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Global steps toward cannabis liberation in 2018

Planet Watch2018 saw historic strides toward the liberation of the cannabis plant, from the proverbial four corners of the Earth—North America to the Antipodes. Canadian legalization garnered big headlines, but there were significant breaks with the global prohibition regime in several other countries—including some seemingly unlikely candidates, in regions where the anti-cannabis stigma is deeply entrenched.

New Zealand approves medical marijuana, confirms 2020 legalization vote

Posted on December 18th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

OceaniaDays after legalizing medical marijuana, New Zealand's government has confirmed that a referendum on general cannabis legalization will be held in 2020. With the Green Party aggressively pushing the idea, prospects seem good for Aotearoa to follow Uruguay and Canada as the world's third country to legalize.

The next likely countries to legalize cannabis

earthWith Canada now joining Uruguay as the second country to legalize cannabis at the national level, industry eyes are scanning the world map for which could be the likely third. Latin America may provide the candidate, as even UN experts now urge the region's governments to consider legalization as a way out of the endemic narco-violence. But pressure for legal cannabis is fast mounting in several European countries as well. Legalization may soon be on the legislative agenda in Australia, while New Zealand has promised to put the questions before the voters. 

New Zealand moves toward medical marijuana —and legalization

Posted on June 9th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

OceaniaThe government of New Zealand has announced that it plans to hold a referendum on cannabis legalization, possibly as early as next year. A medical marijuana bill is already pending in the country's parliament. But it has taken generations of activist effort by Kiwis to bring Aotearoa (by the country's indigenous Maori name) to this point. Cannabis Now speaks with some of the leaders who made it happen.

$57 billion world cannabis market foreseen

earthOakland-based cannabis industry research firm ArcView Group has released a new study, ambitiously entitled "The Road Map to a $57 Billion Worldwide Market." It provides a sweeping overview of recent progress and future prospects for legal or medical herb across the globe. But it also warns that, due to continued legal restrictions and bureaucratic overstretch, the market is in most areas bottlenecked from achieving its potential.

New Zealand moves toward roadside tests for meth —and cannabis

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchA big push is on in New Zealand for a bill that would give police the power to conduct roadside saliva tests for methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA)—and cannabis. And the public face of the campaign to pass the legislation is Malcolm Barnett, who in 2005 lost his 18-year-old step-daughter to a road crash with a driver who was wasted on meth, or "P," as they call it in New Zealand.

Hashish mega-hauls at sea

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

Middle EastYou think those international forces patroling the coast of Somalia are supposed to be protecting the sea lanes from pirates, right? Well, that's not all they're doing. In the latest operation completed on Oct. 6, an Australian frigate, the HMAS Toowoomba, backed up by a New Zealand search plane trailed a dhow—a type of sailboat traditionally used by Arab merchants— from the Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa. After four days, the Australian crew was able to board the dhow, and a search turned up 5.59 metric tons of hashish. The operation was conducted under the command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), officially established to fight piracy. CTF-150 is part of the Combined Maritime Forces, which are also policing the waters of the Persian Gulf—ostensibly against terrorist infiltration, but far more often against hashish smuggling. The recent haul was its first successful counter-narcotics operation since Pakistan's navy took command of CTF-150 in August. Task Force head Commodore Sajid Mahmood said he was "incredibly proud" of the sailors and airmen involved in the bust. "CTF-150 has a long history of disrupting narcotics trafficking in the region," he enthused. "Keep up the good work!" (APNZ, Oct. 6)

Kiwi cannabis protester prepared to starve

Posted on February 19th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

OceaniaA New Zealand cancer patient facing a jail term for growing cannabis he uses to alleviate pain pledges to go on a hunger strike if he is imprisoned. Peter Davy, 51, of Timaru, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis, but says he uses the herb only for medicinal purposes for himself and his partner, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

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