United States

Cannabis use up; meth, coke down: study

Posted on September 9th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisCannabis is increasingly the drug of choice among young adults in the US, while methamphetamine use  is dropping, according to a national survey released Sept. 8 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Overall, 8.9% of the US population or 22.6 million people aged 12 and older used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 8.7% in 2009 and 8% in 2008, the study finds according to Reuters. Cannabis use appears to be driving the increase, with some 17.4 million—or 6.9% of the population—saying they used marijuana in 2010, up from 14.4 million or 5.8% of the population in 2007.

Masses march for medical marijuana in Michigan

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

cannabisMore than 1,000 people carrying colorful home-made signs gathered on the steps of the Michigan capitol building in Lansing on Sept. 7 to protest a recent state Court of Appeals ruling that made commercial sales of medical marijuana illegal. "Marijuana smoke hung in the air most of the afternoon," one reporter wrote, while protesters chanted "Whose house? Our house! Show me what democracy is made of!" The protest—held on the first day the Michigan legislature returned for the fall session—was called by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association to demand that lawmakers uphold the will of the voters in the Medical Marijuana Act, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly in 2008.

Anti-pot pol caught with pot seeks plea bargain

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Robert WatsonRobert Watson, a Republican Rhode Island state lawmaker charged with pot possession and DUI in Connecticut, is said to be hoping for a plea bargain in New Haven Superior Court. Watson, who has pleaded not guilty, lost his job as Rhode Island's House minority leader after his April arrest in East Haven. (AP, Aug. 25) Bloggers had a field day with his bust, because he had just recently made comments baiting liberals in his state as soft on immigrants, gays—and pot smokers! Here's what the "Irony Alert" blog in The Week had to say in its coverage of the coverage:

Mexico: "Fast and Furious" fells US gun control chief

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoThe US Justice Department announced Aug. 30 that Kenneth Melson, acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), had been reassigned to another position in the department and that Dennis Burke, US attorney for Arizona, was resigning from his post. The department gave no reason for the changes, but they were clearly fallout from Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled ATF program that allowed some 2,000 weapons to go from the US to Mexico, where they were probably used in drug cartel violence.

Drug Czar: legalization no "magic bullet"

Posted on September 3rd, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

cannabisTim Padgett of Time magazine's Global Spin blog queried Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske about comments made by Mexican President Felipe Calderón in his speech following the recent Monterrey casino massacre, in which he said the US was complicit for its "insatiable" demand for drugs and should consider "market alternatives" to failed anti-drug policies. Was this a coded reference to legalization, and would this put pressure on the White House to consider the idea? Kerlikowske responded:

Mexican cartels in Emerald Triangle: real or hype?

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaAn Aug. 31 report on PBS NewsHour provides mixed indications on recent hype about the supposed presence of Mexican drug cartels in the cannabis trade of Northern California's Emerald Triangle—which has now been officially designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the federal government. In the Mendocino National Forest, which has seen unprecedented raids this year, 10 Mexican nationals are among the approximately 100 arrested. Last year, Mendocino County saw a record-breaking number of armed confrontations during marijuana raids—"many with Mexican nationals with suspected links to drug gangs across the border." Two Mexican nationals were killed in last year's raids—one, named Mariano Fernández, reportedly after he aimed an "AK-47-type rifle" at a police SWAT team.

National cannabis prices mapped

cannabis price mapThe oddly named mapping website FloatingSheep.com has produced a map showing the differences in the retail price of cannabis in the United States, coast to coast. The map—apparently featured in the September issue of Wired magazine under the cheeky title "Infoporn: O Say, Can You THC?"—is based on information gleaned from consumer reports on the Price of Weed website.

California activists launch new legalization bid

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaEast Bay physician Dr. Frank Lucido, Mendocino activist Pebbles Trippet and attorney William Panzer have announced a new California initiative to legalize the state's biggest cash crop. The Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012 would allow adults to legally possess up to three pounds and grow a ten-by-ten-foot garden, with the California Department of Public Health to oversee the commercial side. The text of the initiative has been submitted to the state Attorney General's office for review.

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