In 2013, New Zealand passed a law creating the world’s first set of regulations to allow the clinical testing and approval of new recreational drugs. Much as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does for medicines, New Zealand’s system stands to create a government-regulated market for legal highs—an attempt to tame the industry not by stamping it out, but by guiding consumers to safe, reliable products, and giving suppliers an incentive to bring such products to market. [more inside]
"Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades. Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates ... we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates ... Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates." (Press Release) [more inside]
A Voter’s Guide to Legalizing Marijuana..at the state level
Descendents of early French Huguenots, the Ravenel family of South Carolina ranked among the most prominent members of the state's planter class. Arthur Ravenel, Jr. continued the Ravenel tradition of public service, serving in the South Carolina house and senate and then in the U.S. House of Representatives. He once referred to the NAACP as the "that organization known as the National Association for Retarded People" although he later apologized, but only to people with mental and physical challenges. He also once called for the military to shoot down any plane suspected of smuggling drugs. Arthur's son Thomas Ravenel had little contact with his father after his parent's divorce, became a self-made millionaire through real estate development, narrowly missed winning the Senate seat now held by Jim DeMint, was elected South Carolina Treasurer, was the subject of an investigation into his cocaine use (of which he was warned by his father), was indicted on a federal cocaine charge and resigned, and served 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine. On Saturday, Thomas Ravenel took to the pages of the Charleston Post and Courier to call for an end to drug prohibition, hoping the celebrity of being a former rising star in the Republican Party who went to prison will help advance his position.
The Portugal experiment. On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were “decriminalized,” not “legalized.” Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm.... The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world. (pdf of complete paper) [more inside]
Historically, drug laws have been a reactive response to a moral panic. Increasingly though, some governments are now seeking a more rational basis for drug policy. For the first time ever, all interested parties have been invited to get involved in the creation of the UK's next ten year drug strategy though many senior government advisors have been openly critical of some of the premises. [more inside]
Mexico Poised to Allow Drugs for Personal Use -- Mexico’s Congress has approved a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin for personal use. President Vicente Fox is expected to sign the bill.
National Review, Pro-Drug? I was searching for information of drug use in Vietnam and during wars in general, when I found this gem. Scroll halfway down to a very interesting pro-drug discussion between the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and Mr. William Buckley. A little dated (1990), but I never thought I'd come out of an article thinking to myself, "Maybe all drugs should be legal."
Rep. Kirk (R), states, that Washington now must fuse counterterrorism and counternarcotics into an inseparable mission. It seemed almost inevitable, but could this indicate use of broad (possibly unconstitutional) anti-terrorism legislation for prosecuting drug users? With Britain downgrading marijuana, and much of the Western world softening on drug use, it seems that the United States won't give up. In fact, they even have Wal-Mart in on the action.
Nevada may be the first state to decriminalize marijuana. In the meantime Drug Czar John Walters believes that if drugs were decriminalized users shouldn't have the rights everyone else has.
Cannabis is given health all clear in UK
The Economist calls for the legalization of drugs in this editorial. Plus these articles [per A&LD]. We are always led to believe that only fringe (read criminal and self-interested) elements favor this course...does anyone know any other "mainstream" groups/people with the nerve to publicly state their support? Or better yet, an online list of same.
Medical marijuana not as effective as previously thought. Should this study affect the legalization talks?