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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  • 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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  • Cannabis Use in Canada

    The Need for a ‘Public Health’ Approach
    Benedikt Fischer, Jürgen Rehm & Wayne Hall
    Canadian Journal of Public Health
    March/April 2009

    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Canada, used by 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 students. Other forms of drug use (e.g., alcohol or injection drug use) are increasingly approached within a public health policy framework that focuses on reducing harms rather than use per se. Cannabis, by contrast, remains formally controlled by a criminal justice approach that focuses on enforcing abstinence. Its use is associated with a variety of possible acute or chronic health problems that include cognitive and respiratory impairment, psychotic episodes, dependence and injury risk.

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  • The consequences and costs of marijuana prohibition

    Katherine Beckett & Steve Herbert
    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) | University of Washington (Seattle)
    March 2009

    This report draws on a wide range of data sources to assess the consequences and costs of enforcing criminal laws that prohibit the use of marijuana. Despite widespread and longstanding disagreement about the continuation of marijuana prohibition, the number and rate of marijuana arrests have increased significantly in the United States since the early 1990s. These arrests are not evenly distributed across the population, but are disproportionately imposed on African Americans. Our findings regarding the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition, as well as state and local efforts to relax it, are summarized below.

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  • Police crackdown on Christiania in Copenhagen

    Kim Kristian Moeller
    Crime, Law and Social Change, 52(4): 2009, 337-345
    January 14, 2009

    A recent change in Danish cannabis control policy has had significant implications for the structure of the retail-level cannabis market in Copenhagen. A process of restructuring following an crackdown on ‘Pusher Street’ has involved at least four people getting shot and killed in what police describe as struggles for market shares. Combating the retail cannabis market was a top three priority for the Copenhagen police.

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  • Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate

    Robin Room, Peter Reuter, Wayne Hall, Benedikt Fischer, Simon Lenton & Amanda Fielding
    Beckley Foundation’s Global Cannabis Commission
    September 2008

    Despite cannabis being the most widely used illegal drug, and therefore the mainstay of the ‘war on drugs’, it has only ever held a relatively marginal position in international drug policy discussions. Amanda Fielding of the Beckley Foundation decided to convene a team of the world’s leading drug policy analysts to prepare an overview of the latest scientific evidence surrounding cannabis and the policies that control its use. The report of the Beckley Foundation's Global Cannabis Commission is aimed at bringing cannabis to the attention of policymakers and guide decision making.

    application-pdfCannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate

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    Extended Summary

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