Traffic Roots Pixel
 

methamphetamine

Burma burns opium, but UN sees hype

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaTo mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking June 26, Burmese authorities held drug-burning ceremonies, boasting the destruction of seized opium, heroin and methamphetamine said to be worth a combined $130 million. The mass burnings in Rangoon, Mandalay and Taunggyi were attended by officials from the DEA as well as from Chinese drug enforcement agencies. But UN officials meanwhile warned that illicit drug production in Burma continued to rise—mostly to supply a growing Asian market. Jeremy Douglas, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Southeast Asia representative, told The Irrawady website that Burmese opium production was "in 2006, at the lowest point, representing roughly 7% of the global production; it is now 18%. So it has increased year on year." As usual, the bulk of the opium was produced in Shan and Kachin states, where tribal armies have long used the opium trade to finance their insurgencies. But Douglas, speaking at a Rangoon press conference announcing release of the UNODC's new World Drug Report, also said Shan state has become a major transshipment point for methamphetamine—seizures of which in Southeast Asia are at the "highest levels ever recorded." 

Hash oil explosions in the news...

dab rigOK, here comes the latest media blitz in the backlash against the recent gains for cannabis legalization... The Associated Press on May 6 runs a lurid story (one of several suddenly in the news), topped by a photo of a forelorn burn victim petting his dog for comfort, entitled "Hash Oil Explosions Rise With Legalized Marijuana." The incendiary lede: "The opening months of Colorado's first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana industry have seen a rise in fiery explosions and injuries as pot users try to make the drug's intoxicating oil in crude home-based laboratories. Since Jan. 1, when sales began, the state's only certified adult burn center has treated 10 people with serious injuries they suffered while making hash oil, compared with 11 in 2013 and one in 2012." Firefighters in Colorado have responded to at least 31 hash-oil explosions so far this year, compared with 11 all of last year, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area—a slightly questionable claim, given that the number of explosions and number of casualties for last year are identical. A police sargeant in the Denver suburb of Thornton, which saw its first such explosion in January, is quoted: "These today are the meth labs of the '90s."

Mexico: more narco-mineral exports seized

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

MexicoMexican authorities on May 1 announced the seizure of a ship carrying 68,000 tons of illegal iron ore bound for China—hailed as the latest blow in a crackdown on the contraband mineral sideline by the Knights Templar drug cartel. Federal police were apparently tipped off by an anonymous phone call after the ship left Lazaro Cárdenas, the Pacific port in conflicted Michoacán state. Authorities detained the ship, the Jian Hua, off Manzanillo, the next major port up the coast, in neighboring Colima state. The ship's crew produced documents showing it had authorization to transport the iron ore. But authoriites said the paperwork listed a legal mine that was not the actual source of the contraband ore. The company operating the ship, China's Fujian Huarong Marine, has been given one month to prove to authorities that the ore was extracted legally. Mexican authorities say they have seized more than 200,000 tons of illegal iron ore so far this year, most of it headed for China

Anabel Hernández speaks on Mexico's narco wars in the new order

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Anabel HernandezRenowned Mexican investigative journalist Anabel Hernández, author of Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathershas been receiving police protection since her reportage outed top figures in the country's security apparatus as collaborators with the drug cartels—predictably resulting in threats on her life. On Sept. 26 she spoke at an event hosted by New York University in Lower Manhattan, entitled "Too Dangerous for Words: Life & Death Reporting the Mexican Drug Wars." She spoke about her journey, and how she views the state of Mexico's narco-wars following last year's change of government.

Meth plague hits North Korea

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

East AsiaNorth Korea's sanction-stricken regime has long been accused of involvement in narco-trafficking as a source of currency, but a new report claims methamphetamine producers are proliferating along with an internal private market. According to a report in the Spring edition of the US-based journal North Korean Review, stricter controls at the Chinese border have prompted North Korean meth producers to glut the domestic market for "ice" (known locally as bingdu). The report's co-author, Kim Seok Hyang of South Korea's Ewha Woman's University, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that interviews with defectors indicated that North Korea is in the grip of an "ice" plague. "Some informants are saying almost every adult in North Korea around the China-North Korea border are using methamphetamine," she said.

Seeing patterns, from Colombia to Cape Town

Africa and the War on DrugsFor those who have been wondering what the truth is behind the media sensationalism about global cartels establishing Africa as their new theater of operations, Africa and the War on Drugs  by Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig (Zed Books, London, 2012) clears the air in a welcome way.

The authors, a pair of British academics, portray a strategy by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hype the threat and replicate the hardline policies pursued in Latin America and elsewhere on the African continent. Drug trafficking has definitely been growing in Africa in recent years—ironically, the authors argue, as a result of "successes" in Latin America. As the old cartels and their smuggling routes were broken up, new more fragmented networks have sought new routes and markets. This conveniently coincided with South Africa's reintegration to the world economy after the end of apartheid, and more generally with Africa's globalization.

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

Crime wars rock Cape Town

Posted on December 5th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

The Cape Flats, a sprawling poor area on the outskirts of Cape Town, has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's crime crisis, the country's key transshipment point for dagga (cannabis), tik (cystal meth) and heroin. Long-simmering gang wars over control of the traffic exploded into horrific violence this year, leading to political stand-offs over how to respond. Western Cape province has called a special commission of inquiry into police actions in the conflicted township of Khayelitsha following charges that corrupt and aggressive policing has enflamed violence and led to vigilantism. But national Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says the inquiry is illegal and exceeds provincial powers. In July, a request from West Cape Premier Helen Zille for military troops to patrol the Flats was turned down by President Jacob Zuma. By then, some 25 people, including seven children, had been killed in drug-related violence in the Flats over the past five months. (IOL, Dec. 4; SABC, Nov. 27; The New Age, South Africa, Nov. 14; Times Live, Johannesburg, Nov. 8; AllAfrica, Oct. 4; The Economist, Aug. 11)

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman