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East Asia

'Drug-free' South Korea moves to permit medical marijuana products

Posted on August 13th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

KoreaThe cannabis prohibition regime in South Korea is a harsh one. Authorities have long been intent on maintaining the official fiction of a "drug-free" nation. But the first crack has appeared in this intolerant edifice, with lawmakers and bureaucrats now moving to approve use of certain imported medical marijuana products.

Trump's trade wars hit cannabis businesses

Posted on July 14th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchIn a fast and furious exchange of retaliatory tariffs, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping appear to have initiated a trade war this week. If Trump isn't careful, he could risk undermining the very domestic economic buoyancy that has helped sustain his popularity among his base. And the cannabis sector is particularly vulnerable, according to industry insiders.

China crime link seen in fed crackdown on California grow ops

Posted on April 13th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe seizure by federal agents of some 100 homes around Northern California supposedly used in grow operations financed by criminal networks based in China points to ongoing dilemmas in the state's contraband cannabis economy—which persists even in the wake of legalization.

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.

Public death sentences kick off China anti-drug campaign

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ChinaIn a lugubrious public spectacle, a Chinese court sentenced 10 people to death before a crowd of thousands at a stadium in the southern city of Lufeng Dec. 15. Of course, most were convicted of drug-related crimes, According to a harrowing report in South China Morning Post, they were summarily tried on the spot, and immediately taken away for execution. The grim ceremony kicked off a new anti-drug campaign in the People's Republic of China.

Growing cannabis seizures in 'drug-free' South Korea

Posted on July 6th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

KoreaAuthorities in South Korea have long boasted that the country is "drug free," but that fiction is getting harder to maintain. Korea JoongAang Daily on July 6 reports that the amount of drugs seized by customs agents in the Republic of Korea jumped significantly in the first half of this year. The Customs Service said it seized 27.5 kilograms (60.6 pounds) of drugs worth 41.3 billion won ($35.9 million) in the first six months of 2017.

Hong Kong cannabis interceptions soaring

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Hong KongCannabis seizures are rapidly escalating in Hong Kong—whether due to greater quantities on the market or stepped-up enforcement, or both. The city's South China Morning Post reports June 19 on a haul of 35 kilos in 136 baggies ready for sale, uncovered in a vehicle during a police raid on a car park. Three were arrested. Police estimated the street value of the load at HK$10 million (about US$1.3 million). As recently as May 27, the SCMP reported a police raid on an industrial building in the city's Tai Po district that netted 110 kilos, worth HK$19 million. (Obviously, the math is not adding up here, raising questions about how the Hong Kong cops arrive at their estimates.)

Does North Korea have a more tolerant cannabis policy than South?

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

KoreaWell, absolutely not, but you could be forgiven for thinking so, based on a cursory review of recent headlines.

Although it hasn't made much of a splash stateside, the big news in the South this week is the "marijuana scandal" surrounding a singer from the suggestively named K-pop boy-band Big Bang, who goes by the stage-name T.O.P.

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