Colombia

'Green gold' rush as Colombia legalizes medical cultivation

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColombiaAfter Colombia's government issued long-awaited regulations on legal cannabis cultivation for the medical market, the southern region of Cauca is anticipating a boom—and a fight for the soul of the nascent industry. On April 10, the Health Ministry released Decree 613, finally implementing Colombia's promised medical marijuana program. The decree guarantees "secure and informed" access to cannabis seeds by licensed companies, fully implementing the program established in principle by Law 1787, passed in July 2016.

Will coca question sabotage Colombian peace process?

Posted on March 14th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .
cocaConservative enemies of Colombia's peace process are dealt some handsome propaganda assistance by the fact that as the long civil war with the FARC guerillas has wound down, coca leaf production in the country has been soaring. Fears were enflamed by a March 12 Wall Street Journal report quoting US State Department officials to the effect that Colombia now has an unprecedented 180,000 hectares under coca cultivation, with the supposed potential to produce an annual 700 tons cocaine. The figures, said to be officially released by the State Department in the coming days, are double those for 2013. (El Tiempo, March 13; Semana, March 4)

Colombia: peasant strike against coca eradication

Posted on February 25th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ColombiaFor 48 hours Feb. 21-2, hundreds of peasant coca-growers shut down the main highway between the southern Colombian cities of Tumaco and Pasto. The feared anti-riot force, the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD), was finally called in to clear the roadway, using tear-gas and rubber bullets to break up the estimated 1,200 cocaleros. But the highway was repeatedly re-taken by the protesters. The action was called by the newly-formed National Coordinator of Coca, Opium and Marijuana Producers (COCCAM) to oppose the government's renewed "forced eradication" of coca crops in Tumaco municipality. COCCAM called the resumption of forced eradication in the area a betrayal of government commitments under the recent peace accords with the FARC guerilla movement, according to a report on Contagio Radio.

Brazil: supreme court justice calls for legalization

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

BrazilA justice who sits on Brazil's highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, has called for legalization of cannabis and cocaine to undercut the growing power of narco-gangs behind the wave of violence shaking South America's largest nation. In comments picked up by Reuters, Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale-educated jurist and professor of constitutional law, said that 50 years of drug war polcies in Brazil have only fueled violence and bloated the country's prison population, and that time has come for an alternative.

Colombia: FARC narco-factions refuse to lay down arms

Posted on December 19th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ColombiaThe historic peace process in Colombia is finally resulting in demobilization of the country's FARC guerilla fighters, who are now gathering at designated points in the countryside to turn over their arms. The effort has won President Juan Manuel Santos a Nobel Peace Prize. But FARC leaders admit that five regional commanders—said to be those most co-opted by the narco trade—are refusing to lay down arms, and have been officially expelled from the guerilla army.

Colombia gets a new legal cannabis enterprise

Posted on November 8th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaColombia has launched an ambitious initiative to provide a legal market for peasant cannabis cultivators, supplying a new facility that will produce extracts for the Israeli medical market. This week, the company One Colombia, which now produces coffee infused with medicinal herbs, broke ground on the plant at the highland town of Corinto, in the southern region of Cauca, Vanguardia newspaper reports. With an investment of $1.5 million from Israeli partners, the plant is projected to produce 300 tons of oil extracts annually, from 10 times as much "primary material"—all provided by local small producers.

'Re-narcotization' feared in Colombia

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaDespite progress in peace talks with the FARC guerillas, Colombia can't seem to escape endemic narco-violence. On Sept. 14, a street gun-battle sparked panic in the tourist district of Cartagena, the Caribbean resort city. The clash began as sicarios (hired assassins), in broad daylight, tried to kill a paramilitary honcho being held by police. The three sicarios, wearing prison guard uniforms, attempted to enter the building where Jhon Jairo Jimenez AKA "Pichi" is held under house arrest. Two assailants were wounded and apprehended, while a third escaped. Wanted for coke trafficking, Pichi turned state witness after his arrest last year, ratting out his former cohorts in the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, popularly known as "Los Urabeños." (Colombia Reports, Sept. 14)

Coca cultivation down in Peru, soars in Colombia

Posted on July 15th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AndesThe UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) this week released its latest figures on coca cultivation in the Andean nations—to the pride of Peru but chagrin of Colombia. Most dramatic was the bad news from Bogotá. The new Colombia Coca Survey (PDF), jointly produced by UNODC and the country's government, shows a nearly 40% increase in coca crop area—from 69,000 hectares in 2014 to 96,000 in 2015. This is twice the 48,000 figure for 2013. Coca leaf reached its highest price in Colombia in 10 years, shooting up 39.5% to $1.02 per kilogram (3,000 pesos). Bo Mathiasen, the UNODC representative in Colombia, told reporters the country is now cultivating more coca than Peru and Bolivia combined. (InfoBae, July 9; UNODC, July 8)

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