Egypt: author faces prison for writing about hashish

Posted on December 16th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastEgyptian activist attorney Nasser Amin is challenging a law that calls for writers to be imprisoned for words that violate the country's "morals." The challenge comes in the trial of novelist Ahmed Naji, who could face two years in prison and a fine of nearly $1,300 for his work The Use of Life—because of its explicit sex scene and numerous references to hashish use. Amin argues that the law violates the Egyptian constitution, which only permits such punishment for published materials that are defamatory or encourage violence or discrimination.

Will Kentucky be next to legalize?

Posted on December 15th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisWill the Bluegrass State beat the Golden State as the next to follow in the happy footsteps of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska by legalizing cannabis for recreational as well as medical use? WHAS11 in Louisville reported Dec. 11 that state Sen. Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) pre-filed an act to legalize and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to how the state handles alcohol. The bill would repeal Kentucky's prohibition on cannabis cultivation, possession and sale. Instated in its place would be a "regulatory framework designed to promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

San Francisco forms legal cannabis taskforce

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaSan Francisco's Examiner reports Dec. 14 that city authorities, in anticipation that California voters will legalize recreational cannabis use next year, are assembling a body to propose regulations for the industry. The newly created Cannabis State Legalization Task Force. The body will advise the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Last week, the board's Rules Committee selected 11 people to serve on the body, with three more seats still to be filled. One of the appointees is Erich Pearson, founder of SPARC, one of San Francisco's biggest dispensaries. "We need to determine how many cannabis users we are going to have in San Francisco and how many stores that's going to take to distribute that cannabis once it's legal," he told the Examiner.

Israeli vets see empty promise in medical marijuana program

Posted on December 10th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Middle EastAfter years of research into the question, in July of last year Israeli authorities made post-traumatic stress disorder the only psychiatric condition for which the Health Ministry will approve the use of medical marijuana. The decision, backed by the Israel Psychiatric Association, was a cause for optimism among many Israeli veterans suffering from PTSD. But a sobering account in Israeli daily Haaretz Dec. 8 finds that actually getting the stuff has proved difficult for sufferers—starting with the problem of getting the necessary doctor's recommendation, and then bureaucratic obstacles once they do. "We are a very small group of three or four psychiatrists who believe that in some PTSD cases cannabis is helpful," said psychiatrist Dr. Ilya Reznik, an Israeli executive board member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. "The pressure on our clinics is impossible. This is partly because people who get a permit and don’t come in every three months for follow-up risk losing their permit."

Cannabis capitalism: America's future?

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

weedThere have been quite a few histories of cannabis culture and politics, but Bruce Barcott's Weed The People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America is the first to examine the cannabis industry and its future prospects at a moment when it taking flight. His opening overview of how we got to this point is engaging if not always strictly accurate (he loans too much credence to the '70s paraquat scare). He notes the litany of US government reports back to the 1920s exculpating cannabis of the calumnies against it—all ignored by the very government that commissioned them. He details the bureaucratic obstacles that have been raised to research on cannabis' medical benefits. And he relates the passing of the torch (or, more literally, the joint) from the jazz scene to the beatniks to the hippies to the mainstream.

Saudi Arabia: hashish busts drop under harsh crackdown

Posted on December 7th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle East Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry announced last month that authorities in the desert kingdom have seized more than 28 tons of hashish and some 22 million amphetamine pills over the past eight months, as well as 57 pounds (26 kilograms) of heroin. They also  arrested 1,776 suspected smugglers and seized 1,230 weapons, including 184 automatic rifles. This actually represents a drop in interceptions from the previous year's figures, also announced at the end of Islamic calendar. The Ministry's Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki attributed the decline to escalated security along the border and harsh punishments for convicted smugglers. (Saudi Gazette, Nov. 17)

Pakistan: paramilitary anti-pot repression predictably pointless

Posted on December 3rd, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PakistanPakistan's Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) on Nov. 20 announced the latest in a string of of mega-scale hashish busts in recent months. A 4.2-ton haul was reported from a "desolate site" near the mountain village of Tehsil Gulistan, in Qilla Abdullah district of Balochistan province. Authorities said the mega-stash had been deposited along with a smaller quantity of heroin in a hidden spot behind bushes for traffickers to collect for export. (Pakistan Today)

Cannabis busts continue in 'marijuana-free' Albania

Posted on November 25th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

AlbaniaTrying to live down its reputation as Europe's top pot producer, Albania two months ago officially declared itself "marijuana-free," with Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri boasting that 99.2% of cannabis plants seen on aerial maps had been destroyed. That made for a total of 690,000 plants covering 44 hectares (109 acres), Tahiri said. After a series of paramilitary-style raids on the fertile valley towns where cannabis cultivation had become the economic mainstay, the remaining growers have reportedly been pushed up into inaccessible mountain areas. (SkyNews, Sept. 16)

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