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  1. CLEAN IT: the secret EU surveillance plan that wasn’t

    Ben Hayes
    11 October 2012
    Article

    There are elements in Europe who would dearly like to see the CLEAN IT wish list put into practice, but we must distinguish between transnational talking shops, EU working groups and draft EU policy.

  2. Cannabis pass abolished? Not really

    Tom Blickman
    30 October 2012
    Article

    The new coalition government of conservative liberals (VVD) and social-democrats (PvdA) presented its coalition agreement on Monday. They agreed to abolish the cannabis pass, but access to coffeeshops remains limited to residents of the Netherlands. Customers need to identify themselves with an identity card or a residence permit together with a certificate of residence. Non-resident foreigners are still banned. In other words, there will be no cannabis pass, but the policy continues.

  3. Does the European Union deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Ben Hayes
    25 October 2012
    Article

    Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU for maintaining peace is like crediting Alexander Graham Bell for the i-phone. Since its formation in 1993, the EU has increasingly shunned peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights. 

  4. Wholesale disaster in retail trade

    Praful Bidwai
    04 October 2012
    Article
  5. Portugal progresses toward integrated cannabis regulation

    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    25 October 2012
    Article

    In recent years there has been much talk of the so-called “Portuguese model,” based on an initiative that led to the use of illicit drugs being decriminalised in 2001. In fact, it is often said that Portugal was the first country in Europe to decriminalise drug use de jure, while Spain, for example, took that step de facto for the first time in 1974, except that it was not through a specific law but rather as a result of a Supreme Court ruling.

  6. Portugal progresses toward integrated cannabis regulation

    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    31 October 2012
    Article

    The “Portuguese model” of drugs decriminalisation has clearly demonstrated that greater tolerance to drug users does not lead to an increase in consumption. Nevertheless it is a model with immense loopholes and contradictions.

  7. The Dutch election result and the coffeeshops

    Tom Blickman
    04 October 2012
    Article

    The Dutch elections were hailed as decisive for the future of the coffeeshops. The result however is inconclusive given that a coalition government has to be formed.

  8. Can Russia come up with a new foreign policy strategy?

    Boris Kagarlitsky
    16 October 2012
    Article

    An illuminating  essay on historical developments in Russia's foreign policy over the last century that argues that only internal political collapse now has the chance to inaugurate a new foreign policy relevant to a post-crisis world.

  9. Pot dispensaries clouding medical marijuana's image

    Maureen O'Hagan, Jonathan Martin
    05 October 2012
    Other news

    Seattle's first-ever Medical Cannabis Cup — part gourmet weed contest, part trade show, part smoke-in — showcased the entrepreneurial drive and explosive growth of the local medical-marijuana industry. From dispensaries offering dozens of marijuana varieties to new potency-testing labs to makers of cannabis-infused capsules and candy corn, storefronts displaying the trademark green cross dot nearly every Seattle neighborhood. The city estimates there are at least 150 marijuana-related businesses here, more ubiquitous than Starbucks.

  10. Medical Marijuana: Will Colorado's "green rush" last?

    20 October 2012
    Other news

    When people go to the polls two weeks from now they won't just be voting for candidates, in some states, they'll be passing judgment on social issues. In Oregon, Washington and the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado it's the legalization of marijuana. Part of this has to do with cash-starved governments looking for new things to tax for more revenue. But much of it has to do with the growing acceptance or at least tolerance for a drug that was once considered the devil's weed and a flashpoint for cultural and generational warfare.

  11. SA mining laws cause for concern

    Tony Carnie
    03 October 2012
    In the media

    Speaking at a recent conference in Iceland, David Fig of UCT questioned why SA remained trapped in an undemocratic industrial paradigm which gave primacy to its minerals and energy sector.

  12. L.A. repeals its ban on pot stores

    01 October 2012
    Other news

    After struggling for years to regulate storefront pot shops, the Los Angeles City Council retreated Tuesday, voting to repeal the carefully crafted ban on medical marijuana dispensaries it approved a few months ago. The move shows the political savvy of the increasingly organized and well-funded network of marijuana activists who sought to place a referendum overturning the ban on the March ballot, when the mayor and eight council seats will be up for grabs.

  13. Marijuana only for the sick? A farce, some Angelenos say

    06 October 2012
    Other news

    One year after federal law enforcement officials began cracking down on California’s medical marijuana industry with a series of high-profile arrests around the state, they finally moved into Los Angeles last month, giving 71 dispensaries until Tuesday to shut down. At the same time, because of a well-organized push by a new coalition of medical marijuana supporters, the City Council last week repealed a ban on the dispensaries that it had passed only a couple of months earlier.

  14. Study: Pot arrests cost state $300 million in past 25 years

    10 October 2012
    Other news

    A new crime-data analysis has found that 241,000 people in Washington were arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession over the last quarter-century, adding fuel to a campaign seeking to make this state the first to legalize recreational marijuana sales. The analysis estimates those arrests translated to nearly $306 million in police and court costs — $194 million of it the past decade. African Americans were arrested twice as often as whites for possession in Washington in the past 25 years, even though whites use marijuana more.

  15. Oakland sues U.S. to halt closure of marijuana dispensary

    10 October 2012
    Other news

    The city of Oakland has sued to block U.S. authorities from closing down a medical marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the world's largest, marking the latest clash with federal authorities over California's cannabis industry. The lawsuit, which was filed by Oakland's city attorney in U.S. District Court, seeks an injunction to halt efforts by federal prosecutors to shut down Harborside Health Center through civil forfeiture actions they filed in July against two properties where the clinic operates.

  16. Drug legalization in Latin America: Could it be the answer?

    Gene Bolton
    15 October 2012
    Other news

    Washington’s hard-lined anti-legalization position is unlikely to waiver regardless of who wins the upcoming U.S. presidential election. A more important question lies in Washington’s loss of influence within the region over the last ten years. As a result, the potential for legalization makes the overall political ramifications unpredictable for the region. This is especially true when it comes to Uruguay, a country that will soon be voting on the world’s first legalization legislation.

  17. Could drug decriminalization save Brazil’s slums?

    24 October 2012
    Other news

    Brazil has been struggling with drug violence for years. The problem got so bad that the country passed a law in 2006 to distinguish between dealers and users in handing out sentences, meant to reduce the overwhelming pressure on the justice and jail systems and to better single out dealers. But since then, the number of Brazilians in prison for drug charges has more than doubled and its total prison population has grown by 37 percent.

  18. Medical marijuana: disabled veteran's appeal could change US drugs policy

    22 October 2012
    Other news

    A disabled veteran has told an appeals court that the department of veteran affairs policy on medical marijuana has caused him pain and significant economic harm, in a development campaigners say is a positive step in the battle to push for the drug's reclassification. Michael Krawitz, one of five plaintiffs involved in a legal case before the court of appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit, told the Guardian that the VA denied him pain treatment after they discovered he had been prescribed medical marijuana while abroad.

  19. Marijuana: A failure to regulate, but not by dispensaries

    Amanda Reiman, lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.
    02 October 2012
    Other news

    The Times' Sept. 27 editorial, "In a haze on pot policy," says, "In the face of this chaos, the federal crackdown is, to some, good news -- finally, definitive action is being taken to stem the uncontrollable expansion of medical marijuana franchises.” The federal crackdown in L.A. is thought to be in reaction to a void of attempted regulation. But while the city itself may have run into barriers to the regulation of medical marijuana, the industry has been working to ensure community safety and patient access.

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