The Caribbean trade bloc Caricom has created a commission to study whether the region's roughly 15 million people should be allowed to use medical marijuana and how courts should handle possession of small amounts of the drug. Leaders said that the commission is expected to submit reports by Caricom's next summit, scheduled for February 2016. A recent preliminary report from Caricom found that decriminalizing medical marijuana could help boost the region's economy. (See also: Opposition says Jamaica does not need Caricom ganja comm)
Uruguay's unprecedented plan to create a legal marijuana market has taken its critical first step in the lower house of Congress. All 50 members of the ruling Broad Front coalition approved the proposal just before midnight on Wednesday in a party line vote, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 MPs present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.
When the recent Summit of the Americas in Colombia decided to commission a study on whether to decriminalize drugs, many thought that would be the end of it, and the whole thing would be quickly forgotten. Well, maybe not. For starters, it was the first time that such a large group of heads of state ventured into that once taboo area. And there are several other non-related factors that may contribute to put decriminalization in the front burner later this year, or in early 2013
George Soros has called for an end to the West's "war on drugs". Soros has thrown his weight behind a push by Guatemalan President Perez Molina, who recently declared that prohibition should be abandoned. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Soros said that the narcotics trade threatened stability in many countries. President Molina said he would organise a meeting of Latin American leaders next June to discuss the issue. Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia have opened talks with U.S. officials to prepare for the legalization of marijuana in some U.S. states, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla declared.
Les Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC) sont en plein bad trip. Ces coopératives d’autoproducteurs avaient lancé en mars une vaste opération de désobéissance civile, sommant le gouvernement «de prendre ses responsabilités» sur la dépénalisation de la marijuana. Le tribunal de grande instance de Tours a prononcé, hier, la dissolution de la structure fédérant l’ensemble des Cannabis Social Clubs français. Ses membres ont désormais l’interdiction de se réunir.
Si PS et UMP pensaient avoir enterré le débat sur le cannabis avec la fin de la campagne des législatives, ils se sont trompés. Des militants viennent en effet d’afficher leur détermination à faire évoluer la législation en annonçant, lors d’un Appel du 18 Joint anticipé à Tours, la création de nombreux “Cannabis social club” un peu partout en France, rapportent nos confrères de la Nouvelle République. Illégaux dans l’Hexagone, ces “clubs” n’en resteront donc, pour l’instant, qu’au stade de groupes informels d’amateurs d’herbe ne réunissant chacun pas plus d’une dizaine de membres.
Pien Metaal, who follows Latin American drug law reform ... told The Tico Times ... that legalizing medical marijuana in Costa Rica “would clearly send a message that can spark a debate in the region... Of course, the debate should not just be about medicinal use,” Metaal wrote, “since in fact recreational use is the largest actually existing phenomena, [for] which simple possession and use are being criminalized and prosecuted.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he would not be rushed into decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana because doing so creates its own set of problems that other cities have been forced to correct. The mayor shined the light on his deliberations on the hot-button issue as Chicago aldermen formally introduced their decriminalization plan after releasing ward-by-ward statistics that show minorities bear the brunt of marijuana arrests.
US Attorney General Eric Holder told America to expect a decision "soon" on how he'll respond to the recent legalization of pot by Colorado and Washington state. Legislative committees in New Mexico and Hawaii approved bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and Oregon lawmakers introduced a legalization bill. Rhode Island legislators held a hearing on a bill to legalize and tax marijuana. In California, where Holder's Justice Department has spent months trying to shut down respected medical-pot dispensaries, a Field Poll showed that 67 percent of state voters oppose the move.
Ils sont chefs d’entreprises, éducateurs spécialisés, universitaires, produisent eux-mêmes le cannabis qu’ils fument, et entendent «renverser la prohibition». De la marijuana, ils prônent un usage modéré et régulé sans en nier les dangers, surtout pour les jeunes. Pour ce faire, ils ont copié un modèle qui existe depuis vingt ans en Espagne: le Cannabis Social Club (CSC). Associations officieuses à but non lucratif. (Lire aussi: Les politiques restent accros à la répression)
The exponential proliferation of the number of associations, clubs and other groups that distribute cannabis among their members and create new spaces for socialising, has surprised even the most optimistic advocates of more reasonable drug policies. In a short time, and in spite of those in government, civil society has provided a response to a problem that realpolitik has been unable to tackle.
Uruguay is poised to become the first nation in the world to create a legal, regulated marijuana market. .. but is this the right way forward? Martin Jelsma is a leading expert on Latin America and international drugs policies. He told Vatican Radio's Susy Hodges that he's in favour of the new law in Uruguay and says it is not intended to liberalize the cannabis market but instead regulate it.
In his final state of the city address as Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, announced that anyone caught in possession of marijuana would no longer have to spend a night in jail. Effective next month, anyone who is arrested for marijuana possession will still be taken to the police station, fingerprinted and so on, but if there are no pending warrants, they will be released with a summons to appear in court. This is a small step in the right direction.
Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, who was removed from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after one month, this week wrote two rather provocative articles on the Conservative Woman website. Raabe’s main argument is that a better, “alternative approach to the drug problem” would be to create a “drug-free society”. Punitive, zero-tolerance, abstinence-based approaches have been the dominant drug policy model in most parts of the world for over half a century now – and they haven’t worked. They've caused a great deal of harm and haven’t really stopped people taking drugs.
Many people arrested on low-level marijuana-possession charges in the nation’s largest city will no longer be booked and held hours for arraignment, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. Starting next month, people who get picked up on charges of having a small amount of marijuana will be released with appearance tickets if they have identification and no open warrants, Bloomberg said, spotlighting the issue in his State of the City address amid debate over the tens of thousands of such arrests in the city each year. (Bloomberg: I oppose legalizing 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.
Ecuador has entered a new era in drug policy and legislation. Twenty-five years after the last major legal reform, brought about by the famed Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Law (Ley de Sustancias Estupefacientes y Psicotrópicas, Law 108), which took effect on September 17, 1990, the National Assembly is about to debate—for the second and final time—the draft Law on Prevention of Drugs and Use or Consumption of Substances Classified as Subject to Oversight (Ley de Prevención de Drogas y Uso y Consumo de Sustancias Catalogadas Sujetas a Fiscalización.)
In August 2009, the Argentina Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional legislation that criminalized drug possession for personal consumption. This briefing discusses the background of that decision and the small steps in the right direction that have been taken since, to conclude that there is still much to do before a reform agenda can be implemented.
The week got off to an ominous start on Monday with the release of a survey by Cifra, Uruguay's leading pollster, showing that around two-thirds of the country has remained consistently opposed to marijuana regulation since it was first proposed a year ago. The poll found that 63 percent of over 1,000 respondents from around the country said they were in disagreement with "the bill to regulate the cultivation and consumption of marijuana in Uruguay," as the initiative was presented. Just 26 percent said they were in favor of it. This is identical to the degree of support it had in December 2012, when President Jose Mujica halted the bill's progress and called for a national debate on the matter after the release of a Cifra poll on December 18.