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  • Colorado’s Senators tell U.S. Treasury: Don’t touch marijuana banking

    Both Bennet and Gardner argued the 2014 rule has been a boon for both safety and industry oversight
    The Denver Post (US)
    Thursday, January 11, 2017

    U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner of Colorado have asked the U.S. Treasury to keep in place Obama-era rules that allow banks to serve marijuana companies — a preemptive move that follows last week’s surprise decision by the Department of Justice to rescind its policy that generally left alone from drug enforcement states that have legalized cannabis. Bennet, a Democrat, and Gardner, a Republican, sent a letter to Kenneth Blanco, who heads the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at Treasury, with the request that he retain a 2014 agency decision that allows banks and credit unions to do work with the cannabis industry “so long as they conducted due diligence such as verifying that the businesses were in compliance with state law.”

  • Elio Di Rupo en faveur des cultures communales de cannabis

    Le président du PS veut s'inspirer du modèle néerlandais sur la réglementation des drogues douces
    SudInfo (Belgique)
    Jeudi, 11 Janvier 2018

    elio di rupo cannabisProduire du cannabis et le distribuer aux consommateurs sous contrôle des communes. La mesure a été adoptée aux Pays-Bas suite à l’accord du gouvernement Rutte III. En Belgique, le président du PS et bourgmestre de Mons, Elio Di Rupo, se montre favorable à long terme. En attendant, il tente toujours de mettre en place le projet pilote de « Cannabis Social Club » dans la cité du Mons. Inscrite parmi les 170 engagements adoptés par le parti socialiste en novembre dernier, la proposition visant un modèle belge de réglementation du cannabis est toujours d’actualité.

  • Portuguese doctors back marijuana medicine as bill enters parliament

    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, January 11, 2017

    Portugal's influential Doctors' Association called for the legalisation of marijuana-based medicines, the same day parliament started to debate a draft bill that goes even further in seeking to allow patients to grow pot at home. Although Portugal boasts one of the world's most liberal policies on drugs and has legal marijuana plantations destined for export, it has trailed several EU countries such as Italy and Germany, as well as Canada and parts of the United States in the last few years on medical marijuana. Miguel Guimaraes, the head of the Doctor's Association, advocated legalising marijuana-derived medicines based on scientific evidence, but criticised the part of the draft law that would permit domestic growing of the plant.

  • If the U.S. legalizes marijuana, what happens to its international drug treaties?

    "Cannabis is the most vulnerable point in the whole multilateral edifice," said the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime
    The Cannabist / Bloomberg View (US)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Harry AnslingerWhen Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a Barack Obama-era federal policy that allowed recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, he did more than reignite a domestic legal and cultural battle. He also highlighted a simmering diplomatic dispute whose outcome will shape U.S. ties with its closest neighbors and its ability to leverage international law: Whether the U.S. will comply with landmark conventions that — largely at Washington’s insistence — unequivocally prohibit recreational use as part of the global fight against drug trafficking. Allowing states that have legalized marijuana to keep blowing smoke about their adherence to the convention risks undermining all of them. (See also: Yes, legalizing marijuana breaks treaties. We can deal with that)

  • Investors are delusional when it comes to Canadian marijuana companies

    The model of state-run alcohol sales gives us an important clue as to why high-flying marijuana producers face tough times ahead
    Maclean's (Canada)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    As the July deadline for the provinces to legalize marijuana approaches, the stock prices of Canadian publicly-traded weed producers have been on a tear. On Monday alone shares in Canopy Growth Corp., soared nearly 20 per cent. The surge in market value comes as firms try to position themselves with sufficient product to meet anticipated demand. But as these companies, some valued in the billions of dollars despite generating no profits, continue to attract starry-eyed investors, it’s worth examining what kind of opportunities will exist for these firms when provinces regulate retail pot sales. It is not difficult to predict profit margins will fall under regulation and that current market cap valuations are predicated on unrealistic expectations.

  • Avoid saying 'drug user' to combat stigma, report urges

    BBC News (UK)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Policymakers and the media should avoid using terms such as "drug user", "addict" and "junkie", a report by a group of former world leaders has said. The Global Commission on Drug Policy has drawn up a checklist of what language should and should not be used. It said negative language presented people who use drugs as "physically inferior or morally flawed". Its members include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Sir Nick Clegg and the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. The Global Commission's latest report advises political leaders and journalists to use the expression "person with drug dependence" - not "addict", "drug abuser" or "junkie". (See also: Changing drug laws too much hassle for Tories, says Nick Clegg)

  • Desperate cities consider 'safe injection' sites for opioid users

    Philadelphia may be unusually well-positioned to be the first; its opioid crisis is mostly concentrated in one neighborhood
    NPR (US)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Philadelphia officials are advocating to become the first in the U.S. city to open a supervised injection site, where people suffering from heroin or opioid addiction could use under medical supervision. But the controversial proposal aimed at addressing the city's deadly drug crisis must first overcome resistance from top city police officials, community residents and the federal government. Advocates say the goal is to provide a bridge to treatment. There are about 90 such official facilities around the world. Though some U.S. cities — including Seattle, San Francisco and Denver — are talking about establishing this sort of city-sponsored site, there are none in the United States. (See also: Philadelphia pushes forward with creating drug safe-injection sites as part of fight against opioid crisis)

  • Iran's easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners

    Lifting of capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences set to be applied retrospectively to convicts on death row
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    iran hangingThe lives of more than 5,000 prisoners on death row in Iran could be spared as a change in the law abolishes capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences. Iran is second only to China in the number of prisoners executed in recent years, the majority put to death for drug offences. More than 500 people were executed in 2017. The softening of drug-trafficking laws was put into force in a communique by the head of the Iranian judiciary to all judicial officials. Campaigners said it was a potentially significant step towards halting executions worldwide. Iran has mostly resorted to a punitive campaign of arrests and executions to tackle drugs.

  • Medical marijuana in ‘high’ demand with over 13,000 applications: report

    Prior to legalization in March, only about 1,000 people in Germany had permission to use the drug for special medical purposes
    The Local (Germany)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    More and more people in Germany are applying for prescription cannabis and receiving reimbursements from their health insurance company. Ten months after medical marijuana was legalized, a surprising total of over 13,000 patients have applied for it, reports Rheinische Post (RP). The newspaper came to these findings after conducting a survey with three health insurance companies: Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK), Barmer and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). Though two-thirds of the cases are usually approved, this does not mean that the rest have been rejected. Applications aren’t always complete and patients have the opportunity to resubmit them. (See also: Germany's medicinal cannabis market struggles with short supply and high costs)

  • Study: legal marijuana could generate more than 132 billion in federal tax revenue and 1 million jobs

    The study also calculates that there would be 782,000 additional jobs nationwide if cannabis were legalized today
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Legalizing marijuana nationwide would create at least $132 billion in tax revenue and more than a million new jobs across the United States in the next decade, according to a new study. New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm focused on the cannabis industry, forecasts that if legalized on the federal level, the marijuana industry could create an entirely new tax revenue stream for the government, generating millions of dollars in sales tax and payroll deductions. The analysis shows that if marijuana were fully legal in all 50 states, it would create at least a combined $131.8 billion in in federal tax revenue between 2017 and 2025. That is based on an estimated 15 percent retail sales tax, payroll tax deductions and business tax revenue.

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