cannabis

New round of dispensary raids in Toronto

Posted on June 24th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Canada Toronto police raided more cannabis dispensaries June 23—in a sequel to last month's "Project Claudia." Raids were reported on the Cannabis Culture and Canna Clinic dispensaries, both in the herb-friendly Yonge Street area. Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters he believed search warrants were executed at four locations. Cannabis Culture is run by Canada's crusading activist couple Marc and Jody Emery, who had voiced defiance after the May raids. Marc Emery stated at the time: "We refuse to be bullied by police and unjust, harmful, discriminatory law enforcement."

Paraguay: drug czar steps down after deadly anti-cannabis op

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Southern Cone Paraguay's top anti-drug official stepped down June 20, two days after a botched anti-cannabis operation left a three-year-old girl dead at the hands of his troops. Luis Rojas resigned as head of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), under apparent pressure from President Horacio Cartes. The deadly operation took place in Nueva Italia municipality of Central department, where SENAD troops searching for cannabis plantations apparently fired on a van—which proved to be carrying members of the Zanotti Cavazzoni family, owners of a local sugar plantation and mill. The girl's uncle was also wounded in the attack. The girl was the grand-daughter of Ulrico Zanotti Cavazzoni, local sugar oligarch and land-owner. One wonders if Rojas would have been forced to resign if it had just been a peasant's daughter who was killed.

Uruguay marks first legal cannabis harvest

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Uruguay The two companies responsible for cannabis production in Uruguay this week began the country's first legal harvest, claiming some 300 grams each from hundreds of plants gown in licensed indoor or greenhouse operations. The president of the National Drug Board (JND), Juan Andrés Roballo, announced that "soon the first harvest from the licensed companies" will be hitting the nation's pharamcies. The companies, International Cannabis Corp (ICCorp) and Simbiosys, with facilities on the outskirts of Montevideo, planted in February under the close oversight of the government's Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). The harvest will continue next week; then another six weeks for drying, manicuring and packing before it arrives in stores. This means by August, Uruguayans will be able to purchase packets of five or 10 grams at 50 licensed pharmacies. The price is set at one euro or $1.20 per gram.

Youth cannabis use drops in Colorado —surprise!

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Colorado"Colorado teens stubbornly refuse to smoke more weed." That's the smart-alecky headline over a chart of youth cannabis use rates that appeared in the Washington Post June 21. The story cites Colorado Health Department findings that rates of use among the state's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the herb was legalized there in 2012. In last year's figures, 21% of Colorado youths had used cannabis in the past 30 days. That is slightly lower than the national average, and down from 25% in 2009. The findings are based on a random survey of 17,000 middle and high school students. "The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally," the health department stated.

DEA to re-schedule cannabis this summer: reports

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

THCThe Internet is atwitter over a June 19 report in the Santa Monica Observer with the headline: "US Gov't Will Legalize Marijuana on August 1." The article claims that "weed will soon be legal in all 50 states, with a prescription," thanks to the imminent government action, with cannabis about to be switched from Schedule I to Schedule II. An unnamed DEA attorney is quoted as saying: "Whatever the law may be in California, Arizona or Utah or any other State, because of Federal preemption this will have the effect of making THC products legal with a prescription, in all 50 states." The story also cites a June 17 article in the Denver Post asserting (with no attribution) that the DEA will issue a decision in the matter by July 1.

Microsoft moves into cannabis sector

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchIn a sure sign of changing times, Microsoft just broke what the New York Times calls the "corporate taboo" on pot this week, announcing a partnership to offer software tracking cannabis from "seed to sale."  A new product in Microsoft's cloud computing business, the software will help states that have legalized medical or recreational use to monitor sales. Microsoft's partner is KIND Financial of Los Angeles, a leader in technology for cannabis compliance. The partnership, KIND Government Solutions, will market Agrisoft Seed to Sale. A company press release said the product "closes the loop between marijuana-related businesses, regulatory agencies, and financial institutions."

Voter suppression under investigation in Emerald Triangle

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaThe California Attorney General's Office sent a team to the Emerald Triangle's Siskiyou County in the prelude to the June 7 primary election, following reports of armed men from the sheriff's department intimidating members of the county's Hmong community—including menacing some at gunpoint. Sheriff Jon Lopey said the deputies were mobilized as part of an investigation into voter fraud, and had to be armed because of rifle-toting cannabis growers in the areas. But the investigation seems to have exclusively targeted Hmong residents—some of whom were falsely informed that it is illegal for them to vote. Janelle Vang, a representatve for the county's Hmong community, told the Redding Record-Searchlight many residents did not turn out at the polls because they feared they would be arrested. There was speculation that Lopey sought to suppress turn-out for a measure on banning outdoor cannabis cultivation. The county council approved the ban last year, but opponents forced a ballot measure on the question and were mobilizing for a "no" vote. The ban was indeed approved, although Lopey denies his action affected the outcome—as well as denying any wrong-doing.

NYC: cannabis busts rising again —despite new policy

Posted on June 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

New York CityBig Apple tokers exhaled a sigh of relief in November 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio instated a new policy barring arrest for possession of under 25 grams of cannabis. New York City had long been the pot bust capital of the USA, and after the new policy the smell of fragrant smoke was present on the city streets on a level not seen since before the get-tough Giuliani era. But a year and a half later—guess what? A new report just released by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) indicates that cannabis arrests rose more than a third in the first three months of this year. The NYPD popped 4,225 people for pot possession between January and March, according to state data crunched by the advocacy group. That's a serious jump from the 2,960 arrested during the same period last year. When you add in arrests for small sales, the figures are respectively 5,311 and 3,973. What gives?

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