Global Ganja Report News Blog

Cannabis decrim bills introduced in Mexico

Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoLawmakers from Mexico's left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) introduced legislation last week to decriminalize cannabis in an effort to curb cartel violence. One bill, introduced in the federal Congress, builds on the partial decrim passed in 2009, increasing "personal use" quantities from five to 30 grams. It also includes provisions allowing for use of medical marijuana. Another bill in the Federal District's Legislative Assembly would instruct police and judges in Mexico City to deprioritize prosecution of cannabis violations. It would also create "tolerance zones," where cannabis could be sold openly, and "dissuasion commissions" to which violators could be assigned in lieu of criminal charges.

Medical marijuana advocates welcome banking policy change

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchMedical marijuana advocates are applauding a new memorandum (PDF) issued Feb. 14 by the US departments of Treasury and Justice giving long-awaited guidance to financial institutions to provide services to cannabis-related businesses in states where such commerce is legal. The memo "clarifies customer due diligence expectations and reporting requirements for financial institutions seeking to provide services to marijuana businesses," said a press release issued by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The memo also includes clarity for credit card service companies, such as VISA and MasterCard, whose services for cannabis-related businesses had also been suspended for years.

Italy's high court strikes down tough cannabis law

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ItalyItaly's Constitutional Court on Feb. 12 struck down a 2006 drug law that tripled sentences for selling, cultivating or trafficking cannabis, declaring the law to be "illegitimate." The law, passed by the conservative government of now-disgraced prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was blamed for harsh prison overcrowding. An estimated 10,000 people may be released with its repeal.

Crime wars rock Venezuela

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

VenezuelaAt least two people were shot dead Feb. 12 in student protests in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. An anti-government protester and a pro-government activist were each killed in an exchange of fire as rival demonstrators clashed, officials said.  "He was a comrade assassinated by the right-wing fascist hordes," National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello said of the second victim, a community leader from a poor neighborhood. At least 23 have been injured in demonstrations across the country. President Nicolas Maduro is under mounting criticism for the country's economic woes and high levels of violent crime. (Reuters, BBC News, Feb. 12)

Congress calls on Obama to reclassify cannabis

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

medical marijuanaEighteen members of Congress joined together Feb. 12 in calling on President Barack Obama to use his authority to reclassify cannabis from its current position as a dangerous drug with no medical value, alongside heroin and LSD. The letter (PDF) says that cannabis' current status "makes no sense," and requests that Obama "instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way." The Congressional letter comes just days after Obama told The New Yorker magazine that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol.

Calabria connection broken in NYC-Italy cocaine sting?

Posted on February 11th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

ItalyA 15-count indictment was unsealed Feb. 11 in a Brooklyn federal court, charging seven defendants with narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses based on what an FBI press release calls their participation in a "transnational heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy involving the ‘Ndrangheta, one of Italy's most powerful organized crime syndicates." Italy's Polizia di Stato simultaneously announced the arrest of another 17 in the southern province of Reggio di Calabria by troops of the elite Central Anti-Crime Directorate. The coordinated international operation for two years monitored narco-trafficking networks between Latin America, Italy, Canada and the US. The Italian hub of the ring was identified as the port of Gioia Tauro in Reggio di Calabria. 

Mexico: mass graves unearthed in Coahuila

Posted on February 11th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoAuthorities in the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila announced Feb. 7 that they had recovered at least 500 sets of human remains from mass graves scattered across 11 municipalities—mostly in the north of the state, along the Texas border. Most of the remains were bones, which had largely survived apparent attempts at incineration. Several vats used to dissolve the remains in acid were also found in the graves. No group has been named as responsible for the killings, but Coahuila is a battle-ground in the ongoing war between the Zetas and their rivals in the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels. The Mexican media are calling the finds "narco-graves." The state Prosecutor General's office says it will take at least four months to ascertain the number of victims among the remains, much less identify them. (Latin Times, Feb. 10; Siglo de Torreón, Feb. 8; Pulso, SLP, Feb. 7)

Vietnam sentences 30 to death in prison drug trial

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

South East AsiaA court in Vietnam's northern province of Quang Ninh sentenced 30 people to death for heroin smuggling last month, in what was called the largest such trial ever held in the country—both in terms of the number of defendants and of death sentences handed down. Dozens of others received prison terms from two years to life. In recognition of the sensitivity of the case, the trial was actually held at the provincial prison rather than a courtroom. Quang Ninh, bordering China, is a transit route between the inland opium-producing Golden Triangle and the South China Sea. (See map.)

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