Bill Weinberg's blog

DEA turns down bid to reschedule cannabis

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

THC After much speculation that the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) would reschedule cannabis this summer, the agency on Aug. 11 dashed petitioners' hopes, rejecting their request to remove its classification as a Schedule I dangerous drug. The DEA denied two separate requests by former state governors to re-classify cannabis as a Schedule II drug or lower. The agency stated (PDF) that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has "concluded that marijuana has high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision." Tthe DEA did propose a new policy that would allow universities to apply to grow cannabis for research. Until now, the University of Mississippi had a monopoly on cultivation for study. (Jurist)

Busted for donut glaze —yes, really

Posted on August 8th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FloridaFrom Orlando, Fla., comes the maddening case of Daniel Rushing—who was literally arrested, handcuffed and charged with methamphetamine possession over a tiny flake of donut glaze on the floor of his car. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Rushing was driving home after dropping off a neighbor at the hospital for a chemotherapy session—something he did every Friday—when he stopped at a 7-Eleven to give another friend a ride home. The 7-Eleven was being staked out for suspected drug activity, and Rushing was stopped by police for failing to come to a full stop on pulling out of the parking lot. Threatened with a ticket, he agreed to a search of his vehicle—confident that he had no illegal materials. But the officer found "a rock like substance on the floor board," claimed to test it positive as meth, and dragged Rushing off to jail.

Philippines: military camps for drug users?

Posted on August 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaIn his increasingly draconian anti-drug crackdown, the new Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, actually sent National Police troops to arrest a local mayor—resulting in a shoot-out that left six of the mayor's bodyguards dead. On Aug. 1, Duterte ordered Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera town on Leyte to island to surrender within 24 hours—and added: "Otherwise, an order of 'shoot on sight' will be given if they resist and endanger the lives of arresting police officers." Espinosa surrendered to police the next day—but his son, wanted as a suspected drug-dealer, remained at large. The day after that, the gun-fight broke out between the body-guards and police who were on patrol near Espinosa's house. Police of course said the body-guards fired first. The affair began July 28, when five other of Espinosa's body-guards and staff were busted in a sting operation for a street sale of shabu (methamphetamine).

WikiLeaks reveals: alcohol industry promotes Congressional concern for cannabis

Posted on August 2nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchIs the alcohol industry spending money to get members of Congress to pay attention to the problem of "marijuana-impaired driving"? That's the case made on the cannabis industry website Marijuana.com, where a blogger seems to have assiduously searched the famous WikiLeaks dump of DNC e-mails for any reference to our favorite herb. What they found was in the May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle, a daily e-newsletter for Capitol Hill insiders produced by the Politico website. That issue included a paid advertisement from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), which read in part:

Native American teen faces year in clink for one joint —in Oregon!

Posted on August 1st, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

OregonIn an utterly bizarre case reported in Oregon's Willamette Week on July 27, the federal government is taking the almost unheard-of move of prosecuting an individual for possession of a small amount of cannabis. Making it all the more perverse, this is happening in Oregon, which last year legalized recreational cannabis by popular vote. More perverse still, the taregted individual is a Native American youth—who may face one year in prison for possession of just about enought herb to roll a fat joint.

Philippines prez delivers on deadly drug war pledge

Posted on July 27th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office last month with a pledge to unleash a deadly crackdown on drug users and other miscreants—and he's sure delivered. In his first State of the Nation address July 25, he issued more such rhetoric. "Show no mercy to them because they are not showing any mercy to us anyway," Duterte declared to cheers from his supporters in congress. He called on police and security forces to "double your efforts, triple them if need be... We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish." Clearly addressing his critics, he added that "human rights cannot be used a shield or an excuse to destroy the country."

White House to reconsider ban on military gear for police

Posted on July 25th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

BlackLivesMatter Amid a growing sense of crisis here in the United States, comes the unwelcome news that the White House will reconsider its May 2015 ban on police forces getting armored vehicles and similar military gear from the Defense Department. The leaders of two police organizations boasted of this to Reuters on July 21.  The named sources are Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Bill Johnson, that of the National Association of Police Organizations. The ban was instated following a public outcry over use of the military-grade riot gear by police in Ferguson, Mo,, and other cities in protests against police brutality.

Bhutan emerges as contraband cannabis hub

Posted on July 21st, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South AsiaThe landlocked Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan was traditionally isolated—only getting television as recently as 1999. Since opening up, alas, it has been increasingly drawn into the multiple armed conflicts rocking the greater region—especially becoming a staging ground for ethnic guerillas waging insurgencies for autonomy or separatism in India. Most recently, authorities in India are asserting that some of these guerilla armies are in league with Bhutanese cannabis growers to fund their armed struggles. 

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