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51 UK: Breakthrough for British Firm in Medicinal Use of MarijuanaTue, 15 Mar 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Armitage, Jim Area:United Kingdom Lines:74 Added:03/15/2016

Firm Says Drug Reduced Seizures in Children With Dravet Syndrome by 39 Per Cent

From page 2 A British company that has been working for 18 years to find medicinal uses for marijuana has had a major breakthrough in the treatment of childhood epilepsy.

Yesterday GW Pharmaceuticals, which has a licence from the Home Office to grow cannabis, announced final-stage tests on 120 children with Dravet syndrome (a type of epilepsy) had successfully reduced seizures by 39 per cent. The phase 3 trial of the drug known as Epidiolex has been extremely closely watched in the medical community, due to the current absence of a cure for the painful and dangerous condition. Currently, Dravet sufferers have to take a cocktail of medicines but still suffer an average of 13 seizures a month.

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52 UK: LTE: Cannabis DangersTue, 15 Mar 2016
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Orfeur, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:27 Added:03/15/2016

SIR - It is disturbing to hear that delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference have called for the legalisation of cannabis (report, telegraph.co.uk, March 12).

This decision indicates a lack of research on their part as well as an ignorance of the connection between cannabis and mental health disorders. Those working in this field are aware that cannabis can trigger the onset of schizophrenia, particularly in the young. It can also seriously reduce the efficacy of the medication that is prescribed to alleviate the distressing symptoms of this condition.

David Orfeur

London N21

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53 UK: Sheridan In Attempt To Legalise DrugMon, 14 Mar 2016
Source:Herald, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:30 Added:03/14/2016

A petition launched by the former Solidarity MSP seeks to legalise what he calls the "non-criminal action" of using cannabis, instead directing the money raised from taxing the drug into drug treatment programmes.

Only 98 people have so far signed his petition on change. org since Saturday.

The petition, called "Legalise, regulate, license and tax cannabis. Drop the stupid 'war' on drugs. Wise up", is directed at the UK Parliament.

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54 UK: 'Smash Drug Crime By Legalising Cannabis'Sun, 13 Mar 2016
Source:Independent on Sunday (UK) Author:Leftly, Mark Area:United Kingdom Lines:110 Added:03/14/2016

Lib Dems' Conference Decision Is a Totemic Policy That Would Also Raise Ukp 1bn Tax, Says MP Norman Lamb

The Liberal Democrats have become the first major party to support the legalisation of cannabis, a move, they argue, that will reduce drug- related crime and raise around UKP 1bn in tax revenue.

The policy was overwhelmingly approved by delegates at the Lib Dems' spring conference in York yesterday.

It follows a review of soft drugs set up by the former health minister Norman Lamb, one of the eight MPs who survived the party's general- election rout last year, and chaired by Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation.

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55 UK: Lib Dems' Ok To Cannabis And Ukp1Bn TaxSun, 13 Mar 2016
Source:Mirror, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:29 Added:03/13/2016

LIB DEMS yesterday overwhelmingly backed the legalisation of cannabis.

Just a handful of members at their spring conference in York opposed the motion.

Heal th spokesman Norman Lamb said: "It's long overdue that we call time on the most discredited, most stupid, most dangerous so-called 'war on drugs'.

"I want this party to lead the way to a new approach, based on evidence, which is liberal, and which protects public health."

Selling the drug in regulated shops and clubs could raise UKP1billion tax, he said.

In a speech today Lib Dem leader Tim Farron vows to "fight this Government's short-sighted cuts to school budgets" in a speech.

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56 UK: Lib Dems Vote In Favour Of Making Cannabis LegalSun, 13 Mar 2016
Source:Sunday Telegraph (UK) Author:Mendick, Robert Area:United Kingdom Lines:46 Added:03/13/2016

THE Liberal Democrats yesterday become the first mainstream political party to call for the legalisation of cannabis.

In a landmark vote at the party's spring conference, delegates voted in favour of licensing shops to sell cannabis in plain packaging and with health warnings to adults in Britain.

Householders would also be allowed to cultivate marijuana and harvest the drug for personal consumption. said the MP had offered advice at last Thursday's meeting but was not planning a formal, paid relationship with the Seattle-based Privateer Holdings.

