Italy took a first step toward legalization of pot, leading Europe in what would be a groundbreaking change. The Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale, a cross-party committee, agreed on a provisional text to legalize the consumption, growing, production and sale of cannabis under certain conditions. The text was signed by 218 members of parliament, and not just by the usual suspects. The proposal would allow growing cannabis at home or as members of "cannabis clubs" where a maximum of 50 people could cultivate and then share the product, with a strict prohibition on selling to the general public. (See also: Bill would legalize marijuana)
Up and down the Western Hemisphere, marijuana policy is a growing topic of discussion, and laws are starting to change. In 2014, retail marijuana stores opened in the states of Colorado and Washington, where anyone over 21 years old can purchase a wide variety of marijuana products.
Dr Paul Quigley, an emergency medicine specialist and clinical toxicologist at Wellington Hospital, says the legalisation of pure MDMA - the main ingredient in recreational drug ecstasy, which has euphoric effects - should be considered to protect users from other, more dangerous substances. He said MDMA had been around for about 30 years and was a prescription medicine used in the 1970s for psychiatric purposes - so it had been clinically tested on people. (See also: Should pure ‘ecstasy’ be regulated? – Expert reaction)
Legalising the medical use of cannabis has not led to a surge in the numbers of adolescents using it in the USA, according to new research that surprised its authors and will encourage those hoping for relaxation of the law elsewhere.
Dozens of government officials and researchers from a half-dozen U.S. states and a few countries that have legalized marijuana or are at least thinking about it are gathering in Washington state this week for meetings focused largely on one question: How do we know if it’s working? Organizers say it’s crucial to get a better handle on what data are being collected about the impacts of legalization and to consider what further research is needed.
Propelled by successful campaigns in Western states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, some advocates and legislators say a marijuana legalization race is developing in New England, with millions of dollars in tax revenue riding on the outcome.
California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year.
Those who support the legalization of marijuana in Germany recently marked a milestone with the creation of the first comprehensive draft law, which sets to regulate production and distribution of cannabis and its derivatives, while at the same time recommending the implementation of prevention programs. The draft stipulates who will get a permit to buy and sell cannabis, the price of the product, and even how much tax he will need to pay.