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  • Danish police arrest 13 in tense Christiania raid

    Police entered Christiania as part of a routine operation against cannabis dealing in the area
    The Local (Denmark)
    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    Police seized a large amount of narcotics and items in a raid in the alternative enclave of Christiania in Copenhagen.Ten kilograms of hash and various other cannabis products, 3,400 joints, doping substances, knives, pepper sprays and over 80,000 kroner (10,700 euros) in cash from sales of cannabis were confiscated in the operation, while 13 people were arrested. Police carry out regular raids in an effort to restrict the cannabis trade in Christiania, an alternative enclave originally established by hippie squatters in 1971. Permanent cannabis stalls were torn down in 2016, but hash and marijuana are still sold along the Pusher Street thoroughfare.

  • A huge step backward on opioids

    How to fix the opioid crisis
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    The latest statistics on the overdose crisis -- roughly 64,000 deaths in the United States in 2016 -- also reveal that fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the driving force behind US overdose deaths. Fentanyl is an opioid estimated to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and it's often added to heroin to increase its potency. Sadly, just as a bipartisan consensus was emerging that a punitive approach to drugs was not the way forward, lawmakers are responding to fentanyl by prioritizing prison over public health and embracing discredited drug war policies proven to make the crisis worse.

  • Cannabis legalization can yield NIS 2.3b tax bonanza, report says

    The market for weed in Israel has estimated turnover of NIS 6 billion ($1.8b) a year – on which taxes aren't paid
    The Times of Israel (Israel)
    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    The legalization of the cannabis industry can lead to a boon of NIS 2.3 billion ($675 million) in tax revenues a year for Israel, according to a new study by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, a nonprofit economic policy think tank. The study recommends the full legalization of the industry because of the “big economic advantages” that would stem from such a move, which is also not expected to lead to negative social consequences like increased crime and road accidents. In addition, the government can save some NIS 191 million a year by cutting back on police enforcement and court costs, if use of the drug is legalized. (See also: Israeli marijuana is growing, but exports have nowhere to go)

  • Could Sessions’ marijuana policy shift benefit the cannabis industry in 2018?

    The A.G.'s unilateral moves have forced politicians to take sides on marijuana legalization
    The Cannabist (US)
    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    Uncertainty interjected into the cannabis industry earlier this month by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions could create new opportunities for the sector and advance legalization legislation. But the realities of a post-Cole Memo legal landscape underscore just why the National Cannabis Industry Association exists, the organization’s executive director Aaron Smith told the Colorado Cannabis Caucus Tuesday evening. The demise of the Cole Memo — Obama-era U.S. Department of Justice guidance on marijuana enforcement — needs to be taken seriously by the entire industry, he told the gathering of 250 NCIA members in downtown Denver. “But it’s important to note that this was not a major, substantive shift in policy,” Smith said.

  • Vermont becomes first state to legalize marijuana through legislature

    In the US, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana
    CNN (US)
    Tuesday, January 23, 2018

    Vermont, the "Green Mountain State," has become the first state to legalize marijuana by passing a law in the legislature rather than by use of a ballot measure. Gov. Phil Scott signed H. 511 into law "with mixed emotions", allowing for the possession of recreational marijuana. Long one of the most liberal states in the country, Vermont legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2004 and recently decriminalized possession of a small amount. This is Vermont's second attempt at passing a marijuana bill in the past year. State lawmakers last spring passed a bill legalizing marijuana for recreational use. (See also: Vermont governor signs marijuana legalization bill | Vermont's legal recreational marijuana law: What you should know)

  • Canada’s weed stocks are out of control

    “There is so much hype and overvalue that a lot of investors who get into this now will get taken and robbed”
    Vice (Canada)
    Monday, January 22, 2018

    canada dollar cannabisStocks in Canada’s biggest cannabis companies skyrocketed the past year – with the three largest rising more than 200 percent each. Analysts are warning the high times won’t last as the nascent legal weed sector seems to be heading towards a bubble. The combined market capitalization — the value of a company’s stocks multiplied by the number of shares‚ of Canada’s three largest weed firms, Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis and Aphira Inc., topped $14.5 billion at the end of 2017. But the combined revenue of the three largest firms was less than $110 million in that same period, as analysts said that rapidly rising stock price are unsustainable given the companies’ sales and future prospects. (See also: Cannabis growers in marijuana mega-merger)

  • Youngsters try to weed out taboo

    We need awareness programmes to educate people about how marijuana is different from the other banned drugs
    Times of India (India)
    Monday, January 22, 2018

    Should marijuana be legalised? Medical experts may be divided in their opinion on the subject, but many youngsters are citing examples from abroad to demand legalisation of the drug in India. They supported their argument with the fact that more than half the states in the US and nearly a dozen countries, like Portugal and Argentina, allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. "If the government can allow sale of tobacco and alcohol, why has it banned marijuana? Unlike the former two, marijuana has known properties to heal and even prevent diseases," said Utsav Thapliyal, member of Greater Legalisation Movement India, a non-profit organisation educating about the benefits of cannabis. (See also: GLM starts web series to debate on cannabis legalisation)

  • France looks to soften laws against cannabis use

    A new government report recommends introducing fixed fines to tackle the problem
    France 24 (France)
    Monday, January 22, 2018

    cannabis bud handIn France, the most recent figures available show that 17 million people have tried cannabis, 1.4 million people use it regularly - 700 000 on a daily basis - and consumption is on the rise. Yet laws against smoking pot are harsher than anywhere else in Europe: under current legislation, users can face up to a year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros. A new parliamentary report to be released on Wednesday recommends introducing a fixed fine of 150 to 200 euros instead. It concludes that current legislation is not working. Few of the 140,000 people arrested every year in France for smoking a joint are fined, and even less are given a prison sentence. (See also: France to consider decriminalising all drug use, following government-commissioned report)

  • The facts about ganja in Jamaica

    Each household is allowed to legally grow no more than five ganja plants on its premises
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    When the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 came into effect on April 15, 2015, new provisions were put in place regarding the possession and smoking of ganja, use of ganja by persons of the Rastafarian faith, and use of ganja for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes. Possession of two ounces or less of ganja is no longer an offence for which one can be arrested, charged and tried in court, and it will not result in a criminal record. The police may issue a ticket to a person in possession of two ounces or less of ganja, similar to a traffic ticket, and the person would have 30 days to pay the sum of $500 (US$4) at any tax office. (See also: Call for Caricom to give ganja green light)

  • Caricom: The people say 'legalise it'

    Caricom's Marijuana Commission was established in 2014
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    caricom marijuana commissionAcross the Caribbean the strongest view expressed about cannabis is that it ought to be decriminalised or legalised, says head of Caricom's Regional Commission on Marijuana, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine. Speaking to reporters after a town meeting in New Providence, in The Bahamas, Antoine said, “[It was an] excellent meeting, very well attended, and my distinct impression is that this is a very important issue for The Bahamas. “… One of the interesting things, too, is what I said in the beginning: that marijuana isn't just about marijuana — it's about so many other social issues, like poverty and equality in a society, and that came out as well, so I was very pleased. But [it was] a very, very powerful meeting, I think.” (See also: Call for Caricom to give ganja green light)

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