Global Ganja Report News Blog

Lebanon: dissent grows to cannabis eradication

Posted on August 1st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Middle EastThere is growing support in Lebanon's cannabis-producing eastern region (the Bekaa Valley, for centuries a major hashish production zone) for a proposal from Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt for the government to legalize and purchase the crop from the area's struggling farmers, establishing a program of controlled distribution for medicinal purposes. Advocates of the proposal say the yearly eradication of the cannabis crop by the Central Drug Control Office has led to corruption, and is breeding resentment.

US expands Drug War to Africa

Posted on July 29th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

The New York Times reported July 21 that the US has begun training an elite unit of counternarcotics police in Ghana, and planning similar units in Nigeria and Kenya—part of an effort to combat the Latin American cartels that are increasingly using Africa to traffic cocaine to Europe. The decision comes despite controversy over a similar program in Central America. "We see Africa as the new frontier in terms of counterterrorism and counternarcotics issues," said Jeffrey P. Breeden, chief of the DEA's Europe, Asia and Africa section. "It's a place that we need to get ahead of — we’re already behind the curve in some ways, and we need to catch up."

Chihuahua official: CIA "manages" drug trade?

Posted on July 29th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

MexicoThe US Central Intelligence Agency and other international agencies "don't fight drug traffickers," a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico was quoted by Al Jazeera TV, saying that instead "they try to manage the drug trade." Charges from activists and academics about official complicity in the drug traffic are nothing new—but this was the first time a sitting official from a Mexican state government made such accusations. "It's like pest control companies, they only control," spokesman Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva reportedly told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Ciudad Juárez. "If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs."

California: reversals for medical cannabis in courts, city councils

Posted on July 29th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaOn July 25, the Los Angeles, the City Counted voted 14-0 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Each of the 762 dispensaries that have registered with the city are to be sent a letter ordering them to shut down immediately under threat of legal action. Cannabis advocates packed the council chambers and met the vote with jeers; more than a dozen LAPD officers were called in to quell them. Under the ban, medical patients and their caregivers will be able to grow and share cannabis in small groups of three or less. In a seemingly contradictory move, the council also voted to instruct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would allow a group of about 170 dispensaries that registered with the city several years ago to remain open. (LAT, July 24)

Medical cannabis advocates join Occupy Oakland to protest Obama

Posted on July 27th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

OaklandAs Barack Obama pressed the flesh at a fundraiser in Oakland's historic Fox Theater July 23, hundreds of medical marijuana supporters rallied nearby to oppose the Justice Department crackdown on California's dispensaries—and particularly to support the city's Harborside Health Center, now facing federal forfeiture proceedings. Speakers at the rally included many patients who said cannabis had helped them—and Stephen DeAngelo, Harborside's executive director, who called for a halt to actions against dispensaries and said the Justice Department should instead focus on the violent crime that plagues Oakland. "We are here for every medical cannabis patient around the world," DeAngelo said. Later, the cannabis advocates joined Occupy Oakland and assorted anti-war activists to block the intersection of 19th Street and Broadway. Police reported two arrests. (San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, July 23)

Anaheim: Kush Expo opens as violence explodes in streets

Posted on July 27th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe fourth bi-annual Kush Expo opened July 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center—an exposition of the latest in medical marijuana trends and technology, as well as an unabashed celebration of cannabis culture. This Expo was by far the largest, with more than 150 vendors, and over 14,000 attendees. Exhibitions ran the spectrum from a Los Angeles laboratory that tests homegrown cannabis strains for THC levels and for pesticides, to a Hot Kush Girl contest (OC Register, July 22) But as entrepreneurs and revelers schmoozed and toked in the convention center, police repression and angry protests were sweeping the streets of Anaheim... 

Judge Gustin Reichbach, medical cannabis advocate, dead at 65

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

New York CityBrooklyn judge Gustin Reichbach, who won notoriety two months ago when he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times expressing his support for medical marijuana, died July 14 after a nearly three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. In his May 16 op-ed, he wrote: "My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery... Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep." 

Fresno area dispensary operator hit with money laundering charges

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaMark Bagdasarian, a cannabis dispensary owner in Clovis, Calif, already facing possession and distribution charges, was hit with federal money laundering charges July 16. Federal prosecutors say Bagdasarian laundered money through ATMs at his Buds 4 Life dispensaries in Tarpey Village and Friant. Bagdasarian pleaded not guilty to the new charges. Prosecutors say Bagdasarian would take cash from cannabis sales—illegal under federal law—and load it into the ATMs at the dispensaries, to be withdrawn by customers.

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