North Carolina legalizes industrial hemp

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

leafIndustrial hemp became legal in North Carolina on Oct. 31 as Gov. Pat McCrory failed to either sign or veto Senate Bill 313 after allowing it to sit on his desk for nearly a month. The bill mandates creation of a state Industrial Hemp Commission to oversee research in industrial hemp under terms of the new federal Farm Bill. The ultimate aim is to "provide opportunities to small farmers for an environmentally sustainable and profitable use of crop lands that might otherwise be lost to agricultural production," according to the text of the new law. A hemp cultivation pilot program is to be established by North Carolina State University

Seneca Indian Nation approves medical marijuana initiative

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

New YorkMembers of the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York state voted up a referendum Nov. 3 giving tribal leaders approval to move towards setting up a medical marijuana business on their territories. The measure passed by a vote of 448-364, giving the Seneca Nation Council the power to draft laws and regulations allowing the manufacture, use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes. "A decision on our Nation's path of action on medical cannabis is far from made," cautioned Seneca President Maurice A. John Sr. in comments to the Buffalo News. "But now, having heard from the Seneca people, our discussions and due diligence can begin in earnest."

Did 'greed' sabotage Ohio legalization initiative?

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

leafVoters in Ohio on Nov. 3 rejected a proposal to legalize medical and recreational use of cannabis. Issue 3 would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow regulated quantities, and also made cannabis available for medical use in the same vote—a unique approach nationally. It would additionally have permitted retail sale of cannabis-infused products, and created a "Marijuana Control Commission" to oversee the industry. Complicating matters, the Ohio General Assembly put a competing initiative on the ballot, Issue 2, which would have blocked Issue 3 by prohibiting the granting of special rights by the state constitution. This "anti-monopoly measure" was aimed at barring Issue 3 language that would establish exclusive rights to produce cannabis for the retail market. If both had passed, a legal quagmire loomed. In the actual fact, Issue 2 was approved while Issue 3 was defeated by over 63% of voters. (Jurist, Nov. 4; WLWT, Cincinnnati, Nov. 3; NYT, Nov. 1)

Mexico: high court upholds individual right to cannabis

Posted on November 5th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoIn a 4-to-1 decision on Nov. 4, the Criminal Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the prohibition of consumption and cultivation of cannabis for personal use is unconstitutional, voiding five articles of the country's principal narcotics statute, the General Health Law. The court found that prohibition of cannabis consumption—or of cultivation for non-commercial purposes—violates the right to "free development of the personality," enshrined in Aricle 19 of the Mexican Constitution. The landmark decision only applies to the actual plaintiffs who challenged the prohibition provisions of the General Health Law, but loans weight to legalization proposals being prepared in Mexico's Congress. "They're noting this case and using it in their favor to present a law that will be in agreement and will protect people's rights," Moy Schwartzman, attorney for the plaintiffs, was quoted by AP.

Bad grammar foils Arkansas cannabis initiative

Posted on October 28th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ArkansasArkansas cannabis activists were evidently so eager to get a legalization measure before the voters that they shot themselves in the foot by submitting ballot language ridden with grammatical errors. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she was forced to reject a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize the herb after finding a number of grammar and spelling bloopers. Rutledge said that even if the folks behind the "Arkansas Cannabis Amendment" had run spell-and-grammar checks before handing in the proposal, it still wouldn't have passed muster.

Saudi prince in Beirut airport mega-bust

Posted on October 27th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Middle EastWell this is rich. Just one month after a Qatari diplomat was busted for hashish smuggling at Egypt's main airport, AFP news service now reports that Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdel Mohsen bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four companions were detained at Beirut International Airport in what Lebanese authorities are calling the biggest bust in the facility's history. The prince was popped while "attempting to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine," a security source told AFP. The source said the drugs had been packed into cases that were waiting to be loaded onto a private plane headed to Saudi Arabia—a whopping 40 suitcases full of Captagon, according to Lebanese media accounts.

Iran considers cannabis legalization?

Posted on October 27th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastOxford University scholar Maziyar Ghiabi has a startling piece in Britain's The Conversation website (reprinted in The Independent) asserting that Iran's leaders are considering legalization of cannabis and opium. The Islamic Republic certainly lives up to its rep as a puritanical police state. Ghiabi admits that up to 70% of its inmates are charged with drug-related offenses (out of a total prison population of some 225,000, according to the World Prison Brief website). We've also noted that a recent surge in executions in Iran is contributing to a global spike in use of the death penalty over the past two years. As Ghiabi writes: "Drug traffickers risk harsh punishments that include the death penalty." But he also informs us that Iran is now pursuing the kind of harm reduction policies that actvists have been long pressing for in the US, including "distribution of clean needles to injecting drug users, methadone substitution programmes (also in prisons) and a vast system of addiction treatment."

Feds raid Menominee rez: dope or rope?

Posted on October 25th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

leafDEA agents raided the reservation of  Wisconsin's Menominee Indian Tribe on Oct. 23—destroying what federal authorities say was a crop of illegal marijuana, and what tribal authorities say was a field of industrial hemp. Acting US Attorney Gregory Haanstad says agents executed a search warrant and seized about 30,000 marijuana plants weighing several thousand pounds. But tribal chairman Gary Besaw flatly contradicted this. According to Milwaukee's CBS 58, he said in a statement: "I am deeply disappointed that Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe. We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill."

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