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1 UK: The 3D Interactive Marijuana 'Galaxy' Researchers Hope To Use ToTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Macdonald, Cheyenne Area:United Kingdom Lines:128 Added:12/27/2016

* Phylos Bioscience is attempting to map the genetic data for every marijuana strain in the world

* The team has so far sequenced over a thousand different kinds, which they plot on the interactive 'Galaxy'

* Genetic report reveals a strain's closest relatives, clonal relationships, its uniqueness, origin, and more

* The researchers say this could one day help scientists to achieve 'unthinkable' strains of marijuana

Scientists may soon be able to achieve 'unthinkable' strains of marijuana thanks to new efforts in DNA sequencing.

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2 UK: High Time This HappenedMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Stern, Carly Area:United Kingdom Lines:102 Added:12/27/2016

A California company is selling a MARIJUANA monthly subscription box packed with curated cannabis products

* San Diego-based Club M requires a California medical marijuana license to join and delivers boxes each month for $97

* The packages include marijuana, edibles, vapes, and other 'gear' for using

* Each box is worth about $200 and can be purchased without a subscription, except for the new limited-edition boxes for $1,000 each

There seems to be a subscription box service for everything these days, from cosmetics to snacks to alcohol -- so really, it was only a matter of time for the medical marijuana community got in on the monthly shipment craze.

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3 UK: Make Heroin Available On Prescription, Official UK Drug AdvisersMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:80 Added:12/14/2016

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also suggests supervised injecting rooms to combat rising number of drug deaths

Heroin on prescription and supervised injecting rooms are among a range of measures that the government's drug advisers have suggested to reverse the UK's soaring numbers of drug deaths.

Responding to a sharp rise in the number of heroin-related deaths in recent years, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said maintenance of drug treatment programmes was essential to prevent further increases.

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4 UK: OPED: Why I, As an Undercover Cop, Believe It's Time toSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Woods, Neil Area:United Kingdom Lines:206 Added:08/29/2016

THE narcotics trade provides the financial basis for almost every other form of organised criminality in this country and abroad. The scale is staggering: the global drugs market is worth UKP375 billion every year, and an estimated UKP7 billion a year in Britain alone. Britain spends a further UKP7 billion policing the drugs problem - and that's without the associated costs of imprisonment and public health and everything else.

It might not seem visible to the majority of ordinary, law abiding citizens, yet drugs and the gangsters who deal in them blight our towns and cities and dominate our criminal system. More than half the inmates in British prisons are there for drug-related offences.

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5 UK: Column: Look Out! They're Sneaking Up on You With aSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:79 Added:08/28/2016

THE most sinister thing I have heard all year was this week's revelation that British government doctors secretly sought to drug troublesome teenagers in the 1960s and we have only just found out. One of the pills they wanted to use was called Haloperidol. Its side effects include incurable lifelong twitching, delirium and rigid muscles.

This plan was stopped, but another worrying substance, Beclamide, was given to boys at a Yorkshire 'Approved School' (a state-inspected home for troubled teens). Neither the boys nor their parents were told of this experiment.

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6UK: Need Drugs In Jail? Try Using A DroneSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2016

LONDON - While Amazon and the British government are looking into how to use drones to deliver parcels to customers, criminals are already exploiting the technology to send drugs to accomplices in prison.

Police on Monday said they recovered two drones carrying mobile phones and drugs near London's Pentonville prison and have set up a special task force - Operation Airborne - to catch offenders trying to get contraband into the jail.

In the early hours of Aug. 17, police saw a man acting suspiciously near the prison. He ran away, dropping two bags containing drugs and mobile phones and managed to evade arrest, according to a police statement.

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7 UK: Secret Garden Party Praised After Pioneering Drug TestingMon, 25 Jul 2016
Source:Cambridge Evening News (UK) Author:White, Charles Area:United Kingdom Lines:62 Added:07/26/2016

Music festival Secret Garden Party allowed people carrying illegal narcotics to test the quality and strength of the drugs over the weekend.

The pioneering scheme had the support of local police, and was run by the drugs charity The Loop. Thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, the project appears to have been a success.

Festival-goers were able to have their stash tested without handing over the rest. It was reported that over 200 people had their drugs tested. Finding over 80 suspect substances, over a quarter was disposed of after testing. The Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, who assisted in the scheme, claimed that it was an attempt to "undo the damage the War on Drugs had done."

