Colombian high court re-legalizes drug possession

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaIn an August 24 ruling (PDF), the Colombian Supreme Court rejected a 2009 constitutional amendment recriminalizing the possession of personal-use amounts of illegal drugs. Prior to that amendment, pushed vigorously by then-president Alvaro Uribe, the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use had been legal under a 1994 Constitutional Court decision. Between the 1994 ruling the 2009 amendment, adults were allowed to legally possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of cocaine, and two grams of synthetic drugs. After Uribe's reform, people arrested with small amounts of illegal drugs faced prison sentences of 64 to 108 months.

Anti-pot pol caught with pot seeks plea bargain

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Robert WatsonRobert Watson, a Republican Rhode Island state lawmaker charged with pot possession and DUI in Connecticut, is said to be hoping for a plea bargain in New Haven Superior Court. Watson, who has pleaded not guilty, lost his job as Rhode Island's House minority leader after his April arrest in East Haven. (AP, Aug. 25) Bloggers had a field day with his bust, because he had just recently made comments baiting liberals in his state as soft on immigrants, gays—and pot smokers! Here's what the "Irony Alert" blog in The Week had to say in its coverage of the coverage:

Study finds cannabis smokers are thinner: surprise!

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

foodLast year, when the New York Times ran a story on "haute stoner cuisine"—suggesting that cannabis use by chefs is encouraging a trend for "chin-dripping, carbohydrate-heavy food"—we responded that, while we did not have the figures to back it up, there is probably a higher percentage of vegetarians and healthy eaters among pot-smokers than the general population. Now, our assumption appears to be vindicated by a new study. From the NY Daily News, Sept. 4:

Mexico: "Fast and Furious" fells US gun control chief

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoThe US Justice Department announced Aug. 30 that Kenneth Melson, acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), had been reassigned to another position in the department and that Dennis Burke, US attorney for Arizona, was resigning from his post. The department gave no reason for the changes, but they were clearly fallout from Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled ATF program that allowed some 2,000 weapons to go from the US to Mexico, where they were probably used in drug cartel violence.

Mexico: civilian dies in latest "drug war" mistake

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexican marines shot and killed Gustavo Acosta Luján in the early morning of Sept. 1 in his home in Jardines de San Andrés, Apodaca municipality, in the northern state of Nuevo León. According to the Secretariat of the Navy, the marines, responding to an anonymous tip, were fired on from inside the house, and Gustavo Acosta, an "alleged criminal" with the alias "M-3," died in the operation. The marines said they found a 9 mm submachine gun, an AR-15 rifle and quantities of cocaine in the house. Mexican president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has been using soldiers for police work in northern Mexico since militarizing the "war on drugs" shortly after he took office in December 2006.

Jamaica: shock in Kingston as Dudus Coke cuts deal

Posted on September 4th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanResidents of Kington's poor district of Tivoli Gardens reacted with shock and disbelief to the news that extradited accused drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke arranged a plea bargain this week at Federal District Court in Manhattan. "I'm devastated," one anonymous member of the Coke clan told the Jamaica Gleaner. Scores were killed in days of street-fighting in the district last year as police and army troops were deployed to hunt down Coke for extradition to the US.

Drug Czar: legalization no "magic bullet"

Posted on September 3rd, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

cannabisTim Padgett of Time magazine's Global Spin blog queried Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske about comments made by Mexican President Felipe Calderón in his speech following the recent Monterrey casino massacre, in which he said the US was complicit for its "insatiable" demand for drugs and should consider "market alternatives" to failed anti-drug policies. Was this a coded reference to legalization, and would this put pressure on the White House to consider the idea? Kerlikowske responded:

Mexican cartels in Emerald Triangle: real or hype?

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaAn Aug. 31 report on PBS NewsHour provides mixed indications on recent hype about the supposed presence of Mexican drug cartels in the cannabis trade of Northern California's Emerald Triangle—which has now been officially designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the federal government. In the Mendocino National Forest, which has seen unprecedented raids this year, 10 Mexican nationals are among the approximately 100 arrested. Last year, Mendocino County saw a record-breaking number of armed confrontations during marijuana raids—"many with Mexican nationals with suspected links to drug gangs across the border." Two Mexican nationals were killed in last year's raids—one, named Mariano Fernández, reportedly after he aimed an "AK-47-type rifle" at a police SWAT team.

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