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10th March 2023
1st February 2023
17th January 2023
Global: Following the publication in November 2022 of the report Commodities at a glance: Special issue on industrial hemp, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is to hold a policymakers’ workshop on industrial hemp tomorrow. The workshop, which will bring together experts, government ministries, the private sector and NGOs, will overview the growth opportunities in the hemp market and share regional and national experiences.
1st December 2022
Global: The UN Conference on Trade and Development has published a report, “Commodities at a glance: Special issue on industrial hemp”, reviewing the opportunities and challenges of hemp and derivates for developing countries, including a review of the market and policy recommendations. It recommends that the “cultivation of non-intoxicant C. sativa L. cultivars should be permitted in all countries even though it may require strict governmental control”. And it argues that “an approach favouring THC threshold in final products, rather than in the field, should be adopted to incentivize a whole-plant approach and uses...Alternatively, raising the THC thresholds in crops up to levels scientifically recognized as non-intoxicant could be envisaged by legislators.”
5th October 2022
Russia: A Moscow court will hear US basketball player Brittney Griner’s appeal against a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession on 25th October, media reports. Griner was arrested at Moscow airport in February when she arrived to play for a Russian side, reportedly carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. The US is believed to have offered to exchange Russian prisoners for US citizens, including Griner, but according to Russian officials no deal has been reached.
22nd September 2022
World: Jagjit Pavadia, president of the independent, quasi-judicial International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), told a meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs yesterday that legalisation of recreational cannabis is a breach of international conventions, and a “threat to the consensus” on global drug control. In response, the representative from Canada, where recreational cannabis was legalised in 2018, defended the country’s policies and questioned the authority of the INCB to monitor treaty compliance by UN member states.
5th August 2022
Russia: A Russian court yesterday sentenced US basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years’ jail for drug smuggling. Griner was arrested at Moscow airport in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil when she arrived to play for a Russian side. The US has reportedly offered to exchange Russian prisoners for American citizens, including Griner, but according to Russian officials no deal has been reached.
27th June 2022
World: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today published its World Drug Report 2022, including its assessment of the impacts of the legalisation of recreational cannabis in certain US states, Canada and Uruguay. The UNODC sees a rise in the average levels of THC in the increasingly diversifying cannabis products, as well as an upsurge in “the proportion of people with psychiatric disorders and suicides associated with regular cannabis use”. Among its recommendations are monitoring of the impacts of cannabis legalisation, investing in research, addressing misperceptions of risk, and prioritising public health.
3rd June 2022
16th March 2022
Global: The 65th annual session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs is taking place this week in Vienna. The Commission directs international drug policy and decides the scope of control of substances under the international drug conventions, as it did in December 2020 when it rescheduled cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV to Schedule I of the Single Convention 1961. Although cannabis is not explicitly mentioned in the Commission's programme, there are various side events hosted by civil organisations that seek to spur public debate on cannabis.
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