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  1. Cannabis fields in Bekaa destroyed for second day

    23 July 2012
    Other news

    Authorities continued efforts to eradicate cannabis fields in the Bekaa, east Lebanon, as normal activity in the region remained subdued due to reports of prowling gunmen. Two bulldozers were used in the operation in addition to 17 tractors after 15 tractors were sabotaged by gunmen a day earlier. The operation is proceeding with caution, especially following reports of armed men in the vicinity. (See also: Farmers, government battle over hashish in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley)

  2. Justice minister calls for light drug legalisation, PM pulls rug

    08 February 2015
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    The Portuguese justice minister, Paula Teixeira da Cruz, said she agreed with decriminalizing the use of soft drugs, in an interview to TSF radio, so “there is no highly organised crime or money laundering”. The prime minister has said that the decriminalisation of light drugs “is not on the government programme” and said that the comments made by the justice minister about this matter were made “personally”.

  3. A miscarriage of justice on marijuana

    04 August 2011
    Other news

    As if America's highly-publicised "war on drugs" were not already facing a credibility gap, two US superior court judges – one in Washington, DC, another in Colorado – are raising questions about whether the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and police departments are using "pseudo-scientific" drug identification methods to bust hundreds of thousands of suspected drug users, many of them inner-city minority kids. A flawed drug test means that innocent people are being locked up as suspects, deprived of their due process rights, and then pressured to accept plea bargains, whether they're guilty or not. The Duquenois-Levine test, widely used by police in the US, can detect marijuana, but also gives 'positive' results for numerous other commonly occurring substances.

  4. Medical marijuana: The Justice Department speaks – again

    Jonathan Caulkins
    08 August 2011
    Other news

    Medical marijuana suppliers complain that the Justice Department is tightening the federal government's approach to enforcement. That's a disingenuous response to the department's latest directive that medical marijuana is not a business – though suppliers sure want it to be. The June 29 memo largely reaffirms one from October 2009 – known as the "Ogden" memo. Both memos advise US attorneys that individual marijuana users with serious illnesses – and their caregivers – are not an enforcement priority, but those in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana are.

  5. Obama Hasn’t Reformed Criminal Justice—Could Romney Do Better?

    12 April 2012
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    Whose website laments that in the United States today we have “more than one million nonviolent offenders fill[ing] the nation’s prisons,” and sings the praises of “community supervision alternatives such as probation and parole, which cost less and could have better reduced recidivism among non-violent offenders”? Guess before you click.

  6. Justice Dept. memo writer is mum on pot crackdown

    26 October 2011
    Other news

    A high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official who wrote a memo saying state medical marijuana laws do not provide immunity from federal prosecution refused to say whether a recent crackdown in California signals a shift in federal policy that may result in a crackdown in other states. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the memo sent to U.S. attorneys in June speaks for itself, and he said U.S. attorneys have discretion in how federal law is enforced in their districts.

  7. ericholder

    Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences

    Charlie Savage
    13 August 2013
    Other news

    WASHINGTON — In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.

  8. Obama Drug Policy: Reforming the Criminal Justice System

    Rafael Lemaitre (Communications director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy)
    02 December 2011
    Other news

    The complexity and scale of our drug problem requires a nationwide effort to support smart drug policies that reduce drug use and its consequences. The Obama Administration has been engaged in a government-wide effort to reform our nation's drug policies and restore balance to the way we deal with the drug problem. We have pursued a variety of alternatives that abandon an unproductive enforcement-only "War on Drugs" approach to drug control and acknowledge we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem and, further, that drug addiction is a disease of the brain, not some "moral failing."

  9. Justices to Decide on Fairness in Drug Sentences

    28 November 2011
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    The Supreme Court agreed to resolve a question that has vexed the lower federal courts since Congress enacted a law to narrow the gap between sentences meted out for offenses involving two kinds of cocaine. Selling cocaine in crack form used to subject offenders to the same sentence one would get for selling 100 times as much in powder. The new law, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, reduced the disparity to 18 to 1, at least for people who committed their offenses after the law became effective on Aug. 3, 2010.

  10. Former Supreme Court justice blasts minimum sentences for marijuana offenders

    15 May 2012
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    Canada’s new mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders are based on “very bad criminal law policy” and constitute a threat to public health as well as the concept of judicial proportionality, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Arbour says. The law should, and almost certainly will, face a justifiable constitutional challenge, Arbour adds of the omnibus crime legislation, Bill C-10, which received royal assent in March. Forcing judges to impose minimum sentences for drug offences endangers the legal precept of proportionality, under which judges must tailor the level of punishment to the severity of the crime, adds the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

  11. From Durban to Rio+20: Challenging the corporate hijack of environmental policy

    14 January 2012
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    Tackling the corporate takeover of environmental policy will be one of the most critical challenges humanity has faced in history. Corporations have been behind the failure of the UN, most recently at the UNFCCC conference in Durban, to agree effective climate change policies. TNCs are now pushing to expand privatisation of nature as a solution to the environmental crisis at the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. How can we stop them?

