UN finding increases pressure on Mexico to free 'community police' leader

Posted on February 14th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoPressure is increasing on Mexico to free imprisoned community activist Nestora Salgado since the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a ruling earlier this month that her imprisonment is illegal. The International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University Law School had been pursuing her case before the Geneva-based panel for about two years. In the decision—reached in December, but only released Feb. 2—the five-member panel called her arrest arbitrary, and called on Mexico to immediately free and compensate her for the violation of her human rights. The panel found that she was arrested for her leadership of a local "community police" group, which is protected under Mexican law. Additionally, the panel charges that she was denied contact with her lawyers and family for almost year, and has been denied adequate medical care and access to clean water in prison. Finally, the finding charged that she was improperly arrested by the military, and her US passport was ignored. "In the first place, there is no doubt that the arrest and detention without charges is illegal and thus arbitrary," reads the finding. "Furthermore, the military arresting civilians for presumed crimes when national security is not at risk is worrying."

Bill Maher makes the point by toking a joint —on the air!

Posted on February 14th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Bill MaherIf you missed the Feb. 12 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, do yourself a favor and check out the video on YouTube. Bill made media history that night. He starts by relating how he's always being plied with proposals to go into the cannabis biz, cashing in on the growing legal market with "Maher-ijuana" or "Billy Buds." But then he goes into an admonition for his own team: "You hippies need to get your head out of your grass! Progress doesn't just automatically snowball." He notes the rollback of abortion rights over past generation, with hundreds of clinics shut down—and makes an analogy to the hundreds of dispensaries recently closed in Los Angeles. He quipped: "And dispensaries still can't get banking services, because they're too skeevy—tha banks, not the dispensaries."

Australia poised to permit medical marijuana cultivation

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

OceaniaAustralia is anticipated to soon legalize cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic and resarch purposes, following a bill introduced to Parliament in Canberra Feb. 10. The proposed legislation, backed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and leading political parties, would amend the Narcotic Drugs Act of 1967 to allow licensed cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana. The law would also change the Therapeutic Goods Act of 1989 to permit farmers to cultivate and distribute. Introduction of the bill follows recent moves by several Australian states and territories to provide patients participating in clinical trials with access to the herb.

Los Angeles ex-sheriff pleads guilty in prison abuse scandal

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaRetired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty Feb. 10 to lying to federal investigators, in what the LA Times calls a "stunning reversal for the longtime law enforcement leader who for years insisted he played no role in the misconduct that tarnished his agency." In the plea deal filed in federal court for the Central District of California, Baca admitted to lying twice about his involvement in hiding a jail inmate from FBI investigators. In fact, Baca ordered the inmate to be isolated, putting his top deputy Paul Tanaka in charge of executing the plan, the agreement acknowledged. Baca also admitted he lied when he said he was unaware that his subordinates planned to approach an FBI special agent at her home. Baca now admits he directed the subordinates to approach the agent, stating that they should "do everything but put handcuffs" on her.  As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek a prison sentence of more than six months, Eileen Decker, US attorney for the Central District, told reporters. Tanaka is scheduled to stand trial in March on charges of obstructing the federal investigation into brutality and corruption in the county jails.

Cocaine gang wars behind Dublin murder wave

Posted on February 9th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

IrelandIt started when gunmen disguised as a police SWAT team opened fire with assault rifles on boxing fans gathered for weigh-in ceremonies at Dublin's Regency Hotel Feb. 5, killing one man and wounding two others. The fatality was a young man named David Byrne. Escaping injury was the star of the show, Jamie Kavanagh, who was scheduled to contest the WBO European lightweight title the following night. The Continuity IRA claimed responsibility for the hit, saying it planned to carry out further attacks "on drug dealers and criminals." The statement blamed Byrine for the assassination of a Real IRA militant in 2012. But days later, CIRA released a new statement, denying involvement. The confusion could be due to factionalism in the Irish Republican movement. Or did gang hitmen issue the first statement, hoping to scapegoat CIRA for the hit? In any case, the Saturday night fight was to have been Kavanagh's first in Dublin since the gangland killings of his father, Gerard, and uncle Paul—both convicted as drug traffickers and lieutenants of Ireland's reigning cocaine kingpin, Christy Kinahan. Gerard was gunned down in an Irish bar in Spain's Costa del Sol in September 2014. Paul was shot to death in his parked car in Dublin in March 2015.

THC from outer space? Um, no.

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

earth There conitnues to be no end to false Internet rumors concerning our favorite herb. The most recent, currently being widely circulated on Facebook, claims that NASA-affiliated scientists at the University of Hawaii discovered "trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a meteorite found in the Nevada desert in 2010." One of the scientists (conveniently anonymous) is quoted: "These findings will have a profound impact on the science of astrobiology as a whole. If psychoactive elements are found outside of this planet's atmosphere, what does it say about the rest of the universe? If these chemical substances, that change brain functions and result in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness in mammals as well as humans, find their origin in outer space, what role then has cometary impacts played on the human species? Or on life on the planet as whole? This discovery ultimately leaves us with more questions than answers. It also gives a whole new meaning to the term getting high." D'oh!

Plan Colombia to become 'Peace Colombia'?

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaColombia's President Juan Manuel Santos met at the White House with Barack Obama Feb. 4 to mark 15 years since the initiation of the Plan Colombia aid package, amid signs of hope that the South American country's 50-year armed conflict is winding down. The two of course congratulated each other on the success of the program, which has delivered some $10 billion to Colombia in mostly military aid since 2001. They also discussed a proposed new aid program that Santos is calling the "second phase" of Plan Colombia and Obama proposed actually be called "Peace Colombia." Obama said he supports a package of $450 million annually to support the peace process in Colombia—an incease over leat year's $300 million. This would go towards implementing the reforms to be instated following a peace deal with the FARC guerillas—with a conitnued focus on drug enforcement. Obama said the US "will keep working to protect our people as well as the Colombian people from the ravages of illegal drugs and the violence of drug traffickers." (Colombia Reports, Feb. 4; El Espectador, Feb. 3)

Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane's lead pilot, flies on...

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Paul KantnerPaul Kantner, co-founder of the Jefferson Airplane and a pioneer of the San Francisco music scene in the 1960s, died Jan. 28 at the age of 74. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week, according to his longtime publicist and friend, Cynthia Bowman. As singer, rhythm guitarist and song-writer as well as political visionary, Kantner guided the band from its folk-rock origins through its period as a pre-eminent symbol of the counterculture and youth rebellion, climaxing with the Monterey Pop festival that kicked off the 1967 "Summer of Love," its classic early-morning performance at the utopian-spirited Woodstock festival in August 1969—and that December's disastrous and violence-plagued Altamont Speedway free concert. The band had a rebirth in the 1970s, with a new line-up and more radio-friendly sound, as the Jefferson Starship, including fellow Airplane hold-overs Marty Balin and Grace Slick, Kantner's flamboyant and contentious lover. He continued to perform with various outfits in later years, including a re-formed version of the Starship and a briefly reunited Airplane in 1989. Kantner and his Airplane bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He continued to be a vocal advocate for political causes, from cannabis legalization to support for the Nicaraguan revolution during the 1980s. 

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