New Jersey askeleen lähempänä Kannabiksen lääkekäytön 14. osavaltioksi

artikkelissa mainittu asiantuntija dr Denis Petro

Britannian hallituksen arvio Kannabiksen uudelleenluokituksen peruuttamisen kustannuksista

Yhteenveto arviosta:

* 4.6 The penalties for other offences relating to cannabis are unaffected, including the maximum penalty on indictment for supplying or producing cannabis of 14 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

* It will cost around £50M in increased court and other costs. This is based on an assumption that the deterrent effect of the increased penalties will produce a significant reduction in the use of cannabis, an assumption for which there is no evidence. This figure does not include any extra cost for the prison service and so can be assumed to be a minimum estimate.

* Black and Ethnic minority communities will be disproportionally affected and this will impact on police community relations.

Lisäksi hallitus piti arviotaan veran alla:

BBC uudelleenluokittelusta

Cannabis upgrade 'very damaging'

Cannabis was downgraded to class C under Tony Blair

A group of leading scientists and MPs has attacked plans to reclassify cannabis as a more dangerous drug.
In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, the signatories say it would be "very damaging" for the government to ignore expert advice not to upgrade the drug.

The home secretary wants to change it from class C to class B, putting it on a par with amphetamines, such as speed.

The letter says this would risk reversing the downward trend in the use of cannabis since 2004.
It also says it would send confusing messages to the public about the more serious dangers of class B drugs.


Cannabis was downgraded to class C in 2004, but since then there has been growing concern about the potential impact on mental health, particularly of stronger "skunk" varieties.
Despite these fears, in May, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) concluded in a government-commissioned review that it should stay as class C.
The council said cannabis was not as dangerous as other class B substances and evidence suggested only a "probable, but weak, causal link between psychotic illness, including schizophrenia, and cannabis use".
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith wants to overrule that recommendation, a move which will be debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday.
 The classification system must be credible 

Letter from leading scientists and MPs to the Guardian newspaper

The letter, whose signatories include two former chief scientists, Sir David King and Lord May, said that in pressing ahead with reclassification, "the government has rejected the explicit advice of its appointed experts... for the first time in nearly 30 years".
"The impact of Parliament agreeing to the government's policy could be very damaging," it said.
"Cannabis use has fallen in recent years, especially following its downgrading to class C in 2004, and it is obviously unwise to risk reversing that trend.
"The classification system must be credible - reclassification would send out an ambiguous message about the dangers of current class B drugs.
"Even more importantly, the move would be a sad departure from the welcome trend... of public policy following expert scientific advice unless there is new evidence."
Drugs education
The letter said the ACMD had examined "all the available and latest evidence on short and long-term health risks, as well as social harms, public attitudes and policing priorities".
It said experts had recommended better drugs education and a crackdown on dealers, but concluded that it would be wrong to make possession of cannabis a more serious criminal offence.
The letter urged peers to vote in favour of an amendment deferring any decision on reclassification until at least 2010.
Also among the signatories are Professor Colin Blakemore, former head of the Medical Research Council; Dr Evan Harris MP, Lib Dem science spokesman; and Sir Gabriel Horn, chair of the Academy of Medical Science's working group on brain science, addiction and drugs.

Amsterdam 'forced' to shut cannabis cafes

Friday 21 November 2008

Amsterdam is being forced to close 43 of its 228 cannabis-selling cafes to meet national regulations, report various newspapers on Friday.

The cafes, known as coffee shops, have to be closed down by the end of 2011 because they are less than 250 meters from a secondary school.

One of those set to vanish is the famous Bulldog cafe on the city’s Leidseplein which is housed in a former police station and was opened over 20 years ago. It is too close to the city's prestigious Barlaeus high school.

In an interview in Friday’s Volkskrant, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen makes it clear that he is following the government’s directive under duress.


Like the majority of mayors in towns where coffee shops sell cannabis, Cohen is happy with the existing policy on soft drugs but would like to see regulation of the whole cannabis trade.

At present the authorities turn an official blind eye to the sale and consumption of cannabis but ban the large-scale cultivation of marijuana plants and the wholesale trade.

Cohen is to call for the legalisation of cannabis production at a ‘cannabis summit’ of local councils in Almere later on Friday. This will make the sector easier to control and reduce the involvement of organised crime, he tells the Volkskrant.

Around 25% of tourists coming to Amsterdam visit a cannabis cafe, says the Volkskrant. But Cohen says that these tourists cause much less of a nuisance than foreigners who drink alcohol.

Cohen says too that the Netherlands should not be afraid of the reaction of other countries to its tolerant policy on soft drugs. ‘We have cast iron arguments…. A total ban on coffee-shops really will not reduce the use of drugs,’ he said.

Cannabis cafe mayors back current policy

Thursday 20 November 2008

Most of the Dutch towns and cities with cafes that openly sell cannabis under licence are happy with the current policy of tolerating soft drugs and even want the government to regulate the production and supply, according to two surveys published on Wednesday.

This, say the councils, would put an end to the current anomaly in the system which turns an official blind eye to the sale and consumption of cannabis but bans the large-scale cultivation of marijuana plants and the wholesale trade.

One survey was carried out by the civil service magazine Binnenlands Bestuur and the other by the NRC newspaper.


Both surveys asked the mayors of towns with cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops, for their views on the country’s policy of tolerating soft drugs sales. The outcome is in marked contrast to calls at a national level for a more restrictive policy by the national government.

