Massachusetts top court strikes down sobriety tests for pot

Posted on September 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MassachusettsThe Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued a unanimous ruling  Sept. 19, voiding court testimony based on "sobriety tests" carried out by police on motorists suspected of driving while high on pot. The Boston Globe reports that in limiting evidence from the familiar roadside tests used to snare drunk drivers—walking in a straight line, standing on one foot—the court found there is no scientific consensus those tests definitively prove someone is under the influence of cannabis.

Colombia: Supreme Court justice gets prison

Posted on September 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged .

ColombiaFrancisco Javier Ricaurte Gómez, one of the most powerful men in Colombia's justice system for the past 15 years, on Sept. 20 became the first former chief magistrate of the country's Supreme Court to go to prison. Bogotá daily El Tiempo reports that Ricuarte faces four charges related to the corruption scandal now unfolding in Colombia's highest judicial body. The Fiscalía, the country's top prosecutor, says he is one of the brains behind a ring that took in millions of pesos to pervert criminal cases.

Philippines: Duterte threatens to kill his own son

Posted on September 20th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaIt is beginning to smack a little of desperation—or at least we hope it is. Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte—whose "war on drugs" has now reached the point of mass murder—was recently put on the hot spot when his own son was called to testify before a Senate hearing on drug corruption. Paolo Duterte is a vice-mayor of the same southern port city, Davao, where his dad had long served as mayor. The younger Duterte is accused of being part of a ring of corrupt officials that allowed methamphetamine shipments through the city's port. President Duterte has repeatedly boasted of his enthusiasm for killing drug suspects. Would his standards of rough justice apply to his own kith and kin?

Cannabis legalization coming to Kyrgyzstan?

Posted on September 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

KyrgyzstanThe post-Soviet republics of Central Asia have emerged as a key smuggling route for hashish making its way from Afghanistan to European markets—as well as developing their own local hashish (and opium) production. As ever, the illegal economy is breeding destructive gunplay throughout the region. But in these authoritarian nations, proosals for legalization have been marginalized—until now.

Norway's crime czar busted for hashish smuggling

Posted on September 18th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeA district court in Oslo on Sept. 18 sentenced Norway's former top police official for organized crime to 21 years in prison for conspiracy to smuggle hashish. Eirik Jensen was arrested in 2014 after being secretly filmed in a meeting with Gjermund Cappelen, said to be Norway's biggest hashish importer. The two men were tired together.

Emerald Triangle: Hmong pot growers lose in court

Posted on September 15th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA federal judge in Sacramento on Sept. 12 ruled that sheriff's deputies and other officials in Northern California's Siskiyou County did not discriminate against Hmong residents while carrying out marijuana enforcement operations and other investigations last year.

Khat thrives in independent Somaliland

Posted on September 14th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

SomalilandHere's a telling irony. We think of Somalia as a country that has basically had no functioning government for over a generation, and is beset by insurgents linked to al-Qaeda. Certainly, how a government treats a relatively harmless psychoactive herb is a good barometer of its general commitment to freedom. The herb in question here is khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially throughout the Horn of Africa. And we've noted how even the weak "official" government in Somalia has been cracking down on khat in a bid to appease the Shabaab insurgents.

Yemen hashish pipeline thrives amid war

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

Middle East Despite Saudi Arabia's penchant for beheading hashish smugglers, the stuff just keeps coming in. The latest big haul was reported in early September, when a Border Guard naval patrol seized 258 kilograms of hash at Jeddah, the country's principal Red Sea port. A vessel with three Yemeni nationals on board was also seized in the maritime operation—in what is now a familiar story. The flow of hashish entering from Saudi Arabia's war-torn southern neighbor has been increasing as the conflict in Yemen has escalated—whether it is coming up the Red Sea coast or over the rugged land border of harsh desert and mountains.

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