Obama promise massive drug policy reform … again! Will he deliver this time around?

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Obama adapt the drug policy reform hashtag. Will he adopt the policy as well?

Obama adapt the drug policy reform hashtag. Will he adopt the policy as well?

With mid-term elections around the corner, politicians of all strides are feverishly hunting for catch phrases and catch themes, and a growing number of democrats, as well as a sizable part of Republicans, have come to realize that public opinion has turned massively in favor of drug policy reform. Acknowledgement of the utter failure of the War on Drugs is reaching now quasi consensus, one of the very few issues capable of such a feast in an otherwise deeply divided country.

Obama was elected on vague promises of more sensible drug policies, and grand announcements on drug policy reforms have marked his presidency with remarkable regularity. The only problem of course is that deeds have not quite followed words, and if the most alarming trends of the Bush era have somewhat softened, the old patterns of mass incarceration continue virtually unabated.

Drug policy reform, or more specifically, marijuana legalization has now a solid track record of pulling to the polls people who would not otherwise bother to vote, but it will take more than words to mobilize them this time around.

Maybe you want to take advantage of our 50% off Summer special and send to your lawmakers a copy of “World-War-D”, one of the most detailed roadmaps to controlled re-legalization. order http://www.world-war-d.com

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-e-sterling/obama-promises-massive-dr_b_5579357.html

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Drug Policy Reform on the move

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After reaching a tipping point in 2012, the move towards global drug policy reform has intensified in 2013, with the consolidation on the breakthrough victories of 2012. More states have joined the expanding club of legal medical marijuana states. Legislation has been enacted for the establishment of legal adult marketplaces in Colorado and Washington State. Uruguay is in the final stage of becoming the first country in the world to formally legalize marijuana.

Now the line are being drawn for the next round of battles, in with the 2014 mid-term electoral cycle, and beyond, the 2016 US presidential elections.

The lines are being drawn globally as well, with a special UN cession on drug policy scheduled for 2016.

For a detailed review of the major trends and event, I invite you to check the following slideshow. Thank you for sharing and liking it!

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Uruguay lower house passes marijuana legalization bill

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Uruguay about to become the first country in the world to regulate and control all aspects of marijuana production and trade.

President Jose Mujica of Uruguay

President Jose Mujica of Uruguay

After a fierce 13 hours debate, the lower house of the Uruguayan parliament, the chamber of deputies, narrowly approved on July 31 the marijuana legalization bill introduced by President Mujica and his governing coalition. The bill was approved by a thin 50 majority vote of the 96 “diputados” presents in the lower house (out of a total of 99). The bill is now expected to clear the Uruguayan senate where the governing coalition holds a more comfortable majority.

Under the bill, a newly created Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis will assume “the control and regulation of the importation, exportation, plantation, cultivation, the harvest, the production, the acquisition, the storage, the commercialization and the distribution of cannabis and its by-products”.

Buyers would have to be registered on a database and be over the age of 18. They would be able to buy up to 40g (1.4oz) of marijuana per month in specially licensed pharmacies. The bill also authorizes cultivation for personal use of up to six plants. Growers clubs of 15 to 45 members  will be allowed to grow up to 99 plants collectively.

To discourage marijuana-tourism, foreigners are excluded from the measure.

Uruguayan President José Mujica and his government first announced their intent to submit a proposal for marijuana legalization under governmental control on June 20, 2012. Possession and use of marijuana has been legal in Uruguay since 1974. The main objective of the proposal was to tackle growing drug-related violence mostly linked to cocaine paste. The idea was to cut off the marijuana marketplace from the most dangerous hard drugs marketplace.

Up until the early 2000s, most of the cocaine trade to the US and Europe was taking place on a Northern route throughout the Caribbean and Central America, and the southernmost countries were mostly spared the narco violence that devastated most countries located between Colombia and the US. With increased enforcement in the Caribbean region, traffickers opened new routes to the EU through West Africa, transiting through Brazil and Argentina, spilling into Uruguay. As a result, the traditionally sedate country, one of the safest in Latin America, witnessed a dramatic surge in the trafficking and use of cocaine paste and its associated violence. Most of the marijuana currently sold on the Uruguayan black market is smuggled from Paraguay through the ultra-porous borders with Brazil and Argentine.

