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  1. The year in drug policy: Movement at a crossroads

    26 December 2014
    Other news

    The 43-year-old war on drugs had never seen such a barrage of opposition as it did in 2014, with successful marijuana legalization initiatives in several U.S. states, California’s historic approval of sentencing reform for low level drug offenders and world leaders calling for the legal regulation of all drugs — all of which cement the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and offer unprecedented momentum going into 2015.

  2. Grow your own marijuana law

    25 October 2014
    Other news

    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.

  3. High times: The next five states to tackle pot laws

    02 June 2014
    Other news

    Weed is legal in at least some form in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Most allow it for medical use only. Colorado and Washington this year enacted laws that allow recreational use by adults. But more than two dozen states are considering new or expanded marijuana reform legislation, including complete legalization for adults, medical marijuana, hemp use and decriminalization. Which are the next five states likely to legalize marijuana?

  4. Marijuana decriminalization law brings down juvenile arrests in California

    25 November 2012
    Other news

    Marijuana is one of the primary reasons why California experienced a stunning 20 percent drop in juvenile arrests in just one year, between 2010 and 2011, according to the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ). The center recently released a policy briefing with an analysis of arrest data collected by the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center. The briefing, “California Youth Crime Plunges to All-Time Low,” identifies a new state marijuana decriminalization law that applies to juveniles, not just adults, as the driving force behind the plummeting arrest totals.

  5. California's Coming Crackdown on Pot: What Do You Do if You Need It?

    19 October 2011
    Other news

    Four California-based U.S. attorneys have announced their intent to prosecute the medical-marijuana dispensaries, growers and delivery services that are breaking state and federal laws. What constitutes violations of law, however, is murky — and may put the very existence of the dispensaries at risk.  "California law says that it's essentially O.K. to grow, have and transport marijuana if you're a patient authorized by a doctor or if you're the patient's primary caregiver and if you're providing the marijuana not for profit," a spokesman for the U.S. attorney says. "Stores are violating California law because they're operating at a profit and they're not a primary caregiver. It's very clearly laid out."

  6. Fear and loathing surrounds decriminalisation

    18 June 2011
    Other news

    "The war on drugs has failed," said a recent report compiled by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which comprised a former UN secretary-general, former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, a former US Secretary of State and a host of public intellectuals, human rights activists and politicians.

  7. Pot Penalties May Be Modernized

    David Downs
    18 May 2011
    Other news

    Sponsored by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, AB 1017 aims to give prosecutors more discretion in how they charge weed growers and processors, called "trimmers." According to the bill's author, Mendocino County District Attorney C. David Eyster, mom-and-pop trimmers — many of them economically desperate victims of the country's recession — currently face a felony punishable by sixteen months, or two or three years in prison for manicuring buds. That's because existing law "requires that every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana, or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison."

  8. The Prospects for Drug Reform: California

    09 February 2011
    Other news

    The West Coast is a different world when it comes to progress on drug policy reform. Three of the four states most likely to see strong pushes for marijuana legalization in the next couple of years are on the West Coast (the other being Colorado). And medical marijuana is a fact of life from San Diego to Seattle. But it's not just pot politics that makes the West Coast different. The region has also been a pioneer in sentencing reform and harm reduction practices, even if countervailing forces remain strong and both policy areas remain contested terrain.

  9. Proposition 19 Is a Vote Heard 'Round the World'

    Coletta Youngers
    01 November 2010
    Article

    The world will be watching as Californians go to the polls on Tuesday and vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in that state.  Regardless of the outcome of the vote, however, it has already sparked an intense international debate, particularly in Latin America where the U.S. has long waged its “war on drugs.” Drug war critics and even some who have supported the U.S. approach to date are asking how the U.S. government can continue to call on Latin American governments to implement harsh drug control policies when at least some of those policies are being called into question in the United States itself.

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    El control de estupefacientes: una lectura en perspectiva global

    Giovanni Molano Cruz
    01 November 2010
    Other news

    La formación sorprendente y poco conocida de la regulación global sobre estupefacientes da pie a ideas y propuestas no menos sorprendentes para el mundo y Colombia.

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    California: Poseer marihuana, castigado como exceso de velocidad

    02 October 2010
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    La posesión de hasta 28,35 gramos (una onza) de marihuana en California es desde ahora una infracción apenas tan seria como conducir con exceso de velocidad. El gobernador Arnold Schwarzenegger promulgó el jueves por la noche una ley que convierte la posesión de una cantidad de hasta una onza de marihuana -- hasta ahora, un delito menor -- en una infracción pasible de una multa máxima de 100 dólares.

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    Pot possession in Calif now like speeding ticket

    01 October 2010
    Other news

    A new law makes possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California no more serious than getting a speeding ticket - a development both sides battling over a marijuana legalization ballot measure hope to exploit with the vote just a month away.

  13. Schwarzenegger signs bill reducing offense for marijuana possession

    01 October 2010
    Other news

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but he offered a consolation Thursday by signing a bill that would downgrade possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction. SB 1449 was written by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who said it will keep marijuana-related cases from going to court-clogging jury trials, although the penalty would remain a fine of up to $100 but no jail time.

  14. Can California's Legalization Battle Kick-Start a Movement for Change?

    Terrence McNally, Ethan Nadelmann
    05 September 2010
    Other news

    Drug prohibition is remarkably ineffective, costly and counter-productive -- it has cost people their lives, and put millions behind bars. Is the tide turning?

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    Marihuana: el nuevo sueño americano

    22 July 2010
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    Gracias a la ambigua redacción de la Propuesta 215, el plebiscito de 1996 que permitió la posesión y el cultivo (pero no la distribución ni la venta) de marihuana con fines médicos en California, el negocio de la marihuana ha crecido exponencialmente a lo largo de la última década. La mayor parte de la marihuana con fines médicos de California se vende a través de dispensarios: algunos, en ciudades como Oakland, son lugares enormes que reciben a cientos e incluso miles de pacientes por día, mientras que en Los Angeles los negocios dedicados a la venta de productos asociados a la marihuana –hay más de mil, según estimaciones– se han colado en pequeños shopping centers y en las áreas comerciales de toda la ciudad.
  16. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy

    • Craig Reinarman, Peter Cohen, Sebastian Scholl , Hendrien L. Kaal
    01 May 2004

    Decriminalizing cannabis doesn't lead to more widespread use, according to a study comparing cannabis users in two similar cities with opposing cannabis policies — Amsterdam, the Netherlands (decriminalization), and San Francisco, California (criminalization). The study compared age at onset, regular and maximum use, frequency and quantity of use over time, intensity and duration of intoxication, career use patterns, and other drug use. No evidence was found to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use.

     

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    The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy

    • Craig Reinarman, Peter Cohen, Sebastian Scholl , Hendrien L. Kaal
    01 May 2004

    Decriminalizing cannabis doesn't lead to more widespread use, according to a study comparing cannabis users in two similar cities with opposing cannabis policies — Amsterdam, the Netherlands (decriminalization), and San Francisco, California (criminalization). The study compared age at onset, regular and maximum use, frequency and quantity of use over time, intensity and duration of intoxication, career use patterns, and other drug use. No evidence was found to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use.

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