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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  • Characteristics of the cannabis market in Belgium

    Tom Decorte
    Published in: Drugs in Society: European Perspectives
    Radcliffe Publishing: 2007

    The number of cannabis plantations uncovered by the Belgian judiciary has been rising steadily, and the relocation of cannabis production to the Low Countries (i.e. Belgium and the Netherlands) has often been associated with a growing professionalisation of its cultivation and the involvement of organised crime, and with a more noxious and hazardous product compared with cannabis imported from elsewhere (due to a higher concentration of the most psychoactive chemical in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, and thus a stronger potency, and to the presence of remnants of pesticides and other toxic chemicals).

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  • Danish cannabis policy in practice

    The closing of 'Pusher Street' and the cannabis market in Copenhagen
    Vibeke Asmussen
    Published in: Drugs in Society: European Perspectives
    Radcliffe Publishing: 2007

    Danish drug policy has been reversed from liberal to more repressive, especially in 2003, when the Danish liberal-conservative government that had been in office since 2001 launched their official policy on drugs, The Fight Against Drugs: action plan against drug misuse. This action plan emphasised a more repressive drug policy in which priority was given to law enforcement, although an expansion of treatment facilities and prevention initiatives was also planned. The overall aim was to tighten the laws on drug dealing and drug use and to increase the penalties for these offences. The plan explicitly stated that the policy was to take a zero tolerance approach towards any kind of drug dealing.

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  • A cannabis pandemic?

    UNODC World Drug Report 2006 full of scientific insults
    TNI Press Release
    June 26, 2006

    In its 2006 World Drug Report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) struggles to construct success stories to convince the world that the global drug control regime has been an effective instrument. UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa claims that the world is experiencing a devastating “cannabis pandemic”. His strong language is at odds with other sections of the report, TNI commented in a press release.

  • "Achterdeur open U"

    Meer ruimte voor ons cannabisbeleid
    Martin Jelsma
    Hoorzitting inzake drugs
    Tweede Kamer, 9 februari 2006

    Het Nederlandse cannabisbeleid verkeert al decennia in een internationaalrechtelijke schemerzone, stelt Martin Jelsma van het Transnational Institute (TNI). Nederland gedoogt de verkoop van kleine hoeveelheden softdrugs in coffeeshops (de zogenaamde voordeur), maar de aanvoer ervan (de achterdeur) is tot dusver verboden. In de loop der jaren is hierdoor een omvangrijke illegale sector ontstaan in Nederland die de coffeeshops bevoorraadt met nederwiet. Een kamermeerderheid wil nu het gedoogbeleid uitbreiden door een experiment met een gereguleerde aanvoer van wiet aan de achterdeur van coffeeshops, maar het kabinet is tegen.

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  • A tale of two cannabinoids

    The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol
    Ethan Russo & Geoffrey W. Guy
    Medical Hypotheses (2006) 66, 234–246
    January 2006

    This study examines the current knowledge of physiological and clinical effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and presents a rationale for their combination in pharmaceutical preparations. Cannabinoid and vanilloid receptor effects as well as non-receptor mechanisms are explored, such as the capability of THC and CBD to act as anti-inflammatory substances independent of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) inhibition. CBD is demonstrated to antagonise some undesirable effects of THC including intoxication, sedation and tachycardia, while contributing analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-carcinogenic properties in its own right.

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  • What Does It Mean to Decriminalize Marijuana?

    A Cross-National Empirical Examination
    Pacula et.al.
    Center for the Study of Law and Society Faculty Working Papers
    Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, UC Berkeley
    September 2004

    This paper provides a framework for understanding what decriminalization means within the broader context of depenalization. To illustrate these concepts, it provides a detailed discussion of a range of depenalization policies observed in developed countries, highlighting for each country a distinct issue that influences how the policy is implemented and its potential impact.

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  • Pot, politics and the press—reflections on cannabis law reform in Western Australia

    Simon Lenton
    Drug and Alcohol Review 23 (2): 223-233
    June 2004

    Windows of opportunity for changing drug laws open infrequently and they often close without legislative change being affected. In this paper the author, who has been intimately involved in the process, describes how evidence-based recommendations to ‘decriminalize’ cannabis have recently been progressed through public debate and the political process to become law in Western Australia (WA). This paper describes some of the background to the scheme, the process by which it has become law, the main provisions of the scheme and its evaluation. It includes reflections on the role of politics and the press in the process.

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  • The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy

    Cannabis in Amsterdam and in San Francisco
    Craig Reinarman, Peter Cohen, and Hendrien L. Kaal
    American Journal of Public Health, Vol 94, No. 5
    May 2004

    Decriminalizing cannabis doesn't lead to more widespread use, according to a study comparing cannabis users in two similar cities with opposing cannabis policies — Amsterdam, the Netherlands (decriminalization), and San Francisco, California (criminalization). The study compared age at onset, regular and maximum use, frequency and quantity of use over time, intensity and duration of intoxication, career use patterns, and other drug use. No evidence was found to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use.

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  • Cannabis Policy, Implementation and Outcomes

    Mirjam van het Loo, Stijn Hoorens, Christian van ‘t Hof & James P. Kahan
    RAND Europe
    2003

    This report examines what is known about the effects of policies regarding the possession and use of cannabis. Such policies continue to be subject to debate in most if not all European countries. Different governments have made different policy decisions, varying from explicit toleration (but not full legalisation) to strict prohibition. Policymaking would be served by insight in the relationship between different cannabis policies and their outcomes, such as prevalence of cannabis use and social consequences for cannabis users and for society as a whole.

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  • Cannabis control

    The model of the WHO tobacco control treaty
    Eddy L. Engelsman
    International Journal of Drug Policy (Volume 14, Issue 2)
    Special Issue on the UNGASS Mid-term Review
    April 2003

    Cannabis like other illicit drugs is so-called ‘controlled drug’. A closer look makes clear that these drugs are in fact far from being ‘controlled’. The cultivation, trade, transport, wholesale distribution, sale, and above all the unsafe composition, potency and quality of the products are not controlled at all. Neither is the use. All this is a threat to public health. Fortunately, there is an alternative at hand.

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