Colombia: countdown to legal medical marijuana

Posted on November 20th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColombiaColombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, in an interview with BBC Mundo Nov. 13, said he was ready to issue a decree legalizing medical marijuana, and would act within a matter of days. "It is now scientifically proven that marijuana has a variety of medicinal attributes," he said. "There is great demand, and there are companies in Canada and the United States that are utilizing marijuana for a variety of therapeutic and medicinal treatments." He said the decree would provide a regulatory framework for production, distribution and commercialization of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

US to seek extradition of Colombian cocaleros?

Posted on November 20th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ColombiaAfter 50 years of internal war, Colombia finally seems to be approaching a peace accord with leftist guerillas. But the US Senate is considering legislation that could throw a big obstacle on Colombia's path to peace. The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, sponsored by Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), aims to target every link in the chain of narco-trafficking—right down the impoverished peasants who grow the coca. The bill has unanimously passed the Senate twice before, but has never cleared the House. On Oct. 7, it passed the Senate a third time, and a big push is on to make it law of the land. "Since drug cartels are continually evolving, this legislation ensures that our criminal laws keep pace," said Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Another giant cannabis bust Peru's Áncash

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

PeruAnother massive marijuana raid is reported from Peru's high Andean region of Áncash, which is quickly emerging as the country's key cannabis cultivation zone. Newspaper Primera Página reports that the National Police force's new and unsubtly named "Green Squad" discovered a field with 1,463 plants in the hamlet of San Miguel Chico, Caraz district. The crop was burned in the field. A photo in Correo newspaper of the police operation shows cannabis plants interspersed with corn stalks, so it is fairly clear that legal crops were also burned in the raid. The Huaylas Provincial Prosecutor's office has issued an arrest order for the landowner.

DEA busts nephews of Venezuela's 'First Combatant'

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

VenezuelaTwo nephews of the wife of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro were arrested this week in Haiti, turned over to DEA agents and flown to the United States to face drug trafficking charges, the New York Times reports Nov. 11. The two men, Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, are nephews of Cilia Flores—called by the populist Maduro the "First Combatant" rather than first lady. Flores is a powerful political figure in her own right, and is currently running for Venezuela's congress with the ruling party. The nephews are expected to appear this week in Federal District Court in Manhattan. They were charged in a sealed indictment accusing them of conspiring to ship 800 kilograms of cocaine to the United States, to be sold in New York City, according to a "person with knowledge of the matter."

North Carolina legalizes industrial hemp

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

leafIndustrial hemp became legal in North Carolina on Oct. 31 as Gov. Pat McCrory failed to either sign or veto Senate Bill 313 after allowing it to sit on his desk for nearly a month. The bill mandates creation of a state Industrial Hemp Commission to oversee research in industrial hemp under terms of the new federal Farm Bill. The ultimate aim is to "provide opportunities to small farmers for an environmentally sustainable and profitable use of crop lands that might otherwise be lost to agricultural production," according to the text of the new law. A hemp cultivation pilot program is to be established by North Carolina State University

Seneca Indian Nation approves medical marijuana initiative

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

New YorkMembers of the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York state voted up a referendum Nov. 3 giving tribal leaders approval to move towards setting up a medical marijuana business on their territories. The measure passed by a vote of 448-364, giving the Seneca Nation Council the power to draft laws and regulations allowing the manufacture, use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes. "A decision on our Nation's path of action on medical cannabis is far from made," cautioned Seneca President Maurice A. John Sr. in comments to the Buffalo News. "But now, having heard from the Seneca people, our discussions and due diligence can begin in earnest."

Did 'greed' sabotage Ohio legalization initiative?

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

leafVoters in Ohio on Nov. 3 rejected a proposal to legalize medical and recreational use of cannabis. Issue 3 would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow regulated quantities, and also made cannabis available for medical use in the same vote—a unique approach nationally. It would additionally have permitted retail sale of cannabis-infused products, and created a "Marijuana Control Commission" to oversee the industry. Complicating matters, the Ohio General Assembly put a competing initiative on the ballot, Issue 2, which would have blocked Issue 3 by prohibiting the granting of special rights by the state constitution. This "anti-monopoly measure" was aimed at barring Issue 3 language that would establish exclusive rights to produce cannabis for the retail market. If both had passed, a legal quagmire loomed. In the actual fact, Issue 2 was approved while Issue 3 was defeated by over 63% of voters. (Jurist, Nov. 4; WLWT, Cincinnnati, Nov. 3; NYT, Nov. 1)

Mexico: high court upholds individual right to cannabis

Posted on November 5th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoIn a 4-to-1 decision on Nov. 4, the Criminal Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the prohibition of consumption and cultivation of cannabis for personal use is unconstitutional, voiding five articles of the country's principal narcotics statute, the General Health Law. The court found that prohibition of cannabis consumption—or of cultivation for non-commercial purposes—violates the right to "free development of the personality," enshrined in Aricle 19 of the Mexican Constitution. The landmark decision only applies to the actual plaintiffs who challenged the prohibition provisions of the General Health Law, but loans weight to legalization proposals being prepared in Mexico's Congress. "They're noting this case and using it in their favor to present a law that will be in agreement and will protect people's rights," Moy Schwartzman, attorney for the plaintiffs, was quoted by AP.

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