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  1. The year in drug policy: Movement at a crossroads

    26 Diciembre 2014
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    The 43-year-old war on drugs had never seen such a barrage of opposition as it did in 2014, with successful marijuana legalization initiatives in several U.S. states, California’s historic approval of sentencing reform for low level drug offenders and world leaders calling for the legal regulation of all drugs — all of which cement the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and offer unprecedented momentum going into 2015.

  2. Will Guatemala really explore marijuana legalization in 2015?

    20 Noviembre 2014
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    Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in a recent interview mooted the idea of his country legalizing marijuana next year. Can we really expect bold changes in Guatemalan drug policy in the near future? Speaking to TeleSur, President Perez said that Guatemala was watching Uruguay's experiment with marijuana legalization and would likely take a decision on whether to pursue regulation itself in 2015.

  3. Pot luck

    18 Noviembre 2014
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    Smoking, growing, buying, selling or merely possessing cannabis is a criminal offence, according to America's federal government. Ask the states, however, and you will get almost 50 different answers. In 13 of them possession of the drug has been decriminalised, meaning that tokers face only minor penalties if caught. In 23 it has been legalised for medical use. And in four—including, following ballot initiatives earlier this month, Alaska and Oregon—cannabis has been legalised outright. In all only 22 states, fewer than half the total, continue to treat the drug as criminal contraband under all circumstances.

  4. Pot legalization: Gateway to what?

    12 Noviembre 2014
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    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to stay on the sidelines of future pot legalization campaigns – already supported by groups plotting ballot campaigns in 2016 – and pour resources into fights for criminal justice reform. One model to replicate is California's Proposition 47, approved by 58 percent to lower penalties for drug possession and other nonviolent crimes. "We would love to be able to have ballot initiatives in a number of states that may look very similar to Proposition 47," says ACLU's Alison Holcomb . "Hopefully we will be able to find states where we can go further and say, ‘Let’s decriminalize the possession of drugs and let’s talk about what we can do to address drug use and abuse.’"

  5. The dark-horse policy reform that has both Obama and some GOPers optimistic

    09 Noviembre 2014
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    With Democrats holding the White House and Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, it's been suggested that the odds are slim of any major legislation becoming law over the next two years. But officials in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill say there is one issue that may have enough cross-party appeal to break through the logjams. That issue is criminal justice reform. During the 2014 midterm elections, voters approved sweeping drug and criminal justice reform measures in multiple states, setting the stage for what may prove to be even more significant policy shifts over the next two years and beyond.

  6. 6 facts about marijuana

    05 Noviembre 2014
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    Attitudes about marijuana have undergone a rapid shift in public opinion, paralleled by few other trends in the U.S. Our recent data, along with historical figures from Gallup and the General Social Survey, reveal how views have shifted about the drug over time. Earlier this year, our survey found that many more Americans now favor shifting the focus of the nation’s overall drug policy. Here are six key facts about public opinion and marijuana.

  7. Cannabis – a conflict of generations

    25 Septiembre 2014
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    The legalisation of cannabis in Luxembourg is turning into a conflict of generations, as the youth branches of several parties opposed to such a move, have joined forces to promote decriminalisation.

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    Täglich zehn Gramm von der Stadt

    13 Agosto 2014
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    Schweizer Städte wollen mit der Cannabisabgabe experimentieren. Doch auf eidgenössischer Ebene scheint eine rechtliche Änderung unwahrscheinlich. «Die internationalen Entwicklungen, vor allem die Liberalisierungen des Cannabiskonsums in Colorado und Uruguay, haben neue Dynamik in die Diskussion gebracht», sagt Sandro Cattacin, Leiter der Genfer Projektgruppe für Cannabisvereine. In den Vereinen sollen KonsumentInnen eine täglich auf zehn Gramm begrenzte Menge erwerben können. Genf steht nicht allein: Eine Arbeitsgruppe aus Basel, Zürich, Bern und Genf trifft sich regelmässig.

  9. Marijuana crime: Are police turning 'a blind eye' to pot charges?

    12 Agosto 2014
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    In Canada there appears to be "just a lack of enthusiasm on the part of police" to enforce possession laws. "There's a huge amount of discretion. It's kind of the new vagrancy charge, really," said Neil Boyd, professor and director of Simon Fraser University's school of criminology. A phone survey conducted by Ipsos Reid between Jan. 30 and Feb. 7, 2014, suggested that 70 per cent of 3,000 Canadians polled want to see pot possession either legalized or decriminalized.

  10. Let states decide on marijuana

    25 Julio 2014
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    Repealing the Controlled Substances Act would allow the states to decide whether to permit marijuana use and under what conditions. Nearly three-fourths of them have already begun to do so, liberalizing their laws in defiance of the federal ban. Two have legalized recreational use outright, and if the federal government also recognized the growing public sentiment to legalize and regulate marijuana, that would almost certainly prompt more states to follow along. (See also: Overdue overhauling of US and global drug laws and Repeal Prohibition, Again)

  11. Most Canadians want pot laws relaxed, poll shows

    17 Julio 2014
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    A strong majority of Canadians think the federal government should either legalize marijuana or decriminalize the possession of small amounts, according to a Department of Justice poll, kept secret by the Conservatives for months. Of the 3,000 respondents, 37.3 per cent said the government should legalize marijuana, while 33.4 per cent said the possession of small amounts should be decriminalized. Only 13.7 per cent of respondents supported the status quo, while 12 per cent said they believe Ottawa should impose harsher penalties.