Legalization supporters also pointed to the paradox of legal possession and use while production and sale were still criminalized. “The consumption of marijuana has been allowed for 40 years, but it can only be accessed through the narcos, and requires the commission of a crime, in addition to the exposure to other drugs,” the Broad Front said in a statement on its website. “We have created a great business for drug trafficking, and that is what we want to start to fight.”

The move is followed very closely in the region, desperately looking for alternatives to the failed current drug policies. “Uruguay appears poised, in the weeks ahead, to become the first nation in modern times to create a legal, regulated framework for marijuana,” said John Walsh, a drug policy expert at the Washington Office on Latin America. “In doing so, Uruguay will be bravely taking a leading role in establishing and testing a compelling alternative to the prohibitionist paradigm.”

The Uruguayan initiative received the informal blessing of José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) on visit in the country ahead of the lower house vote. The OAS regroups all 35 independent states of the Americas, with the domineering and often resented presence of the US, the Northerly Big Brother. Insulza was on a two days visit to introduce the recently published report on drug consumption in the Americas, prepared by the OAS as a mandate of the Sixth Summit of the Americas. The report favors drug decriminalization of marijuana and other soft drugs, and advocates a broad debate about drug policy. Insulza emphasized that Uruguay is the first country where he is presenting the OAS report, saying “What better place to start than here, where there is already a debate.”

“Nearly half of all consumers of cocaine and opiates in the world live in our region, as well as a quarter of those who smoke marijuana,” declared Insulza, “this consumption has created an illegal business that threatens the integrity of our institutions… The number of deaths caused by drug consumption seem minimal when compared with the deaths caused by drug-related criminal activity.“

Insulza praised the efforts of the Government of Uruguay: “I would like to publicly recognize the responsible and serious manner in which the Uruguayan State and civil society are addressing the project presented by the government on the production, sale and use of marijuana in this country.” And concluded: “Uruguay’s experience is being watched with great attention by the rest of the Hemisphere and we are convinced that whatever the outcome of this process, we can all draw important lessons from it.”

President Mujica, 78, a former guerrilla during the brutal 1970s military dictatorship, has steered Uruguay towards socially liberal policies. His government enacted a groundbreaking abortion rights law and legalized same-sex marriage. Mujica is also an outspoken environmentalist, actively positioning his country as a center for renewable energy.

The marijuana bill has been under consideration for more than a year, with Mr. Mujica urging legislators last December to postpone voting on it after polls showed a majority of Uruguayans were opposed. Public opinion remains strongly opposed to marijuana legalization despite a year-long education and information campaign by President Mujica’s government. Opposition politicians vowed launch a petition to have the law overturned even if the law made it through the senate.

In February 2001, Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle was the first head of state to advocate legalization of all drugs to end narco-violence. Politics still being politics, even in ultra-democratic Uruguay, his party, the Colorado party, now in the opposition, nonetheless opposed the marijuana legalization bill.

Uruguay is a tiny country of 3.3 million located on the Atlantic coast on the Southern border of Brazil and separated from Argentina by the estuary of the Río de la Plata. It ranked 20th in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, tying with Chile just below the United States. With its high degree of accountability, its strong state presence and stable government, it is an ideal place to experiment with marijuana legalization.

Further readings:

http://www.insightcrime.org/uruguay-legalization-drugs/uruguay-marijuana-bill-faces-political-economic-obstacles

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

To mark the landmark Uruguayan vote for marijuana legalization, World war-D is available on our Amazon store at the promotion price of $9.99 until August 10 (50% off cover price).

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
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Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

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Uruguay poised to make history on July 31, with OAS blessings

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Uruguay Parliament poised for historic vote on recreational marijuana legalization under government control.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and his wife Lucia Topolansky

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and his wife Lucia Topolansky

Often dubbed the Switzerland of Latin America, Uruguay is a tiny country of 3.3 million inhabitants located on the Atlantic coast on the Southern border of Brazil and separated from Argentina by the estuary of the Río de la Plata.

