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Canada's Le Dain Commission: Vindicated at Last

Posted on October 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Canada legalizationCanada's course to cannabis prohibition closely followed that in its southern neighbor. As in the United States, cannabis a century ago was widely available in tincture form as a medication before being banned in a campaign that blatantly harnessed racism and xenophobia. Yet now Canada is legalizing coast to coast, while the US federal government remains intransigent.

An early harbinger of Canada's enlightenment was the 1969 Le Dain Commission, which studied illegal drugs at the order of Ottawa, in response to then exploding use—especially of cannabis. The Le Dain Commission cut through the propaganda to recommend a common-sense policy—which Canada's government is actually now going beyond.

Riot police break up protest smoke-in in Bogotá

Posted on September 11th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaWith Colombia's new conservative president threatening to roll back the country's ground-breaking decriminalization policy, a group of young activists in Bogotá held a public cannabis smoke-in to demand their right to the "personal dose." But, in what seems like a foreboding sign, it was quickly broken up by the feared National Police riot squad.

 
Since the right-wing Iván Duque was sworn in as Colombia's president last month, many have expressed fears that he will reverse the country's recent progress toward a more tolerant drug policy and de-escalation of its long crisis of nightmarish narco-violence. 

Cannabis! Theatrical Concert unveils music in New York performance

Posted on August 31st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Cannabis theatrical concertWhat will ultimately be a multimedia extravaganza on the history, culture and politics of the cannabis plant is currently under production in New York City. The music for Cannabis! A Theatrical Concert was just unveiled for New York audiences in a special performance at a nightspot on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

New Zealand moves toward medical marijuana —and legalization

Posted on June 9th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

OceaniaThe government of New Zealand has announced that it plans to hold a referendum on cannabis legalization, possibly as early as next year. A medical marijuana bill is already pending in the country's parliament. But it has taken generations of activist effort by Kiwis to bring Aotearoa (by the country's indigenous Maori name) to this point. Cannabis Now speaks with some of the leaders who made it happen.

Cannabis cooking show debuts on Netflix

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

NgaioIn the latest testament to fast-growing mainstream embrace of cannabis, Netflix this month debuts a competitive cooking show exclusively featuring dishes prepared with the herb. And not just for flavoring—under the show's rules, all recipes must actually get you high.

Youth movement protests pot prohibition in ex-Soviet Georgia

Posted on May 18th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

CaucasusA protest in the Caucasus republic of Georgia to demand legalization of personal drugs use, with an emphasis on cannabis, points to changing times in the former USSR. The youth group behind the protest was first formed to demand freedom for a popular artist who was sentenced to 14 years for possession of a small amount of herb. The country's top court actually struck down penalties for cannabis possession as a result of the case. But the activists are pressing their campaign—a sign of cultural thaw in a region with very harsh drug laws.

Racial justice themes highlighted at NYC Cannabis Parade

Posted on May 7th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Cannabis marchNew York City's Cannabis Parade, flagship entry in the Global Marijuana March movement and a counterculture event dating back to the early 1970s, this year actually drew mainstream politicians and candidates. Nearly all struck themes of racial justice, emphasizing that a push for legalization in the Empire State must also address the social iniquities of cannabis prohibition and the "war on drugs."

Recovering the lost legacy of cannabis in Japan

Posted on April 12th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

JapanCannabis is completely verboten n Japan—rare, expensive and very illegal. First Lady Akie Abe broke taboo by advocating a medical marijuana program from the country—but she's now embroiled in scandal, nipping the proposal in the proverbial bud. Yet more grassroots advocates have also emerged. One local historian in agricultural Tochigi Prefecture has opened a "cannabis museum," documenting millennia of use of the plant for medicine, sacrament and fiber in the archipelago.

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