'Synthetic marijuana' scare in New York

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

New York A rather sensationalistic piece in the New York Times last month luridly headlined: "Drug 85 Times as Potent as Marijuana Caused a 'Zombielike' State in Brooklyn." Apparently, emergency medical technicians called to a "mass casualty event" in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood reported multiple people at the scene, "all of whom had a degree of altered mental status that was described by bystanders as 'zombielike,'" according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Blood and urine samples drawn from eight of the 18 men hospitalized that day revealed they had taken a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA, originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with the street names "AK-47" or "24 Karat Gold." It is said to be 85 times as potent as the main agent in natural cannabis, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

DC Cannabis Coalition plans inauguration day smoke-in

Posted on January 5th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisCannabis advocates have been cautiously awaiting the moment of reckoning when the incoming Trump administration reveals how it will handle the growing groundswell for legalization. Now the DC Cannabis Coalition announces that it will make the point by smoking a joint—in public, on Inauguration Day. USA Today reports that the group plans to start handing out joints at 8 AM Jan. 20 in DC's Dupont Circle. Then, marchers will walk to the National Mall for the main rally—and light up. “The main message is it’s time to legalize cannabis at the federal level," said Adam Eidinger, founder of DCMJ, the group that pushed for the successful legalization initiative in the District of Columbia in 2014.

Brazil: 60 dead in narco-fueled prison massacre

Posted on January 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

BrazilA New Year's Day prison riot in Brazil's Amazon riverport city of Manaus left up to 60 dead before aithorities re-established control the following morning—with many of the bodies decapitated, mutilated and burned. The uprising at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex (COMPAJ) is the bloodiest of several such episodes in recent years, pointing to extreme overcrowding in Brazil's prison system and effective control of many facilities by drug gangs. Authorities in Amazonas state say the COMPAJ rebellion was sparked by a fight between rival gangs. Local media reported that several of the dead had their decapitated bodies thrown over the prison wall. Twelve  guards were taken hostage, and a still undetermined number of inmates escaped.

Flogged for cannabis in Saudi Arabia

Posted on January 2nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

Middle EastSaudi Arabia, already under scrutiny for its draconian punishments for drug offenses and other victimless crimes, just registered yet another medieval barbarism. Bahrain's Gulf Digital News reported Dec. 27 that a man convicted of possession of 59 kilograms of cannabis (about 130 pounds) was sentenced to 10 years in prison—and 1,200 lashes. The Criminal Court in Mecca also fined the presumed trafficker 100,000 riyals (about $25,000) and banned him from travelling abroad for 10 years on serving his term. He was arrested by a police patrol after a search of his vehicle found the stash hidden inside the spare wheel.

Oregon: top legal grower hit by violent robbery

Posted on January 1st, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

OregonFrom Oregon comes the ominous news of the first violent robbery on a state-licensed cannabis grow since the recent wave of legalization initiatives. The Oregonian reported Dec. 30 that James Bowman, 56, a licensed cultivator in the town of Wimer, was tied up and severely beaten when four masked intruders raided his home two weeks earlier. Bowman suffered a broken nose and black eyes in the Dec. 16 attack, while the assailants made off with his entire harvested crop—filling a rented U-Haul truck with hundreds of pounds. Bowman was discovered hours later by two of his workers. The robbers left the door to his house open, with Bowman tied up inside.

Finland's drug czar busted for hashish smuggling

Posted on December 30th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

EuropeOn Dec. 29, Finland's former drug czar,  Jari Aarnio, was sentenced by a district court in Helsinki to a 10-year prison term on charges of smuggling nearly 800 kilograms of hashish into the country from the Netherlands. Aarnio stepped down as head of Helsinki's drug squad—the highest anti-narcotics post in the country—in 2013, when he was charged wth corruption in a case related to his interest in a company that sold surveillance equipment to his own force. The investigation in that case unleashed new revelations, ultimately leading to his indictment along with 12 other defendants in the hashish scheme. The ring is said to have brought in the 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) in barrels between 2011 and 2012. The court ordered that Aarnio be taken into custody immediately, and he is now locked up in Helsinki's  Vantaa Prison.

Massachusetts to get country's biggest legal grow

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

MassachusettsDenver-based AmeriCann is planning to develop what will be the United States' largest medical marijuana facility in Freetown, Mass. At one million square feet, the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center is planned for a tract in the Bristol County town formerly slated for a brewery by the Boston Beer Co. Boston Business Journal reports that AmeriCann bought the property this fall for $4.475 million. AmeriCann CEO Tim Keogh said the facility will be "the place in the northeast US for the creation of a wide variety of exciting new advanced products for medical cannabis patients."

Mexico: caravan for missing students arrives in capital

Posted on December 27th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged .

MexicoThe case of 43 college students from the Mexican village of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in September 2014—and were allegedly murdered by a local narco-gang—continues to elicit outrage. Now, the parents of the missing students held a cross-country mobilization for justice in the case, arriving in Mexico City on Christmas Day.

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