Philippines' anti-narco strongman threatens martial law

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaIn his latest outrage, the Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte now threatened to actually impose martial law across the country if the drug problem became "very virulent." Reuters on Jan. 16 quoted him as saying: "If I wanted to, and it will deteriorate into something really very virulent, I will declare martial law. No one can stop me." In a comment apparently directed at the Supreme Court and Congress, he voiced open defiance of legal norms: "My country transcends everything else, even the limitations."

Brazil: yet another narco-fueled prison massacre

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

BrazilYet another deadly prison riot is reported from Brazil. This time, rival gangs clashed for control of a pavilion at Alcaçuz State Penitentiary, in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte. The riot began early Jan. 14; police surrounded the prison that night, but waited until noon the next day to enter due to reports that rebel inmates had armed themselves. At press time, the state’s military police and elite Special Operations Batallion are trying to negotiate the surrender of the inmates, according to Brazilian news blog Plus55. The state government has confirmed at least 10 deaths, but the number is expected to rise—Reuters already puts it as high as 30. Some of the victims are said to have been decapitated.

Haiti: ex-coup leader busted for coke trafficking

Posted on January 15th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

HaitiGuy Philippe, a former paramilitary boss and coup leader who was elected to Haiti's Senate in November, was arrested by the DEA on Jan. 5—just days before he would have been sworn into office and obtained immunity. Philippe had been wanted by the US since 2005 on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine and money laundering.

Feds blast Chicago cops, reach deal over Baltimore abuses

Posted on January 14th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Chicago The US Justice Department on Jan. 13 issued a report charging the Chicago Police Department with a pattern of civil rights abuses. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the federal probe, covering the period from 2012 to 2016, found that the Chicago police force "engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force that violates the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution." The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.

Hackers hit cannabis dispensary tracking software

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAmid all the current paranoia about hackers infiltrating the highest levels of American politics comes the disturbing news that software used by cannabis businesses in over 20 states was attacked and compromised. The story was reported both by the cannabis industry trade website Marijuana Business Daily and tech sites that monitor such attacks, including Hackbusters and DataBreaches. The software, known as MJ Freeway, is used for "seed-to-sale" tracking of cannabis in states that have legalized or passed medical marijuana laws. The Denver-based company said its main servers and backup system both went down the morning of Jan. 8, and remained offline as of the next afternoon.

Europe's 'last dictatorship' finally bans cannabis cultivation

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

EuropeFrom Russian state media outlet Sputnik comes the surprising news that Belarus has banned cannabis cultivation with a Dec. 31 decree from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The surprise isn't that growing was banned—but that it hadn't been banned already. The former Soviet republic's best claim to fame is as "Europe's last dictatorship." Strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for over 20 years now, resorting to probable fraud and definite repression to hold on to the presidency. After Lukashenko was accused of stealing the 2010 elections, there was a popular protest movement, put down wth mass arrests—with the opposition candidate himself sentenced to prison for inciting riots! No surprise that Lukashenko was "re-elected" with virtually no opposition in 2015. In last September's parliamentary elections, a few opposition candidates were for the first time allowed to take seats, leading some Belarus-watchers to hope for a "thaw." But Lukashenko is still running a very tight ship. Not exactly the kind of place you'd expect to be cannabis-friendly.

Hawaii ACLU files federal complaint over prison conditions

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Hawaii The Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Jan. 10 filed a complaint with the US Justice Department, demanding an investigation into the state's dangerously overcrowded prisons and jails. The complaint charges that horrific conditions at the facilities constitute a violation of the prisoners' Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. "What you have is cells that were designed for two inmates that now are housing four or five inmates," said Mateo Caballero, legal director for the Hawaii ACLU. "You have inmates sleeping on the floor next to leaky faucets or toilets. The conditions of jails and prisons in Hawaii have not improved in the last 30 years."

Sessions testimony on cannabis: strategic ambiguity?

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchAfter the first day of Senate confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, president-elect Trump's choice to lead the US Justice Department, cannabis advocates are parsing his testimony for clues as to what the incoming administration's stance will be on whether to continue to give breathing room to state-level legalization and medical marijuana laws. The Los Angeles Times takes an ominous view, writing in a headline: "Sessions leaves door open to reviving federal war on pot."

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