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Bill Weinberg's blog

Saudi hashish seizures: Taliban blowback?

Posted on September 13th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Middle EastThe arch-puritanical rulers of Saudi Arabia can't be happy about this. A Saudi border patrol ship intercepted a boat loaded with a half-ton of hashish bound for the kingdom's shores on the Persian Gulf Sept. 6—after an exchange of fire with the crew, in which two of the smugglers were shot, one fatally. The three surviving traffickers, identified as Iranian, were taken into custody, along with 552 kilograms of hashish. (Saudi Gazette, Sept. 11; Arab News, Sept. 8)

Washington and Colorado: the empire chills out?

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabisDeputy Attorney General James Cole, the same who authored a notorious 2011 memo asserting that federal cannabis enforcement remains a "core priority" even in states that have passed medical marijuana laws, has just issued a new memorandum seeming to clarify Justice Department reaction to the legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state. While it is written in the usual dense bureaucratese that often hides as much as it reveals, on balance it appears to represent a retreat from the hardline posture the Obama administration has assumed regarding medicinal cannabis over the past two years. The text of the Aug. 29 memo is provided by our comrades at CelebStoner:

Medical Marijuana: The Struggle for Herbal Healing

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

cannabis ediblesOver the past generation, an informal alliance of activists, cultivators, entrepreneurs and medical professionals has struggled to redefine how the United States views the cannabis plant. Victories at state and municipal levels have created a new field of medicinal treatment for a wide variety of ailments in California and other mostly western states. Medical marijuana marks the starkest point in the divide between an industrial model of healthcare and a millennia-long tradition of herbal self-treatment—because nowhere else has the federal government been so intransigent.

Anti-cocaine vaccine approaches human trials

Posted on June 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

cocaineRaw Story reported May 12 that researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have successfully used a vaccine to produce a long-lasting anti-cocaine immunity in non-human primates. "The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-man before it can reach the brain," the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, said in a press release. "We believe this strategy is a win-win for those individuals, among the estimated 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States, who are committed to breaking their addiction to the drug. Even if a person who receives the anti-cocaine vaccine falls off the wagon, cocaine will have no effect." Human clinical trials for the vaccine are expected soon.

Seeing patterns, from Colombia to Cape Town

Africa and the War on DrugsFor those who have been wondering what the truth is behind the media sensationalism about global cartels establishing Africa as their new theater of operations, Africa and the War on Drugs  by Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig (Zed Books, London, 2012) clears the air in a welcome way.

The authors, a pair of British academics, portray a strategy by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hype the threat and replicate the hardline policies pursued in Latin America and elsewhere on the African continent. Drug trafficking has definitely been growing in Africa in recent years—ironically, the authors argue, as a result of "successes" in Latin America. As the old cartels and their smuggling routes were broken up, new more fragmented networks have sought new routes and markets. This conveniently coincided with South Africa's reintegration to the world economy after the end of apartheid, and more generally with Africa's globalization.

Reefer Rabbis

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Cannabis ChassidisHere's a little experiment to determine immediately if you will like the book Cannabis Chassidis: The Ancient and Emerging Torah of Drugs, now available from Brooklyn's anarchist-oriented Autonomedia. Author Yoseph Leib has determined that the three letters in the Hebrew word for "smoke," ashan (ayin, shin and nun), work out numerologically to... 420. Get it? Mazel tov, dude!

Truth-telling Iraq vet is medical cannabis user

Posted on April 7th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Tomas YoungTomas Young, a disabled Iraq war veteran in Kansas City, Mo., made fame last month when he announced his intention to end his own life in a scathing open letter to George Bush and Dick Cheney. In the letter, online at TruthDig, Young says he joined the army out of a sense of duty after 9-11—and felt betrayed by his deployment to Iraq:

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

Who's new

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