• Legalized pot was supposed to help build black wealth in Los Angeles. It failed

    Social equity programs were supposed to correct the disparities of the war on drugs as marijuana became legal. What went wrong?
    The New Republic (US)
    Monday, April 4, 2022

    us legalization social justiceBack in 2017, Los Angeles was among the first places in the United States to legalize weed with social equity in mind. Today, social equity dominates the conversation about who should be allowed to sell legal pot, with programs planned or up and running in Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Virginia, Arizona, and more. But behind the corporate rhetoric and the political promises are sobering numbers and widespread frustration with how social equity has harmed some of the exact people the programs are meant to help. In the five years since a plan was outlined in Los Angeles, 1,629 people became verified as social equity applicants, but only about 35 retailers have opened.

  • House approves federal marijuana legalization bill for second time in history

    A nearly identical version of the MORE Act passed in 2020, but it stalled in the Senate
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Friday, April 1, 2022

    us flag cannabis capitolThe U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to federally legalize marijuana for the second time in history, also adopting a pair of amendments to the legislation before final passage. Following an hour of debate on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) the full chamber voted 220-204 to end federal cannabis prohibition and promote social equity in the industry. Nadler’s MORE Act would deschedule marijuana by removing it from the list of federally banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, it would not require states to legalize cannabis and would maintain a level of regulatory discretion up to states. (See also: Prospects for federal marijuana reform: Q&A with GOP Rep. Nancy Mace)

  • PH drug war, rights situation back under global scrutiny

    As many as 30,000 were killed from July 2016 to March 2019 alone in the ongoing “war on drugs” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration
    Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines)
    Thursday, March 31, 2022

    philippines arrestsThe Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has assailed the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for noting the “extrajudicial targeting” of persons suspected of drug-related activities — a violation of international drug control conventions. The DDB said it had been in constant dialogue with the United Nations body and even “expressed openness” to a visit by experts to officially assess the Philippine anti-drug campaign. The DDB said its “only request” was that the INCB “uphold an impartial stance and refrain from considering sources that have not been vetted or validated by its member-states.” In its annual report for 2021, the INCB called on the Philippine government “to take immediate steps to stop and prevent any further extrajudicial targeting and to accelerate the ongoing investigations.”

  • The Tenderloin suffers under another inhumane crackdown

    Why doesn’t Breed take aggressive steps to bring more apartments under rent control, and immediately move people into hotel rooms or the 40,000 vacant homes in the city?
    Filter (US)
    Wednesday, March 30, 2022

    sf tenderloinIn December, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the Tenderloin (TL), a neighborhood which has long been home to some of the most disenfranchised people in the city. At a news conference with police officers lined up behind her, Breed, a Democrat, unleashed a “tough on crime” tirade that was positively Reaganesque. “Without evidence, officials frame unhoused people as dangerous to housed people, particularly their children,” stated the California ACLU in its October 2021 report, The Legal War Against Unhoused People. “They are condemned as a threat to public safety, and a form of blight that needs to be swept up, disappeared, and excluded from places where housed people gather.”

  • Netherlands' regulated cannabis experiment postponed again

    Selecting the growers is taking longer than expected, and several growers are having problems getting a location
    NL Times (Netherlands)
    Wednesday, March 30, 2022

    netherlands cannabis flagThe Netherlands' experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation has been delayed again. The trial will only start in the second quarter of 2023, Ministers Ernst Kuipers of Public Health and Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security said in a letter to parliament. The initial plan was to start selling regulated cannabis in 2020. That was then delayed to the second half of 2022 and now to next year. According to the Ministers, it is taking longer than expected to get to the point "when the quantity, quality, and diversity" of the legally grown cannabis is sufficient to supply the participating coffeeshops. They expect this point to be reached in the first half of next year at the earliest. (See also: Dutch regulated marijuana growing trial is delayed as problems mount | Dutch recreational cannabis production pilot beset by delays)