  12. Drug use is an issue for society, not the criminal justice system

    Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet
    10 September 2012
    Other news

    There is no reliable evidence that tougher criminal sanctions deter drug use or offending. On the contrary, criminalisation worsens the health and wellbeing of drug users, increases risk behaviours, drives the spread of HIV, encourages other crime and discourages drug users from seeking treatment. A report by Australia21, Alternatives to Prohibition, subtitled Illicit drugs: how we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians, sets out the lessons learnt about the failed war on drugs from other countries, especially Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Portugal.

  13. mark-golding

    Justify the weed - Justice minister to make constitutional case for revising ganja law

    26 October 2013
    Other news

    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.

  14. Justice Department "Clarifies" Stance on Medical Marijuana: It's Illegal And They Will Arrest You

    01 July 2011
    Other news

    For a few weeks now, medical marijuana activists have been waiting for Attorney General Eric Holder to "re-clarify" exactly what the Justice Department plans to do about state-legal, federally-illegal medical marijuana. In a memo dated June 29, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole did just that: marijuana is illegal, and the federal government can prosecute any user, any time for growing, selling or transporting it, state law be damned, he wrote.

  15. crack-user-sleeping

    Crack cocaine users: New data from Brazil

    Vera Da Ros (REDUC - Brazil)
    15 October 2013
    Other news

    Last September, the Brazilian Ministries of Health and Justice presented data of two key surveys – “Estimated number of crack and similar drug users in capital cities of the country" and "Profile of crack and similar drug users – Brazil". Both surveys were headed by Francisco Bastos from FIOCRUZ, a very respected and traditional Foundation in Brazil.

  16. European Democracy Now!

    03 November 2011
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    While banks and European leaders negotiate the next public bail out of private greed, and the financial speculation that caused the crisis continues unheeded, Europeans have shown that like many people around the world, from Tahrir to Syntagma Square and Wall Street, they are not going to take more neoliberal austerity lying down. The question already being asked by many observers is - where to now for the popular demonstrations?

  17. Sanctionner l'usage de stupéfiants par une contravention?

    06 December 2011
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    Actuellement, l'usage de stupéfiants est puni d'une amende maximale de 3 750 euros et d'un an d'emprisonnement. Une proposition de loi, adoptée le 7 décembre 2011 par le Sénat, entend modifier ces sanctions. Au lieu d'être un délit, le premier usage - et lui seul - deviendrait une contravention, assortie d'une amende de 68 euros. C'est une "suite logique" aux conclusions d'un rapport publié en juillet 2011 par la mission parlementaire d'information sur les toxicomanies, précise Jacques Mézard, président radical du groupe Rassemblement démocratique et social européen (RDSE) au Sénat, et rapporteur du texte.

  18. coca-manifestacion

    Bolivia formally renounces UN narcotics convention because it penalizes coca-leaf chewing

    30 June 2011
    Other news

    Bolivia's government has informed the United Nations it is renouncing the world body's anti-drug convention because it classifies coca leaf as an illegal drug, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Bolivia's decision comes after a proposal by President Evo Morales to remove language obliging countries that have signed the convention to ban the chewing of coca leaves was rejected following U.S. objections.

  19. Forced treatment for Brazil crack addicts

    25 February 2013
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    The city of Rio de Janeiro has begun a program of involuntary hospitalization for crack users, one month after Brazil’s biggest city São Paulo began a similar program. Critics say that forcing addicts into rehabilitation treatment is ineffective. “When an addict is interned unwillingly, he can remain abstinent as long as he remains hospitalized,” Psychiatrist Dartiu Xavier da Silveira said. “When he returns to his normal life (and his usual problems), the vast majority of users go back to using the drug as before.”

  20. Majority supports legal cannabis

    06 August 2012
    Other news

    A majority of Danes believe that sales of cannabis should be controlled by the state, according to a Gallup poll for metroXpress. According to the poll, 53 per cent of those asked fully agreed or agreed that cannabis should be state-controlled; 22 per cent had no view on the issue while 23 per cent disagreed or fully disagreed. Social Democratic Justice Minister Morten Bødskov recently rejected the idea of a trial arrangement in Copenhagen.

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