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$57 billion world cannabis market foreseen

earthOakland-based cannabis industry research firm ArcView Group has released a new study, ambitiously entitled "The Road Map to a $57 Billion Worldwide Market." It provides a sweeping overview of recent progress and future prospects for legal or medical herb across the globe. But it also warns that, due to continued legal restrictions and bureaucratic overstretch, the market is in most areas bottlenecked from achieving its potential.

The Philippine contradiction: martial law and medical marijuana

Posted on January 9th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

South East AsiaThe Unites States is facing a pretty surreal contradiction, with blustering Trump and his cannabis-phobic Attorney General Jeff Sessions holding the federal reins, as legalization takes effect in California. The Philippines is looking at a similar paradox. Ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte is again sending the National Police back into drug enforcement, after he was pressured to withdraw them by a public outcry over their slaying of thousands of innocent civilians since he took office in June 2016. And on New Year's Eve, he won a grim victory as the Philippine Congress voted to extend his declaration of martial law in the conflicted southern island of Mindanao through the end of 2018.

Duterte fudges police death toll to justify drug war

Posted on December 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte—trying to justify sending the National Police back into drug enforcement after he was pressured to withdraw them by a public outcry over their slaying of innocent civilians—seems to have just been caught in a lie. He stated Dec. 7 that 242 police officers have been killed in anti-drug operations since he took office on June 30, 2016—this by way of providing a rationale for the police killing thousands of Filipinos in this same period. He said, in his typically crude syntax: "[W]hy is it, if it is not that dangerous and violent, why is it that to date, I have lost 242 policemen in drug-related raids and arrest?"

Duterte backtracks on drug war de-escalation —surprise!

Posted on November 18th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaJust a matter of weeks after the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte won rare favorable headlines by pledging to pull the National Police out of his ultra-deadly "war on drugs," he is already backpeddaling and threatening to send them back in—as cynics had predicted. Duterte made his threat Nov. 18 in a speech at a business event in his hometown Davao City (where he first honed his death-squad tactics when he served there as mayor). "The drug problem, if it becomes worse again, the police has to enter the picture," he said in his typically crude syntax. "I want it eradicated if possible."  

Duterte drug war de-escalation: how real?

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' notoriously ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte won rare favorable international headlines Oct. 12, when he said he would pull his National Police force out of his brutal "war on drugs," which has now reached the point of mass murder, with an estimated 8,000 slain since he took office last year. The move came in response to a wave of public outrage after the police slaying of an unarmed youth in the working-class Manila suburb of Caloocan City in August.

Philippines: Duterte threatens to kill his own son

Posted on September 20th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaIt is beginning to smack a little of desperation—or at least we hope it is. Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte—whose "war on drugs" has now reached the point of mass murder—was recently put on the hot spot when his own son was called to testify before a Senate hearing on drug corruption. Paolo Duterte is a vice-mayor of the same southern port city, Davao, where his dad had long served as mayor. The younger Duterte is accused of being part of a ring of corrupt officials that allowed methamphetamine shipments through the city's port. President Duterte has repeatedly boasted of his enthusiasm for killing drug suspects. Would his standards of rough justice apply to his own kith and kin?

Is anti-drug strongman of the Philippines in bed with narco gangs?

Posted on September 5th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaIs it really possible that Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte—who has unleashed a "war on drugs" that has now reached the point of mass murder, and used charges of narco-corruption to lock up his political opponents—is himself mixed up in the drug trade? With the Philippine Senate now launching multiple investigations into the drug-related violence, charges of involvement in the narco trade have actually reached some of Duterte's closest family members.

Philippines: Duterte calls for genocide against drug users

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaPolice in the Philippines killed 32 people in a wave of anti-drug operations north of the capital, Manila—making Aug. 16  the single deadliest day so far of President Rodrigo Duterte's ultra-deadly war on drugs. Over  100 were also arrested in the sweeps—overwhelmingly street-level dealers—and dozens of firearms reportedly seized. The operations were jointly carried out by National Police and Bulacan provincial authorities. Duterte expressed open enthusiasm for the bloodshed—and warned that it is just beginning. "There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that's good," he said in a speech. "Let's kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country."

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