Apr 042014
Guatemalan President Will Present Plan To Legalize Marijuana

By Phillip Smith Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said Wednesday his country could present a plan before year’s end to legalize the production of marijuana and opium poppies. His comments came in an interview with Reuters. Perez, a conservative and former general, has been a harsh critic of the US-led war on drugs in Latin America, repeatedly denouncing such policies at international forums. He has alsopreviously mentioned the possibility of moving to legalize marijuana and opium production, but has yet to put forward a concrete plan to do so. But a [...]

Mar 252014
Mexican Legislators To Discuss Mexico's Marijuana Reform Proposals

This week, legislators from the Mexican Congress and the Mexico City Assembly will be in DC and NY to discuss the bills they introduced to decriminalize the consumption and purchase of marijuana for personal use in Mexico City and to legalize medical marijuana countrywide. Mexico City Senator Mario Delgado and Mexico City Assembly member Vidal Llerenas, both from the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), will be in DC on March 24 and 25 and in NY on March 26 to discuss the aims of the marijuana reform proposals in Mexico. The central aim [...]

Mar 192014
Growing Demands For UN Drug Policy Reform

By Phillip Smith The United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has wrapped up the High-Level Segment portion of its annual meeting in Vienna. The session revealed schisms among countries about future steps on global drug control even as the global drug bureaucrats gave signs of softening in some policy areas, especially around emphasizing public health as opposed to criminalization. An indication of relaxation came when a key working group of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of groundbreaking recommendations discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use. [...]

Mar 142014
United Nations: Criminal Sanctions For Drug Use Are "Not Beneficial"

Vienna, Austria – A key working group of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of groundbreaking recommendations discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use. The Scientific Consultation Working Group on Drug Policy, Health and Human Rights of the UNODC – which includes Nora Volkow, head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – is releasing the recommendations at the High-Level Segment of the 57th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The working group recommendations say “criminal sanctions are not beneficial” in addressing the spectrum [...]

Feb 202014
Citizens Initiative Underway To Legalize Cannabis In The European Union

Courtesy of The Joint Blog A citizens initiative to legalize cannabis in the European Union is underway, with advocates needing to collect 1 million signatures from 7 member states within a 12 month period. Advocates of the initiative – which was approved by the government in November – officially began their signature gathering campaign this week. If advocates are successful in gathering enough signatures, the measure would be put to a vote next year. According to the group behind the initiative (Weed Like to Talk), it “aims at making the EU [European [...]

Feb 182014
Mexico Marijuana And Drug Reform Bills Filed

By Phillip Smith Late last week, lawmakers in Mexico City filed two bills that would begin to radically transform the country’s approach to drugs. One was introduced in the Mexico City legislative assembly and one in the federal legislature. The moves come as the debate over drug policy in general and marijuana in particular heats up in the region. The legalization of marijuana in Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington has enlivened ongoing efforts at drug reform in Mexico, and the country continues to bleed from the [...]

Feb 142014
Legislation To Legalize Marijuana Introduced In Mexico City

Courtesy of The Joint Blog A legislative proposal to legalize recreational cannabis was officially introduced today in Mexico City. If approved into law, the proposal would legalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis for anyone 21 and older. In 2009, Mexico City took a step towards decriminalizing cannabis, by making the possession of up to 5 grams no longer a criminal offense; this new proposal would take it a step further, by actually legalizing small amounts of cannabis, including sales.The measure – which was introduced by members of the Democratic Revolution Party [...]

Feb 132014
Court Strikes Down Italy's Marijuana Law, 10,000 Inmates to be Set Free

Courtesy of The Joint Blog Italy’s constitutional court on Wednesday struck down a controversial drug law – approved in 2006 – that tripled sentences for selling, cultivating or possessing cannabis, making the penalty equivalent to “hard drugs” such as cocaine and heroin. The constitutional court said the law was “illegitimate”, without going into further details. According to Reuters, this new ruling could set free as many as 10,000 inmates who were imprisoned due to the nation’s harsh cannabis policies. The 2006 law, which raised sentences for cannabis possession, cultivation and sales from 2-6 years, [...]

Feb 032014
War On Drugs Causes Increase In Deforestation Throughout Central America

Courtesy of The Joint Blog A new report, published in January’s issue of the journal Science, has found that the war on drugs has drastically increased the rate of deforestation in many parts of Central America. Titled Drug Policy as Conservation Policy: Narco-Deforestation, the report details how drug traffickers, avoiding crackdowns in places like Mexico, are increasingly shifting towards more remote, less strictly-policed areas. “Once you start fighting them, you scatter them into more remote locales and greater areas become impacted,” says head author of the study Dr. Kendra McSweeney. Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua have [...]

Jan 142014
The DEA Struck A Deal To Help Mexican Drug Cartel

If you are like me, you have long despised the DEA. I also despise Mexican drug cartels. I’m so tired of the media trying as hard as they can to lump cannabis consumers under the same umbrella as drug cartels. Drug cartels harm our society on a level that is disgusting to say the least. It has been confirmed that the United States DEA has been working with Mexico’s most notorious drug cartel (Sinaloa), helping them smuggle billions of dollars of drugs into the United States  in exchange for information [...]