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Wisconsin Introduces New Adult Cannabis Legalization Bill

Last week, Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin announced a bill that would end the ban on recreational cannabis.

Wisconsin State Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard announced the bill at an event at a Wisconsin hemp farm and said the status quo is more harmful than cannabis .

“I’ve said it many times, we know the most dangerous thing about cannabis in Wisconsin is that it remains illegal,” Agard said, as quoted by local news channel WSAW. “Over the past decade, I have worked to undo Wisconsin’s outdated and deeply unfair cannabis policies and put our state on a path to prosperity. »

Under the proposal, Wisconsin adults ages 21 and older could legally possess cannabis. The measure would also lay the groundwork for a legal, regulated cannabis market in the state, like many of its neighbors.

“Right now, we’re seeing our hard-earned money flow across the border into Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, amounting to tens of millions of dollars each year. This is money we could reinvest to help our friends and neighbors and make our state a place where people want to live, work and play,” Ms. Agard was quoted as saying by WSAW.

In a statement, bill sponsor Darrin Madison said legalizing cannabis “is a matter of public safety and racial justice here in Wisconsin.”

“Wisconsin residents engage in cannabis use and deserve to be able to purchase safe cannabis and use it responsibly without being criminalized. According to the ACLU, Black people were 4.24 times more likely to be arrested than white people in Wisconsin in 2018. Similar disparities exist in sentencing, resulting in immeasurable harm to Wisconsin’s Black communities. The bill we introduced today lays a solid foundation for people who have been severely sentenced for non-violent possession charges and the ramifications of those convictions,” Mr. Madison said.

Polls also show that Wisconsinites support legalizing cannabis.

“Wisconsin is ready to legalize cannabis: 69% of Wisconsin residents, including a majority of Republicans, support full legalization of cannabis. It is high time that our state respects the will of the majority and seizes the many economic and social benefits that cannabis legalization has to offer. Let’s join the people in more than half the country who said ‘yes’ to putting the flawed policy of prohibition behind us and raise our expectations,” Agard said in a press release.

The state legislature, controlled by Republicans, may not be ready, however. Despite broad public support and support from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers have so far opposed legalization.

“Redemption and forgiveness have power, especially for people who have worked to overcome past mistakes to become productive, positive members of their communities,” Mr. Evers said in a statement released at the time. “I am grateful to be able to give a second chance to these people who have worked hard to achieve this.

Early last year, Mr. Evers vetoed a Democratic-backed measure that would have imposed harsher penalties on people arrested for drug use, calling it “another step in the wrong direction.”

“I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because I oppose the creation of additional criminal offenses or penalties related to marijuana use,” Mr. Evers said in a 2022 letter to the ‘assembly.

“It is widely accepted, and research over the past decade confirms, that the criminalization of cannabis has disproportionately impacted communities of color, particularly in Wisconsin, where incarceration rates show disparities long-standing racial conflicts,” added Mr. Evers.

Mr. Evers concluded his letter by explaining his interest in justice reform.

“States across our country, whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans, have taken and are taking significant steps to combat rising incarceration rates and reduce racial disparities by investing in drug treatment , community reentry programs, alternatives to incarceration, rehabilitation and other data- and evidence-based practices that we know are critical solutions to reforming our justice system,” the governor continued on the subject. of the question. “The data and science are clear on this issue, and I urge the Legislature to begin serious conversations about justice reform in Wisconsin.”

The American University Athletic Association (NCAA) recommends removing cannabis from the list of banned substances

Last week, the committee of National Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA) on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CMAS) recommended removing cannabis from its list of prohibited substances, instead calling for a “robust educational strategy.”

The sports association, which organizes the sports programs of many major schools and universities in the United States. first announced in June that it was considering these reforms. Some American sports federations such as the NBA, MMA or MLB no longer screen for cannabis.

