Bill Weinberg's blog

Impeachment proceedings against Philippine drug-war strongman

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

South East AsiaA lawmaker in the Philippines filed impeachment proceedings March 16 against President Rodrigo Duterte over killings carried out in the name of his war on drugs. Rep. Gary Alejano accused the president of constitutional violations, betrayal of public trust, bribery and other high crimes. "The most important thing here is the state policy of killing of drug suspects. The killings of fellow Filipinos were done without due process," Alejano said, according to ABS-CBN news service. "More than 8,000 have died. This is disturbing. We should not wait for the deaths to reach 20,000, 30,000, or 50,000 before we stand up and fight."

Will coca question sabotage Colombian peace process?

Posted on March 14th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .
cocaConservative enemies of Colombia's peace process are dealt some handsome propaganda assistance by the fact that as the long civil war with the FARC guerillas has wound down, coca leaf production in the country has been soaring. Fears were enflamed by a March 12 Wall Street Journal report quoting US State Department officials to the effect that Colombia now has an unprecedented 180,000 hectares under coca cultivation, with the supposed potential to produce an annual 700 tons cocaine. The figures, said to be officially released by the State Department in the coming days, are double those for 2013. (El Tiempo, March 13; Semana, March 4)

Capitalist plot seen behind Canadian cannabis raids

Posted on March 13th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

CanadaCanada's prince and princess of pot, activist-entrepreneurs Marc and Jodie Emery, have been charged with multiple trafficking-related counts, following the March 9 raids on their Cannabis Culture outlets in Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton, Ont. CBC News reports that the duo face multiple charges including drug trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy. Jodie Emery reacted to the busts by calling out the Trudeau government for hypocrisy. She told Canada's Global News: "If this is legalization, then Justin Trudeau lied to the Canadian people. This is a new form of prohibition." Urging Candians to call Prime Minister Trudeau and "ask why we're seeing more people being harmed under our so-called legalization than we ever saw under [ex-PM] Stephen Harper's anti-marijuana poicies."

Bolivia doubles territory open to coca cultivation

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

coca leafBolivia's President Evo Morales signed into a law March 8 a bill passed by the country's congress that nearly doubles the area of national territory open to coca leaf cultivation. Law 906, or the General Law of Coca Leaf, envisions new legal commerical and industrial uses for the leaf. It replaces the far more restrictive Law 1008, passed during the Reagan-led drug war militarization of the Andes in 1988—when Bolivia's transition to democracy after years of military dictatorship was still new. "The hour has arrived to bury Law 1008, which sought to bury coca leaf in Bolivia," the presidency office said in a statement. "This is an historic day." The signing ceremony at the presidential palace was witnessesed by a delegation of coca-growers.

GOP paranoids fear nuclear-cannabis terror plot

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

nuclear blastOne is tempted to facetiously ask what some of these Republican lawmakers have been smoking. Speaking in support of Trump's planned border wall with CNN on Feb. 22, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) offered this astonishing speculation: "There are national security implications here for a porous border. We sometimes used to make the point that, you know, if someone wanted to smuggle a dangerous weapon, even a nuclear weapon, into America, how would they do it? And the suggestion was made, 'Well, we'll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana.'"

Cannabis thrives both sides of divided Kashmir

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

South AsiaThe disputed region of Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1949, has made scary headlines in recent months. Pro-independence militants are stepping up attacks on the India-controlled side, and the region is a potential flashpoint for war between the nuclear-armed South Asian giants. But it hardly comes as a surprise that a cannabis economy thrives on both sides of the Line of Control—despite the best efforts to suppress it by both Indian and Pakistani security forces. The Indian Police Service last week announced the arrest of Kashmir's most-wanted charas smuggler at a checkpoint in Tangmarg district, in the north of the India-controlled territory. The trafficker was named as Abdul Rehman Dar, but there is no reason to expect his fall to interrupt the illicit industry. The region's conservative Islamist press runs editorials scandalized by long-entrenched cultivation of bhang (cannabis) to produce charas (hashish), as well khash-khash (opium poppy).

No, Swedish riots do not vindicate Trump

Posted on February 23rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

EuropeIt seemed pretty fortuitous for Donald Trump. He left heads scratching when he told a crowd of supporters at a rally in Florida on Feb. 18: "You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? They took in large numbers [of refugees]. They’re having problems like they never thought possible." A nice play to anti-immigrant hysteria, but there was one hitch: nothing had happened in Sweden the previous night. Critics had a field day with the bizarre flub, with Swedish activists even holding a mock "Pray for Sweden" vigil to taunt Trump. So it seemed a godsend for the prez when an immigrant district of Stockholm exploded into riots just three days later.

Deported to Honduras for a joint?

Posted on February 23rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

border wallThat's what almost happened to Josue Romero, a 19-year-old art student in San Antonio who had received a work permit under Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which is now threatened by Trump. Picked up on a minor pot bust Feb. 21, Romero was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), held for two days—and told by ICE agents that he would be deported to Honduras. Instead, he was released, without explanation. "I can't describe how I feel. I just want to break down and cry," Romero told the San Antonio Express-News after his release.  "I was kind of devastated. Because I’ve never known a life outside of San Antonio."

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