The Guardian, 26 May 2016 - Critics of Law Say Trade Will Simply Shift Underground Whipped Cream Chargers May Come Under Suspicion The blanket ban on the trade in legal highs which comes into force today is expected to end their sale through high street "head shops" and UK-based websites almost overnight, police and trading standards officers have said.
Irish Independent, 25 May 2016 - Most Drug Dealers Don't Live in Some Fine Pad on the Costa Del Sol, They Actually Live With Their Mammies. THE news that another man has been killed in a war fuelled by money made from drug dealing, begs the question how long are we going to tolerate the illegality of drugs. Yes, the word used is tolerate!
The Herald, 25 May 2016 - I AGREE wholeheartedly with David J Crawford in his exhortation to government it should decriminalise cannabis (Letters, May 23). What did the war on drugs achieve? In the US the prison population has increased by 500 per cent in the last 30 years due almost entirely to drug convictions. In the UK a large number of people now have a criminal record for merely possessing a very small amount of the drug. Vast amounts of money and violence have been the result as the criminal element took control of the supply chain.
The Guardian, 11 May 2016 - Critics Say Antisocial Behaviour Powers Are Already Criminalising Vulnerable People, Ahead of All-Out Ban It's just before 11.30am on a Friday morning and I'm standing in Lincoln's city square. With me are police officers Andy Balding and Joel Dowse, an antisocial behaviour officer at Lincoln council. We're on the lookout for socalled legal highs synthetic substances that have similar effects to illegal drugs but have not yet been banned by legislation.
The Observer, 08 May 2016 - Lib Dem's Norman Lamb Urges MPs to Pass the Bill to Create a Regulated Market for the Drug Parliament will be failing in its duty to reflect the will of the people if it continues to resist calls to introduce a regulated cannabis market, a former coalition minister has warned.
The Irish Times, 06 May 2016 - The way to deal with drugs gangs is through their bank accounts by legalising certain drugs, Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly told the Dail. During a debate on criminal gangs following the feud in Dublin in which seven people have been killed, she said there were "massive profits in the drug trade as a result of our policy of prohibition".
The Witness, 05 May 2016 - BERLIN - The German government gave the go-ahead yesterday to relax rules on cannabis use by the seriously ill from early next year if they have no other treatment options. Dried cannabis flowers and cannabis extracts will be available in pharmacies on prescription and the public health system will cover the cost, according to the draft bill that is expected to come into force next year.
The Courier, 04 May 2016 - First Minister Makes Controversial Health Announcement As She Confirms Dundee Will Get Its Own Trauma Centre Nicola Sturgeon would back decriminalising cannabis for medicinal use. The First Minister said there was a "specific case" for relaxing laws to treat people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis but reaction to her announcement split the audience of around 150 activists in Dundee's Queen's Hotel.
The Guardian, 02 May 2016 - Synthetic Cannabis Has 'Devastating Impact' On Jails, Says Chief Inspector Synthetic cannabis is having a "devastating impact" in British prisons and making it difficult for normal life to continue in some facilities, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.
The Mail on Sunday, 01 May 2016 - SOME things are unsayable in British politics. One such is the truth that cannabis has been, for many years, a decriminalised drug. The police, the CPS and the courts have given up any serious effort to arrest and prosecute users, just as evidence starts to pour in that it is extremely dangerous. Instead our elite moan about 'prohibition', which does not exist, and the cruel 'criminalisation' of dope-smokers, which would be their own fault if it happened, but actually doesn't. Arrests for this offence are rarer every week, and some police forces openly say they don't do it any more.
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.