RSS 2.0RSS 1.02015 In Review: United Kingdom
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1 UK: Almost 30,000 Prison Inmates Were Given Heroin SubstituteSun, 11 Jan 2015
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Carter, Claire Area:United Kingdom Lines:54 Added:01/11/2015

Almost 30,000 prisoners addicted to drugs were given a heroin substitute last year to feed their dependence, figures show.

The drugs were paid for by the taxpayer and given to inmates in a bid to help them kick the habit.

However inmates who are in prison for less than three months do not have time to complete the drug treatment programme, but are supplied with methadone or buprenorphine.

The figures were revealed in a request by Andrew Griffiths MP to the Secretary of State.

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2 UK: Drug Drivers LickedFri, 16 Jan 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Barrett, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:37 Added:01/17/2015

On-The-Spot Saliva Test for Cannabis and Cocaine Use Approved for Use by Police

Police will be able to test drivers for drugs on the roadside after the first mobile checking device was approved.

The "Drugwipe" can trace cocaine and cannabis in a saliva sample within three minutes. Drivers will be tested on the spot, rather than at a police station, meaning convictions are likely to soar as the device is increasingly adopted by forces. Mike Penning, the police minister, said chief constables would now be able to roll out the Securetec DrugWipe 3S after the technology was rubber-stamped by Home Office scientists. "Drug drivers are a deadly menace and must be stopped," said Mr Penning. "Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs not only put their own lives at risk, but also those of innocent pedestrians, motorists and their passengers." The test can detect cocaine and cannabis, the substances most commonly used by drug drivers. The manufacturers also produce a test for other drugs including heroin, amphetamine and Ecstasy, but this version has not yet won Home Office backing. A positive test will show red lines, similar to a pregnancy test.

In March a new drug driving law comes into force with penalties of up to six months' jail and UKP5000 fines.

[end]

3 UK: Online Cannabis Culture 'A Concern'Sun, 25 Jan 2015
Source:Express & Star (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:78 Added:01/27/2015

Experts have raised concerns about a thriving Twitter cannabis culture.

During a single month, researchers identified more than seven million tweets referring to marijuana, with "pro-pot" messages outnumbering those opposed to the drug by 15 to one.

Most of those sending and receiving "pot tweets" were under the age of 25, and many in their teens, said the team.

US psychiatrist and lead author Dr Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, from the Washington University Institute for Public Health, said: "It's a concern because frequent marijuana use can affect brain structures and interfere with cognitive function, emotional development and academic performance.

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4 UK: High-Rise Residents Claim Council Has 'Given Up' in BattleSun, 08 Feb 2015
Source:Argus, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:66 Added:02/10/2015

Fearful residents at a council-owned block of flats found a used crack pipe at the bottom of their stairwell.

The homemade pipe was found at Warwick Mount in Montague Street, Brighton, last week.

The discovery is one of a number of incidents at the building that has left locals feeling concerned for their safety.

They include the death of a man who was stabbed in the heart on Christmas morning.

Last month a man jumped from the eleventh floor of the block to his death.

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5 UK: Skunk Users Experience High Levels Of PsychosisMon, 16 Feb 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Moore, Matthew Area:United Kingdom Lines:44 Added:02/16/2015

Nearly a quarter of new cases of psychosis are linked to highpotency "skunk like" cannabis, new research shows.

People who smoke superstrength cannabis are three times more likely to develop psychosis than people who have never tried the drug and five times more likely if they smoke it every day.

The study, by researchers at King's College London, will fuel calls for politicians and public health officials to take a stronger stance against high potency cannabis, at a time when many campaigners are arguing for marijuana to be legalised. The researchers say there is an "urgent need" to inform young people about the risks of strong cannabis.

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6 UK: Psychosis LinkTue, 17 Feb 2015
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:31 Added:02/16/2015

Nearly a quarter of new cases of psychosis are linked to high-potency "skunk like" cannabis, new British research shows.

