legalization

DEA chief: Mexican cartels move into Colorado, Washington

Posted on April 5th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

leafDrug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart, in testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee April 2, went on the offensive against the cannabis legalization initiatives in Washington state and Colorado. "What was explained to the voters was how much money that they'd be raising," Leonhart said. "What was explained to the voters was that this was good for law enforcement, because then police could go after the real crimes. What was told to the voters is that this would collapse the Mexican drug cartels." Instead, Leonhart asserted, Mexican drug cartels are "setting up shop" in Washington and Colorado in anticipation of a cannabis boom. "Whatever the price will be set in Washington and Colorado, criminal organizations are ready to come in and sell cheaper," she said. She also claimed, without offering evidence, that many cannabis shops get their supplies from grow operations controlled by cartels. 

Cannabis decrim bills introduced in Mexico

Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoLawmakers from Mexico's left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) introduced legislation last week to decriminalize cannabis in an effort to curb cartel violence. One bill, introduced in the federal Congress, builds on the partial decrim passed in 2009, increasing "personal use" quantities from five to 30 grams. It also includes provisions allowing for use of medical marijuana. Another bill in the Federal District's Legislative Assembly would instruct police and judges in Mexico City to deprioritize prosecution of cannabis violations. It would also create "tolerance zones," where cannabis could be sold openly, and "dissuasion commissions" to which violators could be assigned in lieu of criminal charges.

Southern Cone neighbors react to Uruguay legalization

Posted on December 30th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Southern ConePresident José Mujica signed Uruguay's cannabis legalization bill into law on Christmas Eve, and the country's neighbors are preparing for the new policy to take effect—apparently with more trepidation than hope. Mujica is said to have discussed the question with Brazil's center-left President Dilma Rousseff on his visit last month to Brasília. Local media reported that she expressed fears about Uruguayan herb entering Brazil, and plans to beef up searches at the border—with stiff sentences of 10 years and up for trafficking (including "transnational" personal possession).

Uruguay prez signs cannabis legalization bill

Posted on December 26th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Southern ConeUruguayan President José Mujica on Dec. 24 signed into law his plan to oversee the production and sale of cannabis in the Southern Cone country. The Uruguayan Senate passed the measure to legalize production, sale and consumption of the herb earlier this month. The law makes Uruguay the first country to have a system to regulate cannabis production and sale; use of cannabis was already legal in Uruguay. The bill allows individuals over 18 to grow up to six of their own plants per person, creates state-supervised and controlled consumer clubs, and permits consumers to buy up to 40 grams per month from pharmacies. Uruguay's government has four months to draw up regulations for the program, such as how production licenses will be granted. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the UN body overseeing the implementation of international drug treaties, has criticized Uruguay's legislation as being illegal (PDF) under international treaties. (Jurist, AP, Dec. 25)

Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Jamaica: cabinet prepares legalization initiative

Posted on October 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanJamaica's Justice Minister Mark Golding says his office is preparing an initiative to legalize cannabis in the island nation—pointing to the successful state initiatives in the US, traditionally the chief opponent of such efforts by Caribbean countries. "The Ministry of Justice is far advanced in developing a Cabinet submission with a view to reforming the laws relating to ganja," Golding told Jamaica's The Gleaner Oct. 7. "We have been working on that for some time now, and it's at an advanced stage, so Cabinet will get the opportunity to consider our recommendation and we will see whether the Cabinet is minded to move forward in the way that we have proposed."

Strange bedfellows in Israel medical cannabis push

Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael has the world's highest proportion of registered medical marijuana users—but the program has been kept under tight control of the Health Ministry. Now, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is set to vote on a bill that would allow private physicians to prescribe cannabis for their patients. Health Minister Yael German opposes the measure, making the usual argument that it would open the floodgates of recreational use: "It would not be unrealistic to assume that there would be patients who would pressure doctors to write them a cannabis prescription for any bump, headache or toothache."

Secession fever sweeps Colorado, California counties —cannabis backlash?

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

ColoradoOn Colorado's northeast plains, advocates of secession from the state have managed to put the question before voters in 11 counties this November —potentially bringing a split-the-state initiative to statewide vote by November 2014. As Weld County Commissioner and leading secession proponent Sean Conway explained to reporters, an "advisory" vote at the county level would require local lawmakers to request that state legislators introduce a constitutional amendment allowing the northeastern counties to go their own way. That would require two-thirds approval by both houses. Failing that, proponents could put the measure to statewide vote by collecting 80,000 signatures. Finally, the initiative would have to be approved by the US Congress. So it is an arduous process—but proponents are clearly dead serious.

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