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  • Government won't 'stand in the way' of drug testing at festivals, says Home Office

    'Clarity from the Government is a win, but we can go even further. Let’s make it a requirement that festivals and, if possible, nightclubs, have to ensure there is drug safety testing available'
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, July 9, 2018

    The Home Office “would not stand in the way” of drug testing at clubs and festivals, it said. It follows calls from experts and campaigners for music events to provide the service after two people died and 13 others were hospitalised at Hampshire's Mutiny festival. Eleven people have died at festivals in the last two years even though drug use is not increasing, suggesting that illegal substances now have higher levels of toxicity. Currently, drug testing facilities are offered at an extremely limited number of nightclubs and festivals by The Loop, a charity and the sole provider of such services. Policing minister Nick Hurd said the Home Office was not standing in the way of what he called "local operating decisions".

  • CARICOM report says legalize marijuana use

    Legal policy toward marijuana should be informed, not by punitive approaches, but by public health rationales, within a human rights, social justice and developmental perspective
    The Nassau Guardian (Bermuda)
    Monday, July 9, 2018

    The CARICOM Regional Commission on Marijuana has recommended the declassification of marijuana as a dangerous drug in all legislation and the reclassification of the drug as a controlled substance in its report presented at the CARICOM heads of government meeting. The commission presented its findings and recommendations into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean. “The commission believes that the end goal for CARICOM should be the dismantling of prohibition in its totality, to be replaced by a strictly regulated framework akin to that for alcohol and tobacco, which are harmful substances that are not criminalized,” the report said.

  • Toronto’s chief medical officer calls for decriminalization of all drugs for personal use

    The report comes as cities across Canada rush to implement harm-reduction strategies to curb the spiking death toll from the opioid crisis
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, July 9, 2018

    Toronto’s chief medical officer is calling for the decriminalization – and potential legalization – of all drugs for personal use as a way to curb rising opioid-related deaths and overdoses. In a report released on Monday, Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa recommended the federal government scale up harm-prevention strategies, including the removal of legal penalties for small amounts of drugs, and convene a task force to look at the possibility of regulating all drugs, such as alcohol. Dr. de Villa made those recommendations to the Toronto Board of Health, asking it to put pressure on the provincial and federal governments.

  • A plan to jump start Lebanon's economy: Export cannabis to the world

    'The quality we have is one of the best in the world,' said Lebanon's trade minister, adding cannabis could become a one-billion-dollar industry
    Haaretz (Israel)
    Sunday, July 8, 2018

    Global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. presented a document detailing its proposal to jump start Lebanon's economy to President Michel Aoun this week, Bloomberg reported. The report highlighted some "quick wins" Lebanon can implement to get back on track - including legalizing cannibas production for exporting globally. Caretaker Economy and Trade Minister Raed Khoury added Lebanon could legalize cultivation and export the drug for medicinal treatments: “The quality we have is one of the best in the world,” he said, adding cannabis could become a one-billion-dollar industry. In the report, Bloomberg notes, "cannabis is cultivated clandestinely in the eastern Bekaa Valley, which is dominated by Hezbollah."

  • Caricom Commission: Marijuana laws too draconian

    Current laws are inequitable and discriminatory
    The Guardian (T&T)
    Sunday, July 8, 2018

    Rose Marie Belle AntoineThe Caricom Regional Commission on Marijuana has labelled existing regional marijuana laws as draconian and one which carries with it inappropriate criminal penalties. Indicating its unanimous position for law reform across the region, Commission Chair Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine said “the penalties were premised on the notion that marijuana or cannabis has no value." Although there was a suggestion to remove prohibition generally, she said the Commission was clear when it came to children and young persons. Unable to say how soon the recommendations may be rolled out across the region, Belle Antoine said the Caricom responses appeared to be in favour of law reform. (See also: CARICOM heads agree to examine marijuana classification)

  • Partnership critical for ganja industry success - SRC head

    Farmers should also recognise the value of research and development in helping them to realise the economic potential of medical marijuana
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) Dr Cliff Riley has underscored the importance of working partnerships that acknowledge and incorporate the expertise of small players as critical to the success of Jamaica's fledgling medical marijuana industry. He warned scientists, in particular, against alienating farmers. "I am asking our researchers, please, for God's sake, do not go to communities take the farmers' ganja and carry back to our lab and study. Incorporate the farmers within your research teams," he said. (See also: $260m ganja study - Jamaica eyeing investment in medicinal marijuana market | Jamaica advised to standardise ganja)

  • Incoming Mexican president to seek negotiated peace in drug war

    Lopez Obrador wants to rewrite the rules of the drug war
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s transition team unveiled a plan to shake up the fight against crime, including reduced jail time but stiffer controls on weapons, as the country reels from a militarized drug war. The concept of “transitional justice” is part of the incoming government’s integral security strategy, Olga Sanchez, Lopez Obrador’s proposed interior minister, told Reuters in an interview before her team unveiled the plan. Sanchez had said the new administration, which takes office on Dec. 1, would move fast to reconsider drug policies and use of the military that, despite toppling some high-profile kingpins, failed to prevent more than 200,000 murders since first adopted in 2006.

  • Smoke rings: more councils volunteer for cannabis growing trial

    Many believe legalisation and control of the growing industry would reduce criminality
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Municipalities in the Netherlands have signed up to a mooted four-year trial in legally growing cannabis for the first time. The new coalition agreement said that the policy would be tested in six to 10 areas, and more have now joined up. It is intended to see whether controlled weed growing leads to a decline in criminality around cannabis cultivation, and whether the crop could be monitored to have fewer harmful substances. A commission report in June advised that it would be beneficial to sign up more areas. The Netherlands currently has 573 coffeeshops in 103 districts but although they can sell the substance, it is illegal for them to buy or grow it. Many areas believe legalisation and control of the growing industry would reduce criminality.

  • Canada’s cannabis firms plot world domination

    Being in the first big country to legalise pot means first-mover advantage
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, July 5, 2018

    It is rare to see the words “Canada” and “world domination” in the same sentence. The country’s cannabis producers want to change that. With an eye on October 17th, the date on which recreational marijuana will become legal, medical-cannabis firms have been expanding at home and talking up their global ambitions in a most un-Canadian way. Lots of joint ventures—in the legal sense—are being signed abroad. The hope is that having a base in the first large country to make pot legal for adults (Uruguay legalised cannabis in 2017) will give them an unbeatable lead. (See also: Medical cannabis producer Canopy Growth's plan to enter the new recreational marijuana market)

  • High hopes: Who will benefit from NZ's legal cannabis industry?

    Māori are disproportionately targeted by drug policing. With NZ poised to legalise medicinal cannabis, will they continue to lose out?
    Vice (New Zealand)
    Thursday, July 5, 2018

    In New Zealand, it’s Māori communities who have been hit by racial bias in drug policing. Even when accounting for rates of use, at every stage of the criminal justice system, Māori are more likely to be apprehended, charged, and given a prison sentence than their Pākeha pot-smoking counterparts. In this 2007 report, for example, Corrections notes that on the basis of equivalent usage of cannabis, Māori experienced arrest at three times the rate of non-Māori users. Now, New Zealand is poised to legalise. But who stands to benefit from a medicinal cannabis industry?

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