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57 UK: Column: The Lib Dems Should Vote to Legalise Drugs. ThatSat, 12 Mar 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Street-Porter, Janet Area:United Kingdom Lines:139 Added:03/12/2016

Last week, I had dinner with an American actor who was enthusiastically extolling the benefits of state-controlled cannabis. He was describing how, in places where it is legal, customers can go into a shop and choose a product to give exactly the effect they want to achieve, like with wine or fine Scotch. His personal aim was "to feel mellow - and have great sex".

If legalising dope would make everyone in Britain just one per cent more smiley and less hostile, can you think of a better reason to bite the bullet and change the law? We are definitely going through fearful times, guaranteed to increase our levels of anxiety. Turn on the telly or radio and politicians on all sides compete to ramp up the doom-laden consequences of leaving (or staying in) Europe. Depending on who you listen to, we'll either be paying more for food (or less), be out of work (or have more opportunities), and be over-run with immigrants no wonder most people I meet can't make up their minds which way they want to vote.

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58 UK: Column: Lib Dems Call For Drugs ReformThu, 10 Mar 2016
Source:Birmingham Post (UK) Author:Walker, Jonathan Area:United Kingdom Lines:130 Added:03/11/2016

LIBERAL Democrats say there's a case for setting up cannabis shops allowing people to buy the drug in their local high street.

But how many people in the West Midlands take cannabis or other drugs - - and is drug use rising or falling?

Here's what the official figures tell us about drug use in the West Midlands.

In the West Midlands, 6.9 per cent of the population aged 16 to 59 say they have taken cannabis at least once last year. That's about one in 15 people. It's about the same as the national average.

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59 UK: Editorial: High Time to Challenge the Failings ofWed, 09 Mar 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:83 Added:03/10/2016

It is impossible to know how many people have been deterred from using cannabis out of deference to the law. Decades of prohibition have not prevented the drug from establishing itself as a part of the repertoire of psychoactive substances that British people use for leisure and, for a few, non-recreational medication. Despite the theoretical threat of prosecution, cannabis use has become sufficiently uncontroversial for stories about David Cameron dabbling in his youth to have surfaced without measurable impact on his standing as prime minister.

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60 UK: Lib Dems Set Out Case for Legalising Cannabis Ahead ofWed, 09 Mar 2016
Source:Yorkshire Post (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:45 Added:03/09/2016

LEGALISING THE sale of cannabis could raise UKP1bn a year in tax and help minimise health risks, according to a report.

The study, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats and conducted by a panel of scientists, academics and police chiefs, suggests that the drug should be available in specialist shops to over-18s.

The party is expected to debate the issue at its spring conference in York this weekend.

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "Every year billions of pounds are put into the pockets of organised criminals selling cannabis and vast amounts of police time and resources are wasted going after those using the drug."

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61 UK: Legalised Cannabis 'Could Raise Ukp1bn A Year'Tue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Wright, Oliver Area:United Kingdom Lines:137 Added:03/09/2016

Legalising the sale of cannabis in specialist shops would generate UKP1bn a year in tax revenue and reduce the harm done to users and society, according to the most detailed plans ever drawn up for the liberalisation of UK drug laws.

The study, which was carried out by a panel of experts including scientists, academics and police chiefs, calls for the UK to follow the lead of some US states and allow the sale of cannabis to over-18s in licensed retail stores.

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62 UK: Lib Dems Devise Model For Legal CannabisTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Travis, Alan Area:United Kingdom Lines:68 Added:03/09/2016

Cannabis should be sold over the counter in plain packaging in specialist, licensed shops to over-18s only, according to an expert panel set up by the Liberal Democrats to examine what a regulated cannabis market in Britain should look like.

They suggest cannabis should be sold in three strengths - lower, medium and higher - in prescription medicine-style resealable childproof containers with a health warning.

The panel also recommends that smallscale licensed "cannabis social clubs" should be set up, and that home-grown cultivation of up to four plants for personal use should be allowed.

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63 UK: LibDems Unveil Drug Policy to Treat Rather Than Jail DrugMon, 22 Feb 2016
Source:Herald, The (Glasgow, UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:51 Added:02/23/2016

PEOPLE caught with drugs for personal use would be referred for health treatment rather than sent to jail under proposals unveiled by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Leader Willie Rennie said Scotland's current drugs policy "is costly and fails to work for everyone".

