Marijuana Politics

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Mon
09
Mar

Q&A: could Portugal’s drug reforms work in the UK?

The Liberal Democrats have confirmed that their 2015 manifesto will contain radical proposals for drug policy reform. Many of the measures echo the approach taken in Portugal, where a policy of decriminalisation was put into practice in 2001.

Drugs policy expert Susanne MacGregor from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains what reforms like these would mean for the UK.

 

What is Portugal’s drugs policy?

In 2001, Portugal reformed its drug policies to address public concern around problematic drug use, especially intravenous heroin use. A government-appointed expert commission proposed decriminalising possession of any illicit drug for personal use, which is defined as the amount an average user would consume in a ten-day period.

Sun
08
Mar

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  • Sat
    07
    Mar

    Watch: Suspects toss bales of marijuana out window during pursuit

    Juan Aguilar-Zavala and Mario Perez-Paz were arrested following a high-speed chase.(Photo: PCSO)

    It was a chaotic scene on Interstate 8 near Casa Grande, Arizona, Wednesday morning as police chased a white truck from which, authorities said, two occupants started tossing bales of marijuana.

    Much of that evidence was lost, however, as motorists who followed behind the chase stopped to pick up the drugs.

    Jim Knupp, a Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said a deputy was monitoring traffic along the highway near Trekell Road when he spotted a 2006 White Trailblazer traveling at high rate of speed.

    Sat
    07
    Mar

    BC Neighbours worried about new industrial marijuana grow-op

    Whonnock residents fear their bucolic way of life will be ruined if plans for a large medical marijuana greenhouse are approved by Health Canada.

    The conflict began about a year ago after a company purchased 15 acres of farmland in an area surrounded by smaller acreages. The property, which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, was traditionally used for intensive agriculture, according to its new owner, Dan Sutton, managing director of Tantalus Labs. The company plans to continue that tradition, building a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse to grow marijuana.

    But neighbours say the new crop is unlike any other farm use.

    “We’re not against this industry, the problem is the location,” said Sylvie Jensen. “Industrial grow-ops don’t belong in a place like this.”

    Sat
    07
    Mar

    Dutch Embassy Fires Back At Washington On Amsterdam Pot Rules

    The Dutch embassy in Washington DC went to extreme, witty lengths last month to put straight a misconception it says city hall there has created about marijuana use in Amsterdam.

    [The Dutch embassy's infographic with an Amsterdam Washington comparison]

    The Dutch embassy’s infographic with an Amsterdam Washington comparison

    The embassy issued a news release that links to an infographic that lays out a comparison between the two cities. The infographic is best described as cynical and sarcastic.

    Fri
    06
    Mar

    Will Marijuana Become Legal In The US? Colorado's Jared Polis Leads Charge Toward Federal ...

    In his seven years on Capitol Hill, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has become known in some circles as a founding father of Congress’ burgeoning marijuana movement. The young (39), wealthy and openly gay congressman from Boulder, who’s been dubbed “Mr. Cannabis” by some in the pot industry, is the man behind a bill that would essentially decriminalize the drug nationwide, making him among a handful of legislators on the front lines of the push for federal marijuana reform.

    Fri
    06
    Mar

    Penn State Law Student Charged with Selling Marijuana

    A Penn State law student and Youtube Pokemon master was arrested and charged with eight felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver following multiple controlled marijuana buys facilitated by the State College Police Department, resulting in the student’s ban from the Lewis Katz Law Building.

    Fri
    06
    Mar

    Why Hemp Is A Cash Crop Just Waiting To Happen. Again.

    Hemp is a plant that has been cultivated in parts of the world for 10-12,000 years – possibly longer – and is estimated to have between 25,000 to 50,000 uses, with 5,000 uses in the textiles industry alone. Hemp has had a bad rap in the United States, supposedly thanks to the protectionist policies of a powerful few people in government and industry who had investments in key industries including pulp and paper. Hemp was lumped together marijuana usage, and used to pass the Marijuana Tax Act, partially by misinforming Congress and leveraging racial politics of the 1930s.

    Thu
    05
    Mar

    Canada - Tories considering changing pot laws to make possession a ticketable offence in lieu of criminal charges

    With just 12 weeks left before Parliament shuts down for an election, the federal Conservative government is still considering introducing a bill to let police issue tickets to people caught with small amounts of marijuana, instead of laying criminal charges.

    The potential legislative change is in the hands of Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who has spoken strongly about the dangers of marijuana use, particularly by young people.

    The government has not made a final decision on the proposed change. As well, it isn’t clear – with time running short – if it would introduce a bill in the current Parliament, which ends in June, or make it a campaign promise in the fall election.

    Thu
    05
    Mar

    The economic case for legalizing cannabis in the UK

    Channel 4’s Drugs Live programme, broadcast last night, promised to examine what cannabis does to the brain. Many of us had already seen the clips of Jon Snow struggling after a massive dose of high strength marijuana (the equivalent of forcing a teetotaller to down a bottle of vodka and then asking him how he feels).

    But beyond the effects of cannabis on the brain, isn’t it time for a wider discussion on the potential effects of safe, regulated cannabis consumption on society?

    How much is cannabis worth these days? According to the Institute for Economic and Research, up to ÂŁ900m could be raised annually through taxation of regulated cannabis market.

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