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8 UK: PUB LTE: Peace In Colombia And The Cocaine TradeSat, 23 Jul 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Morris, Keith Area:United Kingdom Lines:28 Added:07/23/2016

The progress towards a peace deal between the Colombian government and the Farc guerrillas is greatly to be welcomed (Editorial, 21 July). The terms are inevitably controversial and many who have suffered at the Farc's hands will find it hard to see them pass directly into politics. But that is the price of peace. The cocaine trade has fuelled this conflict over the last 35 years or so. You are absolutely right to propose that governments which wish to support peace in Colombia should consider backing President Juan Manuel Santos's efforts to reform the UN system of drugs prohibition and open the door to experiments in regulated markets in drugs like cocaine, just as is already happening with cannabis.

Keith Morris

British ambassador to Colombia 1990-94

[end]

9 UK: Puff JusticeFri, 22 Jul 2016
Source:Daily Record (UK) Author:Stewart, Stephen Area:United Kingdom Lines:132 Added:07/22/2016

Amputee's Plea to Legalise Medical Marijuana

A WAR hero who lost both legs in an Afghan bomb blast is forced to break the law to get cannabis to ease his pain.

Lance Corporal Callum Brown is now leading calls to legalise the drug for medical use. He wants to see cannabis made available to patients like him who suffer agonising pain 24 hours a day.

Callum, 28, also shattered his pelvis in the huge explosion after he stepped on a boobytrap bomb while on patrol in Helmand five years ago. Speaking exclusively to the Record, he said: "As well as my other injuries, I have no skin on my backside it's just thin scar tissue so the nerve damage and the phantom pains are the main reason for smoking.

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10 UK: War on Drugs Has Failed and Use Should Be DecriminalisedThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Yorkshire Post (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:39 Added:06/16/2016

THE 'WAR on drugs" has failed in terms of public health and drug use should be decriminalised, two leading organisations have said.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) said the personal possession and use of all illegal drugs should no longer be considered a criminal offence.

While the bodies still support criminal charges for people who deal drugs, they said users should instead be referred for treatment and help.

The recommendation is made in a new UK-wide report, Taking a New Line on Drugs, which has the backing of several charities and law enforcement officials.

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11 UK: Decriminalise Drug Use, Say Health ProfessionalsThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Boseley, Sarah Area:United Kingdom Lines:29 Added:06/16/2016

Britain's two leading public health bodies, representing thousands of doctors and other professionals, are making an unprecedented call for the personal possession and use of drugs to be decriminalised.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Faculty of Public Health say the war on drugs has done more harm than good. They believe drug misuse should be a health issue and not a matter for the courts and prisons.

"We have taken the view that it is time for endorsing a different approach," said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH. "We have gone to our stakeholders and asked the public, and tried to gain some consensus from our community and the public." The RSPH commissioned a poll of more than 2,000 British adults and found 56% agreed drug users in their local area should be referred for treatment, rather than charged with an offence. Fewer than a quarter (23%) disagreed.

[end]

12 UK: Legalise All DrugsThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Mirror, The (UK) Author:Gregory, Andrew Area:United Kingdom Lines:36 Added:06/16/2016

Experts: Jail Bad for Addicts

PERSONAL possession and use of all drugs should be decriminalised, public health experts will say today.

Users need help not punishment, they say, and 56% of adults in a poll of 2,000 agree.

Drug use has fallen in the last decade but related harm including death continues to rise.

Jailing users makes things worse, says a report by the Faculty of Public Health and Royal Society for Public Health.

But both groups insist dealers must still be prosecuted. Shirley Cramer, of RSPH, said: "The war on drugs has failed... It's time for a new approach, where we recognise those who misuse drugs are in need of treatment not criminals in need of punishment." The report was "very much welcomed" by Parliament's Drug Policy Reform group. Prof David Nutt, of Imperial College London, backed it and Prof Peter Anderson, of Newcastle University, said: "It's the way to go." The Home Office said we must "support people dependent on drugs" and also "tackle organised crime behind the drugs trade".

