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  • How anti-marijuana Jeff Sessions became the best thing to happen to pot legalization

    Jeff Sessions tried to fight pot legalization. Instead, he galvanized policymakers to do the opposite
    USA Today (US)
    Sunday, May 6, 2018

    Jeff Sessions hates marijuana. He’s made that plain in multiple colorful quotes, from stating that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” to arguing that “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is … in fact a very real danger.” But he may also turn out to be the best thing that’s happened to the marijuana reform movement in Washington. In January, Sessions rescinded the Cole memo. Perhaps he thought that the decision would chill further reform or spread fear among the industry. Instead, his move seems to have galvanized policymakers. That same month, Vermont announced that it had legalized marijuana. Cities like Albuquerque, Savannah, Ga., and Baton Rouge are decriminalizing it. And now, we’re seeing a sea change in Washington, in both parties.

  • Colombia sees billion-dollar bonanza from legacy of marijuana trade

    The new industry will not produce smokable marijuana but focus on oils, creams and inhalers
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, May 3, 2018

    Farmers who want to be part of Colombia's medical marijuana project are required to destroy their illegal crops. Colombia has already issued 33 licenses and hopes to grow as much as 40.5 tons a year of medical marijuana - accounting for roughly 44 percent of licenses issued globally. So far, however, the government has authorized production of seeds and marijuana only for scientific research, not for commercial production of medical cannabis. "We've been offered false hope," said Hector Sanchez, who destroyed his marijuana plants to be part of a medical cooperative and is still waiting to start work. "If growers can't be involved, they'll just go back to marijuana."

  • Harsher drug prohibition won’t stop violence, but regulation might, law enforcers say

    To reduce the violence from illegal trade we should replace our enforcement led approach with regulation and support in a health based strategy
    BMJ Opinion (UK)
    Wednesday, May 2, 2018

    After a spate of violent crime, the UK Home Office released its Serious Violence Strategy. Amber Rudd, former home secretary, said, perhaps inevitably, that the government’s response  “must tackle the misuse of drugs” as a priority, with more expected from the police. But only four years ago the same department released a report which found no correlation between the harshness of a country’s law and the extent of non-medical use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin – acknowledging that drug laws have no real impact on drug use. In fact, prohibition itself causes disharmony and violence, as the new strategy recognises: “Grievances in illicit drug markets cannot be settled through legal channels, so participants may settle them violently.”

  • Withdrawing from drug treaties over legal pot would be a ‘mistake’: Freeland

    "We do believe our approach is consistent with the over-arching goal of the conventions"
    Ipolitics (Canada)
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is defending the Liberal government’s decision not to withdraw from three international drug treaties, which Canada will violate once cannabis is legalized, arguing it would have been a “mistake” and “very wrong” to pull Canada out of the international legal framework. Freeland said the conventions regulate the movement of more than 100 drugs and substances, including “many that play a role in Canada and indeed North America’s opioid crisis.” Freeland said legalizing cannabis will result in Canada “contravening certain obligations related to cannabis under the three UN drug conventions,” but the country will continue to “be in line” with the objectives of the conventions.

  • Beijing asks Canada to help stem flow of illicit marijuana to China

    Until now there has been little or no public hint of Beijing pointing a finger at Canada over illegal drugs
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, April 30, 2018

    Chinese officials have been quietly grilling Canada about illicit marijuana flowing to their country, prompting Ottawa to agree to work with them on the problem, an internal federal memo reveals. The previously unknown issue arose during talks between the two countries on curbing the clandestine importation of opioids into Canada, which has fuelled a crisis of overdose deaths from fentanyl and related compounds. An April 2017 meeting of deputy ministers “determined that China is concerned about what Canada is doing to stem the flow of illicit cannabis into China and we will be working with them on this issue,” says the federal memo released under the Access to Information Act. (See also: Man charged over HK$16 million worth of cannabis plants in Hong Kong village house)

  • Morocco's farmers are now producing high-quality Rosin and BHO

    To become a producer of high-quality, modern cannabis extracts, a comparatively high initial investment is needed
    Dope Magazine
    Monday, April 30, 2018

    In the final part of our series on the recent changes to the cannabis industry in Morocco, we’ll take a closer look at the new extraction methods gaining popularity among the farmers of the Rif. This new development, in combination with innovations in modern and organic cultivation techniques, could help Morocco maintain its position among the world’s top suppliers of cannabis derivatives for many years to come. However, it’s clear that the challenges facing the industry are severe and widespread, and that innovations are necessary for many farmers otherwise at risk of losing their livelihoods. (See also: Organic cannabis cultivation in Morocco)

  • Supervised injection facilities are illegal in the United States

    These cities want to open them anyway
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, April 30, 2018

    Several major cities are trying to open “safe injection sites” for drug abusers — even though they are technically illegal. With recent evidence that these sites can save lives and money, cities including San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia are considering opening public health facilities where people who acquired illegal drugs can inject them under the supervision of trained health-care providers. They would be the first U.S. cities to adopt such an approach to combat the sweeping opioid epidemic, which has recently gained attention from the White House, Congress and policymakers across the country.

  • Liz Warren has high hopes for pot bill

    Warren said the bill would also make it easier for researchers to study the effects of marijuana, including medical research
    Boston Herald (US)
    Sunday, April 29, 2018

    U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has had “encouraging” conversations with Republican leadership over a bill she and Republican Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner are crafting that would give states the power to completely legalize marijuana. “So far, it’s been encouraging,” Warren said of conversations with Republican Senate leadership. “These are always delicate negotiations, but there’s reason to be encouraged that with the two of us working together that we can actually get a vote on the floor of the Senate and a vote over in the House.” Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national advocacy group, said he sees real momentum toward a federal solution.

  • Zimbabwe legalizes marijuana for medicinal, scientific uses

    Much of Africa still criminalizes the production and use of marijuana
    The Associated Press (US)
    Saturday, April 28, 2018

    zimbabwe cannabisZimbabwe has legalized the production of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes, making it the rare African country to turn the drug into a source of revenue. A government notice issued by the health minister says individuals and corporations can apply for licenses to grow marijuana, whose production and possession had brought up to 12 years in prison. Recreational use remains illegal. The decision is a marked shift from the traditionally tough stance on marijuana in the largely conservative country where members of Parliament who had advocated for legalization often were openly mocked. (See also: Cannabis growers to pay high licence fee of $50 000 – reports)

  • CARPHA executive director urges caution on decriminalisation of marijuana

    Antigua and Barbuda is the latest Caribbean country to move towards the decriminalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    The executive director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr James Hosepdales, is urging regional countries to “proceed with an abundance of caution” when it come to the decriminalisation of marijuana. He said said that if marijuana had to be decriminalised, there may be repercussions. “We don't want that when you've solved the problem so to speak of reducing the burden of the judicial system and the prisons you create a great surge in the increase of mental health admissions for marijuana addiction and other addictions. What I think needs to happen is that there should be strong public education concomitant with decriminalisation if government proceeds along that route; also, proper monitoring of impact policies."

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