• Senate Democrats roll out long-awaited bill to legalize marijuana

    The newly introduced bill faces tough opposition from many Republicans in the evenly split Senate, as well as resistance from some Democrats
    The Hill (US)
    Thursday, July 21, 2022

    us flag cannabis capitolSenate Democrats unveiled long-awaited legislation to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, but opposition from Republicans and some Democrats is expected to pose a challenge to passing the measure. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the bill, dubbed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOC), in floor remarks. “I am proud to be the first Majority Leader ever to say that it is time to end the federal prohibition on cannabis, and this bill provides the best framework for updating our cannabis laws and reversing decades of harm inflicted by the war on drugs,” Schumer said. Schumer worked alongside Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to craft the legislation. (See also: Senate bill to federally legalize marijuana and promote social equity finally filed by Schumer, Booker and Wyden)

  • Council of State opposes plan to ban sale of laughing gas

    Ministers announced they planned to include laughing gas in the opium law at the end of 2019
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Monday, July 18, 2022

    nl nitrous oxideThe Council of State, which examines and makes recommendations about all new draft legislation in the Netherlands, says the government should not introduce a ban on the sale of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) as planned. The measure would be too far reaching because the gas has many legal uses, including pain relief, the council said. A ban would also be difficult to police. The government plans to include laughing gas on its official list of soft drugs, alongside marijuana. That would make the possession, trade and production of the drug a crime, although users would not be prosecuted. Instead, the Council of State recommends the government look into less far-reaching measures to deal with the health risks attached to prolonged laughing gas use. This could include better monitoring and information provision.

  • Brussels Mayor: ‘Police repression does not work, decriminalise cannabis now’

    “Let’s have a calm debate. Cannabis is not a product that should be promoted, but something that should be managed”
    The Brussels Times (Belgium)
    Monday, July 18, 2022

    belgium cannabis handsThe Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close (PS) renewed his call for cannabis to be decriminalised and removed from the Belgian penal code. Speaking to Le Soir, Close once again urged a ‘great national debate’ on this divisive subject in view of the upcoming 2024 elections. The Brussels Mayor sustains that by taking cannabis out of the hands of criminal groups, the authorities can focus on the trafficking of hard drugs. Close’s comments come as Brussels has seen a wave of drug-related violence in recent months. Since the start of the year, 22 shootings have been recorded in the capital. According to the police, these often have a link with the drug market and trafficking.

  • Luxembourg leads the charge for a new European drug policy

    Luxembourg announced that a bill to set up a production chain for non-medical cannabis is to be tabled during 2023
    RTL Today (Luxembourg)
    Sunday, July 17, 2022

    luxembourg cannabisOn Friday 15 July, representatives from Germany, the Netherlands, and Malta met at Senningen Castle and agreed that they want to switch to a different drug policy. The failure of the repressive approach "cannot be denied, and the time has come to develop a new approach, based on dialogue with like-minded states and European and international institutions". A joint resolution was released by Luxembourg, Malta and Germany. The Netherlands abstained. "However, we all agree that the status quo is not an option. We need a new structured and multilateral drug policy", according to Justice Minister Sam Tanson of Luxembourg. (See also: Luxembourg : l’État compte cultiver du cannabis)

  • Results of cultivated cannabis experiment won't be ready in 2024: Ministers

    The Ministries could not say when the government expects to publish its conclusions on the experiment
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Friday, July 8, 2022

    netherlands cannabis flagThe government won't be able to draw conclusions from the regulated cannabis experiment in the Netherlands in 2024. The experiment starts later than planned, also delaying the evaluation. The Cabinet does not want to draw any conclusions without the evaluation, Ministers Dilan Yeşilgöz (Justice and Security) and Ernst Kuipers (Public Health, Welfare, and Sports) said in a letter to parliament. The Rutte IV Cabinet agreed to publish the results in 2024 in the coalition agreement. As things now stand, the researchers won’t be able to prepare their “comprehensive analysis” on the three most important points for the Cabinet: prevention, health, and safety. The experiment is only successful if “progress on all three elements” is visible.

  • Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could see their drug possession records disappear

    It’s estimated that as many as 250,000 Canadians may have drug possession convictions stemming from cannabis possession alone, when it was still illegal. That may be about to change
    The Toronto Star (Canada)
    Monday, July 4, 2022

    handcuffsCanadians with criminal records for drug possession will see them effectively vanish within two years after the government’s criminal justice reform bill becomes law — a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. Criminal records can prevent people from getting jobs, volunteer opportunities, housing and hinder their ability to travel. The automatic “sequestration” of drug possession records was made possible due to a New Democratic Party amendment to Bill C-5 and accepted by the government. “I said we needed a better bill ... Highest on my list was trying to get rid of criminal records for simple possession,” said NDP justice critic Randall Garrison, who proposed the amendment.

  • Germany’s move to legalise cannabis expected to create ‘domino effect’

    Coalition government consults health experts, economists and growers in race to clear legal hurdles within two years
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, July 1, 2022

    Germanycannabis germany2 is mulling over the consequences of soon becoming the world’s largest potential market for legally sold cannabis, as the country’s left-liberal government presses ahead with plans to allow the controlled distribution of the drug among adults. Olaf Scholz’s coalition government has in recent weeks reiterated its 2021 coalition-deal vow to legalise for recreational use what its Green and liberal party minister have taken to referring to as Bubatz, a slang word for weed popular among German rappers. A consultation process consisting of five public hearings with health experts, economists and cannabis growers concluded this week, firing the starting gun for a race to clear legal and regulatory hurdles within one to two years. A draft bill is expected within the second half of 2022. (See also: Germany seeks 'safety first' approach to legalizing cannabis)

  • War on drugs prolonged Colombia’s decades-long civil war, landmark report finds

    Truth commission’s report, touted as a chance to heal after half a century of bloodshed, called for a ‘substantial change in drug policy’
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    The punitive, prohibitionist war on drugs helped prolong Colombia’s disastrous civil war, the country’s truth commission has found, in a landmark report published as part of an effort to heal the raw wounds left by conflict. The report, titled “There is a future if there is truth”, was the first instalment of a study put together by the commission that was formed as part of a historic 2016 peace deal with the leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). The report found that a “substantial change in drug policy” should be implemented and that a transition “to the regulation of drug markets” should follow, while also placing some of the blame at the US, who funded Colombia’s armed forces during the war.

  • Inside the process to legalize recreational cannabis In Germany

    More than 200 leading German and international experts will exchange their views on the legalization
    Forbes (US)
    Monday, June 27, 2022

    germany cannabis flagWhen the German government announced in late 2021 its plan to legalize recreational cannabis sales in Germany, experts and cannabis enthusiasts put great expectations on the so-called "traffic light" government's plan to regulate the industry. Although Germany and other European countries focused in recent months on the war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February and the resulting efforts to detach themselves from Russian energy dependence, German officials had time to speed up the process of legalizing recreational cannabis. Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert officially announced on June 13 the kickoff of the first of five expert hearings to prepare for the planned legislative process to legalize recreational cannabis.

  • Banning tourists from cannabis cafes will cut back on crime: Halsema

    Halsema has pledged not to press ahead with the plan without council support
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Saturday, June 25, 2022

    nl amsterdam weedAmsterdam’s cannabis cafes are often intertwined with serious crime and play a serious role in money laundering, the capital’s mayor Femke Halsema has told councillors, ahead of Wednesday’s debate on refusing entry to tourists. Closing coffee shops which are involved in criminal activities is both complicated and time consuming, the mayor is quoted as saying by the Parool. But by banning the sale of soft drugs to tourists, the cannabis market will shrink and become less interesting for organised crime. This makes a ban on access for tourists is an unavoidable, temporary move in efforts to get the soft drugs market under control, the mayor told councillors, referring to police report De narcostand van Nederland, which was published earlier this year.

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