[end]

13 UK: 'Make Cannabis Legal for Medicinal Purposes,' SaysThu, 09 Jun 2016
Source:Evening Chronicle (UK) Author:Hill, Laura Area:United Kingdom Lines:96 Added:06/10/2016

Ron Hogg Said the War on Drugs Has Failed and the UK's Drug Policy Is 'Unsustainable' As He Called on Colleagues to Back His Views

Cannabis should be made legal and used for medicinal purposes, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

In a letter to the country's 40 PCCs, Ron Hogg said the "war on drugs" has failed and the UK's present approach is "unsustainable".

Mr Hogg highlighted the "genuine body of evidence" that cannabis brings pain and symptom relief to sufferers of various conditions.

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14 UK: Ban Will Not Stop Supply, Drugs Adviser WarnsWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Gayle, Damien Area:United Kingdom Lines:41 Added:06/09/2016

The ban on legal highs will not lead to the disappearance of spice and other synthetic cannabis-like drugs because they are so profitable to dealers, a senior government drugs adviser has warned.

Prof Harry Sumnall, a member of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said the economics of producing the substances - often collectively dubbed "spice" - versus that of growing traditional cannabis made them an appealing proposition.

Sumnall said the ingredients were easily available online. "We were making some in the lab the other day. Very, very easy to do, pretty much shake and bake. Really easy to make, highly profitable, these drugs aren't going anywhere."

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15 UK: PUB LTE: Rehabilitation Should Trump PunishmentWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Collins, Jon Area:United Kingdom Lines:32 Added:06/09/2016

Everyone from the chief inspector of prisons to prisoners themselves is now expressing concerns about the impact that new psychoactive substances are having on prisoners, prison officers and the efficacy of the prison system (Prisoners reveal regular 'spice' habit has tripled, 1 June). Current approaches to addressing their use are not working, and the situation is getting worse.

HMP Forest Bank, however, is taking a fresh approach. Using the principles of restorative justice, it is encouraging those prisoners who are using spice and other so-called "legal highs" to face up to the impact of their behaviour on their fellow prisoners and on prison staff.

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16 UK: PUB LTE: Rehabilitation Should Trump PunishmentWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Humphreys, Mick Area:United Kingdom Lines:41 Added:06/09/2016

Prison should not be regarded as a punishment (Letters, 2 June). It is place of restraint where those who are incorrigibly violent - such as terrorists and incurable psychopaths - must be kept.

Punishment is a consequence of this restraint, but it should not be its aim. Punishment can be achieved by much more effective means, eg ill-gotten gains can be sequestered and subsequent earnings mulcted. The aim must be restitution, reform and rehabilitation, not one-size-fits-all punishment.

Magistrates, who can only award useless short sentences, should have this power removed completely. Crown court judges should have their sentencing audited, and where it has proved ineffective they should be held to account. If all drugs were legally regulated imprisonment would reduce by about 65%.

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17 UK: OPED: The Legal Highs Ban Will Have Only One Result - MoreWed, 01 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Nutt, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:112 Added:06/02/2016

This Act Drives Users Back Towards Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, the Most Dangerous Substance of Them All

With the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, ministers last week banned the sale or procurement of any substance that has psychoactive activity, regardless of whether it is harmless or even useful. The sole exceptions are alcohol, nicotine products and caffeine.

The main justification for this draconian piece of legislation is to make it easy for the police and local authorities to close down "head shops", or at least to stop them selling so-called legal highs: drugs such as nitrous oxide; some synthetic cannabinoids, salvia, and some weak stimulants known as bubbles or sparkle. The act is based on the false premise that legal highs are responsible for up to 100 deaths a year, when in fact the true number is fewer than 10. Media hysteria about the use of nitrous oxide by a few footballers and a dislike of young people doing something different from their parents has also played a part.

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18 UK: Column: One More Lie In The Drugs 'War'Sun, 29 May 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:36 Added:05/30/2016

THE trumpeted 'ban on legal highs' is a fiction, like the rest of our drug laws. The new Act imposes no penalties at all for possessing these dangerous poisons - except for people who are already in jail.

This is an amazing giveaway of the Government's real drugs policy, which is to look the other way while pretending to be 'tough'.

In fact, simple possession of cannabis, heroin or cocaine is now hardly punished at all, even though it is illegal.

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19 UK: PUB LTE: Legal High Ban The Right Thing To DoMon, 30 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Batliwala, Yasmin Area:United Kingdom Lines:60 Added:05/30/2016

The new law (Legal high ban risks creating fresh crisis, 28 May), which criminalises the selling of so-called legal highs, but crucially does not criminalise the user, is the right thing to do. It came out of an independent study into these substances which I set up when drugs minister.

