Bill Weinberg's blog

Ann Coulter channels Harry Anslinger

Posted on August 3rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Reefer MadnessFar-right pundit Ann Coulter unleashed typical bombast in her latest tirade against cannabis legalization—and threw in some very unsubtle racism. Newsweek notes the verbal irruption at the nonpartisan forum Politicon on July 29. where Coulter was debating (to use a flattering term) cannabis advocate Ana Kasparian. When asked about the wave of state legalization initiatives, Coulter replied: "No. You can legalize all the drugs you want once there isn’t a welfare state, but no. Marijuana makes people retarded, especially when they’re young. We’ve got enough busboys. We’re bringing in busboys by the million through our immigration policy. We do not need a country of busboys. We're destroying the country."

Burma's Rohingya refugees tarred with narco-stigma

Posted on July 26th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East Asia The Rohingya Muslim people of Burma are facing what some have called genocide in their homeland, long denied citizenship rights and now under attack by both the official security forces and Buddhist-chauvinist militias, who have carried out massacres and burned down their villages. Some 500,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to Bangladesh—where they are not being welcomed. Already confined to squalid refugee camps near the Burmese border, they now face forcible relocation to an uninhabited offshore island. Shunted from one region to another, they are targeted by the predictable propaganda—Burmese authorities have stigmatized them as Muslim terrorists, and now Bangladesh authorities increasingly stigmatize them as drug-traffickers.

Philippines: youth protest drug war 'dictatorship'

Posted on July 25th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaAn estimated 7,000 protesters marched on the Philippines' House of Representatives in the Batasan district of Manila July 24 as ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte gave his second State of the Nation Address—in which he pledged to keep pursuing his bloody drug war. "The fight will not stop," said Duterte. "There is a jungle out there. There are beasts and vultures preying on the helpless. We will not be disheartened, we will not be cowed, we will not be overhelmed." He offered drug dealers and users a choice of "jail or hell."

Sessions reverses Obama-era restriction on asset forfeiture

Posted on July 21st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchAttorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order July 19 reversing limits on the federal civil asset forfeiture program that were instated under the Obama administration in 2015. The widely criticized civil forfeiture program allows law enforcement to seize cash and property from citizens who have not been charged with any crime. But under the Obama-era change, the feds respected the right of states to rein in the practice. With Sessions' change, that is now undone.

Catalonia legalizes cannabis —in new challenge to Madrid

Posted on July 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

SpainSpain's restive northeastern region of Catalonia and especially its freewheeling capital Barcelona have over the past years come to rival the Netherlands and and Amsterdam as a European cannabis hub. Smokers' clubs have proliferated, tolerated (and regulated) by the authroities. Now the regional government, the Generalitat de Catalunya, has passed a measure formally legalizing the clubs.

Hindu god banishes cannabis tourism from Indian village

Posted on July 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South AsiaA local Hindu deity has issued an edict ordering that guest-houses that cater to cannabis-imbibing tourists in a remote Indian village be shut down. That's the gist of the startling headline in Hindustan Times of July 11. Malana village, high in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, is famous for its premium-quality hashish, but has traditionally been isolated from the outside world. Now village elders fear the community's unique culture is threatened by the swarms of tourists drawn by Malana's storied bhang.

Cuban commies castigate cannabis legalization

Posted on July 4th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

CaribbeanCuba is opening up its economy to private busineses and foreign investors, hoping for an end to the US embargo, and attracting record numbers of internaitonal tourists. But the new open atmosphere is definitely not extending to cannabis. In announcing a big increase in interceptions of illegal drugs this year, the nation's drug czar just took an open swipe at other Latin American countries that are embracing legalization, decriminalization or medical marijuana.

Philippine strongman's bloody drug war: year one

Posted on June 26th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaJune 30 marks one year since the ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte took office in the Philippines, on a pledge to halt the "virulent social disease" of drug abuse. Officials boast that crime has dropped, thousands have been arrested on drug offenses, and a million users have turned themselves in for treatment programs instead of jail. The usual totalitarian rhetoric is employed to justify the price in human lives for this supposed progress—the bloodletting is necessary for the health of the nation. "There are thousands of people who are being killed, yes," Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told Reuters for a one-year assesment of Duterte's crackdown. "But there are millions who live, see?"

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