Articles Tagged: turin

The Surging Tidal Wave of Global Policy Changes – When Will It Reach Your Country?

January 24th, 2014 | By


Places like Colorado & Uruguay have snagged the biggest headlines and the most attention both online & off for their legalization efforts, but the end of prohibition is quietly happening all over the world thanks to small, grassroots (pun fully intended) movements in towns, cities and communities just like yours.

Over the past few years, I’ve been researching this growing (pun intended once again) trend practically non-stop, but thought I’d share my findings with all you less-OCD stoners out there. It’s only a matter of time, my friend!

Only yesterday, we heard that the Italian city of Turin voted to legalize cannabis just weeks after cannabis became downgraded to an administrative matter throughout the whole of Italy.

This comes just after the changes in the US and Uruguay.  Pretty big news considering the fact that the people of Berlin have voted in favour of introducing cannabis cafes to the city, although the actual implementation sounds like it may problematic. Times they are changing though. People are beginning to realise that prohibition policies hurt people more than they help, and that for adults, cannabis is pretty much harmless.

South America is seeing sweeping change, spearheaded by the progressive Uruguayans. Argentina are now considering doing the same thing as the Uruguayans! Argentina’s anti-drug czar Juan Carlos Molina recently told a local radio station that:

‘Argentina deserves a good debate about this. We have the capacity to do it. We should not underestimate ourselves.’

Just weeks ago in Bermuda, a public consultation paper on the decriminalisation of cannabis has been promised by the Bermudan government and last year Colombia completely decriminalised cocaine and marijuana.

Brazil began its own Cannabis Cup as of April 28 2012, and Ecuador decriminalised small amounts of marijuana last year.

Paraguay have allowed possession of small quantities of marijuana, cocaine and heroin since 1988, and Chile decriminalised personal consumption back in 1995.

Mexico have suffered enormously from the ‘Drug War’ and now sound like they’re hurtling towards some kind of regulated market.

More recently, the president of Iceland declared “We should legalize cannabis”.

Changes in Europe are coming thick and fast with France allowing access to Sativex last year, a commercial cannabis tincture spray that is basically cannabis. The UK have allowed Sativex for some time, but most of the stories coming out of the country report that people who really need it can’t get hold of it.

In 2013, Croatia stopped prosecuting anyone caught with small amounts of marijuana and other drugs, with growing remaining illegal however.

Changes in Turin are expected to be the beginning of a movement to completely legalize cannabis in Italy. Italians are the heaviest cannabis users in Europe according to this United Nations Report.

More tokers per person than even Spain!

According to a recent poll in Ireland, four out of ten voters would like to see cannabis legalised. The idea was most popular with younger voters according to PaddyPower.

And Jamaica don’t want to be left out of the action:

“Encouraged by legalisation of ganja in Colorado and Washington in the United States, and Uruguay in South America, the Jamaicans foresee the development of a local, regional and international cannabis industry, led by a Cannabis Future Growers and Producers Association that will eventually generate billions of dollars for the Jamaican economy.

The growers’ and producers’ association will be launched on January 18, 2014 as one outcome of a major stakeholders forum titled ‘Going Forward — Legalise it’ that organisers hope will bring together the disparate entities planning a future in ganja at the University of the West Indies in Mona, St Andrew.”

The rhetoric seems to suggest that Jamaica can fix a lot of its problems by selling weed to the US and the rest of the world. And they could be right.  A conference took place only yesterday.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, Morocco are now discussing the possibility of legalising their massive cannabis growing industry, something that could only have been dreamed of in recent years.

“The Moroccan parliament has held a hearing into the industrial and medical benefits of marijuana use. The discussions, started by one of Morocco’s main political parties, are the first steps to introduce a draft law next year aimed at legalizing the plant.”

China have been quietly filing thousands of cannabis related patents in the US and look to be in a very strong position to take advantage of this new and exciting legal market.

“Because cannabis in Western medicine is becoming accepted, the predominance of Chinese patents suggests that pharmaceutical sciences are evolving quickly in China, outpacing Western capabilities”

Says Dr Luc Duchesne,

“Chinese traditional medicine is poised to take advantage of a growing trend. The writing is on the wall: Westernised Chinese traditional medicine is coming to a dispensary near you.”

Looking at the picture as a whole, there is a definite worldwide shift towards toleration and in some cases total regulation – with the science of cannabis just beginning to explode now that scientists are actually allowed to research it.

In the past, certainly in the US, research has only been authorised to investigate the negative aspects of the plant. This is no longer the case, so expect some more medical miracles down the line.