A wide range of experts produced a unanimous report and that forms the basis of the law. I was clear that so-called legal highs presented more of a danger to users than many long-prohibited drugs, especially cannabis.

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20 UK: The Party's Over? Legal High Ban Could End Shop SalesThu, 26 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Travis, Alan Area:United Kingdom Lines:129 Added:05/26/2016

Critics of Law Say Trade Will Simply Shift Underground

Whipped Cream Chargers May Come Under Suspicion

The blanket ban on the trade in legal highs which comes into force today is expected to end their sale through high street "head shops" and UK-based websites almost overnight, police and trading standards officers have said.

But there are fears that the trade in new psychoactive substances (NPS) as they are officially known will move underground to illegal street markets and the darknet, the network of untraceable and hidden websites.

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21 UK: PUB LTE: Where Are the Brave Politicians Needed toWed, 25 May 2016
Source:Herald, The (Glasgow, UK) Author:Stubley, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:32 Added:05/25/2016

I AGREE wholeheartedly with David J Crawford in his exhortation to government it should decriminalise cannabis (Letters, May 23).

What did the war on drugs achieve? In the US the prison population has increased by 500 per cent in the last 30 years due almost entirely to drug convictions. In the UK a large number of people now have a criminal record for merely possessing a very small amount of the drug. Vast amounts of money and violence have been the result as the criminal element took control of the supply chain.

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22 UK: Legal Highs Brought Low As Councils Employ Banning OrdersWed, 11 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Wilding, Mark Area:United Kingdom Lines:180 Added:05/14/2016

Critics Say Antisocial Behaviour Powers Are Already Criminalising Vulnerable People, Ahead of All-Out Ban

It's just before 11.30am on a Friday morning and I'm standing in Lincoln's city square. With me are police officers Andy Balding and Joel Dowse, an antisocial behaviour officer at Lincoln council. We're on the lookout for socalled legal highs synthetic substances that have similar effects to illegal drugs but have not yet been banned by legislation.

We scan the square for anything suspicious. Everything looks in order, but I'm assured it hasn't always been this way. Balding points to a line of benches overlooking the river. "Along here used to be really bad," he tells me. I hear stories about groups of people on legal highs terrorising shopkeepers and falling unconscious in the street. Right now, all I can see is an elderly man peacefully contemplating the river.

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23 UK: Britons Want Cannabis to Be Legalised - Change IsSun, 08 May 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Doward, Jamie Area:United Kingdom Lines:77 Added:05/08/2016

Lib Dem's Norman Lamb Urges MPs to Pass the Bill to Create a Regulated Market for the Drug

Parliament will be failing in its duty to reflect the will of the people if it continues to resist calls to introduce a regulated cannabis market, a former coalition minister has warned.

A 10-minute rule bill proposing the introduction of a legal cannabis market in the UK, something that would constitute the biggest shakeup of the drugs laws in the past half-century, will end its passage through the Commons on Friday. It was tabled by Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats' health spokesman, and supported by MPs from all parties, as well as experts including a serving chief constable.

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24 UK: Sturgeon: Medicinal Cannabis Use Should Not Be Criminal ActWed, 04 May 2016
Source:Courier, The (Dundee, UK) Author:Andrews, Kieran Area:United Kingdom Lines:60 Added:05/05/2016

First Minister Makes Controversial Health Announcement As She Confirms Dundee Will Get Its Own Trauma Centre

Nicola Sturgeon would back decriminalising cannabis for medicinal use.

The First Minister said there was a "specific case" for relaxing laws to treat people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis but reaction to her announcement split the audience of around 150 activists in Dundee's Queen's Hotel.

A wide range of topics were covered in the hour long question and answer session, with the SNP leader committing to building a trauma centre in Dundee and said she would "love" to implement Frank's Law but stopped short of committing herself to a fairer care system.

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25 UK: Warning Over Rise Of Danger Drugs In PrisonMon, 02 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Sample, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:110 Added:05/02/2016

Synthetic Cannabis Has 'Devastating Impact' On Jails, Says Chief Inspector

Synthetic cannabis is having a "devastating impact" in British prisons and making it difficult for normal life to continue in some facilities, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.

