Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Shaw sees glimmer of banking hope for ganja businesses

    Banks and other financial institutions can work directly with state-legal cannabis businesses
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, September 27, 2019

    dollar cannabis2Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, has welcomed news of the passage of the SAFE Banking Act in the United States, which could lay the foundation for addressing correspondent banking issues that remain a major challenge for legal cannabis producers. Director of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Delano Seiveright, was quick to add that it “is still early days”. “It really is a huge development, as the issue of lack of access to banking for legal cannabis businesses represents a juggernaut for many in the legal industry globally, and particularly in Jamaica where our legal cannabis industry is literally being stifled."

  • High time for legal cannabis in Europe?

    Five experts on a pan-EU cannabis policy
    Politico (EU)
    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    europe cannabisEurope’s most commonly used illicit drug has moved from the coffee shops of Amsterdam to mainstream political debate. But EU governments remain deeply divided in their attitudes to cannabis. What’s the right path for Europe to take on cannabis, and where does Brussels’ role lie? What Brussels can do is feed information to member states through tools like directives. This is something it could do right now with medical cannabis, but it has not yet taken the initiative. So each member state has no idea what it should do about the medical use of cannabis in terms of EU policy. To be sure, Brussels cannot obligate a country to conform to a directive.

  • Peter Dutton: government may override 'dangerous' ACT decision to legalise cannabis

    Minister says attorney general Christian Porter is looking at ‘trendy’ law change
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    australia cannabis mapAttorney-General Christian Porter has warned Australian Capital Territory cannabis users they may not be protected by a new law legalising recreational use, weighing in alongside the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, against the law. Dutton described the new laws as unconscionable, comments interpreted as urging the attorney general to challenge or overturn the ACT law. Porter played down – but did not rule out – the possibility of the commonwealth directly overriding the laws. The laws are “obviously a matter for the ACT” and he will consider “what issues may arise to the enforcement of existing commonwealth laws that criminalise the possession of prohibited drugs, including marijuana”. (See also: Greg Hunt 'concerned' about legalisation of cannabis but no plans to override ACT law)

  • Australian Capital Territory votes to legalise cannabis for personal use

    Territory becomes first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana and two plants
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    cannabis plantsPossessing and growing cannabis for personal use will become legal in Australia’s capital. The laws, which don’t come into effect until 31 January, were passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly. They will allow Canberrans over 18 to possess 50 grams of cannabis and grow two plants. The ACT attorney-general, Gordon Ramsay, told the assembly it was time to treat drug addiction like a health issue rather than an issue of “right and wrong”, which is why the laws would be accompanied by more drug and alcohol services and the introduction of specific drug courts. (See also: Cannabis legalised for personal use under ACT law | Police could still charge for cannabis possession if laws pass | Home grown cannabis to be legal in the ACT. Now what?)

  • House passes bill to protect cannabis industry access to banks, credit unions

    The rapid state-level approval of cannabis has created a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S. but one with fraught access to the financial services industry
    The Hill (US)
    Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    us buying marijuana dispensaryThe House passed a bill to give banks and credit unions legal cover to serve the cannabis industry even while the drug remains federally banned. The bill, dubbed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, easily passed the House by a vote of 321-103, with 229 Democrats, 91 Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) supporting the measure. While the bill faces an uncertain future in a Republican-held Senate that is skeptical of easing drug laws, the House’s approval marks a major step toward settling the vast differences between federal and state cannabis regulation. (See also: Breaking down Congress’ historic marijuana banking vote)

  • Cannabis: le Maroc peut-il surfer sur la vague verte?

    L’intensification de la culture dans le nord pourrait enfanter de nouveaux problèmes
    H24 (Maroc)
    Mardi, 24 septembre 2019

    morocco cannabis5Le pétrole vert du Maroc fait saliver les nouvelles industries émergentes qui promettent des produits miracles à base de cannabis. Malgré les perspectives économiques prometteuses qui s'offrent au pays, le courage politique fait défaut à l'Etat et aux partis politiques, tandis que le peuple de l'herbe continue à fumer en cachette.  Enfin l’Etat, conscient des risques politiques de ces démarches, s’est enfermé dans son mutisme habituel, tout en poursuivant sa coûteuse politique de coercition vis-à-vis du trafic de drogue. La légalisation de la culture du cannabis passera nécessairement par une volonté politique d'en haut qui, par effet de "ruissellement", peut faire aboutir ce projet.

  • Enough evidence to support introduction of pill testing in NSW, inquiry told

    Announcing the inquiry in May, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "convinced" that it would find no evidence to support pill testing
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Monday, September 23, 2019

    drug checkingA world expert has told an inquiry into the drug ice and other amphetamines, including MDMA (ecstasy), that there is "sufficient evidence" overseas and in Australia to support the introduction of drug or pill testing in NSW. Professor Alison Ritter called for a trial of pill testing at festivals in evidence to the Special Commission of Inquiry. Dr David Caldicott, an emergency consultant from Calvary Hospital in the ACT, said the delays in introducing trials of pill testing had been frustrating. He conducted a trial of pill testing at Groovin the Moo in Canberra this year. He attributed the trial's success to the event's goal of creating a "death-free festival" instead of a "drug-free festival".

  • Not Malana cream; Nepalese charas sells in Himachal

    Kullu, especially Parvati valley, is notorious worldwide for its production of the world’s best charas, a cannabis resin
    Times of India (India)
    Monday, September 23, 2019

    india cannabis eradiction kulluThe increase in cases of charas seizure in Himachal, especially in Kullu, despite police and state government running several programmes to destroy the cannabis crops has left the agencies clueless for years. After some Nepalese were arrested while smuggling charas consignments from Nepal to India to sell it in the name of “Malana cream” in the last few years, police fear that a large quantity of charas being supplied in the market may have been brought from Nepal. The area where cannabis is cultivated in Kullu has decreased over the years due to strict law and police action. (See also: Cannabis crop destroyed on 6,175 bighas in Kullu)

  • Laws to legalise cannabis for personal use in the ACT could pass next week

    The ACT government will introduce amendments that would keep possession and cultivation of cannabis in the Drugs of Dependence Act
    The Canberra Times (Australia)
    Friday, September 20, 2019

  • Class A drug use among young adults at 16-year high

    Eight per cent of people aged 16 to 24 have taken a class A drug in the last year – official figures
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    cocaine useClass A drug use among young adults is at a 16-year-high, driven by increases in powder cocaine and ecstasy use, official estimates have revealed. Around 8.7% of adults in England and Wales aged 16 to 24 had taken a class A drug in the last year, equating to around 550,000 young people, the 2018/2019 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows. This is the highest recording since the 2002/2003 survey and Home Office statisticians said it was a “statistically significant” rise compared with the 2011/2012 survey seven years ago, when a previous decline in class A use reversed and started to climb back up. (See also: Drug use in England and Wales is up for the fourth year in a row | As our cocaine use rises again, hypocritical politicians are wasting a £10bn warchest)

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