Beau Kilmer, Kristy Kruithof, Mafalda Pardal, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Jennifer Rubin
14 December 2013
This RAND report provides an overview of the changes to laws and policies pertaining to cannabis in different countries. Several jurisdictions have reduced the penalties for possessing cannabis for personal use (and in some places even for home cultivation), while some jurisdictions have taken more dramatic steps and changed their laws and practices with respect to producing and distributing cannabis.
Uruguay is planning a novel approach to fighting its rising crime: having its government sell marijuana to take drug profits out of the hands of dealers. Under the plan backed by President Jose Mujica's leftist administration, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana and only to adults who register on a government database, letting officials keep track of their purchases over time. Profits would reportedly go toward rehabilitating drug addicts.
Should pot be outlawed, controlled, or just legalised? For anti-addiction experts, regulating consumption would counter a drug market associated with violent crime and lead to better public health and safety. But not everyone agrees. This year, Parliament agreed on the principle that adult cannabis users should be fined and not subjected to criminal charges. (See also: Growing cannabis at home)
President Sebastián Piñera signed the new Drug and Alcohol Prevention Act into law on Monday, which sets up an educational program to warn schoolchildren against the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The president took the opportunity to break his silence over the renewed debate over drug decriminalization, taking a decidedly anti-decriminalization stance. "At a time when some are promoting the legalization of drugs, this administration is committed to fighting against it, not only for children but also the entire population," Piñera told reporters.
In recent years there has been much talk of the so-called “Portuguese model,” based on an initiative that led to the use of illicit drugs being decriminalised in 2001. In fact, it is often said that Portugal was the first country in Europe to decriminalise drug use de jure, while Spain, for example, took that step de facto for the first time in 1974, except that it was not through a specific law but rather as a result of a Supreme Court ruling.
Juan Vaz, an Uruguayan activist and government aide who has been jailed for growing marijuana in his home, says it's time to end a contradiction that lets people in his country smoke pot but bans its sale or cultivation. The proposal formally introduced to Congress last week would create a National Cannabis Institute with the power to license people and companies to produce marijuana for recreational, medical or industrial uses.
A large number of Danes are growing their own cannabis plants at home, according to a new investigation by drug researcher Helle Dahl, a researcher at the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus University. Her investigation suggested that there were at least 1,200 Danes who grew cannabis plants in their homes. “There are too many Danes who smoke cannabis for them to be part of a marginalised group, and we are not surprised over how widespread growing cannabis actually is.”
One of France's leading campaigners for the decriminalisation of cannabis was given a suspended prison term and fined for possession and use of the drug. Dominique Broc is the founder of the cannabis social clubs, a movement that encourages members to grow the herb for their own use and avoid illegal dealers. The 44-year-old gardener said he would appeal his conviction, which came after police who visited his home in western France found 126 plants and 26 grammes of cannabis.
Le Tribunal fédéral (TF) a jugé qu'il empiétait sur la compétence exhaustive de la Confédération en matière de réglementation des stupéfiants. Très détaillée, la législation fédérale sur les stupéfiants ne laisse aucune marge aux cantons pour réglementer le commerce et la culture du chanvre licite. Quatre des cinq juges de la Deuxième cour de droit public ont accepté sur ce point un recours déposé par des exploitants de commerces de chanvre.
Les consommateurs du cannabis en France préférant de plus en plus l'herbe, facile à cultiver en France, à la résine marocaine, le marché s'adapte, rendant le cannabis toujours plus disponible sur le territoire. On trouve de l'herbe partout et, surtout, toute l'année, selon les remontées de Trend, dispositif d'observation du terrain de l'Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies (OFDT). Une preuve de l'essor de la culture d'intérieur, qui permet quatre récoltes par an. L'herbe vient des Pays-Bas, peut-être d'Albanie, mais aussi de France. Et plus aucun département n'est épargné.
Juan Andres Palese was using a fake name in public when he opened Uruguay’s first store dedicated to cultivating marijuana, where he offered growing equipment and advice but no illegal plants or seeds. Now that President Jose Mujica’s plan to create and regulate the world’s first national marijuana market has the force of law, Palese’s got much bigger plans.
Julio Calzada is the top drug official in the little nation of Uruguay, which has gained notoriety over the last year for becoming the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Calzada, whose party faces a tough re-election battle on Oct. 26, sat down with GlobalPost to discuss Uruguay’s unparalleled legalization experiment. In doing so, the national drug agency’s secretary-general unleashed a few bombshells. Here are the five most interesting things he said.
The Uruguayan government has unveiled long-awaited regulations for its recreational marijuana market — a move that steers the tiny nation of 3.3 million people away from the prohibitionist war on drugs, with its disastrous consequences in Latin America, and toward a drug policy based on improving public health and security. Although Uruguay’s Congress approved the measure in December — becoming the first country in the world to legalize recreational pot use — it was just this week that the government of President José Mujica announced all the details.
Retail marijuana sales for adults are now legal (at least at the state level) in Colorado and Washington. Next month, voters in Alaska and Oregon may decide to follow suit. It is nearly certain that marijuana legalization will make it onto the California ballot in 2016, during a presidential election season that will generate enormous interest among young voters. Robert MacCoun looks at options for designing a marijuana proposal.
If D.C. residents vote to legalize marijuana possession next week, it wouldn’t just mean a sea change in drug policy in the nation’s capital. It could also mean big business. A study by District financial officials shared with lawmakers estimates a legal D.C. cannabis market worth $130 million a year. The ballot initiative voters will see Tuesday does not allow for the legal sale of marijuana — only the possession and home cultivation of small amounts — but D.C. Council members gathered Thursday to hear testimony about what a legal sales regime might look like.
A year after Uruguay's historic marijuana law was signed, officials have green-lighted homegrown cannabis, cannabis clubs, and hemp cultivation, but the specifics of its signature provision – a regulated commercial cannabis market – remain unclear.
Uruguay’s experiment with legal domestic cannabis cultivation is about to enter a new phase, marking a key opportunity for the country to demonstrate what an effective enforcement model for the law will look like in the future.