Sold as "spice" and "black mamba", synthetic cannabis has been blamed for deaths, serious illness and episodes of self-harm among prisoners. Some prison officers have reported falling ill from exposure to the fumes.

High demand for the compound has fuelled more severe problems in the prison system than officers have faced from any other drug, with prisoners racking up greater debts and suffering worse bullying and violence, Peter Clarke told the Guardian. "Prison staff have told me that the effect on individuals and prisons as a whole is unlike anything they have seen before," said Clarke, who took up the post in February.

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26 UK: Column: Clegg's Drugs ConfessionSun, 01 May 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:50 Added:05/01/2016

SOME things are unsayable in British politics. One such is the truth that cannabis has been, for many years, a decriminalised drug. The police, the CPS and the courts have given up any serious effort to arrest and prosecute users, just as evidence starts to pour in that it is extremely dangerous.

Instead our elite moan about 'prohibition', which does not exist, and the cruel 'criminalisation' of dope-smokers, which would be their own fault if it happened, but actually doesn't. Arrests for this offence are rarer every week, and some police forces openly say they don't do it any more.

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27 UK: Column: Legalise Cannabis - but There's No Fire WithoutMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Courier, The (Dundee, UK) Author:Donachie, Mike Area:United Kingdom Lines:58 Added:04/26/2016

Laws on Tobacco Smoking Should Extend to Marijuana

It's time to legalise marijuana, then ban it again. Here's why. The Canadian government chose April 20 to make the announcement that cannabis will be legalised next spring, in the latest progressive move by the new Liberal government. The news had been coming for a while, because it was an election pledge last year but the date was significant because it was "4-20", when weed enthusiasts get together to call for changes in the law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government beat them to it with a morning announcement.

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28 UK: May Tried To Tamper With Drug Report, Says CleggMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Asthana, Anushka Area:United Kingdom Lines:97 Added:04/19/2016

Nick Clegg has accused the home secretary, Theresa May, of attempting to delete sentences from a Whitehall report after it concluded that there was no link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use.

The former deputy prime minister also said senior Conservatives, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, have failed to act on drug reform because they see the issue as a "naughty recreational secret" at Notting Hill dinner parties instead of a public health crisis.

In an interview with the Guardian before a major UN conference on the global drug problem, Clegg said the Tories were failing to listen to warnings that the war on drugs had failed.

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29 UK: Editorial: Harm Reduction Must Guide Our Attitude toMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:04/19/2016

Drugs policy in the UK is not actually made in smoke-filled rooms but it might as well be. The mixture of befuddled optimism with a lack of urgency that characterises official thinking about cannabis has had dangerous results.

Getting on for 50 years of prohibition, vigorously defended in principle but lackadaisically enforced in practice, have produced a situation that combines the disadvantages of tolerance and criminalisation. Two generations of parents now know that it is not as dangerous as official propaganda told them, but this leads to a reluctance to admit that the habit has any real dangers at all. That in itself is dangerous to their children.

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30 UK: Column: A Drug-Ravaged Criminal or Nick Clegg... GuessSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:78 Added:04/19/2016

HOW on earth did I end up on friendly terms with Howard Marks, the drug smuggler and pro-cannabis propagandist who died last week? Yet I did. You might think we would loathe each other. He stood for almost everything I am against. But not quite. He was a fierce and instinctive defender of free speech, a rare and precious quality.

I learned this one long-ago evening in Blackpool, when a squawking rabble of ignorant, intolerant students succeeded in having me driven off the stage at a debate.

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31 UK: New Challenge To UN On Drugs WarSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Vulliamy, Ed Area:United Kingdom Lines:68 Added:04/17/2016

The president of Colombia will this week present a plan for the complete and radical overhaul of global policy towards drug trafficking and organised crime at a special session of the United Nations general assembly. Unveiling his proposals in the Observer today, Juan Manuel Santos said urgent measures were needed to bring about "a more effective, lasting and human solution" to the misery and crisis of narco-traffic.

The most sensational element in Santos's presentation is the announcement that his government will - as a result of a four-year peace process soon to bear fruit as a peace treaty be implementing its own domestic struggle against narco-traffic alongside its bitter enemies, the Marxist guerillas of Farc. The group admits to having funded its war by what it calls "taxation" of narco-profits.

