Feds blast Chicago cops, reach deal over Baltimore abuses

Posted on January 14th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Chicago The US Justice Department on Jan. 13 issued a report charging the Chicago Police Department with a pattern of civil rights abuses. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the federal probe, covering the period from 2012 to 2016, found that the Chicago police force "engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force that violates the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution." The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.

Hackers hit cannabis dispensary tracking software

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAmid all the current paranoia about hackers infiltrating the highest levels of American politics comes the disturbing news that software used by cannabis businesses in over 20 states was attacked and compromised. The story was reported both by the cannabis industry trade website Marijuana Business Daily and tech sites that monitor such attacks, including Hackbusters and DataBreaches. The software, known as MJ Freeway, is used for "seed-to-sale" tracking of cannabis in states that have legalized or passed medical marijuana laws. The Denver-based company said its main servers and backup system both went down the morning of Jan. 8, and remained offline as of the next afternoon.

Europe's 'last dictatorship' finally bans cannabis cultivation

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

EuropeFrom Russian state media outlet Sputnik comes the surprising news that Belarus has banned cannabis cultivation with a Dec. 31 decree from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The surprise isn't that growing was banned—but that it hadn't been banned already. The former Soviet republic's best claim to fame is as "Europe's last dictatorship." Strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for over 20 years now, resorting to probable fraud and definite repression to hold on to the presidency. After Lukashenko was accused of stealing the 2010 elections, there was a popular protest movement, put down wth mass arrests—with the opposition candidate himself sentenced to prison for inciting riots! No surprise that Lukashenko was "re-elected" with virtually no opposition in 2015. In last September's parliamentary elections, a few opposition candidates were for the first time allowed to take seats, leading some Belarus-watchers to hope for a "thaw." But Lukashenko is still running a very tight ship. Not exactly the kind of place you'd expect to be cannabis-friendly.

Hawaii ACLU files federal complaint over prison conditions

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Hawaii The Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Jan. 10 filed a complaint with the US Justice Department, demanding an investigation into the state's dangerously overcrowded prisons and jails. The complaint charges that horrific conditions at the facilities constitute a violation of the prisoners' Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. "What you have is cells that were designed for two inmates that now are housing four or five inmates," said Mateo Caballero, legal director for the Hawaii ACLU. "You have inmates sleeping on the floor next to leaky faucets or toilets. The conditions of jails and prisons in Hawaii have not improved in the last 30 years."

Sessions testimony on cannabis: strategic ambiguity?

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAfter the first day of Senate confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, president-elect Trump's choice to lead the US Justice Department, cannabis advocates are parsing his testimony for clues as to what the incoming administration's stance will be on whether to continue to give breathing room to state-level legalization and medical marijuana laws. The Los Angeles Times takes an ominous view, writing in a headline: "Sessions leaves door open to reviving federal war on pot."

Medical marijuana supplier raided in Australia

Posted on January 9th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

OceaniaAn Australian woman who has long provided free cannabis oil products to the ailing had her home in the Adelaide suburb of Hiller raided by police Jan. 4. The South Australia Police "reported" Jenny Hallam, 44, for drug charges after the raid turned up cannabis products and equipment. Her lawyer, Heather Stokes, said Hallam gives away the products, and her actions should not be regarded as criminal.

'Synthetic marijuana' scare in New York

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

New York A rather sensationalistic piece in the New York Times last month luridly headlined: "Drug 85 Times as Potent as Marijuana Caused a 'Zombielike' State in Brooklyn." Apparently, emergency medical technicians called to a "mass casualty event" in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood reported multiple people at the scene, "all of whom had a degree of altered mental status that was described by bystanders as 'zombielike,'" according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Blood and urine samples drawn from eight of the 18 men hospitalized that day revealed they had taken a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA, originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with the street names "AK-47" or "24 Karat Gold." It is said to be 85 times as potent as the main agent in natural cannabis, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

DC Cannabis Coalition plans inauguration day smoke-in

Posted on January 5th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisCannabis advocates have been cautiously awaiting the moment of reckoning when the incoming Trump administration reveals how it will handle the growing groundswell for legalization. Now the DC Cannabis Coalition announces that it will make the point by smoking a joint—in public, on Inauguration Day. USA Today reports that the group plans to start handing out joints at 8 AM Jan. 20 in DC's Dupont Circle. Then, marchers will walk to the National Mall for the main rally—and light up. “The main message is it’s time to legalize cannabis at the federal level," said Adam Eidinger, founder of DCMJ, the group that pushed for the successful legalization initiative in the District of Columbia in 2014.

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