Europe

Balkan states move toward medical marijuana

Posted on July 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

EuropeThree of the Balkan states to emerge from the ashes of Yugoslavia a generation ago are now among the first countries in the ex-communist world to move toward embrace of medical marijuana.

Kurdish guerillas behind Turkey's hashish trade?

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

TurkeySecurity forces in southeastern Turkey, where authorities have been waging a brutal counterinsurgency war against Kurdish guerillas, reported the seizure last week of 2,290 kilograms of hashish and 6,632 kilograms of unprocessed cannabis "in an operation against the drug activities of the PKK terrorist organization."

France to drop prison terms for cannabis use

Posted on May 29th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

cannabisFrance will introduce a law by year's end to end prison terms for cannabis use, a spokesman for the new President Emmanuel Macron said May 26. Macron made his pledge to reform laws on cannabis use a key campaign plank during the hard-fought race. Under current law, offenders can face a year in prison plus a fine of up to 3,750 euros ($4,200).

North Africa hashish trade booms —despite vigorous crackdown

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

North AfricaCountries both sides of the Mediterranean are stepping up joint operations against hashish flowing into Europe from North Africa. Spanish authorities on Feb. 17 boasted the dismantling of two smuggling networks that were bringing Moroccan hashish into the port of Málaga. In a two-day operation, Spain's Civil Guard arrested 50 people and confiscated a helicopter, cars, boats, cash and weapons, as well as 3.7 metric tons of hashish. Moroccan authorities cooperated in the investigation, according to a report on Morocco World News.

No, Swedish riots do not vindicate Trump

Posted on February 23rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

EuropeIt seemed pretty fortuitous for Donald Trump. He left heads scratching when he told a crowd of supporters at a rally in Florida on Feb. 18: "You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? They took in large numbers [of refugees]. They’re having problems like they never thought possible." A nice play to anti-immigrant hysteria, but there was one hitch: nothing had happened in Sweden the previous night. Critics had a field day with the bizarre flub, with Swedish activists even holding a mock "Pray for Sweden" vigil to taunt Trump. So it seemed a godsend for the prez when an immigrant district of Stockholm exploded into riots just three days later.

Europe's 'last dictatorship' finally bans cannabis cultivation

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

EuropeFrom Russian state media outlet Sputnik comes the surprising news that Belarus has banned cannabis cultivation with a Dec. 31 decree from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The surprise isn't that growing was banned—but that it hadn't been banned already. The former Soviet republic's best claim to fame is as "Europe's last dictatorship." Strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for over 20 years now, resorting to probable fraud and definite repression to hold on to the presidency. After Lukashenko was accused of stealing the 2010 elections, there was a popular protest movement, put down wth mass arrests—with the opposition candidate himself sentenced to prison for inciting riots! No surprise that Lukashenko was "re-elected" with virtually no opposition in 2015. In last September's parliamentary elections, a few opposition candidates were for the first time allowed to take seats, leading some Belarus-watchers to hope for a "thaw." But Lukashenko is still running a very tight ship. Not exactly the kind of place you'd expect to be cannabis-friendly.

Finland's drug czar busted for hashish smuggling

Posted on December 30th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

EuropeOn Dec. 29, Finland's former drug czar,  Jari Aarnio, was sentenced by a district court in Helsinki to a 10-year prison term on charges of smuggling nearly 800 kilograms of hashish into the country from the Netherlands. Aarnio stepped down as head of Helsinki's drug squad—the highest anti-narcotics post in the country—in 2013, when he was charged wth corruption in a case related to his interest in a company that sold surveillance equipment to his own force. The investigation in that case unleashed new revelations, ultimately leading to his indictment along with 12 other defendants in the hashish scheme. The ring is said to have brought in the 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) in barrels between 2011 and 2012. The court ordered that Aarnio be taken into custody immediately, and he is now locked up in Helsinki's  Vantaa Prison.

'Green gold' is still king in Albania

Posted on December 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AlbaniaIt is now one year since Albania, trying to live down its pariah status as Europe's top cannabis producer, officially declared itself "marijuana-free," after a crackdown undertaken with Italian police aid. But an on-the-scene BBC News report, filed Dec. 1, informs us that the impoverished Balkan country retains the title of the largest producer of outdoor-grown cannabis, at least. Close-up shots of the drying harvest in one village are provided. The crop is described as "green gold" for Albania's struggling farm communities. "In a poor nation, it's a billion-euro industry."

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