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  • Money launderers are taking EU to the cleaners, experts say

    Experts say the EU's efforts are simply no match for criminals who have seen through the lack of a centralised authority tasked with fighting fraud across the bloc
    The Local (Denmark)
    Sunday, September 30, 2018

    European Union nations may boast the world's most stringent anti-money laundering rules, but recent scandals show that criminals are good at exploiting the bloc's Achilles' heel: A patent lack of coordination. "There are problems relating to coordination at various levels: at the national level, between prudential and anti-money laundering institutions, and between states and the European Union," said Laure Brillaud at Transparency International. The EU's parliament in August adopted a new anti-money laundering directive, a move the European Commission said would bring more transparency to improve the fight against money laundering. (See also: Danish banks in gigantic money-laundering scandal | Shameful September as money-laundering woes dog Europe's banks)

  • NCA's decision on pill testing betrays public trust

    The misinformation campaign run by some groups has massively contributed to Australia's inability to institute pill-testing programs
    The Canberra Times (Australia)
    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    The National Capital Authority has blocked a proposal for pill testing at this year's Spilt Milk festival in Canberra. It was able to do this because the festival is held on grounds that the NCA's manages. It made this decision despite the support of the ACT government, including police and health services, widespread community support, and a successful pill-testing service at the Groovin' the Moo festival earlier this year. The NCA also appears to have made its decision without involving the level of expertise that pill-testing proponents have on their side. (See also: Pill testing every weekend 'next step' to reduce harm, Rattenbury says | Pill testing no silver bullet for festival safety, but it's part of the solution)

  • U.S. cannabis producers fear Canada will 'dominate the industry'

    Perhaps for the first time ever, Canada has a shot at leading the world in a new economic activity
    The Huffington Post (Canada)
    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    The CEO of California-based marijuana producer and seller Terra Tech is watching the cannabis industry boom north of the border with more than a little apprehension — because he is already seeing the beginnings of an invasion of U.S. markets by Canada's cannabis firms, today the world's largest. "The concern for some of the players is the market will be dominated by Canadian companies, shareholders and banks if we allow too much time to pass," Peterson said by phone from California. With Canada set to legalize recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, Canadian cannabis stock prices have soared, giving these startup firms enormous amounts of money with which to invest in their business.

  • Duterte confesses: 'My only sin is the extrajudicial killings'

    Philippines president’s admission in speech could add weight to international criminal court inquiry
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, September 28, 2018

    President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted for the first time to authorising extrajudicial killings as part of his war on drugs in the Philippines. Duterte made the admission during a speech, where he directly challenged anyone who criticised how he ran the country. “I told the military, what is my fault? Did I steal even one peso?” said Duterte. “My only sin is the extrajudicial killings.” Duterte has previously addressed the existence of extra-judicial killings but has always denied they were state-sponsored. This direct acknowledgment of his role in the deaths could give further weight to the ongoing preliminary investigation by the international criminal court (ICC).

  • A major study questioned the evidence for safe injection sites. It’s now been retracted

    The study suggested the evidence for safe injection sites was weak. But it had its own fatal methodological flaw
    Vox (US)
    Thursday, September 27, 2018

    A major meta-analysis published earlier this year that questioned the empirical evidence for supervised drug consumption sites has been retracted by the International Journal of Drug Policy. But the meta-analysis, which I reported on shortly after it published, concluded that supervised consumption sites have a small favorable relation to drug-related crimes, but no significant effect on several other outcomes, like overdose mortality and syringe sharing. In short, the meta-analysis didn’t conclude that supervised consumption sites were bad, but they didn’t appear to do much on key outcomes like overdose death. But the meta-analysis apparently had serious methodological flaws in how it evaluated outcomes.

