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Posts Tagged ‘legalize’

Cannabis policies in the Netherlands, what went wrong?



coffeeshop-stickerThe last major change in Dutch drug policy was in 1976, when new legislation established a distinction between soft and hard drugs, and decriminalised possession and sales of small amounts of cannabis by and to adults. At first cannabis only became available on special occasions and in popular youth centres like Paradiso and the Milky Way in Amsterdam. Later, cannabis promotors understood that the new legislation allowed for the sales of small quantities for personal use in caf?-like places: the “coffeeshops” emerged. In the course of the years the government installed a system of regulation, with most of the day to day decisions taken by local authorities, nicknamed the Triangle: mayor, district attorney and chief of police.
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The Beatles call for the legalisation of marijuana

9.00am, Monday 24 July 1967 (45 years ago)

the-beatles-photo-credit-tumblrA full-page advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper on this day, signed by 64 of the most prominent members of British society, which called for the legalisation of marijuana. Among the signatories were The Beatles and Brian Epstein.
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The Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 – opening the debate about cannabis

Cannabis Culture Award winner 2012 Thorvald Stoltenberg:

‘Hope is almost as important as life itself’

During a festive and moving ceremony, the Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 were awarded on April 26th in Amsterdam. Two former statesmen, Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg, former minister of Defense of Norway and Mr. Dries van Agt, former Prime minister of the Netherlands, expressed their hope for a future without cannabis prohibition. ‘Hope is almost as important as life itself’, said Stoltenberg, after accepting the Cannabis Culture Award on behalf of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
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Switzerland and Copenhagen – beyond cannabis tolerance (part one)

coffeeshop stickerThe policy of ‘soft drug tolerance’ in the Netherlands is probably the most well-known example of a country attempting to regulate the use and sale of cannabis. Recognising that marijuana and hashish consumption cause very little social or personal harm, Holland’s laws were changed to differentiate relatively benign soft drugs from genuinely harmful hard drugs.
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Switzerland and Copenhagen – beyond cannabis tolerance (part two)

Switzerland and Denmark are considering measures which could lead to the return of decriminalised cannabis in 2012. In both cases, the main reason for the proposed change is to reduce the harm caused by pushing cannabis onto the black market. The simple, inarguable fact is that cannabis will continue to be consumed for its medicinal and recreational properties, so allowing otherwise law-abiding people to grow or purchase it legally is the best way to prevent cannabis sales enriching criminals.
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Copenhagen plans for legal cannabis!

copenhagen-aerialThe Copenhagen City Council want (yet again) take control of the Danish marijuana market! A market with an annual worth of 1.5 billion kroner, or 200 million euros.
Copenhagen Social Affairs Head Councillor Mikkel Warming said the new proposal is to completely legalize the sale of cannabis, in contrast to the Dutch model which tolerates but doesn’t control or regulate sales, and makes no provision for production or supply of cannabis to coffeeshops. The Danish capital sees the paradox in this approach – it’s hard not to – and instead plans to legalize and regulate the entire process.
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The War On Drugs Has Failed!

The global war on drugs has failed, a high-level commission comprised of former presidents, public intellectuals and other leaders studying drug policies concluded in a report released Thursday.

International efforts to crack down on drug producers and consumers and to try to reduce demand have had “devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy said. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Medicinal Marijuana Is Here to Stay

“We are not far from a time when pot will be hailed as a wonder drug.”

The following is the text of a speech by Lester Greenspoon, M.D. recently delivered to the 2011 NORML conference.

Lester GrinspoonIn 1967, because of my concern about the rapidly growing use of the dangerous drug marijuana, I began my studies of the scientific and medical literature with the goal of providing a reasonably objective summary of the data which underlay its prohibition.  Much to my surprise, I found no credible scientific basis for the justification of the prohibition.  The assertion that it is a very toxic drug is based on old and new myths.  In fact, one of the many exceptional features of this drug is its remarkably limited toxicity.  Compared to aspirin, which people are free to purchase and use without the advice or prescription of a physician, cannabis is much safer: there are well over 1000 deaths annually from aspirin in this country alone, whereas there has never been a death anywhere from marijuana. In fact, when cannabis regains its place in the US Pharmacopeia, a status it lost after the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, it will be seen as one of the safest drugs in that compendium.  Moreover, it will eventually be hailed as a “wonder drug” just as penicillin was in the 1940s.  Penicillin achieved this reputation because it was remarkably non-toxic, it was, once it was produced on an economy of scale, quite inexpensive, and it was effective in the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases.  Similarly, cannabis is exceptionally safe, and once freed of the prohibition tariff, will be significantly less expensive than the conventional drugs it replaces while its already impressive medical versatility continues to expand. Read the rest of this entry »

“Senora Cannabis” Alicia Castilla Released After 94 Days

Alicia Castilla, cannabis activist and author, aka Senora Cannabis

Alicia Castilla, cannabis activist and author, aka Senora Cannabis

The 5th of May saw the release of 66 year old Alicia Castilla, who was held in prison for  94 days after police discovered marijuana plants at her home in Atl?ntida, Uruguay.

In a similar way to the Netherlands, laws in Uruguay allow possession of cannabis for personal use (although in Uruguay the amount considered reasonable for personal consumption is decided by a judge). Cultivation however is completely forbidden, a paradox that forces users to either (illegally) buy from criminal dealers or break the law by cultivating cannabis for their own use. Alicia Castilla, author of two books on cannabis, chose the latter option.

In January 2011 police raided the house she had bought with the intention of having ‘a peaceful place to spend my old age’, and discovered 29 unsexed cannabis seedlings. Read the rest of this entry »

Cannabis Debates Begin Tomorrow

In response to the current plans for limiting the right to buy cannabis to Dutch residents, and other related restrictions, a series of debates are taking place throughout the Netherlands during February and March. Beginning tomorrow (05/02) at the Cannabis College in Amsterdam, the Cannabis Debates are open to everyone over the age of 18 and attendance (14:00 to 17:00) is free.
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