmless to health" and "completely legal."

  • Cannabis bill approved in parliament, in first for Europe

    Law will allow recreational use and growing of cannabis
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Tuesday, December 14, 2021

    malta pinParliament approved a cannabis law that will allow users to carry, buy and grow amounts of the drug, making Malta the first European country to introduce laws to regulate recreational cannabis use. MPs backed the Responsible Use of Cannabis bill by 36 votes to 27. All Labour MPs voted in favour of the bill while the opposition voted against it. The reform must be signed into law by President George Vella - a process that usually happens within days of parliamentary votes. Vella, a doctor by profession, has faced calls from NGOs and lobby groups that oppose the reform plans to refuse to sign the bill into law. (See also: Through the smoke: What you need to know about new cannabis rules | Malta becomes first European country to legalise recreational cannabis)

  • S.F. takes big step toward opening a supervised drug use site

    Advocates have been clamoring for a site where people can use drugs under the supervision of medical staff as the city’s overdose death rate has skyrocketed
    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Tuesday, December 14, 2021

    dcr supervisionSan Francisco could be one step closer to opening a supervised drug use site after the Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of property for that purpose. Though supervised consumption sites are currently illegal under federal and state law, Mayor London Breed, backed by many supervisors, is pushing to open one.The approved agreement to purchase adjacent properties stated that the buildings would be used to serve people with behavioral health needs, not specifically for a supervised drug consumption site. The Board watered that down even further with a last-minute amendment by Supervisor Matt Haney that added the site wasn’t authorized for “any specific use” and the city “has not committed to a specific use or project on the site.”

  • Which towns and cities in New York will ban cannabis sales?

    If a city government does choose to ban one or more forms of cannabis sales, residents who oppose this can gather signatures and call a special election
    Filter (US)
    Tuesday, December 14, 2021

    us ny cannabisLocal governments in New York State are debating whether or not to ban recreational cannabis sales. They can either “opt in” or “opt out,” but they have to choose. Fast approaching is a December 31 deadline set by the state—if municipalities don’t take action before then, sales will automatically be legal in their city limits. New York State legalized adult-use cannabis in April 2021. Under the law, municipal governments must choose whether or not to allow recreational cannabis sales, including through dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges. If they take no action by the end of the year, such sales will become legal by default. If a city bans cannabis sales, it can reverse course and opt in at a later date. But once it allows cannabis sales, it cannot ban them again.

  • Dutch cannabis cafes see rise in business during COVID-19 pandemic

    Takeaway sales are booming
    Euronews (Europe)
    Monday, December 13, 2021

    nl coffeeshop queue coronaThe cannabis trade in the Netherlands booms despite the current coronavirus restrictions. Whether it is to calm their anxiety or ease the boredom of the past two years, many buyers say their consumption has increased during the pandemic. When the Netherlands first locked down in March 2020, there were scenes of "weed panic" with long queues outside coffee shops, the Dutch term for cannabis cafes. But while access to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs has been sharply limited, coffee shops have been able to stay open, mostly for takeaway. A survey by Trimbos, a research institute on mental health and addictions, found that 90 percent of Dutch cannabis users were smoking as much or more since the start of the pandemic. Three-quarters were smoking every day.

  • In first for Europe, Malta to legalize recreational marijuana, with several other countries on the cusp

    The move comes amid a global shift toward local and nationwide decriminalization, and in some cases legalization, of the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, December 13, 2021

    cannabis bud hand“The transatlantic winds of change that have been blowing in the Americas for a while have now reached the shores in Europe,” Tom Blickman of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute told a webinar hosted by EMCDDA in October. There’s growing consensus, he said, of a need to “take back control of an illicit and criminal market that in fact is out of control in terms of protecting public health.” Similar to the way cannabis regulations vary among U.S. states, Blickman said, Europe’s laws have likewise developed along “what fits best for local circumstances or national circumstances.” But, he cautioned, laws on both the European and international level that continue to class cannabis as an illicit substance could at some point clash with country-level efforts to legalize it.

  • Overdose prevention centres will save lives, say UK senior doctors

    Experts have joined forces to call for clinics to be set up where drug users can inject in a supervised setting
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, December 12, 2021

    dcr amsterdamDrug addicts should be allowed to use illicit substances in “supervised injecting facilities” with medical staff on hand to ensure no one dies, health groups are urging ministers. Senior doctors, public health specialists, drug experts and health charities want the government to approve trials of “overdose prevention centres” (OPCs) to cut Britain’s soaring toll of drug deaths. Supporters of the idea say that while letting users consume hard drugs in safe places, watched over by nurses and doctors, is controversial, it reduces fatalities and drug-related crime. Scores of organisations and individuals working in the health and drug fields have signed a statement co-ordinated by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) calling on ministers to permit the creation of some centres in order to save lives.

  • Ministry pushes full cannabis legalisation

    Use, processing and sale of flowers and buds will also be legal, with THC content capped
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Saturday, December 11, 2021

    thailand legal cannabisThe Ministry of Public Health will next year push for legalisation of all cannabis parts, lifting the last remaining hurdle preventing full use and commercialisation of the plant. Thailand earlier removed stems, roots, leaves and sprigs of cannabis from its Category 5 narcotics list, but kept flowers and buds on it. The new Narcotics Code no longer has cannabis and hemp on it. The next step is for the ministry to announce a revised narcotics list of all five categories based on the new law. Cannabis in all but one form will no longer be on it, minister Anutin Charnvirakul said. The only exception is cannabidiol (CBD) extracts with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of more than 0.2%, he added. (See also: Rethinking cannabis)

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