     
  12. The great pot experiment

    11 Julio 2014
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    On July 8th Washington became the second state after Colorado to offer recreational pot-smokers a chance to buy weed legally at a local store. Marijuana is still illegal in most of America. But there are substantial activities towards more liberal policies. In 23 states the medicinal use of marijuana is allowed and more states are considering legalisation. Oregon and Alaska will vote on legalisation in November; Floridians will decide on permitting medical use. President Barack Obama has chosen to take a hand’s-off approach to the issue of legalisation in Washington and Colorado. Yet if a drug hawk were to succeed President Obama in 2016, a clampdown on pot could well be revived.

  13. A half-smoked joint

    27 Junio 2014
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    Decriminalisation is only half the answer. As long as supplying drugs remains illegal, the business will remain a criminal monopoly. Jamaica’s gangsters will continue to enjoy total control over the ganja market. They will go on corrupting police, murdering their rivals and pushing their products to children. People who buy cocaine in Portugal face no criminal consequences, but their euros still end up paying the wages of the thugs who saw off heads in Latin America. For the producer countries, going easy on drug-users while insisting that the product remain illegal is the worst of all worlds.

  14. The difference between legalisation and decriminalisation

    17 Junio 2014
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    The war on cannabis seems to be slowly burning out. On June 12th Jamaica announced that it plans to decriminalise possession of small amounts of the drug. Several countries, including Mexico and Portugal, have already taken this step, and many others are considering it. A handful of other jurisdictions—so far only Uruguay and the states of Colorado and Washington—have taken a different approach, not decriminalising but instead legalising cannabis. Many people mistakenly use the terms “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” interchangeably. What is the difference?

  15. High times: The next five states to tackle pot laws

    02 Junio 2014
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    Weed is legal in at least some form in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Most allow it for medical use only. Colorado and Washington this year enacted laws that allow recreational use by adults. But more than two dozen states are considering new or expanded marijuana reform legislation, including complete legalization for adults, medical marijuana, hemp use and decriminalization. Which are the next five states likely to legalize marijuana?

  16. Eric Holder 'cautiously optimistic' about marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado

    14 Abril 2014
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    Attorney General Eric Holder is "cautiously optimistic" about how things are going in Washington state and Colorado following the legalization and state regulation of marijuana. Under Holder, the Justice Department has allowed marijuana legalization to move forward in Washington and Colorado and has issued guidance to federal prosecutors that is intended to open up banking access for pot shops that are legal on the state level.

  17. Law professors demand cannabis legalization

    09 Abril 2014
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    Around 3 million Germans regularly smoke marijuana. Some 14 million are estimated to have tried the drug at least once. It's not punishable by law in Germany to use pot, but it is to sell and grow it. Several legal experts believe that criminal prosecution of cannabis users doesn't serve the desired purpose. They have called on the Bundestag to discuss the issue. Merkel's coalition is skeptical.

  18. Guatemalan president eyes drug legalization proposal in late 2014

    02 Abril 2014
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    Guatemala could present a plan to legalize production of marijuana and opium poppies towards the end of 2014 as it seeks ways to curb the power of organized crime, President Otto Perez said. Perez proposed drug legalization after he took office at the start of 2012, buy has yet to put forward a concrete plan. Instead, a government commission has been studying the proposal, and recommendations are expected around October. Measures could be presented at the end of the year, including an initiative for Congress to legalize drugs, in particular marijuana, and the legalization of the poppy plantations for medicinal ends.

  19. Jamaica's marijuana growers split on legalisation

    13 Marzo 2014
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    In Jamaica, marijuana, or ganja, as it is more commonly known on the Caribbean island, is used in religious ceremonies by Rastafarians and as a herbal medicine by many others. But it is not just grown for local consumption. According to the US state department, Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the US as well as other Caribbean islands. Cultivation and import of the drug have been illegal since 1913, although those caught with small amounts are rarely prosecuted.

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    Cannabis: un réquisitoire contre la loi

    04 Febrero 2014
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    Le procureur de la République de Grenoble, Jean-Yves Coquillat, n’est ni un fieffé gauchiste ni un grand laxiste. Et pourtant, ce magistrat a osé briser un tabou en évoquant la nécessité d’ouvrir un débat sur la politique de répression de la consommation et de la vente de cannabis, actant «l’échec» de la législation actuelle. Il a aussi évoqué «de faire évoluer le droit en fonction de l’évolution de la société». (A lire aussi: «Est-il simplement possible d'initier le débat sur le cannabis?»)