Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Not Malana cream; Nepalese charas sells in Himachal

    Kullu, especially Parvati valley, is notorious worldwide for its production of the world’s best charas, a cannabis resin
    Times of India (India)
    Monday, September 23, 2019

    india cannabis eradiction kulluThe increase in cases of charas seizure in Himachal, especially in Kullu, despite police and state government running several programmes to destroy the cannabis crops has left the agencies clueless for years. After some Nepalese were arrested while smuggling charas consignments from Nepal to India to sell it in the name of “Malana cream” in the last few years, police fear that a large quantity of charas being supplied in the market may have been brought from Nepal. The area where cannabis is cultivated in Kullu has decreased over the years due to strict law and police action. (See also: Cannabis crop destroyed on 6,175 bighas in Kullu)

  • Laws to legalise cannabis for personal use in the ACT could pass next week

    The ACT government will introduce amendments that would keep possession and cultivation of cannabis in the Drugs of Dependence Act
    The Canberra Times (Australia)
    Friday, September 20, 2019

  • Class A drug use among young adults at 16-year high

    Eight per cent of people aged 16 to 24 have taken a class A drug in the last year – official figures
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    cocaine useClass A drug use among young adults is at a 16-year-high, driven by increases in powder cocaine and ecstasy use, official estimates have revealed. Around 8.7% of adults in England and Wales aged 16 to 24 had taken a class A drug in the last year, equating to around 550,000 young people, the 2018/2019 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows. This is the highest recording since the 2002/2003 survey and Home Office statisticians said it was a “statistically significant” rise compared with the 2011/2012 survey seven years ago, when a previous decline in class A use reversed and started to climb back up. (See also: Drug use in England and Wales is up for the fourth year in a row | As our cocaine use rises again, hypocritical politicians are wasting a £10bn warchest)

  • Labour exponents call out Julia Farrugia Portelli over cannabis stance

    The parliamentary secretary has adopted a very cautious approach on the matter that has left those in favour of cannabis legalisation disappointed
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    malta cannabis flagParliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli has come under fire from exponents in her party over comments on cannabis in a TV interview. Farrugia Portelli, who is entrusted with reforms, including the legalisation of cannabis, said the recreational label given to cannabis in the Labour Party manifesto was wrong. The Labour Party manifesto pledged to further the debate on cannabis legalisation. The Prime Minister had also declared himself in favour of legalising cannabis, a stand he reiterated during the parliamentary debate on the law legalising the production and use of medicinal cannabis. (See also: Five reasons Labour is so cautious on legalising recreational marijuana)

  • US attack on WHO 'hindering morphine drive in poor countries'

    Claims have hurt efforts to help people around world in acute pain, say palliative care experts
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019

    morphine sulphateAn attack on the World Health Organization (WHO) by US politicians accusing it of being corrupted by drug companies is making it even more difficult to get morphine to millions of people dying in acute pain in poor countries, say experts in the field. Representatives of the hospice and palliative care community said they were stunned by the Congress members’ report, which they said made false accusations and would affect people suffering in countries where almost no opioids were available. “At least 5 billion people live in countries where there is limited or no availability of opioids for pain treatment,” according to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHCP). More than 18 million people a year worldwide die with “untreated, excruciating pain”, the organisation says.

  • A new ‘war on drugs’ is short sighted and naive

    There are options for taking a new path with like-minded countries
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Forty years ago, the Netherlands was far ahead of its time. But today we see the country moving backwards, as evidenced by a recent report on the drugs culture in Amsterdam. The authors of the report, believe that Dutch society is ‘undermined’ by organised drugs crime, though it’s hard to say what the evidence is to support these conclusions. A new ‘hard approach’ – rather similar to the old approach elsewhere in the world – with more police powers must be deployed, in addition to stigmatising users, the report’s authors argued. The ban on drugs does not have the support of the majority of the Dutch. Most use is not problematic and users would rather buy their goods in a legal market, with quality guarantees and tax revenues to be spent on the people who do get into trouble.

  • Legalise cannabis, says Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor

    Siobhan Benita says the capital should make the move to tackle youth crime
    The Observer (UK)
    Saturday, September 14, 2019

    The legalisation of cannabis should be tested in London to improve public health and stop young people being drawn into crime, a London mayoral candidate has said. Siobhan Benita, the Lib Dem candidate for next year’s election, said the idea of legalising the drug was “no longer controversial” and the serious crime in the capital meant it was the right place for the idea to be trialled. “Illegal drugs activity, especially in the capital, is a big part of pulling young people into serious violence,” she said. “I want to remove power from those gangs. My question would be, why haven’t we done this yet?" She said legalisation, which would free up police time, had been supported by prominent former police officers. (See also: Labour to ‘consider legalising all drugs’ including cocaine and heroin)

  • Malaysia's Government looks to decriminalise drug use in bid to stem disadvantage

    Traffickers of drugs will still face the death penalty
    ABC News (Australia)
    Saturday, September 14, 2019

    malaysia drug useThe non-descript white van parked at the mosque entrance went mostly unnoticed. In conservative Malaysia, very few of the Muslim faithful on their way to prayers could ever have imagined its true purpose. After a 40-year war on drugs that has seen countless thousands of drug users locked up, the van is a symbol of a dramatic shift in Malaysia's approach to narcotics. It's a mobile methadone clinic, set up to provide support on the ground as the nation prepares to decriminalise drug use. "Looking at drug addicts as suffering a form of a disease is crucial," said Nurul Izzah Anwar, a Malaysian Government MP at the forefront of the push for what many proponents simply call "decrim".

  • Govt commits to helping cannabis debate focus on facts and evidence

    The government and the Drug Foundation say they are committed to keeping the public informed, fear mongering to a minimum and misinformation out of the news
    RNZ (New Zealand)
    Friday, September 13, 2019

    nz cannabis flagMPs and the Drug Foundation addressed a symposium on drug law reform at Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little told the crowd, despite a lot of investment into the enforcement of prohibiting cannabis since 1965, it was still well and truly present in communities. "It's estimated between a quarter of a million to 300,000 New Zealanders are regular users of cannabis, that's what prohibition has given us," he said. Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said his organisation has released their own report, Taking control of cannabis: A model for responsible regulation, on what those regulations should look like.

  • Thais allowed six cannabis plants per household under draft law

    The law could be passed in 6 months after November when parliament re-opens
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, September 13, 2019

    thailand marijuana awakeningA party in Thailand's ruling coalition has proposed a draft law that would allow Thais to grow a limited amount of cannabis at home, less than a year after the country legalised the drug for medicinal purposes and research. Under Thailand's current drug laws, recreational users of cannabis can incur tough penalties, including up to 10 years in prison for possession and hefty fines. A senior lawmaker in the Bhumjaithai Party, third-largest partner in the coalition and in charge of the health ministry, said the draft law would allow up to six marijuana plants per household. Cannabis is still a drug under Thai law. "The principle is for medical use, you can have it at home for ailments, but not smoke it on the street," Supachai Jaisamut said.

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