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  • The Netherlands is richer than thought – thanks to the marijuana industry

    Many more illegal weed growers remain below the police radar than previously assumed
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Illegal cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands is far larger than previously thought, Statistics Netherlands said in a revision of old economic figures. According to the stats office, many more illegal weed growers remain below the police radar than previously assumed. In 2015 the stats office assumed that 40 percent of illegal cannabis cultivators were caught by the police. But new information from the National Police indicate that its more realistic to assume that around 20 percent of weed growers are caught. This also means that the money in the illegal weed sector is higher than previously thought.

  • Doctors in Commons rally to overturn ban on medicinal cannabis

    Group of MPs to campaign on issue following recent case of six-year-old Alfie Dingley
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Alfie DingleyDoctors in the House of Commons are to lead a campaign to change the law banning the medicinal use of cannabis, as a new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) forms to campaign for the issue. Dan Poulter, a former health minister who still works part-time as a GP, said he had already signed up fellow Conservative Andrew Murrison, Labour’s Paul Williams, and Philippa Whitford of the Scottish National party – four of the Commons’ nine medical doctors. The development comes after Alfie Dingley, a six-year-old boy with epilepsy, pushed medical cannabis on to the political agenda by taking a 300,000 signature petition with him to No 10. He had been effectively treated with cannabis oil in the Netherlands, but was denied it at home in the UK.

  • Big cannabis growers urge senators to ban commercial outdoor growing

    The federal government’s consulting task force had recommended Ottawa should allow for outdoor commercial growing
    Ipolitics (Canada)
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Canada’s medical cannabis industry is making a push in the Senate to ban large-scale outdoor cannabis cultivation. Allan Rewak, the executive director of the Cannabis Canada Council, an industry association that represents licensed producers of medical marijuana, urged senators Wednesday to prohibit large-scale outdoor cultivation in the government’s pot legalization legislation. But others have made the push for the government to open up outdoor pot cultivation to reduce the carbon footprint of growing weed indoors. “There are significant environmental costs to indoor production, including electricity usage,” he said. “Outdoor production can mitigate some of these problems and should be considered an option.”

  • Report highlights continued rise in drug-related crime in Germany

    Drug-related crime in Germany is on the rise. Last year, there was a 9.2 percent rise, most of it linked to cannabis
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The head of the BKA, Holger Münch, suggested during a joint press conference with Germany's Commissioner on Drugs, Marlene Mortler, that decriminalizing so-called soft drugs would not bring any solutions to the growing problem. For her part, Mortler stressed that the street drug cannabis in particular was a lot more potent and higher in concentration now than it was only a few years ago, resulting in a much greater rate of hospitalization. The latest drug statistics led with cannabis. Roughly 60 percent of all drug-related crimes were linked to the gateway drug.

  • Denmark’s Christiania closes off 'Pusher Street' cannabis market

    No official explanation for the closing off of the area was given
    The Local (Denmark)
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Residents in Denmark’s alternative enclave Christiania fenced off an area known as Pusher Street, from where cannabis is usually sold. All entrances to the area were closed off with a two-metre high black fence. A woman told a reporter from the news agency that Pusher Street was “closed for today”. A nearby sign ready that “Pusher Street will be closed for the next couple of days. We will reopen a more pleasant street”. Sale of cannabis is to be discussed by residents in the alternative enclave, addressing differences of opinion as to who is permitted to sell the substance. (See also: Drugs trade still flourishing in Christiania despite repeated police crack-downs)

  • Drugs policing: Federation spokesman calls for policy rethink

    Simon Kempton said he especially wants to stop so-called "middle class" dealers in drugs such as cocaine
    BBC News (UK)
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    portugalThe Police Federation spokesman on drugs policing, Simon Kempton, has called for a rethink on drugs policy, saying prohibition has "never worked". Sgt Kempton, who works for Dorset Police, said the government should consider the Portuguese approach, where the possession of drugs has been decriminalised since 2001. He is the latest high-profile policing figure to question current drugs policy following Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton. Sgt Kempton's comments, made at a Police Federation conference debate on the causes of gang and knife crime, came as officers were told they should be focusing more on recreational drug users.

  • Chefchaouen-Ouazzane: nouvelles tensions entre cultivateurs de cannabis à cause du manque d'eau

    La nouvelle graine de cannabis utilisée nécessite une grande quantité d’eau
    H24 (Maroc)
    Jeudi, 17 mai 2018

    La région de Chefchaouen et Ouazzane est le théâtre d'une guerre pour l’eau entre les cultivateurs de cannabis. Plusieurs accrochages ont été enregistrés entre plusieurs cultivateurs de cannabis dans la région de Chefchaouen et Ouazzane pour les sources et les puits d’eau, rapporte Al Akhbar dans son édition du 16 mai. Les raisons de cette «pénurie d’eau» est une nouvelle graine de cannabis, plus fertile mais qui nécessite une grande quantité d’eau ce qui a perturbé la répartition des quotas d’eau. Cette nouvelle graine importée consomme deux fois plus d’eau mais garantit de meilleures récoltes.

  • Danish MP calls for decriminalisation of both cannabis and hard drugs

    Larsen calls Denmark’s war on drugs “a total failure” and points at the huge amount of resources spent on drug enforcement
    The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
    Thursday, May 17, 2018

    Henrik Sass Larsen minces no words in his new book ‘Exodus: The Way to the Centre-Left’  in which he offers up his opinion on the Danish government’s ‘zero tolerance’ drug policy. Larsen, the chair of the Socialdemokratiet parliamentary group, calls the efforts “a total fiasco”. Larsen goes far beyond the idea of simply legalising cannabis, which is already a break from his party’s policy on cannabis – he calls for the decriminalisation of all drugs in Denmark. And he calls zero tolerance a “humanitarian disaster”.  “Every school child knows where they can get cannabis,” Larsen told Information. “It has served no other purpose than to send people to prison.” (See also: Danish MP’s pro-legalisation cannabis comments do not change party line)

  • Is Sweden's zero-tolerance approach to drugs a failing model?

    Sweden has one of the highest fatality rates from opioid overdoses in Europe
    The Local (Sweden)
    Thursday, May 17, 2018

    Sweden is accustomed to being praised for its forward-thinking approach, but there's one area where many feel it lies behind the curve. The country's "zero tolerance" policy towards drugs is an increasingly isolated one compared to its neighbours, and has even been subject to criticism from the UN. The Local's Sweden In Focus series looks at why Sweden takes such a hard-line stance on drugs, what the consequences are, and if it will ever change. Sweden's long-standing zero-tolerance drugs policy is based on the fundamental vision of a "drug-free society", and was shaped by lobbying group the Association for a Drug-Free Society (RNS). (See also: Drug policy in Sweden: a repressive approach that increases harm)

  • Surge in young Americans using marijuana as first drug

    Proportion of young people who tried cigarettes as their first drug fell over the same period, US study says
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, May 17, 2018

    The proportion of young people using marijuana as their first drug doubled in the 10 years from 2004, a US-based study has found. The government study reveals that among people aged between 12 and 21, the proportion of those who tried cigarettes as their first drug fell from about 21% to just under 9% between 2004 and 2014. However, the proportion who turned first to marijuana almost doubled from 4.4% to 8%. While some studies have suggested that, overall, use and abuse of marijuana has fallen among teenagers in the US, the latest research sought to look at trends in which drug, if any, young people turned to first.

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