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Home News South Africa So the big drugs debate

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So the big drugs debate

 

... continues to rage. Is it just me or does there seem to be an awful lot of news and research lately coming out in support of drugs being decriminalised or legalised with a particular emphasis on cannabis? Only today the UK Drug Policy Commission released a report after 6 years of research likening the dangers of using drugs to that of eating junk food or gambling. (1)

The Dutch government looks like it is about to make a u-turn on it's efforts to stop foreigners purchasing cannabis in it's famous cafes by introducing a 'weed pass' after witnessing signs that the trade is starting to make it's way back into the hands of underground drug dealers and the lucrative profits along with it. (2)

 


In the USA a July ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles was overturned after an outcry by supporters of medical marijuana. Furious medical marijuana patients and advocates had successfully suspended the ban in August before it went into place by delivering 50,000 signatures calling for a referendum on the ban. The LA City Council recently voted 11-2 to reverse it’s own ban. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, pleaded with the council to lift the ban, saying, “Where does anybody go, even a councilman go, to get his medical marijuana?” (3)

A panel of federal judges in the United State Court of Appeals for the DC district will on Tuesday 16 October hear oral arguments with regard to the reviewal of cannabis’ Schedule 1 listing as a dangerous substance with no medical benefits. The lawsuit was brought against the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) by Americans for Safe Access (ASA). This will be the first time in 20 years that legislators have looked at whether cannabis’ scheduling is accurate or if it needs to be updated. (4)

Then there is the news that I am personally most excited about - the very real possibility that next month when US citizens go to the voting booth that cannabis could be legalised for recreational use by adults over the age of 21 in at least one of three US states i.e. Colorado, Washington and Oregon. (5) Recent polls suggest that the state measures in both Colorado and Washington show heavy support in favour of legalisation while support for the measure in Oregon is trailing the opposition. 17 US states, including the 3 above, and the District of Columbia (DC) already permit doctors to prescribe cannabis to registered patients. (6)


References
1)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2217779/Using-illegal-drugs-like-eating-junk-food-gambling-Row-charity-calls-softer-line-cannabis.html
2)http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2012/10/12/weed-for-all-again-dutch-politicians-say-maybe/
3)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/02/la-medical-marijuana-dispensary-ban-repealed_n_1933680.html
4)http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/2012/10/15/medical-marijuana-gets-its-day-in-federal-court-tomorrow/#
5)http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/13217-voters-in-3-states-may-nullify-fed-drug-laws-by-legalizing-marijuana
6)http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881


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