People who smoke super-strength cannabis are three times more likely to develop psychosis than people who have never tried the drug - and five times more likely if they smoke it every day. The study, by researchers at King's College London, will fuel calls for politicians and public health officials to take a stronger stance against high potency cannabis, at a time when many campaigners are arguing for marijuana to be legalised.

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7 UK: Skunk Cannabis 'Can Triple Risk' Of PsychosisMon, 16 Feb 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Devlin, Hannah Area:United Kingdom Lines:48 Added:02/16/2015

Smoking powerful "skunk" cannabis triples the risk of suffering a serious psychotic episode, scientists have found.

The drug is linked to one quarter of all new cases of psychosis, the study revealed.

The findings add to a compelling body of evidence that smoking strong cannabis "tilts the odds" towards a person developing psychosis, which leads to schizophrenia in about half of cases.

The study found that people who smoked skunk every day had five times the normal risk of experiencing extended episodes in which they heard voices, suffered delusions or demonstrated erratic behaviour.

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8 UK: Cannabis Causing A Quarter Of PsychosisMon, 16 Feb 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Bingham, John Area:United Kingdom Lines:127 Added:02/16/2015

Study Finds 60,000 Britons Are Living With Mental Illness Because of Super-Strong Drug

ONE in four new cases of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia could be the direct result of smoking extra-strong varieties of cannabis, a major new study concludes.

The finding suggests that about 60,000 people in Britain are currently living with conditions involving hallucinations and paranoid episodes brought on by abuse of high-potency cannabis, known as skunk, and more than 300,000 people who have smoked skunk will experience such problems in their lifetime.

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9 UK: Prof: Give Scripts For EcstasyMon, 16 Feb 2015
Source:Daily Record (UK) Author:Jolly, Lynn Area:United Kingdom Lines:37 Added:02/16/2015

A FORMER Government drugs tsar says cannabis and ecstasy should be used to treat patients battling cancer and depression.

Professor David Nutt claimed that banning certain drugs is depriving patients and doctors of "extremely useful" therapies for chronic pain and illnesses.

Nutt, who was fired by the Government in 2009 for claiming horse-riding is more dangerous than ecstasy, also said there may be therapeutic benefits in legal highs.

The psychiatrist added: "Let the doctors decide which drugs are harmful, not the politician."

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10UK: Study Links Some Pot To PsychosisThu, 19 Feb 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:United Kingdom Lines:Excerpt Added:02/20/2015

Frequent use of high-potency weed might be linked to an increased risk of having a psychotic episode. But milder strains of marijuana, even when used heavily, don't appear to carry an increased risk of psychosis.

Researchers got data from 410 London patients sent to the hospital for a first-episode psychotic incident and compared those numbers with data from370 control individuals living in the same area.

Compared with someone who had never smoked, a weekly user of high- potency weed, defined as having greater than 15 percent THC content, was three times as likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. The researchers found no link between frequent use of low-potency weed and psychotic disorder.

The findings were published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.

[end]

11 UK: Clever Teenagers Most At Risk Of 'Skunk' PsychosisSun, 22 Feb 2015
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Adams, Stephen Area:United Kingdom Lines:106 Added:02/23/2015

BRITAIN'S brightest teenagers are among those most at risk of mental illness caused by smoking a potent form of cannabis, a leading expert has warned.

Professor Sir Robin Murray said it tended to be 'clever and sociable' youngsters who were damaged by using the super-strong strain of the drug, known as skunk.

Sir Robin, the foremost authority in Britain on the effects of smoking cannabis, led a landmark study with colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry which found that regularly smoking skunk triples the risk of psychosis, as revealed last week by The Mail on Sunday.

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12 UK: Police Will Be On High Alert At 'Cannabis Celebration'Sat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Evening Times (UK) Author:Swindon, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:85 Added:03/01/2015

George Square Event Criticised by Politicians

DRUG users are planning to stage a "cannabis celebration" in Glasgow's George Square.

