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Darfur: cannabis cover for counterinsurgency?

Posted on November 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

AfricaSudan's conflicted western region of Darfur has receded from the headlines since the wave of global concern about genocide there a decade ago. But horrific violence in the stark desert region continues—and there are signs that Sudan's regime is resorting to the tried-and-true tactic of using drug enforcement as a rationale for counterinsurgency. AFP reports that Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), usually used to fight rebels in the country's conflict areas, are now boasting a massive hashish haul of 19 metric tons in the state of South Darfur.

Peru: medical marijuana bill signed into law

Posted on November 19th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PeruPeru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Nov. 16 signed a bill to legalize the use of cannabis products and derivatives to treat medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. PPK, as he is popularly known, hailed the law as opening a new chapter in his country's approach to the herb. "Here we are breaking with a myth," he said, referring to marijuana's reputation as a dangerous drug. "Peru is turning several pages, moving toward modernity."

Haiti: narco-compromised army to be unleashed on drug gangs

Posted on November 19th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

HaitiAfter 13 years of occupying the country—during which they fired on protesters and accidentally introduced cholera to the island, setting off an epidemic—UN "peacekeepers" were finally withdrawn from Haiti in October. To take up the slack in figting drug gangs in the capital Port-au-Prince, the United Nations has called for increased international support for the 15,000-strong Haitian National Police.

Duterte backtracks on drug war de-escalation —surprise!

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

South East AsiaJust a matter of weeks after the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte won rare favorable headlines by pledging to pull the National Police out of his ultra-deadly "war on drugs," he is already backpeddaling and threatening to send them back in—as cynics had predicted. Duterte made his threat Nov. 18 in a speech at a business event in his hometown Davao City (where he first honed his death-squad tactics when he served there as mayor). "The drug problem, if it becomes worse again, the police has to enter the picture," he said in his typically crude syntax. "I want it eradicated if possible."  

Albania under pressure to catch 'big fish' of cannabis

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

AlbaniaThe Balkan country of Albania, trying to live down its pariah status as Europe's top cannabis producer, has cracked down hard in recent years, sparking instances of armed resistance from peasant growers. But despite repeated declarations that the country is "marijuana-free," the issue won't go away—and is coming to the fore once again as Albania seeks to join the European Union. The latest to lecture Albanian leaders is US ambassador Donald Lu, who this month warned that the country's criminal networks remain intact.

Mega-bust points to Spain as Europe's emerging cocaine gateway

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

SpainSpain made unwanted international headlines Oct. 7 when nearly four metric tons of cocaine worth an estimated $260 million was seized by Spanish customs officers in the Atlantic, headed for the Iberian peninsula. The haul was found on a tugboat between Portugal's Madeira and Azores islands, with 165 packages of cocaine each weighing 23 kilograms—for a total of 3.7 tons—concealed beneath the vessel's cooking area. The operation was jointly conducted with UK's National Crime Agency under the co-ordination of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon. The crew, from Turkey and Azerbaijan, were arrested.

Duterte drug war de-escalation: how real?

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' notoriously ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte won rare favorable international headlines Oct. 12, when he said he would pull his National Police force out of his brutal "war on drugs," which has now reached the point of mass murder, with an estimated 8,000 slain since he took office last year. The move came in response to a wave of public outrage after the police slaying of an unarmed youth in the working-class Manila suburb of Caloocan City in August.

Will Emerald Triangle's small growers survive legalization?

CaliforniaThe wildfires devastating Northern California are obviously taking their toll on this year's cannabis harvest. And this in the critical countdown to legalization, which takes effect in Golden State in January. This even won coverage in the New York Times Oct. 13. The paper cited Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, saying that at least seven cannabis farms had been destroyed, and that he expected the number to "increase significantly" as people return to their homes.

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