United Nations’s World Health Organization Calls for Worldwide Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession

In a public statement the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the worldwide decriminalization of drug possession and use.

“United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first””, states the Joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care settings, which was released yesterday. “Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.”

With this in mind, the WHO is calling for “Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence”, including “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”.

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Cannabis Possession Now Decriminalized in Delaware

cannabis possessionThe possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense for those 21 and older in Delaware, thanks to House Bill 39 officially taking effect at 12:00am EST on Friday, December 18th.

The new law makes it so that those 21 and older caught possessing up to an ounce of cannabis in Delaware can no longer be arrested, charged with a criminal misdemeanor and put in jail for up to 3 months, as the law previously allowed. The fine is set at a maximum of $100.

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Delaware: House Committee Passes Cannabis Decriminalization Bill

By Associated Press
delaware

(AP) — A bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana has cleared a Delaware legislative panel and is headed to the House floor for a vote.

House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee members voted 5-to-4 Wednesday to release the bill after its chief sponsor said she would make several revisions to address concerns of police officials.

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Cannabis Decrim Bill Passes Illinois Senate Committee, Already Passed House

jillyLegislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis has been approved with a 9 to 3 vote by the Illinois Senate Criminal Law Committee. The bill has already been approved 63 to 53 by the state’s House of Representatives.

The proposal – which is now up for a full Senate vote – would make it so that those caught possessing 15 grams of cannabis or less would no longer face the possibility of jail time or a criminal charge. Instead, they would face a ticket of no more than $125. Under current Illinois law, the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor which can result in imprisonment for up to a year.

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New Hampshire House Overwhelmingly Approves Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession

New Hampshire’scannabisdecrim House of Representatives voted 297 to 67 today to approve House Bill 618, a measure that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

If approved into law, the proposal would make the possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis a $100 civil infraction, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor.

Under current New Hampshire law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can result in a year-long jail sentence.

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Initiative to Decriminalize Cannabis Up for Public Vote Next Month in Kansas’ Largest City

An initiativejoint to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis will be voted on next month in Wichita, Kansas’ largest city.

If approved into law, the proposal – which will be voted on April 7th – would decriminalize the possession of up to 32 grams of cannabis for those 21 and older, making it a simple $50 ticket. Advocates of the initiative submitted enough signatures on January 7th to put the measure before the City Council, which voted 6 to 1 to put it to a vote of the people on April 7th.

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Initiative to Decriminalize Cannabis Placed on April Ballot in Kansas’ Largest City

An initiativejoint to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis has been officially placed on the April 7th ballot in Wichita, Kansas’ largest city.

If approved into law, the proposal would decriminalize the possession of up to 32 grams of cannabis for those 21 and older, making it a simple $50 ticket. Advocates of the initiative submitted enough signatures on January 7th to put the measure before the City Council, which had the option of either passing it into law, or placing it to a vote of the people; they chose the later with a 6 to 1 vote.

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Cannabis Possession Now Decriminalized in U.S. Virgin Islands

Legislation virginislandsdecriminalizing the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis in the United States Virgin Islands became law on Friday after the Senate voted unanimously to override Governor’s John P. DeJongh’s veto.

Under the new law – which was included as a provision in the territory’s 2015 budget, and line-item vetoed by Governor DeJongh –  the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is no longer an arrestable offense, but instead is a ticket of no more than $200. If someone under 18 is caught in possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, they’ll receive an $100 fine, their parents will be notified and they will be required to complete a drug awareness program. Under previous law, the possession of any amount of cannabis was a potential year-long prison sentence, in addition to a potential $5,000 fine.

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Report: Decriminalization has Reduced Teen Crime, School Dropouts, Suicides and Drug Overdoses

A new report released by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) has found that cannabis decriminalization in California has resulted newjerseyin a reduction in crime, drug overdoses, driving under the influence, suicides and school dropout among teenagers.

According to the report, there was a 22% reduction in school dropouts among teenagers two years after the state decriminalized cannabis possession in 2010. There was also a 20% reduction in drug overdose deaths, despite their being a 4% overall increase of these deaths in the U.S. during the same period, and an over 10% reduction in suicides. Criminal arrests among teenagers went down a total of 30% just two years after decriminalization.

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Cannabis Decriminalization Pilot Program Launching Monday in Harris County, Texas

At a press conference Wednesday Harris County District Attorney Devon Andersonharis, a Republican, said that beginning Monday non-violent individuals caught carrying up to two ounces of cannabis for the first time won’t be hit with a criminal charge or put in jail, but instead will be required to either perform eight hours of community service, or take a drug awareness class.

“Our goal is to keep these individuals from entering the revolving door of the criminal justice system”, says Anderson.

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