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  • Russia cites UN body to blast Canada’s cannabis legalization

    Ulyanov said Canada’s action will not go unnoticed by the international community and pointed to reaction by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
    Radio Canada International (Canada)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018

    Mikhail UlyanovOpponents of the Trudeau government’s plan to legalize marijuana in Canada are getting some unexpected if, perhaps, unwelcome support from the Russian government. In an official statement by the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, a senior Russian diplomat argued the Liberal government’s Cannabis Act contravenes Canada’s international treaty obligations. “When implemented this undertaking will tangibly breach the UN drug control conventions, which as we all know limit the production and use of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes,” said in a statement Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna. (See also: The US stopped other countries from legalizing weed for generations)

  • Tobacco giant Imperial Brands invests in medical cannabis

    OCT is a firm licensed by the UK Home Office that researches, develops and licenses cannabinoid-based compounds and therapies
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, June 28, 2018

    Tobacco firm Imperial Brands is investing in UK biotech company Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT). The move comes as campaigning to allow marijuana products for medicinal purposes gathers pace. A company subsidiary, Imperial Brands Ventures, is taking a stake in the UK firm, but its size is unknown. Tobacco companies are trying to diversify away from their core product. Imperial's website bears the motto: "From tobacco to something better." Imperial now sees itself as "a dynamic fast-moving consumer goods company borne out of a strong tobacco heritage".

  • Misuse of opioids such as tramadol and fentanyl is 'global epidemic', report finds

    UN figures reveal deepening opioid crisis in Africa, with cocaine and opium production at records levels worldwide
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    The misuse of pharmaceutical opioids is fast becoming a “global epidemic”, with the largest quantities being seized in African countries for the second year in a row, according to the UN World Drug Report 2018. While huge attention has been paid to the opioid crisis in the US – where the misuse of prescription drugs like fentanyl dominates – figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has revealed seizures in Africa of opioids now account for 87% of the global total. Unlike in the US, the seizures – concentrated in west, central and north Africa – have largely consisted of the drug tramadol, followed by codeine.

  • Colombia coca production hits new record high, US figures say

    ONDCP Deputy Director Jim Carroll said in a press release that the Colombian government “must do more” to address the increase
    InSight Crime
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018

    US estimates of coca production in Colombia show the Andean nation has set a new record for the amount of the drug-producing crop under cultivation, confirming a trend that has been transforming regional drug trade dynamics. The estimates, released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), show that Colombia produced 209,000 hectares of coca crops in 2017, a figure 11 percent higher than the record-setting 2016 estimate of 188,000 hectares. The White House says cocaine production also increased from 772 metric tons in 2016 to 921 metric tons in 2017, representing a 19 percent rise. (See also: Colombia to resume aerial spraying to destroy coca crop)

  • Profits and perils of the new Canadian pot economy: Don Pittis

    Euphoria over the future of legal recreational marijuana could end in tears
    CBC News (Canada)
    Monday, June 25, 2018

    Legalization is creating a whole new industry — perhaps a whole new economy. But even as pot generates new jobs and new companies and new stock market earnings, in both business and society as a whole there are plenty of potential pitfalls and many uncertainties. Will an increase in the use of pot caused by its legalization encourage a burst of national creativity, as some studies have suggested? The results of scientific studies vary widely. As critics have warned, will legalization create a society plagued with the kind of soma-like apathy and lethargy that Huxley feared? (See also: Pot companies on hiring spree ahead of lucrative legal market | 10 Canadian marijuana stocks for your portfolio)

  • China says United States domestic opioid market the crux of crisis

    Beijing has taken steps to crack down on the production and export of synthetic drugs
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, June 25, 2018

    China’s drug control agency said the United States should do more to cut its demand for opioids to tackle the use of synthetic drug fentanyl, but it vowed to step up cooperation after Chinese production of the substance had been blamed for fuelling the U.S. opioid crisis. U.S. President Donald Trump said in November on a state visit to Beijing that China and the United States would do more to stem what he called a “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl “manufactured in China” from entering the United States. While China accepts that some new psychoactive substances, including fentanyl, manufactured in China are sold in the United States, the substances are not yet readily abused and trafficked in China itself. (See also: China lectures the Unites States on opioid crisis)

  • Grenada PM contemplates decriminalising marijuana

    The laws of Grenada permit a magistrate to impose a fine for possession of marijuana
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Monday, June 25, 2018

    Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell believes the time has come for Grenada to reconsider decriminalising the use of marijuana and other forms of recreational drugs. “More and more we are hearing about countries who are placing less importance on criminalising the use of marijuana and other forms of recreational drugs but it’s an area we have to examine; maybe in a sense while we have one smoking a joint a marijuana is considered to be a criminal offense, we may have to examine to some extent that area of activity because we want to spend the police time in dealing with much more major problems than just having to confront one using a joint or two of marijuana outside,” he told a mass meeting of police officers.

  • Durham police chief calls for legalisation of cannabis in UK

    Mike Barton says ban on drug is damaging public safety and market needs to be regulated
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, June 24, 2018

    Mike BartonA chief constable has called for the ban on cannabis to be scrapped, arguing that it damages public safety, puts users in more danger, and gives millions of pounds to organised criminals. Mike Barton, who leads the Durham police force, said people growing a couple of plants for personal use would not be subject to raids in his jurisdiction. Durham police are rated as outstanding in their effectiveness by the official police inspectorate. His comments came after the former Conservative party leader William Hague last week said the war on cannabis had failed and the class-B drug should be legalised.

  • Philippine school kids may face mandatory drug tests

    Failing drug screening could have deadly consequences
    Human Rights Watch (US)
    Friday, June 22, 2018

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs” may soon place thousands of primary school children in harm’s way. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced that it is seeking the authority from the Dangerous Drugs Board to impose annual surprise drug screening tests on teachers and school children starting from the fourth grade. PDEA has justified the move as an attempt to identify 10-year-old potential drug users so they “can get intervention while they are still young.” But this proposal, the latest dangerous outgrowth of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign which has already claimed the lives of dozens of children, will place school children at grave risk. (See also: Poor Filipinos most vulnerable in Duterte's drug war: study)

  • Regulated marijuana trial should be bigger

    At least 15 types of marijuana and 10 different varieties of hashish would be necessary
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, June 21, 2018

    netherlands coffeeshop rolling jointsThe government’s plans to experiment with regulated marijuana cultivation should be carried out far more widely than in just six to 10 local authority areas, the government commission working on the plans has said. The current plan is not wide enough to be properly representative and to allow methodological analysis, and would, therefore, be pretty pointless, the commission said. The experiment with regulated growing is supposed to remove the gray area between the sale of marijuana in council-licenced coffee shops and the illegal cultivation and supply. The commission also recommends that the state should decide who should grow the marijuana. (See also: Amsterdam won’t take part in regulated marijuana trials)

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