The status of cannabis in the UN drug conventions is controversial. It is now scheduled among the most dangerous substances. How and why did cannabis in the conventions? Does it belong there? What are the options to review the status of cannabis according to current scientific data? Is making cannabis subject to a control regime similar to harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco a solution?
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  • Cultivating alternatives: Towards a regional cannabis model

    Kevin Edmonds
    Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy
    Volume 3 Number 2, June 2015

    The decriminalization and regulation of cannabis has been occurring in many jurisdictions in the United States – but also closer to home and more significantly in Jamaica. While unable to directly compete with these long-established producers, the Windward Islands are home to their own significant, albeit illegal, cannabis economy. A pressing task facing the cash strapped governments of the Windward Islands, particularly St Vincent and St Lucia is to capitalize on the current climate of drug reform and adopt creative decriminalization policies which will ensure that they are able to transition the employment, income generation and value added opportunities from the ganja economy to the legal economy.

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  • In debate over legalizing marijuana, disagreement over drug’s dangers

    In their own words: Supporters and opponents of legalization
    Pew Research Center (US)
    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Public opinion about legalizing marijuana in the US, while little changed in the past few years, has undergone a dramatic long-term shift. A new survey finds that 53% favor the legal use of marijuana, while 44% are opposed. As recently as 2006, just 32% supported marijuana legalization, while nearly twice as many (60%) were opposed. Millennials (currently 18-34) have been in the forefront of this change: 68% favor legalizing marijuana use.

  • The Legal Landscape for Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain

    Amber Marks
    Observatorio Civil de Drogas
    February 2015

    This briefing is a preliminary sketch of the legal landscape for cannabis social clubs in Spain. Its author is presently conducting legal analysis and empirical research in Spain and her findings will be published in due course. The aim of this briefing is to provide an interim sketch of the relevant law for English speakers working in drug policy.

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  • Stoned drivers are a lot safer than drunk ones, new federal data show

    The measurable presence of THC in a person's system doesn't correlate with impairment in the same way that blood alcohol concentration does
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, February 9, 2015

    A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that drivers who use marijuana are at a significantly lower risk for a crash than drivers who use alcohol. And after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, drivers who tested positive for marijuana were no more likely to crash than who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving. Nevertheless, there's plenty of evidence showing that marijuana use impairs key driving skills.

  • Cannabis policy reform in Europe

    Bottom up rather than top down
    Tom Blickman
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies No. 28
    December 2014

    While in the Americas cannabis policy reform is taking off, Europe seems to be lagging behind. That is to say, in European nations at the level of national governments – where denial of the changing policy landscape and inertia to act upon calls for change reigns. At the local level, however, disenchantment with the current cannabis regime gives rise to new ideas. In several countries in Eu­rope, local and regional authorities are looking at regulation, either pressured by grassroots movements – in particular the Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) – or due to the involve­ment of criminal groups and public disorder.

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  • Reform der Cannabispolitik in Europa

    Eher Bottom-up als Top-down
    Tom Blickman
    Reihe Gesetzesreformen im Bereich der Drogenpolitik Nr. 28
    Dezember 2014

    Während die Reform der Cannabispolitik in Amerika Fahrt aufnimmt, scheint Europa hinterherzuhinken. Genauer gesagt, die europäischen Staaten auf nationaler Regierungsebene, wo die Leugnung der Veränderungen in der politischen Landschaft und die Trägheit bei der Reaktion auf Forderungen nach einem Wandel noch immer vorherrschen. Auf lokaler Ebene hingegen führt die Ernüchterung hinsichtlich der aktuellen Cannabispolitik zur Entstehung neuer Ideen. In verschiedenen europäischen Ländern prüfen lokale und regionale Behörden eine Regulierung, entweder unter dem Druck von Basisbewegungen – vor allem den Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC) – oder wegen der Verstrickung krimineller Gruppen und zur Aufrechterhaltung der öffentlichen Ordnung.

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  • Selling cannabis regulation

    Learning From Ballot Initiatives in the United States in 2012
    Emily Crick, Mark Cooke and Dave Bewley-Taylor
    GDPO Policy Brief 6
    November 2014

    In 2012, voters in the US states of Washington, Colorado and Oregon were given the opportunity to vote in ballot initiatives for the creation of legally regulated cannabis markets. Washington’s Initiative 502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64 both passed with 55.7% and 55.3% of the vote respectively. Oregon’s Measure 80 failed with 53.4% of those voting rejecting the measure. As calls for and legal processes towards the initiation of cannabis policy reform become more common within US states, it is a timely and useful exercise to reflect upon the campaigns for reform in Washington (WA), Colorado (CO) and Oregon (OR) and examine why the public supported cannabis policy reform in some instances and not others.

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  • Du Río de la Plata au Lac Léman

    Nouveaux développements concernant la régulation du marché du cannabis
    Frank Zobel & Marc Marthaler
    Addiction Suisse
    Novembre 2014

    La politique vis-à-vis du cannabis est en rapide évolution. Ainsi, les citoyens de l'Alaska et de l'Oregon, comme ceux de Washington DC, la capitale des Etats-Unis, viennent à leur tour de légaliser la possession de cannabis et, pour les deux premiers, d'autoriser un marché régulé pour cette substance. Des expériences de ce type sont depuis peu en cours ailleurs aux Etats-Unis et dans le monde. Quelles leçons peut-on déjà en tirer? Addiction Suisse propose une vue d'ensemble des développements les plus récents dans les Amériques, en Europe et en Suisse.

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  • Marijuana legalization is an opportunity to modernize international drug treaties

    Wells Bennett and John Walsh
    Brookings Center for Effective Public Management
    October 2014

    Two U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, and more may follow; the Obama administration has conditionally accepted these experiments. Such actions are in obvious tension with three international treaties that together commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana. The administration asserts that its policy complies with the treaties because they leave room for flexibility and prosecutorial discretion.

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  • A puff of logic

    Genes, cannabis and schizophrenia. Correlation is not necessarily causation
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    That cannabis and schizophrenia are linked is widely accepted. Several studies suggest the drug can set off short-term psychotic episodes in those already suffering from the condition. Other research, though, does more than this. It shows that people with schizophrenia are twice as likely as others to use cannabis. This leads some to argue that the drug is actually a cause of schizophrenia rather than just a trigger—a line of evidence sometimes employed by those who wish to keep it illegal.

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