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  1. Ex-minister Bob Ainsworth: Make drugs legally available

    16 December 2010
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    Bob Ainsworth, a Home Office minister under Tony Blair, said successive governments' approaches had failed, leaving criminal gangs in control. The MP wants to see a system of strict legal regulation, with different drugs either prescribed by doctors or sold under licence.

  2. David Nutt: 'The government cannot think logically about drugs'

    Decca Aitkenhead
    06 December 2010
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    If someone were to invent a perfectly safe ecstasy pill, what would be done about it? It's the sort of scenario clubbers like to speculate about, usually at around 6am, a little the worse for wear after a big night out. It's less common to hear it from a neuropsychopharmacologist and former government scientist – but it is, Professor David Nutt says earnestly, "the key question". So what does he think the government would do?

  3. Liberal Dutch marijuana policy taking another hit?

    18 November 2010
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    The new conservative Dutch government wants to force the country's marijuana cafes to become "members only" clubs, a move that would effectively block foreigners from buying the drug. If the idea ever becomes reality — it would be legally complicated and politically divisive — it would be the latest of the country's liberal policies to be scrapped or curtailed as the Dutch rethink the limits of their famed tolerance. While marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, it has been sold openly in designated cafes for decades, and police make no arrests for possession of small amounts.

  4. A hunger strike divides Switzerland

    17 November 2010
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    Imprisoned cannabis farmer Bernard Rappaz has been on hunger strike for more than 80 days in protest at a prison sentence he considers too high. Doctors have refused orders from the authorities to force feed him. In the latest twist to the story, the Federal Court rejected Rappaz' appeal for his imprisonment to be suspended. Rappaz, who is well known as someone who has fought for the legalisation of cannabis, received a prison sentence of five years and eight months for violating the federal drugs law.

  5. New Report: U.S. Government Data Demonstrates Failure of Cannabis Prohibition

    07 October 2010
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    The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) today released a new research report, Tools for debate: U.S. federal government data on cannabis prohibition, that demonstrates the clear failure of U.S. marijuana prohibition and supports calls for evidence-based models to legalize and regulate the use of cannabis.

  6. License cannabis sales, expert says

    Pallab Ghosh
    14 September 2010
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    Policymakers should consider allowing the licensed sale of cannabis for recreational use, says one of the UK's leading researchers of the drug. Professor Roger Pertwee is to make the call in a speech at the British Science Association festival in Birmingham. He is expected to say radical solutions have to be considered because he believes the current policy of criminalising cannabis is ineffective.

  7. Weary of drug war, Mexico debates legalization

    Tim Johnson
    12 September 2010
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    A debate about legalizing marijuana and possibly other drugs — once a taboo suggestion — is percolating in Mexico, a nation exhausted by runaway violence and a deadly drug war. The debate is only likely to grow more animated if Californians approve an initiative on Nov. 2 to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state.

  8. real-california-cannabis

    California's Prop 19, on legalizing marijuana, could end Mexico's drug war

    Héctor Aguilar Camín, Jorge G. Castañeda
    05 September 2010
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    On Nov. 2, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, deciding whether to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. If the initiative passes, it won't just be momentous for California; it may, at long last, offer Mexico the promise of an exit from our costly war on drugs. The costs of that war have long since reached intolerable levels: more than 28,000 of our fellow citizens dead since late 2006; expenditures well above $10 billion; terrible damage to Mexico's image abroad; human rights violations by government security forces; and ever more crime.

  9. Thinking the unthinkable

    12 August 2010
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    Since marijuana provides the Mexican gangs with up to half their income, taking that business out of their hands would change the balance of power in the drug war. Californians will vote in November on whether to legalise and tax the sale of marijuana to adults. Were the proposal to pass it would render Mexico’s assault on drug traffickers untenable, reckons Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister. “How would you continue with a war on drugs in Tijuana, when across the border grocery stores were selling marijuana?” he asks. 

  10. Has the time come to legalize drugs?

    Andres Oppenheimer
    12 August 2010
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    Legalization of drugs -- long an issue championed mainly by fringe groups -- is rapidly moving to the mainstream in Latin America.  Last week's surprise statement by former Mexican President Vicente Fox in support of "legalizing production, sales and distribution" of drugs made big headlines around the world.

  11. Ex-Mexico president calls for legalizing drugs

    09 August 2010
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    Former President Vicente Fox is joining with those urging his successor to legalize drugs in Mexico, saying that could break the economic power of the country's brutal drug cartels. Fox's comments, posted Sunday on his blog, came less than a week after President Felipe Calderon agreed to open the door to discussions about the legalization of drugs, even though he stressed that he remained opposed to the idea.

  12. The problem is more than just the substances, it's the prohibition itself

    Maria Lucia Karam
    09 August 2010
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    Maria Lucia Karam, a retired Brazilian judge, argues that drugs should be legalised - but regulated. Every country that has provided a glimpse of what a regulated future might look like has experienced lowered rates of death, disease, crime and addiction.

  13. Why the US and Latin America could be ready to end a fruitless 40-year struggle

    08 August 2010
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    Mexico's president Felipe Caldéron is the latest Latin leader to call for a debate on drugs legalisation. And in the US, liberals and right-wing libertarians are pressing for an end to prohibition. Forty years after President Nixon launched the 'war on drugs' there is a growing momentum to abandon the fight.

  14. Marijuana Legalization Gaining Favor in Mexico

    Lauren Villagran
    08 August 2010
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    "I don't think that marijuana legalization will be a panacea on drug violence in Mexico," said David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.  "But legalization could change the nature of the fight.  Drugs are so much more profitable than any other form of illicit activity.  You take away that profitability, and you cripple the organizations' ability to corrupt the state."

  15. Former ministers: legalise all drugs!

    18 May 2010
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    'Save the country, legalise drugs.' Under this striking banner, two former Dutch government ministers (for foreign affairs and health) are launching their revolutionary plan. They estimate that more than half of all the costs of crime are related to drugs. They argue that by regulating their production and sale and imposing strict government supervision, drug crime will disappear. And they say that would lead to unprecedented savings for the police and judiciary.

  16. Ending drug prohibition: the ultimate austerity measure

    OpEd by Frits Bolkestein, Els Borst c.s.
    18 May 2010
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    The ban on recreational drugs promotes crime and is bad for public health. Austerity measures to cut public spending are a hot topic for debate everywhere in Europe. In the Netherlands, where a new parliament will be elected next month, several proposals to reduce spending by 30 billion euros are on the table. All of these proposals hit where it hurts, but one option could actually be a welcome relief: drug regulation. (See also: Former ministers: legalise all drugs!)