Deported to Honduras for a joint?

Posted on February 23rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

border wallThat's what almost happened to Josue Romero, a 19-year-old art student in San Antonio who had received a work permit under Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which is now threatened by Trump. Picked up on a minor pot bust Feb. 21, Romero was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), held for two days—and told by ICE agents that he would be deported to Honduras. Instead, he was released, without explanation. "I can't describe how I feel. I just want to break down and cry," Romero told the San Antonio Express-News after his release.  "I was kind of devastated. Because I’ve never known a life outside of San Antonio."

Philippines: legal persecution of drug war critic

Posted on February 20th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

South East AsiaHuman Rights Watch has issued an urgent statement calling on Philippine authorities to drop "politically motivated" charges against one of the country's only lawmakers openly critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's blood-drenched "war on drugs," which has claimed more than 7,000 lives since he took office last June. Sen. Leila de Lima, a former secretary of justice, is expected to be arrested within days.

Trump sanctions Venezuela veep as 'kingpin'

Posted on February 14th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

VenezuelaThe Trump administration has seriously turned up the heat on Venezuela, slapping sanctions on the country's vice president as a drug "kingpin." The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Feb. 13 officially named Tareck Zaidan El Aissami as a "Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker" under terms of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) of 1999. The order charges that El Aissami received pay-offs from a trafficking network linked to Mexico's Zetas narco-gang. Under the order, US nationals and corporations are barred from doing business with El Aissami, and all his assets within the country are frozen.

Brazil: supreme court justice calls for legalization

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

BrazilA justice who sits on Brazil's highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, has called for legalization of cannabis and cocaine to undercut the growing power of narco-gangs behind the wave of violence shaking South America's largest nation. In comments picked up by Reuters, Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale-educated jurist and professor of constitutional law, said that 50 years of drug war polcies in Brazil have only fueled violence and bloated the country's prison population, and that time has come for an alternative.

Trump pledges to escalate drug war

Posted on February 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchIn a speech to police chiefs and sheriffs at the Washington DC meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association Feb. 9, Donald Trump dealt a harsh blow to any activists who may have been hoping for a tolerant stance on drugs from the United States' new president. As the conservative RedState.com blog happily headlines: "Trump Promises to Ramp Up the War on Drugs." With an almost touching innocence, it writes: "Citing his border wall as a solution along with confidence" in his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, "Trump apparently believes he will succeed where everyone else has failed."

Philippines: Duterte to mobilize the army in drug war

Posted on February 6th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaThere was recently a sign that the Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte was going to rein in his murderous police in the face of mounting international criticism of their harsh anti-drug crackdown. It took the police killing of a foreign business executive, but Duterte finally pledged that he would disband and reorganize the National Police narco units. But human rights observers may have rejoined too soon. On Jan. 31—just one day after his announcement of the police overhaul—Duterte made a speech to army generals, telling them that while the police were off the drug war beat the armed forces would have to step in to replace them. Rather than taking a step back from the brink, it looks like the Philippines could be following the grim examples of Mexico and Colombia of turning the drug war into a real war, run by the military.

Rebel inmates cite Trump in Delaware prison uprising

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

prisonA corrections officer has been left dead following a nearly 20-hour stand-off and hostage crisis at a Delaware prison. The uprising was put down when state police seized control of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna the morning of Feb. 1. Inmates took four guards hostage to protest harsh conditions at the facility, and to demand educational and other programs for prisoners. Some inmates managed to establsih phone contact with the Wilmington News Journal to state their demands. One said their reasons "for doing what we're doing" included "Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he's doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse."

Trump threatens to invade Mexico: reports

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

MexicoAmid rapidly deteriorating relations between the US and Mexico, reports are emerging that President Donald Trump openly threatened military intervention in a phone call with his counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto. According to a partial transcript of the conversation obtained by the Associated Press, Trump told Peña Nieto: "You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it." ("Bad hombres" is a term Trump also used in his final debate during the presidential campaign to refer to Mexican narco-gangs.)

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