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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  • Legally regulated cannabis markets in the US

    Implications and possibilities
    Emily Crick, Heather J. Haase and Dave Bewley-Taylor
    GDPO Policy Report 1
    November 2013

    In November 2012, voters in two US states – Washington and Colorado – approved ballot initiatives to establish legally regulated markets for the production, sale, use and taxation of cannabis (commonly referred to in the US as marijuana). This is the first time anywhere in the world that the recreational use of the drug will be legally regulated – the wellknown coffee shop system in the Netherlands is merely tolerated rather than enshrined in law. Needless to say, with implications both within and beyond US borders, the drug policy community is watching Colorado and Washington closely.

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  • The Transparent Chain

    A revision of the Dutch coffee shop policy is long overdue
    Monday, November 10, 2013

    It is time that policymakers, law enforcement, professionals and other parties involved combine their efforts to work towards the implementation of a transparent cannabis chain that is organised in a responsible and professional manner.

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  • "Think cannabis is harmless?" No. Does anyone?

    But what about propagating drug hysteria? Is that harmless?
    Fiona Measham, David Nutt & Josh Hulbert
    Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (UK)
    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Cannabis is associated with psychosis (a symptom) and schizophrenia (an illness where this symptom is persistent) in complex, contradictory and mysterious ways. The evidence does demonstrate various links that we all should all be aware of, especially cannabis users and parents. However, the evidence does not support anything like the level of fear propagated in the media.

  • The global epidemiology and contribution of cannabis use and dependence to the global burden of disease

    Results from the GBD 2010 study
    Louisa Degenhardt et. al.
    Plos One
    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Cannabis dependence is a disorder primarily experienced by young adults, especially in higher income countries. It has not been shown to increase mortality as opioid and other forms of illicit drug dependence do. Our estimates suggest that cannabis use as a risk factor for schizophrenia is not a major contributor to population-level disease burden.

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  • Five biggest lies from anti-pot propagandist Kevin Sabet

    It is time to bust the myths Sabet has been perpetuating
    Sunil Kumar Aggarwal
    AlterNet (US blog)
    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi, Ph.D., aka Kevin Sabet, has been a headline-grabbing right-winger ever since his U.C. Berkeley days—where he did not study science or medicine despite his current appointment as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Florida. His most recent incarnation as a co-founder of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) follows a stint in the Obama White House on its drug policy staff from 2009-2011. His personal website claims he is the “quarterback” of a new anti-drug movement, boasting that he’s been “quoted in over 15,000 news stories.”

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  • Latin America Drug Policy Dialogue 2013 Maldonado (Uruguay)

    The ninth Latin America informal drug policy dialogue was devoted to "dilemmas in regulation of the cannabis market." The two-day dialogues were structured around seven sessions: (1) The Uruguayan proposal for cannabis regulation: dilemmas and challenges. (2) Current models of regulation: United States, Spain and the Netherlands. (3) The fine art of regulation: state monopoly vs. self-regulated market which works better and for whom? (4) Addressing cross-border differences and market mobility. (5) Tensions between cannabis regulation and international drug-control treaties: What options do governments have? (6) Cannabis reforms under way in Latin America. (7) Strategy and paths to reform: scenarios and next steps.

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  • The argument for cannabis as medicine: Will ideology or science prevail?

    Dr. Marcus Day
    International Drug Policy Consortium IDPC (UK)
    Monday, August 05, 2013

    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.

  • Coffee Shops and Compromise

    Separated Illicit Drug Markets in the Netherlands
    Jean-Paul Grund & Joost Breeksema
    Global Drug Policy Program (Open Society Foundations)
    July 2013

    Building on a long history and culture of tolerance, the Dutch responded to illicit drugs with decades of pragmatic measures free of judgment. A central element of modern Dutch drug policy was a crucial decision to establish a legal and practical separation of cannabis—judged to pose "acceptable" risks to consumers and society—from hard drugs associated with unacceptable risk. This policy effectively decriminalized possession and use of cannabis and opened the door for tolerated outlets for small-scale cannabis sales that eventually took the form of the well-known Dutch "coffee shops."

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  • Models for the legal supply of cannabis

    Recent developments
    European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    Perspectives on drugs
    May 2013

    Three United Nations Conventions provide the international legal framework on drug control, instructing countries to limit drug supply and use to medical and scientific purposes. Yet, debate continues on the decriminalisation, or even legalisation, of drugs, particularly cannabis. Models under development for the legal supply of cannabis are described in this analysis, as well as some of the questions they raise.

    Part of the ‘Perspectives on drugs’ (PODs) series, launched alongside the annual European Drug Report, these designed-for-the-web interactive analyses aim to provide deeper insights into a selection of important issues.

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  • Pot smokers might not turn into dopes after all

    Revisiting data casts doubts on link between heavy cannabis use and declining IQ
    Nature
    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Cannabis rots your brain — or does it? Last year, a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggested that people who used cannabis heavily as teenagers saw their IQs fall by middle age. But a study published today — also in PNAS — says that factors unrelated to cannabis use are to blame for the effect. Nature explores the competing claims. (See also: New Research Questions Marijuana’s Impact in Lowering IQ)

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