Cannabis & Culture Magazine

MCN reports from Reform Conference in Washington

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Arlington, Virgina. The Drug Policy Alliance 2015 Reform Conference takes place November 18-21 in Arlington, Virginia. It is the largest Reform conference the DPA has ever organized, attracting over 1500 people from 71 countries. The significant and diverse attendance is a signal that activists from across the globe believe the war on drugs has failed, and new policies are needed to both reduce drug use and the harms stemming from a criminal approach to drug management.

A session from later in the day titled, “Porro, Ganja, Mota, Gras: Models for Cannabis Regulation from Around the World” featured insights from several cannabis industry and reform leaders. Congressman Marvin Atencio Delgado from Costa Rica, Florencia Lemos (co-founder of CLUC Cannabis Club) from Uruguay, Amber Markers (Lecturer in Law) from England, Delano Seiveright (Director, Jamaica Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce), and Georg Wurth (German Hemp Association) from Germany all discussed the nature of cannabis and hemp in their countries.

Marvin Atencio. Credits: Leopoldo Rivera. MCN reports from Reform Conference in Washington

Marvin Atencio, Costa Rica (left),Georg Wurth (right) Credits: Leopoldo Rivera.

There were common goals across those pushing for medical and recreational legalization. First, the leaders wanted to weaken drug cartels by taking away a tremendously substantial source of income. Uruguay estimates it has taken tens of millions of dollars from cartels by completely regulating cannabis. There is also a desire to produce a safe, consistent supply of cannabis for all users, so the products they are using are ensured to be safe. Despite the differences between the programs, one thing was clear – intelligent regulation improves outcomes for everyone in society, and it is imperative for more countries to continue reforming their cannabis laws.

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