Has drug war made Mexico second most dangerous country on Earth?

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

MexicoProtests have been held in Mexico over the slaying of an award-winning journalist on May 15—the latest in a long line of reporters killed for daring to cover the country's ongoing nightmarish narco-violence. Javier Valdez was founder and editor of weekly newspaper Ríodoce in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state and principal stronghold of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel. Ríodoce staff pledged to carry on his work in spite of threats. Valdez was the sixth Mexican journalist killed so far this year.

Florida health department tries to stop herbaceous medical pot

Posted on May 18th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FloridaFlorida is rapidly shaping up as a test case in whether the term "medical marijuana" necessarily has to include actual herbaceous cannabis. On May 15, the state's  Health Department ordered Quincy-based Trulieve dispensary to stop selling a "whole flower" product—officially intended for use in vaporizers but which can of course also be smoked. Trulieve just last week began sales of product dubbed “Entourage,”—named for the so-called "entourage effect," the synergistic workings of the various compounds in the actual cannabis flower. product meant to be used in the Volcano vaporizer, last week, reports Orlando Weekly. The Health Department's cease-and-desist letter came after local media reports about the sales of Entourage.

Brazil, Bolivia launch joint anti-narco operation

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .
BoliviaBolivia and Brazil agreed to a joint plan to fight criminal gangs that operate on their shared jungle border, long pourous for drug and arms traffickers. The decision was taken at a Brasilia meeting between Brazil's Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio and Bolivia's Government Minister Carlos Romero on May 13. The plan includes establishment of new border checkpoints in the Bolivian outposts of Bella Vista and Puerto Evo and the Brazilian villages of Costa Marques and Plácido de Castro. It establishes mechanisms for sharing intelligence, and operations to secure control of air-space over the border zone. It also calls for joint military training between the two countries.

Oregon: controversy over legal cannabis revenues

Posted on May 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

OregonOregon voted to legalize cannabis way back in November 2014, but promises of state coffers filled with canna-dollars are apparently being held up by an arcane bureaucratic logjam. Newsweek just noted a May 5 report from Oregon's KWG News finding that the state has brought in close to $75 million in cannabis tax revenue since the start of 2016—yet not a penny has gone to actually closing Salem's yawning $1.6 billion budget deficit.

Cannabis reverses aging processes in brain: study

Posted on May 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

THCHere's some counterintuitive news for those who have been hammered all their lives with claims that cannabis causes memory loss. A new study by scientists at the University of Bonn, written up in the journal Nature Medicine, finds that aging mice treated with daily small doses of THC actually experienced a reversal of cognitive decline. That is, they started doing better on cognitive tasks, such as going though a maze. The researchers foresee potential cannabis-based treatment to fend off dementia. "If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care then that is more than we could have imagined," said study leader Andras Bilkei-Gorzo.

Trump's troubling 'bromance' with Philippines' drug war strongman

Posted on May 8th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' inimitable President Rodrigo Duterte is being his usual charming self. The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, arrived in the country on May 5 to attend a conference on drug policy and human rights at the University of the Philippines. Callamard is of course a harsh critic of Duterte's campaign of police and paramilitary terror against low-level drug dealers and users. Duterte wasted not a moment in voicing defiance, warning drug users: "And here's the shocker: I will kill you. I will really kill you. And that's why the rapporteur of the UN is here, investigating extrajudicial killing."

Reynosa shoot-outs: death throes of Gulf Cartel?

Posted on May 7th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

MexicoMexico's northeastern border state of Tamaulipas—just across from Texas' Gulf Coast—has for years been engulfed in an under-reported war, as the Gulf Cartel and its rogue offspring the Zetas battle for dominance over the narco-trafficking "plaza" (zone of control). The current flare-up in the border town of Reynosa may signal a turning point. Street gun-battles have become so common in the town that authorities have instituted a color-coded alert system to warn citizens. The town has been on "red alert" repeatedly over the past days, and there are signs that the long struggle is entering an endgame.

Florida: is it 'medical marijuana' if you can't smoke it?

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

FloridaFollowing last-minute changes, the lower house of Florida's legislature on May 2 voted 105-9 to pass HB 1397, ostensibly following through on the voter mandate to establish a medical marijuana program in the Sunshine State. But those last-minute changes included both a limit on the number of license holders—and a ban on actually smoking herbaceous cannabis. House sponsor and Republican leader Ray Rodrigues blamed fears of interference from the Trump administration, telling the Tampa Bay Times: "We have to make it legal and available to Florida residents, but we have to do it in such a way that it complies to the guidance we’ve been given by the federal government."

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