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Bill Weinberg's blog

Will Sessions memo mean death penalty for state-legal cannabis growers?

Shadow WatchAfter Jeff Sessions issued a memo urging prosecutors to seek the death penalty for those "dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs," even mainstream media outlets began raising the alarm that this could actually be used against large-scale legal cannabis cultivators in places like California. Is this threat is at all realistic?

Tot's medical petition puts UK government on the spot

Posted on March 21st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

medical marijuanaTurned down by the British government when they requested permission to use cannabis oil, the family of a child epilepsy sufferer personally delivered a petition with thousands of signatures to 10 Downing Street. They were backed up by members of parliament and the famous actor Sir Patrick Stewart. Charges of hypocrisy on the part of government were brought into sharp focus by revelations that the Home Office minister—ultimately responsible for the decision to turn down the request—is married to a businessman who oversees massive cultivation under contract to GW Pharmaceuticals.

Oakland measure against cannabis-fueled displacement

Posted on March 13th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

OaklandOakland's city council has passed an ordinance protecting tenants from being evicted by cannabis businesses in the city's "Green Zone." Artist housing in post-industrial areas is especially at risk. Oakland is committed to a policy of "cannabis equity," in which the cannabis economy is daylighted with a sense of social justice. But this does point to the dilemma of cannabis-fueled displacement—a phenomenon also reported from places like the more freewheeling Denver, which are less committed to principles of equity.

$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.

Peru: medical marijuana regs delayed —as eradication continues

Posted on March 8th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

PeruThe process of working out implementing regulations for Peru's new medical marijuana program is now officially in extra innings, extending beyond the 60-day window that opened with the signing of the law in November. Advocates are still watching to see whether homegrown will be permitted or just lab-grown, and what constitutes a "laboratory." Meanwhile, despite this tentative progress, the cannabis-growing heartland of the Norte Chico continues to see big militarized police raids on campesino cultivation.

Netherlands a 'narco state'? Don't believe the hype

Posted on March 6th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisThe Dutch police association has released a lurid report asserting that the Netherlands is becoming a "narco-state," with authorities unable to keep ahead of criminal enterprises bringing illegal drugs into the country. There have in fact been some recent cases of grisly narco-violence in the Netherlands, of the kind more commonly associated with Mexico or Colombia. The report will provide further propaganda for opponents of the Dutch gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy) toward the sale of cannabis—but a link between that and the recent violence is dubious.

Spain and Morocco in heavy crackdown on hashish networks

Posted on March 1st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

MoroccoOver the past weeks, authorities in Morocco and Spain have unleashed sweeps against hashish smuggling networks, arresting hundreds. One ring was reportedly using Serbian ex-military helicopter pilots to ferry product across the Strait of Gibraltar. This heightened militarization is disappointing, as a legalization initiative in Morocco—the world's top cannabis producer—fell victim to political unrest and intrigues last year.

'Cannabis equity' questions behind Detroit zoning imbroglio

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

cannabisA recent court decision regarding a seemingly prosaic controversy over the zoning of medical marijuana businesses in Detroit actually sheds light on issues of what some activists are calling "cannabis equity"—how questions of social and racial justice related to the war on drugs will be addressed as the industry is day-lighted.

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