Drugs misuse costs society UKP3.5 billion a year amounting to around UKP900 for every adult in Scotland, he said.

The LibDems will call for drug users to be "referred for treatment, education or civil penalties, ending the use of i mpr i s on ment " , in a ma n i fe sto p ol ic y put forward for discussion at its Scottish spring conference this week.

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64 UK: Scottish LibDems: Decriminalise All Personal Drug UseSun, 21 Feb 2016
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Gordon, Tom Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:02/21/2016

Under Scottish LibDem proposals, possession of small amounts of heroin for personal use would mean a police warning rather than a court appearance

HEROIN, cocaine and ecstasy users should face police warnings instead of prison if found with small amounts of drugs for personal use, the Scottish LibDems will argue this week. The party will use its spring conference to advocate decriminalising drug use - as opposed to drug dealing in a fundamental reform of how addiction is dealt with by the authorities.

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65 UK: OPED: 'We Will Treat Drug Use As a Health and Social IssueSun, 21 Feb 2016
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Rennie, Willie Area:United Kingdom Lines:89 Added:02/21/2016

IT'S time for Scotland to change its approach to drug abuse. The current policy towards it is costly and fails to work for everyone. Drugs misuse costs society UKP3.5 billion a year. That's around UKP900 for every adult in Scotland. We're not winning the so-called war on drugs and we have to consider the alternatives.

This week, at the Scottish Liberal Democrats' Spring Conference, our manifesto commitment to promote a change in drug policy will be set out. We are proposing a fundamental reform of the way drug users are prosecuted and sentenced. Not drug dealers. We think it is right that they can face up to life in prison. But we do not believe vulnerable people struggling with addiction should be imprisoned simply for possessing drugs for personal use.

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66 UK: Editorial: Pain And GainThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Independent (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:44 Added:02/14/2016

Parliament Should Allow Doctors to Prescribe Cannabis

Those responsible for the Government's drug policies could not be accused of any exaggerated deference to the world of scientific papers, double-blind trials and laboratory-bound research. The Psychoactive Substances Bill - which outlaws anything likely to alter a user's mindset - was described in the New Scientist as one of the "stupidest, most dangerous and unscientific pieces of legislation ever conceived". It demonstrates Parliament moving in the opposite direction to the tonnage of evidence showing that draconian approaches to recreational drug use have failed.

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67 UK: Clegg Backs Campaign Calling for Legalisation of MedicalThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Morris, Nigel Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:02/14/2016

A campaign to legalise the medical use of cannabis is launched today amid warnings that up to 1.1 million people across Britain are currently breaking the law by taking the drug to combat the pain of chronic conditions.

The drive, which coincides with a Coronation Street storyline focusing on the issue, is being supported by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and senior politicians from all parties.

Campaigners hope to attract hundreds of thousands of signatures for a petition backing the move, with the aim of forcing a Commons debate on legalising medicinal cannabis. They are pressing for ministers to follow the lead of several Western European countries and US states in allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to alleviate the painful symptoms of disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

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68 UK: OPED: Drug CasualtiesWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:United Kingdom Lines:263 Added:02/11/2016

Billionaire warlords, who started as small-time weed smugglers, have swathes of Latin America under their bloody rule, and the chaos is creeping north. But, says IOAN GRILLO, they owe their power to white-collar crooks from the States, who first set up their deadly networks

A chain of crime wars is currently strangling Latin America and the Caribbean, drenching it in blood. And the first link in the chain is found in the US. Specifically, in a Barnes and Noble bookshop in a mall in El Paso, Texas.

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69 UK: Cannabis Oil Gives Cancer Patient HopeSun, 31 Jan 2016
Source:Wales on Sunday (UK) Author:Mears, Tyler Area:United Kingdom Lines:118 Added:02/02/2016

A YOUNG man with an inoperable form of bone cancer, who was told he only had a year left to live, claims cannabis oil has given him new hope.

Last August, 23-year-old George Blakemore from Torfaen was diagnosed with Stage 2 Chondrosarcoma a rare form of bone cancer arising from the left pubic ramus bone.

By October it had spread to his lungs and after undergoing one of the strongest forms of chemotherapy, George was told surgery was no longer an option and he may only have around a year left to live.

