Traffic Roots Pixel

Bill Weinberg's blog

Netherlands a 'narco state'? Don't believe the hype

Posted on March 6th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisThe Dutch police association has released a lurid report asserting that the Netherlands is becoming a "narco-state," with authorities unable to keep ahead of criminal enterprises bringing illegal drugs into the country. There have in fact been some recent cases of grisly narco-violence in the Netherlands, of the kind more commonly associated with Mexico or Colombia. The report will provide further propaganda for opponents of the Dutch gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy) toward the sale of cannabis—but a link between that and the recent violence is dubious.

Spain and Morocco in heavy crackdown on hashish networks

Posted on March 1st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

MoroccoOver the past weeks, authorities in Morocco and Spain have unleashed sweeps against hashish smuggling networks, arresting hundreds. One ring was reportedly using Serbian ex-military helicopter pilots to ferry product across the Strait of Gibraltar. This heightened militarization is disappointing, as a legalization initiative in Morocco—the world's top cannabis producer—fell victim to political unrest and intrigues last year.

'Cannabis equity' questions behind Detroit zoning imbroglio

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

cannabisA recent court decision regarding a seemingly prosaic controversy over the zoning of medical marijuana businesses in Detroit actually sheds light on issues of what some activists are calling "cannabis equity"—how questions of social and racial justice related to the war on drugs will be addressed as the industry is day-lighted.

Study: legal cannabis undermining Mexican cartels, reducing border violence

Posted on January 26th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafA new study published in The Economic Journal vindicates the optimistic prognosis of cannabis activists that legalizing the herb would de-escalate drug war violence. The study notes a reduction in violence in US states along the Mexican border in recent years, and especially in the counties along the international line. The authors draw a connection to the reduced legal pressure on cannabis in the United States over this same period, thanks to legalization and medical marijuana laws.

Chechen police state turns ire on druggies

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaucasusYou could smell this one coming. Last year, horrific reports emerged from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya that authorities were rounding up gays in detainment camps and subjecting them to torture —the first time this kind of thing has happened in Europe since Nazi Germany. Now the reign of terror is being extended to drug users and small-time dealers, who are facing grisly torture at the hands of Chechen security forces as part of the same ultra-puritanical campaign. Reports describe electric current being applied to suspects' fingertips to induce them to "confess." No one has survived such questioning without eventually admitting their crime, the victims were told.

New Zealand moves toward roadside tests for meth —and cannabis

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchA big push is on in New Zealand for a bill that would give police the power to conduct roadside saliva tests for methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA)—and cannabis. And the public face of the campaign to pass the legislation is Malcolm Barnett, who in 2005 lost his 18-year-old step-daughter to a road crash with a driver who was wasted on meth, or "P," as they call it in New Zealand.

UK khat ban fails to stop contraband imports —surprise!

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

khatHere's some news that should surprise nobody. International efforts to suppress the trade in a psychoactive plant are failing to do so, but are jacking up the social costs of its use—which might be quite negligible if the stuff weren't illegal. In this case we're talking about khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially in the Horn of Africa and its immigrant diaspora. It was sold openly at groceries and eateries in London's African communities until Britain finally banned the stuff in of 2014, following the example of the United States (of course). At that time, it became a Class C substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. By way of comparison, cannabis is in the more restrictive Class B—although between 2004 and 2008 pot was placed in Class C, and there is an initiative to have it removed from the classification system altogether.

Will cannabis save Canadian agriculture?

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

CanadaMany things are falling into place as Canada advances toward legal cannabis, expected to take effect this summer. Provinces are to come up with their own policies on regulation, and these are now congealing. The government of Nova Scotia has agreed on a plan to market retail cannabis at liquor stores through the provincial public company that now maintains a monopoly on alcohol sales, the Canadian Broadcasting Company reports. At the other end of the continent, British Columbia is also said to be considering such a plan.

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman