Legal Highs: Welcome to the Cannabis Revolution – part 1

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Marco Evers and Laura Höflinger, June 15, 2015 (Photo Gallery).

A new consensus is emerging that bans on cannabis are counterproductive. Across the world, countries are legalizing its use for pleasure and medical treatment – but Germany still lags behind … //

… The Situation in Germany:

  • What’s happening is nothing less than a revolution, and one that will likely have repercussions around the world. Including in Germany, where debate about reconsidering drugs policy is still very much in its infancy.
  • A SPIEGEL survey shows that for the time being, a majority of Germans (59 percent) want to see cannabis remain illegal. Nevertheless, support for continued prohibition is dwindling, especially among young people and the highly-educated … //

… A Global Shift:

  • Countries all over the world are in the process of revising their policy on cannabis. So far, Uruguay is the only country to have introduced wholesale legalization of the growing and selling of cannabis. Spain and Portugal, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have introduced such sweeping legalization measures that an outright lifting of the ban is only a step away.
  • The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) is set to convene in April next year. A major breakthrough could be in the cards. One thing is clear: that a global consensus on a cannabis ban no longer exists.
  • Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is a member of the distinguished panel, which is paving the way for a radical rethinking of drug policy. The Global Commission on Drug Policy is keen to end the war on drugs — which it believes cannot ever be won, and which has claimed more lives than drugs ever have. The Commission also wants to stop criminalizing drug users, regardless of whether they’re using cannabis, ecstasy or heroin … //

… Medical Breakthrough:

  • In therapeutic quantities, cannabis does not even induce a high. It can help reduce nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; reduce the dependency of patients suffering acute pain on opiates if not replace them altogether; cannabis-based oromucosal spray can reduce spasms in multiple sclerosis sufferers, while clinical studies are currently underway to see if cannabis extract can help reduce the risk of attacks in children suffering from severe epilepsy. Side-effects can include a racing heart, dry mouth and drowsiness, but are no worse than those of many other licensed medicines.
  • Even though cannabis can be a useful if not indispensable medical aid for a surprising number of people suffering from chronic conditions, patients in Germany who could benefit from medical marijuana continue to be treated with a narrow-minded lack of empathy. Cannabis remains illegal. A SPIEGEL survey shows that 90 percent of the population would like to see the ban lifted and cannabis made freely available. But to no avail … //

… The Simplest Solution:

  • And Germany? So far, the Federal Opium Agency has only authorized 449 patients to use medical cannabis — a figure that suggests a shocking number of people are being denied help. Franjo Grotenhermen, doctor and chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) has done the math and calculated that up to 1.6 million people in Germany could benefit from the use of medical cannabis. The government’s continued refusal to relax the rules amounts to what he calls “massive, long-term failure to render assistance.”
  • The fortunate few permitted to use cannabis are faced with a Kafkaesque situation. The only supplier of medical cannabis is a state-licensed Dutch company which has been struggling with delivery problems for over a year. “Deliveries rarely arrive,” says 62-year-old Axel Junker, deputy spokesman with the German chapter of the IACM … //

… (full long text).

Part 2: The Science of Cannabis.

Related Links:

  • on en.wikipedia: Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three different species …; /See also; /External Links;
  • auf de.wikipedia: Hanf (Cannabis) ist eine Pflanzengattung in der Familie der Hanfgewächse …; /Siehe auch; /Weblinks;
  • dans fr.wikipedia: Chanvre (Cannabis L.) est un genre botanique qui rassemble des plantes annuelles de la famille des Cannabaceae. Ce sont toutes des plantes originaires d’Asie centrale ou d’Asie du Sud …; /Articles connexes; /Liens externes;

Other Links:

Wall Street bets on 75% chance of Greek default, on CNN, by Matt Egan, June 17, 2015;

Greece default coming—here’s why, 2.24 min, on CNBC, by Fred Imbert, June 16, 2015;

Greece crisis: Athens poised on the verge of catastrophic debt default as bailout talks collapse, on The, by Ben Chu, June 16, 2015;

We Can Only Provide Inspiration – Interview with Thomas Bach, on Spiegel Online International, by Lukas Eberle and Maik Großekathöfer, June 16, 2015 (Photo Gallery): Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committe, talks to SPIEGEL about anti-gay laws, Hamburg’s 2024 bid and the association’s limited responsibility for human rights;

Audio: wir sind die, vor denen uns unsere Eltern gewarnt hatten, 16.55 min, von conrebbi am 24. Mai 2015 hochgeladen: wenn heute gefragt wird, woher die Mißwirtschaft, Amtsmißbrauch bis hin zum illegalen Kindesentzug kommt, ist es unerläßlich die Entwicklung seit ca. 1968 zu betrachten;

Gregor Gysi bei WDR/eins zu eins, 23.03 min, von Michelle H. am 9. Mai 2015 hochgeladen: … sagt, wir müssen der Motor für eine Wechselstimmung in der Bevölkerung sein;

Holger Strohm im Gespräch mit Michael Friedrich Vogt, 46.04 min, von Quer-Denken.TV am 12. Jan 2015 hochgeladen … zu Bankenmafia: der Kapitalismus ist die legale Gaunerei der Oberklasse (Al Capone) … ein Bankier mit seiner Aktentasche kann mehr stehlen als hundert Männer mit Pistolen (Don C.) … Webseite: Quer-Denken.TV.

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