The annual '420 event' sees campaigners gather in a public place on April 20 to call for the legalisation of the Class B drug.

Last year Glasgow Cannabis Social Club held a gathering of 150 people at Glasgow Green and five were reported to the procurator fiscal for flouting the law by lighting up in full view of police.

The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis is five years in prison.

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13 UK: Expert Wants Scots Cannabis CafesMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Scotsman (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:26 Added:03/03/2015

A FORMER UK Government adviser has said Scots should go Dutch and open cannabis cafes.

Professor David Nutt, who has advised the Department of Health, said it could be "very good" for the economy. Prof Nutt sacked by the UK Government in 2009 for saying horse riding was more dangerous than ecstasy also blasted plans to ban legal highs.

Speaking ahead of a talk in Edinburgh, Prof Nutt said: "If Scotland had a sensible medical cannabis policy you'd get a lot of health tourists and that would be very good for your economy. People could have a cuppa in cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow and have a spliff as they do in Amsterdam."

[end]

14 UK: Branson and Clegg Join in Backing Decriminalisation ofWed, 04 Mar 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Wintour, Patrick Area:United Kingdom Lines:71 Added:03/04/2015

Sir Richard Branson and Nick Clegg are urging the UK to begin decriminalising the use and possession of almost all drugs, following the example of Portugal.

The Virgin founder and deputy prime minister are to address a conference on fighting drug addiction today, and in an article on the Guardian website they write: "As an investment, the war on drugs has failed to deliver any returns. If it were a business, it would have been shut down a long time ago. This is not what success looks like.

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15 UK: Why I Think the Terminally Ill Should Take LSDSat, 07 Mar 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Cooper, Charlie Area:United Kingdom Lines:155 Added:03/07/2015

Charlie Cooper Takes a Trip to Meet Professor David Nutt - and Finds Out Why the Former Government Czar Believes That Mind-Altering Drugs Have a Place on the Prescription Pad

Professor David Nutt has been no stranger to controversy over the years. So the psychiatrist and former Government drugs tsar, will not have been fazed when he raised eyebrows recently by drawing a parallel between the repression of research into the effects of psychedelic drugs like LSD with the censorship of Galileo and the banning of the telescope.

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16 UK: Cheap Cocaine Spreading Throughout British Society, SaysFri, 13 Mar 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:McVeigh, Karen Area:United Kingdom Lines:116 Added:03/15/2015

Almost One in Ten Adults Admits to Using the Drug Scientists Warn of Deadly Potential Side-Effects

Cocaine use, once the preserve of celebrities and the wealthy, has spread throughout British society, drug advisers say.

A report by the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) found that although consumption of the drug had fallen slightly from a peak in 2008-09, its use has permeated a wide social demographic that includes the middle classes and those on lower incomes. This has been driven by the emergence of a "two-tier" market; one selling very low purity, cheaper cocaine alongside a smaller trade in a more expensive, purer version.

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17 UK: A Political Broadcast By The Cannabis Party. Will It Be ShownSun, 29 Mar 2015
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:United Kingdom Lines:98 Added:03/31/2015

Fury as drugs activists get free airtime for election

PRO-DRUGS campaigners in Scotland are to be given a prime-time slot on television to call for the legalisation of cannabis.

A radical new political party has been set up with the sole purpose of making drugs laws more lenient.

Funded by an internet millionaire, CISTA - short for Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol - is fielding candidates across the country in the General Election. It will be able to exploit electoral rules to air its controversial ideas, which include giving cannabis to sick children.

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18 UK: Former Nationalist Takes Drugs On A Daily BasisSun, 29 Mar 2015
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:United Kingdom Lines:43 Added:03/31/2015

YVONNE MacLean left the SNP to stand for CISTA in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The 41-year-old single mother admits being a 'criminal' for 'self-medicating' to alleviate depression with cannabis she buys from a drug dealer.

