EMCDDA MONOGRAPHS : A cannabis reader: global issues and local experiences (2008) – free PDF download

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Smoked, eaten, imbibed — or just talked about — it seems the world has a strong
appetite for cannabis. An estimated one in five European adults have tried it. Thirteen
million Europeans have consumed it in the past month. Globally, nearly 50 000 tonnes
of cannabis herb or resin is produced for consumption each year. Little wonder, then,
that cannabis has become a controversial cultural and commercial phenomenon. Today,
cannabis has a unique ability to divide opinion among policymakers, scientists, law
enforcers, drugs professionals and consumers.

This EMCDDA cannabis monograph addresses one basic question. How can I find
quality information on cannabis, amid all the bias and opinion? During the editing of
this monograph it soon became clear that the EMCDDA was entering an area crowded
with general guides, even competing cannabis monographs. This is where the idea of
a cannabis ‘reader’ emerged. Our audience — researchers, parliamentarians, drugs
professionals, students, European citizens — is currently faced with an overload of
professional publications. Added to this is the daily flood of information on the Internet,
often crusading in nature, and sometimes misleading. This threatens to obscure the
genuine progress made in cannabis research during the past two decades.

The EMCDDA cannabis reader underlines the point that cannabis is not just a static,
unchanging plant, but a dynamic product that is subject to gradual evolution in potency,
prevalence, cultivation, legislative and public health concerns. In this monograph,
leading experts provide short, sharp insights on a range of cannabis topics while
offering advice on further reading for each topic. Brief editorial notes provide concise
introductions to each topic, occasionally drawing attention to political sensitivities and
the need for a ‘critical eye’. So this cannabis reader has a value, both as a shortcut to
researchers entering the area and a synthesis for experts.

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You will find a wide range of views expressed in the chapters in this monograph, not
all of them in agreement. The arguments, tone and conclusion of each chapter is the
responsibility of the author alone, and is not necessarily endorsed or supported by the
EMCDDA. This reflects the wider discourse on cannabis where different positions and
perspectives often lead to different conclusions being drawn from the same evidence.
We believe each chapter represents a useful contribution to the overall debate, even if
their individual perspectives differ.


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