The committee concluded that removing cannabis from its testing protocols:

  • recognizes the ineffectiveness of the existing policy, which includes banning, testing and penalizing
  • affirms role of NCAA drug testing program to address only performance-enhancing substances
  • and highlights the importance of moving toward a risk reduction strategy that prioritizes school-level education and support over penalties.

In a statement, James Houle, chairman of the commission and chief sports psychologist at Ohio State, said that “when it comes to making a decision on a matter as important as this, we agree that the members should have the opportunity to vote on the final result.”

“We recommend a radical paradigm shift when it comes to cannabinoids. We want to modernize the strategy with the most recent research to give schools the best opportunity to support the health of student-athletes,” James Houle said in a press release.

The NCAA said the recommendation “aims to refocus the health of student-athletes while recognizing member opinions and the changing cultural and legal landscapes surrounding cannabinoids” and that it is “based on extensive study informed by the industry and subject matter experts,” including doctors and addiction experts.

In 2022, CMAS increased the thresholds for cannabinoids leading to test failure from 35 to 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood, thereby aligning with the policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Czech Cannabis Reform: Progress, Projections and Policy

Over the past year, the Czech Republic has emerged as Europe’s most exciting prospect for cannabis reform and potential commercial legalization.

In the first in a series of articles dedicated to in-depth study of the market, focusing on everything from progressive hemp laws to supply chains and investment potential, Business of Cannabis looks at the current political climate in the country.

With majority public support for the proposed regulatory changes, the Czech Republic has one of the most promising political landscapes in Europe when it comes to cannabis reform.

While obstacles undoubtedly remain on the path to legalization, the Czech Republic should have an easier path than other European countries such as Germany, which must overcome the lack of a majority in the upper house as well as the inevitable resistance international.

The Czech market

In September 2022, the country’s national drugs coordinator and former anti-communist activist Jindřich Vobořil announced plans to implement comprehensive cannabis reform by early 2024.

The first version of this bill was submitted by members of the Czech Republic’s current five-party right-wing government coalition, the Pirate Party, and focused not only on reducing risks, but also on benefits economic potential of regulation and taxation.

“Through taxation we will obtain billions of crowns per year while avoiding unnecessary spending on law enforcement. Furthermore, if we manage to launch a regulated market at the same time as the German market, our economy will benefit from considerable opportunities in the field of exports,” stated a press release from the Pirate Party in October 2022.

Indeed, if the Czech government succeeds in establishing a commercial adult-use cannabis market, projections suggest that the market size per capita could be larger than that of Germany, if it succeeds.

According to the report European Adult-Use Cannabis Report of Prohibition Partnersthe Czech Republic, which has around 10.5 million inhabitants, could see its adult-use market reach 158.65 million euros by 2027.

If the same adult-use market were launched in Germany, whose population is around eight times that of the Czech Republic, its market is expected to reach 259 million euros during the same period.

Last year, the Czech National Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction (NMC) found that around 800,000 people used cannabis in the Czech Republic and that almost a third of the country’s adult population had at least tried it. this substance.

Dr. Tomas Ryska, general director of Astrasana Czech sro, one of the leading Czech cannabis companies, told Business of Cannabis that this figure is likely much higher, as the study only considered people who use cannabis for medical purposes.

Legislative progress

Since the bill received the green light in April, expert groups have been hammering out the details. The bill proposes the authorization of domestic and commercial cultivation of cannabis and the creation of Cannabis Social Clubs and licensed sales in stores for persons over 18 years of age. Czech citizens will be able to buy up to five grams of cannabis flowers per day, but will have to register in a “register of special users”.

Mr. Voboril explained at the beginning of the year: “The customer will only be able to purchase a limited quantity per month in order to prevent him from doing his own business. Sellers would then have access to the register through a specific code and could check the quantity already purchased.”

Different government departments are giving their views and comments on the bill before it is presented and put to a vote.

