Economist magazine hails Uruguay for legalising cannabis and gay marriage

British magazine The Economist has chosen Uruguay as its country of the year. The title, explaining its decision (registration maybe required), praised the country’s “path-breaking reforms” that “might benefit the world”. Uruguay has passed a law to legalise and regulate the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. It also legalised gay marriage – a policy The Economist said had “increased the global sum of happiness at no financial cost”. The magazine, choosing a country of the year for the first time, said in an editorial: “The accomplishments that most deserve commendation, we think, are path-breaking reforms that do not merely improve a single nation but, if emulated, might benefit the world. “Gay marriage is one such border-crossing policy, which has increased the global sum of human happiness at no financial cost. Several countries have implemented it in 2013—including Uruguay, which also, uniquely, passed a law to legalise and regulate the production, sale and consumption of cannabis.

Medical marijuana sprouts in Israel

  Mimi Peleg’s job is to teach people how to use pot—how long to inhale smoke or vapor, how to administer sublingual drops, or how to ration out a pot cookie. Peleg directs large-scale cannabis training for the Israeli government’s state-run, discreet, successful and expanding medical cannabis distribution center, MECHKAR. MECHKAR began as a tiny program serving about 1,800 people from 2008-2009. Today, supplied by eight farms located all over the country, the program distributes cannabis to 12,000 patients. While medical marijuana has been approved in 18 U.S. states, and recreational use in two, U.S. federal law still criminalizes the drug, and its future remains uncertain. In Israel, however, the $40-million-per-year medical-marijuana industry is thriving. And, while research efforts have been continually hindered in the states by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the DEA, the Israeli government is funding and supporting breakthrough research on the many healing potentials of the cannabis plant. Likud Party

Israel To More Than Double The Amount Of Physicians Prescribing Medical Marijuana

Likud MK Haim Katz, Chair of the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee, has announced that the number of physicians authorized to prescribe medical marijuana in Israel will more than double by the end of this year. Currently there are only 9 doctors allowed to prescribe cannabis to patients in Israel, resulting in over 11,000 patients nationwide – this number is being raised to 20. In addition to this expansion, a sub-committee has been appointed to review demands by patient groups to expand the list of qualifying conditions, and to make access to medical cannabis more easily available. The Health Ministry has stated that “All patients who need it will get it. If there is a need, we will solve the problem through legislation. We want those who deserve it to get it”. Despite claims by local law enforcement that lax regulations could lead to an increase of cannabis on the black-market,

Where there’s smoke there’s fire: Israel’s medical marijuana debate heats up

Medical marijuana buds being packaged in Israel. Debate over medical cannabis gains momentum as Knesset Health Committee approves 11 more doctors to prescribe drug; Health Minister German under attack. The debate over medical marijuana use in Israel has gained momentum in recent weeks, as evidenced by the vociferous attacks on Health Minister Yael German’s Facebook page and the protests outside her home last week, as well as the Knesset Health Committee discussion on the subject on Monday. That meeting ended with an announcement that 11 more doctors would be authorized to prescribe medical marijuana by the end of the year, bringing the total number of doctors authorized to prescribe the drug to 19 by year’s end. After the health ministry began regulating medical marijuana, only the ministry’s medical cannabis unit was permitted to approve patient requests for the drug. In addition, eight oncologists from Sheba, Assaf Harofeh, Rambam and Rebecca

Son ran cannabis farm at his parents’ house

A MAN who ran a cannabis factory containing up to £75,000 worth of plants at his parents’ house was jailed for 16 months at Oxford Crown Court. Habeeb Marham, of Britannia Wharf, Britannia Road, Banbury, admitted production of Class B drugs and permitting the production of Class B drugs at the house in Middleton Road, Banbury. When police raided the home on February 9 this year, they found five rooms of 119 plants with an estimated value of £50,000-£75,000. Marham, who is married with two children, was arrested on March 25 after his fingerprints were found on a dish containing cannabis and his DNA was found on a cigarette at the address. The 45-year-old’s parents are in Pakistan. James Lachkovic, defending, said: “Knowing a risk of custody today has been a punishment in itself. “He saved up money to try to help his wife financially if he goes to prison

Amsterdam Cannabis Cafes To Stay Open To All As Mayor Drops Tourist Drug Ban

A law that would have banned foreigners from using Amsterdam’s famous cannabis cafes has been dropped by the city’s mayor just mere months after the Netherlands first began enforcing the restriction. The tourist drug ban went into effect in three of the country’s southern provinces earlier this year and was due to expand to the rest of the country — including Amsterdam — by 2013, the Associated Press reported. On Thursday, however, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said that Amsterdam’s 220coffee shops, where “marijuana and hashish are openly sold and consumed,” will remain open to all next year, the New York Times writes. According to the Times, Van der Laan told the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant that that he had made the decision “after considering the unintended consequences that would arise from a ban, including a revival of black-market trade.” “The 1.5 million tourists will not say ‘then no more marijuana’, they will swarm all over

Cannabis factory raided in Farncombe

A CANNABIS factory in Farncombe was raided by police, who found 210 plants growing, after reports from suspicious neighbours. The rented house in Farncombe Street was empty at the time of the raid on August 10 and officers are searching for the tenants, a couple believed to be Vietnamese who have had the property since April. The plants were seized and taken away for analysis, then destroyed, after Surrey Police officers managed to get into the house shortly before 1pm to search it, following a call from a member of the pubic. They carried out house to house enquiries in the area, and have also appealed to landlords to be on their guard for similar circumstances. Neighbourhood Inspector Tom Budd said: “Many of the drugs warrants we carry out are at rented properties and the landlord often has no idea of what’s going on. “In some cases the property has

The Marijuana Trade In The Euro’s Birthplace

Maastricht, a town in the Netherlands, is known largely for two things. The treaty that created the euro was signed there. Marijuana is legal there, and it’s sold at “coffee shops” around town. This is the story of the troubled relationship between those two claims to fame. The single currency, along with all the other reforms that make it so easy to cross borders in the Euro Zone, led to an influx of foreign tourists coming to Maastricht to get high. “The name of our city is synonymous with cannabis,” Onno Hoes, Maastricht’s mayor, says. Hoes is unhappy about this. He says that the people who come to buy marijuana violate traffic laws, litter, and don’t spend money anywhere but coffee shops. So he pushed through a bill that made it illegal to sell marijuana to non-Dutch residents. You don’t have to show a passport to cross into the Netherlands


A man who claimed to have started smoking cannabis when he was just eight years old has told a court he now spends up to £100 a day on the drug. Until now Lee Maddison, 27, has insisted that, despite mental problems that could have been caused by it, cannabis wasn’t doing him any harm and he could give it up any time he liked. But in court he admitted for the first time that he needed help to give it up. As Judge Peter Hughes QC was telling him that if he thought cannabis was harmless he was wrong, Maddison interrupted from the dock at Carlisle Crown court and called out: “I realise that I do need help.” Maddison was arrested after police found cannabis in the caravan in which he lives in Coalfell Avenue, Raffles, Carlisle. In court he pleaded guilty to simply possession of the class B