The Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Bar Association decided to look at the available research on illicit drugs and the current government drug strategy in order to come to a view on whether law reform was necessary. In a detailed discussion paper, the committee considered options for reform. One possibility is decriminalisation of cannabis, a drug where the risk of harm, while real, appears modest compared with other illicit drugs and even alcohol and tobacco. That would have a significant impact, given that 12,000 offences for possess/use cannabis were dealt with in NSW courts in 2012-13. (Fact sheet: Cannabis and the law in Australia)
Le groupe de réflexion Terra Nova, proche du PS, a publié un rapport, révélé par Le Monde, intitulé «Cannabis : réguler le marché pour sortir de l’impasse». Il y met en pièces la politique actuelle, «l’une des pires qui se puisse imaginer», et construit des scénarios pour en sortir, notamment une légalisation avec monopole d’Etat qui pourrait avoir un impact budgétaire positif de 1,8 milliard d’euros. Scénarios critiquables, mais qui ont le mérite de parler de la réalité.
In Deutschland hat der Schildowerkreis, eine Vereinigung von mehr als 100 Strafrechtsprofessorinnen und Strafrechtsprofessoren, vor zwei Wochen das Verbot von Cannabis-Konsum als verfassungswidrig eingestuft. In der Schweiz vertritt Peter Albrecht diese Haltung seit vielen Jahren und verlangt eine Aufgabe der Strafverfolgung. Albrecht war Professor für Strafrecht in Basel, ehemaliger Strafgerichtspräsident und lehrt heute an der Universität Bern.
In der Großen Koalition in Berlin ist eine Debatte um die zulässige Menge für Eigenkonsum von Cannabis entbrannt. Die CDU will das Limit auf sechs Gramm statt wie bisher 15 Gramm senken. Die SPD ist gegen diesen Vorstoß. Die Meinungsverschiedenheiten in der Fraktion sind relevant, weil die Berliner Verordnung, die die höhere Freimenge regelt, Anfang 2015 erneuert werden muss.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in a recent interview mooted the idea of his country legalizing marijuana next year. Can we really expect bold changes in Guatemalan drug policy in the near future? Speaking to TeleSur, President Perez said that Guatemala was watching Uruguay's experiment with marijuana legalization and would likely take a decision on whether to pursue regulation itself in 2015.
Il faut changer la loi de 1970 pénalisant l’usage de cannabis : c’est ce que préconisent deux députés, auteurs d’un rapport sur les drogues illicites dans lequel ils actent l’échec de la politique de prohibition, suivie depuis quatre décennies. Mais ils divergent sur la conduite à tenir : pour l’UMP Laurent Marcangeli (Corse-du-Sud), il convient de punir l’usage d’une simple contravention. Pour la PS Anne-Yvonne Le Dain, une légalisation s’impose dans l’espace privé, avec «une offre réglementée du produit sous le contrôle de l’Etat». (Cannabis : une contravention pour les consommateurs ?)
Smoking, growing, buying, selling or merely possessing cannabis is a criminal offence, according to America's federal government. Ask the states, however, and you will get almost 50 different answers. In 13 of them possession of the drug has been decriminalised, meaning that tokers face only minor penalties if caught. In 23 it has been legalised for medical use. And in four—including, following ballot initiatives earlier this month, Alaska and Oregon—cannabis has been legalised outright. In all only 22 states, fewer than half the total, continue to treat the drug as criminal contraband under all circumstances.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to stay on the sidelines of future pot legalization campaigns – already supported by groups plotting ballot campaigns in 2016 – and pour resources into fights for criminal justice reform. One model to replicate is California's Proposition 47, approved by 58 percent to lower penalties for drug possession and other nonviolent crimes. "We would love to be able to have ballot initiatives in a number of states that may look very similar to Proposition 47," says ACLU's Alison Holcomb . "Hopefully we will be able to find states where we can go further and say, ‘Let’s decriminalize the possession of drugs and let’s talk about what we can do to address drug use and abuse.’"
With Democrats holding the White House and Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, it's been suggested that the odds are slim of any major legislation becoming law over the next two years. But officials in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill say there is one issue that may have enough cross-party appeal to break through the logjams. That issue is criminal justice reform. During the 2014 midterm elections, voters approved sweeping drug and criminal justice reform measures in multiple states, setting the stage for what may prove to be even more significant policy shifts over the next two years and beyond.
The New York Police Department, which has been arresting tens of thousands of people a year for low-level marijuana possession, is to stop making such arrests and to issue tickets instead. People found with small amounts of marijuana would be issued court summonses and be allowed to continue on their way without being handcuffed and taken to station houses for fingerprinting. The change would remake the way the police in New York City handle the most common drug offenses to address the effects of the department’s excessive stop-and-frisk practices. (See also: Concerns in criminal justice system as New York City eases marijuana policy)
The local pro-ganja lobby in Jamaica is welcoming the vote for the legalisation of ganja in the American states of Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC. "One of the biggest stumbling blocks has been the fear about how the United States would react to what we are doing and what we seeing happening is a clear indication that the United States people are moving in favour of legalising ganja on a wider and wider basis, whilst Jamaica continues to stall and not be bold enough to do what we need to do," Delano Seiveright, director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce said. (See also: Jamaica urged to keep ganja debate going)
Attitudes about marijuana have undergone a rapid shift in public opinion, paralleled by few other trends in the U.S. Our recent data, along with historical figures from Gallup and the General Social Survey, reveal how views have shifted about the drug over time. Earlier this year, our survey found that many more Americans now favor shifting the focus of the nation’s overall drug policy. Here are six key facts about public opinion and marijuana.
A political agreement between all of the political parties in parliament for funding research into the medicinal effects of cannabis is seen as a sign that the nation may be prepared to adjust its cannabis policy. Despite numerous pushes by Copenhagen to legalise cannabis in the capital and the booming business in Christiania, Denmark has taken a hardline stance on cannabis. Following a World Health Organization report that called for the decriminalisation of all drugs, parties ranging from the ruling Social Democrats to the libertarian Liberal Alliance and the left-wing Socialist People’s Party said that it is time to reconsider Denmark’s position.
Westminster has finally reached a tipping point in the drug debate and radical change is now becoming possible, Norman Baker has said. The Liberal Democrat Home Office minister was speaking to Politics.co.uk after the publication of a government report on international drug laws which found no correlation between the severity of a country's policy and levels of drug use. It is unprecedented for the Home Office to publish a report which casts doubt on its own policy for the last 40 years and many reformers are becoming increasingly confident that it could herald a sea-change in Westminster's view on the issue.
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.