Brave activists lead fight for reform in Malaysia after death sentence

Calls for Malaysia to become the first country in Asia to legalise medical cannabis are growing after outrage was sparked when a young man selling cannabis oil to the ill was given a death sentence. Thankfully the Malaysian government has since announced that the death penalty is shortly to be abolished, but 29-year-old Muhammad Lukman, sentenced at the end of August, still faces decades or even life in prison – a death sentence in its own right. Lukman’s lawyers presented him as a kind-hearted and pious Muslim who would give…

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Michigan legalises recreational cannabis amid mixed results in five state votes

Michigan voted on Tuesday to legalise cannabis for recreational use, according to exit polls, with the law change set to formally start in December 2018. Michiganders chose to authorise the legalisation of possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by those who are at least 21 years of age. Individuals will now be permitted to possess and use cannabis and cannabis-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption. The approved law will impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and mandate that amounts over…

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Warning signs: Canada’s plain (and plastic) packaging policy

Cannabis may have been legalised in Canada but regulation has gone above and beyond to make sure that it is not seen as part of an attractive lifestyle. Health Canada has enforced rules that make the packaging bland apart from loud health warnings. Unfortunately it did not take the same consideration in terms of the health of the environment – customers have been disappointed to receive their products in wasteful plastics. For every gram of cannabis sold there can be as much as 70 grams of plastic, foil and other…

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Three in four people support legalisation in New Zealand as Prime Minister promises referendum

Some 76% of people in New Zealand support some form of cannabis legalisation in New Zealand, according to a new poll. The online survey by Massey University asked 6300 people their opinions on cannabis use and – unusually, rather than just asking a for a yes/no answer on prohibition – what kind of regulatory regime they would prefer. 27% of respondents were in favour of a ‘grow your own system’, where people could grow and harvest cannabis, but not sell it, while 21% said it should be commercialised and sold…

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Colombia: Cannabis users protest presidential decree banning possession

The likes of Canada may be moving forward but Colombia is moving – even further – backwards. Cannabis users in Bogota protested in a ‘smoke-athon’ over the weekend after new President Ivan Duque signed a degree banning personal drug possession and ordering police to confiscate all quantities of the drug. For the past two decades it has been legal to carry small amounts of cannabis for personal use. Stop and search will be ramped up and those caught will be fined, but not sent to prison. A protester giving a…

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