See also news items on Facebook ...
  • Swiss Parliament adopt bill allowing studies and pilot projects with cannabis

    The Swiss Ministry of Health (BAG) had pointed out that the Narcotics Act must be amended and supplemented by an “experiment paragraph,” (US)
    Friday, March 16, 2018

    The Swiss Council of States has adopted a bill allowing studies and pilot projects with cannabis. The Council is calling for an experimental article in the Narcotics Act that allows for scientific research projects such as coffeeshop model trials or pilot programs. Five cities have requested such studies. The bill will now be presented to the National Council. Until now, these applications have been rejected because there was no legal basis for such exceptions in the Swiss Narcotics Act. Between 200,000 and 300,000 people in Switzerland regularly consume cannabis. In most cantons, the possession of up to 10 grams is not punished and public consumption is atoned for with a fine of 100 Swiss francs. (See also: Could medical cannabis be the next cash cow for Swiss farmers?)

  • Sessions: US prosecutors won’t take on small-time pot cases

    It remains to be seen whether prosecutors will seek to punish state-sanctioned pot businesses
    Associated Press (US)
    Saturday, March 10, 2018

    Federal prosecutors won’t take on small-time marijuana cases, despite the Justice Department’s decision to lift an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. Federal law enforcement lacks the resources to take on “routine cases” and will continue to focus on drug gangs and larger conspiracies. The comments come after the Trump administration in January threw the burgeoning marijuana legalization movement into uncertainty by reversing the largely hands-off approach that prevailed during the Obama administration, saying federal prosecutors should instead handle marijuana cases however they see fit.

  • FDA is using 'bad science' by claiming kratom is an opioid

    Thirty-five thousand Americans have signed a petition urging the White House to step in and conduct real research on kratom
    The Hill (US)
    Friday, March 9, 2018

    Last month, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) continued its attacks on kratom, a natural plant used by millions of Americans for an improved quality of life and pain reduction. According to the FDA, kratom should be banned for its opioid-like qualities, its potential deadliness, and its link to 23 salmonella poisonings across the country. Let’s break down all of these falsehoods. First, regulation is the better approach than banning. Kratom users won’t go away if it’s made illegal; the plant has been imported for years because of its popularity and safe use in Asia.

  • International Narcotics Control Board remains troubled by Canada's pot legalization plan

    NDP MP says Canada had plenty of time to deal with international drug treaties and did not act
    CBC (Canada)
    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    The International Narcotics Control Board is expressing concerns about the Trudeau government's plan to legalize recreational cannabis use in Canada, warning the move will place Canada in violation of international drug control conventions. The board reaffirmed its opposition in its 2017 report, which states that using cannabis for anything other than medical or scientific purposes would be a violation of conventions Canada has signed. "As the board has stated repeatedly, if passed into law, provisions of Bill C-45, which permit non-medical and non-scientific use of cannabis, would be incompatible with the obligations assumed by Canada under the 1961 Convention as amended," the report said.

  • From ‘skyrocketing’ demand to scepticism: one year of medical marijuana in Germany

    Health insurance companies have been receiving a large number of applications for the reimbursement of medical marijuana costs
    The Local (Germany)
    Thursday, March 8, 2018
    Since medical marijuana was legalized in Germany in March last year, an increasing number of patients are being prescribed the drug. But the healthcare industry has been less enthusiastic about the boom and many questions have gone unanswered. Demand for cannabis has shot up since it was legalized about a year ago. Around 44,000 units of the plant covered by health insurance were distributed to patients in 2017. Doctors on the other hand are under pressure as they need to give precise reasons for prescribing cannabis. Some doctors fear for their reputation as marijuana can evoke associations with “druggies” or habitual users of drugs. Its medical efficacy is also partly controversial.
  • Marijuana decriminalization leaps first legislative hurdle

    First- and second-time offenders to be hit with fines, rather than criminal penalties, under new government proposal
    The Times of Israel (Israel)
    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    Lawmakers advanced a proposal to decriminalize personal recreational marijuana use, imposing fines rather than criminal penalties for first and second-time offenders. The proposal cleared its first reading in the Knesset with 38 MKs in favors, and none opposed. It must still pass another two readings to become law. Under the proposal backed by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office oversees the police, first-time offenders would be charged a NIS 1,000 ($265) fine but would not have a criminal case filed them. That sum would be doubled on the second offense.

  • Police probe of Brazilian marijuana researcher sparks protests

    Researchers are concerned about potential restrictions to academic freedom
    Nature (US)
    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    A police investigation targeting Brazil’s most prominent marijuana researcher has ignited a wave of protest among scientists. They say that the move by authorities from the state of São Paulo threatens research freedoms at a time when science in the country faces severe problems because of draconian budget cuts. Police questioned Elisaldo Carlini, a retired professor of psychopharmacology at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), on 21 February on suspicion of inciting drug crime, according to authorities. They are still investigating the case and have not charged Carlini with anything.

  • UK revealed to be world's biggest producer of medical cannabis

    A significant part of the UK's legal cannabis production goes towards a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex
    The Herald (UK)
    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    GW Pharmaceuticals' growing facility. (Image: GW Pharmaceuticals)The UK is the world's largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis for medical and scientific use, according to a report from the UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The UK produced a 95 tonnes of legal cannabis in 2016 – accounting for 44.9 per cent of the world total – while the government refuses to allow medical cannabis in the UK on the basis that it has "no therapeutic value". Steve Rolles of Transform said: "It is scandalous and untenable for the UK government to maintain that cannabis has no medical uses, at the same time as licensing the world's biggest government approved medical cannabis production and export market." (See also: UK Drugs Minister opposes cannabis law reform while her husband profits from a license to grow it)

  • Overshadowed by the opioid crisis: A comeback by cocaine

    It’s the No. 2 killer among illicit drugs in the U.S. and kills more African-Americans than heroin does
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, March 5, 2018

    The opioid epidemic just keeps getting worse, presenting challenges discussed at length at a White House summit last week. But opioids are not America’s only significant drug problem. Among illicit drugs, cocaine is the No. 2 killer and claims the lives of more African-Americans than heroin does. According to a recent study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, among non-Hispanic black Americans, cocaine has been a larger problem than heroin for nearly 20 years. For example, over 2012-15, cocaine overdoses claimed 7.6 per 100,000 black men. In contrast, heroin overdoses claimed 5.45 per 100,000 black men. Black women use both drugs at lower rates than men, but cocaine overdoses exceed those from heroin for them as well.

  • Cannabis cultivation a go for giant Canadian tomato greenhouse

    The facility has the size of about 19 football fields
    The Cannabist (US)
    Monday, March 5, 2018

    canada industrial cannabis village farmsCanadian officials have green-lighted a plan to convert a gargantuan tomato greenhouse for cannabis cultivation. Health Canada issued a cannabis cultivation license for the 1.1 million-square-foot greenhouse operated by the joint venture of produce grower Village Farms International Inc. and medical cannabis firm Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc.. The companies plan to immediately start growing cannabis in the Delta, British Columbia, greenhouse and set expectations to receive the sales license by July 1, 2018. The facility that’s the size of about 19 football field is “conservatively” expected to produce 75,000 kilograms, or about 165,350 pounds, of cannabis annually.

Page 1 of 286