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Cannabis production growing in Europe: report

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(LISBON) - The market share of cannabis herb is steadily increasing across Europe at the expense of imported cannabis resin, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said Tuesday.

The Lisbon-based agency warned in a report that "the rise in herbal cannabis cultivation inside Europe's borders is increasingly associated with collateral damage such as violence and criminality."

"Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Kingdom have all experienced a steep growth in the levels of domestic herbal cannabis production in the last two decades," according to the Centre.

It added that according to countries across Europe reporting data since 2004, the growing of cannabis was widespread and on the increase.

Consumption of cannabis was dominated by herbal products in two-thirds of the 30 countries that file with the EMCDDA, said the report, whose release was timed to coincide with the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

"One of the most important developments impacting on the modern cannabis market is simply its increase in scale," said EMCDDA director Wolfgang Goetz. "Wherever you live in Europe today, it is likely that not very far away cannabis is being bought or sold."

In 10 countries -- Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia -- herbal cannabis use accounted for at least 90 percent of the market.

Where imports of cannabis were concerned, "Morocco consistently ranks first as exporter of cannabis resin to Europe, the product entering the region mainly via Spain and Portugal," the EMCDDA said.

According to the Centre, around 700 tonnes of cannabis are seized in Europe each year, of which about 600 tonnes are cannabis resin.

More than 78 million Europeans aged between 15 and 64 have tried cannabis, according to EMCDDA figures, while "around nine million young Europeans (15-34 years) have used it in the past month."

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

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Tax and regulate now!

Posted by Peter Reynolds at 29 June 2012, 13:35 CET
Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? Around three million people in Britain are regular users and whatever we do we're not going to be able to stop them.

We waste £500 million every year on police, court and prison resources when a large proportion of society uses cannabis without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal.

The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. By a recent analysis of mortality, hospital admissions, toxicity and propensity to psychosis, cannabis is nearly 3000 times safer than alcohol. Why not introduce a tax and regulate system and realise the benefits?

That way we'd have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy.

Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that "there is no medicinal value in cannabis", it has granted an unlawful monopoly to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine!

Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) published independent research on 14th September 2011 that shows a cannabis tax and regulate regime would provide a net gain to the UK exchequer of £6.7 billion per annum as well as reducing all health and social harms.

The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by Big Booze and the GW Pharma monopoly.

Go to the CLEAR website for full details: