• Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could see their drug possession records disappear

    It’s estimated that as many as 250,000 Canadians may have drug possession convictions stemming from cannabis possession alone, when it was still illegal. That may be about to change
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Monday, July 4, 2022

    handcuffsCanadians with criminal records for drug possession will see them effectively vanish within two years after the government’s criminal justice reform bill becomes law — a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. Criminal records can prevent people from getting jobs, volunteer opportunities, housing and hinder their ability to travel. The automatic “sequestration” of drug possession records was made possible due to a New Democratic Party amendment to Bill C-5 and accepted by the government. “I said we needed a better bill ... Highest on my list was trying to get rid of criminal records for simple possession,” said NDP justice critic Randall Garrison, who proposed the amendment.

  • Germany’s move to legalise cannabis expected to create ‘domino effect’

    Coalition government consults health experts, economists and growers in race to clear legal hurdles within two years
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, July 1, 2022

    Germanycannabis germany2 is mulling over the consequences of soon becoming the world’s largest potential market for legally sold cannabis, as the country’s left-liberal government presses ahead with plans to allow the controlled distribution of the drug among adults. Olaf Scholz’s coalition government has in recent weeks reiterated its 2021 coalition-deal vow to legalise for recreational use what its Green and liberal party minister have taken to referring to as Bubatz, a slang word for weed popular among German rappers. A consultation process consisting of five public hearings with health experts, economists and cannabis growers concluded this week, firing the starting gun for a race to clear legal and regulatory hurdles within one to two years. A draft bill is expected within the second half of 2022. (See also: Germany seeks 'safety first' approach to legalizing cannabis)

  • Inside the process to legalize recreational cannabis In Germany

    More than 200 leading German and international experts will exchange their views on the legalization
    Forbes (US)
    Monday, June 27, 2022

    germany cannabis flagWhen the German government announced in late 2021 its plan to legalize recreational cannabis sales in Germany, experts and cannabis enthusiasts put great expectations on the so-called "traffic light" government's plan to regulate the industry. Although Germany and other European countries focused in recent months on the war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February and the resulting efforts to detach themselves from Russian energy dependence, German officials had time to speed up the process of legalizing recreational cannabis. Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert officially announced on June 13 the kickoff of the first of five expert hearings to prepare for the planned legislative process to legalize recreational cannabis.

  • Banning tourists from cannabis cafes will cut back on crime: Halsema

    Halsema has pledged not to press ahead with the plan without council support
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, June 25, 2022

    nl amsterdam weedAmsterdam’s cannabis cafes are often intertwined with serious crime and play a serious role in money laundering, the capital’s mayor Femke Halsema has told councillors, ahead of Wednesday’s debate on refusing entry to tourists. Closing coffee shops which are involved in criminal activities is both complicated and time consuming, the mayor is quoted as saying by the Parool. But by banning the sale of soft drugs to tourists, the cannabis market will shrink and become less interesting for organised crime. This makes a ban on access for tourists is an unavoidable, temporary move in efforts to get the soft drugs market under control, the mayor told councillors, referring to police report De narcostand van Nederland, which was published earlier this year.

  • Thailand cannabis: From a war on drugs to weed curries

    Thailand has given away one million cannabis plants to encourage cultivation
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, June 21, 2021

    thailand cannabis plant handoutThailand legalised cultivating and consuming cannabis this month, reversing a hard-line approach of long prison sentences or even the death penalty for drug offences. Cafés and stalls have been openly selling all kinds of cannabis products, or showing off jars filled with potent marijuana flowers. The minister for public health, Anutin Charnvirakul - architect of the new law - was seen sampling weed-laced curries, and being applauded by farmers who hope it will bring them new sources of income. The new law appears to give Thailand what is perhaps the most liberal approach to marijuana anywhere in the world. For the moment, people can grow and consume as much of the plant as they like, though there are a few limits on how they can market and sell it. (See also: Thousands of cannabis offenders being released, but not all)

  • Luxembourg law lets you smoke a joint - at home

    Watered down version of government's plan includes growing four plants out of the public eye
    Luxemburger Wort (Luxembourg)
    Wednesday, June 15, 2022

    luxembourg cannabis flagLuxembourg has taken a first step to legalising cannabis, launching a watered down proposal which allows people to grow the drug at home, but leaves out the government's promise to take the trade out of criminal hands entirely. Justice Minister Sam Tanson has put forward a new law which would allow people to grow up to four plants at home, although people must keep them out of sight and can only consume the drug at home. Luxembourg's three neighbouring countries have previously voices their discontent about the plan, fearing the easier rules could cause people to buy the drug in Luxembourg and carry it over the border illegally. But Germany's new government is now pushing ahead with its own law, and Malta has become the first EU country to legalise cannabis. (See also: Pas de registre de contrôle prévu pour le cannabis récréatif)

  • Germany takes first step towards relaxing cannabis law

    Health Minister Karl Lauterbach hopes to present a new law in the coming months
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Tuesday, June 14, 2021

    Burkhard BlienertThe first of five rounds of expert testimony on the liberalization of cannabis laws was to begin in Berlin on Tuesday, the first step in Germany's plan to legalize recreational use of the plant. Titled "cannabis, but safe", the first closed-door presentation will come from Social Democrat (SPD) Burkhard Blienert, the federal government's drug policy expert. Legalizing and regulating the cannabis market was one of the progressive reforms promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government when his SPD signed a coalition agreement with the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party last year. Expert testimony, the first step in creating new laws, is expected to last until the end of June. (See also: German officials formally launch marijuana legalization effort, with hearings set to begin this week)

  • What Thailand’s legalization of marijuana means for Southeast Asia's war on drugs

    Time (US)
    Tuesday, June 14, 2021

    thailand cannabis costumeSoutheast Asia, a region of 11 countries and some 680 million people, has long been infamous for having the strictest anti-drug laws in the world. But in a sign that regional leaders are mulling a new approach, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana for medical and other purposes. Smoking weed for fun is still illegal, Thai’s health minister clarified to CNN, but he expects legal cannabis production to boost the economy. Over 3,000 inmates incarcerated in Thai prisons for marijuana-related offenses were freed. Martin Jelsma at the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam, says a common Southeast Asian approach to regulating marijuana and other narcotics is unlikely to happen. But he believes that in a region “so plagued by excessively repressive drug policies, the positive influence of Thailand’s recent policy changes on the regional debate is most welcome.”

  • What about the UN? Coming down off that high

    Regulation decriminalising dope hits early hurdles
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Sunday, June 12, 2022

    thailand marijuana awakeningThailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to delist the cannabis plant from the government's Category 5 narcotics list, following the publication of a Ministry of Public Health announcement in the Royal Gazette. Only cannabis oil extracts containing more than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -- the psychoactive ingredient responsible for feelings of euphoria -- are still considered a Category 5 substance, regulated by narcotics control and suppression laws. The UN will also examine the country's draft law on cannabis and hemp and if it decides the bill violates the 1961 Convention on narcotic drugs, Thailand will be required to take corrective steps and report back. The Narcotics Control Board (NCB) admitted there are concerns about impacts from the delisting because Thailand is a signatory of the 1961 treaty on narcotic drugs.

  • Le projet de loi autorisant le cannabis à domicile adopté

    Un projet de loi qui s’insère dans une approche de réduction des risques mais aussi de prévention de la criminalité
    Luxemburger Wort (Luxembourg)
    Vendredi, 10 juin 2022

    luxembourg cannabisLe Conseil de gouvernement a approuvé le projet de loi qui doit autoriser la culture par des personnes majeures d'un maximum de quatre plants de cannabis dans la sphère privée. La nouvelle avait déjà fait parler d’elle fin octobre: le gouvernement luxembourgeois avait officialisé sa volonté d'autoriser la culture et la consommation de cannabis dans la sphère privée. Si le projet de loi a été adopté, il faudra cependant attendre le vote du texte à la Chambre des députés pour installer des plants chez soi. Concrètement, la consommation personnelle de cannabis sera donc autorisée et une personne majeure pourra librement cultiver jusqu’à 4 plantes de cannabis par foyer (exclusivement à partir de semences). (Lire aussi: Luxembourg : la loi pour cultiver du cannabis chez soi est prête)

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