Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin' says Prof David Nutt

    BBC News
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet. The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009. It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.

  • Dutch coffee shops fear coalition crackdown

    Ben Shore
    BBC News (UK)
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    The traditional Dutch tolerance of the sale of small amounts of marijuana through licensed "coffee shops" is under severe strain. On 14 October a new coalition government was sworn in. Part of the coalition agreement stipulates that coffee shops "will become private clubs". In other words, no tourists.

  • Proposition 19 Is a Vote Heard 'Round the World'

    Coletta Youngers
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    prop-19-bannerThe world will be watching as Californians go to the polls on Tuesday and vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in that state.  Regardless of the outcome of the vote, however, it has already sparked an intense international debate, particularly in Latin America where the U.S. has long waged its “war on drugs.” Drug war critics and even some who have supported the U.S. approach to date are asking how the U.S. government can continue to call on Latin American governments to implement harsh drug control policies when at least some of those policies are being called into question in the United States itself.

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  • Black people six times more likely to face drug arrest

    Race bias in drug arrests or convictions is worse than in US, new research claims
    Mark Townsend
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Black people are six times more likely to be arrested than white people for drug offences and 11 times more likely to be imprisoned, according to new research claiming to show the racial bias of the criminal justice system.

  • How California's Pot Proposition Is Agitating Latin America

    Time (US)
    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    What was Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos smoking? Colombia has long been an obedient lieutenant in the U.S.-led war on drugs, yet there was Santos musing out loud — at a presidential summit, of all places — about the possibility of exporting bales of marijuana to California dopers. "I would like to know," he said on Oct. 26, "if the eighth-largest economy in the world and a state that's famous for high technology, movies and fine wine, will permit marijuana imports?"

  • All Eyes on California

    Prop 19 and the Growing Debate on Marijuana Policy
    John Walsh
    WOLA Commentary
    October 29, 2010

    wola240pxRegistered voters in California will be the ones voting next Tuesday on whether to legalize marijuana under state law.  But the ballot initiative in question – Proposition 19 – has sparked debate far beyond the state’s borders. The fate of Prop 19 is being watched especially closely in Latin America, and for good reason.  Proximity to the United States – still the world’s major market for illicit drugs – has helped to stimulate robust illicit drug production and distribution networks in the region.  And U.S.-backed militarized enforcement to suppress the drug industry, combined with harsh laws to punish drug users, have made the “war on drugs” more than metaphorical in many Latin American countries. 

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  • Marijuana as a gateway drug

    The myth that will not die
    Time Magazine (US)
    Friday, October 29, 2013

    Of all the arguments that have been used to demonize marijuana, few have been more powerful than that of the "gateway effect": the notion that while marijuana itself may not be especially dangerous, it ineluctably leads to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. Scientists abandoned the idea: as far back as 1999, in a report commissioned by Congress to look at the possible dangers of medical marijuana, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote: "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."

  • FT Editorial: High time to legalise marijuana

    Financial Times
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Just say no, the slogan says. But on November 2, California has the chance to say yes, at least to marijuana. Proposition 19 would legalise the production, sale and use of cannabis, abolishing an ineffective and socially damaging prohibition on a substance with fewer health risks than alcohol and tobacco. The Golden State should vote to legalise dope.

  • Soros: Why I Support Legal Marijuana

    We should invest in effective education rather than ineffective arrest and incarceration.
    George Soros
    The Wall Street Journal
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.

  • Latin American leaders question move to legalize marijuana

    The Associated Press (US)
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    The leaders of several Latin American nations on the front lines of the battle against drugs said Tuesday that a California ballot measure to legalize marijuana would send a contradictory message from the United States.The Nov. 2 election in California was a key topic as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hosted the presidents of Mexico and three other countries at a one-day summit.

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