US Marines back to Afghanistan's opium heartland

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

opiatesUS Marines this week returned to Helmand province, now the epicenter both of Afghanistan's Taliban insurgency and opium production. Ostensibly, the mission is to train Afghan forces struggling to stem the insurgency, but they certainly have the power to fire if fired upon. Many of the 300 Marines coming to Helmand under NATO's Resolute Support training mission are veterans of previous tours in the province—where almost 1,000 coalition troops (mostly US and British) were killed fighting the Taliban before they pulled out in 2014. When they left, as part of that year's supposed "withdrawal" of US troops from Afghanistan, they handed over the sprawling desert base they dubbed Camp Leatherneck to the Afghan army, hoping not to return.

Medical marijuana bill advances in Mexico

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabis Mexico's lower-house Chamber of Deputies on April 28 approved a bill to allowing use, production and distribution of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. The vote was an overwhelming 371 in favor and seven against with 11 abstentions. The legislation was already approved by the Mexican Senate in December and now goes to the desk of President Enrique Pena Nieto for his signature. The passage follows a national debate on the question in the media and various social forums across the country.

Meth plague hits Bangladesh

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

South AsiaThe rural marshlands of Bangladesh have become the latest part of the world to be hit by the unhappy global plague of methamphetamine use. More and more of the country's struggling peasants are taking to "yaba," little pink sugar-coated pills made from caffeine and meth that are flooding in from neighboring Burma. Annual seizures of yaba in Bangladesh increased by a jaw-dropping 80,000% over the past decade, authorities say. A disturbing on-the-scene report from Public Radio International emphasizes that in conservative and Muslim rural Bangladesh, yaba is not being used as a "party drug." The speed pills are most often used to get folks through long days of hard labor.

No, Donald, your wall won't 'stop the drugs'

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

border wallJust three days before the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Donald Trump blinked April 25, backing off from the demand that his planned border wall receive funding (to the whopping tune of $11.4 billion) in the spending measure now before Congress. But just two days earlier, in an interview with the Associated Press, Trump again invoked the need to protect the country from drugs as mandating his wall—and making absurdly hubristic claims about its effectiveness to do so...

Venture capital eyes legal cannabis sector —warily

Posted on April 25th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

leafIt is certainly a sign of the times that a partnership of major California media—led by Bay Area News Group, owner of the San Jose Mercury News—has launched a website entitled The Cannifornian, "Covering the Golden State of Cannabis." That means it's dedicated to reportage on the fast-growing cannabis sector in post-legalization California. An April 25 offering, "Venture capital investors betting big on cannabis," notes that financial consultancy firm New Frontier Data is predicting nationwide legal cannabis sales will balloon to more than $24 billion by 2025.

Philippines: legal challenge to deadly drug war

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte remains intransigent on his ultra-murderous "drug war," which has unleashed police and paramilitary terror on low-level dealers and users across the archipelago. But, hearteningly, courageous dissent and resistance to the blood-drenched crackdown persists. Al Jazeera on April 24 features a profile of the legal team at Manila's Center for International Law, which has been going to bat for the targets of Duterte's terror—despite the threat of reprisals.

Sessions pledges crackdown on Latin gangs

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAttorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking to the Justice Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) on April 18, pledged that the Trump administration will have "zero tolerance for gang violence" from "transnational criminal organizations"—particularly singling out MS-13, the Central American narco-network that has its roots on the streets of Los Angeles.

Wisconsin legalizes CBD extract

Posted on April 19th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

medical marijuanaWisconsin became the latest state to pass a strictly limited semblance of a medical marijuana law on April 18 as the arch-conservative Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 10, allowing patients to receive cannabidiol (CBD) extract from a physician or pharmacy with a prescription. The law, already passed by both houses of the legislature, takes effect immediately. It passed the Senate with only one dissenting vote, pointing to widespread support for the measure in the Badger State.

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