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Politics

  1. Republican States Make the Case Against Trump’s Drug Policy

    The Trump administration's get-tough drug enforcement policy aims to set the tone for the rest of country by projecting a distaste for leniency and an embrace of mandatory minimum prison sentences. But that outlook is becoming more passé by the day — even by the standards of the president's own party. A bipartisan movement to scale back drug laws, gaining momentum for a decade, has spread to some of the country's most conservative regions. Of the more than 20 states that have softened...
  2. EU cannot ignore Albania’s descent into disorder

    In this year of make-or-break elections in France, Germany and the UK, it was never likely that Albania’s parliamentary elections in June were going to command the same level of international attention. Yet developments in the Balkans over the coming months could prove just as significant for Europe’s future, if not more. Two decades on from the break-up of Yugoslavia and conflicts that followed, the region is again plagued by political instability, rising extremism and ethnic tension. With...
  3. Afghanistan's Deadly Poppy Harvest on Rise Again

    The world's number one opium-producing country, Afghanistan, is braced for an exploding poppy harvest this year, as farmers are cultivating the illicit crop in areas where it has never grown before. “Unfortunately, the narcotics production is on the rise this year,” Javed Qaem, Afghan deputy counternarcotics minister, told international donors in Kabul Tuesday. “We are concerned that narcotics would increase this year, including in areas and provinces where previously we had zero opium...
  4. Featured

    USA - The Drug War Is Back Under President Trump's Reign, Critics Say

    Civil liberties and drug decriminalization advocates were starting to realize some of their worst fears in recent days as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a return to harsher prison time for federal drug convicts. Gage Skidmore, Getty ImagesUnder the Obama administration the Department of Justice "instructed federal prosecutors to exercise greater discretion in selecting drug cases to bring to federal court," according to the DOJ. During that time, drug trafficking cases...
  5. Australia - Drug testing could have catastrophic consequences for welfare recipients

    Scott Morrison's federal budget has declared yet another "war on drugs", announcing 5000 new welfare recipients will be required to undergo drug testing. Let's be clear, there is no evidence these measures, which would target some of society's most vulnerable people, would have any social benefit. Targeting and excluding people who use drugs is a terrible response to what is at its core a public health issue. This idea rests on the discredited view that illicit drug use is a "moral evil" as...
  6. Australia slams Philippines president over drug killings

    The Turnbull government has denounced Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs that has left thousands dead, declaring Canberra is "deeply concerned" about reports of extrajudicial killings. Tanya Bennett, Australia's deputy permanent representative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, rejected the Philippine government's claims there have been no state-sponsored killings, noting "credible allegations of involvement by elements of the Philippine national police." Countries...
  7. George Soros Weighs in Against the War on Drugs

    Billionaire business magnate and philanthropist George Soros—who has long bankrolled drug policy reform and harm reduction causes—has an op-ed in today’s Financial Times. It’s in support of a new report from the London School of Economics, which is signed by five winners of the Nobel Prize for economics and calls for an end the international War on Drugs. Soros describes the report as “the most thorough account of the war on drugs” to date. Authored by some of the world’s top economists, it...
  8. Ireland - Sweeping decriminalisation an option in National Drug Strategy

    Growing calls in recent years for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. The decriminalisation of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use is one of the policy options outlined in the forthcoming National Drug Strategy. Minister of State for Drugs Catherine Byrne will publish the strategy – which will govern all drugs policy from now until 2020 – before the summer. It proposes a group be established to “consider the approaches taken in other...
  9. Gun control and the mentally ill

    Gun control featured prominently in the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump was vehemently opposed to gun control, making statements like “I feel that the gun-free zones and, you know, when you say that, that’s target practice for...
  10. Missouri senator queries drug makers on opioid sales plans.

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is seeking marketing information, sales records and studies from manufacturers of the top-selling opioid products in the United States to determine whether drugmakers have contributed to an overuse of the pain killers. McCaskill, a senator from Missouri, said that sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, taking a financial toll on the government and a deadly toll on thousands of consumers. The senator said previous...
  11. House representatives pull healthcare bill ahead of vote.

    WASHINGTON – House Speaker Paul Ryan sensationally pulled his Obamacare repeal bill from the floor Friday, a day after President Donald Trump had threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn’t get a vote. After a dramatic day on Capitol Hill, Ryan rushed from the White House to Capitol Hill to tell Trump he did not have the votes to pass the measure, the culmination of seven years of Republican efforts to eradicate President Barack Obama’s proudest domestic achievement. As...
  12. Republicans may cut essential health benefits to pass Trumpcare.

    The road to ‘meaningless coverage’? In a last-minute bid to get their health care bill passed, House Republicans are considering killing federal regulations that require insurers to cover basic health services, such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health services, in plans offered to consumers. The proposal could woo on-the-fence conservatives into voting for the American Health Care Act, a Republican plan to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), also...
  13. The Philippines Now Wants to Legalize Medical Marijuana

    President Rodrigo Duterte is known worldwide for his zero-tolerance policy on drugs. He is responsible for bringing forth one of the bloodiest drug wars in modern history, complete with full permission for police and regular citizens to carry out extrajudicial killings. This is in an effort to “cleanse” his country of drug dealers and users.
  14. Australia’s war on drugs is failing. We must change course

    Medical experts are calling the recent spate of drug overdoses a "public health emergency", and demonising drug users will only fuel the problem, writes Jill Stark. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, Australia’s war on drugs is madness in its purest form. “Just say no” has been an abject failure. The law enforcement approach has not deterred users, nor has it made communities safer. It has only put lives at risk. Last...
  15. This Year's Nevada Cannabis Cup Celebration Runs into Federal Saber Rattling

    LAS VEGAS—It had the makings of a duel in the desert, the first clash between the legion of marijuana lovers emboldened by a surge of legalization and a new federal administration that has pledged to restore “law and order.” In the days leading up to the Cannabis Cup—which is the pot world’s version of harvest festival, lecture series and outdoor concert rolled into one—it looked like a corner of an Indian reservation an hour north of Las Vegas was going to become a historic battlefield....
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