Europe

Thu
04
Jun

HSBC pays out £28m over money-laundering claims

Geneva prosecutor agrees to close investigation into HSBC in return for the financial settlement

HSBC has been ordered to pay a record 40m Swiss francs (£28m) and been given a final warning by the Geneva authorities for “organisational deficiencies” which allowed money laundering to take place in the bank’s Swiss subsidiary.

The settlement means the Swiss will not prosecute HSBC or publish the findings of their investigation into alleged aggravated money laundering. But Geneva’s chief prosecutor, Olivier Jornot, cautioned that the bank was on notice, saying: “This is an excuse which will only apply once.”

Thu
04
Jun

European Drug Report: 100 new psychoactive substances detected in 2014

The production of psychoactive substances is on the rise is Europe with cannabis still being the most used drug in the European Union, the bloc's drug agency said in its yearly report published on Thursday (4 June).

The annual report published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) showed that over a hundred new psychoactive substances were detected in Europe in 2014 and risk assessments were conducted on six new drugs, marking record highs.

Thu
04
Jun

UK: As cannabis use rises in much of Europe, Britons lose interest

IN 2000 a report published by Europe’s drug agency (EMCDDA) found that Britain had an unusually large number of young cannabis users: they “topped the EU league”, as one British paper spun it. This year’s report, published on June 4th, showed that in the past 15 years the tables have turned. While the number of 15- to 34-year-olds using pot has risen or held steady in most countries, in England and Wales it has almost halved (see chart). Why?

Thu
04
Jun

Marijuana remains European Union's most used drug, report says

LISBON, Portugal -- Marijuana continues to be the European Union's most commonly used drug, with almost 79 million EU citizens estimated to have tried it at some point in their lives, the bloc's drug agency said in a report published Thursday.

That is almost a quarter of the EU's adult population and compares with some 15.6 million who have tried cocaine, the second most popular drug, the Lisbon, Portugal-based agency said.

The annual European Drug Report said marijuana accounts for 80 per cent of drug seizures on the continent and 60 per cent of all reported drug law offences.

Wed
03
Jun

Switzerland: Medicinal cannabis: Nation ready to open the door

The National Drug Council accepted a motion Tuesday to allow a drug made from cannabis flowers to relieve pain for people with certain diseases.

Switzerland could allow a drug made from cannabis flowers (cannabis flos) to relieve pain for people with multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS among others.

By 123 votes against 39, the National Council accepted the Tuesday, June 2  motion of Margrit Kessler (PVL / SG) requesting to study the issue.

In Switzerland, people suffering from chronic pain often prefer to obtain cannabis illegally as licensed therapies are expensive and complicated to obtain, stressed the Vert'libérale.

Thu
28
May

Yes, Cannabis Absinthe is a thing in Europe. But will it get you stoned?

You have to love those random messages you receive from friends traveling abroad. A couple months ago my friend Judy wrote me from Mexican beach town Playa del Carmen with the news that $140 cannabis-adorned bongs were being sold inside the local Walmart down there. And this morning my friend Erin hit me up with a photo of something equally surprising out of Spain.

Erin has seen the future, friends. And it comes in the form of Cannabis Absinthe.

Sure enough, it’s all over the place in Europe. Distributor Antonio Nadal calls its Absenta Cannabis 80 “green absinthe with hints of wormwood and hops with a high alcohol content.”

Fri
22
May

LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS IN PORTUGAL? NOT THIS

After the Block proposed in 2013 the legalize of cannabis cultivation for personal consumption and creation of social cannabis clubs, the new draft law was presented once again by the Left Bloc,  and was rejected in general this Friday in the National Assembly. The PCP joined their vote of right-wing parties, PSD and CDS to reject the Block project. PS and the Greens abstained, but 10 socialist deputies voted in favour.

Thu
21
May

Joint Statement: Only a regulated market for cannabis can combat organised crime effectively

When there is talk of mafia-like structures on European soil, some people may tend to think more of Italy rather than Germany. The fact is, however, that we have a large, highly active black market for illegal drugs here in Germany, one with the closest of ties to organised crime. And we have not succeeded in combatting this effectively with bans. The reason is that it is not possible to ban a black market. A black market is the consequence of a ban. Our ban on the possession and purchase of cannabis – in other words, the demand – thus has more of a proxy effect than a supplementary one, and the stamp of illegal behaviour, with the risks this entails, is transferred to the consumers. This appears to be a form of displacement activity – as consumption itself is allowed in principle.

Wed
20
May

Germany's Bad Idea to Legalize Pot

The idea of legalizing cannabis is gaining momentum in Germany. It's getting surprising support from parts of the political spectrum that have historically been hostile to the idea. Yet the measure, if adopted, could make it harder for Germans to get marijuana.

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