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  1. Cannabis as an Adjunct to or Substitute for Opiates in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

    • Philippe Lucas
    31 May 2012

    There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, cannabinoids can prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates, and can even rekindle opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has become ineffective.

     

  2. Should Latin America End the War on Drugs?

    30 May 2012
    Other news

    After decades of war with drug cartels, Latin America faces sickening levels of violence and corruption that have spread throughout the region. At a summit meeting of Western Hemisphere leaders in Cartagena, Colombia, last month, several leaders urged that there be a wide-ranging discussion that even considered drug legalization as an alternative to the militarized war on drugs. Is it it time for Latin America and the United States to abandon the war on drugs and deal with the issue as a matter of public health rather than combat? See: Stop Following a Failed Policy, by Otto Pérez Molina, president of Guatemala.

  3. Most California voters don't support legalizing pot, poll finds

    30 May 2012
    Other news

    In California, cradle of the marijuana movement, a new poll has found a majority of voters do not support legalization, even as they overwhelmingly back medicinal use for "patients with terminal and debilitating conditions." Eighty percent of voters support doctor-recommended use for severe illness, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found. But only 46% of respondents said they support legalization of "general or recreational use by adults," while 50% oppose it.

  4. Class A drugs 'should be decriminalised,' says former drug advisor Professor David Nutt

    30 May 2012
    Other news

    Drugs such as LSD and MDMA should be decriminalised and sold in pharmacies, the government's former chief drug advisor has said. Professor David Nutt said that many substances currently banned are no more toxic than alcohol and that the potential penalty and criminal record which go with them amount to more harm than the drugs themselves. He added that he was not in favour of full legalisation and "selling heroin in supermarkets" but said a system whereby drugs - including Class A substances - were sold in pharmacies could work.

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    Video: The Dark Side of Investment Agreements

    Cecilia Olivet
    30 May 2012
    Multi-media

    An animation which exposes how people are paying the costs of corporate lawsuits under international investment agreements.

       
  6. Pot shop ban advances in L.A. City Council

    29 May 2012
    Other news

    A City Council committee moved forward with a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday, approving a recommendation to outlaw storefront pot shops in Los Angeles while allowing small groups of patients and their primary caregivers to grow the drug on their own. The proposed ban comes after years of legal wrangling over how the city should regulate distribution of the drug. In 2007, the city imposed a moratorium on dispensaries, but a loophole allowed hundreds of new pot shops to proliferate.

  7. Marijuana compound treats schizophrenia with few side effects

    29 May 2012
    Other news

    A compound found in marijuana can treat schizophrenia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, with far fewer side effects, according to a preliminary clinical trial. Unlike the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, which can produce psychotic reactions and may worsen schizophrenia, cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic effects, according to previous research in both animals and humans.

  8. Latin America Drug Policy Dialogue 2012 Lima

    29 May 2012 - Event

    The Eighth Informal Dialogue on Drug Policies in Latin America was held in Lima, with the support of the Drugs and Human Rights Research Center (Centro de Investigación Drogas y Derechos Humanos, CIDDH). The event included 32 participants from ten countries in Latin America and Europe, the United States and international agencies. The two days of dialogue were organized in six sessions focusing on the following topics: Drug policy in Peru and its challenges; alternative development theory and practice; harm reduction policies for the drug market; the future of reforms: decriminalization of possession and cultivation for personal consumption; the legal market for coca leaves; and, options and debate in international bodies.

    application-pdfDownload the Report (PDF)

  9. Modernising the global drug control system – Can Europe lead?

    28 May 2012
    Report

    The seminar entitled “Modernising the global drug control system – Can Europe lead?” was organised in the European Parliament by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and co-hosted by the Member of European Parliament (MEP) Nikos Chrysogelos. The event aimed to present the recommendations of the Global Commission and discuss the role that the European Union (EU) could play in current drug policy reform debates taking place within Europe and around the world. The seminar also comes at a time when the EU is working on drafting a new Drug Strategy to replace the one that will expire at the end of 2012.

  10. Government opposes Copenhagen City Council on cannabis shops

    Tom Blickman
    28 May 2012
    Article

    Government will not permit the experiment to have state-run hash and marijuana dispensaries in Copenhagen. As they believe that regulating hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.

