From October 1, 2013, an adult caught smoking cannabis in Switzerland can escape formal legal proceedings by paying a fine. Anyone over 18 caught in possession of up to ten grams of cannabis will receive a CHF100 ($110) fine and not have it put on their criminal record. Supporters of the revision, which was approved by parliament a year ago, argue that liberalising the legislation and shifting from criminal offence to misdemeanour is a realistic approach. (Loi fédérale sur les stupéfiants et les substances psychotropes)
The leaves of kratom, a native of Southeast Asia in the coffee family, are used to relieve pain and improve mood as an opiate substitute and stimulant. The herb is also combined with cough syrup to make a popular beverage in Thailand called "4x100." Because of its psychoactive properties, kratom is illegal in Thailand, Australia, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia. Thailand is considering legalizing kratom as a safer alternative for meth addicts, and U.S. researchers are studying its potential to help opiate abusers kick the habit without withdrawal side effects.
At the annual UN General Assembly meeting held in New York, presidents from around the world have the chance to state their views on the key international issues of the day. Not surprisingly, the crisis in Syria, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the Millennium Development Goals took center stage this year. Yet a careful viewing of the speeches of the Latin American presidents illustrates the growing voice of Latin American leaders calling for meaningful reform of drug control policies.
Controversial rights for multinational corporations to sue states, likely to be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are causing a political headache for EU and US negotiators, but may also set a precedent for future trade agreements, notably with China.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina rose to power in 2011 on the promise of crushing organized crime. The former army general pledged high-security prisons, an increased police force and the deployment of soldiers in the fight against drug gangs, which have transformed Guatemala into one of the most violent places in the world.
The intersessional meeting was intended as the first day of formal negotiations on the draft of the Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS) for the 2014 High Level Segment. However, the Peruvian Chair stated at the opening that the original plan – to produce a collation of member state comments/proposals, then work through them systematically in three intersessional meetings – had not worked, and had attracted criticism from many member states. He therefore asked that this session be a general ‘brainstorming’ where member states could propose the broad issues and perspectives.
Des associations et, désormais, de plus en plus de partis politiques marocains convergent vers un même objectif: changer la nature du kif dans le Rif. Une proposition de loi, en cours de rédaction, pourrait être débattue au Parlement de Rabat pour légaliser la culture du cannabis à des fins médicales et industrielles sur la base d'un document rédigé en 2012 intitulé "Appel pour l'instauration d'une politique juste et efficiente concernant la culture du kif et son usage".
The "war on drugs" has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the United Nations, exhorting the world body to add teeth to the Special Session on Drugs in 2016, proposed by Mexico and accepted by the world body. The Organization of American States was commissioned to study new approaches to combating illegal drugs. The studies were delivered in May proposing that the United Nations give them serious consideration in time for the special session on drugs.
Lawmakers in Jamaica debated a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults, where many islanders are expressing weariness with current drug policy. There is no bill drafted or vote scheduled, however, and various government administrations have talked about the issue for decades.
In 1952, Donald Macintosh Johnson, later the Conservative MP for Carlisle, published a study entitled “Indian Hemp: A Social Menace”. Even small doses of the drug could lead to violence and mental-health problems, he fretted. More than 60 years later, politicians from all Britain’s major parties are just as worried and resist legalisation. Yet the evidence in favour of making pot legal is as persuasive as ever.
The agrarian sector launched a national strike in Colombia which spread quickly across other sectors, against the impacts of the FTA with the US and Canada. It is evident that the current economic model has failed as a result of a combination of several factors, structurally and historically.
First Copenhagen, now Berlin. As a new wave of debate on Cannabis legalization sweeps across Northern Europe, the German capital has become the next city where pro- and anti-cannabis liberalization forces are going head to head. The Green Party's Monika Herrmann, who became mayor of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough, announced that she wants to set up a coffeeshop selling cannabis. Using the word coffeeshop, perhaps shows up the current limits of the legalization lexicon, as Herrmann insists that what she has in mind will be nothing like the social hubs selling coffee and grass that Amsterdam is known for.
From September 5th to 8th, several activities were held in Brussels to discuss an international call for a People’s Treaty and the establishment of a new regulatory regime to put an end to the impunity of transnational corporations.
Over 100 social movement and civil society organisations representing hundreds of thousands of workers, peasants, community groups and indigenous peoples have welcomed the historic call for binding obligations on Transnational corporations made by nine countries together with the African and Arab Groups of States.