Faced by an invasion of cocaine paste from neighboring Colombia, sleepy Uruguay was propelled to the global headlines on June 20, 2012 when Uruguayan President José Mujica and his government announced their intent to submit a proposal for marijuana legalization under governmental control. Possession and use of marijuana is already legal in Uruguay. Thus was launched a year-long nationwide debate that seems poised to conclude on July 31, when the marijuana legalization proposal will be submitted to a vote in the Uruguayan parliament.

The proposal was originally scheduled for a December 2012 vote, but President Mujica decided to postpone it for lack of popular support even though his government coalition enjoys a comfortable majority. With polls showing public support for legalization stuck in the low 30s, Mujica decided instead to launch an extensive national debate where opponents and supporters of the initiative could freely explain their arguments to the public.  In a remarkable lesson in genuine democracy that we wish more governments would emulate, Mújica declared back then: “Don’t vote on a law because you have majority in parliament. Support has to come from the streets.”

But Mújica is not quite your average president either, being more like the Nelson Mandela of Latin America. A former Tupamaros guerrilla leader during the brutal Uruguayan military dictatorship in the 1970s, Mujica was shot by the police six times and served 14 years in prison, including over two years in solitary confinement at the bottom of a well. Known for his humility and kindness, Mujica gives to charity 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary, and shunned the presidential palace, its pump and its armored limousines to live in his modest ranch with his wife, commuting in his old Volkswagen beetle.

Early this week, the Uruguayan initiative received the informal blessing of José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS regroups all 35 independent states of the Americas, with the domineering and often resented presence of the US, the Northerly Big Brother. Insulza was on a two days visit to introduce the recently published report on drug consumption in the Americas, prepared by the OAS as a mandate of the Sixth Summit of the Americas. The report favors drug decriminalization of marijuana and other soft drugs, and advocates a broad debate about drug policy. Insulza emphasized that Uruguay is the first country where he is presenting the OAS report, saying “What better place to start than here, where there is already a debate.”

“Nearly half of all consumers of cocaine and opiates in the world live in our region, as well as a quarter of those who smoke marijuana,” declared Insulza, “this consumption has created an illegal business that threatens the integrity of our institutions… The number of deaths caused by drug consumption seem minimal when compared with the deaths caused by drug-related criminal activity.“

Insulza praised the efforts of the Government of Uruguay: “I would like to publicly recognize the responsible and serious manner in which the Uruguayan State and civil society are addressing the project presented by the government on the production, sale and use of marijuana in this country.” And concluded: “Uruguay’s experience is being watched with great attention by the rest of the Hemisphere and we are convinced that whatever the outcome of this process, we can all draw important lessons from it.”

If adopted on July 31, as now seems likely, Uruguay will become the first country in the world to establish a controlled marketplace for marijuana, which would be a major breakthrough and would break a taboo, challenge international laws, and set a precedent. Uruguay has also been debating cultivation for personal use for over two year. The approval of both measures would be a giant step forward.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

- See more at: http://www.world-war-d.com/2013/07/25/mmj-likely-to-turn-20-in-the-us-on-august-4-2013/#sthash.RNFC1MG3.dpuf

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Posted in Drug legalization, Drug policy reform, Latin America, marijuana legalization, Uruguay | 4 Comments

MMJ likely to turn 20 in the US on August 4, 2013

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As New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed a new medical marijuana bill into law on July 23, Illinois MMJ bill still awaits Governor Quinn signature.

The last New England state turned green on Tuesday July 23 as New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed the local mmj bill, bringing to 19 the number of medical marijuana states.

This number is likely to turn 20 on august 4 when Illinois House Bill 1 becomes law unless Governor Quinn decide to veto it at the last minute, a very unlikely prospect. House Bill 1 was sent to the Governor’s desk on June 5. Under Illinois law, if the Governor fails to sign or veto a bill within 60 days of receiving it from the legislature, the bill automatically becomes law.

Under a temporary medical marijuana pilot program, House Bill 1 would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Qualified patients would be able to obtain marijuana from one of up to 60 dispensaries, which would acquire marijuana from up to 22 cultivation centers. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Financial & Professional Regulation would regulate the cultivation, acquisition, and distribution of marijuana.

