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  • Climate change is turning the Middle East's breadbasket into a cannabis farm

    Cannabis is a drought-resistant crop, requiring little water and no pesticides
    CNN (US)
    Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Heeding the recommendation of international consulting group McKinsey, which was part of a broader development plan, Lebanon's parliament is preparing to legalize medicinal cannabis and its cultivation. It's meant to pave the way to a nearly $800 million industry, according to Economy Minister Raed Khoury, and could serve as a quick fix for some of the country's many economic woes. Lebanon's farmers say the change can't come too soon. As in many parts of the region, the country's farmlands have been disproportionately affected by global warming. The Bekaa Valley is stricken with droughts, and many wells are drying up. Growing potatoes, onions and other produce native to the region has been harder than ever before, experts and farmers say.

  • Norway to give free heroin to 400 addicts: report

    Norway's government is to start providing free heroin to up to 400 hardened addicts as it pushes forward with its drug policy reforms
    The Local (Norway)
    Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Health Minister Bent Høie has asked the Norwegian Directorate of Health to draw up a list of which addicts were most suitable to receive so-called "heroin-assisted treatment", and to assess the economic consequences of developing a heroin treatment program. "We want to help those addicted who are difficult to reach, those who are not part of LAR (drug-assisted rehabilitation) and who are difficult to treat," he said. Høie signaled that he would look into the possibility of introducing heroin-assisted treatment (HAB) attempts back in January. The pilot project will start in 2020 or 2021, with local governments in both Oslo and Bergen reportedly applying to take part. (See also: Christian Democrats attack free heroin plan | Is Norway set to spark a drug policy revolution?)

  • Police chief calls for more cannabis clubs where drug can be used and traded safely

    North Wales police and crime commissioner says ‘war on drugs’ will continue to fail without radical change
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, August 9, 2018

    uk cannabis clubA police chief has called for cannabis users to be allowed to freely grow and sell the drug without fear of arrest in cannabis clubs, saying the “war on drugs” would continue to fail if radical changes were not made. Arfon Jones, the police and crime commissioner for north Wales, has campaigned on the issue for most of his tenure and is now calling for Spanish-style “collectives”, where cannabis users sell homegrown drugs to each other. Hundreds of cannabis clubs are already registered across the UK where the drug is traded and used in a safe and controlled space but not sold to the general public. Club members pay about £35 a year to join and gather on a regular basis, sometimes weekly, to smoke and share the drug.

  • Health Minister David Clark in favour of liberalising drug laws

    Cabinet is seeking urgent advice over the spike in deaths linked to the use of synthetic cannabis use
    New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    Peter ClarkHealth Minister David Clark is personally in favour of more liberal drug laws because prohibition has not worked in the past. But Clark would not commit to abiding by the result of any referendum on loosening laws around cannabis use, saying he preferred to wait for advice from his colleagues. "I think it's highly likely that that's the course we would take ... all I've said is I want to wait for advice. I haven't had a conversation with colleagues about how that referendum's going to be framed and what question we're going to be asking the public. Broadly, I favour at a more personal level, more liberal drug laws because I think in the world when prohibition has been tried, it hasn't worked."

  • NACOB calls for decriminalisation of narcotic drug use

    Criminalisation of drug use had not worked for the past century and for that reason, it was important for a paradigm shift
    Graphic (Ghana)
    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    Michael AddoThe Deputy Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) of Ghana, Mr Michael Addo, has called for the decriminalisation of narcotic drug use. According to him, suppliers and producers of narcotic substances should rather be punished under the law. Mr Addo said the major challenge confronting NACOB was the criminal aspect of the use of narcotic drugs. He stated that the country was wasting human resource through the jailing of able-bodied beings for using narcotic drugs and accordingly called for other sources of punishment besides custodial sentences for such persons. Rather, Mr Addo called for the strengthening of rehabilitation centres to treat drug addicts in order to integrate them into the society.

  • Philippine police vow 'surgical and chilling' war on drugs, crime

    Philippine police have several times promised to overhaul the anti-drugs campaign, although human rights groups say there has been little noticeable change
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, July 30, 2018

    philippines stop killings2Philippine police vowed to revamp and intensify a fight against crime and drugs, a week after President Rodrigo Duterte promised no letup in a bloody crackdown that has alarmed the international community. “Surgical and chilling will be the trademark of the reinvigorated anti-illegal drugs and anti-criminality campaign,” police chief Oscar Albayalde told a news conference. Thousands of suspected drug dealers and users have been killed in the past two years in what police say were shootouts. Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have launched a preliminary examination to assess whether crimes against humanity may have been committed. (See also: Cops harassing me, says EJK case filer)

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