Cannabis (or marihuana) is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. According to the United Nations World Drug Report, 183 million people, or 3.8% of the world’s population, used cannabis in 2014. Its cultivation was also reported by 129 countries. Cannabis is subject to the United Nations System for International Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereafter “drugs”) and is the most widely consumed of all the drugs. According to that control system, cannabis is among the substances with the strictest legal status; they are the most prohibited, supposedly because of the harm they cause and their lack of medical usefulness.
Hamburgs Justizsenator Till Steffen (Grüne) will das Kiffen zu einer Ordnungswidrigkeit herabstufen. "Es wäre wie beim Falschparken. Da kann abgewogen werden: Schreibe ich ein Knöllchen oder nicht", sagte Steffen der "Hamburger Morgenpost". Das bisherige System, wonach auch auf den Besitz kleiner Mengen Cannabis eine Strafanzeige folgen muss, ist aus Steffens Sicht gescheitert. "Das bringt nichts und macht viel Arbeit", sagte Steffen. Bei dem Thema Cannabis-Freigabe müßte im Ernstfall auch die CDU bewegen würde und einem Modellversuch zur kontrollierten Abgabe zustimmen würde.
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)
Australians should be able to buy a pure form of ecstasy from their local pharmacy to curtail the harm caused by contaminated blackmarket pills. Melbourne pharmacist Joshua Donelly and leading doctor Professor David Penington say many Australians taking the drug were probably swallowing contaminated versions that put them at greater risk of harm. In the Journal of Law and Medicine, Donelly said although no drug was completely risk-free, compared to other drugs MDMA caused "negligible" harm to users and people around them.
Traditional small ganja farmers in Jamaica, accustomed to clandestinely working their fields, will now have to adhere to strict regulations in order to supply research institutions that have been granted licences.
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.
Vancouver has approved new rules to license and regulate illegal marijuana stores, making it the first city in Canada to attempt to control the burgeoning market – and setting it on a collision course with the country’s federal government.
In their op-ed article against cannabis legalization, former drug czar William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn yearn for a time when fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America.
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.