Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Will Germany become the world's largest market for medicinal cannabis?

    For two years, Germany has allowed cannabis cultivation for medical purposes
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Saturday, March 30, 2019

    The use of medicinal cannabis has been allowed in Germany for two years now. But because domestic cultivation hasn't gotten off the ground yet, the plant has been imported, mainly from Canada. That might change soon. While Canadians were at the forefront of exporting the plant, "they have failed to deliver to all regions in Europe, and Germany for that matter," said Frankfurt-based entrepreneur Niklas Kouperanis. Bottlenecks have also been reported by Georg Wurth of the German Hemp Association (DHV). "At the moment, there's next to nothing coming in from Canada as companies there are preoccupied with their home market," he said.

  • Barbados tells of plans to develop cannabis industry

    Administration has not yet taken a decision regarding recreational cannabis
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Barbados has announced plans to establish a medicinal cannabis industry project implementation unit tasked with establishing the administrative framework for the timely implementation of the project. Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who delivered her Administration's 2019-2020 national budget, said the unit will be headed by a director, who will be responsible for championing the programme and ensuring that an expansive educational and sensitisation campaign is implemented. One of the tasks of the unit will be to facilitate the establishment of a Medicinal Cannabis Authority and Board, which will be responsible for regulating the medicinal cannabis industry.

  • Brussels’ weed wave hits new high

    Thanks to a lack of regulation, delivery services and shops selling cannabis-derived products are popping up in the EU capital
    Politico (EU)
    Tuesday, March 26, 2019

    For cannabis entrepreneurs in Brussels, business is blooming. Fom Ly runs the Cannabis Social Club Brussels, distributing flowers and oils around the city whenever the club’s members place orders on his mobile app. He recently switched his delivery guy from a push bike onto an electric bike because the service is so popular. The prospering industry is a new but increasingly visible part of life in Belgium’s capital as businesses and non-profit social clubs exploit a legal gray zone. What they are selling is cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical component found in marijuana. While national regulations are in place to restrict marijuana as an illicit drug or a medicine, EU farming laws allow for the sale of industrial hemp, a variety of cannabis grown to make fabrics or ropes, provided it contains only trace amounts of marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient THC.

  • Should Canberra allow dope-growing clubs to be set up?

    The supply problem could be fixed by amending the wording of the legislation to allow "cannabis social clubs"
    The Canberra Times (Australia)
    Tuesday, March 26, 2019

    Michael PetterssonDope-smoking Canberrans should be able to join clubs where gardeners can cultivate their cannabis crops for them, a Legislative Assembly inquiry has been told. Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson's private member's bill would legalise cannabis possession under 50 grams and allow users to grow up to four plants. The government has foreshadowed amendments to the legislation that would allow only two plants to be grown up to a household limit of four plants, and introduce wet and dry limits for the drug. Mr Pettersson said that allowing people to grow their own supply would stop them coming into contact with drug dealers who "have a commercial imperative to push harder and more addictive substances on their clients". (See also: Drug law reform not so simple)

  • Don't be greedy! Why cannabis companies should support home cultivation

    The New York Medical Cannabis Industry association (NYMCIA) recomended to ban home cultivation for consumers
    Forbes (US)
    Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    One of the great things about the cannabis industry is that it has dramatically sped up the process of ending cannabis prohibition and achieving advocacy goals that many of us have worked on for decades, long before there were profits to be made in producing and selling legal cannabis. The cannabis industry has attracted people with money and political influence that never previously supported reform, and its growth has led to businesses pushing for state-level legalization if for no other reason than it opens new markets for their business. But every now and then, advocacy goals and business interests collide, and it’s in these moments when a company’s moral compass is exposed. (See also: How the cannabis industry defeated legalization in New York)

  • The campaign for a 'drug-free world' is costing lives

    Global policy on drug control is unrealistic, and has taken a harsh toll on millions of the world’s poorest people
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    Drug control efforts across the world are a threat to human dignity and the right to life. The first problem lies with the founding aspiration of the international drug system: to create a “drug-free society”, which countries have sought to achieve through prohibition, enforced by repression. The past four UN high commissioners for human rights have repeatedly asked countries to address the violation of fundamental rights in drug control. On 15 March in Vienna, a coalition of UN agencies, human rights experts and a few progressive governments, led by the United Nations Development Programme and the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy at the University of Essex, launched the international guidelines on human rights and drug policy.

  • High-strength cannabis increases risk of mental health problems

    Study says 30% of first-time psychotic disorders in south London linked to strong drugs
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    Frequent cannabis use and high-strength varieties are likely to increase the chance of mental health problems, according to researchers in the journal Lancet Psychiatry. Experts have previously flagged a link between cannabis use and psychosis. Now research suggests the potency of the cannabis is important, with patterns in cannabis use linked to how often new cases of psychotic disorders arise. The study estimated that 30% of first-time cases of psychotic disorders in south London, and half of those in Amsterdam, could be avoided if high-potency cannabis was not available. The study had limitations because it relied on self-reported use of cannabis and a small numbers of participants. Also, THC and CBD content of the cannabis was not directly measured. (See also: NORML responds to latest cannabis and psychosis claims)

  • CLA tasked with fast tracking cannabis licensing process

    One of the critical priorities would be incorporating traditional growers in the legal cannabis industry
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Saturday, March 16, 2019

    Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green has directed the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to fast track the cannabis licensing approval process. Green met with the heads of the authority on Tuesday to discuss the functioning of the authority, the implementation of the alternative development programme and the cannabis licensing application process. He expressed concerns about the length of time between application and decision, and asked the agency to explore ways to reduce the time, noting that a significant proportion of the delay in the decision making process was as a result of the due diligence requirements. (See also: Accompong targeted for hemp pilot)

  • Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society €200 mil. per year

    The number of illegal cannabis plantations closed down per year has been decreasing for several years
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Friday, March 15, 2019

    Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society around 200 million euros per year, through stolen electricity and missed taxes, according to the sector organization for gas and electricity network operators Netbeheer Nederland. Netbeheer Nederland estimates that there are around 30 thousand illegal cannabis plantations in the Netherlands. Together they steal nearly 1 billion kWh of electricity per year - more than all households in Rotterdam use annually. This costs network operators, and everyone connected to them, around 60 billion euros per year, according to the organization. On top of that, the government is also losing out on 135 million euros in tax revenue each year, Netbeheer Nederland said.

  • Glyphosate alone won’t fix Colombia’s complex coca woes

    Former President Juan Manuel Santos criticized the “high human cost” of forced eradication
    InSight Crime
    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court is debating lifting a judicial ban on the spraying of glyphosate during the aerial fumigation of illicit coca crops, a decision that is unlikely to fix the nation’s coca problems. The court announced that it would accept President Iván Duque’s request for a hearing to debate the lifting of a 2015 ban on the aerial spraying with the herbicide glyphosate. Colombia Attorney General Humberto Martínez and Defense Minister Guillermo Botero supported Duque’s request that the Court permit a return to the use of glyphosate during aerial fumigation, arguing that the current methods being used have been ineffective. (See also: Colombia cocaine production breaks new record levels: UNODC report | Aggressive coca eradication threatens voluntary substitution efforts in Colombia)

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