United States

Rudy 'Stop-and-Frisk' Giuliani named for cabinet post

Posted on November 15th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchFormer New York City mayor and current full-time Trump-booster Rudolph Giuliani is top contender to be secretary of state in the new administration, Trump campaign officials told the New York Times Nov. 15. The account notes that Giulianii invokes his moment of glory in the aftermath of 9-11, and his former work as a federal prosecutor, as giving him credibility to represent the United States on the world stage. During his own abortive presidential run in 2008, he boasted at a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire: "I am the only one here who actually has had to face an Islamic terrorist attack. With regard to foreign policy, I've negotiated with governments when I was in the Justice Department. I worked on a task force on terrorism in the 1970s."

Martin Lee speaks on CBD in New York City

medical marijuanaA little New York-California cross-fertilization of herbal consciousness took place as Martin Lee, the author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, spoke in Manhattan's East Village the night of Nov. 10 on "The Future of CBD and Medicinal Cannabis." Lee discussed his current work with California-based Project CBD, dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical uses of cannabidiol, and Emerald Pharms, his CBD-oriented dispensary in Hopland, southern Medocino County. The event was hosted by The Alchemist's Kitchen, a New Age-flavored herbal apothecary—or "botanical dispensary"—on East 1st Street. Under New York state's medical marijuana law, the Kitchen recently launched a Bowery Cannabis Club, which specializes in CBD products.

The cannabis question in Trump's America

BlackLivesMatterThe results of the Nov. 8 elections really indicate the schizophrenic nature of American political culture at this moment. Amid the fear and loathing over the election of the fascistic Donald Trump as president, big gains were registered for cannabis freedom. Voters in California approved Proposition 64, legalizing  up to an ounce for those 21 and older, and allowing individuals to grow up to six plants. The measure also permits retail sales and imposes a 15% tax. Similar measures passed in Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada, bringing the percentage of Americans living in states where cannabis is legal for adults up from five to 20 percent. Only Arizona's Proposition 205 was rejected by the voters.

Obama drug war sentence commutations reach record 944

Posted on November 8th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ObamaPresident Barack Obama on Nov. 5 commuted the sentences of 72 more drug war inmates, bringing his total commutations throughout his two terms to 944. The pace of Obama's commutations is picking up as he approaches the end of his time in office. In a similar move one month earlier, he commuted the terms of 102 federal prison inmates—breaking all prior records. "The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws," White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement Oct. 6. "With today's grants, the President has commuted 774 sentences, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. With a total of 590 commutations this year, President Obama has now commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history."

Big pharma, alcohol fund anti-legalization drives —surprise!

Posted on October 26th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchWho do you think is pouring money into the campaigns against the legalization initiaves that will go before the voters in five states next month? Well, an Oct. 22 exposé in The Guardian newspaper will confirm your most cyniical suspicions. In August, the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics became the biggest donor to the campaign to defeat Arizona's Proposition 205, making a $500,000 donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP). In making the donation, Insys cited concerns for child safety. But The Guardian points out the delicious irony: Insys manufactures Subsys, a prescription painkiller derived from fentanyl—a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. And the Phoenix New Times adds that Insys is under investigation in four states, including Arizona, for marketing practices related to Subsys that have allegedly resulted in patient deaths.

California: billions seen from cannabis boom —amid dissent

Posted on October 18th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaAs Californians prepare to vote on a cannabis legalization initiative, bullish predictions mount of an imminent windfall. The state capital region alone could reap 20,000 jobs and generate $4.2 billion in business if it becomes a hub for a legal cannabis industry, according to a new study by the University of the Pacific in Stockton. Reuters reports Oct. 17 that the study was commissioned by cannabis investment firm Truth Enterprises. "The Sacramento region should be to cannabis what Detroit is to automobiles in terms of both a center of innovation as well as production," said Truth Enterprises partner Daniel Conway. "This region has the ability to be to cannabis what Sonoma and Napa are to wine." Conway is certainly confident. He just left his job as chief of staff to Sacramento mayor (and former NBA star) Kevin Johnson to pursue his future in the cannabis sector.

California controversy over commercial cannabis grow licenses

Posted on October 17th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaMany rural California communities have high expectations over the prospect of commercial cannabis cultivation, officially licensed by local authorities under provisions of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MMRCA), which was passed by Sacramento last year. Humbold County issued its first commercial cultivation licenses this summer. Now a less likely entry, Kern County in the conservative southern end of the Central Valley, has seen its first licenses. These were issued by the municipality of California City, where officials expressed some surprise at their own actions. "It's a new industry for us. It kind of came and dropped in our laps," city manager Tom Weil told Bakersfield's KBAK. "It's not something we were looking for."

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn DA who 'decriminalized' cannabis, passes on

Posted on October 11th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Ken ThompsonKenneth Thompson, the first African American elected to serve as Brooklyn's district attorney in the 166-year history of the office, died Oct. 9 at the age of 50.  Thompson, a leading voice for criminal justice reform in New York City, was most famous for his 2014 decision to stop prosecuting low-level cannabis cases in Brooklyn. "This new policy is a reasonable response to the thousands of low-level marijuana arrests that weigh down the criminal justice system, require significant resources that could be redirected to more serious crimes and take an unnecessary toll on offenders," Thompson said in his press release announcing the move. Gothamist reported at the time that the decision "effectively decriminalized marijuana possession in the borough."

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