Posts Tagged cannabis
Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana
Uruguay has unveiled a plan to allow state-controlled sales of marijuana to fight a rise in drug-related crime.
Under the bill, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana to adults registered on a database.
Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said this was part of a plan to remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs.
He said that the recent increase in murder rates was a clear symptom of a rise in drug trafficking crimes.
“We believe that the prohibition of certain drugs is creating more problems for society than the drugs themselves… with disastrous consequences,” Mr Fernandez Huidobro said, presenting the bill.
“Homicides related to settling scores have increased, and that’s a clear sign that certain phenomena are appearing in Uruguay that didn’t exist before,” he said.
The authorities blame the rise in crime in Uruguay on hard drugs, specifically crack cocaine.
The new bill envisages that some shops would be allowed to sell marijuana cigarettes at a price fixed by the authorities.
The government also wants to create a user database to supervise consumption.
BBC regional correspondent Vladimir Hernandez says the move is seen as groundbreaking in South America.
Several Central American leaders – including the presidents of Guatemala and Costa Rica – have spoken of the need to consider decriminalising some drugs in an attempt to undermine cartels.
In Uruguay alone, the illegal marijuana market is estimated to be worth about $75m (£48m) a year.
But the new bill has already proved controversial, and the debate in Congress could take several months, our correspondent says.
Source: BBC News
At least some countries are thinking along the right lines.
Americas war on drugs is futile, it can never be won. Why is America against drugs? Because they are bad… oh no, because they will interfere with the profits of the tobacco and alcohol industries. Once again, the politicians have been bought and paid for.
Summit of the Americas agree war on drugs a failure
This weekend’s Summit of the Americas did not produce a joint communiqué charting the future of the hemisphere, but the 31 leaders agreed on one thing: The U.S.-led war on drugs has been a dismal failure.
The summit pledged to create a panel of experts through the Organization of American States to consider drug policy reforms, and new approaches to stem the violence and power of the drug cartels.
Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has created mandatory-minimum prison terms at home for minor drug offences, seems to have moved beyond the rhetoric of a Reagan-era counter-narcotics crusade: “Everyone believes… that the current approach [to the war on drugs] is not working, but it is not clear what we should do.”
The onus is on the hemisphere’s leaders, including Mr. Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, to consider innovative, evidence-based policies. The decriminalization of marijuana – which comprises between 25 and 40 per cent of the drug cartels’ revenues – is one option. In the Netherlands, where licensed coffee shops can sell small amounts of marijuana, the rate of cannabis use is just 5 per cent, versus 14 per cent in the U.S. The policy of tolerance helps the government regulate cannabis sellers, and also distinguishes between soft drugs and cocaine and heroin.
In Portugal, where all drugs were decriminalized in 2001, there has been a decrease in serious drug use and drug-related deaths, and a savings to the criminal-justice system. “The aim shouldn’t be to totally decriminalize the whole enterprise, but to set some reasonable standards so that people don’t become criminals for minor drug use and clandestine organizations don’t make obscene amounts of money,” said Allert Brown-Gort, a Latin American expert at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
The problem with the current war-on-drugs policy is that it is unwinnable – and leads to weakened states, staggering levels of violence and continued drug consumption in Canada and the U.S. The U.S. spent $8-billion to help Colombia eradicate coca fields, only to have coca production shift to Peru and Ecuador and cartels set up new smuggling routes in weaker states. Guatemala and El Salvador now have the highest homicide rates in the world, while 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006.
In the words of Guatemalan President Otto Perez, a champion of drug liberalization, it is time to “stop being dumb witnesses to a global deceit” and consider treatment, harm reduction and decriminalization as viable alternatives.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Oh, they’ve just figured that out…
It has been evident for 20 years to everybody else!
As usual, the USA doesn’t agree, idiots!
Cigarette vending machines banned in England
The sale of tobacco from vending machines has been banned in England, with anyone caught selling cigarettes in machines facing a fine of £2,500.
The Department of Health said the ban had been introduced to prevent under-age sales to children and to support adults who were trying to quit.
