Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Holder promises to enforce U.S. drug laws if Prop. 19 passes

    Attorney general joins local law enforcement officials in opposing legalization of marijuana. Prop. 19 supporters say the U.S. has no legal ground to challenge the measure
    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Stepping up the Obama administration's opposition to Proposition 19, the nation's top law enforcement official promised to "vigorously enforce" federal drug laws against Californians who grow or sell marijuana for recreational use even if voters pass the legalization measure.

  • The promise of legalization

    Anti-drug policies in the U.S. have failed, and the marijuana trade is largely in the hands of organized crime. It's time for a saner policy of legalization and regulation.
    Evan Woods
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    People on both sides of the marijuana legalization debate have strong feelings about Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative that promises to regulate, control and tax cannabis. But science and empirical research have been given short shrift in the discussion. That's unfortunate, because the U.S. government has actually funded excellent research on the subject, and it suggests that several widely held assumptions about cannabis legalization actually may be inaccurate. When the total body of knowledge is considered, it's hard to conclude that we should stick with the current system.

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  • Mexican waves, Californian cool

    Three things to stop the gangs: better police in Mexico, stricter gun laws in America and legal pot in California
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    If California votes in favour of legalisation, Mexico would be wise to follow suit (the bottom would anyway fall out of its marijuana business). The drug gangs would still be left with more lucrative cocaine and methamphetamines. But it would become easier to defeat them. The idea of going back to a tacit bargain that tolerates organised crime, favoured by some in Mexico, is inimical to the rule of law, and thus to democracy and a free society. The sooner Mexico turns its new-found sense of urgency into a more effective national policing and law-enforcement strategy the better.

  • An altered state

    Marijuana in California: A battle about hypocrisy, money and Mexican cartels
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Proposition 19 has a chance of winning mainly because Californians have become rather relaxed about weed. Back in 1972 a proposition to legalise the drug was defeated almost two-to-one. These days, fully half of Californians tell pollsters they favour legalisation, and almost as many admit to having smoked marijuana themselves, which probably means that a big majority have actually done so.

  • Macho madness over cannabis: flawed drug policies in both hemispheres

    David Nutt's Blog: Evidence not Exaggeration
    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    I spent a week over the summer lecturing in New Zealand where I had the chance to speak with a number of politicians, lawyers and health professionals who were engaging in a review of their drug and alcohol laws under the leadership of their Law Commission. This independent body has made sensible recommendations that would reduce drug and alcohol related harms by providing more just laws but is experiencing a similar stonewall response from their government as we have from ours in the UK.
    (See also: Drug Law Reform: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience, Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 8, August 2010)

  • Legalizing pot in California would hardly dent cartels' revenue, report says

    Drug researchers say Proposition 19 would do little to curtail the violent Mexican cartels that smuggle marijuana across the border
    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Proposition 19, which would partially legalize marijuana in California, would do little to curtail the violent Mexican organizations that smuggle it across the border, according to a new study by drug policy researchers that takes aim at one of the main arguments proponents have made for the initiative. The report released by Rand Corp. estimates that legalized marijuana could displace the Mexican marijuana sold in California, but concludes that would erase no more than 2% to 4% of the revenues the gangs receive from drug exports.

  • Legalizing Marijuana in California Will Not Dramatically Reduce Mexican Drug Trafficking Revenues

    Rand Corporation
    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Legalizing marijuana in California will not dramatically reduce the drug revenues collected by Mexican drug trafficking organizations from sales to the United States, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The study calculates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations generate only $1 billion to $2 billion annually from exporting marijuana to the United States and selling it to wholesalers, far below existing estimates by the government and other groups.

  • Portuguese priorities

    Portugal’s response to drug use been the subject of much scrutiny and debate
    Nick Warburton
    Drink and Drugs News
    Monday, October 11, 2010

    portprioritiesIn July 2001, the Portuguese government introduced Law 30, setting in train a radical new approach to illicit drug use. In practice, it decriminalised the possession of certain quantities of drugs for personal use, instead referring users to one of the country’s 20 ‘dissuasion commissions’. Allied with decree 183 – which significantly expanded the network of harm reduction programmes – this meant that heroin users could seek help rather than face the wrath of the police.

  • New Report: U.S. Government Data Demonstrates Failure of Cannabis Prohibition

    Leading International Scientific Body Supports Call for Legalization and Regulation to Reduce Cannabis-Related Harms
    Press release
    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) today released a new research report, Tools for debate: U.S. federal government data on cannabis prohibition, that demonstrates the clear failure of U.S. marijuana prohibition and supports calls for evidence-based models to legalize and regulate the use of cannabis.

  • The high and the mighty

    Al Jazeera
    07 October 2010

    We investigate how the legalisation of cannabis in California could impact the economy and the criminal justice system.Cannabis is California's number one cash crop. This fall, voters will decide whether or not to fully legalise the drug and transform US drug policy.

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