Colombia: cocaine mega-busts keep coming

Posted on July 6th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Colombia Amid moves toward peace in Colombia, the goad of the war—the country's lucratice cocaine trade—clearly remains robust. In an international operation announced June 30, Colombian police joined with US and Italian authorities to confiscate a whopping 11 tons of cocaine in refrigerated containers ostensibly shipping tropical fruits to Europe. The stuff was mostly seized in Colombia, but was bound for the US and Europe. Of the 33 arrested in the operation, 22 were popped in Colombia and the rest in Italy. (El Tiempo, June 30)

Philippines prez urges citizens to kill 'drug addicts'

Posted on July 5th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaRodrigo Duterte was sworn in as president of the Philippines on June 30, and wasted no time in launching a foul-mouthed tirade threatening to unleash a reign of terror against drug users. After a staid inaugural speech at the presidential palace, he made a visit to a poor district of Manila where he expounded on his real agenda—and even called upon citizens to take the law into their own hands and kill "drug addicts." AFP news service noted this line from his profanity-laden harange before a crowd of some 500: "These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don't go into that, even if you're a policeman, because I will really kill you. If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful."

Adult Use of Marijuana Act makes California ballot

Posted on June 29th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaThe Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially made the California ballot on June 28, as the Secretary of State's office confirmed that enough signatures had been gathered—a total of 600,000. "Today marks a fresh start for California as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," Jason Kinney, a campaigner for the measure, told KTLA.  The initiative would allow adults ages 21 and up to possess, transport and consume up to an ounce of cannabis, and permit individuals to grow up to six plants. (Drug War Chronicle, June 29)

New round of dispensary raids in Toronto

Posted on June 24th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Canada Toronto police raided more cannabis dispensaries June 23—in a sequel to last month's "Project Claudia." Raids were reported on the Cannabis Culture and Canna Clinic dispensaries, both in the herb-friendly Yonge Street area. Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters he believed search warrants were executed at four locations. Cannabis Culture is run by Canada's crusading activist couple Marc and Jody Emery, who had voiced defiance after the May raids. Marc Emery stated at the time: "We refuse to be bullied by police and unjust, harmful, discriminatory law enforcement."

Paraguay: drug czar steps down after deadly anti-cannabis op

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Southern Cone Paraguay's top anti-drug official stepped down June 20, two days after a botched anti-cannabis operation left a three-year-old girl dead at the hands of his troops. Luis Rojas resigned as head of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), under apparent pressure from President Horacio Cartes. The deadly operation took place in Nueva Italia municipality of Central department, where SENAD troops searching for cannabis plantations apparently fired on a van—which proved to be carrying members of the Zanotti Cavazzoni family, owners of a local sugar plantation and mill. The girl's uncle was also wounded in the attack. The girl was the grand-daughter of Ulrico Zanotti Cavazzoni, local sugar oligarch and land-owner. One wonders if Rojas would have been forced to resign if it had just been a peasant's daughter who was killed.

Uruguay marks first legal cannabis harvest

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Uruguay The two companies responsible for cannabis production in Uruguay this week began the country's first legal harvest, claiming some 300 grams each from hundreds of plants gown in licensed indoor or greenhouse operations. The president of the National Drug Board (JND), Juan Andrés Roballo, announced that "soon the first harvest from the licensed companies" will be hitting the nation's pharamcies. The companies, International Cannabis Corp (ICCorp) and Simbiosys, with facilities on the outskirts of Montevideo, planted in February under the close oversight of the government's Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). The harvest will continue next week; then another six weeks for drying, manicuring and packing before it arrives in stores. This means by August, Uruguayans will be able to purchase packets of five or 10 grams at 50 licensed pharmacies. The price is set at one euro or $1.20 per gram.

Youth cannabis use drops in Colorado —surprise!

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Colorado"Colorado teens stubbornly refuse to smoke more weed." That's the smart-alecky headline over a chart of youth cannabis use rates that appeared in the Washington Post June 21. The story cites Colorado Health Department findings that rates of use among the state's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the herb was legalized there in 2012. In last year's figures, 21% of Colorado youths had used cannabis in the past 30 days. That is slightly lower than the national average, and down from 25% in 2009. The findings are based on a random survey of 17,000 middle and high school students. "The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally," the health department stated.

SCOTUS deals new blow to Fourth Amendment

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

SCOTUS The Supreme Court on June 20 ruled that evidence discovered in a police stop found to be illegal may still be used in court—with the caveat that the officers conducted their search after learning that the suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant. In a 5-3 ruling, the Supremes found that such searches do not violate the Fourth Amendment. The case, Utah v. Strieff, concerned Edward Strieff, who in December 2006 was stopped by an officer staking out a suspected drug-dealing location in South Salt Lake. Grounds for the stop were later ruled inadequate because it was not based on reasonable suspicion. During the stop, the officer ran a check and discovered Strieff had an outstanding warrant for a minor traffic violation, and conducted a search—finding a baggie full of methamphetamines and a pipe that was deemed paraphernalia. A district court later ruled that although the cop didn't have the right to stop Strieff, the evidence was admissible. The highest court in the land has now agreed.

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