UVSS HEMPOLOGY 101 CLUB
LECTURE SERIES 2007/08

LESSON #18 :†CANNABIS AND THE LAW†- Part†1


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Every country has different laws regarding the possession, sale and cultivating of cannabis.† Most countries have followed the lead of the US and prohibited the use and sale of cannabis with harsh punishments since the 1920ís.† In some countries like India, Morocco and Iran it is still customary for citizens to smoke hash or drink cannabis in bhang while tourists need to be more careful of law enforcement.† Many countries have punished cannabis traffickers more than the US.† Though the death penalty is available to cannabis traffickers in the US, it has never been used.†

Other countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates do execute cannabis growers and dealers in public displays and street justice killings.†† The Philippines only stopped executing people caught with over 500 grams of cannabis in 2006 when the death penalty was abolished.† China executes about 500 drug dealers per year, though it is not clear how many are cannabis traffickers.†† In Oct 2004, Australian Schapelle Corby was arrested in Indonesia and sentenced to 20 years in jail after 4.2 kilos of cannabis was found in her baggage. This is in contrast to Australia where cannabis has been decriminalized because it is not considered a major health or social problem.†

Many European countries have reconsidered harsh punishments for cannabis use, with the Netherlands leading the way.† Laws prohibiting the use, sale and production of cannabis still exist in Holland; however, the police have decided to allow cities to license cafes selling hash, cookies and other cannabis products.† Italy, Spain and Switzerland have decriminalized cannabis, while the UK has reclassified cannabis in 2001 such that simple possession can no longer lead to jail.† In Germany, Jamaica, and Belgium the law is not strictly enforced. In Norway, Sweden and France, though, penalties for possessing cannabis still include jail.† Mexico politicians tabled a bill in April 2006 that would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of all drugs (up to 5 grams of cannabis).† Pressure from the US made Mexican President Vincent Fox sent the bill back to be rewritten.†

Many states in the US have decriminalized cannabis for recreational users or attempted to legalize its use for medical purposes with referendums like Proposition 215 in California in 1996.† In 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Gonzales vs Raich that the federal governmentís drug laws supercede state medical cannabis laws, thus allowing DEA agents to raid clubs where local officials refuse.† Many jurisdictions continue to resist the US federal government, particularly California

.†

In Canada the federal government has come close to passing bills to decriminalize cannabis, once in the 1970ís under Pierre Trudeau and again early in this century.†† However, the current Conservative government is backtracking from any moves to decriminalize cannabis and has cut funding for medical cannabis research while holding friendly press conferences with the US Drug Czar, John Walters.† Many attempts have been made to convince politicians to change the laws through public acts of passive civil disobedience, letter writing campaigns and direct networking.† Every opportunity to educate law enforcement agents of the benefits of cannabis and the futility of the drug war should be done in the most polite and respectful manner possible.† Finally, when individuals end up in court with cannabis charges they must challenge the law and police using every available legal option.

RELEVANT WEB SITES
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_of_cannabis
http://www.cfdp.ca/index.htm
http://www.canlii.org/
http://www.norml.org/
http://www.urban75.com/Drugs/cannabis.html
http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_law.shtml
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/
http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub/jc/vol3/no3/page3.html
http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/shared/readmore.asp?sNav=pb&id=669
http://www.cannabisfacts.ca/
http://www.drugtext.org/library/articles/aic1.htm
http://www.rism.org/isg/dlp/ganja/background/EuropEnforcProc.html
http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other6495.html
http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/2005-12-06/features1.html
http://www.thehempire.com/index.php/cannabis/archives/C10/
http://cannabisnews.com/news/15/thread15172.shtml
http://www.johnconroy.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194552,00.html
http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/fs/50972.htm
http://www.dea.gov/concern/marijuana.html
http://www.freeschapelle.net/
http://www.taima.org/en/canjpn.htm
http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/series/pottvseries-109-0.html
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html
http://www.btnx.com/category.aspx?cat=3
http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs21/21137/marijuana.htm

International Hempology 101 Society
www.hempology.ca
Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada
www.cbc-canada.ca