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  • Mexico president-elect says will look at legalizing some drugs

    The president-elect has held town-hall reviews on violence and discuss potential "amnesty" for non-violent drug traffickers and farmers
    Reuters (UK)
    Sunday, October 7, 2018

    Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that he would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime. Speaking in the state of Zacatecas, Lopez Obrador said that a recent proposal from the country's defense minister, who backed legalization of opium for medicinal use, was important and that he would not rule out anything. "It's important what he proposed," Lopez Obrador said. "There should be a comprehensive approach to the terrible problem of insecurity and violence."

  • Illegal snus operations a growing problem in Sweden

    Much of the foreign demand for snus comes from Norway, Finland and Russia
    The Local (Sweden)
    Sunday, October 7, 2018

    Sweden’s status as the only country in the EU where snus is legal has created a growing underground manufacturing operation, broadcaster SVT reported. More popular than cigarettes in Sweden, snus is a moist tobacco product either bought loose or in small parcels and placed under the lip. Its export to and sale within other EU countries is banned, and the EU has consistently opted to maintain that restriction, with Sweden granted an exception and allowed to sell the product within its borders. But demand for snus beyond Sweden’s borders is growing. So too is the number of Swedish operations apparently willing to break the law to meet the demand by producing and selling snus in secret.

  • ‘An argument that made no sense at all’

    Why Ed Rendell supported needle exchange during the AIDS epidemic and safe injection sites today
    The Philadelphia Inquirer (US)
    Friday, October 5, 2018

    us philly overdose prevention siteFormer Gov. Ed Rendell announced that he is incorporating a nonprofit, called Safehouse, that will work to open a safe injection site in Philadelphia. Responding to a threat by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that federal law enforcement would crack down on a site if one were to open, Rendell told WHYY: "My address is in the offices of the Bellevue and he [Rosenstein] can come and arrest me first." This isn't the first time Rendell has volunteered to be arrested. In July of 1992, then-Mayor Rendell authorized the establishment of a syringe exchange program — a measure to prevent the transmission of HIV. Looking back, Rendell says that the exchange is "a universally acclaimed success and none of the supposed downsides ever really existed."

  • Cannabis capitalism: who is making money in the marijuana industry?

    Marginalized groups that championed legalization struggle to compete with corporate refugees jumping on the bandwagon
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    The cannabis industry’s moral challenge is to ensure the groups who have suffered the most under the drug war can participate in the green rush and enjoy the spoils of legalization. Marijuana insiders often refer to the “cannabis space” – a term broad enough to include a social justice movement and unapologetic capitalism – and recognize no contradiction between them. For growers who operated in California’s gray and illegal markets and now want to transition into the legal market, the economics can be brutal. In the illegal market, an Emerald Triangle farmer might have sold a pound for $3,000 tax-free. Now the price is more like $600, before taxes and compliance related costs. (See also: High stakes: cannabis capitalists seek funds to drive drug trade)

  • Amsterdam calls plan for regulated cannabis cultivation unfeasible, dangerous

    Amsterdam would like to take part in this experiment, but for that the rules will have to be adjusted
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    femke halsemaAmsterdam finds the national experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation unfeasible and "risky to public order". The municipality would like to participate in the experiment, but only with other rules, says mayor Femke Halsema. in the experiment, which would allow cannabis cultivation for coffeeshops for four years. Too few types of cannabis and hashish will be allowed in the experiment and that will stimulate street dealing. The city can also only participate if all 166 coffeeshops in the municipality take part. "They'll have to dispose of their illegal suppliers in one go", Halsema wrote. "It is not imaginary that problems with 'the back door' will arise at that moment." (See also: Amsterdam mayor criticises regulated cannabis cultivation plan)

  • Should Punjab government legalise opium? Here's what leaders have to say

    The first politician to endorse the demand to allow farmers to grow poppy and marijuana is former MP Dharamvira Gandhi
    India Today (India)
    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    Consuming opium and poppy husk is not considered bad in Punjab. It is called 'kali nagini ' (black female serpent) and people from all walks of life consume it. Punjab's politicians are now demanding that the cultivation of opium be legalised in the state. The first politician to demand to allow farmers to grow poppy and cannabis is Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi. He not only introduced a private bill in Parliament in 2016 but also demanded doses of poppy husk for the state's drug addicts by writing a letter to the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (See also: Patiala MP reiterates demands to decriminalise drug addicts, legalise opium | Opium production: A potential economic high for India)

  • Seek drug reform within international law: Tom Blickman

    Stigmatisation and international laws that tilt towards prohibition of drugs make it difficult to find a common ground for a rational debate
    Delhi Post (india)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Tom Blickman Dating back to the latter part of 1800s, precisely in 1894-95, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission consisting of medical experts of Indian and British origin concluded that moderate use of cannabis was the rule in India, and produced practically no ill-effects. “What countries like Uruguay and Canada are doing now, India had already proposed 120 years ago,” says Tom Blickman from the Transnational Institute (TNI), an international policy think tank based in the Netherlands. “Had the wisdom of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission’s recommendations prevailed, we would have prevented a lot of misery by erroneous drug control policies,” he points out. (See also: A legal hallucination)

  • Landmark California marijuana legislation gives residents chance to 'reclaim their lives'

    Pot convictions disproportionately affect communities of color
    USA Today (US)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Hailed by advocates as a chance for people to “reclaim their lives,” a new California law will soon make it easier for people with past marijuana convictions to get their records expunged completely, or their sentences significantly reduced. Assembly Bill 1793 – passed by overwhelming majority in the California state Legislature and signed into law Sunday night by Gov. Jerry Brown – will streamline a previously tedious process that made it difficult for residents with a prior cannabis-related conviction to clear their names.

  • Govt pressed for new law on marijuana and kratom

    Experts, academics say current legislation coming in the way of medical use
    The Nation (Thailand)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Academics and medical practitioners are pushing for swift legislative reform to legalise the medical use of marijuana and kratom, saying current laws are infringing on people’s rights. Dr Niyada Kiatying-Angsulee, manager of the Drug System Monitoring and Development Centre, lamented that the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) was taking so much time amending the Narcotics Act as it applies to marijuana and kratom. Her centre and 13 other organisations asked the ruling junta, the National Council for Peace and Order, to issue an order hastening the amendment that would allow for the medical use of marijuana and kratom and research into developing medicines from them.

  • Refuting science, Jerry Brown vetoes safe injection plan

    “People will die because of his veto,” said one advocate of supervised drug injection sites
    Mother Jones (US)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed San Francisco to open what could have been the nation’s first supervised drug injection sites. “Fundamentally, I do not believe that enabling illegal drug use in government sponsored injection centers – with no corresponding requirement that the user undergo treatment – will reduce drug addiction,” Brown wrote in his veto message. The veto drew sharp criticism from proponents, who argue that providing clean, monitored space for drug users to use illicit drugs would reduce overdose deaths. “I am shocked that the Governor turned his back on the science and the experts and instead used outdated drug war ideology to justify his veto,” said Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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