Sixty-five percent of Germans say they would reject relaxing laws restricting the production, sale and consumption of marijuana, according to the study conducted by opinion pollsters Forsa for Stern magazine. Just under a third of those asked (29 percent) would like to see the drug legalized, while six percent said they have no opinion on the issue. Among supporters of the Green Party, those in favour of legalization jumped up to 51 percent. The poll of 1,003 Germans will come as a blow to Berlin Green politician Monika Herrmann, who is battling to open a Dutch-style coffee shop in the capital.
Despite 40 years of prohibition, Danes smoke cannabis. If prohibition continues another 40 years, Danes will still smoke it. So too will residents in Uruguay, Colorado, Washington and the other US states that will inevitably follow suit. But while they will light up legally and boost state coffers, Danes will still be lining the pockets of hardened criminals. (See also: No plans to follow Colorado's lead on cannabis)
Turin's city council has approved a motion in favour of making the drug legal for therapeutic purposes, making it the first of Italy's large cities to do so. The proposal is an appeal to the Italian parliament that they "move from a prohibitionist structure to one where soft drugs, particularly cannabis, are legally produced and distributed". This means that while the vote doesn't make it legal to consume, buy or sell cannabis for individual use yet, it paves the way for a more tolerant view of the drug in the eyes of the law.
Some 20 years ago, a Spanish official in favor of lifting the ban on drugs such as marijuana mentioned at a UN meeting that there "might be a more humane option" in the fight against trafficking. She was immediately taken aside by a senior diplomat, who told her in no uncertain terms: "Don't say things like that round here, not even in the washroom." Today, the same official says that internal documents are now circulating within the UN that openly admit to the failure of prohibition.
France has some of the toughest possession statutes in Europe, but a first of its kind bill proposed could change that. People smoking a joint in France face a maximum penalty of a year behind bars and a €3,750 fine for the first offence, yet 13.4 million French people admit to sparking up at least once in their life. Even France’s Interior Minister Manuel Vallls said in an interview, he’d tried it “maybe once.” Esther Benbassa, the lawmaker behind the legislation tells why marijuana should be legalized in France. Legalizing cannabis has come up regularly in France, but the discussion never has never gotten far.
José Mujica has attempted to change the premises and conditions of the drugs wars through the legalisation of marijuana. Although even the people of Uruguay don’t really back their president’s initial reform, it’s a start. Dr Raquel Peyraube, the leading drug treatment specialist in Uruguay, debunks the claim that legalisation will lead to a rise in schizophrenia, saying that if marijuana caused schizophrenia, the rate of the illness would have risen across society over the past few decades, since marijuana use has grown. Yet the rate has held steady.
A Swiss parliamentary committee looking into drug issues wants to reopen the debate on the legalization of marijuana in the wake of developments in the US, Uruguay and New Zealand. "Many models that exist around the world should be studied and analyzed, that is the basis of our reflection," according to committee president Toni Berthel. Switzerland moved to liberalize its drug laws with legislation taking effect on October 1, 2013, that made possession of small amounts of marijuana a ticketing offence. A working group with representatives from Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Bern will discuss possible projects "in the field of cannabis regulation".
La légalisation du cannabis en Maroc à des fins thérapeutiques et industrielles permettra les familles de vivre dignement. Après le Parti de l’Istiqlal, le PAM s’apprête à déposer lui aussi une proposition de loi en ce mois de février après avoir terminé ses consultations avec les agriculteurs. Le sujet en tout cas n’est plus tabou, et les parlementaires eux-mêmes, au-delà des calculs électoralistes et politiques que peut revêtir leur initiative, demandent à juste titre un cadre législatif pour son exploitation à des fins médicales et industrielles.
A coalition of investors and strategists, which played a key role in passing most of the legislation to reform drug laws nationwide since 1996, has decided not to put a pot initiative on the ballot in California this year but will wait to push for legalization until 2016. Signature-gathering efforts for at least two additional pot measures are circulating, but they do not appear to have the high-profile financial backing needed. So the coalition's decision makes it less likely that marijuana will be legalized in California in the near future.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has launched a counter-offensive against moves to liberalise drug laws around the world, warning that cannabis legalisation poses a grave danger to public health.
Researchers with a Caribbean trade bloc have found that decriminalizing marijuana and exploring its use for medicinal purposes could help boost the region's sluggish economy. Caricom leaders are expected to talk about the preliminary report in a two-day summit that begins Monday in the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.
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.
Uruguay's drug czar says every legal marijuana plant in Uruguay will be registered and tracked using radio frequency tags, and that state-grown marijuana will be cloned to include genetic markers, making sure that what's grown here, stays here. That's a much tougher tracking system than those imposed in Colorado and Washington. Uruguay wants authorities to be able to test the pot in any drug user's possession to determine if it came from a registered, legal source.
Public opinion in the US appears ready for a truce in the war on drugs. A national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that support for the legalization of marijuana use continues to increase. Fully 75% of the public think that the sale and use of marijuana will eventually be legal nationwide. Just as most Americans prefer a less punitive approach to the use of drugs such as heroin and cocaine, an even larger majority (76%) think that people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana should not have to serve time in jail.
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.
Le cannabis devrait être légalisé. Telle est la recommandation de la Coordination politique des addictions (CPA). Elle préconise une régularisation du marché pour éviter le trafic de drogue dans les rues et ses conséquences, notamment sur les jeunes. "La guerre contre la drogue a échoué", a déclaré la présidente de la CPA Marina Carobbio. La coordination propose par conséquent dans son rapport des formes alternatives de régulation du marché pour la Suisse. Une politique qui "coûterait moins cher à l'Etat et amènerait plus de sécurité à la société". (A lire: Position générale « Régulation du marché en matière de politique des drogues »)
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.
After Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use this year, violent and property crime rates in the city are actually falling. According to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%. A study looking at the legalization of medical marijuana nationwide, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that the trend holds.
The Uruguayan government has made a controversial move to regulate the production and sale of cannabis, believing that this will help in the fight against drug-related crime and in dealing with public health issues. The move has been condemned by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), whose president Raymond Yans accused the government of having a "pirate attitude" for going against the UN’s conventions on drugs. Diego Cánepa, secretary of the office of Uruguayan President, believes a regulated marijuana market was the right decision.