Global Ganja Report News Blog

Albania emerges as top European cannabis hub

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

EuropeItalian police say Albania, the impoverished Balkan country just across the Adriatic Sea, is the source for vast quantities of cannabis entering G8 and EU member Italy. In the latest major haul in July, Italian Finance Police intercepted a full metric ton of cannabis from a speedboat along the coast of southern Puglia region. Four crewmen were arrested—two Italian and two Albanian. This came one month after the Finance Police released the results of months of air reconnaissance of Albania's hinterland, undertaken in a joint operation with Albanian police—identifying 500 cannabis plantations, accounting for a combined production of 1,000 metric tons with an estimated retail value of 4.5 billion euros. Over the past 20 years since the fall of its rigidly closed Communist dictatorship, Albania has won the title of "Europe's Afghanistan" for its prodigious cannabis production.

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

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

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

SCOTUS turns down appeal of rescheduling case

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

SCOTUSThe US Supreme Court on Oct. 7 rejected a challenge to the federal government's classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no legitimate medical use. Challenger Americans for Safe Access contended that more than 200 studies have established that cannabis is safe and effective in relieving pain and nausea, and in relieving the effects of chemotherapy, among other medical uses. But federal courts have let stand the Drug Enforcement Administration's stance that the studies are insufficient.

Mexico: eradication ops sweep Golden Triangle

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoAs harvest season approaches in northern Mexico's remote and rugged Golden Triangle, army and police forces are carrying out aggressive cannabis eradication campaigns. Commanders of the Fifth Military Region—straddling the states of Jalisco and Zacatecas—report that over the month of September, 882  marijuana plants covering an area of 115 hectares were burned in their fields, along with 284 opium plants covering 19 hectares. Military forces in Durango state gave a figure of 23 metric tons of harvested cannabis desrtroyed, as well as 500 combined marijuana and opium plants.

Swiss decrim law takes effect

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeA cannabis decriminalization law took effect in Switzerland Oct. 1. From the start of this month, possession of up to 10 grams is punishable only by a fine of 100 Swiss Francs (approximately $110) for those over the age of 18. The new law is an effort to unify what had been a patchwork of policies that varied by locality. The measure is expected to save money by cutting back on the 30,000 cannabis-related cases that make their way to the courts each year.

Gulf Cartel's Guatemalan jefe busted in Chiapas

Posted on October 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Central AmericaMexican federal police on Oct. 4 announced the apprehension of a fugitive Gulf Cartel operative, Eduardo Francisco Villatoro Cano AKA "Guayo"—wanted in Guatemala for a bloody attack on police earlier this year. Guayo was captured in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of southern Chiapas state, bordering Guatemala. Guatemalan authorities hold him responsible for a June armed attack on a National Civil Police post in Salcajá, Quetzaltenango, in which nine officers were killed.  He was arrested along with his cousin, Édgar Waldiny Herrera Villatoro AKA "El Gualas." Although both men are Guatemalan nationals, they were said to be serving as agents of Mexico's Gulf Cartel. They were turned over to authorities in Guatemala, where President Otto Perez Molina said the Gulf Cartel network in the country has now been dismantled.

Iran smuggles pills, hash to Gulf states?

Posted on October 1st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastThe growing paranoia about Iranian hashish flooding the puritanical Persian Gulf states will doubtless be jacked up by the latest busts—three Iranian men arrested off Dubai by security forces of the United Arab Emirates, accused of smuggling 223 kilograms of hash and nearly 20,000 Tramadol pills in the diesel tanks of their dhow. The Sept. 30 bust comes as a 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker was charged with possessing 10,350 Tramadol pills for distribution in the UAE. Days earlier, agents of Kuwait's Drug Control Department nabbed a Kuwaiti citizen and an accused accomplice of unspecified Arab origin in possession of 8 kilograms of hashish and 5,000  Tramadol  tablets. (Gulf News, Sept. 30; Arab Times, Sept. 28)

Mexico: pressure mounts for legalization

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

MexicoA group of leading Mexican intellectuals, celebrities and political figures issued an open letter, published as a paid ad in national newspapers Sept. 25, calling for decriminalize cannabis as a means to reduce drug war violence. "Mexico has paid a high cost for applying the punitive policy of prohibition," the letter read. "We know well that neither decriminalization nor any other individual measure represents a panacea to end the violence, corruption and lawlessness in Mexico. But effective decriminalization of marijuana consumption by raising the dose permitted for personal use is a step in the right direction." (Mexico passed a limited decriminalization measure in 2009.) The letter also favorably noted Uruguay's recent move to legalize possession and cultivation of cannabis under state regulation.

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