Indonesia

Indonesia tightens screws on drug-war police state

Posted on October 9th, 2020 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaA British pretty-boy model getting popped for pot and facing a lengthy term in notoriously harsh prisons has again focused international attention on Indonesia's anti-drug police state. But countless others suffer in the shadows—including some 150 on death row for drug charges. And recent progress in official recognition of (at least) the medicinal properties of cannabis has been rolled back.

Oceania: cannabis comes to a restive region

Posted on April 21st, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

OceaniaThe global cannabis economy is now reaching Oceania, with commercial cultivation underway in Australia, a legalization referendum coming up in New Zealand, and legal barriers starting to come down in the Pacific Islands. 

Will high-profile cannabis bust boost Burma legalization effort?

Posted on April 29th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaA US citizen was among a trio arrested in Burma for running a 20-acre cannabis plantation. The three could face life in prison, or even the death penalty. But the controversy could give new political energy to Burma's emergent legalization movement.

UN 'shadow report' blasts drug war as 'failure'

earthAn international network of non-governmental organizations has submitted a "shadow report" to the United Nations, calling the war on drugs a "spectacular failure"—and calling on the world's governments to reconsider it. The report takes heart from the growing official tolerance of cannabis in several countries around the world, but warns of escalating and horrific repression in the name of drug enforcement in several others. Will the UN take heed when it revisits the question of drug policy in 2019?

Sri Lanka to 'replicate' Philippine drug-war police state

Posted on July 17th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

South AsiaSri Lanka has announced that it will start hanging drug convicts, ending a long moratorium on executions. Leaders explicitly hope to "replicate the success" of Rodrigo Duterte's bloody anti-drug campaign in the Philippines, which has now reached the point of mass murder. And while the imminent executions are for cocaine and heroin charges, the move comes amid a widening crackdown on cannabis. Yet proposals to allow medical cultivation provide some hope for a more tolerant model.

UK khat ban fails to stop contraband imports —surprise!

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

khatHere's some news that should surprise nobody. International efforts to suppress the trade in a psychoactive plant are failing to do so, but are jacking up the social costs of its use—which might be quite negligible if the stuff weren't illegal. In this case we're talking about khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially in the Horn of Africa and its immigrant diaspora. It was sold openly at groceries and eateries in London's African communities until Britain finally banned the stuff in of 2014, following the example of the United States (of course). At that time, it became a Class C substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. By way of comparison, cannabis is in the more restrictive Class B—although between 2004 and 2008 pot was placed in Class C, and there is an initiative to have it removed from the classification system altogether.

Indonesia unleashes 'shoot-to-kill' policy on drug suspects

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaIndonesian President Joko Widodo, following in the bloody footsteps of the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte, has issued a "shoot-on-sight" policy for drug suspects. The hardline policy comes amid a sudden media blitz about the drug "state of emergency" in the archipelago nation. Amnesty International says it believes at least 60 drug suspects (including at least eight foreigners) have been killed by Indonesian police so far this year—compared with just 18 in all of 2016.

Indonesia executes four drug convicts

Posted on August 1st, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

South East Asia Indonesia carried out its first executions in over a year on July 29, sending four drug convicts to a firing squad at the special island prison of Nusa Kambangan. The executions of the four—two Nigerians, one Senegalese and one Indonesian—came despite diplomatic pressure and international condemnation. As many as 10 other people await execution in Indonesia—including foreign nationals, and almost entirely on drug-related charges. Campaigners are still trying to win clemency for Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani man who "confessed" to heroin possession after being brutally beaten by police, and Merri Utami, an Indonesian woman arrested with heroin in her bag at Jakarta's airport after being tricked into becoming a drug mule. Their executions are believed to be imminent.

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