Confetti Archive

BBC News – New drug bill ‘to decriminalise ecstasy’ in Colombia

30 January 2013
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New drug bill ‘to decriminalise ecstasy’ in Colombia

The BBC’s David Cuen explains some of the issues surrounding drugs law in Latin America


Colombia’s Justice Minister, Ruth Stella Correa, has said a new drugs bill would decriminalise personal use of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy.

The proposal would replace current laws, which ban cocaine and marijuana, although people are not prosecuted for possessing small amounts.

Colombia’s legislation is being re-assessed in an attempt to tackle drug use, trafficking and related issues.

Critics say the inclusion of synthetic drugs will only confuse the debate.

The justice minister spoke after a meeting with the commission set up to assess the government’s drug policies over the last 10 years.

Former President Cesar Gaviria is part of the group along a number of experts and academics expected to produce a document with recommendations within eight months.

Ruth Stella Correa pointed out that the Constitutional Court had already spoken against the criminalisation of people carrying small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.

“The new statute to be presented to the Congress during this mandate intends to make this authorisation concrete, but broadening it to include synthetic drugs into what is defined as the personal dose”, the minister told Colombia’s National Radio.

‘End of business’

A spokesman for the country’s Green Party has expressed support for the government’s plan.

“The problem in Colombia is a problem with soft drugs: marijuana and cocaine. The curse of drug trafficking depends fundamentally on cocaine and the decriminalisation in the world will end this business,” senator Roy Barreras told Caracol Radio station.

However, critics say that decriminalising the personal use of synthetic drugs will only make the debate more difficult.

Experts agree that synthetic drugs include ecstasy and methamphetamines, but some argue the definition could be applied to heroin.

The justice minister’s announcement reopened the discussion about drug use in Colombia.

Until recently, the country adopted a more repressive approach to drug use, with laws that penalised the possession and consumption of drugs.

However, a string of decisions by the High Court in the last two years is said to be reversing the trend.

The new drug bill is expected to be put forward to the Colombian Congress in the next few months.

via BBC News – New drug bill ‘to decriminalise ecstasy’ in Colombia.

Confetti Archive

GEMA reportedly crack down on DJs as well as clubs, adding new “laptop surcharge” to sets – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music.

30 November 2012
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Earlier this year, GEMA, the body charged with collecting royalties in Germany, announced a controversial overhaul of its fee structure.Having historically charged venues a flat rate, GEMA are introducing a system based on the size of the venue and a percentage of ticket prices. GEMA’s original proposal was for events that last more than five hours to weather a 50% surcharge, increased by an extra charge if the party tips over the eight hour mark, though recent negotiations have led to this charge being reduced. The new system is scheduled to come in to force in April 2013. The clubbing community both German and worldwide balked at the changes, with high-profile clubs like Berghain and Watergate [above] claiming that they would be forced to close (Berghain later announced that it would, in fact, be staying open).On June 30, over 2000 German venues cut their music for five minutes by means of protest, and an online petition opposed to the move gathered over 60,000 signatures. Despite this, the Deutsches Bundestag – Germany’s Parliament – decided at the start of November that it would not intervene, suggesting that supporters of the petition “form a compromise with GEMA directly”. When FACT spoke to Nick Hoppner, manager label of Ostgut-Ton (the Berghain’s in-house label) earlier this year, he expressed the view that the clubbing community needed to change GEMA from the inside.It now appears that GEMA are attempting to knuckle down even harder on club performances. So far this has only – to our knowledge – been reported on German language websites, but at the heart of these newly proposed set of changes is a tax (or “laptop surcharge”) on DJs playing music from laptops, to the tune of 30% for every music file under five minutes with an increase of 20% for each additional minute. What we’re unsure about is whether this only refers to files that are played, or all music on the offending laptop – we’d presume the former, but the post on Tanith implies the latter (“e.g. 10,000 mp3s on the DJ laptop would [require] 1,300 Euros”).The proposal has reportedly been negotiated with the German Discotheques and Nightclubs unions (DDU and DDO). Dean Driscoll, of German-based promotions company Tailored Communiation, explained on Twitter this morning that these unions are “sub-branches of GEMA populated solely by GEMA members.” We subsequently spoke to Driscoll over email, who explained that although his German is basic, he ran through theTanith article with German industry colleagues, who confirmed that this was the case. This article on the DDU website also refers to the “laptop surcharge”, though it also explains that DJs who are members of the DDU – a minority, if the union is filled with GEMA members – will be exempt from this charge.German-based musicians have been reacting to the news this morning, though we’re yet to see it confirmed by GEMA or the DDU themselves (Tanith appear to have a copy of the proposal – above, right).

5 Jul 2012 published by

Confetti Archive

Confetti from police files tossed at Macy’s parade | Daily Record |

28 November 2012
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Shredded Long Island police records that landed on spectators at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade were brought by a department employee who tossed the confidential confetti with his family, a New York TV station reports.

Among the easily identifiable records from the Nassau County Police Department were what appears to be details of Mitt Romney’s motorcade route to and from the final presidential debate at Hofstra University.

Confetti collected by spectators near 65th Street and Central Park West also contained arrest records, incident reports and personal information and that identified undercover officers, WPIX-TV says.

“There are phone numbers, addresses, more Social Security numbers, license plate numbers,” said Ethan Finkelstein, 18, of Manhattan, who gathered up some of the confetti with friends. “And then we find all these incident reports from police.”

He gave the confetti to police, who continue to investigate.

Sources told WPIX, which broke the story Friday, that the files came from the Nassau County Police Academy and that protection has been offered to all officers whose identifies were revealed. Police would not identify the employee who brought the confetti to the parade.

“The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation,” Inspector Kenneth Lack said. “We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents.”

Instead of strip-cutting shredders, Nassau police may buy cross-cutting machines that would dice files into small pieces.

For the record, Macy’s is not guilty. The parade sponsor said it uses “commercially manufactured, multicolor confetti, not shredded paper.”

via Confetti from police files tossed at Macy’s parade | Daily Record |

Confetti Archive


28 November 2012
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22 November 2012
Today sees the launch of the Global Drug Survey 2013, the biggest worldwide survey of drug use ever carried out. It takes about 10 minutes to fill in, is completely anonymous, and by being part of it, you could help change the world.
Tthe Global Drugs Survey is where the world goes to find out real people’s attitudes to and experience of drugs. Since Mixmag first started surveying drug use among clubbers in 1999, the results have been used by doctors, academics, youth and drug information organisations and even governments around the world to influence policies and inform their decisions.
The analysis is done by a team of doctors and scientists using professional research standards to get the truth about drugs, young people, dance music and the world.
The results will be published in the March issue of Mixmag, on sale February 21. See the results of the previous year’s drug survey here.