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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.

Colombian high court re-legalizes drug possession

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaIn an August 24 ruling (PDF), the Colombian Supreme Court rejected a 2009 constitutional amendment recriminalizing the possession of personal-use amounts of illegal drugs. Prior to that amendment, pushed vigorously by then-president Alvaro Uribe, the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use had been legal under a 1994 Constitutional Court decision. Between the 1994 ruling the 2009 amendment, adults were allowed to legally possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of cocaine, and two grams of synthetic drugs. After Uribe's reform, people arrested with small amounts of illegal drugs faced prison sentences of 64 to 108 months.

"Global war on drugs has failed": report

Posted on June 3rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

earthA new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy finds that the "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," and calls upon governments to explore the legalization of cannabis and other controlled substances. "Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately, that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem and that the war on drugs has not and cannot be won," the report states.

Wonks bash Mexico's Fox over legalization proposal

Posted on August 10th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

MexicoMexico's former president Vicente Fox wrote on his blog Aug. 8 that "we should consider legalizing the production, distribution and sale of drugs"—the most far-reaching stand for legalization yet in Mexico, where more than 28,000 people have died during the current administration's war against drug cartels. The proposal is sparking the predictable backlash from hardliners, as AP reports...

DEA boosts Afghan anti-opium force

Posted on July 23rd, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

opiumBy the end of 2011, 81 US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents will be deployed in Afghanistan, up from 13 just three years ago, according to the agency's chief of operations Tom Harrigan. "Afghanistan is the most prolific producer of opium," said Harrigan. "We are working very closely with our Afghan counterparts. We're there to extend the rule of law." (Federal News Radio, July 23)

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