New Dutch laws to stub out the sale of cannabis to foreign dope tourists kicked in Tuesday -- and were met with defiance from southern coffee shops including in Maastricht. At least one coffee shop in the southern city continued sales to Belgian and German buyers in contravention of the new "cannabis card" rules -- and was promptly slapped with a police warning to stop sales to non-residents within 24 hours. (See also: Protestors just say no to Dutch cannabis ban)
Police discovered more than 20 cannabis farms and factories in the UK every day last year, seizing drugs worth up to £100 million, according to a report by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Criminals attempt to reduce risk and minimise potential losses by employing a large number of so-called "gardeners" to manage smaller farms across residential neighbourhoods. A total of 7,865 farms were found across the UK in 2011/2012, an increase of 15 percent from the 6,866 found in 2009/2010 and up more than 150 percent from the 3,032 found four years ago, the ACPO study found.
Call on your MEP to oppose EU's proposed Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Peru and Central America because they will undermine human rights, increase unemployment and put corporate profits above human needs.
A Dutch judge on Friday upheld the government's plan to introduce a "weed pass" to prevent foreigners from buying marijuana in coffee shops in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, whose scores of coffee shops are a major tourism drawcard, opposes the plan, and mayor Eberhard van der Laan says he wants to hammer out a compromise. A lawyer for coffee shop owners said he would file an urgent appeal against the ruling by a judge at The Hague District court that clears the way for the introduction of the pass in southern provinces on May 1.
The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, understandably opposes the ban: Roughly a third of the four million foreign tourists who visit the city each year smoke marijuana in the local coffee shops. Ten percent of tourists who visit Holland do so exclusively for the pot. The cafes do $2.6 billion in business a year, generating $503 million in tax revenue.
When the recent Summit of the Americas in Colombia decided to commission a study on whether to decriminalize drugs, many thought that would be the end of it, and the whole thing would be quickly forgotten. Well, maybe not. For starters, it was the first time that such a large group of heads of state ventured into that once taboo area. And there are several other non-related factors that may contribute to put decriminalization in the front burner later this year, or in early 2013
Many residents of Vesterbro have lived alongside the local homeless and drug-addict populations for decades. But for the sake of the drug users’ health – as well as the hope to reduce crime and avoid exposing children to drug culture – many have long demanded that the city provide a room where drug users can inject their drugs under the supervision of healthcare experts.
The war on drugs doesn’t just cause human misery. It contributes to the political instability of many parts of the world. Countries such as Mali, Guinea Bissau and Liberia are ill-equipped to confront drug traffickers, and the judiciary and police are vulnerable to corruption. Cocaine seizures are worth more than some countries’ entire security budgets. Why should fragile states continue to bear the brunt of a futile anti-narcotics crusade? Instead, the world should strengthen the defences of states under attack, and help them build alternatives to the drug trade. Consumer countries should focus on reducing demand. Prohibition is far from being an adequate answer.
For the first time heads of state met to discuss alternatives to drugs prohibition at the Organisation of American States Summit in Cartagena. Transnational Institute, which for years has advocated for an end to the war on drugs, analyses this breakthrough.
At the recent Summit of the Americas, Latin America's leaders pressed Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama to study alternatives to the failed war on drugs; even Mr. Harper, architect of mandatory minimums for minor drug offences at home, acknowledged the current approach isn't working. The 31 hemispheric leaders agreed to appoint a panel to study reform of global drug policies. The panel could spare itself the trouble and endorse the groundbreaking report of a blue-ribbon Global Commission on Drug Policy.
The most important story of the Summit of the Americas was the Latin American demand to open the debate on an alternative to the ‘war on drugs’. The emergence of an increasingly independent and assertive Latin America insisting on a change of direction on drugs reflects an important shift in the terms of the relationship with the United States. Clamor for “democratization” of the debate and a search for new alternatives stems from the perception that Latin American societies pay a disproportionate price in lost lives, hijacked justice systems, abuses in overcrowded prisons, and displaced small farmers, because of the U.S.-led strategy that has prioritized stemming the supply of drugs over reducing its own demand.
An alliance of influential charities has condemned a key government drugs strategy document, calling it an "ideological attack" on proven addiction treatments and "dangerously and deeply flawed". It warns that ministers will be putting lives at risk if proposed plans to push through "abstinence-based" approaches go ahead.
Non seulement la prohibition n’empêche pas une consommation massive depuis quarante ans, mais elle crée des «effets pervers» comme l’économie parallèle et le trafic. Quant à la répression des usagers que Hollande entend maintenir, elle ne résout rien, et s’applique de façon «injuste et arbitraire», en ne touchant que certains consommateurs, souvent issus des quartiers populaires. Une «légalisation contrôlée», qui permettrait de «lutter contre le trafic et protéger la santé publique». Comment ? Créer une «Française du cannabis»,régie nationale de production, disposant d’un monopole sur la distribution à travers un réseau de «cannaboutiques».
The country should carefully study investment provisions before entering into foreign trade agreements (FTAs) as these may infringe on government’s regulatory power on foreign firms, an advocacy group on Friday said.
The World Bank’s policies for land privatisation and concentration, have paved the way for corporations from Wall Street to Singapore to take upwards of 80 million hectares of land from rural communities across the world in the past few years, they say in a collective statement released today at the opening of the World Bank’s Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC.
The history of 4/20 is somewhat hazy, but it is widely thought to be the work of a group of teenagers who in 1971 made a pact to find an abandoned cannabis crop near their homes in San Rafael, Calif., and designating 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. The number has since taken on a mythical quality, inspiring pot enthusiasts to stage an annual day of celebratory cannabis consumption. With 4/20 revelers expected to hold smoke-filled demonstrations across the country and around the globe, here’s a round-up of what world leaders and media commentators have said about the drug legalization issue in recent days.