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70 UK: OPED: A New Deal on Drugs Is As Vital As a Deal on ClimateSun, 31 Jan 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Clegg, Nick Area:United Kingdom Lines:122 Added:02/01/2016

Nick Clegg and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka Set Out Their Vision Before a Forthcoming UN Summit

Standing on the podium at the United Nations in New York in June 1998, Kofi Annan declared: "It is time for all nations to say 'yes' to the challenge of working towards a drug-free world!" The leaders assembled at that meeting agreed: illegal drugs were to be eradicated from the face of the planet. They even set a deadline: 10 years to rid the globe of this scourge. A drug-free world by 2008.

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71 UK: Tory MP Tells Commons He Uses PoppersThu, 21 Jan 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Perraudin, Frances Area:United Kingdom Lines:41 Added:01/22/2016

The Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has admitted using the party drug "poppers", while speaking out in parliament against proposed legislation to ban legal highs.

The chair of parliament's foreign affairs select committee was speaking during a debate on the government's psychoactive substances bill, which seeks to outlaw certain legal recreational drugs. The legislation would ban alkyl (or amyl) nitrate or "poppers" which can be bought in shops.

"There are some times, Madam Deputy Speaker, when something is proposed which becomes personal to you and you realise that the government is about to do something fantastically stupid and I think in those circumstances one has a duty to speak up," said Blunt, who has been MP for Reigate since 1997.

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72 UK: Britain 'Funding Drug Raids in Countries With DeathSun, 17 Jan 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Doward, Jamie Area:United Kingdom Lines:59 Added:01/22/2016

The UK taxpayer has given millions of pounds to help Pakistan's counternarcotics force target and arrest drug traffickers, at least five of whom have been sentenced to death.

The revelation has raised questions about the UK's commitment to opposing the death penalty in other countries. Last year Sir Simon McDonald, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, said that human rights no longer had the profile within his department that they had in the past.

The UK's UKP5.6m donation was made to Pakistan's anti-narcotics force, through a five-year UN Office on Drugs and Crime project, despite the fact that the Pakistan government insisted donors could not demand that it be linked to human rights considerations.

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73 UK: MP Admits Poppers Use and Attacks 'Stupid' BanThu, 21 Jan 2016
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Riley-Smith, Ben Area:United Kingdom Lines:30 Added:01/22/2016

A CONSERVATIVE MP has revealed he uses amyl nitrate known by the slang name "poppers" during a speech in the House of Commons and criticised the Government's "manifestly stupid" plan to ban sale of the drug.

Crispin Blunt, who is gay, warned the proposals would force homosexual men to deal with criminals if selling the drug was outlawed.

Poppers is a recreational drug popular in the gay community. In Parliament, Mr Blunt said he was "astonished" at government plans. During a debate about the Psychoactive Substances Bill, the former minister said: "Sometimes when something is proposed which becomes personal to you, you realise the Government is about to do something fantastically stupid.

"I use poppers, I out myself as a popper user and would be directly affected by this legislation. I'm astonished to find it's proposing to be banned and frankly so would I think many other gay men."

[end]

74 UK: Review: The Man Who Exposed the Lie of the War on DrugsSun, 27 Dec 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Vulliamy, Ed Area:United Kingdom Lines:159 Added:12/28/2015

Roberto Saviano is determined to uncover capitalism's complicity with the narcolords of South America, writes Ed Vulliamy

Pablo Escobar was "the first to understand that it's not the world of cocaine that must orbit around the markets, but the markets that must rotate around cocaine".

Of course, Escobar didn't put it that way: this heretical truth was posited by Roberto Saviano in his latest book Zero Zero Zero , the most important of the year and the most cogent ever written on how narco-traffic works. It speaks what must be told at the end of another year of drug war spreading further and deeper, that tells what you will not learn from Narcos , Breaking Bad or the countless official reports.

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75 UK: We Will Only Win The Drug War By Taking Out GeneralsTue, 22 Dec 2015
Source:Daily Record (UK) Author:Philip, Andy Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:12/22/2015

Rethink

MacAskill Wants Change

FORMER justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has called on the SNP Government to stop treating drug users as criminals.

MacAskill, who served for seven years under Alex Salmond, claimed the war on drugs had failed across the world and said that police would be better targeting criminal gangs instead of low-level users.

The Scottish Government rejected the call and Labour branded his proposals "potentially dangerous".

