With its open-air marijuana stalls festooned in psychedelic colors
and its freewheeling, self-governing structure, the Christiania
neighborhood in Copenhagen has been for decades emblematic of Danish
liberalism and tolerance.
On Friday morning, however, a symbol of hippie hedonism came crashing
down - at least temporarily.
At about 9 a.m., hundreds of residents began dismantling the drug
market on Pusher Street in the heart of the city, where men in masks
usually peddle marijuana and hashish from stalls. Video footage
showed residents hauling away plants and using saws, drills and
bulldozers to demolish the stands. Signs saying "no photography
allowed" were ripped down.
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PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that government's war on
drugs in the Corradino Correctional Facility has failed.
He was speaking in Parliament, and reminded people of government's
pledge to reform the prison, and end drug abuse there. In this, he
said, government has failed. "In November 2013, government hired an
ex-US soldier to bring discipline to the prison. Former Home Affairs
Minister Manuel Mallia had said he was starting a war to end drugs in prison.
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GLOBAL opium production plunged almost 40% last year but the world
remains awash with heroin, the narcotic that still kills the most
people worldwide, the United Nations said yesterday.
UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) head Yury Fedotov said: "Heroin
continues to be the drug that kills the most people and this
resurgence must be addressed urgently."
A UNODC report said production of opium, which is processed into
heroin, had fallen to 4 770 tons last year, a 38% plunge from 2014.
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BERLIN - The German government gave the go-ahead yesterday to relax
rules on cannabis use by the seriously ill from early next year if
they have no other treatment options.
Dried cannabis flowers and cannabis extracts will be available in
pharmacies on prescription and the public health system will cover
the cost, according to the draft bill that is expected to come into
force next year.
Other countries that allow cannabis use for medical purposes include
Italy and the Czech Republic. Some U.S. states have decriminalised
cannabis completely. Portugal has decriminalised all drugs for
personal use, but does not allow cannabis use for medical purposes.
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The Islamic State and its terrorist proxies would suffer if cannabis
were decriminalized, Italy's top prosecutor argues.
In a recent interview, Franco Roberti also pointed out the links
between the extremist group and organized crime in his country.
Roberti is Italy's anti-terrorism and anti-mafia chief, a joint
portfolio that was created last year. He said decriminalizing
marijuana - or even making it legal - would dent the illicit networks
that profit from its sale and production.
The Islamic State, in particular, gleans money off smuggling routes
from parts of Libya into Europe.
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Progressive Plan Earns Eruption of Applause
The Liberal government used its first foray into the global
anti-narcotics arena this week to signal a clear shift from the war
on drugs philosophy, promising more safe-injection sites, promoting
"harm reduction" and touting its plan to legalize marijuana.
The speech by Hilary Geller, an assistant deputy minister of health,
caused a stir at the generally staid Commission on Narcotic Drugs
conference in Vienna, observers said.
The audience of government and non-governmental organization
officials from around the world "erupted in applause" midway through
the address and gave a prolonged ovation at the end, said Jason
Nickerson, an Ottawa-based researcher who is attending the meeting.
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