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32 UK: OPED: As Colombia's Leader, I Know We Must Rethink theSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Santos, Juan Manuel Area:United Kingdom Lines:148 Added:04/17/2016

Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, argues that his country's narco-related violent history illustrates exactly why a global rethink on prohibition should be the key discussion at this week's UN general assembly special session on drugs

How does one explain to a Colombian peasant in a rural community in the south-west of the country that he will be prosecuted under criminal charges for growing marijuana plants, while a young entrepreneur in Colorado finds his or her legal recreational marijuana business booming?

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33 UK: Editorial: Colombia Leads the World in Rethink About WarSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:47 Added:04/17/2016

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, arrives in New York this week with a clear message to the UN general assembly special session on drugs: the failure of the "war on drugs" to deal with the human cost of narco traffic and drug abuse. Santos's message will be: the whole policy needs to be rethought, with a different set of priorities.

President Santos first called for an overhaul in policy towards drugs in an interview with this newspaper in 2011, urging that "a new approach should try and take away the violent profit that comes with drug trafficking". He has continued to drive that conversation forward with the moral authority bestowed by leading a country that was nearly destroyed by the violence and corrupting influence of cartel money on the police, judiciary and the body politic. It was close to a failed state in the late 90s and it was drugs that did that damage.

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34 UK: Scientists Urge Global Action on Cannabis As a MentalSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Sample, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:172 Added:04/17/2016

UN Meeting to Discuss Growing Drugs Problem

Up to Quarter of Psychosis Cases Could Be Prevented

The risks of heavy cannabis use for mental health are serious enough to warrant global public health campaigns, according to international drugs experts who said young people were particularly vulnerable.

The warning from scientists in the UK, US, Europe and Australia reflects a growing consensus that frequent use of the drug can increase the risk of psychosis in vulnerable people, and comes as the UN prepares to convene the first special session on the global drugs problem since 1998. The meeting in New York next week aims to unify countries in their efforts to tackle issues around illicit drug use.

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35 UK: Police Chief Who'd Legalise Heroin Is Given Top JobSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Greenwood, Chris Area:United Kingdom Lines:50 Added:04/16/2016

A CHIEF constable who wants to legalise drugs has been charged with overseeing how officers tackle the menace nationwide.

Mike Barton believes some Class A and B drugs should be made legal and, in some cases, handed out for free to addicts.

Despite his controversial views, the officer has now been quietly elected to an influential role at the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC). The move provoked fury from critics who warned legalising drugs would simply create a new set of challenges.

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36 UK: PUB LTE: A Regulated Drugs Market Is the Pragmatic WaySun, 10 Apr 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Morris, Keith Area:United Kingdom Lines:45 Added:04/10/2016

Jamie Doward's admirable special report rightly stressed the importance of the UN general assembly special session on drugs (Ungass) to be held in New York later this month.("Is the prohibition era finally coming to an end?", News, last week).

As Doward makes clear, the international drugs trade is an ongoing problem that affects all countries but reaches crisis level in producer and transit countries. It is to a very large degree the product of the well intentioned but misguided UN conventions that imposed drugs prohibition on all countries without regard for their cultures or traditions.

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37 UK: Britain Faces Losing Battle Against Legal Highs, Says EUWed, 06 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:27 Added:04/07/2016

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has been warned by the European Union's drugs agency that Britain's new blanket ban on so-called "legal highs" may not work.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said it was "unlikely" that any new regime could stem the tide of designer drugs, which emulate the effects of controlled substances such as cannabis or heroin. It comes weeks before the Government's Psychoactive Substances Act becomes law.

More than 100 new legal highs were recorded by authorities last year and more than 560 are being monitored by the EMCDDA. "It is unlikely that any regulatory system can be designed to sufficiently limit the stream of new substances being manufactured without resorting to a ban on a huge range of chemicals," it said.

[end]

38 UK: Editorial: Legal High ConcernsWed, 06 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:40 Added:04/07/2016

When the Home Office decided to impose a blanket ban on synthetic drugs known as legal highs, it must have thought this would be a reasonably straightforward matter. These substances are harmful to those who take them and have been blamed by police for an upsurge in violence among young people. But drafting legislation has not proved an easy task. There was concern in the Church, for instance, that incense would be proscribed since it is capable of producing a psychoactive effect. Assurances have since been offered by ministers that vicars would not be caught up in the ban.

