Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Colorado groups look to legalize marijuana in 2012

    Activists plan to launch campaigns but won’t collect signatures yet
    The Durango Herald (US)
    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Colorado marijuana activists, undaunted by California’s failure to legalize the drug, said last week they are launching two separate campaigns to legalize marijuana for adults in 2012. The groups announced their intentions even as voters in more than two dozen Colorado municipalities decided last week to ban medical marijuana centers. But advocates who want to legalize the drug see hope in Colorado, one of 14 states where medical marijuana is legal, and where Denver voters approved an ordinance making marijuana possession the “lowest law-enforcement priority.”

  • Voters in many Massachusetts communities back loosening of marijuana laws

    The Associated Press
    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Voters in more than a dozen state legislative districts backed dramatic expansions to legal access to marijuana in Tuesday’s elections, and advocates plan to use the results to press lawmakers to loosen restrictions on the drug. Advocates placed 18 advisory questions on Tuesday’s ballot to get a sense whether voters would support another overhaul of marijuana laws.

  • Mephedrone: still available and twice the price

    Adam Winstock, Luke Mitcheson & John Marsden
    The Lancet, Volume 376, Issue 9752, Page 1537
    November 6, 2010

    Findings suggest that classification of mephedrone has had a limited effect on controlling its availability and use. Before the introduction of the legislation, users generally obtained mephedrone via the internet. Now they buy it from street dealers, on average at double the price. We suspect that, in time, there are likely to be reductions in purity, and increases in health harms.

  • Prop. 19 backers plan new marijuana legalization effort

    Supporters begin laying the groundwork for a new ballot initiative in 2012 after Tuesday's 54%-46% loss. Voters in 10 cities approve taxes on sales of medical and recreational pot.
    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Supporters of legalizing marijuana in California spent the day after the election laying the groundwork to rebound from their 54%-to-46% defeat and return to the ballot in two years. "We have a debate that was just heard around the world, and the conversation has only just begun," said Dale Sky Jones, a spokeswoman for the Proposition 19 campaign. Although California voters did not buy the argument that marijuana should be legalized like alcohol, many agreed that it should be taxed like it. Voters in 10 cities overwhelmingly approved taxes on sales of medical and recreational pot.

  • Despite rejecting Prop. 19, Californians lean toward legalizing marijuana, poll finds

    John Hoeffel
    Los Angeles Times
    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    California voters rejected Prop. 19, but a post-election poll found that they still lean toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use and, if young voters had turned out as heavily on Tuesday as they do for presidential elections, the result would have been a close call. "It is our view, looking at this research, that if indeed legalization goes on ballot in 2012 in California, that it is poised to win."

  • Measure to legalize pot is defeated in Calif after feds issue warnings, young voters stay home

    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    California voters weren't high on a ballot measure aimed at legalizing marijuana and appeared to heed warnings of legal chaos and a federal showdown when they defeated the initiative to make the state the first in the nation to allow the recreational use and sale of pot. Supporters of Proposition 19 blamed Tuesday's outcome on the conservative leanings of older voters who participate in midterm elections. They acknowledged that young voters had not turned out in sufficient numbers to secure victory but said they were ready to try again in two years.

  • Prop. 19 supporters say win or lose they've sparked a debate

    A late surge of cash is helping proponents place ads on TV and print and on get-out-the-vote efforts. Polls show the measure trailing.
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    The campaign's message was, win or lose, the initiative has stimulated widespread debate and shown that the nation's ban on marijuana is destined to fall. "Millions of people will vote for Proposition 19," said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "We will never go back to a time when marijuana reform was outside the realm of thinkable thought."

  • Bigger welfare state 'reduces hard drug use'

    Research shows providing generous social security system is more effective than criminalising addicts
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Reducing the use of drugs would be better tackled by having a bigger welfare state, rather than criminalising addicts, according to research. The work shows countries that provide a generous social security system have low levels of injecting drug use, irrespective of how punitive the drugs policy is. Charities have used the study to argue that the government's welfare cuts will see a rise in drug addicts.

  • Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin' says Prof David Nutt

    BBC News
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet. The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009. It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.

  • Dutch coffee shops fear coalition crackdown

    Ben Shore
    BBC News (UK)
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    The traditional Dutch tolerance of the sale of small amounts of marijuana through licensed "coffee shops" is under severe strain. On 14 October a new coalition government was sworn in. Part of the coalition agreement stipulates that coffee shops "will become private clubs". In other words, no tourists.

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