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  • City launches consultation on four designated cannabis consumption sites

    Festivals and events in Calgary may also apply to provide a designated cannabis consumption area, similar to a beer garden
    Calgary Herald (Canada)
    Monday, August 27, 2018

    With Canada-wide cannabis legalization less than two months away, city hall wants to know how Calgarians feel about four areas it’s proposing as designated spots where people would be able smoke pot in public. If approved by council, the four areas would be exempt from the city’s Cannabis Consumption Bylaw regulations, which prohibit smoking, vaping and eating marijuana products in public. The city will launch a public engagement process on Monday and provide the locations of the proposed sites. The proposal to allow designated pot zones was approved by council in late June, following concerns that a blanket public ban on cannabis use would leave those living in non-smoking multi-family dwellings with no place to consume the drug, which becomes legal on Oct. 17.

  • Lebanese cannabis farmers hope legalisation may bring amnesty

    For now, there is little likelihood of a rapid move towards legalisation
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, August 27, 2018

    The contrast between the vibrant green of a cannabis field and the arid land nearby in Lebanon's Bekaa valley has for years raised a dilemma for the area's impoverished farmers. Cannabis is hardier, less thirsty and cheaper to grow than the region's other main crops like apples and potatoes, but it is also illegal - for now. Parliament will consider legalising its growth for medicinal use, but in the Bekaa, some people are unconvinced there will be a meaningful change. "It is like giving a dog a bone because people are hungry and can't bear it any more," said a cannabis farmer. "But whether they legalize it or not, the most important thing is to give an amnesty," he said. Farmers face prison terms of five years. (See also: How good is Lebanese cannabis? Scientists seek herbal remedies)

  • Netherlands ‘market leader’ in production and trade synthetic drugs

    The Netherlands should also talk to China which is the source of most of the chemicals used in the production of synthetic drugs
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Monday, August 27, 2018

    The Netherlands is world leader in the production and trading of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy and amphetamines, with total turnover up to 2017 estimated at €18.9bn, according to a report by the Dutch police academy. The estimate is conservative and the real amount is likely to be ‘many times higher’, with the national turnover of synthetic drugs thought to be between €3bn to €5bn. Good infrastructure and a central geographical position make the Netherlands a good place to base both legal and illegal business. (See also: Dutch drugs gangs are moving into crystal meth, police say | Much less ecstasy used (and produced?) in the Netherlands than recent report suggests)

  • Oxycodone overdoses in the Netherlands soar as prescriptions rise

    It is not known whether any deaths resulted from an overdosis of the drug
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Friday, August 24, 2018

    The number of people overdosing on the powerful painkiller oxycodone in the Netherlands has gone up six fold in ten years, according to figures by toxicology centre NVIC. In 2008 some 43 people overdosed on the drug, which is twice as powerful as morphine and highly addictive when used longer term. That figure jumped to 280 in 2017 and this year experts at the NVCI say they are expecting many more cases. According to the NVCI the real number of overdoses related to the drug, which has caused a health care crisis in the United States, may be higher. This is because the centre only registers cases if doctors ask for advice when a patient has taken too much of the drug. They are not under an obligation to register an overdose.

  • Ganja: Discovering the future

    With cannabis experiencing tremendous growth in overseas markets, the same cannot be said for Jamaica
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018

    Raymond PryceDespite cannabis being an integral part of the Jamaican identity, just five years ago local laws did not reflect the realities of its use in the country. However, this changed after the decriminalisation of cannabis in 2015 which was initiated by then Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce. In 2013, Pryce drafted and tabled the motion calling for the decriminalisation of the possession of small quantities of cannabis for personal, religious and recreational use as well as for the purposes of medicinal and academic research. Now, what are Pryce's present thoughts looking back to 2013?

  • Organic marijuana grower does not have to pay state €500,000

    In 2015 De Jong was found guilty of cultivating marijuana but was not punished
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018

    A Frisian man who was convicted of growing marijuana in 2015 has been told he does not have to pay almost €500,000 to the Dutch state by appeal court judges in Leeuwarden. The public prosecution department had gone to court to get the cash which it says Doede de Jong had earned from cultivating the soft drug. But the court ruled that the department had failed to show how it had calculated such an amount and not taken into account the fact that De Jong used organic methods. ‘There was no question of fire safety issues or electricity theft,’ the court said. Nor was De Jong involved with criminals who produce cannabis.

  • Fentanyl use drove drug overdose deaths to a record high in 2017, CDC estimates

    Every eight minutes, someone in America died of a drug overdose last year
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Drug overdose deaths surpassed 72,000 in 2017, according to provisional estimates recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represents an increase of more than 6,000 deaths, or 9.5 percent, over the estimate for the previous 12-month period. That staggering sum works out to about 200 drug overdose deaths every single day, or one every eight minutes. The increase was driven primarily by a continued surge in deaths involving synthetic opioids, a category that includes fentanyl. There were nearly 30,000 deaths involving those drugs in 2017, according to the preliminary data, an increase of more than 9,000 over the prior year.

  • Constellation spends $4bn to lift stake in cannabis group Canopy

    Brewer of Corona doubles down on its bet on marijuana ahead of Canadian legalisation
    The Financial Times (UK)
    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Beer maker Constellation Brands doubled down on its bet on the budding marijuana industry, pumping just under $4bn into a Canadian group that has sought to capitalise on the spreading legalisation of weed. The company said it would buy 104.5m shares of Canopy Growth at C$48.60 apiece, lifting its stake to 38 per cent. The investment, which also includes warrants that could lead to it increasing its stake by a further $3.4bn, follows Constellation’s acquisition of 10 per cent of Canopy last year. The transaction between Constellation and Canopy is the latest in a wave of pot deals, as traditional makers of beer and spirits eye what they believe is the next big market where consumers will get their buzz.

  • Mexico’s new president has a radical plan to end the drug war

    Mexico’s drug war has devastated communities for more than a decade
    Vox (US)
    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Since the military took to the streets to fight the increasingly powerful and violent cartels producing and trafficking drugs north to consumers in the United States, tens of thousands of Mexicans have died. And a broken police and judicial system means perpetrators are almost never held accountable for a disappearance or murder. But Mexico’s next president, a leftist named Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has promised national reconciliation and peace and an end to more than a decade of the drug war. If the incoming president gets his way, this will be Mexico’s first major split from the US on crime-fighting and drugs in decades. But the obstacles are many, and it remains to be seen if the new president has the lasting support and the resources to end the drug war.

  • The people left behind by Philippines' brutal war on drugs

    Duterte’s war on drugs has left thousands of children living as orphans or in single-parent families struggling to put food on the table
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, photographer James Whitlow Delano returns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact. More than 4,500 people have been killed in the Philippines in what the authorities claim to be lawful anti-drug operations carried out in the two years since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power. Human rights groups say the actual number of deaths could be up to three times higher, with police officers routinely executing unarmed suspects and, in many instances, planting drugs or weapons on their victims to justify the killings.

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