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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  • An economic perspective on the legalisation debate: the Dutch case

    Martijn Adriaan Boermans
    Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 2, No. 4
    Ocober 26, 2010

    Understanding the consequences of drug legalisation versus prohibition is important for policy. Most recently this subject has gained much political attention not only globally, but specifically in the Netherlands. This study will provide a contribution to the legalisation debate based on a microeconomic analysis of the effects of illegal markets. The research question is how to design a coherent soft drugs policy framework that maximizes social welfare within the Netherlands that precludes most historical, sociological and political debates. In particular, attention is restricted to ‘soft drugs’ better known as cannabis derived products like hashish and marijuana.

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  • US Federal Government Data on Cannabis Prohibition

    Tools for Debate
    International Centre for Science in Drug Policy
    October 2010

    The report reviews 20 years of data from US government funded surveillance systems on government drug control spending, cannabis seizures and cannabis arrests, in order to assess the impact of enforced cannabis prohibition on cannabis potency, price and availability. The report’s findings highlight the clear failure of cannabis prohibition efforts by showing that as the United States has dramatically scaled up drug law enforcement, cannabis potency has nevertheless increased, prices have dropped, and cannabis remains widely available.

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  • Cannabis in Mexico

    An Open Debate
    Jorge Hernández Tinajero & Leopoldo Rivera Rivera
    IDPC Briefing Paper
    August 2010

    In August 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared that he would support a national debate on the issue of legalisation, reversing his previous stance on the subject. However, he underscored that he did not favour legalisation, particularly since the US and the international community maintained their prohibitionist approach. This IDPC Briefing Paper offers background information on the cannabis political debate in Mexico.

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  • How ideology shapes the evidence and the policy

    What do we know about cannabis use and what should we do?
    John Macleod & Matthew Hickman
    Addiction
    Volume 105, Issue 8, pp. 1326–1330
    August 2010

    In the United Kingdom, as in many places, cannabis use is considered substantially within a criminal justice rather than a public health paradigm with prevention policy embodied in the Misuse of Drugs Act. In 2002 the maximum custodial sentence tariff for cannabis possession under the Act was reduced from 5 to 2 years. Vigorous and vociferous public debate followed this decision, centred principally on the question of whether cannabis use caused schizophrenia.

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  • The case for small-scale domestic cannabis cultivation

    Tom Decorte
    International Journal of Drug Policy 21 (2010) 271–275
    July 2010

    The shift to (inter)regional production, trade and domestic cultivation has become an irreversible international trend. Until now, the focus of most empirical work has been on large-scale, commercially oriented and professionally organized segments of the cannabis industry, often based on police data and on the perspective of law enforcement agencies. This paper offers a review of recent Dutch-language research that focuses on cannabis cultivation.

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  • Marijuana Legalization

    What Can Be Learned from Other Countries?
    Peter Reuter
    RAND Working Paper
    July 2010

    A number of other countries have implemented changes in law that significantly reduce the extent of criminalization of marijuana use. Only in Australia and the Netherlands have there been any changes on the criminalization of the supply side and in neither of those countries is it legal to both produce and sell the drug. The relaxations so far, with the exception of the Netherlands, have not been very great i.e. have not much changed the legal risks faced by a user of marijuana. Thus it is perhaps not surprising that the changes in prevalence of use have not been substantial. This paper provides a brief review of the changes that have been tried outside the US. The emphasis is on the nature of the changes and how they have been implemented rather than on outcomes.

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  • Cannabis policy: Time to move beyond the psychosis debate

    Editorial
    International Journal of Drug Policy 21 (2010) 261–264
    March 11, 2010

    Researchers, research funders and policymakers should give greater voice to the risks and harms associated with particular cannabis policies and to the evaluation of alternative regulatory frameworks. Given the decades of research and experience with cannabis prohibition, it seems reasonable to reorient the cannabis policy debate based on known policy-attributable harms rather than to continue to speculate on questions of causality between cannabis use and mental illnesses such as psychosis, depression, and related disorders, that will not be definitively answered any time soon

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  • Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use

    Wayne Hall & Louisa Degenhardt
    The Lancet (Vol 374)
    October 17, 2009

    For over two decades, cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, has been the most widely used illicit drug by young people in high-income countries, and has recently become popular on a global scale. Epidemiological research during the past 10 years suggests that regular use of cannabis during adolescence and into adulthood can have adverse effects. Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies have established an association between cannabis use and adverse outcomes.

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  • Assessing the impact of cannabis use on trends in diagnosed schizophrenia in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2005

    Martin Frisher, Ilana Crome, Orsolina Martino, Peter Croft
    Schizophrenia Research
    June 2009

    A recent systematic review concluded that cannabis use increases risk of psychotic outcomes independently of confounding and transient intoxication effects. Furthermore, a model of the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia indicated that the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia would increase from 1990 onwards.

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  • Evaluation of Dutch Drug Policy

    English summary
    Margriet Van Laar (Trimbos-instituut) & Marianne van Ooyen-Houben (WODC) eds.
    Trimbos-instituut (Utrecht) / WODC (The Hague)
    June 2009

    The main purpose of this evaluation was to determine to what extent the principal goal of Dutch drug policy has been achieved, as stated in the 1995 Policy Document on Drugs (Drugsnota). This asserts the primacy of protecting public health, and thus gives priority to drugs prevention and to the management of the individual and social risks that arise from drug use.

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