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Steve Ben Israel, NYC counter-culture legend, dead at 74

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Steve Ben Israel, legendary thespian, veteran of the ground-breaking Living Theatre troupe, and pioneer of what he called "performance life" (as opposed to performance art), died June 4 of lung cancer at his home in New York's Greenwich Village. He was 74.

NYC: Global Marijuana March teams up with Occupy Wall Street

Posted on May 5th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Global Cannabis MarchOn May 5, the flagship New York City event in the Global Marijuana March movement returned to its traditional home of Washington Square Park after an absence of several years, with revelers gathering there at "high" noon—and then marching up to Union Square for a rally. Union Square has been since the start of spring a focal point for the Occupy Wall Street movement, so marijuana marchers and Occupy activists merged and mingled there. Among their common demands was an end to the NYPD's aggressive stop-and-frisk policy which has resulted in hundreds of illegal cannabis arrests. One slogan written on the pavement in multi-colored chalk read: "Occupy Justice, Stop Stop-and-Frisk." Speakers also demanded freedom for Dana Beal, the mastermind of the Global Marijuana March who is now serving time on a cannabis charge in Nebraska. (Global Ganja Report on the scene)

Amsterdam cops stage first-ever raid of Cannabis Cup

Posted on November 29th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

For the first time in its 24-year history, the annual High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam was raided by police Nov. 23. Some 100 armed and uniformed Dutch police officers entered the Cannabis Cup Expo at the Borchland Sportcentrum venue, occupying the building and separating the hundreds of attendees from exhibitors, who were instructed to remain at their tables. David Holland, event counsel, Tweeted: "Police are ensuring that all vendors are in compliance with the 500 gram limit under the Opium Law for licensed vendors at the venue." Small quantities of cannabis were reportedly confiscated, but no arrests were made. The Cup awards and entertainment proceeded that night as planned at the city's Melkweg club. (Legalization Nation, CelebStoner, Nov. 28; Legalization Nation, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 23)

"Cannabis Libraries" proliferate in violence-torn Mexico

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisA park in Mexico City sports a small book stall known as the Biblioteca Canábica, or the Cannabis Library—part of an attempt by civil society groups to disseminate reliable information about illegal drugs for parents, teachers and youth. It's also a small way of raising the volume on a debate that is growing ever louder in Mexico: whether to legalize drugs.  "We want a healthier relationship with drugs," said Carlos Zamudio, director of the Cannabis Library project. "[T]he relationship we have now has brought us problems with violence and health. A healthier relationship requires regulating drugs in a different way."

Activist Dana Beal sentenced, suffers heart attack

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Dana BealLongtime activist Dana Beal has suffered a heart attack while in a Wisconsin jail awaiting transfer to a state prison to begin serving a two-and-a-half year term for marijuana trafficking. Beal was stricken on the morning of Sept. 27, and at last report was hospitalized in stable condition at the intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison.

Jim Squatter: Testament to the human spirit—and cannabis!

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Jim Squatter was already a longtime veteran of the squatting, anti-nuclear and anarchist movements before a devastating accident turned him into a medical marijuana user—and a fighter for the right to medicinal cannabis.

Book review: Reefer Movie Madness

Posted on June 14th, 2011 by Malka X and tagged , , .

reefer movie madnessReefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide (Abrams Books, 2010) by Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom actually lives up to the title's audacious claim. It’s chock full of cool information about over 700 great movies in which marijuana appears, is part of the plot, or is in usage. Or even just movies that its fun to watch while under the influence! It's got great photos from each of the films, that really cause the book to come alive. They also include films with LSD, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, ecstasy, mushroom, pills and of course, the most popular drugs of all—alcohol and cigarettes.

Veteran Yippie Ben Masel dead at 56

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Veteran Yippie activist and cannabis crusader Ben Masel died April 27 at his home in Madison, Wisc. He had been suffering from terminal lung cancer. Known for founding the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, the Bronx-born Masel moved to Madison in 1971 and was a fixture in politics there ever since. He frequently ran for public office—including sheriff of Dane County—on a pro-legalization platform, and sometimes on the Republican ticket, just to tweak the local GOP establishment.

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