• Global resonance of Malta's drug policy reform highlighted at thematic round table

    “As more countries regulate the cultivation and distribution of cannabis, producer countries and relatively impoverished rural communities will experience a reduction of income”
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Friday, July 14, 2023

    malta roundtableThe not-for-profit model adopted by Malta for drug policy reform is resonating across other countries. The emphasis on a harm reduction approach, including considerations for social justice and the negative consequences caused by the ‘war on drugs', will remain key to ensuring cannabis reform promotes the well-being of society and protects the most vulnerable. Transnational Institute Program Director Martin Jelsma spoke about the relationship between drug policy reform in consumer countries, such as countries in the EU, and socio-economic development in producing countries predominantly in the global south, such as Morocco.

  • Coca price crash contributing to Colombia food insecurity, UN says

    Oversupply of coca - including more productive plants and record crops - is contributing to the crash
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, July 14, 2023

    colombia coca cultivoA crash in the price of coca, the chief ingredient in cocaine, is contributing to food insecurity in Colombia and causing displacement, as people leave areas that depend on the illicit crop, according to an internal United Nations presentation seen by Reuters. Historically coca crops have provided better incomes than legal alternatives for thousands of rural Colombian families, with drug-trafficking groups often footing the costs of transport, fertilizers and other supplies. Now coca-growing farmers have no buyers for the leaves or coca base leading to economic hardship amid high inflation, according to an internal presentation from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

  • Germany unveils draft bill to legalize cannabis

    The draft bill also laid the foundations for the establishment of cannabis growers' associations (Anbauvereinigungen)
    Forbes (US)
    Monday, July 10, 2023

    germany flag cannabisGermany's government is taking steps toward the legalization of cannabis by publishing the draft bill for the first pillar of a two-pillar model designed to dismantle prohibition policies. German's Ministry of Health published on July 5 the long-waited draft bill to regulate the use of cannabis for personal use, home growing, and the establishment of cannabis growers' associations designed similarly to the cannabis social clubs' model. The proposed legislation aims to address the first pillar of a comprehensive two-pillar model that will put an end to cannabis prohibition. Under the draft bill, adults aged 18 and above will be allowed to possess up to 25 grams for personal use and cultivate a maximum of three plants. (See also: Top German officials unveil draft marijuana legalization bill)

  • If you care about the climate crisis, fight to legalize drugs

    The extent to which manufacturing drugs is harmful to the environment is almost entirely due to the fact they are illegal
    Filter (US)
    July 7, 2023

    deforestationOn June 26, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released its annual report on the illicit drug trade. The headline is that despite millions of people killed, incarcerated and impoverished, and trillions of dollars spent on the global drug war, people are using more illicit drugs than ever. The UNODC accompanied its research with a booklet focusing on the effects of “environmental crime”—meaning, damage inflicted on ecosystems by organised drug trafficking groups—in the Amazon rainforest. Last year, the agency released its first specific report on “environmental crime,” and we are seeing increasingly high-profile figures speaking out about it. However, experts are warning that this latest UNODC report, along with much of the discourse around these issues, fundamentally misses the point in very dangerous ways.

  • No THC limit chosen to deter black market trade, explains Justice Minister

    When the second phase arrives, where you can buy something in an outdoor location, the law again will have to be adapted with specific rules on how cannabis can be transported
    RTL Today (Luxembourg)
    Wednesday, July 5, 2023

    luxembourg cannabisAfter the new law on the private cultivation and consumption of cannabis was passed in Luxembourg, RTL spoke to Minister of Justice Sam Tanson about the nitty-gritty details of the new legislation. The text of the law is clear: it will now be permitted to have four cannabis plants in the home. There are no provisions on the size of the plants or the quantity harvested. While adults in a household can only consume and keep for themselves what they reap from the four plants, there are no limits on either the quantity of cannabis or the THC content. Tanson pointed out that each plant is unique and no one can predict exactly how big it might turn out, how much it might yield, or how strong it might be.

