'Drug war' dissent at OAS summit

Posted on June 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Central AmericaMore than 160 civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens in Mexico, Central America and the United States, sent an open letter to the OAS General Assembly meeting in the Guatemalan city of Antigua this week,  calling for alternatives to the "war on drugs" that guarantee respect for human rights. "Our organizations have documented an alarming increase in violence and human rights violations. While we recognize that transnational crime and drug-trafficking play a role in this violence, we call on our governments to acknowledge that failed security policies that have militarized citizen security have only exacerbated the problem, and are directly contributing to increased human suffering in the region," the letter states.

Will OAS summit broach drug decrim?

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Central AmericaAs the  Organization of American States (OAS) summit opens under tight security in the historic Guatemalan city of Antigua—some 2,000 army and National Police troops deployed—fighting narco-trafficking is certain to top the agenda. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in attendance, with US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske—prepared to oppose initiatives to reconsider the "war on drugs," including from Guatemala's otherwise arch-conservative President Otto Pérez Molina. But it remains to be seen if the summit will take up the iconoclastic recommendations of a draft report on drug policy released by the OAS last month. When the ground-breaking report was issued, OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza asserted, "this is not a conclusion but only the beginning of a long-awaited discussion." As the Guatemala summit opened June 3, he reiterated that the report will not be officially adopted by the international body, but that "it will be only a platform for discussion." This equivocation will doubtless be welcome in Washington, given the report's open dissidence from generations of "drug war" dogma.

Colorado governor signs bills regulating cannabis

Posted on May 29th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColoradoGov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado on May 28 signed a new set of laws regulating the use and sale of cannabis. One law, HB13-1317, expands the medical marijuana enforcement division to cover retail cannabis sales. The law also prohibits retail cannabis outlets from selling more than one-fourth of an ounce to non-residents. Another law, HB13-1318, still subject to voter approval in the November statewide election, imposes a 15% sales tax on retail cannabis or cannabis products, and allocates 10% of the total tax revenue among the state's local governments that have at least one retail cannabis outlet. A third law, HB13-1325, provides that motorists found to have blood levels of five nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter may be charged for DUI.

New bill to legalize cannabis introduced in Congress

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

CapitolCongressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation last month, House Resolution 499, which would effectively end the federal prohibition on marijuana and allow states to set their own policies. The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, transfer the Drug Enforcement Administration's authority to regulate the herb to a newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, require commercial producers to purchase a permit, and ensure that federal law distinguishes between individuals who grow for personal use and those involved in commercial sale and distribution. (NORML Action Alert)

Mixed signals from UN on Drug War

Posted on March 17th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

earthHelen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, speaking ahead of a March 14 presentation of the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Report, offered a surprise critique of the global war on drugs, saying Latin American leaders should develop new policies. "I've been a health minister in my past and there's no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue," Clark told Reuters. "Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach."

Colorado and Washington: will the empire strike back?

Posted on December 8th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

cannabisThe New York Times reports that White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington in the wake of last month's legalization initiatives. The Obama administration declined to comment on the deliberations, but pointed to a press release the Justice Department issued on Dec. 5—the day before the initiative took effect in Washington—in the name of the US attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan.

Latin leaders legitimize legalization

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

leafThe leaders of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica issued a joint statement Nov. 12 calling for a review of anti-drug strategies, after the US states of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize cannabis.  Mexican President Felipe Calderón, after a meeting with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, said that it has become necessary to analyze the implications for public policy and health in our nations, and that cannabis legalization by US states is "a paradigm change on the part of those entities in respect to the current international system." The leaders called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes, and said the UN General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest. (Al Jazeera, Nov. 13)

Mexico: pressure mounts for drug legalization

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

MexicoA study released late last month by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, an elite think-tank based in Mexico City, asserted that proposals to legalize cannabis in Colorado,  Washington and Oregon could cut Mexican drug cartels' earnings from traffic to the US by as much as 30%. The study, entitled "If Our Neighbors Legalize," drawing on previous research by the RAND Corporation, predicts that legalization in any US state wold help drive down the price of high-quality domestic cannabis, undercutting the cheaper and less potent cartel imports. It calculated a loss of $1.425 billion to the cartels if Colorado legalized, $1.372 billion if Washington legalized, and $1.839 billion if Oregon voted yes. (AP, Nov. 1) In the Nov. 6 vote, initiatives calling for legalization of cannabis under regimes of state control were approved by voters in Colorado and Washington, but rejected in Oregon.

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