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  • Cannabis ingredient holds promise as antipsychotic medicine

    The next steps are to carry out larger trials of CBD to confirm these initial promising findings, and to assess the effectiveness of CBD in other types of patient
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, December 15, 2017

    An ingredient in cannabis called cannabidiol or CBD has shown promise in a clinical trial as a potential new treatment for psychosis, scientists said. Scientists conducted a small trial of people with psychosis and found patients treated with CBD had lower levels of psychotic symptoms than those who received a placebo. Psychosis is characterized by paranoia and hallucinations. The study found that they were also more likely to be rated as “improved” by their psychiatrist and there were signs of better cognitive performance and functioning. (See also: An ingredient in cannabis may be useful for treating psychosis – new study)

  • Marc Emery was right; Julian Fantino was wrong

    The activist faces a huge fine and will be locked out of the legal weed business. The former cop is set to cash in
    Maclean's (Canada)
    Friday, December 15, 2017

    It seems absurd that Marc and Jodi Emery, who have spent years fighting the unjust laws against marijuana, in and out of prison, can’t now sell the product, while Conservative MP and former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino, who once compared marijuana to murder, is going to cash in. The Emerys will appear in a Toronto courtroom where they will plead guilty to marijuana charges laid after the police busted marijuana stores they were running in Ontario and British Columbia. They will have to pay large fines. The Emerys will likely eventually find a way to participate in the legal marijuana business – using their high profile to boost the business prospects of a licensed producer after pot is legalized next summer – but the immediate future is uncertain.

  • Norway becomes first Scandinavian country to decriminalise drugs in historic vote

    Norway’s 2017 Country Drug Report shows 266 people died from drug-related deaths
    The Independent (UK)
    Friday, December 15, 2017

    Norway is to become the first Scandinavian country to decriminalise drugs as it focuses on treatment rather than punishment. The majority of the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, backed the historic shift. They directed the national government to reform its policies on drugs. Sveinung Stensland, deputy chairman of the Storting Health Committee, told Norwegian publication VG: "It is important to emphasise that we do not legalise cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalise. The change will take some time, but that means a changed vision: those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment.”

  • World Health Organization: Initial review of CBD doesn’t warrant scheduling

    WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence announced plans to undertake a fuller review of cannabis in 2018
    The Cannabist (US)
    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    whoCBD, for now, should not be subject to international drug scheduling, a World Health Organization committee determined in an initial review of the cannabis compound. WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) released findings and scheduling recommendations for more than a dozen substances reviewed at its annual meeting on November 6-10 in Geneva. As part of those findings, the ECDD announced plans to undertake a fuller review of cannabids in May 2018. The initial official guidance on CBD falls in line with expert recommendations. Plans for a deeper review of CBD in May by ECDD will coincide with a "Special Session on Cannabis" evaluating of the cannabis plant and its components, scheduled for May 2018.

  • Étude sur le cannabis: nouvelle demande

    Berne, Bienne, Lucerne et Zurich ne désarment pas, après le rejet par l’Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP) de leur étude
    Le Matin (Suisse)
    Mardi, 12 decembre 2017

    Les Villes de Berne, Bienne, Lucerne et Zurich examinent le dépôt de nouvelles demandes auprès de l’OFSP, après le rejet jugé «surprenant» de la demande d’autorisation de l’Université de Berne pour mener une recherche. En point de mire: l’ancrage «le plus rapide possible» d’un article relatif aux projets pilotes dans la Loi fédérale sur les stupéfiants. Le débat politique concernant l’usage du cannabis est selon les autorités concernées «important et urgent». Selon elles, des bases de recherche qui concrétisent la discussion politique et la portent scientifiquement sont nécessaires.

  • Following marijuana legalization, teen drug use is down in Colorado

    The new federal data shows that adolescent marijuana use fell nationwide in 2016
    The Washington Post (US)
    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Following legalization, the rate of adolescent marijuana use in Colorado has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to new federal survey data. State-level numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that a little more than 9 percent of Colorado teens age 12 to 17 used marijuana monthly in 2015 and 2016, a statistically significant drop from the prior period. That's the lowest rate of monthly marijuana use in the state since 2007 and 2008. And it's not just marijuana: Rates of teen alcohol, tobacco and heroin use are down sharply in the state, as well.

  • Yes, legalizing marijuana breaks treaties. We can deal with that

    Dave Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma Tom Blickman John Walsh
    Ipolitics (Canada)
    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Buzzing in the background of Canada’s debate on cannabis legalization is the issue of the three UN drug control treaties, and what to do with them. The issue arose during the House of Commons’ consideration of Bill C-45, and may well come up again now that the bill is coming under Senate scrutiny. There is no doubt that legalizing and regulating cannabis markets for non-medical use will mean Canada is no longer in compliance with the obligation under the treaties to restrict cannabis to “medical and scientific” purposes. And Canada will need to address those treaties — in due time.

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  • How Uruguay made legal highs work

    The South American country’s move to full legalisation of cannabis has so far proved a success, especially for its 17,391 users
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Uruguay’s switch to a legal marijuana market has not been without its hitches. Notably the resistance of most pharmacists to act as outlets for the recreational marijuana (medical marijuana remains illegal in Uruguay). Only 12 of the country’s 1,100 pharmacies have signed up so far to supply the 17,391 government-registered consumers served by the system, which explains the long queues outside. The low price and slim profit margin partly explain their reticence. “But the main problem is that banks have threatened to close the accounts of pharmacies selling marijuana,” said one chemist who sells marijuana in Montevideo, but who did not want to reveal his name for fear of such bank intervention.

  • Justice ministry manipulated studies into cannabis policy

    Officials deleted research questions, made notes in the margins of the study and removed an entire chapter with conclusions and recommendations on how government policy could be improved
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Senior justice ministry officials directly interfered with independent research into the ministry’s own cannabis policy, current affairs programme Nieuwsuur said. Researchers altered unwelcome conclusions and reformulated research questions at officials’ request. The aim was to manipulate the findings to ensure they supported existing policy rather than criticised it. Nieuwsuur based its findings on conversations with a whistleblower, who made a complaint in 2014, and on internal ministry documents. The programme looked at research carried out by the ministry’s independent research unit WODC into coffee shops and nuisance caused by drugs tourism and on the legalisation of cannabis cultivation. (See also: Dutch officials influence results of independent research: report)

  • Blowing up: Britain’s cocaine glut

    The drug has become more plentiful — and more potent
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    “It's as easy as buying a drink from an off-licence.” That is how Ellen Romans, a recovering drug addict, describes picking up cocaine near where she lives in London. And today top-notch blow is much cheaper than it was five years ago, when she started using it heavily. David McManus, her treatment worker at Blenheim, a rehabilitation charity, agrees. Pubs and bars are “flooded” with the stuff. Dealers know that their product is no longer scarce. They are more tolerant of hagglers and are resorting to gimmicks, including Black Friday discounts, to boost sales. Though overall use has not increased, supply seems to have soared and dealers are offering a purer product. (See also: Mixed messages: Is cocaine consumption in the U.S. going up or down?)

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