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decriminalization

Colombia: new National Police chief broaches legalization

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Colombia Gen. José Roberto León, number-two man in Colombia's militarized National Police force, has been fingered to be the force's new chief starting next week. Upon his appointment, he issued a stern warning to drug traffickers: "The National Police is out there, using all its capacities to capture or neutralize you." But León also stated that he agreed with President Juan Manuel Santos' position on drug legalization: "My position is the same as President Santos. The Colombian government has the moral authority to open the debate and, as indicated by [Santos], it is necessary to review the entire anti-drug strategy to explore new ideas and strategies enabling greater effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking. Another point is that people who are addicted to drugs, especially marijuana, should receive medical treatment, so the issue becomes a matter of public health." (Colombia Reports, May 7) (Sic: cannabis, of course, is not addictive.)

Spanish village declares right to grow cannabis

Posted on April 11th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

RasqueraBy a popular vote, the Spanish village of Rasquera on April 11 adopted a plan to rent out a field for growing cannabis in an urgent bid to create jobs and raise money to pay off its debts. Rasquera's village council approved the plan to rent seven hectares of municipal land to the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA) in a 4-3 vote Feb. 29. A total of 804 residents were eligible to vote in the referendum, which posed the question: "Do you agree with the anti-crisis plan approved by the Rasquera town hall on February 29?" The approval—with 308 votes for, and 239 against—was hailed by Mayor Bernat Pellisa as a "magnificent result."

Colombia: lawmakers broach decrim of coca, cannabis cultivation

Posted on March 31st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaLawmakers in Colombia have proposed decriminalizing cultivation of the coca leaf and cannabis to undercut the narco mafias. Proponents say the move would reduce prices and give peasants more incentive to grow other crops. The bill will be debated in the coming days by the lower house of Colombia's congress, the Chamber of Representatives. But Colombia's Justice Ministry says the move would violate Colombia's commitments to international narcotics treaties. "We have to be particularly prudent and particularly cautious," said Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra.

Belize broaches decriminalization

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Cannabis could soon be decriminalized in Belize following comments by Minister of Police and Public Safety Doug Singh that his ministry is preparing a paper exploring the idea to be presented to the Cabinet. Singh said that he is looking at removing criminal penalties for quantities under somewhere between five to seven grams. He emphasized that under the proposal, those caught with such personal quantities would still face a ticket and fine, and that legalization is not under consideration.

Mexico's ex-prez Fox again speaks out for drug legalization

Posted on October 31st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisMexico's former President Vicente Fox again spoke out for drug legalization this month, telling a Washington DC meeting of the right-libertarian Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity that prohibition bears responsibility for the horrific toll in his country's cartel wars: "Fifty thousand kids from 15 to 25 years old have been killed in the last five years. Violence does not defeat violence." He asked rhetorically: "Do we really expect that the government will eradicate the drugs from the face of the earth?"

NYPD commish calls on cops to halt improper cannabis busts

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityPolice Commissioner Ray Kelly has issued an internal order to the New York City Police Department directing officers to stop making arresting for small quantities of marijuana, if the marijuana was never in public view. The directive, leaked to radio station WNYC, comes as the NYPD is under heat over alleged improper marijuana arrests.

Colombian high court re-legalizes drug possession

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaIn an August 24 ruling (PDF), the Colombian Supreme Court rejected a 2009 constitutional amendment recriminalizing the possession of personal-use amounts of illegal drugs. Prior to that amendment, pushed vigorously by then-president Alvaro Uribe, the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use had been legal under a 1994 Constitutional Court decision. Between the 1994 ruling the 2009 amendment, adults were allowed to legally possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of cocaine, and two grams of synthetic drugs. After Uribe's reform, people arrested with small amounts of illegal drugs faced prison sentences of 64 to 108 months.

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:

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