Under the four-year pilot program outlined in the Illinois bill, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of 33 debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS in order to qualify for medical marijuana. Patients must register with the state’s health department and have written certification from their physicians.

Patients will be limited to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of marijuana every two weeks. The marijuana must be grown  in Illinois, kept in a closed container, and not used in public or in front of minors.

Those who use, grow or sell medical marijuana must be fingerprinted and undergo background checks during the application process. Patients suspected of driving under the influence face the loss of not only their driving privileges, but also their medical marijuana cards.

Although one of the most restrictive in the country, House Bill 1 would make Illinois the 2nd largest medical marijuana state just behind California. Next in line is another heavyweight, NY State.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

- See more at: http://www.world-war-d.com/2013/07/25/marijuana-legalization-scheduled-for-july-31-vote-in-uruguayan-parliament-with-tacit-oas-support/#sthash.4OcHbaNr.dpuf

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Marijuana legalization scheduled for July 31 vote in Uruguayan Parliament with tacit OAS support

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AOS (Organization of American States) endorse the marijuana legalization process

Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), presents a recent report on drug consumption in the Americas. The report favored drug decriminalization of marijuanaIn a meeting with Uruguayan president Jose Mujica, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza came as close as he could to fully endorsing marijuana legalization, declaring that the current prohibitionist strategy doesn’t work and that legalization is an alternate strategy that deserves a try.

This declaration was made during the presentation to the Parliament of Uruguay of a recently released OAS report on drug policy just 10 days before the marijuana legalization project is scheduled to come to a vote on July 31, following a year-long national debate. OAS Secretary General Insulza’s visit was largely seen as a show of support for the Uruguayan initiative and is expected to sway key sway votes still on the fence on the legalization issue.

read more:  http://www.elpais.com.uy/informacion/marihuana-insulza-respaldo-proceso-legalizacion.html

http://www.prensalibre.com/internacional/OEA-abierto-Uruguay-legalizacion-marihuana_0_960504281.html

 

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

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OAS Secretary General Presents Historic Drug Policy Report

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Historic landmark for global drug policy reform

OAS drug policy report May 2013

Historic landmark for global drug policy reform

The 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, gave the OAS (Organization of American States) a mandate to study the impact of current drug policies and explore possible alternatives. The results of the $2.2 million study were presented on Friday, May 17, by OAS secretary general José Miguel Insulza to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Casa de Nariño (the Colombian White House).

Santos said the report presented “simple, realistic options” for future action in order to “reduce the deaths, the violence that drug trafficking wreaks, the consumption of drugs and the profits of criminals.” The 400-page study emphasizes drug abuse as primarily a public health issue and suggests drug abusers should not be criminally prosecuted but rather treated as ill. “Decriminalization of drug use needs to be considered as a core element in any public health strategy,” it says.

The study included two documents: an analytical report to look at current trends, best practices, and policy challenges; and a set of scenarios about what might happen in the future and the results that could be expected in each scenario. The objective of the reports is to assist the Americas’ leaders to find a better way to address the challenges posed by illicit drugs.

The report – “Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas, 2013-2025” – presents four possibilities for how drug policy could evolve in the Americas, most of which break from the current U.S.-led approach. These scenarios are stories about what ‘could’ happen in the future in and around the hemispheric drug system, based on current trends, and including relevant political, economic, social, cultural and international dynamics. The report calls for an open and serious discussion on marijuana legalization and the widespread implementation of harm reduction strategies.

The most controversial scenario would involve countries unilaterally abandoning the fight against drug production and trafficking in their territory in order to reduce violence. President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, a hard-hit cocaine transit country along with neighboring Honduras, made headlines before the Cartagena summit when he said he was tempted to put his country on such a path.

The report is available at http://idpc.net/publications/2013/05/oas-report-scenarios-for-the-drug-problem-in-the-americas-2013-2025

The OAS scenarios report will also be presented and discussed on Monday, in Washington, D.C., at the bi-annual meeting of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).  Two weeks later (on June 4-6), the OAS will hold its General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala, with drug policy as the principal item on the agenda.  These developments and others will undoubtedly shape the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, currently scheduled for 2016.

