opiates

DEA pledge "hot and heavy" season of California pot busts

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

CaliforniaThe feds are promising an especially aggressive crackdown on Emerald Triangle cannabis growers this harvest season. "It's one of the most beautiful parts of this country, but it's just being destroyed by marijuana cultivation," said Randy Wagner, the DEA special agent in charge of Northern California operations. "I can tell you, we're going to be hot and heavy in Humboldt County from here on out." An Aug. 26 report n the Eureka Times-Standard says the feds are frustrated with the ongoing dispute over medical marijuana in California and determined to pick up the slack following harsh budget cuts at the state's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. The report suggests local enforcement is ready to cooperate directly with the DEA, even with reduced state involvement.

Central Asia opium wars escalate

Posted on August 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

opiatesTajikistan sealed its border with Afghanistan this week, after clashes with armed rebels left 48 dead. Security forces are now searching for Tolib Ayombekov, a former rebel who became a commander of the border guard after a 1997 peace deal and is now believed to have taken up arms again. Ayombekov has been a fugitive since he refused to show up for questioning about the July 21 murder of a local security official in southern Badakhshan province, or to turn over men under his command suspected in the slaying. A conflict over control of the cross-border traffic in Afghan opium is said to be behind the conflict. (IWPR, July 31; DPA, July 30; Registan, July 27; AP, July 25)

Afghanistan counter-narcotics tribunal convicts nearly all defendants

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

The US-funded Counter-Narcotics Justice Center (CNJC) in Kabul handles all of Afghanistan's large-scale drug cases—anyone arrested with more than two kilograms of heroin, 10 kilograms of opium, or 50 kilograms of hashish. It has sent hundreds to the city's notoriously harsh Pul-e Charkhi prison, and records show that nearly 98% of defendants are convicted. The conviction rate for drug offenses in the US judicial system is also very high, at 93% for federal cases in 2006—but that is largely due to plea bargains, and the ability of prosecutors to drop cases and judges to grant reduced sentences. In the CNJC there is virtually no leeway for prosecutors to drop cases that are too small or poorly evidenced. Defense attorneys say the high conviction rate means that just about every suspect who arrives at the court ends up in prison for a long time. (Joshua Hersh for Huffington Post, June 10)

UN drug agency won't take stand on executions

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaThe UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said Feb. 28 that it is taking no view on the Thai government's plans to speed up the execution of convicted drug traffickers. The agency said it neither supports nor opposes the death penalty for drug-related offenses. "We are an impartial body and respect the rule of law and jurisdiction of countries," said INCB Thai board member Viroj Sumyai. 

Afghan opium production soars

Posted on January 13th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

opiatesA new survey by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicates that the value of opium in Afghanistan soared by 133% in 2011 over the previous year, netting farmers $1.4 billion. A blight last year wiped out much of the poppy yield, driving up prices. Yields have now returned to pre-blight levels—a 61% increase, from 3,600 tons in 2010 to 5,800 tons last year. But prices remain high, and UNODC says a simultaneous drop in the price of wheat contributed to the increase in poppy cultivation. Gross income from opium in 2011 was 11 times higher than that earned from wheat—the biggest difference in income since 2003. Afghanistan currently supplies an estimated 90% of the world's opium, with the largest areas of poppy cultivation in the country's restive south. (VOA, Jan. 13)

US busts alleged Sinaloa Cartel smuggling ring in Arizona

Posted on November 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

TucsonState, local and federal law enforcement in Arizona announced Oct. 31 that they have dismantled a smuggling ring allegedly operated by the Sinaloa Cartel, which is believed to have trafficked some $2 billion of drugs from Mexico through the state over the past five years. "We in Arizona continue to stand and fight the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own the place," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement about the investigation, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express. A total of 76 individuals are being held in connection to the ring, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles. Weapons and large bundles of compacted cannabis were seized in the raids.

US tilting to Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico's narco wars?

Posted on September 22nd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

MexicoThe US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Sept. 21 imposed Kingpin Act sanctions on four Colombian nationals and 12 companies said to be linked to Joaquín Guzmán Loera AKA "El Chapo"—head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán faces charges in the US, but remains at large. (WSJ Corruption Currents blog, Sept. 20) The move comes amid increasing charges that US law enforcement—as well as the Mexican government is favoring the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico's bloody narco wars.

White House expands drug watch list to include all Central America

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

President Barack Obama has included El Salvador and Belize on the list of 22 countries ranked as "Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2012"—for the first time placing all seven Central American nations on the annual list that identifies countries that "significantly affect the United States" through their role in the drug trade.

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