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Bill Weinberg's blog

Racial justice themes highlighted at NYC Cannabis Parade

Posted on May 7th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Cannabis marchNew York City's Cannabis Parade, flagship entry in the Global Marijuana March movement and a counterculture event dating back to the early 1970s, this year actually drew mainstream politicians and candidates. Nearly all struck themes of racial justice, emphasizing that a push for legalization in the Empire State must also address the social iniquities of cannabis prohibition and the "war on drugs."

Patients impatient as medical marijuana program stalled in Guam

Posted on April 17th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaGoing on two years after the US territory of Guam approved a medical marijuana measure by voter initiative, the program remains stalled over the supposed lack of any laboratory on the island to carry out quality control. Patients and their advocates charge that the island's government is bottle-necking the program by failing to sufficiently fund it. At heated public hearings on the issue last week in the island's legislature, advocates accused authorities of violating the will of the voters.

Cannabis case at issue in Russia World Cup boycott moves

Posted on April 16th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaucasusWith Moscow accused of all manner of sinister shenanigans on the global stage, calls are mounting for a boycott of the World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Russia this summer. Among the cases drawing special ire from rights groups is that of the leading human rights activist in Chechnya—now imprisoned on a "blatantly fabricated" cannabis charge.

Recovering the lost legacy of cannabis in Japan

Posted on April 12th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

JapanCannabis is completely verboten n Japan—rare, expensive and very illegal. First Lady Akie Abe broke taboo by advocating a medical marijuana program from the country—but she's now embroiled in scandal, nipping the proposal in the proverbial bud. Yet more grassroots advocates have also emerged. One local historian in agricultural Tochigi Prefecture has opened a "cannabis museum," documenting millennia of use of the plant for medicine, sacrament and fiber in the archipelago.

Cannabis stigma in Paris hate crime case

Posted on April 4th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

EuropeThe horrific case of an elderly Jewish woman in Paris killed in a clear anti-Semitic attack is being painted as an incidence of "cannabis delirium." Despite all the progress since the days of Reefer Madness in the 1930s, cannabis is still  blamed for violent crime by law enforcement and media alike. Such irrational ugliness has also been repeatedly seen in the cases that have inspired Black Lives Matter on our side of the Atlantic.

Will Sessions memo mean death penalty for state-legal cannabis growers?

Shadow WatchAfter Jeff Sessions issued a memo urging prosecutors to seek the death penalty for those "dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs," even mainstream media outlets began raising the alarm that this could actually be used against large-scale legal cannabis cultivators in places like California. Is this threat is at all realistic?

Tot's medical petition puts UK government on the spot

Posted on March 21st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

medical marijuanaTurned down by the British government when they requested permission to use cannabis oil, the family of a child epilepsy sufferer personally delivered a petition with thousands of signatures to 10 Downing Street. They were backed up by members of parliament and the famous actor Sir Patrick Stewart. Charges of hypocrisy on the part of government were brought into sharp focus by revelations that the Home Office minister—ultimately responsible for the decision to turn down the request—is married to a businessman who oversees massive cultivation under contract to GW Pharmaceuticals.

Oakland measure against cannabis-fueled displacement

Posted on March 13th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

OaklandOakland's city council has passed an ordinance protecting tenants from being evicted by cannabis businesses in the city's "Green Zone." Artist housing in post-industrial areas is especially at risk. Oakland is committed to a policy of "cannabis equity," in which the cannabis economy is daylighted with a sense of social justice. But this does point to the dilemma of cannabis-fueled displacement—a phenomenon also reported from places like the more freewheeling Denver, which are less committed to principles of equity.

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