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39 UK: Cannabis Arrests Fall by Nearly Half Amid Claims of PoliceTue, 05 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Evans, Martin Area:United Kingdom Lines:65 Added:04/07/2016

THERE are fears that cannabis is being legalised by the back door, after figures showed that arrests for possession have dropped by almost 50 per cent over the past five years.

The number of people being charged or cautioned for having the Class B drug has also fallen significantly, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, data from the annual Crime Survey of England and Wales suggest that the drop in offences has not been matched by a reduction in the number of people who admit using the drug, with around 7 per cent of adults saying they regularly smoke cannabis.

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40 UK: Is The Prohibition Era Finally Coming To An End?Sun, 03 Apr 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Doward, Jamie Area:United Kingdom Lines:271 Added:04/03/2016

The year 2008 was momentous. Lehman Brothers collapsed, Radovan Karad i was arrested, Russian troops massed on the Georgian border, and Barack Obama beat John McCain to the White House.

But 2008 was also significant for something that didn't happen. It was the year that the world didn't eliminate the illicit drugs problem. This quixotic goal had been set a decade earlier at a United Nations general assembly special session when, under the vainglorious slogan "We can do it", the supranational body pledged that, by 2008, the world would be "drug free".

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41 UK: New Call For Drug DecriminalisationFri, 01 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian Weekly, The (UK) Author:Boseley, Sarah Area:United Kingdom Lines:118 Added:04/01/2016

Experts Urge Reversal of Policies That Have Driven Violence and Deaths

An international commission of medical experts is calling for global drug decriminalisation, arguing that current policies lead to violence, deaths and the spread of disease, harming health and human rights.

The commission, set up by the Lancet medical journal and Johns Hopkins University in the US, finds that tough drugs laws have caused misery, failed to curb drug use, fuelled violent crime and spread the epidemics of HIV and hepatitis C through unsafe injecting. Publishing its report on the eve of a special session of the United Nations devoted to illegal narcotics, it urges a reversal of the repressive policies imposed by most governments.

[continues 709 words]

42 UK: Tough Drug Laws Only Lead to Violence and Death, SayFri, 25 Mar 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Boseley, Sarah Area:United Kingdom Lines:100 Added:03/25/2016

Global Report Urges UN to Back Decriminalisation

Commission Backs Move to Legal, Regulated Markets

Medical experts are calling for global drug decriminalisation, arguing that current policies are leading to violence, death and the spread of disease, harming both health and human rights.

The experts, working as an international commission, set up by the Lancet medical journal and Johns Hopkins University in the US, find that tough drug laws have caused misery, failed to curb drug use, fuelled violent crime, and helped spread HIV and hepatitis C epidemics perpetuated by unsafe injecting.

[continues 626 words]

43 UK: LibDem Bid To Legalise CannabisWed, 23 Mar 2016
Source:Herald, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:26 Added:03/24/2016

A BATTLE to legalise cannabis is set to start in Parliament as Liberal Democrat MPs propose a major shake-up of the UK's drug laws.

Norman Lamb wants the drug to be legalised in order to stop money going into the pockets of criminals and to prevent the lives of people who are prosecuted for possession of the substance from being "blighted" by a criminal conviction.

The former LibDem health minister said: "A regulated market in the UK will take profits out of the hands of organised crime and reduce both health and social harms.

"I've argued for a long time that our laws on drugs are outdated, harmful and well overdue for reform."

[end]

44 UK: Urinals Are New Battleground In Britain's War On DrugsFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Milmo, Cahal Area:United Kingdom Lines:77 Added:03/18/2016

Samples Collected at Nightclubs Can Provide Data on Which Substances Are Being Used and Where

For decades, the war on drugs has been fought on fronts from the jungles of Latin America to the classroom. But now the struggle to understand the use of illegal substances has reached a new low - the nation's urinals.

Scientists in charge of tracking drug use across Europe, in particular the booming use of so-called "legal highs", have put forward proposals to use samples from urinals in locations such as nightclubs and music festivals to try to work out which illicit substances are being consumed.

[continues 414 words]

45 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.

[continues 408 words]

46 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

[end]

47 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.

[continues 62 words]

48 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.

[continues 713 words]

49 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.

[end]

50 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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