North America


Nine Signs the World's War on Drugs Is Waning

Number one: Canada elects a marijuana-legalizing prime minister.

The global anti-drug regime has been in place for more than a half century now, but the prohibitionist consensus has been crumbling for at least 20 years, and the decomposition continued apace this year.

The international treaties that make up the legal backbone of international drug prohibition still stand, but they are under increasing attack at the United Nations, which will take them up again next year. They are increasingly being breached (especially by marijuana legalization at the national and sub-national level) and nibbled away at around the edges by moves like drug decriminalization and some harm reduction measures such as supervised injection facilities.


Parents find success treating kids' epilepsy, autism with cannabis oil

Ella Turkington, 5, has intractable epilepsy and autism. Her parents Kim and Rob Turkington administer cannabidiol (CBD) oil in conjunction with her pharmaceuticals — as more families are experimenting with pediatric cannabis — to treat her epilepsy. Photograph by: Tiffany Crawford , Vancouver Sun

Mention Taylor Swift and five-year-old Ella’s eyes light up like the Christmas tree in the corner of her Surrey living room.

The tree scrapes the ceiling, and Ella is eager to play with the decorations, but her parents have set up a barricade so she can’t reach the branches.

That’s because the young girl has severe epilepsy and autism, and, although she is nearly six, the cognitive ability of a toddler.


What’s at Stake at UNGASS 2016

In April 2016, the United Nations will have a chance to forge a smarter way forward for global drug policy.

In this video, George Soros, Bryan Stevenson, Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, and a number of drug policy experts and advocates discuss why the time for reform is now. 




As Pot-Growing Expands, Electricity Demands Tax U.S. Grids

  • Equipment causes emissions equal to those of New Hampshire
  • The industry's energy use is undoing cities' efficiency gains

Get pot legalization right: Start by limiting spread of dispensaries

Our new federal government has made it clear that legalized marijuana is just a matter of time. A visitor to Canada would be forgiven for believing legalization has already taken place: Cannabis dispensaries have been popping up across the country, especially in the past few months.

Many of these dispensaries are geared toward providing cannabis to people with a prescription from their doctor. But recent reports from Toronto show that many dispensaries sell cannabis with little more than the customer’s signature on a waiver form. Although illegal, the outlets seem to be operating more openly, presumably on the assumption that if legalization is coming, enforcement will leave them alone. Thus far, with a few exceptions, they seem to be right.



The medical benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, or cannabidiol, are many. From all forms of epilepsy and seizure disorders to cancerCrohn’s, and lupus, this highly effective chemical compound is being leveraged by an increasingly large number of patients and medical professionals to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions.


Rebel salutes weed exemption status

Rebel Salute has become the second entertainment event to be granted exemption status under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The two-day reggae festival to be held at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann, from January 15 to 16 follows behind the recent staging of the Cannabis Cup in Negril which was the first to receive exemption since the decriminalisation of ganja in Jamaica.

Making the announcement at the launch of Rebel Salute at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday Justice Minister Mark Golding noted that the festival continues to live by the fundamental aspects of the Rastafari ‘livity’ which qualifies it for exemption.


Cannabis cultivation has a dirty secret, but the future is sun-grown

Dan shines a light on the dark and dirty traditions of cannabis cultivation and argues that a sun-grown future is the only sustainable pathway for a burgeoning new industry. Recorded at TEDxVancouver at Rogers Arena on November 14, 2015.

YouTube tags: marijuana, grow op, cannabis, cannabis cultivation, sun-grown TED, TEDxVancouver, TEDxVancouver 2015, Vancouver, TEDx, Rogers Arena, Vancouver speakers, Vancouver conference, ideas worth spreading, great idea,


Canada Don't be surprised if marijuana legalization gets shoved to the back burner

OK, I’ll say it: What was she smoking?

Except that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s vision of a state-run monopoly on the fragrant weed, courtesy of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, is quite plausible, given the logic of imminent legalization. What becomes readily apparent, as the federal Liberals continue to find their footing, is that the idea of legalization of marijuana has never been deeply examined.

Legalization was a terrific attention-getter in 2013, and a powerful emblem of change. That worked for Justin Trudeau two years ago. It highlighted his youth and cool. It made Stephen Harper and his sternly anti-pot front bench look like fussy old bores — Sister Matilda, waggling a disapproving finger at the rambunctious kids at the back of the bus.


Mexico issues first permits for personal marijuana use

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government on Friday granted the first permits allowing the cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal use.

The federal medical protection agency said the permits apply only to the four plaintiffs who won a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court last month. The court said growing and consuming marijuana is covered under the right of “free development of personality.”


he permits issued Friday won’t allow smoking marijuana in the presence of children or anyone who hasn’t given consent. The permits also don’t allow the sale or distribution of the drug.


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