Europe

Triads in Éire?

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

IrelandThe Garda Síochána, Ireland's national police force, say they broke up a network of drug gangs that were collaborating with Hong Kong-based Triad syndicates in a series of indoor cannabis grow operations that produced much of the island's supply. The Garda National Drugs Unit raided 236 premises and arrested 54 foreigners as part of the investigation codenamed Operation Wireless. Police say 4,200 cannabis plants were seized in Dublin, Meath, Wexford and Cork. Many of those arrested were said to be affiliated with the Wo Shing Wo, one of Hong Kong's most powerful Triads, with globe-spanning operations in drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution and gambling. (Dublin Herald, Nov. 21)

Netherlands: farewell to skunk

Posted on November 22nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

EuropeHolland is to ban the sale of high-potency "skunk" cannabis strains in its coffee shops, and is considering whether to classify skunk as a Class A drug with heroin and cocaine. Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten informed the Dutch parliament of the new policy, and asked for the law to be changed "quickly." He said a government study had found that cannabis containing more than 15% THC is so dangerous that it should be reclassed. "Hard drugs have no place in the coffee shops and in the future they will only be able to offer cannabis with a THC level of below 15%," he told MPs. (Daily Telegraph, South Africa, Nov. 22; The Telegraph, UK, Nov. 20)

Dutch court turns down challenge to new law banning "pot tourism"

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

EuropeA Dutch court on April 27 upheld a law that will prevent foreigners from buying cannabis in coffee shops, spelling an end to decades of "pot tourism" in the Netherlands. The decision means coffee shops in three southern provinces must stop selling cannabis to foreigners on May 1, when the law takes effect. A so-called "weed pass" is allowed for Dutch citizens and permanent residents. Coffee shops in the southern provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg bordering Belgium (see map) will become members-only clubs, allowed to issue up to 2,000 membership cards—known as "weed passes"—to residents over the age of 18.The plan will go nationwide in January 2013.

Spanish village declares right to grow cannabis

Posted on April 11th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

RasqueraBy a popular vote, the Spanish village of Rasquera on April 11 adopted a plan to rent out a field for growing cannabis in an urgent bid to create jobs and raise money to pay off its debts. Rasquera's village council approved the plan to rent seven hectares of municipal land to the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA) in a 4-3 vote Feb. 29. A total of 804 residents were eligible to vote in the referendum, which posed the question: "Do you agree with the anti-crisis plan approved by the Rasquera town hall on February 29?" The approval—with 308 votes for, and 239 against—was hailed by Mayor Bernat Pellisa as a "magnificent result."

Polish lawmaker lights up in parliament

Posted on January 21st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeA Polish opposition law-maker tried to smoke a joint in parliament Jan. 20 to kick off his legalization campaign—but outmaneuvered by the house speaker, he burned marijuana incense instead. Janusz Palikot, leader of the left-libertarian Palikot Party, announced in advance his plan to light up, giving speaker Ewa Kopac time to organize tighter security.  Wearing a cannabis leaf-shaped pin, Palikot instead lit up a stick of incense in front of a crowd of journalists. "We've burned marijuana," he said. "It's incense with a small legal amount of marijuana, which smells like marijuana, bought at a shop in Warsaw."

Spain emerges as new European cannabis hub

Posted on January 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeLong the main gateway to Europe for Moroccan hashish, Spain has over the past year emerged as one of the continent's main cannabis cultivation hubs, rivaling the Netherlands. Principal cultivation zones are Andalusia, Murcia, Catalonia, Aragon and especially Valencia—which the Guardia Civil describes as "a jungle of cannabis."

Cannabis hoax becomes Facebook meme

Posted on December 21st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchNumerous "friends" have posted to my Facebook page a Dec. 19 story from a website with the tellingly stupid name Just Paste It entitled "Sweden legalizes and regulates cannabis." There's even a quote from an apparently non-existent Swedish official, "Jonas Grönhög," who says "We don't want to make the same mistakes which the USA has done, we do not want to be prohibitionists because the war on drugs has been lost long ago." Alas, Sweden has done no such thing. Tip of the hat to the good folks at the Toke of the Town blog for calling out the hoax.

Dutch cannabis cafe ban set for May

Posted on December 17th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

EuropeNew legislation to ban non-Dutch residents from cannabis cafes in the southern Netherlands should be enforced no later than May 1, the Dutch justice ministry said Dec. 16. The law is set to be amended on Jan. 1, but there will be a grace period until May for coffee shops to set up a "new administrative system." The centre-right government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte plans to instate a "cannabis card," reserved for residents only and obligatory when visiting one of the country's 670 licensed coffee shops.

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