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  • Hunt wants swift review of cannabis oil law after Billy Caldwell case

    Health secretary defends speed of government’s action in granting boy with epilepsy a temporary licence
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, June 18, 2018

    The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said he backs the use of medicinal cannabis oil and called for a swift legal review after an emergency licence was provided to Billy Caldwell, a boy with severe epilepsy whose medication had been confiscated. In response to Hunt’s remarks, Labour announced it would legalise cannabis oil for medical purposes if it was in government. Billy was discharged from hospital on Monday after being admitted in a “life-threatening” condition on Friday. Labour’s announcement follows calls from a growing coalition of cross-partisan MPs, experts, campaigners and families whose children also have severe epilepsy, for an urgent change to the law.

  • Legalising marijuana: An intoxicating affair

    Over the past four years, support for de-criminalising cannabis has come from various lawmakers, be it for medicinal use or recreational
    India Legal (India)
    Sunday, June 17, 2018

    Wild cannabis in UttarakhandCannabis, hemp, pot, ganja, bhang – call it what you wish, but there’s no denying that the venerable, yet also reviled, plant has been endemic to the Indian subcontinent and the use of its derivatives as medicine or recreational drugs is common among spiritual (particularly Shaivites) and ordinary folk alike. Yet today, as the world is waking up to the potential of exploiting cannabis for medicinal use and accepting the rationality behind making marijuana a legal recreational drug, the five-bladed leaf remains a banned substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. In an article for web portal The Print, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, argued for legalisation of marijuana in India, “the land of bhang”.

  • Portugal's parliament legalises cannabis-based medicines

    The bill now goes to President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza to be signed into law
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, June 15, 2018

    Portugal’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalise marijuana-based medicines, after rejecting earlier proposals to allow patients to grow the drug at home. Only one party, the centre-right CDS-PP, abstained in the vote in parliament legalising marijuana-based prescription drugs to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, side effects from cancer therapy, and some other ailments. Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001 to fight a heroin epidemic, and has legal plantations growing marijuana products for export.

  • Cannabis petition reaches vote threshold in under 24 hours

    Petition to legalise 'coffee shops' selling cannabis in Luxembourg will now be debated by lawmakers
    Luxembourg Times (Luxembourg)
    Thursday, June 14, 2018

    It took very little time for petition 1031 on the Luxembourg government's website – calling for the legal sale of cannabis in 'coffee shops' – to reach the 4,500-signature threshold. This means the petition will now be debated in parliament. A coffee shop based on the Dutch model – and, therefore, the legalisation of cannabis sales under controlled conditions – is the aim of petition 1031, filed in May on the Chamber of Deputies website. The petitioner cites a current policy of "acquiescence" in the sale and consumption of cannabis and argues for legalisation to curb drug trafficking in Luxembourg. The petition claims coffee shops would not only reduce pressure on police forces but also create jobs.

  • Pot legalization battle brewing as government rejects key Senate change

    Provinces’ right to ban homegrown cannabis emerging as key issue for some senators
    CBC News (Canada)
    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    The federal government is rejecting several Senate changes to its cannabis legalization bill, setting the stage for a possible showdown between the Senate and the House of Commons. The Senate has proposed 46 amendments, and while the government is accepting some of them, it is passing on several major ones. According to the House's order paper, the changes the government plans to reject include: affirming the provinces' right to ban home cultivation of marijuana; banning branded promotional items; and establishing a public registry of all cannabis companies' directors, officers, controlling parent corporations or trusts, and their directors, members and shareholders. (See also: Trudeau battles provinces, Senate for right of Canadians to grow cannabis)

  • Pledge to arm Philippine community chiefs sparks 'Wild West' fears

    The proposed plan to offer firearms to barangay chiefs was slammed by opposition politicians
    The Telegraph (UK)
    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    The Philippines interior ministry plans to acquire pistols for community leaders willing to fight crime, sparking fears of more lawless bloodshed in the country’s violent crackdown on drugs. Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, said that he was considering arming community leaders, known as “barangay” captains, after pledging that officials who opted to fight the war against drugs would have his full support. Last week he promised to provide the same legal protection to barangay captains as he did to soldiers or police, vowing that they “will never go to jail” if they shot suspected criminals while performing their official duties.

  • 7 mayors want pot removed from federal list of illegal drugs

    “Eventually, legalization will come to every state — and we want to make sure it’s done so safely and effectively”
    The Associated Press (US)
    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    Mayors from seven U.S. cities in states with legal marijuana have formed a coalition to push for federal marijuana policy reform just days after President Donald Trump expressed support for bipartisan congressional legislation to ease the federal ban on pot. Mayors from Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and West Sacramento — all in marijuana-friendly states — sponsored a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston that asked the U.S. government to remove cannabis from a list of illegal drugs, among other things. It was approved unanimously by the broader gathering Monday, Larry Jones said, a spokesman for the conference.

  • How mapping marijuana DNA could change the future of pot

    Scientists hope that a "cannabis genome" could mean better results for growers and patients – but will it allow big pharma to take over?
    Rolling Stone (US)
    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    Scientists are currently in the midst of exploring uncharted territory: The cannabis genome. Unlike with other plants, researchers don't have a long history of closely analyzing the genetic makeup of the plant. But for the past seven years – as more and more states legalize medical and recreational pot – researchers have been working on producing a high-quality marijuana genome. Everyone from low-level researchers to larger companies are part of this effort, and they say mapping the cannabis genome could be highly beneficial to people who grow or use cannabis. Phylos Bioscience released its first reference genome for cannabis at the end of 2016.

  • MPs condemn UK cannabis laws after epileptic boy's medication seized

    Urgent reform called for after government denies Billy Caldwell access to treatment
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    MPs have criticised the UK’s cannabis laws and called for urgent reform after a boy had his first epileptic seizure in 300 days because the government had ordered his doctor to stop prescribing him potentially life-saving cannabis oil. Charlotte Caldwell, whose son Billy, 12, has scores of seizures every day without cannabis oil, had his medicine confiscated from her by customs agents at Heathrow. Caldwell was not cautioned for trying to “openly smuggle” the substance into the UK from Canada, but was instead invited to the Home Office to meet the minister of state, Nick Hurd, who told her it would not be returned.

  • Huit Français sur dix favorables au cannabis thérapeutique

    Une étude de Terra Nova montre l’intérêt pour l’usage médical du chanvre
    Le Monde (France)
    Lundi, 11 juin 2018

    Pour ou contre ? Le sujet est complexe, mais les Français sont unanimes : selon une étude IFOP pour Terra Nova et Echo citoyen publiée lundi 11 juin, ils sont 82 % à se déclarer favorables à l’autorisation du cannabis à usage médical encadré (sur ordonnance), contre une courte majorité (51 %) en faveur d’une régulation du cannabis récréatif. Ils sont aussi 73 % à estimer que l’Etat devrait financer la recherche sur ses usages thérapeutiques. La ministre de la santé, Agnès Buzyn, a reconnu un « retard » de la France sur le sujet. (Lire aussi: Cannabis : le CBD, une substance « ni interdite ni autorisée »)

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