Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • The case for California's Prop 19

    Marijuana is the US's biggest cash crop, with a host of benign uses, so why not legalise and tax it and make us all happy?
    Joseph Huff-Hannon
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Over a dozen US states have already decriminalised possession or personal use of cannabis, and Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California are already home to thriving (and profitable) medical marijuana industries. Meanwhile, in liberal New York City, we've seen a sweeping expansion of marijuana-related arrests in the last few years, and in LA and other major cities of California, black people are arrested at twice, thrice and up to seven times the rate of white people, despite federal studies that show that marijuana is used more commonly by white Americans.

  • Marijuana law would propel California into unknown territory

    Proposition 19 — called 'a common sense approach' by some and 'a jumbled legal nightmare' by others — leaves much uncertain. How would pot be controlled? Would buyers risk paying taxes?
    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Vote yes on Proposition 19, the measure to legalize marijuana, and the unofficial state weed and largest cash crop will be controlled like alcohol, police will focus on serious crimes and California will get billions of dollars in new taxes. That's the pitch proponents make. "It's a jumbled legal nightmare," opponents retort, disputing those claims and insisting that the measure would lead to stoned nurses in hospitals, drugged motorists on the road and more high teenagers.

  • What the Feds Can Do About Prop 19

    The attorney general will have a tough decision to make if California legalizes marijuana
    Ryan Tracy
    Newsweek (US)
    Monay, October 25, 2010

    Assume for a moment that California voters approve Proposition 19 on Nov. 2. The state will have just enacted a process for legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana use that no one else in the world has ever attempted. But Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama’s top law-enforcement officer, has said the administration will “vigorously enforce” federal drug laws in the country’s most populous state regardless of the vote. For all the trails that approving Prop 19 would blaze, much of its impact would depend on the extent to which Holder follows through on that threat.

  • 19 Reasons Pot Should Be Legal

    Russ Belville | NORML's Outreach Coordinator.
    AlterNet
    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Prop 19, the CA initiative legalizing marijuana, benefits not just those who enjoy the herb, but the entire state of California and ultimately, the nation and the world. This measure would make lawful the possession and sharing of one ounce of marijuana outside the home and allow for personal cultivation of a small marijuana garden and possession of its harvest in the home. California cities and counties would be able to opt-in to commercial sales, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. Existing prohibitions against driving under the influence and working under the influence would be maintained and prohibitions against furnishing marijuana to minors would be strengthened.

  • A federal-state showdown over pot

    Let California voters lead the way on state drug-use answers
    Edward Schumacher-Matos
    The Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Californians may very well vote in November to legalize recreational marijuana, though the Obama administration, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and others in the political establishment are trying to scare them off by warning that legalization violates federal law.

  • 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.

    READ MORE...
  • 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)

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