Dramatic changes around food, climate, energy, and finance in recent years have pushed questions of land use and land control back onto the centre stage of development discourse, at the very moment when the same conditions are spurring an unprecedented rush for land and water across the globe.
Battered by competition from indoor cultivators around the state and industrial-size operations that have invaded the North Coast counties, many of the small-time pot farmers who created the Emerald Triangle fear that their way of life of the last 40 years is coming to an end. Their once-quiet communities, with their back-to-nature ethos, are being overrun by outsiders carving massive farms out of the forest. Robberies are commonplace now, and the mountains reverberate with the sounds of chain saws and heavy equipment.
Thailand has become the unfortunate poster child for punitive drugcontrol policies that have failed to reduce or eliminate drug use, and instead resulted in negative and damaging consequences. The willingness of the Thai Ministry of Justice to co-host the high-level seminar with IDPC and TNI shows that there are parties in Thailand concerned with the existing policies and keen to bring international experiences into the national debate.
The Breda city council is to urge the new coalition cabinet to scrap the introduction of a members only system for the country’s cannabis cafes, arguing it has created more problems than it has solved. Labour councillors have taken the lead in writing to the cabinet negotiators Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos, urging them to focus on solving problems associated with soft drugs rather than create new ones. The four big cities, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, are opposed to the introduction of the card system. (See also: Government says it will press on with cannabis card plans)
Amanda Reiman, Policy manager, Bill Piper (Drug Policy Alliance)
27 September 2012
As we approach the 75th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in the United States on October 1, it is important to remember why marijuana was deemed illicit in the first place: "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."- Harry Anslinger, first US Drug Czar.
Illicit drug use in England and Wales is firmly on a downward curve, with the latest annual figures confirming the long-term trend that they might simply be "going out of fashion". The latest figures published on Thursday even record a decline in recently banned so-called "legal highs" such as mephedrone and Spice (synthetic cannabis). "More generally, drug use having become more normalised in society, might then be just as prey to fashion as any other cultural artefact. Drugs don't appear to be 'cool' these days as they once were," writes Harry Shapiro, editor of Druglink magazine.
The media and government celebration over the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of five individuals accused of terrorist offences from Britain to the USA obscures one of the most undemocratic, one-sided and duplicitous treaties that our political masters have ever signed.
What would it mean if industrial policies aimed to release workers’ economic creativity – and not just in waged work but beyond? Hilary Wainwright draws inspiration from experiments in Germany, Spain, UK and South Africa.
Late last year, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. affirmed the Obama administration's long-standing policy of taking a hands-off approach to states that had legalized medical marijuana, saying federal resources wouldn't be expended on enforcement actions as long as purveyors obeyed state law. On Tuesday, Los Angeles got a taste of the current interpretation of that policy — which is that our dispensaries are out of bounds. Federal officials started their first major operation in L.A. by raiding dispensaries. (See also: Marijuana: A failure to regulate, but not by dispensaries)
The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of drug laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led "war on drugs." Although none of the leaders explicitly called for drugs to be legalized, they suggested at the U.N. General Assembly that they would welcome wholesale changes to policies that have shown scant evidence of limiting drug flows. Guatemalan president Perez Molina said his government "would like to establish an international group of countries that are well disposed to reforming global policies on drugs."
British Columbia’s municipal politicians, sensing shifting emotional attitudes towards marijuana and a possible major new revenue source, voted to lobby Ottawa to decriminalize pot and study the benefits of taxing and regulating cannabis. The mayors and councillors from across the province clapped and cheered after voting to support marijuana decriminalization during a stirring debate in a crowded hall at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention. (See also: B.C. mayors vote to decriminalize pot: That was the easy part)
Federal officials brought their war on medical marijuana dispensaries to Los Angeles, raiding several shops and issuing warning letters to dozens more. Officials at the U.S. attorney's office said it was the first large-scale federal action taken against cannabis shops in the city, and said more will probably follow. "We couldn't do all of L.A. at once," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the office. "There's just too many stores." The crackdown adds a dramatic element to the already tense fight over the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is advocating the international legalization of drugs even as he is moving to fight narcotics cartels with the biggest military buildup in the Central American country since its long and bloody civil war. The president said the traditional war on drugs had failed over the past half century, and that the United States' inability to deal with its drug consumption problem left Central America with no option but to promote legalizing drugs in some way.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said the cannabis club membership card does not work and will never work. He said the cannabis pass just causes more nuisance. He thinks there will be more street dealing of soft drugs once it is introduced throughout the Netherlands on January 1. In the southern provinces, local Liberal politicians are asking party leader Mark Rutte to scrap the national introduction of the pass during his talks with the Labour party on the formation of a new cabinet. Aboutaleb has now joined their ranks.
Former B.C. attorney general Geoff Plant said the debate comes as Washington looks at a tax and regulation plan, and this is an opportunity for a coordinated strategy on both sides of the border. "The old argument that we can't do anything here in Canada because we can't get too far ahead of American public policy is increasingly no longer relevant."
In its fiscal note on I-502, the state Office of Financial Management estimated the total state and local government revenue from marijuana at $566 million. That’s roughly what the state budgets in taxpayer money for its six universities. Most of the marijuana money, however, would be earmarked for health-related spending (see chart). Putting I-502 into effect would also save the money now spent on law enforcement. The bottom line: Legalizing marijuana offers government a pot of money, both in revenue and in savings.
On Nov. 6 Washington voters will decide whether to directly confront the federal ban on marijuana and embrace a sprawling plan to legalize, regulate and tax sales at state-licensed pot stores. Would the Obama administration pick a legal fight over states' rights to try to block Initiative 502? Would federal prosecutors charge marijuana growers and retailers, even if they are authorized by state law? Or would — as some opponents and supporters predict — federal authorities denounce the law but largely leave Washington alone?
When the Uruguayan president José Mujica was asked about his proposal to make a historic break with global prohibition and put in place a legal, state-controlled market for cannabis, he replied: "Someone has to be first." In fact, recent years have seen reforms to cannabis policy and law proceeding apace around the world. The trend for decriminalisation of possession for personal use (with civil or administrative penalties replacing criminal ones) has spread across much of Europe, Latin America, and beyond.