Advocates for the decriminalisation at a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum said it was unfortunate that the image of ganja users has remained the same for years, when usage cuts across all social classes. Long-time ganja advocate Paul Chang, chair of the Ganja Law Reform Coalition (GLRC) said there was still too much shame associated with ganja usage because there are too many misconceptions about the narcotic. (See also: Remove the ganja stigma)
Successive administrations are being accused of spinelessness in the pursuit of any venture aimed at legitimately utilising marijuana products in health and tourism to catapult Jamaica's limping economy forward. More than a decade ago, several far-reaching recommendations for the decriminalisation of the use of regulated quantities of the drug were presented by the National Commission on Ganja. Although the recommendations received the approval of the parliamentary committee, successive governments have failed to act on them.
Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri said he is considering the possibility of legalising krathom leaves with one of the options being to use the plant as a substitute in drug treatment programmes. But public opinion would need to be gauged first, he said. The idea could materialise if it is backed by scientific research and gains social acceptance. Krathom is classified as a drug in the 5th category of the Narcotics Act, alongside cannabis and psychotropic mushroom species, but has lighter penalties than those drugs.
The Obama administration said that it would not challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as long as those states maintain strict rules involving the sale and distribution of the drug. In a memo to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said the Justice Department is “committed to using its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant threats in the most effective, consistent and rational way.”
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.
Ten days ago, the lower house of Uruguay's parliament passed a law legalising marijuana, reflecting a growing sentiment in Latin America that the current prohibition on drugs should change. Could Mexico be next?
On Wednesday 31st July 2013, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved a marijuana regulation bill, bringing it one step closer to becoming the first country in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.
Le Parlement marocain est en train d'examiner un projet de loi sur la légalisation de la culture du cannabis proposé par la Coalition marocaine pour l'utilisation du cannabis à des fins médicinales et industrielles. Le débat avait été lancé en 2008 par le collectif marocain. Le militant rifain Chakib El Khayari, membre de la coalition, a confié au site d'information Bladi.net que cette légalisation sauverait des milliers de producteurs des griffes des barons de la drogue.
In Saint Lucia and throughout the Caribbean, we at the Caribbean Harm Reduction Coalition have observed the therapeutic value of cannabis (marijuana) to address a number of mental and physical health issues. This has included cannabis as an alternative to alcohol consumption for problematic drinkers, and cannabis use as a substitute for smoking crack cocaine. I have also witnessed first-hand the ways that cannabis use can reduce community violence.
Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina has called last week’s approval by Uruguayan lawmakers in the lower house of the legalization of recreational marijuana an “important step” in the fight against international drug trafficking. Pérez Molina said the initiative – which if passed by the Senate would task the Uruguayan government with the production and sale of marijuana – opens “a new space for discussion” on the merits of legalization of illicit drugs.
The world is watching, with keen eyes, as legislators in Montevideo inch ever so close to making Uruguay the first country ever to legalise the production, sale and use of ganja. The bill narrowly passed the lower House Thursday, by a 50 to 46 vote, and is expected to be successful in the Senate later this year.
After more than a year’s public deliberation and a 14-hour parliamentary debate, on July 31st Uruguay took a big step to becoming the first country in the world to legalise marijuana (cannabis). The lower house of Congress voted on party lines, by 50 to 46, to approve a bill from the left-wing Broad Front government to legalise and regulate the production and sale of the drug.
The week got off to an ominous start on Monday with the release of a survey by Cifra, Uruguay's leading pollster, showing that around two-thirds of the country has remained consistently opposed to marijuana regulation since it was first proposed a year ago. The poll found that 63 percent of over 1,000 respondents from around the country said they were in disagreement with "the bill to regulate the cultivation and consumption of marijuana in Uruguay," as the initiative was presented. Just 26 percent said they were in favor of it. This is identical to the degree of support it had in December 2012, when President Jose Mujica halted the bill's progress and called for a national debate on the matter after the release of a Cifra poll on December 18.
Uruguay is poised to become the first nation in the world to create a legal, regulated marijuana market. .. but is this the right way forward? Martin Jelsma is a leading expert on Latin America and international drugs policies. He told Vatican Radio's Susy Hodges that he's in favour of the new law in Uruguay and says it is not intended to liberalize the cannabis market but instead regulate it.
In response to the increased police presence in and around Christiania, a number of citizens are fighting back online. Fans of Christiania have long been using a Facebook page, 'Politi razzia på Christiania?' (PRPC), to inform one another of police presence in the freetown. The page has well over 9,000 likes and also been developed into an app for smartphones that allows people to check for police presence before heading to Christiania. The page was created in response to Taskforce Pusher Street.
Uruguay's unprecedented plan to create a legal marijuana market has taken its critical first step in the lower house of Congress. All 50 members of the ruling Broad Front coalition approved the proposal just before midnight on Wednesday in a party line vote, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 MPs present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.