Global Ganja Report News Blog

George Zimmerman acquitted

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use was allowed by the judge, but not submitted in the George Zimmerman murder trial, which wrapped up this week in Florida with a not guilty verdict. As a result, when the defense rested its case on July 11, jurors did not hear about the trace amounts of THC that were uncovered in Martin’s autopsy. The limited value of the evidence likely played a part in the defense team's decision. The THC level (around 1.5 nanograms, according to the medical examiner) almost certainly indicates that any marijuana use by Martin didn't take place on the evening that he was shot by Zimmerman and probably wasn’t even recent.

United Kingdom to ban khat

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

khatThe herbal stimulant khat is to be banned by the British government—against the advice of its own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. In January the ACMD said khat should remain a legal substance, finding "insufficient evidence" it caused health problems. But Home Secretary Theresa May announced her decision to ban it last week, saying the risks posed could have been underestimated. Khat will be treated as a class C drug, along with anabolic steroids and ketamine. The Home Office said the ban was intended to "protect vulnerable members of our communities." 

New Hampshire moves toward medical marijuana

Posted on June 29th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Last week, both houses of the New Hampshire legislature voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill permitting doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to many patients with chronic or terminal illnesses. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) said she would sign the bill. The New Hampshire bill is somewhat less permissive than medical marijuana laws in many other states, with compromise language that denies patients the right to grow cannabis at home, or to use it for post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill also includes restrictions aimed at ensuring that patients do not engage in "doctor shopping" in order to obtain a cannabis prescription. Doctors may only prescribe to those who have been their patients for at least 90 days, and who have already tried other treatments. (Think Progress, June 28)

Legal battles over Dutch coffee house crackdown

Posted on June 22nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeDutch prosecutors are seeking up to one-month suspended prison terms for owners and staff of cannabis cafes in Maastricht for selling pot to foreigners in defiance of the new law. But meanwhile the Netherlands government was ordered to pay damages to owners of cannabis cafes after a court in The Hague said new measures turning the coffee-houses into members-only clubs were too harsh. The amount the state must pay is still to be determined. (The Age, June 13; BBC News, June 5)

Colorado 'pot porn' reg goes down to defeat

Posted on June 15th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColoradoUS District Judge Richard Matsch in Denver on June 11 struck down a Colorado law that would have required businesses to place cannabis-related magazines behind counters. Matsch ordered a permanent injunction against Amendment 64 which would have treated cannabis-related magazines as pornographic material. The ruling comes a week after publishers and bookstores filed a lawsuit against the state.

'Drug war' dissent at OAS summit

Posted on June 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Central AmericaMore than 160 civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens in Mexico, Central America and the United States, sent an open letter to the OAS General Assembly meeting in the Guatemalan city of Antigua this week,  calling for alternatives to the "war on drugs" that guarantee respect for human rights. "Our organizations have documented an alarming increase in violence and human rights violations. While we recognize that transnational crime and drug-trafficking play a role in this violence, we call on our governments to acknowledge that failed security policies that have militarized citizen security have only exacerbated the problem, and are directly contributing to increased human suffering in the region," the letter states.

Vermont decriminalizes cannabis

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on June 6 signed into law a bill passed by the state legislature that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis or five grams of hashish.  Shumlin's signature make Vermont the 17th state to remove criminal penalties for possessing small quantities of cannabis—including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire. "This change just makes common sense," Shumlin said as he signed the bill. "Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana." (Drug War Chronicle, June 6)

ACLU report finds racial disparities in cannabis arrests

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

leafA report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) June 4 finds a racial bias in cannabis arrest rates, with Blacks 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites. The report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White," is the first of its kind, concluding that the "war" on cannabis is a failure, with billions of dollars wasted on racially biased arrests. The ACLU found that both marijuana arrestsand racial disparities in these arrests increased between 2001 and 2010—despite the fact that Black and white folk use cannabis at a similar rate. In some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, Blacks were up to eight times as likely to be arrested. The report offers suggestions on policy and policing:

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