The rest of the UK is expected to implement a similar ban next year.
Some pub landlords say it is a further threat to a livelihood that has already been damaged by the smoking ban.
But Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation have welcomed the move.
According to the Department of Health, nearly all adult smokers started smoking before they turned 18.
Of the children who regularly smoke, 11% buy their cigarettes from vending machines.
Source BBC News Read more
I had my first cigarette at eight because I stole a pack of 10 de Reszke from my father’s shop. Why? Because stealing was wrong, because I knew smoking was wrong.
Boys do that.
This move is not going to make any difference. Kids will smoke, simply because they are not allowed to.
The 11% who buy their cigarettes from vending machines only do it because you made buying them from the shop illegal.
With the machines gone, they will find more inventive ways to get their cigarettes. You won’t stop kids smoking as long as you say, “you can’t!”
It’s the same with booze, it’s the same with cannabis, it’s the same with anything you make illegal.
Don’t believe me?
Go on, make chocolate, coca cola or coffee illegal and watch the consumption sky rocket.
Honestly, you guys have no idea of human nature.
Leader’s cannabis stance opens rift
ACT leader Don Brash has opened up a rift in his party over the decriminalisation of cannabis.
Epsom candidate John Banks – the party’s ticket into parliament – yesterday expressed surprise at Dr Brash’s call.
And the former police minister said he could not support a relaxation of marijuana laws. “I’ve always been opposed to drugs and I always will be opposed to drugs,” he said.
ACT’s president Chris Simmons said decriminalising the class C drug was “a step too far” and was not likely to become policy.
But Dr Brash received a surprise backer in former Federated Farmers boss Don Nicolson, the party’s agriculture spokesman.
“Don Brash … is saying that the cost is prohibitive and we are not winning the battle.
Source: Chch Press, Read more
For a moment there, I thought New Zealand was finally going to pull its head out of hthe sand.
Then I saw John Banks name, stupid bastard. His views are so prehistoric, that indicates he should have gone the way of the dinosaurs.
When is the world going to wake up like some (all too few) countries. The Holland, Belguim and Portugal experience shows that the fears of decriminalising drugs are not the ogre they think. How many times does this have to be demonstrated?
Just for the record, I don’t have a vested interest in this argument; while I have had the opportunity, I have never been tempted.
The decriminalising of drugs can only reduce the usage. Consider Prohibition in the USA; it showed that once alcohol was prohibited, usage rose only to be reduced with the end of Prohibition. The evidence of the countries that have decriminalised cannabis have supported that theory. The problems that have been encountered in these countries have been created by the influx of users from neighbouring countries whose laws don’t allow cannabis.
The result of deciminalising frees up overworked police, reduces prison populations, creates employment, generates taxes and reduces a criminal activity (takes cannabis out of ‘mafia’ style hands). There are a host of products that cannabis can be used for.
It’s not just the drug.
New Zealand people need to have the debate, a referendum. Bugger the prehistoric politicians who, as usual, are laughably out of touch with reality.
New Zealand has a chance to lead the world. Don’t blow it Godzone… remember, he created the stuff.
… can never be won!
And it’s too damn stupid to try.
It’s the Middle-class
“I do have some very unruly types living near me at the moment who are dealing drugs,” says Amy – not her real name.
“But the times they’ve been raided and I have had a wry smile thinking ‘you’re in the wrong place, you should be over here, this is the house with all the drugs in,’ but nobody knows.”
Amy is a company executive from Cheshire’s “gin and Jag” belt. She also grows cannabis in her loft.
She started growing cannabis after a colleague told her how to do it. She had been buying cannabis for her partner, who has multiple sclerosis, but was not comfortable meeting dealers in deserted car parks.
Within weeks of finding out how to grow a decent crop in her own home, she had become the latest upmarket recruit to cannabis farming. Now she uses the proceeds to supplement her already substantial income.
Source BBC News Read more
Which all goes to show how utterly futile the war against drugs is.
Authorities (that’s an oxymoron) are spending billions on enforcement, when the billions would be better spent on education where the people benefit.