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Five Washington state medical marijuana patients go to trial

Family members from a rural area of eastern Washington are expected to go to trial next month on federal marijuana charges, despite the Obama administration's repeated claims that it does not target seriously ill patients.

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Global Ganja Report News Blog

Urban Shield police confab protested in Oakland

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaHundreds of police officers, sheriffs' deputies and military servicemen from across the country—many donning battle fatigues—converged on downtown Oakland's Marriott Hotel Oct. 25 for the opening of the Urban Shield security confab and weapons show. National and international law enforcement agencies joined with defense industry contractors to attend seminars and display wares for three days. Outside the Marriott, scores of community activists protested the event. United under the name Facing Urban Shield, the coalition said the militarist tone of the event highlighted the worsening human rights records of police forces around the US, and the waste of billions of tax-dollars on prisons. They also charged that the showcasing of arms dealers undercut crime-plagued Oakland's efforts to stem gun violence.

Narco-terrorism in Michoacán

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoNearly half a million were left without electricity for 15 hours after 18 substations were blown up Oct. 27 in a wave of coordinated attacks across Mexico's west-central state of Michoacán, the latest battleground in the country's relentless cartel wars. Six gasoline stations were also burned down near the state capital Morelia, in what authorities said was a terror campaign by the Knights Templar cartel. Gov. Fausto Vallejo Figueroa of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said the violence was set off by the Jalisco Cartel, based in the neighboring state of that name, seeking to "seize territory" controlled by the Knights Templars in Michoacán, and warned of a "great massacre" (matazón).

Mexico: Tamaulipas narco networks operate inside and outside prison walls

Posted on October 28th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

MexicoA new riot between rival gangs in the dangerously overcrowded prison at  Altamira, in the Mexican border state Tamaulipas, left seven inmates dead Oct. 26.  State authorities said the prisoners were killed with makeshift knives in a fight in one cellblock at the facility, officially known as the Execution and Sanction Center (CEDES). Thirty-one inmates died in a riot in the same prison early last year, pointing to a crisis rooted in the confluence of teeming lock-ups and the bloody narco wars being waged in Tamaulipas both inside and outside the prisons. The state is currently Mexico's most violent. The CEDES was designed to hold 2,000 inmates, but now has a population of more than 3,000. (APNotimex, Oct. 26)

Jamaica: cabinet prepares legalization initiative

Posted on October 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanJamaica's Justice Minister Mark Golding says his office is preparing an initiative to legalize cannabis in the island nation—pointing to the successful state initiatives in the US, traditionally the chief opponent of such efforts by Caribbean countries. "The Ministry of Justice is far advanced in developing a Cabinet submission with a view to reforming the laws relating to ganja," Golding told Jamaica's The Gleaner Oct. 7. "We have been working on that for some time now, and it's at an advanced stage, so Cabinet will get the opportunity to consider our recommendation and we will see whether the Cabinet is minded to move forward in the way that we have proposed."

Strange bedfellows in Israel medical cannabis push

Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael has the world's highest proportion of registered medical marijuana users—but the program has been kept under tight control of the Health Ministry. Now, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is set to vote on a bill that would allow private physicians to prescribe cannabis for their patients. Health Minister Yael German opposes the measure, making the usual argument that it would open the floodgates of recreational use: "It would not be unrealistic to assume that there would be patients who would pressure doctors to write them a cannabis prescription for any bump, headache or toothache."

Brazil: deadly prison riot sets off angry protests

Posted on October 11th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

Southern ConeAt least 13 inmates were killed and some 30 injured in a clash between rival gangs Oct. 10 at Pedrinhas prison in São Luis, in Brazil's northeastern state of Maranhão. Authorities said violence broke out after guards discovered inmates digging an escape tunnel. The inmates fought the attacking guards and started a fire, as members of rival gangs took advantage of the confusion to settle scores. Then, as news of the conflagration broke, relatives of inmates gathered outside the prison, demanding information. When this was not forthcoming, they began to throw stones at the guards, fought back police, took over a roadway, and set several buses on fire.

Albania emerges as top European cannabis hub

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

EuropeItalian police say Albania, the impoverished Balkan country just across the Adriatic Sea, is the source for vast quantities of cannabis entering G8 and EU member Italy. In the latest major haul in July, Italian Finance Police intercepted a full metric ton of cannabis from a speedboat along the coast of southern Puglia region. Four crewmen were arrested—two Italian and two Albanian. This came one month after the Finance Police released the results of months of air reconnaissance of Albania's hinterland, undertaken in a joint operation with Albanian police—identifying 500 cannabis plantations, accounting for a combined production of 1,000 metric tons with an estimated retail value of 4.5 billion euros. Over the past 20 years since the fall of its rigidly closed Communist dictatorship, Albania has won the title of "Europe's Afghanistan" for its prodigious cannabis production.

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

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