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Italy: New Law Contains Measures on Visas, Territorial Waters, Virtual Proceedings in Drug Trials, and Refugee Centers

(Jan. 22, 2021) On December 20, 2020, Italy’s government issued Law No. 173 of December 18, 2020, which contains new measures concerning visas, vessels in territorial waters, virtual proceedings in drug trafficking prosecutions, and refugee center security and detainee welfare. New Provisions on Student Visas, Resident Visas for Refugees The new legislation allows foreign students who […]

Jamaica: House of Representatives Passes Bills Easing Admission of Drug Crime Evidence

(Jan. 15, 2021) On December 8, 2020, Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1948, and the Evidence Act, 1843. If enacted, the amendments would introduce new procedures for securing and disposing of drugs seized in connection with drug crimes and enable the admission of drug samples and recorded images as […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Limits Drug Searches Conducted Without Judicial Authorization

(Jan. 5, 2021) On November 26, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a provision in Presidential Decree No. 309 of October 9, 1990, that allows police to conduct searches and seizures in illegal drug cases without previous authorization from a magistrate. (Decision No. 252 of November 26, 2020  (in Italian).)  Article 103, paragraph 3 […]

France: Possession of Small Amounts of Drugs Now Subject to Fines

(Sept. 23, 2020) On September 1, 2020, a French law giving police officers authorization to issue on-the-spot fines to those caught in possession of small amounts of certain drugs entered into force. The new measure, which was passed in 2019 by the French legislature to amend article L3421-1 of the Public Health Code, is by […]

Mexico: President Signs Law Granting Amnesty to Criminals Incarcerated for Certain Crimes

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 22, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed into law a bill passed by Mexico’s Senate two days earlier granting amnesty to persons incarcerated for the commission of certain crimes provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number […]

Australia: ACT Law Allowing Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis for Personal Use Comes into Effect

(Feb. 13, 2020) On January 31, 2020, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) legislation allowing the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, which had been passed by the ACT Parliament in September 2019, came into effect. The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Act 2019 (ACT) amended the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 (ACT) to remove penalties for persons over […]

Mexico: Bill Granting Amnesty for Certain Drug Crimes and Offenses Committed by Indigenous People Passed

(Dec. 26, 2019) On December 11, 2019, Mexico’s House of Representatives announced that it had passed a bill proposing to grant amnesty for the commission of certain crimes, provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number of circumstances, such as cases in which the […]

New Zealand: Referendums on Assisted Dying and Cannabis Legalization to be Held in 2020

(Dec. 17, 2019) On December 3, 2019, the New Zealand government launched a new website to provide information on two referendums that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 general election. This followed a vote in Parliament in November 2019 to pass the End of Life Choice Bill (now the End of Life Choice […]

Brazil: City of Rio de Janeiro Enacts Decree Allowing Compulsory Hospitalization for Drug Users and Homeless Persons

(Aug. 21, 2019) On August 5, 2019, the city of Rio de Janeiro published Decree No. 46,314, which enables compulsory hospitalization for drug users and homeless persons. Decree No. 46,314 supplements Federal Law No. 11,343 of August 23, 2006, which establishes the National System of Public Policy on Drugs; prescribes measures to prevent drug abuse […]

New Zealand: Medicinal Cannabis Bill Passed

(Dec. 18, 2018) On December 11, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (New Zealand Legislation website), which “will introduce an exception and a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis and to possess a cannabis utensil; provide a regulation-making power to enable the […]