Mr Vobořil is understood to have been in regular contact with the European Commission, his European counterparts and the various parties in his coalition.

Although no definitive timetable has been given, Mr. Ryska believes that after the summer break, “the most important part of the process will now take place during the fall, and a final decision should be made before the end of the year ” .

Of the five political parties that will form a coalition in 2021, four would support Mr Vobořil’s proposals.

The plans are also backed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who leads a five-party coalition with 108 seats, and thus a majority in the 200-seat parliament, and by the country’s newly elected president, the former NATO general Petr Pavel, who publicly supported the proposals.

Last July, Mr Vobořil met with the leaders of the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), the only coalition party opposing the proposals, to explain to them that regulating cannabis would be the best possible method to protect the youth of the country and society as a whole.

A few weeks ago, the party organized a round table in the Chamber of Deputies with doctors, drug addicts and other experts, during which a number of participants expressed concerns about the possibility of ” adding another addictive substance to the current portfolio of legal drugs.”

However, according to Mr. Ryska, this is just part of the long-awaited reaction from the opposing side, which he had been warned about in a separate meeting at the government office a few weeks earlier.

“I attended a meeting at government headquarters and one of the things that was mentioned was that we should expect a negative campaign against these planned changes. In fact, this is already the case. We can regularly read articles against the draft regulation,” he declared.

He explained that this roundtable was only attended by doctors and experts who had already expressed opposition to the proposals, and that it was an orchestrated part of this negative campaign.

Despite this growing opposition, it is important to note that the KDU-ČSL is not entirely opposed to the proposals. The party generally supports self-cultivation and decriminalization to some extent, but is specifically opposed to the deployment of a commercial market.

More importantly, many believe that the support of the KDU-ČSL will not even be necessary for the bill to pass.

“The Christian Democrats have such a weak preference that if the elections were held today, they would not even enter Parliament,” continued Mr. Ryska.

However, they are still part of the coalition, so their opposition could potentially “unbalance the government if they oppose it”.

Even without their support, other opposition parties should be able to vote freely on the legislation, meaning the numbers could be found elsewhere.

Although nothing is definitive, Mr Ryska suggests that “technically it is possible that the Christian Democrats’ vote is not necessary.”

Rich countries recently spent more than $1 billion on the global war on drugs, new report says

A recent report from Harm Reduction International (HRI) highlights how wealthier countries, such as the United States and Europe, continue to provide substantial foreign aid to the global war on drugs, mostly allocated to law enforcement and military efforts.

The HRI calls on governments to “stop using money from their limited aid budgets” to support policies that have a negative impact on people who use drugs.

The report ” Aid for the War on Drugs » reveals that between 2012 and 2021, 30 donor countries allocated $974 million in international aid to the “fight against narcotics”.

Part of this aid, totaling at least $70 million, has gone to countries that have the death penalty for drug offenses.

As the report notes, in 2021, aid funds were allocated to Indonesia to support a “counter-narcotics training program”, the same year Indonesia issued a record number of 89 death sentences for drug-related crimes. Japan has given several million dollars to Iran to help fund its drug detection dog units, as Iran has executed at least 131 people on drug charges in 2021.

Within a decade, the United States became the largest contributor, accounting for more than half of the world’s funding for the war on drugs, or $550 million. They are followed by the European Union ($282 million), Japan ($78 million), the United Kingdom ($22 million), Germany ($12 million), Finland ($9 million dollars) and South Korea ($8 million), indicates Marijuana Moment.

The war on drugs receives more foreign aid than school feeding, early childhood education, labor rights and mental health care. During the period described in the report, 92 countries received assistance for “narcotics control.” The main beneficiaries were Colombia ($109 million), Afghanistan ($37 million), Peru ($27 million), Mexico ($21 million), Guatemala and Panama ($10 million). dollars each).

