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California: pot raids continue in countdown to legalization

Posted on August 27th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaIt's an ominous sign that even as California is on a countdown to cannabis legalization, to take effect in January, big pot raids continue in the Emerald Triangle. The most recent to make local news came on Aug. 22, when the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Drug Enforcement Unit launched a three-day operation in the Conklin Creek area of Petrolia.

Boston city fathers: cannabis bad, Nazis OK

Posted on August 20th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

MassachusettsAfter last weekend's horrorshow in Charlottesville, it's a relief that the white supremacist hate-fest planned for Boston on Aug. 19 (sickeningly billed as a "Free Speech" rally) was a total bust. Just some 40-odd "alt-right" protesters gathered on the historic Boston Common, dwarfed by about 40,000 counter-protesters, who chanted "wrong side of history" and "shame, shame." Eventually, police escorted the small group of haters with their Nazi regalia away to safety, and that was that.

Philippines: Duterte calls for genocide against drug users

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaPolice in the Philippines killed 32 people in a wave of anti-drug operations north of the capital, Manila—making Aug. 16  the single deadliest day so far of President Rodrigo Duterte's ultra-deadly war on drugs. Over  100 were also arrested in the sweeps—overwhelmingly street-level dealers—and dozens of firearms reportedly seized. The operations were jointly carried out by National Police and Bulacan provincial authorities. Duterte expressed open enthusiasm for the bloodshed—and warned that it is just beginning. "There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that's good," he said in a speech. "Let's kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country."

Concern over pot cultivation eco-impacts —but EPA won't regulate

Posted on August 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaPollution from outlaw cannabis grows deep in California's national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into virtual toxic waste dumps. That's the sobering assessment of an Aug. 6 Reuters report on the mounting ecological impacts of outdoor cultivation in the Golden State, which accounts for upwards of 90% of illegal marijuana production nationwide.

Philippines: Duterte still defiant on draconian drug war

Posted on August 8th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte met in Manila on Aug. 8 with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and came away gloating that the new administration in Washington is unconcerned with his blood-drenched "war on drugs," that has left perhaps 8,000 dead since he took office just over a year ago.

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."

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