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Egypt: British Woman Sentenced for Carrying Painkillers

(Apr. 2, 2018) On December 26, 2017, the Criminal Court of Safaga, a town on the coast of the Red Sea, sentenced a British woman to three years in prison and fined her 100,000 Egyptian pounds (EGP) (about US$5,611) for the possession of the narcotic painkiller Tramadol. (Magdy Samaan & James Masters, British Tourist Gets […]

Brazil: Harsher Punishments for DUI

(Dec. 26, 2017) On December 20, 2017, Brazil enacted Law No. 13,546, which amends the National Traffic Code to establish harsher punishments for driving while intoxicated. (Lei No. 13,546, de 19 de Dezembro de 2017, PLANALTO; Código Nacional de Trânsito, Law No. 9,503 of September 23, 1997, PLANALTO.) The Law increases the punishment for driving […]

Georgia: Marijuana Use Decriminalized

(Dec. 13, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized the personal use of marijuana and other cannabis-based products. The Court decision, while affirming the right to use marijuana, recognized its potential health risks and did not legalize the sale, distribution, or production of marijuana; those acts are still considered crimes.  Decriminalization […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Growing Medical Marijuana Is Minor Drug Offense

(Nov. 29, 2017) On November 20, 2017, the Swedish Supreme Court sentenced a man to a fine for growing medical marijuana in his home. He was sentenced to 40 day-fines at SEK130 a day (a total of SEK5,200, about US$630). (Case No. B 2106-16, Supreme Court, Nov. 20, 2017, HÖGSTA DOMSTOLEN (in Swedish).) Legal Provisions  Under Swedish […]

The Philippines: New Agency Created to Support Drug Enforcement Agency

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 6, 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) that brings together 21 state agencies, with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as chair, under a joint command, in order to more effectively combat the country’s drug problem. (Manuel Mogato, Philippine […]

Brazil: Marijuana-Based Medicine Authorized for Use

(Nov. 29, 2016) On November 22, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) unanimously approved the inclusion of medicines based on derivatives of cannabis sativa (cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol – substances found in marijuana) in list A3 of Administrative Act No. 344/98. (Portaria SVS/MS No. 344/98 […]

Brazil: Import and Use of Marijuana-Based Medicine Products Authorized

(Mar. 28, 2016) On March 18, 2016, the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) enacted Collegiate Board Resolution No. 66 (Resolução da Diretoria Colegiada – RDC No. 66 de 18 de Março, D.O.U. No. 54, de 21 de Março de 2016), which was published in the country’s Official Gazette (Diário Oficial […]

Laos: New National Plan on Narcotics Control

(Mar. 23, 2016) At its March 2016 monthly meeting, the Laos Cabinet made a decision to approve a national plan on narcotics control for the years 2016-2020. The plan covers several aspects of the issue, including: strengthening enforcement of the Law on Narcotics; enhancing the capacity of officials to handle narcotics cases; increasing support from […]

Canada: Update: Health Canada Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on Cannabis

(July 13, 2015) On July 8, 2015, Health Canada, the country’s federal department in charge of public health, responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s June 11, 2015, ruling on medical marijuana. (Statement on Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R. v. Smith [Statement], GOVERNMENT OF CANADA (July 8, 2015); Tariq Ahmad, Canada: Supreme Court […]

Canada: Supreme Court Rules That All Forms of Medical Marijuana Are Permissible

(June 19, 2015) On June 11, 2015, in the case of R. v. Smith (2015, SCC 34, JUDGMENTS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA), the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a unanimous decision stating that all forms of medical marijuana are permissible for use. The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, issued under the Controlled Drugs and […]