  • Czechs have become more tolerant of cannabis use since 2019, says poll

    According to the findings of the survey, 76% of respondents also believe that drug addicts should be provided with free counselling
    Brno Daily (Czech Republic)
    Monday, July 3, 2023

    czech cannabis flag262% of Czechs consider the use of cannabis to be morally acceptable, according to a recent survey by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM), which is 9% higher than in 2019. Otherwise, the Czech public’s opinion on the acceptability of using other substances has not changed in the past four years. The use of ecstasy, methamphetamine and heroin continues to be met with the highest level of disapproval, from over 80% of respondents. “Longer-term comparisons show that views on the issues change little over time, and the current survey shows the most tolerant view yet of drug addicts, addiction treatment, and related services,” said the authors of the survey, which involved 800 people aged 15 and over between 27 March and 22 May.

  • Cannabis policy needs to be monitored for health impact - EU drugs agency

    Cannabis remained the most commonly used illicit drug in Europe in 2021
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Saturday, July 1, 2023

    cannabis europaEuropean countries that are widening their cannabis policies should invest in monitoring and evaluation to understand the impact on public health and safety, according to the European Drug Report for 2023 issued by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). Cannabis remained the most commonly used drug in Europe in 2021, with around eight per cent (22.6 million) of adults estimated to have used cannabis “in the last year”. Malta legislated for home growing and use in private, alongside non-profit communal growing clubs, for recreational purposes. Germany and Luxembourg are planning to permit home growing. The Netherlands is piloting a model for a closed cannabis supply chain for cannabis coffee shops and Czechia has announced plans for a regulated and taxed distribution system.

  • Luxembourg legalises cultivation and consumption of cannabis at home

    Fines for consumption outdoors
    RTL Today (Luxembourg)
    Thursday, June 29, 2023

    luxembourg cannabisIt's official: Luxembourg deputies greenlit a bill that allows for limited cannabis cultivation and consumption at home. 38 deputies voted in favour of the bill, with 22 against. The parties DP, LSAP, Déi Gréng, déi Lénk and ADR had announced in advance that they were in clear favour of bill 8033. People will be able to cultivate up to four plants in their home or usual place of residence. Cannabis plants can only be grown from seed and must not be visible from public spaces. It remains prohibited for minors. Bill 8033 further stipulates penalties in relation to illegal cannabis possession. Anyone who consumes recreational cannabis or cannabis-derived products outside their home risks a fine of between €25 and €500. (See also: Everything you need to know about the new cannabis law)

  • State and city reach agreement to close down Pusher Street

    Christiania’s residents concede it is no longer something they can safely do without the help of the police
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Tuesday, June 27, 2023

    denmark copenhagen pusher street crackdownPusher Street is no ordinary thoroughfare. For decades, it has housed numerous stalls selling cannabis to the public in open view. During that time, the state has been reasonably tolerant, but about a decade ago it ramped up its policing of the area. Since then, arrests of drug dealers have increased and cannabis buyers are often targeted as they leave the freetown. In the meantime, the local municipality has been waging its own war. Decriminalising the sale of cannabis, argues mayor Sophie Hæstop Andersen, would put many drug dealers out of business and lead to a fall in crime. It is a matter that the state and capital city rarely agree on … until yesterday. 

  • Cannabis: Study backs risk-led approach, France still pushing criminalisation

    The EMCDDA estimates that in Europe, 8% of 25-64 year-olds, or 22.5 million people, used cannabis in 2022
    Euractiv (Europe)
    Friday, June 23, 2023

    france cannabis2As a new European report pushes for greater communication of cannabis use risks, France is banking on a policy of prohibition, the effectiveness of which remains to be proven. Cannabis remains the most widely consumed illicit drug in the EU, according to the latest report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The report stresses the need for effective risk communication strategies to inform consumers “about the adverse health effects associated with new substances, drug-drug interactions and products with a high active ingredient content”. However, France is instead betting on a sanctions-based approach through strict legislation, where consumers risk not only a fine but prison time.

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