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Victory for hemp in Kentucky

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

leafUniversity of Kentucky agronomy researchers on May 27 planted a small hemp plot at Spindletop Research Farm outside Lexington—marking a victory in the state's showdown with the Drug Enforcement Administration. The seeds used were part of a shipment from Italy that was only released after Kentucky's Agriculture Department filed suit against the federal government, naming the Justice Department, DEA and US Customs and Border Protection. The breakthrough came after attorneys for the state and federal government met twice with a federal judge in Louisville, the DEA agreeing to issue a permit for release of the shipment—which Kentucky authorities said was not legally needed. Kentucky attorneys argued that the recent US Farm Bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states that permit hemp cutlivation. Several more test crops were planted at other sites around the state in the following days. (ABC, Lexington Herald-Leader, May 27; AP, May 14)

Feds block Kentucky hemp seed shipment

Posted on May 13th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

leafThe Louisville Courier-Journal reports May 9 that a 250-pound shipment of hemp seed is being held up by US Customs and Border Protection at the city's airport—despite the fact the seeds had been ordered by Kentucky's state government for pilot projects that are allowed under the federal Farm Bill that Obama signed into law in February.  If the seed isn’t released and planted by July, some of the projects could be significantly limited or delayed entirely, said Holly VonLuehrte, spokesperson for Kentucky agriculture commissioner James Comer. She told the newspaper that the state Agriculture Department may go to court to have the seeds released in time for this year’s growing season.

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."

Colorado and Washington: will the ripples reach Mexico and Colombia?

Posted on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Gorman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafWell, the dust has hardly settled but the boots are at the door; they might come storming through, riling up that dust some more.

But we hope not. The boots belong to the Justice Department and the door belongs to the states of Washington and Colorado. The dust is the election that saw those two states make the biggest moves toward cannabis legalization any state has made in a long long time. No, neither law is perfect, and it is going to be a cold day in hell probably before state stores are up and running. But still, the fact that the voters got out there and said enough is enough and let's get something on legalization out there is very freaking refreshing. Ask anyone who works in any capacity to end the drug war: Wins are few and far between. It took more than 10 years of effort to rein in law enforcement's forfeiture spree; it took a lot longer than that to get New York's racist Rockefeller sentencing laws even semi-tossed. So what happened in Washington and Colorado is in the win column, though we cannot be at all sure that the feds are not going to come in and try to muck things up like they have with California's and Oregon’s medical marijuana laws.

Legal cannabis: environmental disaster?

Posted on November 19th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

earthWe have noted before that the cannabis industry has a huge carbon footprint—something of a dirty little secret for the legalization movement. This is an especially relevant fact in Colorado, where Amendment 64 specifies that all legal weed must be grown indoors. Roberta Ragni in the Italian eco-journal GreenMe, asks "Marijuana Legalization: What Will It Mean for the Environment?" After quoting triumphant pot activists, Ragni lays on the inconvenient truth:

More East Coast states consider cannabis decrim

Posted on May 17th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisNew Jersey lawmakers are set to consider a bill that would decriminalize possession of up to a half ounce of cannabis. The proposal calls for fines of $100 to $500 for possession of up to half an ounce, but no jail time. Possession of drug paraphernalia would result in a $100 fine, and violators who are underage or have multiple convictions would be referred for drug counseling. The proposal is co-sponsored by 15 Democrats and three Republicans. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, has proposed mandatory treatment for nonviolent drug offenders rather than jail, and has appropriated $2.5 million for the program. But Democrats want a limited pilot program to see if mandatory treatment really works. (AP, May 17)

"Mardi Grass" festival goes to Oakland

Posted on July 14th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

INTCHEThe East Bay Express' Legalization Nation blog reports July 13 that organizers expect up to 30,000 to pack Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall on Sept 3-4 for the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo 2011—dubbed "Mardi Grass" by blogger David Downs. Tickets for the event just went on sale for $18, marking the first time Oakland has turned over public space for a a paid cannabis-oriented event. Plans call for three entertainment stages, some 400 industry vendors, dozens of food trucks, guest celebrities, and heavy hitters from the movement. The expo will also feature an open-air "215" area for medical cannabis patients.

Did William Shakespeare smoke cannabis?

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South African anthropologist Francis Thackeray has asked permission to open the graves of William Shakespeare and his family to determine what killed the Bard—and whether his immortal works may have been composed under the influence of cannabis. While Shakespeare's bones could reveal clues about his health and death, the question of his cannabis use depends on the presence of hair, fingernails or toenails in the grave.

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