European Parliament: Strong support for the decriminalisation of cannabis across Europe?

Observing the world of cannabis

European Parliament: Strong support for the decriminalisation of cannabis across Europe? 

Europe: A wide-ranging survey of Members of the European Parliament – including Britain's representatives - has revealed strong support for thedecriminalisation of cannabis across Europe. The team from The Universities of Manchester, Aberystwyth and the LondonSchool of Economics also revealed controversial attitudes to abortion, crime, defence and immigration among members. Professors David Farrell from The University of Manchester, Simon Hix from the London school of Economics and Roger Scully from the University of Aberystwyth, contacted all 732 MEPs of whom 272 responded. The study - carried out in summer 2006 - found that one-fifth of the MEPs felt marijuana should be decriminalised. One-third of British MEPs  - much higher than the average - supported decriminalisation, though Dutch MEPs were the most liberal at 83 per cent. The survey was officially launched at the Brussels European Parliament headquarters of the European Parliament on June 13, 2007. A more comprehensive data sheet is available. UK National Centre for Social Research designed the web-site on which the survey was hosted. Each MEP was contacted personally by letter (translated into their mother tongue), and invited to participate in the survey online.

"European Parliament: Strong support for the decriminalisation of cannabis across Europe?"

USA: Following in the footsteps of Connecticut's Legislature, New York State lawmakers are expected to approve legislation allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Democrat-led Assembly could pass a medical marijuana bill as early as this week, according to the bill's main sponsor. New York would be the 13th state to approve a medical marijuana program and the fifth state to approve the use of the substance through legislative action. Eight states have permitted medical
marijuana by voter referendum. In 2005, New York lawmakers came close to approving a medical marijuana law. They backed off after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can prohibit doctors from prescribing the drug. Since the ruling, states have increasingly reasserted their right to permit use of the drug under certain conditions.

USA: online. This website gives a comprehensive and detailed listing of all medical marijuana dispensaries available in the USA, incl. phone numbers and opening hours ( There also are according lists of cannabis-friendly lawyers and doctors. It is a free service for California Proposition 215 Patients, Caregivers, Vendors, Distributors, Doctors and Lawyers.

Canada: Health Canada, the governmental health organization, has been contacting doctors who prescribe medical marijuana for their government-approved patients, advising them to keep the dosages low. Some users say that not only violates doctor-patient confidentiality, it's also wrong for bureaucrats to make judgments about the medical needs of people they've never seen. "A person's medication should be between him and his doctor," said Tony Adams, 60, a medical marijuana user in Victoria. "There shouldn't be some bureaucrat in Ottawa that's never met me. "Everybody has different needs for medications." Adams, a licensed user who's been smoking seven grams of marijuana daily, recently applied to Health Canada to increase the dose to 10 grams, with his doctor's authorization.  Official approval from Ottawa is needed so that Adam can legally grow the appropriate number of marijuana plants, set by Health Canada at five plants for each daily gram. But a program official in Ottawa challenged Adams' doctor in a telephone call, saying most patients need no more than five grams.  Adams, who has severe arthritis and degenerative disc disease, later received a new licence for just five grams a day. Similarly, Alison Myrden in Burlington, Ont., says her doctor was challenged by Health Canada bureaucrats about her 20- to 28-gram daily dose. "They asked to lower it more than once, and my doctor and I both refused," said Myrden, 43, who uses marijuana for multiple sclerosis and another painful condition.  Her message to Health Canada: "Back off -- leave our doctors alone."

The Greenish Warbler


June 19th 2007

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