For decades, the United States has been a champion of the global drug control treaty system, which limits the use of marijuana exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, and obligates governments to punish and even criminalize recreational marijuana activity. But American attitudes toward marijuana policy are shifting: voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to legalize regulated recreational marijuana in 2012, and recent polls suggest that the majority of Americans think marijuana use should be legalized.
After the Istiqlal party, one of the old conservative parties of Morocco, proposed last year a draft law to decriminalize and regulate the cultivation of cannabis for medical and pharmaceutical uses, the country is re-examining policies toward cannabis and looking to some degree of legalization of this corp. Despite a centuries-old tradition of growing cannabis in the Rif Mountains, and the raising voices to decriminalize the cultivation of the crop, the proposal may face fierce opposition.
The decision by California voters in 1996 to legalize medical marijuana produced a wave of similar initiatives around the country. Less than two decades later, over half the states allow at least limited medical use. Now it looks as though recreational use of the drug may follow the same path. In 2012, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. This November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will decide whether to do the same — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a drug that is far less dangerous than alcohol.
The Washington state’s legal recreational marijuana market is expected to bring in about $636 million in taxes to state coffers through the middle of 2019, according to an economic forecast. The forecast by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council showed that just over $25 million from a variety of marijuana-related taxes — including excise, sales, and business taxes — is expected to be collected through the middle of next year.
The state of New York could legalize marijuana for recreational use as early as 2015. State Sen. Liz Krueger (D) will reintroduce the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act during the next legislative session, which begins in January. Krueger's bill would permit the opening of retail marijuana dispensaries, which would be regulated by the State Liquor Authority. The bill would establish an excise tax on all marijuana sales, and adults would legally be able to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.
Julio Calzada is the top drug official in the little nation of Uruguay, which has gained notoriety over the last year for becoming the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Calzada, whose party faces a tough re-election battle on Oct. 26, sat down with GlobalPost to discuss Uruguay’s unparalleled legalization experiment. In doing so, the national drug agency’s secretary-general unleashed a few bombshells. Here are the five most interesting things he said.
When Uruguay's historic marijuana regulation law passed the Senate in December, it was a major victory for drug policy reform in Uruguay and around the world. However, opposition leader Luis Lacalle Pou's surge in the October 2014 general election polls is a threat to the law, as his National Party has consistently been critical of marijuana regulation. While the complete repeal of the law is improbable, some concessions to the opposition appear likely, and there is a chance the law could end up stripped of its most controversial elements, like the commercial sale in pharmacies and the cannabis clubs.
The upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 is an unprecedented opportunity to review and re-direct national drug control policies and the future of the global drug control regime. As diplomats sit down to rethink international and domestic drug policy, they would do well to recall the mandate of the United Nations, not least to ensure security, human rights and development.
A state judge said that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington’s experiment in legal pot. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults’ recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans.
Conservative Republicans often talk about the need to constrain the power of the federal government. On everything from environmental regulation to education policy, Republican officeholders argue that individual states should be able to adopt their own policy priorities, free from federal interference. Yet many of these same people are silent when the question turns to marijuana. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana possession within their states. This November, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will get the chance to follow suit. (See also: Let states decide on marijuana)
Catalonia is drawing up rules to allow the use of marijuana for the treatment of patients suffering from conditions with symptoms such as pain and loss of appetite, the region's health minister Boi Ruiz has said. The move would open the way for the drug to be prescribed to cancer and AIDS patients, among others. The plan was partly designed to stop Barcelona's increasingly popular cannabis clubs from controlling the supply of medical marijuana, Ruiz said.
That the black market in Colorado bustles in the emerging days of legalisation is not unexpected. By some reckonings, it will continue as long as residents of other states look to Colorado as the nation’s cannabis cookie jar. And as long as its legal retail competition keeps prices high and is taxed at rates surpassing 30%. “I don’t know who is buying for recreational use at dispensaries unless it’s white, middle-class people and out-of-towners,” said a longtime community activist. “Everyone I know still has the guy on the street that they hook up with.”
Le chemin qui mène à la régularisation du cannabis se poursuit malgré les récentes réserves de l’Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP). «Le Conseil d’Etat est conscient de la réalité quotidienne de nos villes. Il ne s’interdit pas de réfléchir à de nouvelles pistes», explique le magistrat genevois MCG Mauro Poggia. Ce dernier a mandaté une commission présidée par l’ex-conseillère fédérale Ruth Dreifuss pour étudier la faisabilité des Associations de consommateurs de cannabis (ACC).