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decriminalization

'Drug war' dissent at OAS summit

Posted on June 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Central AmericaMore than 160 civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens in Mexico, Central America and the United States, sent an open letter to the OAS General Assembly meeting in the Guatemalan city of Antigua this week,  calling for alternatives to the "war on drugs" that guarantee respect for human rights. "Our organizations have documented an alarming increase in violence and human rights violations. While we recognize that transnational crime and drug-trafficking play a role in this violence, we call on our governments to acknowledge that failed security policies that have militarized citizen security have only exacerbated the problem, and are directly contributing to increased human suffering in the region," the letter states.

Vermont decriminalizes cannabis

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on June 6 signed into law a bill passed by the state legislature that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis or five grams of hashish.  Shumlin's signature make Vermont the 17th state to remove criminal penalties for possessing small quantities of cannabis—including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire. "This change just makes common sense," Shumlin said as he signed the bill. "Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana." (Drug War Chronicle, June 6)

Will OAS summit broach drug decrim?

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Central AmericaAs the  Organization of American States (OAS) summit opens under tight security in the historic Guatemalan city of Antigua—some 2,000 army and National Police troops deployed—fighting narco-trafficking is certain to top the agenda. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in attendance, with US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske—prepared to oppose initiatives to reconsider the "war on drugs," including from Guatemala's otherwise arch-conservative President Otto Pérez Molina. But it remains to be seen if the summit will take up the iconoclastic recommendations of a draft report on drug policy released by the OAS last month. When the ground-breaking report was issued, OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza asserted, "this is not a conclusion but only the beginning of a long-awaited discussion." As the Guatemala summit opened June 3, he reiterated that the report will not be officially adopted by the international body, but that "it will be only a platform for discussion." This equivocation will doubtless be welcome in Washington, given the report's open dissidence from generations of "drug war" dogma.

Americans for Safe Access gets DC contract to train dispensary, cultivation staff

Posted on January 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

medical marijuanaThe country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was awarded a permit by the District of Columbia Department of Health last week to implement its compulsory training for cultivators and distributors licensed by the District. ASA Foundation was selected to be the Medical Marijuana Certification Provider based on its longstanding experience providing such trainings across the country. The four-hour long training course, a requirement under the District's Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010, will cover the basics of medical marijuana, including an overview of its clinical applications, safety and operational protocols, as well as participants’ rights and responsibilities under local and federal laws.

Colombia: constitutional court approves decriminalization

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaColombia's Constitutional Court on June 28 approved a measure to decriminalize possession of personal quantities of cocaine and cannabis. Those caught with less than 22 grams of cannabis or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive mandated treatment depending on their level of intoxication, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.

Chicago votes to decriminalize cannabis

Posted on June 28th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

The Chicago City Council on June 27 voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. Under the new ordinance, police officers may issue tickets to individuals found to be in possession of 10 grams of cannabis or less. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this month expressed his support for the ordinance, which he said would "ultimately [free] up police officers for the street." Emanuel said he consulted with police authorities before endorsing the ordinance. The new law will take effect 30 days from its passage, and supporters say it will raise revenue for the city as well as allow police more freedom to pursue violent criminals. (Jurist, June 27)

New York: Bloomberg endorses Cuomo plan to decriminalize pot in "public view"

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

New York cannabisNew York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo held an Albany press conference June 4 to announce that he will ask state lawmakers to make possession of cannabis "in public view" a violation—essentially, the same as simple possession of under an ounce in the Empire State. Having the herb "in public view" is currently a misdemeanor, which is exploited by New York City police to rack up arrests in so-called "stop-and-frisks" by spooking citizens into displaying their stash—an illegal practice that has been the focus of a recent controversy. Cuomo's proposal immediately won the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his top prosecutors and—amazingly—the New York Police Department.

Cannabis certain winner in California's new "Emerald Triangle" congressional district

CaliforniaThanks to last year's redistricting, California now has a new Second Congressional District that some call the "Emerald Triangle District"—running from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border, through the cannabis counties of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity. The primary is in five days, and under California's new open-primary system, the two leading vote-getters will move on to the November general election, regardless of party. In the field of 12, the most outspoken herbal advocate is Garberville's veteran Earth First! tree-hugger Andy Caffrey.

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