Uruguay has become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana. After nearly 12 hours of debate, senators gave the government-sponsored bill their historic final approval. The law allowing registered Uruguayans over 18 to buy up to 40g (1,4oz) of the drug a month is not expected to come into force before April.
Interview Sebastián Sabini: "Het gaat ons om een totaalaanpak. Legalisering moet samengaan met preventie, met voorlichting en een sterke naleving van de regels. Wiet moet geen commercieel product worden als Coca-Cola, waarvan de reclames je vertrellen dat je er mooi en gelukkig van wordt terwijl het ongezond is. Nederland is een voorbeeld, vooral vanwege de voorlichting. Maar jullie systeem heeft gaten. Omdat de teelt illegaal is."
A recent study has found that a majority of Jamaica’s population may be in support of relaxing the laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. The study, which was conducted by pollster Don Anderson, reveals that 55 per cent of those interviewed felt that the laws criminalising marijuana should be relaxed. Anderson notes that 55 per cent of respondents also believe that marijuana should be commercialised. (See also: Ganja Medicine: Local doctors approve patients' use of marijuana)
Liberale Strafrechtsprofessoren fordern, dass sich der Bundestag erneut mit dem Drogenverbot auseinandersetzt und haben eine entsprechende Petition unterzeichnet. "Uns geht es nicht um die Verharmlosung von Drogen, sondern um die Kriminalisierung der Konsumenten. Die Strafverfolgung ist das Problem", sagt Lorenz Böllinger von der Universität Bremen. Die Juristen fordern, dass der Bundestag eine Enquete-Kommission einsetzen soll, die die Wirkungen der Betäubungsmittelgesetze analysieren soll.
Speaking at a meeting of the hemisphere's security ministers in Medellin, United States Attorney General Eric Holder touted the Obama administration's efforts to curb mandatory minimum sentences. He also backed a more heterodox approach to citizen security, a sign of a subtle shift in the U.S.-backed 'War on Drugs' in the region. Holder delivered his address at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV), a biannual OAS-sponsored conference designed to promote policy coordination on the issue. (See also: Open letter to Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas)
The sky hasn't fallen in either Colorado, Washington State or anywhere over the United States. And it won't in Jamaica. It is high time, therefore, that our Government end the procrastination and legalise marijuana, starting with the decriminalisation of the possession of small amounts by individuals for their personal use. Apart from the evidence that the world won't collapse from such a move, it might make good economic sense for Jamaica - as Colorado is showing.
Justice Minister Mark Golding has said consideration is being given to reforming the law relating to ganja in Jamaica to allow its use, but within certain parameters. Those boundaries include possession of marijuana for medical use, scientific research, religious purposes, and possession of small amounts of ganja (that is amounts of up to two ounces) for recreational use. It is also considering permitting the smoking of ganja in private places.
Jamaica's current volatile security environment and its economic malaise are reasons enough to seriously consider joining their Latin American counterparts to debate a raft of new policy options, not only in rhetoric, but also through public policy. Our prison conditions and local magistrate courts are bursting at their seams from inmate overcrowding and case overloads for marijuana possession that amount to miniscule consumption levels.
With Jamaica's Ministry of Justice positioning itself to seek approval from Cabinet for the decriminalisation of marijuana, the justice minister Mark Golding said the country is to advance constitutional justification to its international partners for the revision of the law. Golding said the revised law would permit the possession of small amounts of ganja, about two ounces, for recreational use. The House of Representatives gave the nod to a motion calling for the decriminalisation of ganja.
Legislators in Mexico City, the largest city in North America, are preparing to push through certain measures that would decriminalize and regulate the consumption of marijuana in the Mexican capital, a move that may speed pot legalization elsewhere in the continent. Proposals include the setting up of cannabis clubs to grow herb for their members and tolerance of anyone carrying up to 30 grams, or just over an ounce, of marijuana.
Authorities in Switzerland decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis earlier this month with the introduction of a 100-franc fine but a pot smokers group is already dispensing advice on how to avoid the penalty. The Zurich-based group Legalize it! believes the law is still too harsh on pot smokers and in a German-language brochure it advises users to lie to police to avoid paying the fine.
A majority of Texas voters support marijuana legalization, according to a recent survey. Public Policy Polling found that 58 percent of Texans "support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol." Even more – 61 percent – were in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession and instead punishing violations with a civil citation. Texas law currently views possession of marijuana, even on a minute scale, as a criminal offense, punishable by $2,000 in fines and up to a year of jail time.
Justice Minister Mark Golding says international events and changes in the United States - the chief opponent of Jamaica's decriminalisation efforts over the years - make this the right time for lawmakers to consider changes. He said the recommendations which Cabinet will be asked to consider are standing on the shoulders of the recommendations of the National Commission on Ganja, chaired by the late Professor Barry Chevannes more than a decade ago.
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)
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.
Advocates for the decriminalisation at a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum said it was unfortunate that the image of ganja users has remained the same for years, when usage cuts across all social classes. Long-time ganja advocate Paul Chang, chair of the Ganja Law Reform Coalition (GLRC) said there was still too much shame associated with ganja usage because there are too many misconceptions about the narcotic. (See also: Remove the ganja stigma)