Andes

Mixed signals from UN on Drug War

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

earthHelen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, speaking ahead of a March 14 presentation of the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Report, offered a surprise critique of the global war on drugs, saying Latin American leaders should develop new policies. "I've been a health minister in my past and there's no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue," Clark told Reuters. "Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach."

Bolivia: progress seen in coca policy

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

coca leafTotal area planted with coca in Bolivia dropped by up to 13% last year, according to separate reports by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Bolivia stepped up efforts to eradicate unauthorized coca plantings, and reported an increase in seizures of cocaine and cocaine base—even as the Evo Morales government expanded areas where coca can be grown legally. "It's fascinating to look at a country that kicked out the United States ambassador and the DEA, and the expectation on the part of the United States is that drug war efforts would fall apart," Kathryn Ledebur, director of the Andean Information Network, told the New York Times. Instead, she said, Bolivia's approach is "showing results." 

Colorado and Washington: will the ripples reach Mexico and Colombia?

Posted on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Gorman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafWell, the dust has hardly settled but the boots are at the door; they might come storming through, riling up that dust some more.

But we hope not. The boots belong to the Justice Department and the door belongs to the states of Washington and Colorado. The dust is the election that saw those two states make the biggest moves toward cannabis legalization any state has made in a long long time. No, neither law is perfect, and it is going to be a cold day in hell probably before state stores are up and running. But still, the fact that the voters got out there and said enough is enough and let's get something on legalization out there is very freaking refreshing. Ask anyone who works in any capacity to end the drug war: Wins are few and far between. It took more than 10 years of effort to rein in law enforcement's forfeiture spree; it took a lot longer than that to get New York's racist Rockefeller sentencing laws even semi-tossed. So what happened in Washington and Colorado is in the win column, though we cannot be at all sure that the feds are not going to come in and try to muck things up like they have with California's and Oregon’s medical marijuana laws.

Peru: police burn record 50-ton cannabis haul

Posted on August 4th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

PeruPolice in Peru said Aug. 3 they had destroyed more than 50 tons of cannabis following a five-day operation that uncovered a record 207,000 plants in two central regions of the country. Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza said the operation led to the burning of 17 times more cannabis than had been destroyed in all of 2011. National Police Director Gen. Raúl Salazar said a total of 34.5 hectares (85.25 acres) of cannabis plantations had been destroyed in the La Libertad and Huánuco regions. Gen. Salazar said police have identified the financial brains behind the plantations and were moving in on him. (BBC News,* Aug. 3)

Colombia: constitutional court approves decriminalization

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaColombia's Constitutional Court on June 28 approved a measure to decriminalize possession of personal quantities of cocaine and cannabis. Those caught with less than 22 grams of cannabis or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive mandated treatment depending on their level of intoxication, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.

Colombia: "armed strike" against glyphosate spraying

Posted on May 31st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaJimmy Díaz Burbano, governor of Colombia's Putumayo admitted that large areas of the lowland jungle department were shut down by a "paro armado"—a civil strike enforced by the guns of the FARC guerillas. He said the strike had been called in response to government spraying of the glyphosate herbicide across the territory along the Río Putumayo to wipe out coca leaf crops. Díaz said spraying hurts the campesinos and provokes a reaction from the illegal armed groups they sell their coca to, calling for a dialogue on the issue. "I will be a bridge between the community and the Colombian state and do everything possible to assure that the people are heard," he said. (Diario del Sur, Nariño, May 29)

Venezuela demands extradition of exiled judge from US

Posted on May 17th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Venezuela on May 16 demanded that the US extradite a former supreme court judge who has accused high-ranking figures of the Hugo Chávez government of links to drug-trafficking. The fugitive judge, Eladio Aponte Aponte, was removed from office in March over charges that he provided forged documents to accused trafficker Walid Makled. Aponte is co-operating with US authorities after his April 2 flight to Miami in a DEA-chartered plane. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the US must hand over Eliado Aponte, as there was a judicial process underway against him in Venezuela, and noted that an Interpol "red notice" has been issued for him.

Colombia: new National Police chief broaches legalization

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Colombia Gen. José Roberto León, number-two man in Colombia's militarized National Police force, has been fingered to be the force's new chief starting next week. Upon his appointment, he issued a stern warning to drug traffickers: "The National Police is out there, using all its capacities to capture or neutralize you." But León also stated that he agreed with President Juan Manuel Santos' position on drug legalization: "My position is the same as President Santos. The Colombian government has the moral authority to open the debate and, as indicated by [Santos], it is necessary to review the entire anti-drug strategy to explore new ideas and strategies enabling greater effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking. Another point is that people who are addicted to drugs, especially marijuana, should receive medical treatment, so the issue becomes a matter of public health." (Colombia Reports, May 7) (Sic: cannabis, of course, is not addictive.)

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman