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Local News
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Government plans levy on gambling firms

The government is planning a mandatory levy on betting firms to fund treatment services , along with reduced stake limits of between £ 2 and £ 15 per spin for online slots games . The moves form part of the much-delayed gambling white paper , which was published as DDN was going to press .

Campaigners have long called for a statutory tax on gambling companies ( www . drinkanddrugsnews . com / gamblingtax /), with the proposed levy on operators designed to ‘ help fund treatment services and research , including through the NHS ’.
Other proposals contained in the document include increased powers for the Gambling Commission , new player protection checks and closing loopholes to ensure that under-18s are unable to gamble online or via physical machines . There will also be a new industry ombudsman to deal with disputes , including where customers suffer losses as a result of operators ‘ failing in their player protection duties ’. Some of the proposals , however , including
GERMANY ’ S PLANS TO LEGALISE CANNABIS for recreational use have been revised following discussions with EU officials . The proposal to allow the drug to be sold across the country in licensed specialist shops has now been scaled back to a set number of pilot areas for five years .
Adults will still be allowed to grow up to three cannabis plants for personal use and possess up to 25g penalty-free , but will only be able to obtain the drug from licensed shops as part of a regional pilot project , health minister Karl Lauterbach announced . Germany ’ s government had agreed this after talks with the EU Commission , he said , although the aim remained to control quality
‘ We are stepping in to update the law ... with a new levy on gambling operators to pay for treatment and education ...’
the amount to be raised by the statutory levy , are to be put out for further consultation .
The measures add up to a ‘ major reform of gambling laws to protect vulnerable users in smartphone era ’, the government states . ‘ We live in an age where people have a virtual mobile casino in their pockets ,’ said culture secretary Lucy Frazer .
‘ It has made gambling easier , quicker and often more fun , but when things go wrong it can see people lose thousands of pounds in a few swipes of the screen . So we
and curb the black market . Cultivation in non-profit associations or ‘ cannabis clubs ’ will also be allowed nationwide , provided membership is limited to a maximum of 500 people who are over 18 and resident in Germany . While there will be a general ban on advertising for the associations , ‘ factual information is acceptable ’. Specialist shops will then be established on a regional and timelimited model to allow the effects of a commercial supply chain on health , the black market and youth protection to be evaluated .
The restrictive approach to cannabis in Germany had failed , added justice minister Marco Buschmann . ‘ The prohibition of cannabis criminalises countless are stepping in to update the law for those most at risk of harm with a new levy on gambling operators to pay for treatment and education , player protection checks and new online slots stake limits . This will strengthen the safety net and help deliver our long-term plan to help build stronger communities while allowing millions of people to continue to play safely .’ www . gov . uk / government / publications / high-stakes-gamblingreform-for-the-digital-age / highstakes-gambling-reform-for-thedigital-age

Germany scales back cannabis plans

people , pushes them into criminal structures and ties up immense resources at the law enforcement agencies . It ' s time for a new approach that allows more personal responsibility , pushes back the black market and relieves the police and prosecutors .’
Canada became the first G7 country to legalise and regulate recreational cannabis in 2018 , with adults able to legally buy and possess up to 30g of the drug ( www . drinkanddrugsnews . com / cannabis-becomes-legal-incanada ). The move has proved divisive , however , with critics claiming that the price and quality of the legal and taxed drug has meant its impact on the black market has been limited .

Local News

BEST BUDDY A new app to provide support to people using drugs alone is being piloted in Worcestershire , Sutton and Sandwell . ‘ BuddyUp ’ connects people to a Cranstoun member of staff trained in responding to overdoses and able to send emergency support if needed . ‘ We urgently need to look at new ways to address the drug death crisis we have in this country ,’ said Cranstoun ’ s Chris Rintoul .
FORWARD VIEW A new partnership between Humankind and local charities The Bridge Project , Create Strength Group and Project 6 is providing support across the Bradford district . New Vision Bradford offers clinical and therapeutic interventions , harm reduction and family support with the aim of making it ‘ one of the most innovative and effective substance support services in England ,’ says Humankind regional director Lee Wilson . www . newvisionbradford . org . uk
SAFE HARBOUR A new short film on trauma and substance use has been launched by Plymouth charity Harbour , documenting Julie Howes ’ journey to eventually leading the charity as CEO . Watch it at https :// vimeo . com / 775790994 or https :// harbour . org . uk /