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. 

Native American church schism sues for right to cannabis

cannabisA seemingly schismatic Oregon branch of the Native American Church claims the US government illegally seized its sacramental cannabis—and is fighting in court to get it back. Oklevueha Native American Church leaders James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney and Joy Graves brought the case Jan. 15 in a US district court in Portland. Graves says she mailed five ounces of cannabis to a church member in Ohio on Dec. 10, but it never arrived. The Postal Service tracking website reported that the package had been seized by law enforcement. A postal inspector in Portland told her cannabis is illegal under federal law and was unimpressed by her claim that she sent the herb to a church member with esophageal cancer for use in healing rituals, according to Courthouse News Service. Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 2007 and approved recreational cannabis through a ballot measure last year. Both remain illegal in Ohio, although small quantities are decriminalized there. Sending cannabis through the mails is a federal crime.

Italy decriminalizes medical marijuana cultivation —for some

Posted on January 28th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ItalyItaly took a step towards relaxing its marijuana policy Jan. 15, when the Council of Ministers approved a measure that removes criminal penalties for researchers who violate terms of their cultivation license, making it punishable only by a light fine. Justice Minister Andrea Orlando was quick to emphasize: "This does not decriminalize those growing weed on their terrace." The Italian military maintains a monopoly on cultivation for medical users, while only a handful of private firms have licenses to cultivate for research purposes. Those caught growing their own without a license still face up to a year in prison and a €4 million fine. But support is growing in parliament for a general decriminalization or even legalization that would extend to personal cultivation. Last July, over 200 lawmakers agreed to provisional text for a legalization bill.

Spanish police can't break Moroccan connection

Posted on January 28th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

SpainOperation TELOS, an effort by Spain's Guardia Civil to halt the flow of Moroccan hashish into the Iberian peninsula, is now in its thrid year—but ongoing busts only testify to the ingenuity and resources of the smugglers. On Jan. 13, the Guardia announced that they'd broken up a ring that brought the stuff into Spain's southern province of Cadiz using a fleet of pleasure boats with false bottoms, arresting 17 people and seizing five of the boats along with 4.5 ton of hash. The arrests were made in a series of raids over the past months. The nationality of those arrested was not specified. 

High Times chairman Michael Kennedy dies

Posted on January 25th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Michael KennedyAttorney Michael Kennedy, the longtime guiding force behind High Times magazine, died of complications from an illness in New York Jan. 25 at the age of 78. He was the lawyer for High Times founder Tom Forçade, the notorious marijuana smuggler and political radical who started the magazine in 1974. "Tom and I became friends," Kennedy wrote in 2015. "We had five years of revolutionary pretense and fucking with the begrudgers. There were more grand juries, betrayals and sordid legal encounters. Tom brought street theater to everything he did. High Times was all theater... Tom had publishing experience, muckraking; he preferred shit-disturbing." After Forçade's death in 1978, High Times' parent company, Trans High Corp., operated as a trust until 2000 when the company was broken up into shares. Kennedy and his wife Eleanora and Forçade's family retained control of the company with Kennedy being named chairman of the board. He was also Trans High's legal counsel. During his extensive legal career, he defended the likes of acid guru Timothy Leary and Black Panther Huey Newton.

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