• Marijuana rescheduling falls short of expectations on Biden

    Under its current scheduling, marijuana is rated at the most stringent level — as a Schedule I controlled substance — on par with methamphetamines and more severe than fentanyl
    The Hill (US)
    Friday, September 8, 2023

    biden cannabisThe Biden administration’s recommendation last week for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reschedule cannabis marked one of its most significant steps related to the president’s ambitious campaign promise to decriminalize cannabis use. But advocates and policy experts say rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not address the plethora of racial justice issues caused by current cannabis laws. Moving cannabis to Schedule III means that the federal government acknowledges it has medical uses; it doesn’t change its status as a prohibited substance. Many worry that rescheduling could amount to the Biden administration saying, “OK, we did something and now we’re done.”

  • Christiania plan could push drug crime into other parts of Copenhagen: MP

    The new law will target a specially designated zone in which fines for possession will be doubled even for a first offence
    The Local (Denmark)
    Thursday, September 7, 2023

    denmark pusher closed policeA government plan to shut down the Christiania ‘Pusher Street’ cannabis market and double drug penalties in the zone risks pushing crime into other parts of Copenhagen, according to a spokesperson for marginalised groups, Nanna W. Gotfredsen, from coalition partner the Moderate party. New measures expected to be implemented by the government to fight gang-related violence in Christiania could have a negative impact elsewhere in Copenhagen, a spokesperson from the Moderates said after the plan was announced. Gotfredsen expressed concerns about the plan which was presented by the government her own party is a part of. (See also: Criminologist on new proposal: Tougher penalties are not the solution)

  • Nitrous oxide: Laughing gas to be illegal by end of year

    Laughing gas will be categorised as a class C drug and made illegal by the end of the year, the UK government has announced
    BBC News (UK)
    Wednesday, September 6, 2023

    nitrous oxidePossession of nitrous oxide, also known as NOS, will carry a sentence of up to two years in prison. Laughing gas is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs by 16 to 24-year-olds. Heavy use can lead to a range of illnesses including nerve-related symptoms. Supply of nitrous oxide for recreational use is currently banned - but possession is not. The government's decision to make possession a crime goes against recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which advised against new laws to ban nitrous oxide. It said a ban would be disproportionate with the amount of harm linked to the gas. Last week health experts also warned the government against a ban, saying it could stop users seeking medical help.

  • Christiania hash sellers could get prison as ‘permanent closure’ announced for Pusher Street market

    Possession and sale of drugs is to be punishable by double sentences in specified areas including Copenhagen’s ‘freetown’ Christiania
    The Local (Denmark)
    Wednesday, September 6, 2023

    denmark pusher street closedThe new law will target a specially designated zone in which fines for possession will be doubled even for a first offence. Any subsequent offence will lead to an immediate prison sentence. In a press briefing, Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard also announced “a massive police effort in the short term”. The announcement by the government comes after a period of violence and shootings around the Pusher Street market in Christiania. The market is known for its illicit cannabis trade and has been since the 1970s, but the increasing presence of organised crime groups has resulted in violence and shootings. (See also: Christianites are happy that the Minister of Justice is taking action. But doubt that double penalties are the right thing to do)

  • No joke: laughing gas ban has created ‘deadly waste hazard’

    “It’s a miracle no one has been hurt, or worse”
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Friday, September 1, 2023

    laughing gas cannistersMeasures to dispose of laughing glass cylinders have turned the flasks into a potentially deadly hazard, waste processing industry body NVRD has warned. The problem started when the use of the popular party drug laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, was banned at the start of this year without any system for disposing of the canisters, NVRD director Wendy de Wild told the AD. A deposit system, where empty cylinders could be handed in to providers, was abandoned when the ban came into effect, resulting in dozens of potentially dangerous explosions as cylinders were thrown out with the household waste.

