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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood scion busted for hashish

Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Middle EastEgypt's Ahram Online reports March 2 that Abdullah Mohamed Morsi—the son of ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the ultra-conservative Muslim Brotherhood—was arrested for possession of hashish. The young Morsi and a friend were detained at a security checkpoint in the Nile Delta's Obour City, Qalyubia governorate, where officials say they found two "joints of hashish" (presumably hash-laced tobacco) in their car. The two were released after they agreed to give blood and urine samples, which could result in their conviction. Abdullah's brother, Osama Morsi, condemned the arrest on his Facebook page, asserting the claim of drug possession is being used to "taint the image of honest people."

Uruguay to releive Israel's cannabis drought?

Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastUruguay is still developing its nascent cannabis economy following the Christmas Eve signing of the new legalization law, but its leaders have already broached international exports. Diego Cánepa, media spokesman for President José Mujica, said that while development of the domestic market is the priority, representatives from countries including Israel, Canada and Chile have contacted Uruguay to inquire on importing prospects.  "It was not the law’s intention to regulate international trade of marijuana, but Uruguay is open and enthusiastic at the possibility," said Cánepa to Montevideo newspaper La Red 21 in comments picked up by International Business Times. Several private companies have even expressed interest in opening cannabis laboratories in Uruguay, he said. "It would be a challenge, if labs were to open installations in Uruguay," admitted Cánepa. "It goes beyond what the law previewed, but it would turn Uruguay into a biotechnology center. That is a huge step forward."

Turkey's hashish boom —fallout from Syria war?

Posted on January 11th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastTurkish security forces report that they seized 150 tons of hashish in 2013, with 89 tons seized in southeastern Diyarbakir province, Turkey's Kurdish heartland. Authorities also said a somewhat improbable 56 million cannabis plants had been seized in Diyarbakir, and 382 arrested. The provincial Counter Narcotics Department called it a record-breaking year. (Trend, Jan. 9)

Persian Gulf militarized —by drug war

Posted on December 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Middle EastThe past year has seen a spate of dangerous brinkmanship in the Persian Gulf, with Iran and US naval forces along with those of the Gulf's oil-rich Arab mini-states playing chicken over the strategic choke-point of the Strait of Hormuz. But in addition to this show-down over a global oil outlet, the Gulf has seen escalating militarization in the guise of narcotics enforcement. Bahrain's Gulf Daily News on Nov. 26 ran a story boasting of the exploits of a 29-nation Combined Maritime Forces group, based at the petro-kingdom's sprawling US Navy base and commanded by Capt. Robert Slaven of the Royal Australian Navy. While it claims to have "considerably reduced the number of terrorist attacks in the region" over the past decade, it's most concrete gains are hashish and heroin seizures.

Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Albania emerges as top European cannabis hub

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

EuropeItalian police say Albania, the impoverished Balkan country just across the Adriatic Sea, is the source for vast quantities of cannabis entering G8 and EU member Italy. In the latest major haul in July, Italian Finance Police intercepted a full metric ton of cannabis from a speedboat along the coast of southern Puglia region. Four crewmen were arrested—two Italian and two Albanian. This came one month after the Finance Police released the results of months of air reconnaissance of Albania's hinterland, undertaken in a joint operation with Albanian police—identifying 500 cannabis plantations, accounting for a combined production of 1,000 metric tons with an estimated retail value of 4.5 billion euros. Over the past 20 years since the fall of its rigidly closed Communist dictatorship, Albania has won the title of "Europe's Afghanistan" for its prodigious cannabis production.

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

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

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

Iran smuggles pills, hash to Gulf states?

Posted on October 1st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastThe growing paranoia about Iranian hashish flooding the puritanical Persian Gulf states will doubtless be jacked up by the latest busts—three Iranian men arrested off Dubai by security forces of the United Arab Emirates, accused of smuggling 223 kilograms of hash and nearly 20,000 Tramadol pills in the diesel tanks of their dhow. The Sept. 30 bust comes as a 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker was charged with possessing 10,350 Tramadol pills for distribution in the UAE. Days earlier, agents of Kuwait's Drug Control Department nabbed a Kuwaiti citizen and an accused accomplice of unspecified Arab origin in possession of 8 kilograms of hashish and 5,000  Tramadol  tablets. (Gulf News, Sept. 30; Arab Times, Sept. 28)

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