The low volume, high frequency internet drugs market makes it hard for police to target. And even harder for teenagers to know what they’re taking. After the Future Music Festival in Sydney, 177 people will face court on drugs charges. Yet police sniffer dogs, which have been shown to be little more than a psychological deterrent, are not detecting new and emerging drugs that are widely available in Australia. These "new" drugs are freely available online and over the counter in NSW, despite amendments to the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act to include emerging psychoactive substances (EPS) over a year ago.
Cannabis stocks proved lucrative at the beginning of 2014, but the chances of a solid return deteriorated in the second half of the year. An investor who pumped money into a mix of securities followed by the Viridian Cannabis Stock Index in early January of last year could’ve netted a 938% return at the end of the first quarter. That equates to a profit of nearly $94,000 on an initial investment of $10,000. But a similar investment made in the second quarter would’ve only netted an investor $283 in profits. From there, the chances of a loss increased dramatically.
Sir Richard Branson and Nick Clegg are urging the UK to begin decriminalising the use and possession of almost all drugs, following the example of Portugal. The Virgin founder and deputy prime minister argue in a Guardian article that the "war on drugs" has failed. "As an investment, the war on drugs has failed to deliver any returns," they write. "If it were a business, it would have been shut down a long time ago. This is not what success looks like." (See also: Knives out for Clegg as anti-drugs lobby targets Lib Dems)
In the United States, where doctors write more than 250 million prescriptions for painkillers a year, the frequency of abuse and overdose represents a public health crisis. More than 15,000 Americans died from an overdose of prescription opioids in 2013. In other parts of the world, however, the crisis is that strong painkillers such as morphine aren't available at all. More than 70% of the world's population live in countries with no access to opioids. That has been the case in India.
For the first time, the General Social Survey – a large, national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research – shows a majority of Americans favoring the legalization of marijuana.
The Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), released today, calls upon States that ‘continue to impose the death penalty for drug-related offences to consider abolishing the death penalty for such offences’.
Scheduling ketamine would restrict its availability worldwide, which would lead to harmful impact on animal health and welfare, as well on public health. The World Medical Association is urging its 111 member associations to lobby their governments to oppose scheduling the anaesthetic agent Ketamine as a controlled drug.
In a dispute that pits the war on drugs against global health needs — and one UN agency against another — a pair of Canadian researchers is spearheading a last-ditch bid to keep a widely used anesthetic from being declared an illicit narcotic.
Judge Gerard Hogan made an unexpected decision to allow for the possession of some drugs in a ruling on an appeal with the backing of two of his judicial colleagues at the Court of Appeal who agreed with his assessment of Ireland’s drug laws. His 30-page ruling can be read in full here. The Dáil will sit late tonight to pass emergency legislation in order to reclassify drugs – including ecstasy, ketamine and magic mushrooms.