“There is a long history of drug policy being used by global powers to reinforce and enforce their control over other populations and target specific communities,” the report reads. “Racist and colonial dynamics continue today, with the richest governments, led by the United States, spending billions of taxpayer dollars around the world to strengthen or expand punitive drug control regimes and related law enforcement measures.

“These funding streams are out of step with existing evidence, as well as international commitments on development, health and human rights, including the goal of ending AIDS by 2030” , underlines the report. “They rely on and empower systems that disproportionately harm Black and Indigenous populations around the world. »

While some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have reduced spending on foreign drug initiatives, others have chosen to increase their funding. Thus, the United States significantly increased its support for the war on drugs early in President Joe Biden’s term.

While the United States is the world’s largest contributor to the war on drugs, the HRI report highlights the fluctuations in these numbers. For example, in 2021, the United States allocated $301 million in aid for “narcotics control,” which is a significant increase from $31 million the previous year. According to the report, Colombia has become the main beneficiary of this aid.

A majority of Filipinos support the legalization of medical cannabis

The legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is supported by the majority of Filipinos, according to a recent study by independent think tank Capstone-Intel Corp.

The survey, conducted Aug. 1-10, found that 63 percent of 1,205 respondents supported legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, provided supporters “conduct more research [et] set strict guidelines for access and dosage control.” Respondents also highlighted the need for increased awareness and education regarding medical cannabis.

The remaining 37% are opposed to legalization, reports the Manila Times.

The poll also found that 38% of respondents agreed that legalizing medical cannabis could provide a viable solution for patients who have not found effective treatment through conventional medicine. On the other hand, 29% neither agree nor disagree with this statement, while 24% agree that legalizing cannabis for medical purposes could bring relief to these patients.

The poll also showed that 49% of respondents called for continued research and studies into the potential benefits and harms of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

According to the study, 55% of those surveyed said they “strongly agreed” with the legalization of medical cannabis in order to guarantee its quality, safety and adequate control of its dosage. And 30% of those surveyed “agreed” with this statement.

The legalization of medical cannabis has still not been enacted in the Philippines, even though two bills propose it, at the initiative of MP Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senator Robin Padilla who are its main defenders.

Ms. Arroyo joined forces with former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to support the legalization of medical cannabis by introducing House Bill 7817.

Padilla supports Senate Bill 230 (Medical Cannabis Compassionate Access Act), in which he cites Israel as a good example of the use of medical cannabis due to its strict rules and regulations. The project has been underway since 2019.

Thai government would like to rewrite the Cannabis Act to only allow sales for medical purposes

Thailand’s new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, said her government would “rectify” the country’s cannabis policy and limit its use for medical purposes within six months.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Thavisin, who was elected in August, said it was necessary to “rewrite the law” to stop the widespread sale of recreational cannabis.

“The drug problem has become widespread in recent times,” he said in the interview.

Thailand moved from having some of the strictest drug laws in the world to decriminalizing cannabis last year, after removing the plant from the list of narcotics. In a short time, the country would have seen more than 6,000 licensed dispensaries open.

Srettha’s government, which leads an 11-party coalition in the country, has promised to eradicate drugs from Thai society. Earlier this week, the prime minister attended an event where he presented a series of confiscated narcotics, promising to “decisively reduce” the threat within a year.

“The drug problem has become widespread in recent times, especially in the northeast and northern regions of Thailand,” Mr Srettha said. “We don’t need another problem to add to this one. »

The tourism industry welcomed the decision. A spokesperson insisted the unregulated cannabis trade had done more harm than good to tourism over the past year.

“You can now easily find a cannabis store every 200 to 300 meters on the streets of Pattaya, and 90% of them are not for medical purposes,” said Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, executive director of the group Sunshine Hotels and Resorts in Pattaya, at the Bangkok Post.

Cannabis was decriminalized by the previous coalition government to allow local farmers to capitalize on the potential income from cannabis as a high-value crop, and to advance research into medical use. However, the lack of additional regulation allowed cannabis sales to the public to flourish, while farmers complained that the majority of cannabis on sale was imported illegally.

