Canada: long-awaited cannabis legalization bill introduced

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

CanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Canada April 13, following through on a campaign pledge and ending a long wait by advocates and entrepreneurs. The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess or share up to 30 grams of dried herbaceous cannabis, and to purchase cannabis or cannabis oil from retailers, to be regulated at the provincial level. Canadians would also be allowed to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, and to prepare legal cannabis products at home. Cannabis-infused edibles are to be available for sale after the regulatory framework is developed and brought into force.

Rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker dead at 65

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Gilbert BakerGay pioneer and artist Gilbert Baker, famous as creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag, died in his sleep at age 65 on March 31 at his home in Manhattan. Baker's first flag was an eight-colored banner that flew above the 1978 Pride festivities in San Francisco—then the Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker, well known for making banners for gay and anti-war street protest marches, created the flag at the behest of his friend Harvey Milk—the gay community leader later elected a San Francisco supervisor, and assassinated that November. The flag has since become a global symbol of the LGBT community—raised at pride festivals worldwide, and forever flying over the corner of Castro and Market streets.

Global execution stats: good news, bad news

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

nooseThe latest annual Amnesty International report on global use of the death penalty actually has some heartening news. For the first time since 2006, the United States did not make the top five executioners in 2016—falling to seventh, behind Egypt. The 20 executions in the US constituted the lowest number in the country since 1991. Most executions last year took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan—in that order. And after three years in a row of global executions surging, they appear to have dropped off in 2016. Not including data from China, Amnesty counts 1,032 executions throughout the world in 2016—more than 600 fewer than in 2015.

IRS forfeits totally legal money: investigation

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchAn investigation by the US Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, launched under pressure of litigation brought by the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice, maddeningly finds that the Internal Revenue Service has been using asset forfeiture to confiscate millions of dollars from businesses that committed no crimes. The libertarian-oriented website Reason breaks it down in detail, stating that "between 2012 and 2014, IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits. In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal."

Supreme Court gives judges leeway in mandatory minimum cases

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

SCOTUSThe US Supreme Court on April 4 handed down a unanimous decision in Dean v. United States, giving federal judges greater flexibility in mandatory minimum cases—an aim activists have long been demanding. Advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums filed a brief in support of the petitioner in the case.

New York high court: cops can seize user Facebook activity

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchBe careful what you say on Facebook. New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on April 4 that law enforcement can seize private account information from the social networking site. With the decision, Facebook lost its years-long legal battle to block search warrants from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office seeking access to hundreds of user accounts, the New York Post reports.

Advocates assail Argentina medical marijuana measure

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaThe medical marjuana advocacy organization Mamá Cultiva, which has been campaigning on the issue across South America, is criticizing the new measure just passed by Argentina's Senate for failing to legalize personal cultivation. The Senate voted unanimously on March 29 to legalize cannabis oil and other derivatives for medical purposes. Talking Drugs blog reports that the bill is set to become law immediately upon receiving President Mauricio Macri's signature, as it was already passed by the lower-house Chamber of Deputies in November. Under the law, patients must register with a planned national program to be overseen by the Ministry of Health.

Mexicans mobilize against Trump border wall

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

border wallAfter President Donald Trump's inauguration, Mexico saw a wave of angry protests against his proposed border wall, with more than 20,000 marching in Mexico City on Feb. 12, chanting "Pay for your own wall!" But now this wave of anger is crystalizing around some concrete legal initiatives that could be very problematic for the White House.

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