  • Cannabis cultivation and consumption pattern in Jamaica 2017-2018

    Approximately 21 per cent of total farmers across the island are women while about 79 per cent are men
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Wednesday, September 26, 2018

    jamaica flag ganjaFifty-three per cent of cannabis enthusiasts want Jamaica to fully legalise cannabis while 27 per cent want Jamaica to legalise but with strict controls. Only 18 per cent are content with the current state of decriminalisation and two per cent want the laws to be reverted to where they were prior to 2015. Traditionally, ganja is grown outdoor in Jamaica so that the plant can benefit from the sunlight. Our research shows that 77 per cent of farmers grow in open field outdoors, 17 per cent grow indoors, while six per cent grow in greenhouses. Unlike regular agriculture that fails to attract large numbers of young people, cannabis cultivation appears to be quite attractive to young people given its high return per crop yield compared to other agricultural commodities.

  • History of dagga in SA shows its decriminalisation is overdue

    Government should wake up to the massive economic potential of traditional communities
    News24 (South Africa)
    Tuesday, September 25, 2018

    The Constitutional Court's decision that citizens are permitted to use dagga in private turned the clock back 96 years. Before it was declared a prohibited substance in 1922, dagga was a part of the culture of South Africa's peoples – including white Afrikaners. Interestingly, the campaigns against and warnings about the dangers of dagga usage are not a prudish phenomenon of the 21st century. It is as old as dagga smoking itself. Dagga was thus an integral part of the culture of the people of the subcontinent before the first Europeans came to settle here. Dagga may also have played a part in the spiritual rituals of some groups. (See also: Why it's a good thing the ConCourt legalised private use of marijuana)

  • Pays-Bas : Le haschich marocain s’invite à la Chambre basse

    La quantité et la qualité du cannabis marocain «n’ont pas d’égal»
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mardi, 25 septembre 2018

    Le trafic et la commercialisation du cannabis marocain aux Pays-Bas sont actuellement étudiés par les partis politiques néerlandais. Plusieurs propositions ont été faites, l’une d’elle serait d’en discuter avec le Maroc pour réglementer le marché. Certains proposent de réglementer et de légaliser l’importation du haschich marocain. Une utopie que Martin Jelsma, directeur de recherche à l’Institut transnational de recherche et de plaidoyer (TNI), défend par la possibilité d’une «consultation attentive entre le Maroc et les Pays-Bas». Une option qui, selon lui, pourrait se confronter «à de nombreux obstacles juridiques, mais qui est tout de même nécessaire».

  • Why some U.S. allies didn’t sign up for Trump’s pledge to fight drugs

    Many of the non-signatories view the U.S.-led document as too narrow compared with previously agreed upon U.N. provisions on drugs and are concerned that it left out considerations about human rights
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, September 24, 2018

    trump ungaPresident Trump began his week at the UN General Assembly with an event seeking to prompt action against the global drug trade. “The call is simple,” Trump said. “Reduce drug demand, cut off the supply of illicit drugs, expand treatment and strengthen international cooperation. If we take these steps together, we can save the lives of countless people in all corners of the world.” According to the State Department, 130 signed the document supporting “action on the global war against drugs”, including China and India. But there are 193 states in the United Nations. So why did 63 countries, including U.S. allies and major European nations like Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, decline to sign? (See also: Trump gets 100 countries to sign on to his UN drug war plan, ignoring changing thinking on human rights and legalization)

  • Trump kicks off UN general assembly with ‘problematic’ drug policy document

    Several countries signed the document out of 'heavy diplomatic pressure' rather than actual agreement
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, September 24, 2018

    Donald Trump has kicked off the 2018 United Nations General Assembly by announcing what experts have labelled a problematic agreement to tackle the world drug problem, signed by 130 countries. The very short meeting was primarily to introduce the agreement - named the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem - but as senior international policy manager for New York-based research group Drug Policy Alliance, Hannah Hetzer told The Independent the document is “not legitimate”. The agreement did not pass through the official UN channels and was not open to consensus or negotiation. (See also: Veneer of consensus masks deep disagreement on global drug policy | Canada signs on to U.S.-led renewal of war on drugs)

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