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Intelligent Debate Replaces Hysteria in Europe’s Talks to Legalise Cannabis

Europe talks to legalize cannabis

The decision taken on August 7th by Luxembourg to legalise cannabis is symptomatic of feelings throughout the European Union on the recreational use of cannabis. More and more, politicians are realising the hypocrisy that has surrounded the use of marijuana for half a century or more. Medical use of Cannabis was already legal in Luxembourg and possession of small quantities decriminalised. It was the production and sale of the drug that was still outlawed. It is surprising that the Netherlands, a country with a well-known acceptance and tolerance of drugs, still makes drug use a crime. Though a very tolerant attitude is maintained by the authorities, when it comes to prosecution.

The First Country in the EU to Legalise Cannabis

The ruling has not yet passed into law, but the government has announced a firm commitment to become the first European country to legalise cannabis. Portugal  decriminalised all drugs in 2001 and made the medical use of cannabis legal, last year. The legal draft is expected later this year and should provide details as to the types of cannabis that will be included, and the likely taxation levels. Hopefully when other governments see their revenue returns, this forward thinking approach will permeate throughout the European Union. 

In a move to dissuade drug-tourism. Etienne Schneider a politician and economist member of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party, explained that the law to legalise cannabis would likely include banning non-residents the right to purchase cannabis. It is likely that the growing of the drug at home will still be outlawed. Schneider went on to say, This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work, forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs.”

In a move likely to cause some controversy, young people between the ages of 12 and 17 will not be criminalised for possession of five grams or less of the drug. However harsh penalties will be incurred by those breaking this law.

The Start of a World Movement

Luxembourg follows Canada and Uruguay as world leaders when it comes to those that  have made the decision to legalise cannabis. 11 States in the USA have also done so. This is in direct contradiction of a UN convention which aims to control all narcotic drugs “exclusively for medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import distribution, trade, employment and possession of drugs”.

Hopefully as the world moves slowly towards this sensible approach, freedom of choice for more and more people will become the norm. Politicians should surely now realise that in a world that fully accepts alcohol and tobacco use, to legalise cannabis is the only sensible approach.

 

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Legalization

2 New Bills Expand Medical Cannabis Access in Louisiana

medical cannabis

On 6th May 2 new bills to advance home deliveries of medical cannabis were approved by Louisiana’s lawmakers. The news is even more interesting because it involves a Representative who has in the past voted down every single move to decriminalize all forms of marijuana.

State Representative Changes Stance on Medical Cannabis

medical cannabis

Rep. Larry Bagely (R)

Interestingly,  both new bills were sponsored by a former staunch opponent of marijuana in all forms. Rep. Larry Bagely (R) said of his bill, “I’ll say this. I have never been a proponent of medical marijuana. I voted against every piece of legislation that came down because I just didn’t believe in it and I thought there was an ulterior motive. But now, constituents in my area, they come to me and they ask me for help because they’re having pain, they can’t find things to cure the pain. They’re using opioids, some of them, they’ve just got problems that the doctors can’t seem to help.”

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Legalization

It’s Time to Legalize Cannabis Federally: Cory Booker

legalize cannabis

Cory Booker appeared in a Facebook video this week and claimed that the time has come to legalize cannabis on a Federal level. In the video, he says, “We need to end this federal prohibition.”

Asked about whether to legalize cannabis nationally Booker did not pull any punches

We wrote in December how Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren had introduced news to the Senate. Now Booker has come out strongly to push for federal legalization.

Answering a question from someone called Tom,  he stated, “I cannot tell you how much I agree with you, Tom. There are people throughout this country right now who have PTSD from their military service, children falling into seizures with things like Dravet syndrome, not able to access what is a lifesaving drug for some people. Enough is enough. We need to end this federal prohibition.”

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Legalization

9,000 Cannabis Convictions Quashed in California

cannabis convictions

Great news in California as 9,000 get their cannabis convictions taken off the record books permanently. The Golden State’s Expungement program is removing non-violent low-level weed crimes for its citizens.

11,500 Cannabis Convictions Affected

Santa Clara County in the Golden State cleared almost 11,500 convictions altogether. These affected about 9,000 individuals. In a move that has proved popular among cannabis users in particular but the general population as well, District Attorney Jeff Rosen made the announcement.

DA Rosen said, “Too many people who have committed low-level offenses and paid their debt to society remain hampered by old criminal records in their efforts to get back on track. The justice system must always evolve toward fairness and equality.”

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