• 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.

  • Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria but provides a living for families - study calls for rethink of drug laws

    For most rural dwellers cannabis farming serves as a means of income generation and diversification to meet basic needs
    The Conversation
    Monday, August 28, 2023

    nigeria cannabisCannabis is a heavily criminalised plant in Nigeria. It can get its growers, traders and users long prison sentences. The National Drug Law Enforcement Act prescribes an imprisonment of not less than 15 years for possession and use of cannabis. Yet its very illegality ensures high prices and makes it lucrative to grow. This research project is one of the few to explore the inside views of illicit cannabis farmers and traders in Africa. These insider views challenge the dominant story that the illicit cultivation and trade of cannabis is unproductive or driven by organised criminals. The main findings show that livelihoods are not only made from legal crops. In fact, it is illicit cannabis, with its illegality premium, that made a difference to our interviewees’ lives in Nigeria.

  • Sydney has a cocaine problem. Is decriminalisation the solution?

    Despite the cost and crackdowns, cocaine use is still on the rise
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Sunday, August 27, 2023

    australia decrimDelays in introducing reform is fuelling drug consumption and crime in NSW, experts have warned, calling for the government to implement decriminalisation for small quantities of illicit substances. Australia is now the highest per capita user of cocaine worldwide, consuming an estimated 5.6 tonnes a year, with Sydney leading the country in use. Australia is also one of the most expensive places to buy cocaine, costing anywhere from $250 to $400 a gram. The only places where it costs more are in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where supplying drugs attracts the death penalty. Sydney’s love affair with the costly powder has led to carnage, with eight cocaine-related shootings since March alone.

  • German goverment adopts watered-down cannabis legalisation bill

    The adopted legislation sought to make the law more compatible with EU obligations, although concerns remain
    Euractiv (Europe)
    Wednesday, August 16, 2023

    Karl LauterbachThe German government adopted a watered-down plan to legalise cannabis, moving one step closer to the substance’s controlled distribution, though critiques from judicial, medical and law enforcement associations persist. The bill gives citizens the right to own up to three plants or 25g of the once-illicit substance, and create ‘social clubs’ to distribute cannabis. When the new German government took office in late 2021, legalising the consumption of cannabis was made a priority – both the Greens and the liberal FDP had made legalisation a key campaign promise to young voters. Plans for a comprehensive framework were delayed for months, while the research arm of the Bundestag, the German parliament, raised concerns about the plan’s compatibility with EU law. (See also: Germany unveils bill to legalize cannabis)

  • Morocco has high hopes after planting its first legal cannabis crop

    Reaching Morocco’s full potential is unlikely as long as cultivation is limited to medical and industrial markets
    Bloomberg (US)
    Monday, August 7, 2023

    cannabis cultivation moroccoFarmers have planted the first legal cannabis crop in Morocco, long a top producer of black-market hashish. For now, it’s shaping up to be a modest entry into the above-board market, but hopes are high the nation will one day become a key supplier to the steadily opening European market. The country’s first growing season began in June after legal cultivation was authorized to a group of farmers and companies for medical and industrial use. The government has touted the project as an opportunity to boost revenue, create jobs and protect the environment. Cultivation for recreational use is still banned, however, which experts say limits how quickly the industry will be able to grow.

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