Netherlands

'Betrayal' of patients as Ireland medical marijuana bill stalls

Posted on July 13th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

IrelandThe Republic of Ireland's long-promised medical marijuana law is being held up in the country's parliament, the Dáil—leading patients who have been waiting for legal herbal treatment in their own country to charge "betrayal." That was the exact word used by Irish mom Vera Twomey, speaking from the Netherlands, where she was seeking cannabis care for her daughter Ava, 9, an epilepsy sufferer. "What issue is more important than people all over the country in chronic pain?" she rhetorically asked Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ, according to the Irish Times of July 13.

Who is world's top cannabis producer?

earthThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last week issued its World Drug Report 2017—its 20th annual survey of production, trafficking and eradication and enforcement efforts around the globe. In past years, the report has sought to quantify the amount of cannabis cultivated in each producer country—over the past decade consistently placing Morocco in first place, generally followed by Mexico and Paraguay. This general trend continues—with some new variations.

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.

Indonesia executes six on drug charges

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaIndonesia executed six convicted on drug charges Jan. 17, rejecting last-minute appeals for clemency from international leaders. Four men from Brazil (possession of 13 kilos of cocaine), Malawi (1 kilo of heroin), Nigeria (1 kilo heroin) and the Netherlands (ecstacy production) and one Indonesian woman (3 kilos heroin) were put to death by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, off the southern coast of Java. Another woman from Vietnam (1 kilo of methamphetamine) was executed in Boyolali, in central Java. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders were among world leaders to speak out against the executions. Koenders called them "a cruel and inhumane punishment... an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity." Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors in protest after the executions were carried out. Amnesty International called the executions a "retrograde step" for human rights.

Italian military to grow medical marijuana

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ItalyItaly's government announced Sept. 18 plans to cultivate medical marijuana at a secure military lab outside Florence and distribute it through pharmacies. Medical marijuana has been legal in Italy since 2007, but only some 60 patients have signed up with the program overseen by the national healthcare system, the Azienda Sanitaria Locale. The Florence Military Chemical-Pharmaceutical Plant (SCFM) currently produces so-called "orphan drugs" no longer made by large pharmaceutical companies but still needed to treat rare diseases. It is now to grow cannabis under a deal signed between Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. "The institute already produces some medicines," Pinotti told Reuters, addressing the unlikely prospect of entrusting the military with weed cultivation. "And we can guarantee security conditions."

Aruba frees Venezuelan 'narco-general' wanted in US

Posted on August 4th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

VenezuelaVenezuela has scored a win in its ongoing diplomatic and propaganda war with Uncle Sam. The most recent flare-up started July 24, when authorities in Aruba arrested Gen. Hugo Carvajal, a top Venezuelan official wanted in the US on drug trafficking charges. Carvajal had been military intelligence chief under the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, and was accused by the US Treasury Department of using his position to protect cocaine shipments for Colombia's FARC guerillas. He had just arrived in Aruba after being appointed Venezuela's consul there—and was promptly detained at Washington's behest. Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro called the detention a "kidnapping," and demanded Carvajal's immediate release. And three days later, a judge on the island found that since Carvajal had a diplomatic passport, his arrest was illegal. He was sprung and quickly made the short flight back to Venezuela. "He's returning free and victorious. It's a triumph for sovereignty and legality," president Maduro said, praising the "bravery" of the Dutch government. (The Guardian, July 28; BBC News, July 27; Maduradas, July 24)

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 announced plans to beef up searches at the border—with plans to impose stiff sentences of 10 years and up for trafficking (including "transnational" personal possession).

Legal battles over Dutch coffee house crackdown

Posted on June 22nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeDutch prosecutors are seeking up to one-month suspended prison terms for owners and staff of cannabis cafes in Maastricht for selling pot to foreigners in defiance of the new law. But meanwhile the Netherlands government was ordered to pay damages to owners of cannabis cafes after a court in The Hague said new measures turning the coffee-houses into members-only clubs were too harsh. The amount the state must pay is still to be determined. (The Age, June 13; BBC News, June 5)

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