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Colombia: pressure grows to expand decrim

An official from the capital district government of Bogotá called upon Colombia’s national government to open debate on broadening the policy of cannabis decriminalization.

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Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Peru: deadly confrontation as narco-flight intercepted

Posted on December 1st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

PeruAgents of Peru's National Police force intercepted a small plane loaded with 300 kilos of cocaine paste in Oxapampa province, Pasco region, on Nov. 24, mortally wounding the pilot, a Bolivian national. Authorities said the agents, attached to the elite Tactical Anti-drug Operations Directorate (DIRANDRO), were staking out a clandestine airstrip they had discovered when the Bolivian-registered plane landed there.

Cannabis kayak seized off California

Posted on November 23rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaFour kayakers attempting to smuggle nearly 300 pounds of cannabis into the US were arrested at sea on the morning of Nov. 22, federal authorities announced. US Customs and Border Patrol agents saw four men in separate kayaks "navigating the ocean" at about 4 AM, agency spokesman Ralph DeSio told the press. The men, all Mexican nationals, had entered US waters off Imperial Beach when authorities dispatched a helicopter and boat to intercept them, DeSio said. The men jumped out and tried to swim for it, but the helicopter used a spotlight to track them so the boat could find them in the dark waters. All the men were taken into custody and turned over to the San Diego Maritime Task Force. Agents found 99 bundles of cannabis in the kayaks, estimated to be worth $178,200.  

Mexico: new massacre strikes terror in Juárez

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoA new massacre is reported from Ciudad Juárez, again raising fears of a return to the wave of deadly gangland violence that convulsed the Mexican border city for much of the past decade. Eight members of a single family—including two four-year-old girls and a six-year-old boy—were killed in their home Nov. 17 in the colonia (neighborhood) of Morelos Zaragoza. The bodies of the children were found on their beds, with multiple stab wounds, as were those of two young women. The two men were on armchairs, handcuffed and gagged. A two-month-old baby, known to have lived in the house, was not found among the dead. The family had been planning an event for their Jehova's Witnesses congregation when the attack took place. (Pulso, IOL, Proceso, Nov. 17)

CBD derivative gets 'orphan drug' status

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

THCBritish firm GW Pharmaceuticals has won "orphan drug status"—a special category for agents developed to treat rare diseases—from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Epidiolex, a derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), to treat Dravet syndrome, a severe form epilepsy. In Utah, parents who are lobbying to import CBD-rich cannabis strains from Colorado, say they will keep up their campaign. "This changes nothing" in regard to children being able to access CBD, said Jennifer May, mother of 11-year-old Stockton, who suffers from Dravet syndrome. "On the other hand, it does lend credibility to the potential of CBD as a treatment."  Like many Dravet patients, Stockton has tried dozens of pharmaceutical fixes, and run out of options. He can no longer use the toilet and has to be fed from a tube. "Orphan drug" designation qualifies GW for tax credits and exclusive rights to the drug if approved. But FDA approval for Epidiolex could take a year or more. (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 18)

Afghan opium production hits new record high

Posted on November 17th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

AfghanistanThe latest Afghanistan Opium Survey (PDF), released Nov. 13 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), finds that the country produced record levels of poppy in 2013. Total production reached 5,500 tons—up by nearly 50% over last year's figure of 3,700. Cultivation amounted to 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres)—a 36% increase over last year. The previous record was 193,000 hectares (477,000 acres) in 2007. And prices dropped by 12%—clearly due to boosted production. Eradication efforts fell by 24%, and the seizure rate lagged behind that of other opium-producing countries.

Citizens challenge media silence on Matamoros war

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoThree gun-battles in one day left at least 13 dead in the Mexican border city of Matamoros Nov. 2, Tamaulipas state authorities acknowledged. A statement from the Tamaulipas Coordination Group—the liaison office between state and federal forces—said two of the shoot-outs were between Mexican Marines and "armed civilians," the standard euphemism for cartel gunmen. One woman was among the 13 dead, who were also identified as "civilians"—leaving it unclear if they were combatants or by-standers. What press accounts called "narco-blockades" cut off traffic on the city's principal avenues. (Global Post, Crónica de Hoy, Nov. 4; Proceso, Nov. 3) Nov. 11 saw another outburst in the neighboring border city of Reynosa, with federal forces and presumed cartel gunmen having a high-speed shoot-out in a car chase through several neighborhoods. Allegedly, only one of the gunmen was killed, but video footage provided by the Facebook-coordinated network Valor por Tamaulipas showed a car overturned in road pile-up. (El Diario de Coahuila, Nov. 11)

Michoacán mayor murdered by Knights Templar?

Posted on November 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoMexico is shocked by the murder of Mayor Ygnacio López Mendoza of Santa Ana Maya, Michoacán, who was found dead in his car in neighboring Guanajuato state Nov. 7.  Just last month, he made national news when he held a public hunger strike outside the Senate building in Mexico City for 18 days—demanding more money for his town because of the 10% cut being extorted by the Knights Templar narco gang on all municipal spending. Authorities initially said the death was a traffic accident, but this claim evaporated when the autopsy report indicated "asphyxia secondary to neck trauma"—suggesting strangulation. Pressed for details by the Association of Local Authorities of Mexico (AALMAC), the Guanajuato Prosecutor General's Office, which had conducted the autopsy, admitted that López Mendoza had been tortured before being killed. During his hunger strike, López told GlobalPost that he knew he could be killed at any time. "We are on the knife's edge," he said. "I can be talking with you here today and in a few weeks you could be reading my death notice."

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