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Does North Korea have a more tolerant cannabis policy than South?

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

KoreaWell, absolutely not, but you could be forgiven for thinking so, based on a cursory review of recent headlines.

Although it hasn't made much of a splash stateside, the big news in the South this week is the "marijuana scandal" surrounding a singer from the suggestively named K-pop boy-band Big Bang, who goes by the stage-name T.O.P.

Kurdish guerillas behind Turkey's hashish trade?

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

TurkeySecurity forces in southeastern Turkey, where authorities have been waging a brutal counterinsurgency war against Kurdish guerillas, reported the seizure last week of 2,290 kilograms of hashish and 6,632 kilograms of unprocessed cannabis "in an operation against the drug activities of the PKK terrorist organization."

Philippines: protests against martial law

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaProtests are emerging in the Philippine against ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao last month. Over 100 former and current lawmakers, religious leaders and activists gathered in Manila for an interfaith rally on June 11, the Philippines' Independence Day., demanding an end to the official suspension of basic democratic rights in Mindanao.

US guns to Brazilian narco-gangs

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

BrazilAmid fast-escalating nightmarish narco-violence in Brazil comes disconcerting word that police in Rio de Janeiro seized 60 assault rifles hidden in a shipment of swimming-pool heating equipment that had just arrived on a flight from Miami. Pulse News Agency reported June 2 that the AK-47s and AR-10s were discovered in the cargo terminal of Rio's international airport. Photos of the haul showed weapons in the foam packaging they were flown in.

California assembly passes cannabis 'sanctuary state' bill

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

CaliforniaPortending an unprecedented showdown with federal power, California's State Assembly on June 1 approved a bill that would bar state and local law police from cooperating with the DEA and other federal agencies in cannabis enforcement efforts, unless compelled to do so by a court order. "Prohibiting our state and local law enforcement agencies from expending resources to assist federal intrusion of California-compliant cannabis activity reinforces...the will of our state's voters who overwhelmingly supported Proposition 64,” Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), lead author of the bill, told the Los Angeles Times when it was still pending.

DEA denies science on medical marijuana —again

Posted on May 30th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

THC Oops, he did it again. Acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg reiterated his oft-voiced opinion on May 25 that "marijuana is not medicine." The Washington Examiner reports that he told an audience at a clinic in Cleveland: "If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that's awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that... But let's run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let's stick to the science on it."

Homing pigeon flies ecstasy into Kuwait

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

Middle East One of those quirky stories on Fox News informs us this week that authorities in Kuwait intercepted a homing pigeon that had been outfitted with a little backpack containing 178 ecstasy pills. Kuwaiti authorities had apparently "tracked" the bird as it flew in from Iraq. A BBC News report suggests the airborne trafficker's error was to fly too close to a border post, where customs agents were already aware that smugglers were thusly exploiting our feathered friends. (BBC also says the payload was actually ketamine.)

Duterte declares martial law in south Philippines

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

South East AsiaAfter threatening to do it for months, the Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23 declared martial law on the conflicted southern island of Mindanao. The declaration takes immediate effect and will last for 60 days—officially. But in his comments upon the declaration, Duterte said it could last up to "a year"—and (not for the first time) favorably invoked the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, under whose harsh rule the Philippines saw a decade of martial law. "To those who have experienced martial law, it would not be any different from what president Marcos did," Duterte said. "I'll be harsh."

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