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Study: legal cannabis undermining Mexican cartels, reducing border violence

Posted on January 26th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafA new study published in The Economic Journal vindicates the optimistic prognosis of cannabis activists that legalizing the herb would de-escalate drug war violence. The study notes a reduction in violence in US states along the Mexican border in recent years, and especially in the counties along the international line. The authors draw a connection to the reduced legal pressure on cannabis in the United States over this same period, thanks to legalization and medical marijuana laws.

British Columbia court in 'landmark' ruling against solitary confinement

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

CanadaOn the heels of December's British Columbia high court decision striking down mandatory minimum prison terms for cannabis defendants as "cruel and unusual punishment" in contravention of Canada's constitution, the provincial court system has now just applied similar principles to use of solitary confinement.

Chechen police state turns ire on druggies

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaucasusYou could smell this one coming. Last year, horrific reports emerged from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya that authorities were rounding up gays in detainment camps and subjecting them to torture —the first time this kind of thing has happened in Europe since Nazi Germany. Now the reign of terror is being extended to drug users and small-time dealers, who are facing grisly torture at the hands of Chechen security forces as part of the same ultra-puritanical campaign. Reports describe electric current being applied to suspects' fingertips to induce them to "confess." No one has survived such questioning without eventually admitting their crime, the victims were told.

New Zealand moves toward roadside tests for meth —and cannabis

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchA big push is on in New Zealand for a bill that would give police the power to conduct roadside saliva tests for methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA)—and cannabis. And the public face of the campaign to pass the legislation is Malcolm Barnett, who in 2005 lost his 18-year-old step-daughter to a road crash with a driver who was wasted on meth, or "P," as they call it in New Zealand.

UK khat ban fails to stop contraband imports —surprise!

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

khatHere's some news that should surprise nobody. International efforts to suppress the trade in a psychoactive plant are failing to do so, but are jacking up the social costs of its use—which might be quite negligible if the stuff weren't illegal. In this case we're talking about khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially in the Horn of Africa and its immigrant diaspora. It was sold openly at groceries and eateries in London's African communities until Britain finally banned the stuff in of 2014, following the example of the United States (of course). At that time, it became a Class C substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. By way of comparison, cannabis is in the more restrictive Class B—although between 2004 and 2008 pot was placed in Class C, and there is an initiative to have it removed from the classification system altogether.

California's conservative secessionists want to take Emerald Triangle with them

CaliforniaSo California's rebel rednecks think they're taking Humboldt County with them when they leave the state, it appears. The latest split-the-state initiative was unveiled at a Sacramento press conference Jan. 16, covered by USA Today. "The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny," the group declared. Their proposed solution is to form the state of "New California," taking most of the rural counties with them, and leaving behind the heavily urbanized coast.

Will cannabis save Canadian agriculture?

Posted on January 12th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

CanadaMany things are falling into place as Canada advances toward legal cannabis, expected to take effect this summer. Provinces are to come up with their own policies on regulation, and these are now congealing. The government of Nova Scotia has agreed on a plan to market retail cannabis at liquor stores through the provincial public company that now maintains a monopoly on alcohol sales, the Canadian Broadcasting Company reports. At the other end of the continent, British Columbia is also said to be considering such a plan.

Nazis scapegoat Jews for legal pot —of course

Posted on January 11th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

Reefer MadnessEven back in the bad old days of Reefer Madness in the 1930s, when marijuana's association with Mexican immigrants and African American musicians was used as propaganda for the first federal laws banning the weed, it never came to this. But the canard that cannabis is a tool in a sinister Jewish conspiracy to subvert wholesome white American youth has now entered (almost) mainstream discourse.

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