decriminalization

Israel moves to decriminalize recreational cannabis

Posted on March 6th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael's cabinet on March 4 approved a proposed measure to decriminalize recreational use of cannabis, allowing it to go to a vote in the country's parliament, the Knesset. If it passes there, as is expected, first-time cannabis offenders will face a fine of 1,000 shekels ($270), but criminal charges will only be brought on a fourth offense. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who led the reform effort, said that "the government's approval is an important step on the way to implement the new policy, which will emphasize public information and treatment instead of criminal enforcement."

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn DA who 'decriminalized' cannabis, passes on

Posted on October 11th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Ken ThompsonKenneth Thompson, the first African American elected to serve as Brooklyn's district attorney in the 166-year history of the office, died Oct. 9 at the age of 50.  Thompson, a leading voice for criminal justice reform in New York City, was most famous for his 2014 decision to stop prosecuting low-level cannabis cases in Brooklyn. "This new policy is a reasonable response to the thousands of low-level marijuana arrests that weigh down the criminal justice system, require significant resources that could be redirected to more serious crimes and take an unnecessary toll on offenders," Thompson said in his press release announcing the move. Gothamist reported at the time that the decision "effectively decriminalized marijuana possession in the borough."

Legal cannabis for Keystone state?

Posted on May 9th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

PhillyAmong the cities around the world that held events for the Global Marijuana March on Sunday May 8 was Philadelphia, where hundreds filled the streets, culminating in a rally at City Hall. The march was organized by PhillyNORML, whose Chris Goldstein struck a very optimistic tone in comments to the Philly Voice: "The last two years have seen local politics evolve by leaps and bounds when it comes to marijuana. Politicians see the public rallying to support cannabis reform and that is an important part of how this issue is winning." He even claimed that State Rep. Jordan Harris, who represents the 186th legislative district in Philadelphia, will soon introduce a bill that would legalize cannabis.

Medical experts press UN on decrim

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

earthA group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet, Britain's foremost medical journal, on March 24 issued a call for the decriminalization of all non-violent drug use and possession, flatly calling the international war on drugs a failure. The paper by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy (PDF) calls on the world's governments to "move gradually toward regulated drug markets and apply the scientific method to their assessment." Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the senior author of the report, told the CBC: "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy. It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed."

Empire strikes back against Belize?

Central America OK, we don't want to get too paranoid here. But last month, after years of studying the matter, the government of Belize took a big step toward cannabis decrim. On Feb. 19, the  cabinet formally handed recommendations made by the Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee, assigned to assess the matter, over to the office of the Attorney General for final review. This means introduction of a decrim bill is almost certainly imminent. Sources say the proposed legislation would allow for persons in possession of 10 grams or less to face a fine or community service. The fine is named as 15 Belizean dollars (US$7.50) per gram. The law would also be retroactive, expunging the records of those convicted in the past for possession within these limits. Former National Security Minister Doug Singh, who has pushed for a more lenient policy, said, "Too many young people have this following them, those who are seeking jobs."

Landmark cannabis case in Costa Rica

Posted on January 20th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Central AmericaCosta Rica took a step towards becoming the next Latin American country to decriminalize cannabis Jan. 19, when attorney Mario Alberto Cerdas Salazar was cleared of cultivation charges on grounds of individual liberties. Cerdas Salazar was arrested in August at his home in the city of Alajuela in August, after publicly advocating for a personal right to use and cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and gastronomic purposes. He has been held since, charged with "drug trafficking." The Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ, Costa Rica's answer to the FBI) said they found enough cannabis on the premises to make 5,000 cigarettes. The quantity was also ambiguously put at 170 "plants and leaves of plants." But the OIJ admitted they had no evidence the cannabis was intended for commercial purposes. The judge hearing the case, Carolina Leitón, found: "Yes, marijuana cultivation is illegal; nonetheless, it is not a crime if it is not utilized for sale." 

Tunisia Pirate Party adopts cannabis leaf logo

Posted on December 28th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaTunisia, the first country to rise up and throw off its long dictatorship when revolution began to sweep the Arab world in 2011, is seen as the success story of the Arab Spring. With a new secular constitution, progressive forces have prevailed peacefully over an Islamist backlash. Rappers and feminist artists have become icons of the revolution. Now, Green Rush Daily reports that the Pirate Party of Tunisia has chosen to use the marijuana leaf as its identifying logo on the country’s ballot. It cites a write-up in Pirate Times, international organ of the movement, that "the Pirate Party of Tunisia has decided to participate in the next elections by highlighting the hemp symbol on its lists, which will attract the voters of those who support this cause."

Colombia: medical marijuana legalization challenge to Washington

Posted on December 24th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaFollowing through on a pledge made last month, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Dec. 22 signed a decree broadly legalizing medical marijuana. The new regulation—making it legal to grow, process, import and export cannabis for medical and scientific use—was hailed by Santos as positioning Colombia "at the forefront in the fight against disease." In a line clearly aimed at placating Washington, he also insisted that "the medicinal use of cannabis does not go counter to our international commitments in the field of drug control."

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