The Courier, 25 Apr 2016 - Laws on Tobacco Smoking Should Extend to Marijuana It's time to legalise marijuana, then ban it again. Here's why. The Canadian government chose April 20 to make the announcement that cannabis will be legalised next spring, in the latest progressive move by the new Liberal government. The news had been coming for a while, because it was an election pledge last year but the date was significant because it was "4-20", when weed enthusiasts get together to call for changes in the law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government beat them to it with a morning announcement.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 24 Apr 2016 - The Islamic State and its terrorist proxies would suffer if cannabis were decriminalized, Italy's top prosecutor argues. In a recent interview, Franco Roberti also pointed out the links between the extremist group and organized crime in his country.
The Guardian, 18 Apr 2016 - Nick Clegg has accused the home secretary, Theresa May, of attempting to delete sentences from a Whitehall report after it concluded that there was no link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use. The former deputy prime minister also said senior Conservatives, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, have failed to act on drug reform because they see the issue as a "naughty recreational secret" at Notting Hill dinner parties instead of a public health crisis.
The Guardian, 18 Apr 2016 - Drugs policy in the UK is not actually made in smoke-filled rooms but it might as well be. The mixture of befuddled optimism with a lack of urgency that characterises official thinking about cannabis has had dangerous results. Getting on for 50 years of prohibition, vigorously defended in principle but lackadaisically enforced in practice, have produced a situation that combines the disadvantages of tolerance and criminalisation. Two generations of parents now know that it is not as dangerous as official propaganda told them, but this leads to a reluctance to admit that the habit has any real dangers at all. That in itself is dangerous to their children.
The Mail on Sunday, 17 Apr 2016 - HOW on earth did I end up on friendly terms with Howard Marks, the drug smuggler and pro-cannabis propagandist who died last week? Yet I did. You might think we would loathe each other. He stood for almost everything I am against. But not quite. He was a fierce and instinctive defender of free speech, a rare and precious quality. I learned this one long-ago evening in Blackpool, when a squawking rabble of ignorant, intolerant students succeeded in having me driven off the stage at a debate.
The Observer, 17 Apr 2016 - The president of Colombia will this week present a plan for the complete and radical overhaul of global policy towards drug trafficking and organised crime at a special session of the United Nations general assembly. Unveiling his proposals in the Observer today, Juan Manuel Santos said urgent measures were needed to bring about "a more effective, lasting and human solution" to the misery and crisis of narco-traffic. The most sensational element in Santos's presentation is the announcement that his government will - as a result of a four-year peace process soon to bear fruit as a peace treaty be implementing its own domestic struggle against narco-traffic alongside its bitter enemies, the Marxist guerillas of Farc. The group admits to having funded its war by what it calls "taxation" of narco-profits.
The Observer, 17 Apr 2016 - Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, argues that his country's narco-related violent history illustrates exactly why a global rethink on prohibition should be the key discussion at this week's UN general assembly special session on drugs How does one explain to a Colombian peasant in a rural community in the south-west of the country that he will be prosecuted under criminal charges for growing marijuana plants, while a young entrepreneur in Colorado finds his or her legal recreational marijuana business booming?
The Observer, 17 Apr 2016 - Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, arrives in New York this week with a clear message to the UN general assembly special session on drugs: the failure of the "war on drugs" to deal with the human cost of narco traffic and drug abuse. Santos's message will be: the whole policy needs to be rethought, with a different set of priorities. President Santos first called for an overhaul in policy towards drugs in an interview with this newspaper in 2011, urging that "a new approach should try and take away the violent profit that comes with drug trafficking". He has continued to drive that conversation forward with the moral authority bestowed by leading a country that was nearly destroyed by the violence and corrupting influence of cartel money on the police, judiciary and the body politic. It was close to a failed state in the late 90s and it was drugs that did that damage.