In total, coffee shops were identified in 109 different local authority areas and eighty-eight mayors took part in the magazine’s telephone survey. Of these 54 said they were in favour of legalising the entire soft drug supply chain including the mayors of Amsterdam, Maastricht, Haarlem and Hilversum.

Another 25 said were satisfied with the existing situation and nine said they would like coffee shops to be banned altogether.

Few want a ban

Of the 70 or so local councils that responded to the NRC questionnaire, over 75% said they want the national government to regulate the supply of cannabis to coffee shops and 14 want them closed down.

The number of cafes where cannabis is sold fell from 729 in 2005 to 702 last year, according to new statistics for the justice ministry published on Thursday. Nine years ago there were 846 so-called coffee shops nationwide.

The Dutch town of Eindhoven is going to allow a farm to grow cannabis.

The Dutch town of Eindhoven is going to allow a farm to grow cannabis.
22 November 2008

EINDHOVEN - Though the farm will be under municipal supervision, the growing of marijuana will remain illegal.

The pilot experiment was agreed at a meeting of more than 30 Dutch municipalities aimed at discussing the sale of soft-drugs such as marijuana and hashish.

A number of mayors is unhappy about the ongoing drugs tourism attracted by coffee shops and the nuisance they cause. Two towns near the Belgian border recently closed all coffee shops.

Just before the summit, Amsterdam announced it was shutting 43 coffee shops which under new government norms are too close to schools.

The summit discussed the possibility of legalising the growing of weed, which is currently illegal, and ways of discouraging drugs tourism.

Cannabis Tribunal organises debate on cannabis in Dutch Parliament

The Hague, 1 and 2 december 2008 - Three organisations that advocate for
the emancipation of the use of the cannabis plant will present the first
Netherlands Cannabis Tribunal, to be held on December 1st and 2nd in
Nieuwspoort, the International Press Centre in The Hague. To conclude
the first day of hearings, a debate on Dutch cannabis policies will take
place with Cisca Joldersma, spokesperson of the ruling CDA, and Hans van
Duijn, LEAP member and former president of the Dutch Police Association.
The debate is  moderated by Frans Weisglas, former speaker of the Dutch

The Cannabis Tribunal will be sent live on (from
Monday 1 december 09.30 CET)

The three government ministers responsible for Dutch drug policy have
been invited to this political debate, to defend current cannabis
policies. They are: Guusje ter Horst (PvdA) of Home Affairs, Ernst
Hirsch Ballin (CDA) of Justice and Ab Klink (CDA) of Public Health.
Spokespersons on drug policy from the Dutch Parliament have also been
requested to make a contribution to this debate.

The Cannabis Tribunal is being organised by Cannabis College, the Dutch
Drug Policy Foundation and Encod, the European Coalition for Just and
Effective Drug Policies. During the debate they will challenge all Dutch
MP's to provide conclusive evidence in opposition to the proposition:

The ban on cannabis has more negative than positive effects.

The political party that succeeds in providing such proof will receive
an award of 200.000 euros.

The reason for organising the Tribunal is the fact that, more than
thirty years after the introduction of liberal cannabis policies in the
Netherlands, a drastic reform is urgently needed. During past years,
many representatives of municipalities, police, justice, community
organisations and involved citizens have called for a renewal of policy
regarding cannabis in the Netherlands.

This may be total prohibition or legalisation, as long as the law is
clear. In the mean time, government and parliament have repeatedly
postponed a decision on the subject. The Cannabis Tribunal wants to find
out the reasons for this inaction and delay.

The events of past weeks confirm this tendency. Early in November, the
city councils of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom (close to the Belgian
border) announced their decision to close down all coffeeshops in their
cities. Lord Mayor Leers of Maastricht then called for a National
Cannabis Summit in order to agree on a coordinated policy in the
frontier region.

Saturday November 8th the political leader of the Christian Democrat
Party (CDA), Mr. Pieter van Geel, said that all coffeeshops in the
Netherlands should be closed. Lord Mayor Van Gijzel of Eindhoven then
replied saying he wanted more coffeeshops in the region, and that they
should be provided with cannabis through legal channels. The organisers
of the Cannabis Tribunal propose that politicians should live up to
their responsibilities of office.

'Whoever calls for a total ban on cannabis must show that this would
lead to a benefit for Dutch society as a whole. If Mr. Pieter van Geel
can prove that a ban is the best solution, then let him do this at the
Tribunal. An amount of 200.000 euros is waiting for him. If he refuses
to respond to the challenge, then by default he obviously must agree
with our proposition", says Joep Oomen, spokesperson of the Cannabis

Programme of the Cannabis Tribunal

Monday December 1st
The Cannabis Tribunal will kick off with a series of hearings. In each
of them, two experts will present opposing testimony on a given issue.
In chronological order, the topics to be discussed will be: Health
aspects of cannabis, the coffeeshops, the role of the media, the moral
justification of the ban on cannabis.

Law philosopher Hendrik Kaptein of the Leiden University will be
moderator and judge for these hearings at the Cannabis Tribunal. At the
end of the first day of hearings, there will be a concluding debate
moderated by Frans Weisglas.

Tuesday, December 2nd
The morning programme will deal with the image of Dutch cannabis policy
abroad. The promise of industrial applications of the hemp plant for
paper, food, textiles and fuel will also be dealt with.

From 12.30 to 13.30 the organisers will present the conclusions of the
Cannabis Tribunal at a press conference in Nieuwspoort. Subsequently,
these conclusions will also be presented to the members of the Dutch
parliament. The working language is Dutch.