MacAskill, justice secretary from 2007 to 2014, said the "winds of change are blowing" across the world.

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76 UK: On-The-Spot Warnings for Carrying Cannabis to Free UpThu, 10 Dec 2015
Source:Herald, The (Glasgow, UK) Author:Leask, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:102 Added:12/14/2015

Change in Approach to Petty Offending to Ensure Major Crimes Are the Priority

PEOPLE caught with small quantities of cannabis will face on-the-spot warnings from police rather than prosecution.

The change in enforcing drug laws is part of a major overhaul of how officers handle petty offending to free up the time of police and prosecutors.

Scottish officers will next month start issuing new "Recorded Police Warnings" to many of the tens of thousands of people a year found committing minor offences, such as carrying cannabis, urinating in the street or petty shoplifting.

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77 UK: Editorial: Rational Response To Laws On DrugsThu, 10 Dec 2015
Source:Herald, The (Glasgow, UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:83 Added:12/14/2015

AS officers know well, it is not for the police to shape laws on drugs. There might be a ready audience for another debate over the decriminalisation of cannabis, but that is not, strictly speaking, the business of Police Scotland. Instead, the force is preparing to ask important questions of its own.

Where petty offences are concerned, those could be summarised as what, how and why? If the offence involves an individual caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis for personal consumption, what should an officer do? As things stand, the issue of "how" follows, given the high chance of a report to the Crown Office leading to no action.

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78 UK: PUB LTE: Swiss Lead Way On Drugs PolicySun, 22 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:United Kingdom Lines:34 Added:11/24/2015

REGARDING the commentary by Howard Wooldridge, there is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket legalisation (The lives and trillions of dollars sacrificed on the altar of futile modern prohibition, Comment, November 15). Switzerland's heroin maintenance programme has been shown to reduce disease, death and crime by providing addicts with standardised doses in a clinical setting. Its success has inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Expanding prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organised crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations addiction. Cannabis should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the advertising. As long as criminals control cannabis distribution, consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs. Cannabis prohibition is a gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC

[end]

79 UK: OPED: 'The Lives and Trillions of Dollars Sacrificed onSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Wooldridge, Howard Area:United Kingdom Lines:93 Added:11/15/2015

SINCE the official beginning of the drug war in 1971, the law-enforcement community in the United States has spent just over $1 trillion. Tens of thousands of citizens have died, sacrificed on the altar of this modern prohibition. Millions have suffered from a drug arrest, which haunts them forever - and the difference on the streets? Federal research shows drugs are cheaper, stronger and more "readily available" to America's youth.

As a street cop and detective in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, I had a ringside seat to this unfolding social disaster.

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80 UK: Top Drug Expert Says: The War on Drugs Is Just a War onSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Learmonth, Andrew Area:United Kingdom Lines:152 Added:11/15/2015

Scotland's war on drugs amounts to a war on the poor, according one of the country's leading authorities on substance abuse.

In a new paper, Dr Iain McPhee, from the University of the West of Scotland's Centre for Alcohol and Drugs Studies, calls the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, "unjust, unfair and unworkable." McPhee was Project Leader of the National Drugs Helpline and the National AIDS Helpline, and has worked as a drugs specialist with social work and Scottish police.

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81 UK: PUB LTE: Legalise Drugs? That's No Answer to the ProblemSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Hopkins, Nicky Area:United Kingdom Lines:42 Added:11/15/2015

I'D LIKE to commend the Sunday Herald on raising the need to debate our current drugs legislation. It has been clear for a long time that the so-called war on drugs is simply not working. Those at the top of the supply chain go unpunished and get rich while the vulnerable are criminalised for the violence and petty crime that surrounds the use of illegal substances. It appeared from your reports that interested parties who are in the know were not asking for immediate decriminalisation. They were just asking for a debate to be opened up in Scotland about the issue of decriminalisation. As was pointed out, Scotland is a progressive country and there is nothing to fear from a discussion, surely?

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82 UK: PUB LTE: Legalise Drugs? That's No Answer to the ProblemSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Cooney, Myles Area:United Kingdom Lines:25 Added:11/15/2015

IT SEEMS that there was a comma in the wrong place in Ian Bell's excellent article. The prison industrial complex in the USA has now provided more than two million customers for companies like the Corrections Corporation of America. Over 900,000 are in jail for drug related crimes, 10 times more than stated in the article. The Scottish government's response to the new Irish policy was predictably pathetic. A Celtic mouse?

Myles Cooney Cambuslang

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83 UK: LTE: Legalise Drugs? That's No Answer To The ProblemSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Burns, Hugh Area:United Kingdom Lines:31 Added:11/15/2015

TWO things puzzle me about Ian Bell's article in last weekend's Sunday Herald (How to win the war on drugs? Legalise them, Comment, November 8). Firstly, his point that Portugal's decriminalisation has resulted in the decrease in the price of street drugs. Isn't an increase in the price of addictive substances (booze, fags) meant to reduce demand?

Then: "So legalise the lot." Okay, let's. Watch for a massive price war between the major supermarkets. Buy one get one free?

Sadly, there is no answer and no-one should pretend they have it; too much to lose when, inevitably, things turn out differently from the visionary's dream.

Hugh Burns Edinburgh

[end]

84 UK: Column: Sometimes We're All Better Off When People IgnoreMon, 09 Nov 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Chu, Ben Area:United Kingdom Lines:132 Added:11/11/2015

Six years ago the Government's chief drugs adviser, David Nutt, alerted us to a frightening addiction called "equasy".

Equasy, as Nutt described it, was a pursuit that released adrenaline and pleasurable endorphins into the brain. It was also extremely dangerous, often fatal. Nutt reckoned that around one in every 350 usages of equasy resulted in acute physical harm. Worse still, this was an addiction that had in its grip tens of thousands of people across Britain, including small children.

Equasy was horse-riding. Nutt's point was that, objectively speaking, riding a horse is a far more dangerous hobby than taking little MDMA pills, or ecstasy, in nightclubs. While he calculated that 1 in 350 horseriding episodes resulted in harm, that was only the case with 1 in 10,000 episodes of ecstasy use. And yet ecstasy was a Class A banned drug and the object of great waves of concern from the media and politicians, while horse-riding was not.

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85 UK: Column: How To Win The War On Drugs? Legalise ThemSun, 08 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Bell, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:147 Added:11/08/2015

Amid a fragrant haze of hypocrisy, the line is that there will be no change, funding cuts aside, in UK drugs strategy. Meanwhile, police forces the length of these islands are improvising policies of their own

IT could be a pub quiz question. What do Armenia and Argentina have in common? The Czech Republic and Chile? Paraguay and Poland? The answer isn't football. Each has decided, in some fashion, that if you just say no to drugs, you say nothing useful at all. Depending on the definitions used, there are between 25 and 30 such countries. Their laws, methods, aims and ambitions vary. Some have legalised drugs. Some have "re-legalised". A few never got around to prohibition to begin with. Most have experimented - for personal use, you understand - - with a gateway policy, decriminalisation.

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86 UK: Column: Until It Ends Its War on Drugs, Britain Will KeepMon, 09 Nov 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Birrell, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:88 Added:11/08/2015

There can be no doubt that the daft war on drugs is devastating many of the world's poorest countries, from Africa to Latin America. But this has been ignored by major charities that claim to campaign for international development, presumably for fear of upsetting their donors. Now one has broken ranks, with the release of an important report from Christian Aid condemning what it calls "a blind spot in development thinking".

Christian Aid deserves credit for taking a stand, one which has caused internal palpitations. The report itself highlights the hypocrisy of successive British governments that have poured money into aid yet supported the prohibition ripping apart poor communities. One day they will see that sanctimonious talk of saving the world is not a solution to complex problems.

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87 UK: Editorial: Drugs Debate Must StartSun, 08 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:30 Added:11/08/2015

ALL debate is good. So, we welcome calls today for an informed discussion in this country around drugs. We know the absurdly titled 'war on drugs' has failed miserably - criminalising ordinary men, women and children for recreational use of drugs such as cannabis. We also know that Scotland sees itself as a progressive, intelligent country.

Progressive, intelligent countries are not afraid to debate difficult issues. This is not about campaigning for decriminalisation. This is about Scotland debating how best to deal with a very real drug problem and making an informed choice about how to proceed.

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88 UK: Decrimialising Drugs: Scotland Must Start the Debate, SaySun, 08 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Duffy, Judith Area:United Kingdom Lines:292 Added:11/08/2015

SCOTLAND must start the debate on decriminalising drugs, campaigners, MSPs and former government advisers have said.

