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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."

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

Latin leaders legitimize legalization

Posted on November 28th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

leafThe leaders of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica issued a joint statement Nov. 12 calling for a review of anti-drug strategies, after the US states of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize cannabis.  Mexican President Felipe Calderón, after a meeting with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, said that it has become necessary to analyze the implications for public policy and health in our nations, and that cannabis legalization by US states is "a paradigm change on the part of those entities in respect to the current international system." The leaders called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes, and said the UN General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest. (Al Jazeera, Nov. 13)

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.

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)

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.)

Colombia: lawmakers broach decrim of coca, cannabis cultivation

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

ColombiaLawmakers in Colombia have proposed decriminalizing cultivation of the coca leaf and cannabis to undercut the narco mafias. Proponents say the move would reduce prices and give peasants more incentive to grow other crops. The bill will be debated in the coming days by the lower house of Colombia's congress, the Chamber of Representatives. But Colombia's Justice Ministry says the move would violate Colombia's commitments to international narcotics treaties. "We have to be particularly prudent and particularly cautious," said Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra.

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