The Guardian, 16 Apr 2016 - UN Meeting to Discuss Growing Drugs Problem Up to Quarter of Psychosis Cases Could Be Prevented The risks of heavy cannabis use for mental health are serious enough to warrant global public health campaigns, according to international drugs experts who said young people were particularly vulnerable.
Daily Mail, 16 Apr 2016 - A CHIEF constable who wants to legalise drugs has been charged with overseeing how officers tackle the menace nationwide. Mike Barton believes some Class A and B drugs should be made legal and, in some cases, handed out for free to addicts.
The Observer, 10 Apr 2016 - Jamie Doward's admirable special report rightly stressed the importance of the UN general assembly special session on drugs (Ungass) to be held in New York later this month.("Is the prohibition era finally coming to an end?", News, last week). As Doward makes clear, the international drugs trade is an ongoing problem that affects all countries but reaches crisis level in producer and transit countries. It is to a very large degree the product of the well intentioned but misguided UN conventions that imposed drugs prohibition on all countries without regard for their cultures or traditions.
Daily Telegraph, 06 Apr 2016 - Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has been warned by the European Union's drugs agency that Britain's new blanket ban on so-called "legal highs" may not work. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said it was "unlikely" that any new regime could stem the tide of designer drugs, which emulate the effects of controlled substances such as cannabis or heroin. It comes weeks before the Government's Psychoactive Substances Act becomes law.
Daily Telegraph, 06 Apr 2016 - When the Home Office decided to impose a blanket ban on synthetic drugs known as legal highs, it must have thought this would be a reasonably straightforward matter. These substances are harmful to those who take them and have been blamed by police for an upsurge in violence among young people. But drafting legislation has not proved an easy task. There was concern in the Church, for instance, that incense would be proscribed since it is capable of producing a psychoactive effect. Assurances have since been offered by ministers that vicars would not be caught up in the ban. However, as the Bill progressed through Parliament, MPs and peers expressed worries about how substances that are benign or even helpful to people, including herbal remedies, were not on the exemption list. The Psychoactive Substances Act should have become law today, but its implementation has been delayed while ministers work out what they have banned. Recently, experts said poppers, or amyl nitrate, were not illegal under the Act despite the Government's assurances that they are.
Daily Telegraph, 05 Apr 2016 - THERE are fears that cannabis is being legalised by the back door, after figures showed that arrests for possession have dropped by almost 50 per cent over the past five years. The number of people being charged or cautioned for having the Class B drug has also fallen significantly, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Observer, 03 Apr 2016 - IS THE PROHIBITION ERA FINALLY COMING TO AN END? The year 2008 was momentous. Lehman Brothers collapsed, Radovan Karad i was arrested, Russian troops massed on the Georgian border, and Barack Obama beat John McCain to the White House.
The Guardian Weekly, 01 Apr 2016 - Experts Urge Reversal of Policies That Have Driven Violence and Deaths An international commission of medical experts is calling for global drug decriminalisation, arguing that current policies lead to violence, deaths and the spread of disease, harming health and human rights.
The Guardian, 25 Mar 2016 - Global Report Urges UN to Back Decriminalisation Commission Backs Move to Legal, Regulated Markets Medical experts are calling for global drug decriminalisation, arguing that current policies are leading to violence, death and the spread of disease, harming both health and human rights.
The Herald, 23 Mar 2016 - A BATTLE to legalise cannabis is set to start in Parliament as Liberal Democrat MPs propose a major shake-up of the UK's drug laws. Norman Lamb wants the drug to be legalised in order to stop money going into the pockets of criminals and to prevent the lives of people who are prosecuted for possession of the substance from being "blighted" by a criminal conviction.
Independent, 18 Mar 2016 - Samples Collected at Nightclubs Can Provide Data on Which Substances Are Being Used and Where For decades, the war on drugs has been fought on fronts from the jungles of Latin America to the classroom. But now the struggle to understand the use of illegal substances has reached a new low - the nation's urinals.