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Advocates reach out to Hmong growers in Trinity County

CaliforniaRecent years have seen ethnic tensions in the northernmost parts of the Emerald Triangle, as Hmong growers—immigrants from the Southeast Asian nation of Laos—have established themselves in local cannabis cultivation. This has led to civil rights litigation and a polarized atmosphere in Siskiyou County. But just to the south in Trinity County, a group is working to head off tensions by helping Hmong growers negotiate the transition to licensed cultivation.

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.

California's conservative secessionists want to take Emerald Triangle with them

CaliforniaSo California's rebel rednecks think they're taking Humboldt County with them when they leave the state, it appears. The latest split-the-state initiative was unveiled at a Sacramento press conference Jan. 16, covered by USA Today. "The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny," the group declared. Their proposed solution is to form the state of "New California," taking most of the rural counties with them, and leaving behind the heavily urbanized coast.

Northern California sheriff appeals to feds in pot 'state of emergency'

Posted on October 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaIn California's far-north Siskiyou County, where last month supervisors voted to declare a "state of emergency" over illegal marijuana cultivation, the hardline Sheriff Jon Lopey has now appealed to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions for federal aid in his war on cannabis.

Emerald Triangle: Hmong pot growers lose in court

Posted on September 15th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA federal judge in Sacramento on Sept. 12 ruled that sheriff's deputies and other officials in Northern California's Siskiyou County did not discriminate against Hmong residents while carrying out marijuana enforcement operations and other investigations last year.

Voter suppression under investigation in Emerald Triangle

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe California Attorney General's Office sent a team to the Emerald Triangle's Siskiyou County in the prelude to the June 7 primary election, following reports of armed men from the sheriff's department intimidating members of the county's Hmong community—including menacing some at gunpoint. Sheriff Jon Lopey said the deputies were mobilized as part of an investigation into voter fraud, and had to be armed because of rifle-toting cannabis growers in the areas. But the investigation seems to have exclusively targeted Hmong residents—some of whom were falsely informed that it is illegal for them to vote. Janelle Vang, a representatve for the county's Hmong community, told the Redding Record-Searchlight many residents did not turn out at the polls because they feared they would be arrested. There was speculation that Lopey sought to suppress turn-out for a measure on banning outdoor cannabis cultivation. The county council approved the ban last year, but opponents forced a ballot measure on the question and were mobilizing for a "no" vote. The ban was indeed approved, although Lopey denies his action affected the outcome—as well as denying any wrong-doing.

Laos to lighten up on medicinal opium?

Posted on April 5th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

South East AsiaLaos was once a major opium producer—and now production is creeping up there again after eradication efforts had dramatically slashed it. But this time around authorities may take a more tolerant and realistic approach. Voice of America reported March 27 that the Asian Development Bank and other international donors helping Laos promote alternatives to opium production are actually listening to analysts who emphasize the reasons for the bounce in production. Poppy cultivation in Laos fell from a peak of 26,800 hectares in 1998 to 1,800 hectares by 2005 under an aggressive eradication program. In 2006 the Laotian government declared the country "drug free." Now, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) finds cultivation in Laos rose to some 6,200 hectares in 2014. However, while the far greater quantities of opium grown in neighboring Burma are largely processed into heroin for export, much of that in Laos is consumed locally for traditional and medicinal use by hill tribes in country's remote north.

Golden Triangle opium boom

Posted on December 18th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

South East AsiaThe UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its newly released annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey (PDF) finds that opium production in Burma continued to increase in 2013—up 26% to an estimated 870 metric tons. This is the highest amount since the UN began keeping track in 2002. In 1999, the Burmese regime promised to eradicate opium production by 2014, but production has increased every year since 2006. The UNODC report acknowledges that eradication efforts have failed to address the political and economic factors that drive farmers to grow opium in the first place. With poppy fetching 19 times more than rice, struggling peasants have few other options to make a living.

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