Marijuana Law Reform Beyond America’s Borders

While America’s public support for domestic prohibition of marijuana appears increasingly waning, quantifying the types of marijuana law reforms internationally could constitute a full time job for the eager.

This day’s news alone from overseas about cannabis law reforms strongly suggests that the contagion to end pot prohibition is hardly an America-only phenomena:

Israel – The country’s deputy health minister announced today that medical cannabis will be made available for retail access via commercial pharmacies.

Italy – Cannabis law reform group in Italy claims 250 out of 945 members of Italian Parliament support ending pot prohibition, which is a little more than twenty-five percent of the country’s elected policymakers. Drafted by the Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale, the legislation would allow anyone over the age of 18 to cultivate as many as five plants at home. Italians could also team up to form a “cannabis social club,” with each having a maximum of 50 people growing as many as 250 plants.

Surveys in Italy indicate that nearly eighty percent of citizens support the country adopting marijuana laws similar to American states Colorado and Washington.

United Kingdom – A twenty-five year old economics student in the United Kingdom has forced the hand of parliament to debate the issue of marijuana legalization by submitting a petition with over one hundred thousand signatures.

Australia’s Queensland – Joining New South Wales, the Australian state of Queensland took steps to formalize a system by which qualified medical patients can access cannabis products via a series of research trials.

PortugalCalifornia’s Press Enterprise’s editorial board reminds all that the week marks the fourteenth anniversary of the first nation, Portugal, to entirely decriminalize drug use and possession, which is serving as a ‘harm reduction’ model for numerous countries.



10 thoughts

  1. I’m surprised, honestly, that Europe isn’t further ahead on the issue of legalization. It’s neoliberalism, IMO, that’s holding them back. The same backward thinking that brought us “austerity.” Govt of, by and for the rich.

  2. Next year is a big year for international drug policy:

    The UN General Assembly Special Sessions on Drugs convenes in 2016 thanks to pressure from the Organization of American States and various Presidents from Latin America including Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica.

    Diplomatic negotiations with the U.S. LATAM drug policy kicked off to a rocky start with the Obama Administration during the first Summit of the Americas on 2011 when Polling for legalization was still on the half way mark and president Obama had to get reelected. But no one heard the President’s response to international scrutiny over the failed drug war (which was “we will not be changing US drug policy at this time) because Michelle Leonhart, former director of the DEA was leading the Secret Service to some prostitutes in a hotel in Cartagena. Just to show how far we’ve come… (No pun intended).

    My how times have changed.

    Perhaps the greatest hurdle for the UN during US election season will be getting candidates for president and Obama alike to acknowledge the Central American women and children crossing our borders without visas as Drug War Refugees that deserve asylum, not prisons. If were ever going to reach an accord on international drug policy, the US must acquiesce to its responsibility to acknowledge what USAID and the DOJ have done over the last several decades to instigate civil wars throughout LATAM for the purpose of corporate exploitation, drugs and arms sales, deportation of drug war criminals without proper notification to the deporting nation, “tracer programs” that sell weapons to both cartels and militaries in US backed civil drug wars and unjust asset forfeitures without due process.

    Then and only then can we begin to have a civilized conversation about how to reform international drug policy.

  3. Wow… I went from “well maybe a little non toxic pesticide and some voter initiatives paid for by self serving oligarchies in Ohio is “better than prison” yet “amendable” in previous blogs to shutting down negotiations in the UN assembly unless war crimes are acknowledged. I should have been an ambassador.

    Naturally, I would be more diplomatically willing to fix these matters in my last post less publicly, conditionally and with more discreet negotiations if leaders were willing to reform the old opium laws and treaties that started prohibition in the first place.

    Still, when the CIA, right after their conception in the 50s uses USAID to remove a diplomatically elected Guaramalan President and leaves the country torn by civil war ever since just for the profit of Food, Inc to buy up all the land and arms dealers getting rich selling weapons to both military and cartels… All caused by greedy prospectors and corrupt agents of our own government… And we’re still calling the drug war refugee women and children fleeing the country of their birth “illegal immigrants?”
    Immigrants come looking primarily for work. Refugees are looking primarily for asylum. But when the war is caused by our government and our government unilaterally imprisons refugees from drug wars our government agencies (and other illicit organizations) create… I can’t see how we can fix the problem without collectively acknowledging the systemic hypocrisy by pulling our own heads out of our a$$es.

    The greatest advance to world peace this century will be the fairly taxed and regulated reform of international marijuana laws.
    We need weed to replace the poppy fields in Afghanistan… With both hemp and marijuana.
    We need to tell drug lords that if they comply to an international set of standards on pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and water consumption that we will BUY their weed at a premium price!
    We need a NORML ambassador to the UN!

  4. The south American nation of Chile is also on the move toward legalization.

  5. Why is it, every time I read about Marijuana is the UK, it is always about, “how this new kind of marijuana called Skunk and it is causing mental health problems. It is making people Schizophrenic, making babies autistic.” What is going on in the UK, they all sound like a bunch of ignorant fools! At least over the only people pushing the reefer madness are Prohibitionists-Over there everyone is convinced Skunk is some kind of killer marijuana strain. That specific strain is hurting people by having too much THC in it….? Reading this shit is hurting my brain. Can someone explain why the Folks in the UK seem so utterly clueless about marijuana? And why do they like to mix it with tobacco???

  6. They talk about banning Skunk Buds even when marijuana is legal, like crazy liberals over here talk about making Pit Bulls illegal because there are asshole that fight them and so all pit bulls are looking to kill children. These people are brain dead–or act like it. Marijuana is the safest drug and Pit Bulls are a very affectionate breed–but not to these strange folks…..?

  7. Australia is a mess on law reform. The Government has offered $50m in trials for medical cannabis that includes NO CANNABIS. The taxpayers pay $3m a year to pay the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) to create anti-cannabis propoganda, on why Cannabis is bad for you, from causing cancer to suicides. They are even having an International Cannabis Conference that is 100% anti-cannabis, even brining speakers like Ken Sabet from the USA. We are protesting at the event in Melbourne on 7 October 2015, have a peek at .. see their videos on the news channels, funny if not so serious.

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