The call follows an announcement by the Irish government that it plans a "radical culture shift" which will see possession of drugs decriminalised in ordered to focus on offering helping to addicts and users rather than punishing them with criminal convictions and prison.

As the call came, the Scottish Government also told the Sunday Herald that it was reaffirming its wish for Holyrood to take responsibility over drug laws, which are currently reserved to Westminster.

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89 UK: Editorial: Mexican WaiverFri, 06 Nov 2015
Source:Independent (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:45 Added:11/07/2015

Marijuana Legalisation Will Help Poor 'Supply' Nations

An absurd status quo has held sway in Mexico, ever since the United States began to legalise marijuana, for medical, and, more recently, recreational use. The nation - encouraged by Washington - has some of the strictest drug laws in Latin America. But the vast majority of the marijuana it produces ends up in the US. So Mexican law enforcement officials - complying with the demands of their American counterparts - have been expending massive resources on preventing the growth and trafficking of a drug that is often, by the time it ends up being smoked within US borders, entirely legal.

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90 UK: Column: The Case for Decriminalising Drugs (Cautiously)Wed, 21 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:McRae, Hamish Area:United Kingdom Lines:119 Added:10/22/2015

The UN wants its members to decriminalise drugs, and Sir Richard Branson thinks that is just great. Well, it is not quite like that; as so often, the story is more nuanced than the headline. The paper Sir Richard leaked, which urges "decriminalising drug use and possession for personal consumption", was drawn up for a conference in Kuala Lumpur on harm reduction by Dr Monica Beg, an official at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna. It has since been withdrawn and, as you can gather from the outcry, it is certainly a "third-rail issue" you touch it at your peril.

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91 UK: UN Poised to Call for Decriminalisation of Drugs, SaysTue, 20 Oct 2015
Source:Irish Independent (Ireland) Author:Moynihan, Tom Area:United Kingdom Lines:98 Added:10/21/2015

'We Should Treat Drug Use As a Health Issue'

A United Nations body plans to urge governments around the world to decriminalise possession of drugs for personal use, tycoon Richard Branson said last night.

The Virgin entrepreneur said that in an as-yet unreleased statement circulated to the BBC, himself and others, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) called for decriminalisation of drug use and possession for personal consumption for all drugs.

He added in an article on his blog: "This is a refreshing shift that could go a long way to finally end the needless criminalisation of millions of drug users around the world.

[continues 593 words]

92 UK: Branson Takes On Un In Drugs Decriminalisation DisputeTue, 20 Oct 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Travis, Alan Area:United Kingdom Lines:79 Added:10/20/2015

The entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has been involved in a clash with the United Nations over his claim that the organisation was poised to endorse a global policy of decriminalising drugs.

Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy, claimed on his personal blog on the Virgin website yesterday that the UN's Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which has been a bastion of the "war on drugs", was poised to publish a statement endorsing the decriminalisation of the personal possession and use of drugs.

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93 UK: Leaked: Bombshell UN Report Explodes Case for Drug LawsTue, 20 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Morris, Nigel Area:United Kingdom Lines:130 Added:10/20/2015

'Decriminalise the Possession and Use of All Substances'

United Nations officials have called for the possession and use of all drugs to be decriminalised by governments, in a private report hailed as a "turning-point in drug policy reform".

But the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) immediately distanced itself from the controversial conclusions, which were leaked by the Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, and insisted they did not represent the UN's official position.

The briefing paper argues that criminalising drug use increases death rates among addicts and has led to the jailing of millions of people for non-violent offences.

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94 UK: Legalising Cannabis In The UK 'would Raise Hundreds Of MillionsTue, 13 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Morris, Nigel Area:United Kingdom Lines:99 Added:10/14/2015

Legalising cannabis would raise taxes worth hundreds of millions of pounds and produce large savings for the criminal justice system, a private analysis for the Treasury has concluded.

It judged that regulating cannabis, which was used by more than two million people in the UK last year, could generate "notable tax revenue" and "lead to overall savings to public services".

The Treasury study, seen by The Independent, was commissioned by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg ahead of the general election to help formulate Liberal Democrat drugs policy if the party remained in office.

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95 UK: Lib Dems In New Push On Cannabis LegalisationMon, 12 Oct 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Travis, Alan Area:United Kingdom Lines:82 Added:10/13/2015

The Liberal Democrats are to set up an expert panel to establish how a legal market for cannabis could work in Britain, paving the way for them to become the first major political party in the UK to back its legalisation.

The move is backed the party's health spokesman, Norman Lamb, and by a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Brian Paddick. It is in line with a 2014 party conference resolution that called for a review of the effectiveness of a regulated market in relation to health and reduced criminal activity.

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96 UK: Clegg Launches Campaign to Persuade EU Leaders to BackFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Morris, Nigel Area:United Kingdom Lines:82 Added:10/03/2015

Former Lib Dem Leader Hopes to Build Support for New Approach at 2016 UN Meeting

Nick Clegg launches a campaign today to persuade EU leaders to back global reform of drugs laws, warning that the current punitive approach has failed to curb the multibillion trade in illicit substances and has criminalised millions of young people.

Writing in The Independent, the former Deputy Prime Minister says: "We are, without doubt, losing the war on drugs." Mr Clegg is to urge European leaders to make the case for a new global approach to drug abuse at a United Nations meeting next year. Many of them have switched tactics in recent years, tackling it as a health issue rather than a law and order problem.

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97 UK: OPED: EU Needs To Unite On Reform Of Drug PolicyFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Clegg, Nick Area:United Kingdom Lines:53 Added:10/03/2015

We are losing the war on drugs. But there are reasons to be hopeful. In recent years, a global movement for reform has been building. Led in particular by the governments of countries in Latin America that have suffered most, politicians and policymakers around the globe have started to question the status quo.

This isn't a headlong rush to legalisation, but a patient, rational debate about alternative approaches which might reduce overall harm. In the United States, zero tolerance and mass imprisonment has given way to a willingness to allow states to experiment with alternative regulatory models as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and others are doing with cannabis - and a growing disquiet at the injustice and social impacts of imprisoning hundreds of thousands of young, mainly black, men for drug offences.

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98 UK: Column: Recreational Marijuana? 'Some Day Walmart WillFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:McGreal, Chris Area:United Kingdom Lines:95 Added:10/03/2015

The three young men climbing into the pickup close to the Oregon border cheerfully acknowledged they were about to break federal law. Anthony, Daniel and Chris had just bustled out of a marijuana shop in Vancouver, Washington, clutching bags of marijuana as they headed home a short drive over the bridge to Portland, Oregon.

Crossing state lines with drugs is a federal offence not that it has discouraged the steady stream of customers from Portland taking advantage of Washington's legalisation of recreational marijuana sales last year. As of yesterday, Oregon joined Washington and Colorado to become the third US state to permit the sale for anyone over 21. "I've been coming across since they legalised it here," said Anthony. "But it'll be closer and it's going to be much cheaper in Portland. And I won't haveh to cross the bridge. Not that I've ever seen the cops lining up to catch us." The open sale of recreational mar marijuana has come more swiftly to Portland than many expected. Legalisation was only approved in a ballot measure last November whereas Washington state took 18 months to open its first shops.

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99 UK: To Inhale or Not to Inhale: Was Shakespeare a CannabisSun, 16 Aug 2015
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Ng, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:60 Added:08/16/2015

In "Romeo and Juliet," the lovelorn hero proclaims that "Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs."

The line may have actually been inspired by the fumes of cannabis, according to a recently published paper on William Shakespeare and his smoking habits.

The report, which cites a 2001 analysis of early 17th-century pipes from Stratford-upon-Avon and the Bard's own residence, argues that Shakespeare could have smoked the substance and was probably well aware of its hallucinatory effects.

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100 UK: LTE: Effects Of CannabisWed, 05 Aug 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Wilson, William Area:United Kingdom Lines:35 Added:08/05/2015

SIR Your article on the inherent dangers of legalising cannabis is a timely warning (Features, August 1).

The groups lobbying for this drug to be decriminalised say that this may reduce usage. In the past they have also pointed out that the costs of nicotine and alcohol addiction to the NHS are much greater than those of cannabis although if the drug were legalised, the costs would presumably rise.

But there is a fundamental reason why such legislation should not occur. Many people previously addicted to nicotine or alcohol can make a full recovery by abstaining; that is not always the case with other drugs.

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