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Uruguay unveils plan for state-controlled cannabis sales

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

The administration of Uruguay's President José Mujica announced June 20 plans to establish an unprecedented system of government-controlled legal cannabis sales, saying that a bill will be submitted to Congress to approve the program. Under the plan, the government would maintain a monopoly on legal cannabis sales to registered users who would be allotted a fixed quantity per month. The government would assure standards for quality. Minister of Defense Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro told reporters in Montevideo that the measure aims to undercut criminal networks that currently control the marijuana trade. "We're shifting toward a stricter state control of the distribution and production of this drug," Fernández said. "We think its prohibition is creating more problems to society than the drug itself."  (Notimex, June 21; InfoBaeAP, June 20)

Brazil deploys military forces, pledges to "pacify" Rio's favelas

Posted on November 17th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Hundreds of riot police backed up by 200 navy commandos invaded the Rio de Janeiro favelas of Rocinha, Vidigal and Chacara do Ceu in the wee hours of Nov. 13. The next day, the elite Special Operations Police Battalion (BOPE) said they had uncovered the secret "mansion" of wanted drug lord Antônio Bonfim Lopez AKA "Nem" in Rocinha. "Nem" was reportedly arrested at the scene. The shanty-towns had long been controlled by drug gangs, and were a no-go zone for police. Authorities say they plan to pacify dozens more favelas ahead of the 2014 World Cup. (Noticias R7, Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 17; AFP, Nov. 15; AFP, Nov. 14)

Brazil: Military Police attack pro-cannabis protesters

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Prohibited from holding a "March for Marijuana," cannabis advocates in São Paulo had agreed with police to instead hold a generic protest in defense of freedom of expression. But minutes after the march began May 21, the Military Police attacked the some 1,000 unarmed demonstrators with stun bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets.  Television images showed riot troops charging toward the protesters when they tried to march down the busy Paulista Avenue. By-standers and journalists covering the event as well as protesters were caught up in the violence, reports Último Segundo.

Colombian beauty queen busted on drug charges

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Colombian beauty queen Angie Sanclemente Valencia, 31, was arrested in Argentina May 26 on charges of leading a drug trafficking ring. Argentine police had been looking for her for more than five months before they tracked her down in a youth hostel in Buenos Aires. She is accused of persuading young women to smuggle cocaine from Argentina to Europe via Mexico. She denies the charges.

Paraguay paranoid as guerillas re-emerge

Posted on May 11th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

A supposed member of the rebel Army of the Paraguayan People (EPP), identifying himself as "Máximo Brizuela," called into radio station Primero de Marzo on May 10 to take responsibility for an attack that left four dead, including a police officer, on April 21 at the department of Concepción. President Fernando Lugo has meanwhile deployed extra police and army troops to the country's north, a major marijuana-producing region. The impoverished South American country has recently emerged as a major cannabis producer—with the government crackdown on cultivation occasioning the predictable rights abuses. (World War 4 Report, May 10)

Brazil: ayahuasca under scrutiny following cartoonist's slaying

Posted on March 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

the AmazonBrazil's Santo Daime church, which uses ayahuasca as a sacrament, is under fire following the March 12 slaying of Glauco Villa Boas, a prominent cartoonist for the influential Folha de São Paulo newspaper. Villa Boas was killed along with his son, Raoni, outside his outside São Paulo home. Glauco, as he's known in Brazil, was a leader at a Santo Daime church, and his alleged killer had frequented the church, police say. Media speculation links the suspect's motives and state of mind to the church and its psychoactive sacrament.

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