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  • Daily cannabis use could delay at-risk youth from moving to higher risk drug use: study

    Other recent research suggests cannabis may be a potential substitute for users of legal or illicit opioids, as well as crack cocaine
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Various medical marijuana products are distributed as an alternative to intravenous drugs at an overdose prevention site in Vancouver, B.C., on Aug. 28, 2017Consuming cannabis every day could delay at-risk youth from moving on to injecting more dangerous drugs, according to a new study that casts doubt upon the age-old assumption that marijuana acts as a gateway for teens to try other more harmful substances. The research, from scientists at the BC Centre on Substance Use, also adds to other work that has suggested marijuana could be used as a substitute for people addicted to opioids. Researchers repeatedly interviewed 481 homeless young people in Vancouver’s downtown core who had never injected any drugs and found - over a decade of tracking this at-risk cohort - that daily cannabis use was associated with a 34 per cent decrease in the rate people started injecting drugs.

  • Most Luxembourg residents want cannabis legalised

    Survey shows most people in Grand Duchy would like to see marijuana legalised for personal use
    Luxembourg Times (Luxembourg)
    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    The majority of Luxembourg residents think cannabis should be fully legalised for personal use and not just for medical reasons, according to a survey carried out by TNS Ilres. Fifty-six percent of respondents were in favour for cannabis being legalised, with 18% being in "absolute" agreement that the drug should be fully legal in the Grand Duchy. However, the lion's share of those in agreement, at 38%, believe cannabis should be legalised "under certain conditions". Younger participants, particularly those aged between 18 and 24, generally responded favourably to total legalisation.

  • LibDem MSP says Scotland should ‘open regulated drugs market’

    Laws around cannabis are all currently reserved to Westminster, under the Misuse of Drugs Act
    The National (Scotland)
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Scotland should have its own “regulated cannabis market” to control the pricing and potency of the drug, LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has claimed. He made the call after new figures showed the vast majority of police seizures involved cannabis. In total, the force seized 347.9 kg of herbal cannabis, 322.1kg of cannabis resin and 18,310 cannabis plants from dealers. Cole-Hamilton said: “These new figures show that when it comes to drug related crime, police time is dominated by cannabis. Despite this, cannabis is freely available and widely used. The ‘war on drugs’ just simply isn’t working. It is costing millions and filling the pockets of criminal gangs."

  • Vancouver mayor calls for drug decriminalization after record year for opioid overdoses

    The police department has a progressive drug policy that does not target individual drug users unless that drug use interferes with public safety
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling for the decriminalization of personal drug use and possession following the release of new numbers that show more than 4,000 Canadians are believed to have died of opioid overdoses last year – with nearly 10 per cent of them in the city. The mayor said Vancouver has long committed to treating drug use as a health issue, but that his recent and explicit calls to decriminalize are a direct response to an overdose crisis that has killed an average of one person every day in the city.

  • CAG raps Odisha govt. for weak enforcement in drug trafficking

    ‘No coordinated strategy, concerted approach by authorities’
    The Hindu (India)
    Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    india cannabis leThough illegal cultivation of hemp over 9,548 acres were destroyed during the past three years in Odisha, the enforcement agencies managed to arrest only nine persons, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said. This showed lack of a coordinated strategy and concerted approach by the MDS to arrest the offenders before or during the destruction drive. In a bid to nip cannabis cultivation in the bud, the Narcotics Control Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs had devised a comprehensive action plan in 2013 to be adopted by the States to control illicit cultivation.

  • Philippines tars rights groups with ‘drug lords’ smear

    Duterte’s subordinates issue veiled threat against activists
    Human Rights Watch (US)
    Monday, March 26, 2018

    Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque alleged that “some human rights groups have become unwitting tools of drug lords to hinder the strides made by the administration.” That echoed recent comments by Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano equating efforts of some unnamed human rights organizations to stop President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs” with “being used by drug lords.” Cayetano said that human rights organizations demanding accountability for the carnage of the anti-drug campaign that has killed more than 12,000 people since Duterte took office in June 2016 were doing so “for politics, for business.”

  • The war on drugs breeds crafty traffickers

    It is as though we have had a decades-long policy of selectively breeding supertraffickers and ensuring the “survival of the fittest”
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, March 26, 2018

    Politicians often escalate drug war rhetoric to show voters that they are doing something. But it is rare to ignore generations of lessons as President Trump did earlier this month when he announced his support for the execution of drug traffickers. This idea is insane. But the war on drugs has never made any sense to begin with. Executing a few individual smugglers will do little to stop others because there is no high command of the international drug trade to target, no generals who can order a coordinated surrender of farmers, traffickers, money launderers, dealers or users. The Donald Trump of 2018 should take a lesson from the Donald Trump of 1990 when he said: “We are losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war.”

  • Solving the Dutch pot paradox: Legal to buy, but not to grow

    “Right now, you are allowed to buy the milk, but you can’t know anything about the cow”
    The New York Times (US)
    Sunday, March 25, 2018

    In the Netherlands it is illegal to grow more than five cannabis plants for recreational use in what has long been seen as Europe’s marijuana capital. And the Dutch national police actively seek out and shut down hundreds of operations a year. While licensed coffee shops have the right to sell small amounts of recreational cannabis and hash to buyers older than 18, they have to rely on the black market to acquire their wares in bulk. The government is taking steps to address the situation. It has proposed a pilot program to explore the effects of legalizing. “To make the system logical again is to also tolerate the production of the cannabis,” said Paul Depla, the mayor of Breda and an outspoken proponent of legalization.

  • Cannabis: le parlement veut expérimenter

    Le Conseil des Etats souhaite modifier la loi sur les stupéfiants. Le but: permettre des projets pilotes de vente de cannabis
    Tribune de Génève (Suisse)
    Vendredi, 23 mars 2018

    Des projets pilotes de distribution de cannabis devraient pouvoir être menés en la Suisse. Le Parlement maintient la pression après un premier niet fédéral. Une commission du Conseil des Etats a soutenu une initiative de son homologue du National. Le Conseil fédéral est prêt à revoir la réglementation. En novembre dernier, l'Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP) a refusé d'autoriser une étude scientifique de l'Université de Berne sur les effets de la régularisation de la vente de cannabis sur les consommateurs et sur le trafic de stupéfiants à Berne. D'autres villes comme Genève, Zurich, Bâle ou Bienne avaient manifesté leur intérêt pour cette expérience.

  • If cannabis is getting stronger, why aren't cases of schizophrenia rising?

    It remains contested whether a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking cannabis and schizophrenia truly exists
    The Conversation (UK)
    Friday, March 23, 2018

    Most people who smoke pot enjoy it, but a smaller proportion experience psychotic-like symptoms, such as feeling suspicious or paranoid. The question that polarises researchers is whether smoking cannabis is associated with a risk of developing psychotic problems, such as schizophrenia, in the long term. Of course, cannabis use is common, while schizophrenia is relatively rare, affecting less than one per cent of the population. Even if cannabis use were to double the risk, over 98% of cannabis users would not develop schizophrenia. Researchers have to tread carefully in evaluating the evidence and avoiding scaremongering. (See also: How we could make cannabis safer for users)

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