  • Cannabis associations should be ‘safe spaces’, NGOs propose

    Policy paper suggests clubs where users can share best practices and seek advice
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Monday, March 28, 2022

    malta cannabis flag2Two NGOs have proposed that cannabis associations should be “safe spaces” where members have a “true interest and passion” in the substance, and where they could share best practices and seek advice even about unwanted effects. The proposals are among those made by ReLeaf Malta and Moviment Graffitti in a policy document that urges a ‘social equity’ approach to Maltese cannabis associations. The document has been presented to psychotherapist Mariella Dimech as CEO of the cannabis authority. In December, Malta became the first European country to legalise the cultivation and possession of cannabis. Cannabis users can now carry up to 7g of the substance without fear of prosecution and also grow four plants at home.

  • Cannabis legislation passes 18-6, setting up constitutional face-off

    Rena Lalgie, the Governor, has made it clear legalisation of cannabis for recreational use was not allowed under the UK’s international obligations
    The Royal Gazette (Bermuda)
    Saturday, March 26, 2022

    bermuda cannabis reformIt will be legal to grow and sell cannabis in Bermuda – if controversial legislation passed in the House of Assembly gets Royal Assent from the Governor. The Cannabis Licensing Act 2022 would create a regulated framework for growth and sale of the drug. A series of licences would be available through a licensing authority, which will allow people to not only possess more, but also to grow, harvest, sell, and export it. The Bill was introduced by Walter Roban, the minister for home affairs, who was standing in for Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General. Mr Roban, in a repeat of the speech that Ms Simmons delivered in the House a year ago, said that the illegality of cannabis was “an unjust colonial legacy” and evidence of “systemic racialised disparities” where Black people were criminalised by a White oligarchy.

  • In Malta, confusion over cannabis law after doctor arrested for drug dealing

    Under the new legislation the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis is completely decriminalised for adults aged 18 and over
    Euronews (Europe)
    Thursday, March 24, 2022

    Maltamalta cannabis flag has been rocked by the arrest of a local doctor, Andrew Agius, for distributing cannabis mere months after the island became the first in Europe to legalise the drug. Agius, 43, was arrested on March 10 and charged with drug trafficking for importing cannabis and selling it to his patients to relieve back pain. His lawyers have argued that the product contains a small amount of THC, the active content in cannabis, and is not a prohibited drug. The arrest has thrown into confusion Malta’s much-vaunted legalisation of cannabis, with NGOs and police unsure about what is illegal and what isn’t. On 14 December 2021, the Maltese parliament passed the controversial “Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis” Bill, with 36 votes in favour and 27 against.

  • Bipartisan Congressional lawmakers want Biden to push UN to end international marijuana ban

    The measure also calls on U.S. officials to press the UN to “expunge and forgive penalties relating to cannabis for prior offenders"
    Marijuana Moment (US)
    Friday, March 18, 2022

    biden cannabisA bipartisan duo of congressional lawmakers filed a resolution on Friday imploring President Joe Biden to wield his influence to get the United Nations (UN) to end the international ban on marijuana by removing the plant from the list of controlled substances in a global drug treaty. Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the measure as UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) wrapped up meetings for its 65th session this week in Vienna. CND in 2020 adopted a proposal to delete cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention, but it currently remains in Schedule I, precluding member nations from legalizing the plant.

  • Cannabis law still reflects discriminatory practices: Andrew Bonello

    Parts of the new law continue to reflect discriminatory practices of the past and replicates injustices and suffering for people who consume cannabis
    Malta Today (Malta)
    Thursday, March 17, 2022

    Andrew BonelloThe reform enacted by the Maltese government in 2021 Act No. LXVI to establish the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis and to amend various laws relating to certain cannabis activities, included strong provisions to safeguard public health, human rights, respect for personal freedoms and autonomy. Nonetheless, parts of the new law in Malta, including the de facto implementation of the law, continue to reflect discriminatory practices of the past and replicates injustices and suffering for people who consume cannabis. Unfortunately, the law has totally ignored the negative effects caused by criminalisation and continues to promote a stigmatised approach. (See also: Cannabis lobby slams 'regressive' Labour manifesto)

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