police state

Brittney Griner: celebrity cannabis bust to become Putin's geopolitical pawn?

Posted on March 10th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Brittney GrinerUS basketball star, Olympic gold-medalist and LGBTQ icon Brittney Griner was popped at the Moscow airport, supposedly in possession of cannabis oil. She faces up to 10 years—and given the anti-cannabis, anti-gay and anti-American atmosphere in Russia, things are not looking good for her. Will she be used as a bargaining chip to exact concessions from the US in the war for Ukraine?

Good news, bad news in national study on drug arrests and imprisonment

Posted on March 4th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

prisonersIn a proverbial case of "good news, bad news," a national study finds that even as overall incarceration rates have dramatically dropped over the past decade, drug arrest rates have remained high—and racial disparities in arrests have persisted. The disparities have, nonetheless, decreased, as have overall cannabis arrests—with a big uptick in meth arrests taking up the slack.

Hunger strike amid human rights crisis at NYC's Rikers Island

Posted on January 31st, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

RikersNew York’s new mayor has inherited a real human rights crisis at Rikers Island, the city’s principal jail, with desperate inmates launching hunger strikes in protest of oppressive and dangerous conditions. Promises by the previous administration to close the facility saw insufficient action, “decarceration” advocates charge. But with the new admin, the situation may be going from bad to worse.

NYS prisoners punished for 'false positives' —including for synthetic cannabinoids

Posted on January 24th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

prisonersAn official study in New York reveals numerous false positives in drug tests carried out by the state prison system, with hundreds of inmates punished (sometimes quite harshly) for imbibing that did not actually take place —including for cannabinoids. 

Oooh, that smell: can it still get you busted?

cannabisWith growing legal and cultural space for cannabis, can the mere smell of the stuff still be sufficient cause for a search that could potentially land you in jail? The answer is that the courts are divided on this question. Meanwhile, cannabis attorneys warn against the fatal error of consenting to a search.

Atlanta rapper faces sentencing on federal cannabis 'conspiracy' charge

Posted on January 13th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

raloAtlanta rapper Terrell Davis, better known by his stage-name Ralo, has been held for nearly four years on a federal cannabis “conspiracy” charge, and finally faces sentencing in March. He is potentially looking at up to 20 years in prison. Top names in the rap industry are mobilizing to plead for clemency in his case.

Free speech under attack in Czech cannabis crackdown

Posted on December 11th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

PragueThe Czech Republic and especially its capital Prague have won a cachet among the international cannabis-cognoscenti. But now a local magazine dedicated to the cannabis culture may be forced to close by legal action — with its editor under threat of prison time.

Of all the post-communist countries, the Czech Republic is seen as the one that has best finessed the transition to an open society. Its predecessor state Czechoslovakia was at the forefront of the fight for freedom. Through it all, there was a strong whiff of alternative culture. The very word bohemia comes from one of the Czech Republic's two historical regions, Bohemia and Moravia.

India: Bollywood scion snared in hash rap

Posted on November 16th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

South AsiaA Bollywood celebrity was arrested for supposedly using hashish and other drugs on a cruise ship off Mumbai—one of a slew of high-profile cases that have embarrassed India's entertainment industry and political establishment. Apart from providing fodder for the gossip columns, however, the affair raises serious concerns about civil rights in "the world's largest democracy."

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