The Netherlands: Dutch Judges Say Legalize It

The Netherlands  -  More than half of Dutch judges surveyed by the newsweekly Vrij Nederland think marijuana should be legalized, according to a report from the Netherlands Information Service. The weekly interviewed 489 judges, 22 apprentice judges, and 140 prosecutors.


The Netherlands: Dutch judges say legalize it

More than half (52%) said "soft drugs," such as marijuana or hashish (and possibly psychedelics) should be legalized. More than one in ten (12%) said even the use, possession, or dealing of "hard drugs," such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, should not be criminally prosecuted. Although marijuana sales are regulated and taxed in the Netherlands' famous coffee shops under Dutch "pragmatism" policies, the sale or manufacture of marijuana officially remains a crime under Dutch law.

The current conservative Dutch national government has attempted to shut down the coffee shops, but without popular support for such a move has had to settle for tightening regulations on the marijuana outlets and gradually reducing their numbers. The Dutch judges are apparently a fairly liberal bunch. According to the survey, in addition to supporting anti-prohibitionist drug policies, nearly half (48%) thought anti-terrorism measures had gone too far, 41% were concerned about the privacy of citizens, and 10% believe that the Netherlands is on the path to becoming a police state.


Three people condemned to death for marijuana trafficking offenses

Malaysia  -  Twice in the past two weeks, courts in Malaysia have condemned people to death for marijuana trafficking offenses. Meanwhile, both Iran and Yemen have executed drug offenders in the past three weeks. Except where otherwise linked, information in this article comes from the global anti-death penalty group Hands Off Cain. In Malaysia, the High Court Wednesday handed down death sentences to two men, Kairil Anuar Abdul Rahman, 34, and Afendi Adam, 28, for trafficking a little under two pounds of pot six years ago.

The pair, a restaurant worker and a painter, respectively, were arrested in March 2002 for selling 971 grams of marijuana. Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim said the court had no choice but to impose the death sentences after the men were found guilty. Attorneys for the pair are expected to appeal both the convictions and the sentences.

Two weeks earlier, the Shah Alam Higher Court imposed the death sentence on an Indonesian immigrant, Junaidi Nurdin, 32, for selling 979 grams of pot. Junaidi was arrested in April 2004 after he sold the stuff to an undercover policeman at a restaurant in Shah Alam. He, too, is expected to appeal.

USA: State of Washington - The state Health Department on 2 October defined a two-month supply of medical cannabis as 24 ounces (about 680 grams) of usable cannabis and up to 15 plants, a limit designed to end a decade of confusion over how much patients are allowed to have according to the medical cannabis law.


C.A.M.P. busts pot gardens throughout Humboldt County.

USA  -  Thousands of marijuana plants growing in outdoor gardens in Humboldt County have been destroyed by the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office reported. In total, 3,489 plants were destroyed in gardens in a number of locations, the office reported.

According to the sheriff's office, personnel eradicated 800 plants, ranging in height from 6 to 8 feet, growing in a garden near Weitchpec. In a garden recently raided on U.S.  Forest Service property, authorities found about 100 additional pounds of processed marijuana.  One suspect was arrested at the site. On Wednesday, CAMP agents reportedly moved south, taking 500 plants from gardens near Seely Creek, Woods Ranch and Sprowell Creek. 

According to the sheriff's office, those plants were around 10 feet high on average, and each was capable of producing about 2 pounds of processed marijuana. According to sheriff's statistics, CAMP has eradicated approximately 125,000 allegedly illegal marijuana plants in Humboldt County this year.


Declaration in support of the medical use of cannabis products by medical organizations

Germany  -   In the run-up to a public hearing by the Health Committee of the German Bundestag on 15 October leading medical associations and patients organizations demand a facilitation of the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes. For this purpose, the organizations composed a conjoint statement.

The "Berlin Declaration on the medical use of Cannabis Products" says: "In 1998 a coalition of medical societies, self-help groups and notabilities frompolitics, science and culture postulated in the 'Frankfurt Resolution' that the medical use of cannabis should be permitted. Ten years on, research into the medical potential of cannabis and select cannabinoids has made great progress and the medical benefits of cannabis for the treatment of several illnesses are no longer in doubt.

Patients may now receive from their doctor a prescription for the cannabis ingredient dronabinol, but most health insurance programs do not reimburse the cost of treatment. Those patients who cannot afford a prescription and instead self-medicate with cannabis are still subject to prosecution. Several of them have been sentenced to prison terms, some were acquitted in court. Unfortunately, the option to obtain a waiver for the medical use of cannabis from the Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products (BfArM) has not significantly improved this unacceptable situation.

The signatories recognize that for many people who are seriously ill cannabis may be a very helpful medicine but that they cannot benefit from its use for socio-economic reasons (high cost of dronabinol) or because of bureaucratic hurdles (obtaining an
exemption from the BfArM).

Thus, the signatories encourage the federal government and parliament to take action as follows: 1. To ensure that the cost of treatment with dronabinol is covered by health insurance if a doctor prescribes it for an indication
where the benefits of dronabinol have been scientifically proven. 2. To protect those patients who use cannabis therapeutically based on a doctor's recommendation from prosecution. 3. To promote research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis


Refusal by the health insurance to pay for dronabinol treatment continues to be an accepted requirement for an exemption of medical cannabis use.

Germany  -  The Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products (BfArM), an office of the federal health ministry, changed in July 2008 the rules for patients who plan to apply for an exemption of cannabis use for medical purposes. The requirements were tightened.

The Health Ministry now made it clear that the original rules are still valid. While in the new rules the refusal by the health insurance to pay for dronabinol treatment is no longer mentioned, the Ministry made it clear that such refusal will still be accepted as a cause for an application.

The Greenish Warbler

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October 14th 2008

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