Miss MacLean, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire, believes legalising the Class B drug would be 'good for the environment, the economy and the community'. She said: 'I don't think people should be criminalised for their choices. They should be trusted to use drugs sensibly and addicts should be helped. People can get addicted to coffee, cigarettes and alcohol if they have that type of personality.

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19 UK: The Net ClosesSat, 11 Apr 2015
Source:Economist, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:72 Added:04/15/2015

The web's two largest drug markets go down, panicking dealers and buyers

"I JUST can't bear this any longer," writes "Megan" in an anonymous internet forum. Waiting for online shopping to be delivered is frustrating. But for drug users it can be agony. Megan's vice is OxyContin, an addictive prescription painkiller. Like many users, she buys her illicit supply on the "dark web", a hidden corner of the internet accessed with anonymous browsing software. In the past month the online market for drugs has been rattled, after the two main drug-dealing sites suddenly locked buyers and sellers out. "If you know anyone...who would sort something out for me tonight or tomorrow I'll drop dead of gratitude," pleads Megan.

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20 UK: They Won't Arrest Us All!Sun, 19 Apr 2015
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:United Kingdom Lines:138 Added:04/22/2015

Astonishing claim of the arrogant cannabis campaigners who intend to light up in public

THOUSANDS of illegal drug users plan to flout the law by smoking cannabis in public tomorrow.

Activists who want the Class-B substance legalised will taunt police by lighting up at the 'Cannabis Celebration' in Glasgow's George Square - claiming 'they can't arrest us all'.

Nearly 4,000 people have pledged to attend Scotland's biggest pro-cannabis rally in front of the City Chambers. Speakers will promote the so-called health benefits of the plant - including incredible claims it can cure cancer - as well as encouraging people to 'grow their own'.

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21 UK: High Hopes For LSDSun, 31 May 2015
Source:Independent on Sunday (UK) Author:Cooper, Charlie Area:United Kingdom Lines:130 Added:06/01/2015

The Hippies Drug of Choice Was Banned in 1966 but Is Now Undergoing Trials As a Cure for Depression and Addiction. Charlie Cooper Spoke to Some Volunteer Users.

LSD is often associated with trippy songs such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Purple Haze" and "White Rabbit". But before it became the drug of choice for the 1960s counterculture, lysergic acid diethylamide had a previous existence - as an experimental medicine for a broad spectrum of psychological problems ranging from depression and addiction, to schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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22 UK: Review: Doctor Gave Out Heroin And Crime FellSun, 21 Jun 2015
Source:Wales on Sunday (UK) Author:McCarthy, James Area:United Kingdom Lines:121 Added:06/22/2015

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, by Johann Hari, is published by Bloomsbury, priced UKP18.99.

A DOCTOR hounded from Britain by the establishment has revealed how he slashed heroin addiction and crime by doling out the drug to addicts. Psychiatrist John Marks now works in Vienna. But in 1982 the South Wales Valleys-raised medic was working in Widnes, in the Wirral.

In a new book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, he reveals how he became the accidental pioneer of an initiative to give free heroin to addicts and that it worked.

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23 UK: Lib Dems Plot To Have Heroin DecriminalisedTue, 23 Jun 2015
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Slack, James Area:United Kingdom Lines:79 Added:06/23/2015

POSSESSION of all drugs, including heroin and cocaine, would be decriminalised under radical plans tabled by the Liberal Democrats today.

The party's push, led by ex-police chief Brian Paddick, will attempt to ambush a Government Bill to ban the sale of legal highs when it is debated by the Lords.

Under their proposals, nobody would be arrested or prosecuted for possession of drugs - even the hardest Class A substances.

Instead, police 'may' ask the offender to attend a drug awareness course or treatment programme.

