Rasquera, a village of 900 near Barcelona, Spain, feeling the crunch of Euro-austerity measures and heavy debt, voted 4-3 on Wednesday to let a nearby cannabis association use a stretch of city land to grow marijuana for its 5000 members.
Evan Wood, Moira McKinnon, Robert Strang, Perry R. Kendall
28 မတ်လ 2012
The use of illegal drugs remains a serious threat to community health. However, despite the substantial social costs attributable to illegal drugs, a well-described discordance between scientific evidence and policy exists in this area, such that most resources go to drug law enforcement activities that have not been well evaluated. When the Office of the Auditor General of Canada last reviewed the country’s drug strategy, in 2001, it estimated that of the $454 million spent annually on efforts to control illicit drugs, $426 million (93.8%) was devoted to law enforcement.
A tiny Spanish country town believes it has found a way to make unemployment, debt and economic crisis disappear in a puff of smoke – by leasing out its land for marijuana plantations. The town hall of Rasquera in Catalonia on Wednesday voted to sign a €1.3m agreement with a cannabis association in nearby Barcelona to plant marijuana for its 5,000 members. Spain's cannabis clubs argue that if growing and possessing marijuana for personal consumption is legal, then there is nothing illegal about forming a club to that end.
The Netherlands moved to ban the sale of potent hashish cannabis eroding 40 years of liberal drug policy, over fears that the proceeds were flowing to organised crime gangs. A parliamentary proposal to prohibit the sale of hashish resin in the Netherlands' famous coffee shops had the backing of both parties in the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition. The sale of marijuana, the dried bud and leaves of the cannabis plant, will not be affected.
Cannabis has been taking centre stage in recent weeks. Former attorneys-general and Vancouver mayors in British Columbia have called for regulation and taxation of the industry in an attempt to stop the violence of the illegal trade. At the same time, the Harper government continues to push for the passage of legislation that will mandate a six-month minimum term of imprisonment for anyone growing six plants or more.
A small town in northeastern Spain, believes it has found a novel way to pay of its debt: cultivating cannabis. Tucked in the hills of one of Spain's most picturesque regions, the Catalonian village of Rasquera has agreed to rent out land to grow marijuana, an enterprise the local authorities say will allow them to pay off their 1.3 million euro debt in two years. The mayor of Rasquera, with 900 inhabitants, said the project will not only benefit locals, but also eliminate organised crime and the tax evasion associated with the cannabis industry thanks to government supervision.
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government's war on drugs has failed. The outspoken evangelical Christian and host of "The 700 Club" on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network he founded said the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. He said people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession.
Angeline Chilton says she can't drive unless she smokes pot. The suburban Denver woman says she'd never get behind the wheel right after smoking, but she does use medical marijuana twice a day to ease tremors caused by multiple sclerosis that previously left her homebound. "I don't drink and drive, and I don't smoke and drive," she said. "But my body is completely saturated with THC." Her case underscores a problem that no one's sure how to solve: How do you tell if someone is too stoned to drive?
Parliament has launched a new attempt to decriminalise the consumption of cannabis, four years after voters rejected a proposal for the full legalisation of the drug. The House of Representatives voted to impose a fine of SFr200 ($218) for the possession and consumption of up to ten grams of the substance instead of prosecuting the individuals. Supporters said a pragmatic, efficient and uniform sanctioning system was necessary to deal with a social reality.
The police and the courts can neither keep up with the surge in small-scale production, nor are they desperately keen to do so. Last month the government published new sentencing guidelines that advised judges to treat small cultivators less strictly. Attitudes to smokers are softening, too. The reclassification of cannabis in 2009, from class C to the more stringent class B, was oddly accompanied by a more liberal approach to policing consumption. Users caught on the street are rarely arrested; rather, they are issued “cannabis cautions” (a reprimand which doesn’t appear on a criminal record) or fined.
Colorado's top federal prosecutor has ordered 25 medical marijuana shops located near schools to close in an escalating pot clampdown, as the state gears up for a battle at the ballot box over broader recreational use of the drug. Attorney John Walsh warned owners of the centers in letters that they have 45 days to shut down or "action will be taken to seize and forfeit their property," his office said.
The sale of cannabis to persons aged 18 or older is permitted in the Netherlands under certain conditions in commercial establishments called coffeeshops. The present Dutch government has proposed that access to coffeeshops be restricted to persons holding a cannabis ID, a mandatory membership card known colloquially as a ‘weed pass’ (wietpas). Recent interviews with 66 Amsterdam coffeeshop owners reveal that they expect mainly detrimental effects from the proposed measure.
After Proposition 19 received 46% of the vote in 2010, proponents took heart. They vowed to put a measure to fully legalize marijuana on the 2012 ballot. Instead, four camps vie for funding. Just weeks before the deadline for state ballot initiatives, the effort to put a marijuana legalization measure before voters in the general election is in disarray as the federal government cracks down on medical cannabis and activists are divided on their goals.
De exportcijfers van nederwiet die de Taskforce Aanpak Georganiseerde Hennepteelt veelvuldig in de media bracht, zijn sterk overdreven. Dit blijkt uit een vertrouwelijk rapport van het Korps Landelijke Politie Diensten dat openbaar wordt gemaakt door KRO Reporter International. Het rapport maakt duidelijk dat de export van nederwiet een “bescheiden omvang” heeft. “Het grootste deel van de productie is bedoeld voor de binnenlandse markt”, aldus het KLPD. Donderdag debatteert de Tweede Kamer over het drugsbeleid.