Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Ecstasy does not wreck the mind, study claims

    Previous research was flawed, say experts, but findings will shock those who campaign against the drug's use
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    ecstasyThere is no evidence that ecstasy causes brain damage, according to one of the largest studies into the effects of the drug. Too many previous studies made over-arching conclusions from insufficient data, say the scientists responsible for the research, and the drug's dangers have been greatly exaggerated. The study was carried out by a team led by Professor John Halpern of Harvard Medical School and published in the journal Addiction last week. The finding will shock campaigners who have claimed ecstasy poses a real risk of triggering brain damage. They have argued that it can induce memory loss, decrease cognitive performance and has long-lasting effects on behaviour.

  • Washington state should lead on marijuana legalization

    Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes argues that its time to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Outright prohibition isn't working
    Opinion
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Marijuana prohibition is more than a practical failure; it has been a misuse of both taxpayer dollars and the government's authority over the people. As the steward of reduced prosecutorial dollars, I am the first Seattle city attorney to stop prosecuting marijuana-possession cases and to call for the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana for adult recreational use.

  • Drug War Anniversary a Time for Reflection and Action

    Ethan Nadelmann
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Some anniversaries provide an occasion for celebration, others a time for reflection, still others a time for action. This June will mark forty years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs," identifying drug abuse as "public enemy No. 1." As far as I know, no celebrations are planned. What's needed, indeed essential, are reflection -- and action.

  • Happy toking

    Strong majorities for drug reform
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    eco100211chartThis week’s Economist-YouGov poll contains some exciting news for devotees of the weed. A huge majority of Americans, more than two to one once don’t knows have been excluded, support the legalisation and taxation of marijuana. Even without excluding the don’t knows, a clear majority favours treating the drug equivalently to tobacco and alcohol. The data (see chart) reveal some interesting patterns. In every age group, more people favour than oppose legalisation. If our poll is right, then it can only be a matter of time before laws start to change, at least in the more liberal states.

  • The Prospects for Drug Reform: California

    Drug War Chronicle
    February 9, 2011

    The West Coast is a different world when it comes to progress on drug policy reform. Three of the four states most likely to see strong pushes for marijuana legalization in the next couple of years are on the West Coast (the other being Colorado). And medical marijuana is a fact of life from San Diego to Seattle. But it's not just pot politics that makes the West Coast different. The region has also been a pioneer in sentencing reform and harm reduction practices, even if countervailing forces remain strong and both policy areas remain contested terrain.

  • Foreign potheads seek alternatives to Dutch coffee shop

    AFP
    The Independent (UK)
    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Learning to grow their own weed or finding a dealer: French and Belgian potheads are seeking alternatives to the famous Dutch coffee shop as The Hague plans to cut off drug tourists. Incensed by the "nuisance" caused by millions of people crossing its borders each year to visit one of 670 licensed coffee shops, the Netherlands plans to turn these cannabis-vending cafes into private clubs for card-carrying members - Dutch residents only.

  • Injection drug facility coming to San Francisco?

    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    A legal, city-funded center where intravenous drug users can get needles and shoot up without consequence is on the agenda in San Francisco. The idea comes from the city's Hepatitis C Task Force, created by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2009 in response to growing concern over the 12,000 San Francisco residents infected by the disease, most of whom have no idea of their status. Opening the nation's first legal injection drug center garnered unanimous support by the task force.

  • Wash. politician proposes selling pot in liquor stores

    CTV British Columbia (Canada)
    saturday, January 29, 2011

    A Washington State Democrat has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana and sell it in liquor stores. Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson filed House Bill 1550 on Tuesday, which proposes pot be sold to adults aged 21 and up. The bill argues regulation and taxation of weed would "generate revenue for health care programs" and "create jobs in the agricultural sector." It suggests the state's Liquor Control Board could issue licenses for marijuana growing.

  • Press Conference by Bolivia on Amendment to Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

    Press Conference
    New York, January 28, 2011

    Bolivia would continue its campaign to remove from a United Nations convention a ban on coca leaf chewing and take its case to the Economic and Social Council, if necessary, Pablo Solón, the country’s Permanent Representative said today at a Headquarters press conference.

    READ MORE...
  • Coca-chewing Bolivians press for end to UN ban

    AFP
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Bolivians chewed coca leaves in demonstrations around the country Wednesday to push for a change in a 1961 UN convention to remove a ban on a practice that has been part of indigenous cultures here for millennia. Protesters gathered outside the US embassy in La Paz to chew the leaf as part of a day of demonstrations around the country celebrating the coca plant and demanding that the UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs be amended.

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