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24 UK: Mum of 15-Year-Old Girl WHO Died After Taking EcstasyWed, 15 Jul 2015
Source:Daily Record (UK) Author:Mills, Kelly-Ann Area:United Kingdom Lines:145 Added:07/14/2015

Martha Fernback was just 15 when she took the fatal dose of ecstasy that was 91 per cent pure, and her mum Anne-Marie Cockburn believes, had regulations been in place, she might still be alive

On a sunny day two years ago Anne-Marie Cockburn's phone rang.

At the end of the line was a stranger who told her that her 15-year-old daughter was gravely ill and and they were trying to save her life.

Martha had swallowed half a gram of white powder.

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25 UK: A Green Light To Grow Cannabis At HomeWed, 22 Jul 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Cusick, James Area:United Kingdom Lines:112 Added:07/22/2015

Senior police chief says prosecution is a waste of time and reveals his force is already turning a blind eye to domestic cultivation in defiance of the Home Office

If you smoke a joint in front of an officer, you'll still get nicked

The blanket criminal prosecution of all cannabis growers should be stopped, according to one of the country's most senior police officials, who revealed that his force is already bypassing Home Office guidelines.

In what may be seen as a major shift towards effective decriminalisation within law enforcement, Ron Hogg, the police and crime commissioner for Durham Constabulary, said his force's scarce resources were no longer being used against growers involved in small-scale cultivation of the class B drug.

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26 UK: Police Tell Cannabis Growers: You Are Not Our PriorityWed, 22 Jul 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Evans, Martin Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:07/22/2015

CANNABIS users in County Durham who grow the drug for their own consumption will no longer be targeted by the police after the force declared the illegal activity was not a priority.

In a move, which will be seen as a further step towards decriminalisation, Durham Constabulary declared it would only go after people using the drug if there was a complaint or if they were being "blatant".

While the force insisted it would continue to tackle commercial cannabis farms and other areas of criminality associated with the production of the drug, those who grow and use at home will not be actively targeted and pursued.

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27 UK: More Forces Turning A Blind Eye To CannabisWed, 29 Jul 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Ward, Victoria Area:United Kingdom Lines:59 Added:07/29/2015

THREE more police forces have signalled that people who grow cannabis for their own consumption will not be targeted.

Earlier this month, Durham Constabulary stated it would only go after people using the drug if there was a complaint or if they were being "blatant".

Now police and crime commissioners (PPCs) in Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey have indicated that those caught smoking or cultivating the drug on a small scale can expect little more than a caution.

The change in attitudes will be seen as a further step towards decriminalisation.

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28 UK: Giggles At 'Hippy Crack' ProtestMon, 03 Aug 2015
Source:Press and Journal, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:26 Added:08/03/2015

Demonstrators have protested against Government drug policy by staging a mass inhalation of so-called "hippy crack" in the shadow of Parliament.

Dozens sat in Parliament Square in Westminster where they filled balloons with nitrous oxide and breathed in "laughing gas " . Many of the protesters erupted into giggles before spreading out across the lawn.

The Government plans to introduce a law to ban any mood-altering drugs or "legal highs".

Stephen Reid, founder of the Psychedelic Society, said: "People should be able to buy, sell and use whatever substances they want, so long as there's no harm to others."

[end]

29 UK: How Skunk Stole My SonSat, 01 Aug 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:191 Added:08/05/2015

As thousands urge decriminalisation of the drug, the mother of one former addict recalls the trauma her family went through

'If you think your children will be safe from drugs outside the state system, think again' 'We began to sleep with our cash under our pillows and locked away anything that could be sold'

Ihave spent more time arguing about the legalisation of cannabis than most; more than anyone would ever want to. It seems I have to continue. Last Saturday, a petition to legalise cannabis amassed the 100,000 signatures it needs to ensure the Government consider it for a parliamentary debate. Since then, numbers have climbed further past 150,000. In the same week, Dorset, Derbyshire and Surrey police have signalled they plan to follow Durham's lead in turning a blind eye to smallscale cannabis farmers and smokers.

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30 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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31 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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32 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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33 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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34 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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35 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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36 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.

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37 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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38 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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39 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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40 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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41 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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