Despite the new Prime Minister’s strong speech, the Thai cannabis industry, which is in its infancy, is not shaken. Poonwarit Wangpatravanich, president of the Phuket Cannabis Association, seems to welcome some form of legal control. “Cannabis is here to stay, but its status is not yet clear. »

The government will not propose the legalization of medical cannabis in 2024 in France

According to our information, the legalization of medical cannabis for 2024 will not be supported by the Macron government. The future Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS) will in fact not include a budget line to generalize cannabis for medical use, the dispensation of which is currently limited to some 2,000 participants in the experimentation of therapeutic cannabis.

When asked by us about the reasons for this absence, the General Directorate of Health has not yet responded.

We are also awaiting the reaction of the various patient associations and influential groups around medical cannabis in France. We will add them as we receive them.

Franck Milone, founder of the medical cannabis producer LaFleur, was able to answer us and tell us that they had “mobilized with the authorities in recent months in order to participate in the various working groups for the integration of medical cannabis into the law common. The legislative texts are ready, patients and healthcare professionals are waiting for a clear framework, allowing secure access to medical cannabis. The situation for patients is critical, many have already been impacted last year with product shortages. The government needs to get more involved in this public health issue! France should not be a submarket. »

What future for medical cannabis experimentation?

The experiment should be extended to continue to support current patients and provide them with the medications they need. However, it may not be able to incorporate more sick people.

What chance remains for medical cannabis in France?

The inclusion of the generalization of medical cannabis in the PLFSS 2024 was the royal road to moving away from experimentation and leading to delivery for patients suffering from at least one of the 5 eligible pathologies (epilepsy, oncology, neuropathic pain, healthcare palliatives and painful spasticity).

The legalization of medical cannabis could still be proposed by amendment during the debates around the PLFSS.

Coalition of CBD Companies Submits Study on CBD Absorption Limits to FDA

A coalition of CBD producing companies, ONE HEMP, whose objective is to mobilize Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American food authority, presented to American authorities a study showing that a maximum dose of 70 milligrams of CBD per day is safe for healthy adults. The study also showed that a maximum dose of 160 milligrams per day is safe for healthy adults who are not trying to conceive, are not pregnant, or breastfeeding.

The study was submitted following a request for information from committees in the House and Senate and was specifically designed to address concerns previously expressed by the FDA that CBD is potentially harmful to the liver and reproductive health.

In a statement, Dr. Rayetta G. Henderson, principal investigator at ToxStrategies LLC, which conducted the study, said the research found that the upper limits of CBD consumption suggested for healthy adults “closely match the recommendations made by major regulatory bodies”, including Health Canada which places it at 200mg per day, the Therapeutic Goods Administration from Australia which places it at 60mg per day and Food Standards Agency from the United Kingdom which places it at 70mg/day.

Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Charlotte’s Web and a member of the research team, said the study “will help inform legislators and regulators as they determine data requirements.” manufacturing and labeling of food supplements containing CBD”.

“Implementing science-based safety limits is essential to protect consumers. This research also supports ONE HEMP’s recommendations for accurate product labeling and ultimately holding CBD companies accountable for manufacturing and selling safe, quality products.” Bonn-Miller said in a press release.

Charlotte’s Web, known for its shared history with Charlotte Figi, is a founding member of ONE HEMP, whose goal is to work toward higher regulatory standards, including independent third-party testing and accurate labeling , the company said in a press release.

Jared Stanley, co-founder and COO of Charlotte’s Web, said the CBD market needs “clarity and stability” and “it is time for Congress to clarify the FDA’s mandate and definitively regulate the CBD products as dietary supplements once and for all.”

The study submitted by ONE HEMP was published online August 25 in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

UN report urges states to stop criminalizing drug users

A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) calls for abandoning punitive measures to tackle the global drug problem in favor of policies based on human rights and public health , believing that the disproportionate use of criminal sanctions is harmful.

