Bill Weinberg's blog

Criminal element seen in illicit grow ops amid Oregon crackdown

Posted on September 11th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

OregonAuthorities in southern Oregon are making accusations of criminal labor and environmental practices by illicit cannabis growers—and carrying out militarized raids. The grim headlines are starting to make legalization in the Beaver State look like something of Pyrrhic victory.

Panama approves medical marijuana law —Costa Rica next?

Posted on September 2nd, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Central AmericaPanama's national legislature approved a medical marijuana law—a first for the nations of the Central American isthmus. Advocates in neighboring Costa Rica are taking heart, and redoubling efforts to make their country the next. But cultural conservatives are pledging resistance in both countries.

Happy Munkey smoke out at Immersive Van Gogh

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

HappyMunkeyNew York City's Happy Munkey "cannabis lifestyle purveyor" held two after-hours affairs this month at the East River waterfront venue hosting the popular Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. The twin soirées were seen as marking the arrival of an open presence for cannabis in the Big Apple's vaunted cultural life.

Coming soon: Taliban hash?

Posted on August 16th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

AfghanistanHaving funded their long insurgency with opium and hashish, the Taliban are poised to establish a “narco-state” in Afghanistan. The multi-billion dollar 20-year US effort to suppress cultivation of illicit crops in the county failed as dramatically as its war against the Taliban. Exports of Taliban-tainted smack and hash are already reaching Europe, and may reach US shores.

Pressure rising on Hmong cannabis growers in California's far north

Posted on August 3rd, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA disturbing escalation is reported in California’s far-north Siskiyou County, where Hmong immigrants from Laos have been getting in on the cannabis economy—sparking a xenophobic backlash. Conservative politicians are making hay of the tensions, while the local Hmong are starting to stand up and protest.

Mexico: high court decrees cannabis decrim — but will it roll back drug war?

Posted on June 29th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

MexicoTwo years and counting after Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the country’s Congress to legalize cannabis, the high court justices ran out of patience with the legislative paralysis and issued a new ruling — this one removing penalties for personal use by judicial decree.

But there is no provision for commercial production, and the decree calls for tight federal regulation even of personal possession and cultivation. Will this move prove to be at least a beginning in the daunting challenge of ending Mexico’s long and bloody narco-nightmare?

Morocco gets legal cannabis sector

Posted on June 19th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

MoroccoMorocco, long the world's largest illicit producer, is finally getting a legalized commercial cannabis industry, thanks to a law actually introduced by the current otherwise conservative government. The new law is designed to daylight traditional small growers in the marginalized Rif Mountains.

But the program is geared toward the export market and explicitly bars "recreational" use. It remains to be seen whether there will be a meaningful relaxation of increasingly militarized cannabis enforcement.

Trulieve tainted by GOP sleaze

Posted on May 27th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchThe sex scandal investigation of Florida's far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz interlocks with a controversy concerning favoritism in handing out medical marijuana licenses in the Sunshine State. And one of the key beneficiaries appears to be Trulieve, now one of the leading cannabis companies in the United States. The origins of the firm go back to a nexus of prominent state Republicans, including names currently making stomach-churning national headlines.

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