Drug policy reform advocates called the report historic, though it made no specific proposals and said there was “no significant support” among the OAS’ 35 member states for legalizing cocaine, the illicit drug with the greatest impact on Latin America.

“This is the first time any multilateral organization anywhere has done something like this,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the White House’s drug czar, said in response to the report that “any suggestion that nations legalize drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine runs counter to an evidenced-based, public health approach to drug policy and are not viable alternatives.”

Statement by Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2013/05/oas-secretary-general-presents-historic-drug-policy-report-president-santos-colombia

“Never before has a multilateral organization engaged in such an inclusive and intellectually legitimate analysis of drug policy options.  Indeed, it would have been inconceivable just two years ago that the OAS – or any multilateral organization – would publish a document that considers legalization, decriminalization and other alternatives to prohibitionist policies on an equal footing with status quo policies.  Political pressures by the US and other governments would have made that impossible.

Much has changed, however, in the past few years. In 2009, former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), César Gaviria (Colombia) and Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico) joined with other members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy in saying the time had come to “break the taboo” on exploring alternatives to the failed war on drugs.  In 2011, those presidents joined with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul Volcker, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss and other members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy in calling for fundamental reforms to national and global drug policies.  Former presidents Jimmy Carter, Ricardo Lagos (Chile), Vicente Fox (Mexico) and Aleksander Kwasniewski (Poland) were among those who seconded their recommendations.

Beginning in late 2011, current presidents began to join the calls of their predecessors.  These included President Santos in Colombia, Otto Perez Molina in Guatemala, José Mujica in Uruguay and then-President Felipe Calderón of Mexico.  Simultaneously, the victorious marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Washington State and Colorado transformed a previously hypothetical debate into real political reform.  Other states will almost certainly follow their lead in coming years.

The OAS scenarios report thus represents the important next step in elevating and legitimizing a discussion that until a few years ago was effectively banned from official government circles.  It is sure to have legs in a way that few reports by multilateral institutions ever do.

Illinois Senate passes medical marijuana bill

The number of medical marijuana states is set to reach 20 as the Illinois Senate approved medical marijuana by a 35-21 vote. Sponsored by Dem. State Senator Bill Haine, a former county prosecutor, the bill is the toughest in the nation and has support from doctors’ groups.

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill, making Illinois the 2nd most populous medical marijuana state after California.

Republic of Georgia considers legalizing marijuana

Republic of Georgia considers legalizing marijuana Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, David Sergeyenko stated that the nation was considering new strategies to deal with the issue of drugs among them, the legalization of marijuana. David Sergeyenko pointed out “ban-related mechanisms,” such as Georgia’s laws against marijuana, “often entail a ricochet effect, which means strengthening and development of other directions,” a reference to distinguishing marijuana from other drugs. He added the issue requires a “well-considered strategy” and said the legalization of marijuana could be a part of it.

The strategy is one that could quickly gain some national attention, and political support. Multiple lawmakers in the Republic of Georgia have, in the past, called for the legalization of “soft drugs” such as cannabis. Advocates of such a move say that it will reduce violent crimes by reducing money funneled into the blackmarket. They also argue that it’ll bring revenue to the nation, including from tourists, and will bring about what should be a fundamental freedom for an individual to consume a nonlethal plant.

Discussions are only preliminary at the moment, but expect the issue to gain some traction, and attention, in the coming weeks.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/05/10/Republic-of-Georgia-considers-legalizing-marijuana-minister-says/UPI-56231368211051/#ixzz2TfVcuw5W

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

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Posted in Colombia, Drug legalization, Drug policy reform, Guatemala, Latin America, marijuana legalization | Leave a comment

Brazil between decriminalization and mandatory minimum sentencing

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Brazil between decriminalization and mandatory minimum sentencing

Seven justice ministers who served during the 1995-2003 government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the 2003-2011 administration of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva delivered a letter on Tuesday to Federal Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes, advocating the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.

The former ministers pointed out to the failure of the criminalization of drug users, declaring “each citizen has the freedom to build his own mode of life provided that he respects the space of others…Treating the consumer as a citizen and offering him treatment structure by means of a policy of damage reduction is more appropriate than stigmatizing him as a criminal.”

The signers cite successful experiences in countries such as Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Italy and Portugal, which adopted decriminalization of drug possession for one’s own personal use as an “effective way” of fighting drug trafficking. The letter was released as the lower house of Congress is preparing to vote on a reform of the Drug Law that includes the possible compulsory treatment for drug users and increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for drug-related offenses from five to eight years.

Ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso is himself a strong advocate of drug policy reform and one of the founders of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Marijuana substitution for crack addicts in Bogota, Colombia

The city of Bogota is planning a system of “controlled consumption centers,” where addicts could be weaned off more hard-core drugs, such as heroin or crack, and slowly introduced to pot.

Although Colombia has successfully cracked down on its drug export business, many native Colombians are addicted to drugs, including the highly addictive cocaine derivative known as basuco, Agence France-Presse previously reported.

Basuco is smokable cocaine that is easily accessible and often gives users a euphoric high. It can also cause serious damage to vital organs.

Because of its continued prevalence, as well as its toxicity, basuco will be one of the drugs targeted by Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro’s planned treatment centers, according to BBC Mundo. The treatment centers are part of a larger movement in Colombia to classify drug addiction as an issue of public health rather than crime, AFP noted in 2012.

“We’re in the process of looking for alternatives to a policy that, over 30 years, has caused deaths, has caused problems and has caused economic and public health difficulties and social problems in Colombia,” Rubén Ramírez, director of the Center for Study and Analysis in Coexistence and Public Safety, told BBC Mundo. “And among the ideas is one to do a pilot study on the substitution of [marijuana for cocaine].”

The initiative could be implemented within two months and would be used to study the effectiveness of marijuana on reducing and alleviating withdrawal symptoms in addicts who want to kick their cocaine or heroine habits.

For an update on news and major events concerning global drug policy reform, see http://www.slideshare.net/jdhywood/2013-in-progress.

Thank  you for your continued support,

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”
“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

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Happy 420 from World War-D: $4.20 on 4/20

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Happy Weed Day to all!

$4.20 on 4-20 for World War-D!

Happy 420 from World War-D

In 1971, a group of five High School friends from San Rafael, California, known as the Waldos, went on a hunt for an elusive marijuana patch rumored to be located in the Point Reyes forest. They would meet at 4:20 pm by a wall outside their school to start their explorations in their smoke-filled Chevy Impala. The patch was never found, but the smoking ritual remained and 420 became their codeword for smoking pot. At that time, the Grateful Dead moved to San Rafael and the Waldos fives started hanging out with them. From there, the term spread through the Dead underground. High Times eventually got wind of the term, and started incorporating it into everything they were doing, helping take it global. Thus an obscure codename, as urban legend has it, turned into an annual celebration and over the years April 20 became some kind of national holiday for marijuana activists.

To celebrate Weed Day, as it is now known, “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization” is available for the amazing low price of $4.20 for the ebook version.

The print version is available for 2×4.20=$8.40 (+$4.20 for shipping/Handling in the US only).

The offer expires on Sunday, April 21, at midnight Pacific time.

Don’t miss on this opportunity to get your own copy of World War-D, or get extra copies for your friends and family.

For more about the history of the urban legend and the various celebrations around the world, The Huffington Post is running a special section on 420.

Thank  you for your continued support,

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”
“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for marijuana legalization at 2013 CADEM Convention

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Acting Governor Gavin Newsom asks politicians to come out of the closet

At the California Democratic convention on April 13, Acting Governor Gavin Newson made a vibrant call for marijuana legalization and urged politicians to come out of the closet. The former San Francisco mayor is one of the key contenders for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination in 2014 — if Gov. Jerry Brown (D) decides not to run again.

Will we witness a stampede out of the closet?

Hear the whole address here: http://youtu.be/tta9yVNGqX4

As California activists seem to be resigned to a 2016 marijuana legalization initiative, a governor-candidate Gavin Newson in 2014 would certainly spice up the race.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”
“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood
Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

  • The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibitionism
  • A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
  • A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Media inquiries- book reviews – speaking engagements: contact promo@world-war-d.com

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment