Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Pot possession in Calif now like speeding ticket

    The Associated Press
    Friday, October 1, 2010

    A new law makes possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California no more serious than getting a speeding ticket - a development both sides battling over a marijuana legalization ballot measure hope to exploit with the vote just a month away.

  • Schwarzenegger signs bill reducing offense for marijuana possession

    Los Angeles Times
    October 1, 2010

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but he offered a consolation Thursday by signing a bill that would downgrade possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction. SB 1449 was written by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who said it will keep marijuana-related cases from going to court-clogging jury trials, although the penalty would remain a fine of up to $100 but no jail time.

  • Sooner or later, marijuana will be legal

    Bill Piper (Drug Policy Alliance)
    CNN Opinion
    September 28, 2010

    It's as predictable as the sun rising and setting. Even though police made more than 850,000 marijuana arrests last year, a recent government report shows youth marijuana use increased by about 9 percent -- 76 percent of Americans recognize the drug war has failed; millions are demanding change.

  • Marijuana legalization measure gets big lift

    John Wildermuth
    San Francisco Chronicle (US)
    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    In a dramatic shift of sentiment, nearly half of California's likely voters now want to legalize marijuana use in the state, according to a new Field Poll. Forty-nine percent of those likely voters now support Prop. 19, with 42 percent opposed. In a July poll, 48 percent of those surveyed planned to vote against the ballot initiative, with 44 percent backing legalization.

  • France mulls opening 'shooting galleries' for drug addicts

    Guillaume Loiret
    France24
    Friday, September 24, 2010

    French officials across the political spectrum have expressed support for "shooting galleries", where addicts could use drugs under medical supervision. Such centres exist in several other European countries. The debate over "shooting galleries" started in the headquarters of an anti-addiction association located in the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris. In May 2009, the association, called ASUD (Self-support and Risk Reduction among Drug Users) opened a centre in which addicts could use drugs under medical supervision.

  • Former Spanish Drug Czar Says Legalize Drugs

    Drug War Chronicle
    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    In a blistering op-ed Wednesday in Spain's most important newspaper, El País, the country's former drug czar, Araceli Manjón-Cabeza, called for an end to drug prohibition. Manjon-Cabeza's call for legalization comes just a week after former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González also called for drug legalization.

  • A chance for a scientific drugs policy

    There's a growing recognition that Labour's incoherent drugs policy has failed. Let's build a science-based replacement
    David Nutt
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Last week Professor Roger Pertwee called for cannabis to be licensed for sale, and now Tim Hollis, the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead officer on drugs, has said the current criminalisation-based approach to policing cannabis use should be reviewed. Pertwee and Hollis are bringing a welcome breath of fresh air to the debate about drugs and the harm they do. The government now has the chance to take a genuinely science-based approach to drugs policy.

  • Cuts prompt police to call for debate on drugs and redirect resources

    Intervention comes amid growing warnings from experts that prohibition does not deter drug use
    The Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    One of Britain's most senior police officers has said youngsters caught carrying personal amounts of drugs such as cannabis should "not be criminalised", in order to allow more resources to be dedicated to tackling high-level dealers. Tim Hollis, chief constable of Humberside police, said the criminal justice system could offer only a "limited" solution to the UK's drug problem, a tacit admission that prohibition has failed.

  • Should drugs policy be based on facts or opinion?

    Mark Easton
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, September16, 2010

    Should Britain's strategy to reduce the harm from drugs be based on scientific evidence or public opinion? When the issue came up during the course of a Parliamentary debate on "legal highs" last week, there was an interesting insight into how the previous Labour administration viewed matters.

  • US: Report: Illegal drug use up sharply last year

    Sam Hananel
    The Associated Press
    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    The rate of illegal drug use rose last year to the highest level in nearly a decade, fueled by a sharp increase in marijuana use and a surge in ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse, according to the annual report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was not surprised given "eroding attitudes" about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana.

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