  11. Government opposes Copenhagen City Council on cannabis shops

    Tom Blickman
    27 May 2012
    Article

    The pilot project to have state-run hash and marijuana dispensaries in Copenhagen received a setback after the Justice Ministry turned down the City Council's request to experiment with regulating cannabis in the city. In a letter to the Council, the social-democrat Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, wrote that the government will not permit the experiment as they believe that regulating hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.

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    Colombia: Banacol

    • Interchurch Justice, Peace Commission
    27 May 2012
    Report

    Banacols business benefits from paramilitary structures, the promotion of land invasions for banana production, and contracts with individuals who do not have the approval of the communities. These activities are pursued to advance agreements concerning the use of the land, against Colombian laws.

  13. How clean is gas?

    12 June 2012 - Event
  14. A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama

    Gavon Laessig
    24 May 2012
    Other news

    Barry was quite the accomplished marijuana enthusiast back in high school and college. Excerpts from David Maraniss' Barack Obama: The Story dealing with the elaborate drug culture surrounding the president when he attended Punahou School in Honolulu and Occidental College in Los Angeles. He inhaled. A lot.

  15. Poll shows strong support for legal marijuana: Is it inevitable?

    23 May 2012
    Other news

    A new national poll shows a clear majority of Americans in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana – "the strongest support ever recorded," according to one pro-marijuana activist. The Rasmussen poll found that 56 percent of respondents favored legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated. Thirty-six percent were opposed. Critics dismissed the survey, saying its questions were asked in a leading fashion – a charge Rasmussen contests. Experts who track the issue say the poll is consistent with the overall trend of steadily rising acceptance of marijuana use.

  16. U.S. says drug abuse needs treatment, not just jail

    23 May 2012
    Other news

    The United States sees drug abuse as a public health problem as much as a crime issue and is seeking to learn from countries in Europe and elsewhere about how to treat addiction as a disease, Barack Obama's drugs policy chief Gil Kerlikowske said. He noted what he described as a "somewhat successful" fresh approach in Portugal, where since 2001 authorities have dispensed with arrests, trials and prison for people carrying a personal supply of any drug from marijuana to heroin and focused their efforts on prevention messages and treatment.

  17. Drugs: The Rebellion in Cartagena

    Alma Guillermoprieto
    23 May 2012
    Other news

    The startling, unprogrammed, and rebellious discussion about drugs that took place among hemispheric leaders in April at a summit in Cartagena, Colombia, barely mentioned addiction, because it’s too late for that. The discussion that for the first time in forty years challenged the United States’ dominance on drug issues focused urgently instead on the ways that the financial health, political stability, and national security of virtually every country in the Americas has been undermined by the drug trade.

  18. Majority relaxed about cannabis use

    21 May 2012
    Other news

    More than half of Australians support reduced legal penalties for use of drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy, an analysis of a federal government survey shows. The findings contrast with the Herald/Nielsen poll released after the recent report of the think tank Australia 21 – urging to reopen the national debate on drug use, regulation and control – which showed that two-thirds of people opposed decriminalisation. But that is explained by the different way the poll questions were structured, said Alison Ritter, who heads a drug policy modelling program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW.

  19. Mérida: continued support for a failed strategy

    Liza ten Velde
    21 May 2012
    Article

    Some five years ago, after Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón declared a War on Drugs followed by a firm military crackdown on drug trafficking organizations, the US and Mexico agreed upon the Mérida Initiative; a three-year programme for the provision of US security assistance to Mexico, mainly in the form of security equipment and law enforcement training for police and military. In 2010, the programme was extended, in spite of severe criticism aimed at its support for an anti-narcotics strategy that had by then produced a variety of adverse effects.

  20. Bill to decriminalize marijuana possession is advanced by N.J. Assembly committee

    20 May 2012
    Other news

    New Jersey took a step toward decriminalizing marijuana possession today when an Assembly panel unanimously approved a bill that would allow offenders to pay fines instead of going to jail. Under the terms of the measure, anyone arrested with fewer than 15 grams of marijuana — just under a half-ounce or slightly more than 30 joints — would be subject to a $150 fine for a first offense, a $200 fine a second time and a $500 penalty for a third and subsequent offenses.

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