• Global vote on cannabis as medicine expected to be delayed again

    The draft decision, tabled during an informal meeting last week, needs to be formally adopted by the CND this week
    Cannabis Wire (US)
    Sunday, March 1, 2020

    un logo cannabisThe United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was set to hold a significant vote to reclassify cannabis as a medicine, a historic change to international drug control treaties drafted nearly sixty years ago. But that vote isn’t happening, according to a draft decision. “After politically tense and lengthy informal negotiations these past weeks, everything points to that there will not be a vote on any of the WHO recommendations this coming week,” Martin Jelsma, the program director for drugs and democracy at the Transnational Institute (TNI), said. "Several countries pushed hard to vote on and accept at least the deletion of cannabis from Schedule IV of the Single Convention, but in the end agreed to a compromise to postpone all, in return for a clear timeline for taking a vote within a year."

  • Conservative Aceh proposes cannabis legalization

    Those growing their own cannabis plants for medical purposes have been subject to criminal penalties
    The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
    Monday, February 3, 2020

    indonesia cannabis acehCalls for cannabis legalization are on the rise in the conservative Muslim province of Aceh as local leaders believe the move will boost economic development in the region, where cultivation of the substance is already widespread. Indonesia, which has one of the strictest drug laws in the world, currently prohibits the possession and use of marijuana. According to the 2009 Law on Narcotics, marijuana is a type-1 narcotic, putting it on par with crystal meth and heroin, which are illegal for consumption including for medical purposes. A professor at Aceh's Syiah Kuala University, Musri Musman, said that allowing Acehnese people to cultivate the plant would improve the local economy. (See also: Be flexible: Islamic party lawmaker wants Indonesia to export cannabis)

  • De Caires has high hopes despite pace of Cannabis Commission!

    “We must not let the big guys come in and run this stuff because it defeats the whole purpose"
    The Star (St. Lucia)
    Sunday, November 17, 2019

    Andre De Caires of  the Cannabis Movement of St. Lucia is not satisfied with the pace at which the recently formed Cannabis Commission is working. The commission’s mandate is to “consult and provide advice on the design of a legislative and regulatory framework for cannabis”.  A workshop in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, facilitated by the Transnational Institute brought together activists and farmers’ representatives from across the region. Discussions centred on management of the cannabis industry in the face of the enormous influx of investment money from cannabis companies “that do not exactly share the interest of the farmers, and the development of the islands as their first priority”.

  • Canada’s cannabis colonialism

    Some of the practices of the corporate cannabis giants are reminiscent of the modus operandi that tarnished the reputation of Canadian mining companies abroad
    Toward Freedom (Canada)
    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    canada dollar cannabis2Canadian weed companies have their eye on a massive prize: the lucrative medical and adult cannabis markets that are emerging around the world. Much of the hype around corporate cannabis is linked to the acquisition of lands and smaller growing operations internationally. The selling point is that cannabis can be grown overseas and exported to meet demand in Canada (and eventually the US), but also that Canadian companies position themselves as suppliers in emerging local markets. Lobbying to impact national legislation, supporting criminalization of traditional producers, and moving into remote territories with plans to implement plantation style economies are just some of the critiqued practices of Canada’s emerging cannabis sector.

  • A new ‘war on drugs’ is short sighted and naive

    There are options for taking a new path with like-minded countries
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Forty years ago, the Netherlands was far ahead of its time. But today we see the country moving backwards, as evidenced by a recent report on the drugs culture in Amsterdam. The authors of the report, believe that Dutch society is ‘undermined’ by organised drugs crime, though it’s hard to say what the evidence is to support these conclusions. A new ‘hard approach’ – rather similar to the old approach elsewhere in the world – with more police powers must be deployed, in addition to stigmatising users, the report’s authors argued. The ban on drugs does not have the support of the majority of the Dutch. Most use is not problematic and users would rather buy their goods in a legal market, with quality guarantees and tax revenues to be spent on the people who do get into trouble.

  • A global revolution in attitudes towards cannabis is under way

    The legalisation of the drug for medicinal use is paving the way for a broader liberalisation
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, August 29, 2019

    un cannabis2Uruguay paved the way when it legalised cannabis in 2013. But it is the reform in Canada, a G7 member, that has done most to heighten international tension over cannabis’s legal status. Last year it fully legalised the drug. Part of its rationale was that a regulated legal trade would curb the black market and protect young people, who were buying it there. Canada’s change has caused fierce fights within the UN in Vienna, according to Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute, a think-tank. A possibility that intrigues international-policy wonks is for Canada and other law-breakers to form an inter se (between themselves) agreement, allowing them to modify existing drug-treaty provisions. For this to be an option, Canada will probably want to wait until the club of outlaws is bigger.

  • These are the countries most likely to legalize weed next

    Mexico? Likely. India? Not so much
    Vice (US)
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    In October 2018, Canada became the second country after Uruguay—and the first G7 nation—to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, politicians took the plunge largely to reduce underage access to weed. So who's next? To formulate some well-educated predictions, we spoke to an ace team of weed experts who have been on the frontline of reform, from region to region, for decades. Come with us as we peek into our bud-crusted crystal ball. “Mexico will almost certainly legalize and regulate in 2019,” said Tom Blickman, senior project officer at the Transnational Institute.

  • UN report on Myanmar opium crop criticized

    Kachin Independence Army denies UNODC claims and says crops grown in government-controlled areas
    Asia Times (Thailand)
    Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    The recently-released "Myanmar Opium Survey 2018" by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) distorts reality, accuses ethnic rebels who are not involved in the drugs trade for being responsible for the scourge while turning a blind eye to official complicity in the trade. That is the basic message in a commentary published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), a Dutch-based international research and advocacy group. After the Kachin rebels complained about the UNODC report, its Bangkok and Yangon offices issued a statement on February 27, which, however, did not address the main issue of wrongful identification of armed groups in the opium growing areas. (See also: UN opium survey distorts the facts, says think tank)

  • WHO recommends rescheduling cannabis in international law for first time in history

    The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has recommended that cannabis resin and other marijuana products should be removed from a schedule IV
    Newsweek (US)
    Friday, February 8, 2019

    The World Health Organization has suggested that cannabis should be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention given the mounting evidence showing that the drug could prove beneficial in treating a number of health problems. International drug policy expert Martin Jelsma from the Transnational Institute said this was the “first time in history” that the WHO had undertaken a proper critical review of cannabis and related substances. Nevertheless, he said the committee’s proposals don’t go far enough, noting that its rationale for keeping cannabis in schedule I is “highly questionable.”

  • Green gold rush: Thailand, Malaysia race to legalise medical marijuana

    Support for liberalisation is not unanimous: China, South Korea and Japan last month warned citizens visiting Canada to avoid cannabis and Singapore maintains a blanket ban
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Asia has the toughest penalties against drug use and trafficking but the legal landscape is shifting in several countries where cannabis once deemed ruinous to young lives, is emerging as a lucrative industry. In Thailand parliament has set in motion plans to legalise the drug for medical use. This would position the country as the epicentre of the burgeoning industry and advocates claim Thailand’s legal marijuana market could make US$5 billion by 2024. Malaysia, which recently scrapped the death penalty, has begun informal cabinet discussions on legalising medical marijuanag. The “green gold rush” has begun and Asian nations are eager to share in the windfall. (Thailand: Marijuana bill shortened to allow quicker legislation)

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