Cannabis legal in North Korea? Don't believe the hype

Posted on October 12th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

DPRKHere we go again. The Weed Blog was last week the latest to repeat the urban legend that cannabis is legal in North Korea. Earlier this year, the same click-bait nonsense was heard on a YouTube video produced by The mis-informed line goes like this (in the Weed Blog's gushy prose): "North Korea doesn’t consider marijuana a drug at all, and is completely legal in the country. [Sic] That's right. I can repeat that: marijuana is completely legal in the country of North Korea." You can repeat it all you want, but that doesn't make it true. It's an absurd irony that probably the most cannabis-unfriendly country on Earth has won a rep as a free zone where the stuff is legal. How did this all get started?

Cannabis coming to Uruguay pharmacies —at last

Posted on October 2nd, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

UruguayUruguay's government announced Oct. 1 the granting of licenses to two companies to grow cannabis for commercial distribution. Juan Andrés Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, said the two companies chosen out of 22 applicants were Symbiosys and Iccorp, both start-ups financed by Uruguayan and foreign capital. They will each be allowed to produce two metric tons of cannabis yearly—with the plantations to be guarded by government troops. Uruguayans will be able to purchase 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) weekly. Roballo told reporters that cannabis will go on sale in the country's  pharmacies "in no less than eight months from now."

Congress passes amendments to stop DEA from undermining state marijuana laws

Posted on June 4th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

capitolLegislators on Capitol Hill passed three amendments June 3 to bar the DEA and Department of Justice from undermining state marijuana laws, as part of the US House of Representatives' consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. "There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "The more the DEA blocks sensible reforms the more they will see their agency's power and budget come under deeper scrutiny."

Will Loretta Lynch wind down drug war?

Posted on April 26th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Loretta LynchPresident Obama's nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was confirmed by the Senate after a long delay due to Capitol Hill party politicking on April 23. She becomes the first Black woman to head the US Justice Department, and she brings some credentials to the job that will hearten those concerned with social justice. As US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she prosecuted the NYPD officers who sodomized Abner Louima in a New York police station bathroom with a broken broom handle in 1997. But at her confirmation hearing she appeared to tilt right, telling senators on Jan. 29: "[N]ot only do I not support the legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support the legalization. Nor would it be the position should I become confirmed as attorney general." CelebStoner blog ominously notes that she has won support from such intolerant hardliners as New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who called her "a remarkable prosecutor with a clear sense of justice without fear or favor."

DEA chief Michele Leonhart steps down under cloud of scandal

Posted on April 21st, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

DEAUS Drug Enforcement Administration director Michele Leonhart is to step down next month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced April 21. Holder issued requisite praise of Leonhart, stating that she "led this distinguished agency with honor." But the circumstances of her departure are far from honorable. While Holder certainly wasn't so indiscrete as to mention it, Leonhart's resignation follows an internal Justice Department report last month finding that DEA agents attended parties with prostitutes paid for by local drug traffickers in Colombia. Media reports indicate that Leonhart, who has headed the DEA since 2007, has been under mounting pressure to resign since testifying to a congressional oversight committee about the scandal last week. (CBSBBC News)

New York City Council calls for cannabis legalization

Posted on March 26th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityThis week, the New York City Council called for the state of New York to pass legislation to tax and regulate cannabis, as well as to close loopholes in the state's decriminalization law that allow arrests for small quantitites to continue. As part of its State Budget and Legislative Agenda for the 2015-2016 legislative session, the Council urged the state legislature to pass both the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) and the Fairness and Equity Act. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced her support for cannabis legalization in November, but this marks the first time that the issue has been part of the Council's official legislative agenda.

Senate bill to lift federal ban on medical marijuana

Posted on March 12th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

capitolA bipartisan group of US Senators on March 10 announced legislation to end the federal ban on medical marijuana. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act is sponsored by senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). If passed, the bill would end the federal restriction on medical marijuana and allow for several comprehensive reforms, including: permission for limited interstate transport, an expansion of access to cannabis for research purposes, and reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I to II. Medical marijuana, and the right of states to determine how to regulate it, has found bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. (Jurist, March 10)

Israel: legalization goes mainstream

Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastCannabis legalization as a political platform in Israel has traditionally been the domain of the Green Leaf Party, an idealistic, single-issue effort which has yet to gain even one seat in the Knesset. But Israeli news site YNet reported March 3 that Meretz, a traditional party of the center-left, held a confab at the Zionist Organization of America building in Tel Aviv to promote medical marijuana (at least), with more general legalization also discussed. Entertainment was provided by topical hip-hop/funk outfit Hadag Nachash before headlining speakers including Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg and Dr. Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Yarden Gazit of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS) protested that more than 18,000 criminal cases are opened a year for cannabis-related offenses—despite the fact that only 25% of Israel's populace supports criminalization. Urged  Zandberg in her closing remarks: "If you are a leftist, if you support legalization—vote Meretz."

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