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Bill Weinberg's blog

Northern California sheriff appeals to feds in pot 'state of emergency'

Posted on October 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaIn California's far-north Siskiyou County, where last month supervisors voted to declare a "state of emergency" over illegal marijuana cultivation, the hardline Sheriff Jon Lopey has now appealed to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions for federal aid in his war on cannabis.

US-born jazz great denied entry to US on 50-year-old drug charge

Posted on October 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Alvin QueenBoth the absurdity of the war on drugs and the depravity of the current administration in Washington are illustrated by the maddening case of Alvin Queen, an internationally acclaimed jazz drummer who was denied entry to the US due to a minor drug arrest when he was still a teen—despite the fact that he was born in the country!

Indonesia unleashes 'shoot-to-kill' policy on drug suspects

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaIndonesian President Joko Widodo, following in the bloody footsteps of the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte, has issued a "shoot-on-sight" policy for drug suspects. The hardline policy comes amid a sudden media blitz about the drug "state of emergency" in the archipelago nation. Amnesty International says it believes at least 60 drug suspects (including at least eight foreigners) have been killed by Indonesian police so far this year—compared with just 18 in all of 2016.

Gotham ganjapreneurs schmooze at CannaGather confab

New York cannabisThe networking group CannaGather held its fifth confab at lower Manhattan's Galvanize venue Sept. 28, bringing together some 200 entrepreneurs, investors, press and activists from throughout the New York metropolitan area. Inspired by the New York tech industry meet-ups of the dot-com boom in the late '90s, CannaGather hopes to similarly connect people in a burgeoning industry and help spur its growth.

Philippines: Duterte threatens to kill his own son

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

South East AsiaIt is beginning to smack a little of desperation—or at least we hope it is. Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte—whose "war on drugs" has now reached the point of mass murder—was recently put on the hot spot when his own son was called to testify before a Senate hearing on drug corruption. Paolo Duterte is a vice-mayor of the same southern port city, Davao, where his dad had long served as mayor. The younger Duterte is accused of being part of a ring of corrupt officials that allowed methamphetamine shipments through the city's port. President Duterte has repeatedly boasted of his enthusiasm for killing drug suspects. Would his standards of rough justice apply to his own kith and kin?

Cannabis legalization coming to Kyrgyzstan?

Posted on September 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

KyrgyzstanThe post-Soviet republics of Central Asia have emerged as a key smuggling route for hashish making its way from Afghanistan to European markets—as well as developing their own local hashish (and opium) production. As ever, the illegal economy is breeding destructive gunplay throughout the region. But in these authoritarian nations, proosals for legalization have been marginalized—until now.

Emerald Triangle: Hmong pot growers lose in court

Posted on September 15th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA federal judge in Sacramento on Sept. 12 ruled that sheriff's deputies and other officials in Northern California's Siskiyou County did not discriminate against Hmong residents while carrying out marijuana enforcement operations and other investigations last year.

Khat thrives in independent Somaliland

Posted on September 14th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

SomalilandHere's a telling irony. We think of Somalia as a country that has basically had no functioning government for over a generation, and is beset by insurgents linked to al-Qaeda. Certainly, how a government treats a relatively harmless psychoactive herb is a good barometer of its general commitment to freedom. The herb in question here is khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially throughout the Horn of Africa. And we've noted how even the weak "official" government in Somalia has been cracking down on khat in a bid to appease the Shabaab insurgents.

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