The report urges states to develop effective drug policies, including considering decriminalization of drug possession for personal use.

“If designed and implemented effectively, decriminalization can be a powerful instrument to ensure that the rights of people who use drugs are protected,” the report says.

“Laws, policies and practices implemented to combat drug use must not have the effect of exacerbating human suffering. The drug problem remains a serious concern, but treating drug users like criminals is not the solution,” said Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“States should move away from the current dominant orientation towards prohibition, repression and punishment, and instead adopt laws, policies and practices rooted in human rights and aimed at harm reduction” .

The report by the United Nations Human Rights Office, commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council, finds that the disproportionate use of criminal sanctions discourages people who use drugs from seeking treatment and fuels the stigmatization and social exclusion.

According to the latest available statistics from the World Drug Report 2023, people who use drugs are disproportionately affected by blood-borne viruses, with almost 660,000 people dying each year from drug-related causes, and 10% of all new HIV infections globally in 2021 were among people who inject drugs.

The harmful effects of these policies are profound and far-reaching, according to the report. The militarization of law enforcement in the “war on drugs” contributes to serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings. The disproportionate use of criminal sanctions contributes significantly to prison overcrowding.

The report highlights that the effects of these policies are most severe for people of African origin, women, indigenous peoples and young people from poor backgrounds.

“Current drug policies have the greatest impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people,” emphasizes Turk.

The use of the death penalty for drug-related convictions has also increased around the world, contrary to international human rights standards. The number of people executed for drug offenses more than doubled in 2022 compared to 2021, accounting for 37% of all recorded executions worldwide, the report said.

“The current excessive emphasis on coercion and control in the fight against drugs is fueling increased human rights violations despite mounting evidence that decades of criminalization and the so-called war on drugs have neither protected people’s well-being nor deterred drug-related crimes,” said Mr. Türk.

The report shows that a growing number of countries in all regions are adopting policies and practices that decriminalize drug use and treat it as a public health and human rights problem, and are applying evidence-based approaches. evidence-based, gender-sensitive and risk-reducing.

The High Commissioner called on States to take advantage of this positive trend.

A group of United Nations representatives and human rights experts already called for an end to the “global war on drugs” last June.

Can we grow tobacco in France?


The answer is yes ! If cultivation is completely legal and easy, on the other hand, it is much more complicated to dry and refine your leaves in order to smoke them. Here’s how to make your own tobacco.

Tobacco seed

Tobacco grows ideally in a warm, dry region. If this is your case, get good quality and preferably organic seeds, which you can find from certain brands on the internet for example. You will have the choice between brown tobaccos or blond tobaccos. Sowing should be done between February and May. Be careful, the seeds are very small and volatile! Handle them with care.

Fill buckets with special seedling soil, then water it before packing it down. Then place a few seeds on the damp surface of the potting soil and cover the pots with plastic film. You can place them in the greenhouse for a few days or at home behind the bay window. All that remains is that the temperature is between 18 and 20 degrees.

Do not remove the film until emergence has taken place (between 5 and 15 days). To water, simply pour water into the saucer under your buckets so that the water rises by capillary action. As soon as the seedlings have appeared, remove the film, then let the plants get as much light as possible and water with a spray bottle. It is possible to thin out your plants if there are too many in a single pot. To do this, simply transplant them into a new pot.

Replanting in the ground

As soon as the risk of frost has passed, all you have to do is plant your tobacco plants in the ground. Be careful, they must measure at least 10 cm, otherwise, they may not hold up! Tobacco likes full sun. Respect a distance of 60 cm between plants for good growth.

The growth of tobacco

Tobacco does not have a lot of water requirements. You should only water when it is very dry. As soon as suckers appear, they must be removed, just like the flower buds before they bloom. This will allow a higher nicotine concentration!