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Outrage over Costa Mesa dispensary raid

Posted on August 8th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaA police raid of a Southern California medical marijuana dispensary was caught on hidden cameras—leading to accusations that officers exceeded their legal authority during the operation. "These guys were doing this to shut down a business without due process because they don't like it," Matthew Pappas, attorney for the now-closed Costa Mesa Collective told the Orange County Register in an Aug. 4 report. "They became judge, jury and executioner."

New round of dispensary raids in Toronto

Posted on June 24th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Canada Toronto police raided more cannabis dispensaries June 23—in a sequel to last month's "Project Claudia." Raids were reported on the Cannabis Culture and Canna Clinic dispensaries, both in the herb-friendly Yonge Street area. Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters he believed search warrants were executed at four locations. Cannabis Culture is run by Canada's crusading activist couple Marc and Jody Emery, who had voiced defiance after the May raids. Marc Emery stated at the time: "We refuse to be bullied by police and unjust, harmful, discriminatory law enforcement."

Medical cannabis kosher for Passover

Posted on April 20th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

kosher cannabisOn the eve of the Passover holiday, a breakthough is reported in the controversy over whether cannabis is kosher. The Times of Israel just couldn't resist the smart-alecky lede: "Getting baked on Passover is no longer just for matzah, a leading Orthodox rabbi ruled, after sniffing (but not smoking) some cannabis leaves..." Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Israel's leading Orthodox halachic (Jewish law) authority, ruled that cannabis is kosher for Passover and can be either eaten or smoked over the eight-day festival, during which strict dietary laws apply. Kanievsky issued the ruling in response to a query from the cannabis advocacy group Siach—which means both "plant" and "conversation" in Hebrew.

Prosecution of medical user sparks debate in Sweden

Posted on March 31st, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

EuropeThe trial of a paralyzed man who was prosecuted by Swedish authorities for self-medicating with cannabis has sparked debate over legalization in the Scandinavian nation, according to a March 27 report in Sweden's English-language The Local. Andreas Thörn, 37, who broke his neck in a motorcycle accident in 1994, used cannabis for relief from neuropathic pain as well as anxiety and depression. He was initially acquitted in August 2015 after successfully using a medical defense. Thörn said he had tried numerous pharmaceuticals which did not help, and had run out of legal options. Claes Hultling, spinal injury specialist at the Karolinska Institute, testified that studies indicate barely a fifth of spinal cord patients can be treated with the drugs available today.

Landmark cannabis case in Costa Rica

Posted on January 20th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Central AmericaCosta Rica took a step towards becoming the next Latin American country to decriminalize cannabis Jan. 19, when attorney Mario Alberto Cerdas Salazar was cleared of cultivation charges on grounds of individual liberties. Cerdas Salazar was arrested in August at his home in the city of Alajuela in August, after publicly advocating for a personal right to use and cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and gastronomic purposes. He has been held since, charged with "drug trafficking." The Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ, Costa Rica's answer to the FBI) said they found enough cannabis on the premises to make 5,000 cigarettes. The quantity was also ambiguously put at 170 "plants and leaves of plants." But the OIJ admitted they had no evidence the cannabis was intended for commercial purposes. The judge hearing the case, Carolina Leitón, found: "Yes, marijuana cultivation is illegal; nonetheless, it is not a crime if it is not utilized for sale." 

Dubai: US citizen in the dock for hash-laced gummy bears

Posted on December 21st, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastA US citizen is in court in the Persian Guld emirate of Dubai for possession of gummy-bear sweets laced with hashish, the United Arab Emirate's The National newspaper reported Dec. 20. Prosecutors told the Dubai Criminal Court that the defendant, identified only as "JD," had brought the cannabis candy in from the US. Working as a manager in the Emirates, JD was busted in July at a cafe by narcotics officers acting on a tip. He was apparently intimidated into accompanying the officers to his residence, where he spilled the beans±or the bears. "He opened his fridge and picked up a plastic bag full of gummy bears," testified a police major. Nonetheless, in his court appearance this week, JD pleaded ignorance. "I used it but I didn't know what it was at the time because it was inside the sweets," JD told the judges.  

Cannabis capitalism: America's future?

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

weedThere have been quite a few histories of cannabis culture and politics, but Bruce Barcott's Weed The People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America is the first to examine the cannabis industry and its future prospects at a moment when it is taking flight. His opening overview of how we got to this point is engaging if not always strictly accurate (he loans too much credence to the '70s paraquat scare). He notes the litany of US government reports back to the 1920s exculpating cannabis of the calumnies against it—all ignored by the very government that commissioned them. He details the bureaucratic obstacles that have been raised to research on cannabis' medical benefits. And he relates the passing of the torch (or, more literally, the joint) from the jazz scene to the beatniks to the hippies to the mainstream.

Canada high court rules for edibles

Posted on June 11th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CanadaIn a unanimous decision, a seven-justice bench of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled June 11 that the ban on edibles in the government's medical marijuana program is constitutionally flawed and breaches patients' rights. "Inhaling marihuana can present health risks and is less effective for some conditions than administration of cannabis derivative," the court found. The case stemmed fron the December 2009 bust of Owen Smith, then a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, who was arrested at his apartment with 200-plus cookies, a supply of cannabis-infused cooking oils, and some dried herb. He was charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act with trafficking tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In 2012, British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Robert Johnston acquitted Smith after ruling that the medical marijuana regulations were constitutionally flawed because they restricted patients' therapeutic use of cannabis. Canada's Supreme Court has now affirmed the acquittal. "I think across the country there will be a lot more smiles and a lot less pain," said Smith upon the news. (Vancouver Sun, Canadian Press, June 11)

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