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Middle East

Lebanon's parliament moves to legalize medical marijuana

Posted on August 3rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastA parliamentary initiative has been launched to legalize medical marijuana cultivation in fabled hashish producer Lebanon, amid growing proposals for a general legalization of cannabis. But many growers in the Bekaa Valley are watching warily, fearing they will be left behind as foreign capital flows in for a legal industry.

Israel decriminalizes cannabis —on provisional basis

Posted on July 28th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael's Knesset overwhelmingly passed a cannabis decriminalization measure—sponsored by the ruling conservative government. This fruit of a long campaign by activists is, however, tentative. The law is set to expire in three years, pending a review of the policy's impacts.

Legalization drive for hashish producer Lebanon

Posted on July 13th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

hashishA new cannabis legalization initiative is being pushed for Lebanon, long a legendary hashish producer. This time the idea has won influential international backers. And the cannabis-grower militias have actually mobilized to beat back ISIS incursions into the hashish heartland of Bekaa Valley from neighboring Syria. Is the time finally ripe for the day-lighting of Lebanon's powerful hashish industry?

Yemen hashish pipeline thrives amid war

Posted on September 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle East Despite Saudi Arabia's penchant for beheading hashish smugglers, the stuff just keeps coming in. The latest big haul was reported in early September, when a Border Guard naval patrol seized 258 kilograms of hash at Jeddah, the country's principal Red Sea port. A vessel with three Yemeni nationals on board was also seized in the maritime operation—in what is now a familiar story. The flow of hashish entering from Saudi Arabia's war-torn southern neighbor has been increasing as the conflict in Yemen has escalated—whether it is coming up the Red Sea coast or over the rugged land border of harsh desert and mountains.

Who is world's top cannabis producer?

earthThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last week issued its World Drug Report 2017—its 20th annual survey of production, trafficking and eradication and enforcement efforts around the globe. In past years, the report has sought to quantify the amount of cannabis cultivated in each producer country—over the past decade consistently placing Morocco in first place, generally followed by Mexico and Paraguay. This general trend continues—with some new variations.

Kurdish guerillas behind Turkey's hashish trade?

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

TurkeySecurity forces in southeastern Turkey, where authorities have been waging a brutal counterinsurgency war against Kurdish guerillas, reported the seizure last week of 2,290 kilograms of hashish and 6,632 kilograms of unprocessed cannabis "in an operation against the drug activities of the PKK terrorist organization."

Homing pigeon flies ecstasy into Kuwait

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Middle East One of those quirky stories on Fox News informs us this week that authorities in Kuwait intercepted a homing pigeon that had been outfitted with a little backpack containing 178 ecstasy pills. Kuwaiti authorities had apparently "tracked" the bird as it flew in from Iraq. A BBC News report suggests the airborne trafficker's error was to fly too close to a border post, where customs agents were already aware that smugglers were thusly exploiting our feathered friends. (BBC also says the payload was actually ketamine.)

Gaza court gives Palestinians death for dealing

Posted on March 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Middle East A military court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced two men to death after they were found guilty of drug dealing, the independent Palestinian media outlet Ma'an News Agency reported March 19. At a press conference in Gaza City, a representative of the Strip's Interior Ministry—controlled by the Hamas movement—said that the first "convict," an officer in the Palestinian Authority security service, was sentenced to death by firing squad for possession of 40 boxes of the synthetic opiate Tramadol. The second, also Palestinian and described as a "fugitive on the run," was sentenced to death by hanging after he was allegedly caught with a bag containing "a large quantity" of Tramadol, cannabis, and opium. Both are accused of bringing the substances in from across the border with Egypt.

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