Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Auxly Cannabis stock soars as British tobacco giant Imperial takes 20% stake

    Imperial is the second major tobacco company to make an investment in the Canadian cannabis space
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Thursday, July 25, 2019

    cannabis investingBritish tobacco company Imperial Brands is getting into the cannabis business with a $123 million investment in Auxly Cannabis, the Canadian company run by former Tweed founder Chuck Rifici. The British firm — which has no ties to Imperial Tobacco Canada — will take a 19.9 per cent ownership in Auxly through a convertible debenture, at a conversion price of $0.81 per share, which is a 11 per cent premium to Auxly’s closing share price as of July 24, 2019. Auxly’s stock soared 20 per cent in early trading today to $0.88 a share. Imperial will also get one out of five board seats at the cannabis company, which will give it some oversight of corporate governance at the company. Auxly, for its part, will obtain the rights to Imperial’s vaping technology.

  • Berlin will kontrollierte Cannabis-Abgabe an Erwachsene

    Vorgesehen sei eine niedrige vierstellige Teilnehmerzahl
    Berliner Morgenpost (Germany)
    Donnerstag, 25. Juli 2019

    cannabis germany2Die rot-rot-grüne Koalition will ein Modellprojekt zur kontrollierten Abgabe von Cannabis auf den Weg bringen. Ein entsprechender Antrag solle im September an das zuständige Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) gehen, sagte Catherina Pieroth, Sprecherin für Gesundheits- und Drogenpolitik der Grünen-Fraktion im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus. Das Projekt solle zwei Jahre laufen und wissenschaftlich begleitet werden. Damit werde eine Vereinbarung aus dem Koalitionsvertrag umgesetzt, heißt es weiter. Geplant ist, dass eine noch nicht näher benannte Zahl von Teilnehmern legal Cannabisprodukte erwerben kann. Sie müssen sich im Vorfeld melden, Angaben über ihren Konsum und ihr Konsumverhalten machen. Zwei bis drei Abgabestellen solle es geben.

  • Luxembourg legal pot plan violates UN rules

    Like Canada, Luxembourg would be in trouble over current plans
    Luxembourg Times (Luxembourg)
    Wednesday, July 24, 2019

    luxembourg cannabis flagLuxembourg met a possible hurdle in legalising cannabis as a parliamentary question brought to light that the current plans are in violation of international drug control treaties. The Grand Duchy is a signatory of three United Nations treaties, which together form a global drug control framework, and which lay down that cannabis may only be used for medical or research purposes. Canada has run into trouble with the International Narcotics Control Board - the guardian of the treaties - over its legalisation of recreational cannabis, and Luxembourg faces a similarly damning verdict. The government is now discussing the issue with UN authorities and with Canada, the country whose model to legalise cannabis it wants to follow, health minister Etienne Schneider in answer to a parliamentary question.

  • U.S. bankers are answering the call of cannabis as deals flow away from Canada

    Small investment banks run by Wall Street veterans are looking to snap up a piece of the action amid a surge in marijuana deals
    Financial Post (Canada)
    Tuesday, July 23, 2019

    After years of Canada dominating the world of marijuana finance, the country’s head start is evaporating and U.S. bankers are increasingly answering the call of cannabis companies. For investment bankers willing to work in weed, the opportunity is large: With legalization spreading across the U.S., the marijuana industry is undergoing a wave of consolidation as large companies race to build a national presence. The rise of cannabis banking comes as investors turn their attention to the U.S. less than a year after Canada legalized marijuana. That has given America’s northern neighbour a head start, and a slew of reverse mergers and public offerings there has helped create the legal market in North America. But the tide is starting to turn as Canadian companies struggle to make a profit.

  • When harm reduction expansion stifles activism: A lesson from Europe

    Without activism, highly damaging structures—the remaining bad drug policies and inequalities—are left unchallenged
    Filter (US)
    Tuesday, July 23, 2019

    Western European harm reduction presents an interesting paradox. On the one hand, the widespread availability of effective harm reduction programs is laudable. Drug-related disease rates are low. Overdose rates are low. A variety of treatment options, from abstinence to methadone to prescription heroin, are available in many areas at no cost. Integrated care models⁠—ones that recognize the complex stew of social, economic, psychological and familial circumstances that contribute to problematic drug use⁠—are common. Gone are the days of begging for funding scraps to support a meager staff. But these far-reaching successes have come at a price. (See also: Where have all the activists gone?)

  • Cannabis among top priorities for new Thai government

    Thailand, which had a tradition of using cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue, legalised marijuana for medical use and research last year
    Reuters (UK)
    Monday, July 22, 2019

    Developing a medical cannabis industry is among top policy priorities for Thailand's new government, according to a document released before the formal announcement. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former junta leader who heads a civilian government following March elections, is due to set out the policies for debate in the national assembly. Developing the medical cannabis industry was a key demand of the Bhumjaithai party, one of the biggest parties in Prayuth's 19-party coalition. "The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp, and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people," the policy document said.

  • Breaking Brabant: Drug labs blight a Dutch landscape

    The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest producers of ecstasy and amphetamines
    Politico (EU)
    Monday, July 22, 2019

    North Brabant is Europe's biggest producer of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy and amphetamine. In 2017, 21 active ecstasy laboratories were dismantled in the EU, up from 11 in 2016 — and all of them were in the Netherlands, according to a report released by the EU drugs agency in June. Local government experts estimate the annual volume of waste from illicit drug production is about 255,000 kg per year. Most of it is dumped in the countryside, resulting in 109 reported findings in 2018, up from 83 in 2017. "It's a very complex issue, but we must seek to regulate this type of drugs on an EU-level in a different way," says Maarten Groothuizen, MP and justice spokesman for the D66 party, hinting at the Dutch gedoogbeleid (“tolerance policy”) that's already in place for the sale of cannabis in coffee shops.

  • Govt. has ignored benefits of cannabis, claims plea in HC

    Petition challenges NDPS Act that criminalises cultivation and use of the drug
    The Hindu (India)
    Friday, July 19, 2019

    india ganja legalizationThere is not a single document which shows that cannabis is lethal to human, a social cause litigation has claimed before the Delhi High Court in its pursuit to bring an end to various existing laws in India that prohibit and criminalise its use. Bangalore-based cannabis advocacy group Great Legalisation Movement India, in its petition, has challenged various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Rules that criminalise the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis. A Bench of Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice Jyoti Singh asked for more details on the plea, including on the aspect of regulation while raising concerns over rising drug abuse cases. The Bench has posted the hearing on the petition in late August. (See also: Delhi HC to examine plea to legalise cannabis use)

  • The profile of festival drug takers might be different to what you expect

    Common assumptions about Australian festival goers and the risks they take may be wrong
    The Conversation (UK)
    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    A NSW Coronial Inquest investigating a series of drug-related deaths at Australian music festivals has heard evidence of festival goers taking multiple concurrent doses of MDMA to avoid police detection and not receiving adequate medical attention. But a lack of knowledge about the drug use patterns and demographic profile of festival goers has stymied capacity to develop evidence-informed policy responses. Two data reports may help to inform the inquest and shed light on these patterns. Both reports are based on data from more than 5,000 Australian festival goers who completed the Global Drug Survey from late 2018. (See also: 'Please someone': inquest hears of tragic teen's cries for help)

  • No punishment for minors with small amounts of cannabis

    The Federal Court cleared up any lingering confusion around differences in treatment between adults and minors
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    switzerland cannabis2Possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis is not a punishable offence in Switzerland, regardless of whether you are a minor or an adult, the Federal Court has confirmed. In publishing its precedent decision, the Federal Court in Lausanne cleared up any lingering confusion around differences in treatment between adults and minors – no distinction should be made, judges ruled. The court said that while the protection of minors was a key component of the narcotics law, imposing heftier fines on youths was not the solution. Rather, judges said, prevention, therapy, and larger punishments for dealers was a better strategy.

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