  • German government anticipates huge windfall with legalization of cannabis

    Estimates suggest that approving the consumption and possession of marijuana would contribute around $5 billion annually to the state budget
    El País (Spain)
    Friday, September 1, 2023

    germany flag cannabisIn November 2021, when it was announced the German government would send a law to the Bundestag to legalize the consumption and possession of marijuana - which was approved on August 16 - a team of researchers led by Justus Haucap, professor of economics at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, published a study that made the German Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, the leader of the liberal party that had been one of the primary backers of the idea along with the Greens, very happy indeed. The Düsseldorf researchers constructed an economic scenario based on the consumption of 400 tons of cannabis per year, a scenario that would bring provide the public coffers with around €4.7 billion ($5.1 billion) per year.

  • Tackling Belgium’s drug problem: Legalising cannabis is ‘common sense,’ says Economy Minister

    "Are Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg run by far-left governments full of idiots?"
    The Brussles Times (Belgium)
    Thursday, August 31, 2023

    belgium cannabis handsA solution to the drug and security problem in Belgium's bigger cities, such as Brussels and Antwerp, could be legalising the sale and use of cannabis, according to Federal Economy and Employment Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne. "When we talk about the drug problem in Belgium, a radical reform comes to mind: we have to consider the legalisation of cannabis," he said. "If you look at our neighbouring countries, three of the four have already done this today: the Netherlands, Luxembourg and recently Germany." For Dermagne, "it no longer makes sense" to keep asking the police to endlessly prosecute cannabis users and put them in prison. "This repression does not work." (See also: Belgium in Brief: Will we learn from our neighbours and decriminalise cannabis?)

  • Czech government wants to regulate kratom and other psychoactive substances

    The proposal will now go to Parliament, where it is expected to win approval, and should come into force next year
    Radio Prague International (Czechia)
    Thursday, August 31, 2023

    czech kratom vendingThe Czech government has decided in favour of regulating, rather than banning, the sale of kratom, CBD or HHC products. A proposed bill to that effect would create a new legal category of "psychomodulating substances" which would be sold to adults only, under strict conditions. HHC, CBD and kratom have become increasingly popular of late with sales outlets and vending machines now available virtually in every bigger town and city. The Health Ministry had been ringing alarm bells, demanding a ban on the sale of these products, with the possibility of dispensing psychoactive substances in small quantities on prescription.

  • Cannabis: Germany legalises, France punishes

    While Germany recently passed a bill to legalise cannabis, France continues to pursue a highly restrictive policy despite having one of the highest rates of cannabis use in Europe
    Euractiv (Europe)
    Wednesday, August 30, 2023

    france cannabisWith Marseille, one of France’s main drug trafficking hubs, having recorded around 32 deaths since the start of the year related mainly to cannabis trafficking, calls for decriminalising or even legalising cannabis are now multiplying. One such call comes from the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC), which, in an opinion published on Monday (28 August), once again called for the controlled legalisation of cannabis in France. This is not the first time that the EESC has taken up the issue. Earlier this year, it recommended moving towards legalising cannabis as a means of putting in place an effective prevention policy and combating trafficking and violence.

  • Christiania wants Pusher Street closed for good after gang shooting

    The area’s residents have grown tired of increasingly strong links to organised crime
    The Local (Denmark)
    Monday, August 28, 2023

    denmark pusher street closedAfter a fatal shooting in Christiania this weekend that left one dead and four injured, residents want hash sales on Pusher Street stopped. “This is a big step and it has not been an easy decision. But there was a very large majority at the committee meeting who are support of it closing,” spokesperson Hulda Mader said. A 30-year-old man was killed in a shooting incident at Pusher Street on Saturday. Police have confirmed the shooting to a conflict between organised crime groups, while Danish media have reported that the Hells Angels biker gang and Loyal to Familia crime group are in conflict after the shooting. Increasing violence has encroached on the area in recent years. A 23-year-old man was killed in a shooting in 2022, and four fatal shootings have now occurred since 2020.

Page 1 of 466