United States

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."

Flagship Oakland dispensary marks 10 years

Posted on October 6th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

OaklandOakland's KTVU  on Oct. 5 noted a miltestone for the East Bay city: exactly 10 years of operation for Harborside Health Center, the foremost "pioneering enterprise" in California's cannabis industry. "The world's attitude towards cannabis has shifted massively in the course of the 10 years that Harborside has been open," box-store dispensary founder Steve DeAngelo told the station, noting legalization of recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia. "So we have seen really a massive, tectonic shift in attitudes towards cannabis." KTVU hails Harborside as "a solid, respected business with 200 employees and contractors, serving 200,000 patients."

Cannabis angle emerges in Eric Garner case

Posted on October 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityThe case of Eric Garner—the Staten Island man killed in a police chokehold in July 2014, helping to galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement—continues to make headlines in New York City. In the latest development, reported in the Daily News Oct. 3, Ramsey Orta, the man who shot video footage of Garner's final moments, was sentenced to four years in prison on drug charges. The reading of the sentence was apparently a dramtic moment. As officers placed Orta in handcuffs, protesters stood up in the courtroom, holding their fists in the air and chanting, "No justice, no peace! Fuck these racist police!"

Cannabis emerges as factor in Charlotte case

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

BlackLivesMatterThe police slaying of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, NC, on  Sept. 20 set off days of angry protests and riots, ultimately resulting in a midnight curfew and mobilization of the National Guard to the city's streets. Protests stayed peaceful the night of Sept. 24, although a group of clergy and demonstrators defied the curfew to hold a prayer vigil outside the Charrlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters, ABC reported. The curfew was finally lifted the next night, but the city remains tense. Police have just released body and dahsboard video footage of the fatal incident.

Biggest prison strike in US history —amid media blackout

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

prisonAmid a shameful paucity of media coverage, inmates at facilities in several states have organized work stoppages following a call for a nationwide prison strike to begin on Sept. 9—the anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising. Organizers say inmates in at least 29 prisons in 12 states have launched strikes, with an unprecedented more than 24,000 prisoners participating. "This is a call to end slavery," reads the official call for the strike, issued by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. "They cannot run these facilities without us." While there have been prison strikes before—two earlier this year, in Texas and Alabama—this marks the first one to be nationally coordinated. Prisoners are using social media and smuggled cell phones to organize the national strike.

Oakland measure seeks city stake in cannabis clubs

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

OaklandWith California preparing to vote on a marijuana legalization initiative in November,  the city of Oakland is seeking not only tax revenues but a direct cut of profits from local cannabis business. A measure introduced in the City Council would require any new Oakland cannabis company to make the city government a 25% partner. Companies that don't cut Oakland in would not get a permit and therefore not be allowed to operate under local law—or state law, which mandates compliance with municipal ordinances.

Cops to get 'potalyzers' for roadside marijuana tests

Posted on September 12th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchResearchers at Stanford University have developed a "potalyzer"—a device that can detect human THC levels, so cops can determine if a motorist is too impaired to drive. The hand-held device uses sophisticated bio-sensors to detect THC molecules in saliva. Police officers will supposedly be able collect a spit sample with a cotton swab and read the results on a smartphone or laptop in just three minutes.

DEA declares war on kratom

Posted on September 9th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

kratomLast month, when the DEA dashed activist hopes for a rescheduling of cannabis, it also issued another lesser-noted decision—to put the psychoactive herb kratom in the same Schedule I classification as pot, that for the most dangerous drugs with no medical use. Advocates have launched a White House petition against the kratom ban, and have already won the required 100,000 signatures to trigger an administration reponse. The DEA decision takes effect on Sept. 30, while the White House has 60 days to respond to the petition, under its own policy.

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman