Uruguay has effectively sealed the passage of a groundbreaking marijuana legalization bill that puts production, distribution, and sale of the drug in the hands of the state, making it the first country ever to do so. After a 13-hour debate, politicians in the lower house of parliament voted late last night in favor of the controversial initiative, which is similar to laws approved last year in Colorado and Washington State. The upper house is expected to follow suit.
Wij hebben het er al jaren over, Uruguay doet 't gewoon: wiet wordt er legaal. Niet alleen de verkoop, ook de productie. Daarmee is Uruguay het eerste land ter wereld waar wiet legaal is, en zijn wij onze koppositie een beetje kwijt...
Uruguay's House of Representatives has passed a bill to legalize marijuana by 50 of the 96 MPs following 13 hours of tough debates. Now the bill is to be approved by the Senate to make Uruguay the first country to regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. President Jose Mujica believes that the measure will remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs. Martin Jelsma, the Coordinator of Drugs & Democracy program at Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, shared his thoughts on the new legislation with the Voice of Russia.
No Catholic should contradict the Pope, and it is certainly not the job of Catholic theologian to tell the Pope that he is wrong. Nevertheless, I am on record as saying that I want all drugs, with no exceptions, to be legalised, regulated and taxed, whereas the Holy Father in Brazil, has this to say, as reported in the Guardian:
Legalisation of cannabis would allow farmers in Morocco to sell to the government for medicinal and industrial purposes rather than to drug traffickers. That could boost exports and help reduce a trade deficit that widened to a record 197 billion dirhams last year, about 23 per cent of gross domestic product. It could also help pacify inhabitants of a historically restive region.
Uruguay is pushing to legalize marijuana. If Uruguay's proposal to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana is properly implemented and overcomes political and economic hurdles, it could be the most important drug regulation experiment in decades. The marijuana bill, which faces a lower house vote on July 31, could provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm.
Mexico could legalize marijuana within the next five years, stripping brutal drug cartels of a major source of income, former President Vicente Fox said on Friday. Fox, who battled the powerful cartels while president between 2000 and 2006, has since become a staunch advocate of reforming Mexico's drug laws, arguing that prohibition has helped create the criminal market that sustains the gangs.
In an op-ed first published in Mexico’s El Universal and Brazil’s O Globo on Tuesday, Cardoso praised the proposal’s potential to take away profits which fuel illcit drug trafficking networks, saying it was “worthy of serious consideration.”
A decision by the UK government to ban the stimulant khat later this year is facing fierce resistance in Kenya from those farming the mildly narcotic leaves for export. Local leaders are not happy with the UK's decision to reclassify khat as a class C drug. The local MP, Kubai Kiringo, tells me Kenya could reconsider its ties to Britain if the UK does not drop the ban. "We feel bitter and short-changed. We want the home secretary to revise her decision," he says. (See also: Harmless habit or dangerous drug?)
It was nearly standing room only Monday at UN Headquarters in New York, for a presentation of the Organization of American States’ reports on “The Drug Problem in the Americas” and the Declaration of Antigua Guatemala, “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas,” adopted during the 43rd Regular Session of the Organization of American States General Assembly in La Antigua, Guatemala from 4 to 6 June 2013.
The main highlight in this 2nd quarter of 2013 was the release of the Organization of American States (OAS) reports analysing the current drugs situation in the hemisphere and outlining different scenarios for policy developments over the coming decade. The OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza presented the documents on May 17, 2013 in Bogotá to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in a ceremony at the Casa de Nariño, the Presidential palace. TNI was represented in the OAS team mandated to elaborate the policy scenarios and was invited to the launch ceremony.