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2019: the five biggest moments in cannabis politics

Planet Watch2019 saw advances for cannabis freedom on both the national and global stage—but also some near-misses, from New York state to Mexico, which have left activists frustrated if no less determined. As advocates prepare to carry the fight into 2020, here's a review of what was achieved—or almost achieved—over the past 12 months.

California's CROP Project responds to toxic threat of 'trespass grows'

CaliforniaCannabis may be legal in California, but illicit cultivation persists—especially in the National Forests, where it often takes a grave ecological toll. The CROP Project—for Cannabis Removal On Public Lands—is now bringing together environmentalists, law enforcement and the legal cannabis industry for a coordinated approach to the problem.

Corporate cannabis eyes Mexico —amid escalating narco-violence

Posted on November 14th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

MexicoThere is a discomforting sense that Mexico is perpetually on the eve of cannabis legalization, as the country's Congress wins a six-month extension from the Supreme Court to pass a law freeing the herb. But foreign capital is already eyeing Mexico's emergent legal cannabis sector—even amid a terrifying escalation in the bloody cartel wars. 

The global state of cannabis legality

Planet WatchThere has been significant progress toward cannabis legalization in the United States and globally over the past years, but pockets persist of the most repressive and reactionary prohibition. What are the prospects for expanding cannabis freedom in the coming year?

Morocco retains status as world's top (illicit) cannabis producer

MoroccoThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last month issued its World Drug Report 2019—its 22nd annual survey of production, trafficking and eradication and enforcement efforts around the world. In addition to providing figures on cocaine and opiates, the report seeks to quantify the amount of cannabis cultivated in each producer country.

Mexico rejects US drug war aid, proposes binational decrim

Posted on May 20th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

MexicoMexico's new populist president announced that he is dropping out of the regional US-led drug enforcement pact, and will be turning down the aid package offered through the program. Instead, he is proposing a dialogue with Washington on across-the-board drug decriminalization in both nations. And Mexican lawmakers say they will pass a cannabis legalization bill by the end of the year.

Mexico militarizes marijuana enforcement —despite legalization moves

Posted on March 10th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Mexico Despite his boast to have "ended" the drug war and pledge to explore cannabis legalization, Mexico's new populist president is seeking to create a special anti-drug National Guard drawing from the military and police forces. This plan is moving rapidly ahead—and the military is still being sent against cannabis growers and traffickers.

New Frontier Data analyzes Latin America cannabis market

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafLatin America is at the forefront of the global wave of cannabis law reform, according to a new report from a DC-based industry analyst. New Frontier Data sees a $9.8 billion market in the region, with big expansion potential for both exports and serving local consumption. 

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