opium

Gaza court gives Palestinians death for dealing

Posted on March 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Middle East A military court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced two men to death after they were found guilty of drug dealing, the independent Palestinian media outlet Ma'an News Agency reported March 19. At a press conference in Gaza City, a representative of the Strip's Interior Ministry—controlled by the Hamas movement—said that the first "convict," an officer in the Palestinian Authority security service, was sentenced to death by firing squad for possession of 40 boxes of the synthetic opiate Tramadol. The second, also Palestinian and described as a "fugitive on the run," was sentenced to death by hanging after he was allegedly caught with a bag containing "a large quantity" of Tramadol, cannabis, and opium. Both are accused of bringing the substances in from across the border with Egypt.

Burmese dissidents broach opium decrim

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaAs Burma's opium wars continue despite the country's democratic opening, actvists are using the new political space to advocate for a more tolerant policy on poppy cultivation. At a Feb. 16 panel in Rangoon, the Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) issued a call for a reform of Burma’s drug laws, The Irrawady newspaper reports. "The 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law focuses on punishment. But what then, after a drug user is given imprisonment?" asked DPAG coordinator Dr. Nang Pann Ei Kham. "The 1993 law is out of date, and what's more, is that it has not been a successful law [in terms of] drug elimination."

Colombia: peasant strike against coca eradication

Posted on February 25th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ColombiaFor 48 hours Feb. 21-2, hundreds of peasant coca-growers shut down the main highway between the southern Colombian cities of Tumaco and Pasto. The feared anti-riot force, the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD), was finally called in to clear the roadway, using tear-gas and rubber bullets to break up the estimated 1,200 cocaleros. But the highway was repeatedly re-taken by the protesters. The action was called by the newly-formed National Coordinator of Coca, Opium and Marijuana Producers (COCCAM) to oppose the government's renewed "forced eradication" of coca crops in Tumaco municipality. COCCAM called the resumption of forced eradication in the area a betrayal of government commitments under the recent peace accords with the FARC guerilla movement, according to a report on Contagio Radio.

India: opium legalization initiative in Punjab

Posted on January 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

opiatesA candidate for the assembly in India's northwest state of Punjab is calling for the legalization of opium to address the much-hyped drug problem in the state.  Calcutta's The Telegraph reported Jan. 22 that candidate Tarsem Jodhan unveiled the proposal at a campaign rally in his native village of Dakha, saying: "Opium is not a killer like heroin and other synthetic drugs."

Europe's 'last dictatorship' finally bans cannabis cultivation

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

EuropeFrom Russian state media outlet Sputnik comes the surprising news that Belarus has banned cannabis cultivation with a Dec. 31 decree from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The surprise isn't that growing was banned—but that it hadn't been banned already. The former Soviet republic's best claim to fame is as "Europe's last dictatorship." Strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for over 20 years now, resorting to probable fraud and definite repression to hold on to the presidency. After Lukashenko was accused of stealing the 2010 elections, there was a popular protest movement, put down wth mass arrests—with the opposition candidate himself sentenced to prison for inciting riots! No surprise that Lukashenko was "re-elected" with virtually no opposition in 2015. In last September's parliamentary elections, a few opposition candidates were for the first time allowed to take seats, leading some Belarus-watchers to hope for a "thaw." But Lukashenko is still running a very tight ship. Not exactly the kind of place you'd expect to be cannabis-friendly.

Mexico: more 'narco-fosas' found in Guerrero

Posted on November 25th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoRule of law seems to have completely broken down in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, with the back-country really run by competing murderous narco-gangs. On Nov. 25, a Mixed Operations force of army and state police troops discovered over 30 bodies buried in mass graves in the municipality of Zitlala, in the rugged highlands where hidden canyons produce copious crops of opium and cannabis. The remains—including 32 corpses and nine severed heads—were found in a series of 20 hidden graves. Several men were detained, and cars and weapons seized. Such finds have become alarmingly common in Mexico in recent years, and are dubbed "narco-fosas" (narco-graves).

Taliban versus ISIS in Afghan opium wars

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

AfghanistanIn a "worrying reversal" for global anti-drug efforts, the latest annual report from the United Nations Office for Drug and Crime (UNODC) finds that opium cultivation in Afghanistan increased 43% over the past year—with a total estimated yeild of 4,800 tons compared to 3,300 tons in 2015, The area under poppy cultivation increased 10% according to the report—clocking in at 201,000 hectares (496,681 acres), up from 183,000 hectares (452,200 acres). Simultaneously, there was a 91% decrease in eradication across the country—with no eradication reported at all in the top producing provinces. "It is very disturbing to see a considerable increase in poppy cultivation in the north which may be linked with a deteriorating security situation in the region," said Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC's chief in Afghanistan, at an Oct. 23 Kabul press conference.

Burmese opium farmers protest eradication

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

South East AsiaThe White House has announced a partial lifting of sanctions on Burma in recognition of progress in its democratic transition. Restrictions are to be dropped on state-owned banks and businesses, although some 100 companies and individuals linked to the armed forces will remain iced. This relaxation comes at the request of longtime democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who although barred from holding the presidency is effectively the country’s leader following November's elections. But human rights concerns remain—especially around the fate of the Rohingya Muslims, persecuted and made stateless by the military junta that has now (mostly) surrendered power. And the multiple ethnic insurgencies in Burma's opium-producing northern mountains, while receiving less world media attention lately, continue to vex the country.

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