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  • Uruguay finds no banks for the bongs

    The country's legalization of the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana runs afoul of the U.S. Treasury
    Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    Understated and simpatico, former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica isn't easily rattled. Just don't mess with his reefer. That was the message from Montevideo last week when a state-owned lender, Banco Republica, followed several private banks in shutting down accounts of clients who deposited money from marijuana sales -- a direct blow to the Mujica era's marquee policy of making Uruguay the first country to legalize the smoking, growing and selling of marijuana nationwide.

  • Legal marijuana sale faces challenges by banks in Uruguay

    Running a business without being able to bank is tough in Uruguay
    Associated Press (US)
    Friday, August 18, 2017

    The legal sale of marijuana in Uruguayan pharmacies is facing challenges as banks refuse to deal with companies linked to the drug in order to follow international financial laws. Uruguayan banks risk running afoul of laws that ban receiving money tied to the drug. In July, marijuana went up for sale at 16 pharmacies as part of a 2013 law that made Uruguay first to legalize a pot market covering the entire chain from plants to purchase. But one pharmacy in the capital, Montevideo, has decided not to sell it after a warning by a local branch of Spanish bank Santander. The bank said it has opted to remain out of this line of business.

  • Dagga laws are ‘racist and irrational’‚ court told

    It was easier to ban dagga‚ officially in 1922‚ than alcohol because it was only used by Indian‚ coloured and black people at the time
    The Times (South Africa)
    Monday, August 14, 2017

    south africa daggaThe South African law banning the smoking and cultivation of dagga is racist‚ unscientific and not rational or based on good law making. This was the testimony of historian Craig Paterson who works at Rhodes University. His master's thesis investigated how the colonial laws criminalising dagga use came about. He is a witness in the trial brought by Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs asking that the laws banning the sale of dagga be ruled unconstitutional‚ as they are irrational and do not serve their purpose of minimising harm. Paterson's thesis finds cannabis or dagga was "widely used" before colonial times.

  • Secret supervised drug injection facility has been operating at US site for years

    Lives have been saved at site run by a social service agency in an undisclosed city, according to newly released data, in an effort to battle the overdose epidemic
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    For nearly three years, in an undisclosed US city, a social service agency has quietly been inviting people to inject illegal drugs at a clandestine site, without the government’s approval. More than 100 people have injected drugs at the site, according to data released about the 2,754 injections. This data provides the first glimpse of what it would look like if the US decided to follow 10 other countries and open supervised injection facilities. The secret site is modeled after legal facilities in countries including Canada, Denmark and France, where users can take drugs in a safe space with clean supplies. 

  • Dagga is not a gateway drug

    Legal cannabis did not lead to an increase in Dutch users of heroin and other drugs‚ but actually reduced the number of people switching to harder drugs
    The Sunday Times (South Africa)
    Monday, August 7, 2017

    The prohibition on dagga is the "gateway to harder drug use‚ not the use of cannabis itself"‚ Imperial College Professor David Nutt told the Pretoria High Court. Nutt‚ a psychiatrist and neuropharmacologist is testifying in the trial to have the current ban on dagga use ruled unconstitutional. Johannesburg residents Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke are asking the Pretoria High Court to deem the laws banning the adult use and sale of dagga unconstitutional and thus instruct parliament to make new laws. "The gateway theory is a theory that has very‚ very little in the way of empirical evidence‚" Nutt said. (See also: Is the state trying to lose the dagga case?)

  • Government accused of 'squandering' £1.6bn a year on anti-drug policy

    According to the official audit, a lack of robust evidence is also available to assess whether capture and punishment serves as a deterrent for drug use
    The Independent (UK)
    Monday, August 7, 2017

    uk police time wastedMinisters have been accused of "squandering" £1.6bn a year after an official analysis of the Government’s drug strategy concluded that illegal drugs remain widely available on the streets of Britain, with little impact made since 2010. The audit adds - due to a lack of robust evidence available - that officials are unable to assess whether capture and punishment serves as a deterrent for drug use in the UK. The report, published last month, claims that despite extensive resources being used to tackle drug use, consumption has remained stable since Theresa May introduced the Government’s strategy in 2010 while Home Secretary.

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