Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Big cannabis in the UK

    Is industry support for wider patient access motivated by promises of recreational market worth billions?
    BMJ (UK)
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    cannabis genomeThe BMJ has uncovered links between companies, campaign groups and individuals lobbying for wider patient access to cannabis for medical use and a parallel campaign to create a lucrative recreational market for the drug in the UK. The article focuses on the links between commercial organisations that are seeking new markets for recreational cannabis and patient groups and researchers. Some suggest that the debate is being fuelled by a growing breed of new companies, ranging from large scale cannabis growers and distributors in Canada to UK and international investment groups, which are manoeuvring to take advantage of a widely anticipated shift in the UK’s cannabis regulatory landscape.

  • 'The legal stuff is garbage': why Canada's cannabis black market keeps thriving

    North America’s biggest companies have seen their market values lose billions, prompting comparisons to dotcom bust
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    cannabis dispensary smellingCannabis may be legal in Vancouver but visitors looking to score are likely to run into a seemingly counterintuitive suggestion: try the black market. Recreational marijuana was legalised across Canada in October 2018. And yet on Reddit, the specialist forum website used by millions every day, many of Vancouver’s cannabis connoisseurs still swear by their underground supply. This is one of the major issues facing North America’s marijuana companies, which experts say are in the midst of a dotcom-style market crash. Little over a year ago companies that cultivate and sell cannabis were seen by investors as one of the hottest tickets in town. Now billions of dollars have been wiped off the market values of the industry’s largest companies.

  • Single joint linked with temporary psychiatric symptoms, review finds

    In the review of available evidence, the authors systematically examined 15 studies that took place in clinical settings
    CNN Health (US)
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    cannabinoidsAround the world tens of millions of people use cannabis. It's legal for recreational use in 11 US states and Canada. In these and some other places, it's also approved to treat some medical conditions. But a new analysis highlights that the debate over marijuana's health risks and benefits is complicated and depends on the active compounds involved. A review of existing research published in Lancet Psychiatry found that a single dose of the main psychoactive ingredient (THC) in cannabis -- equal to one joint -- in otherwise healthy people, can temporarily induce psychiatric symptoms, including those associated with schizophrenia.

  • Safe injection sites: Coronavirus underlines why they make sense

    The most crucial feature of these programs during the coronavirus pandemic is that these programs offer testing
    New York Daily News (US)
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    dcr vancouverAs cases of COVID-19 infections and fatalities begin to surge, an aggressive testing campaign is finally getting underway across the nation. Americans are urged to practice “social distancing,” and self-quarantining. Unfortunately, these essential public health strategies are not reaching the population of people addicted to injectable drugs, threatening everyone’s health. Needle exchange programs and safe injection sites bring these desperately-needed interventions to that community. Perhaps most importantly, they can ensure that these users are tested for COVID-19. Many people who inject drugs are immunocompromised, malnourished, and live on the streets. They are therefore more vulnerable to a severe and fatal infection. (See also: How harm reduction is responding to the pandemic)

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