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Will Sessions memo mean death penalty for state-legal cannabis growers?

Shadow WatchAfter Jeff Sessions issued a memo urging prosecutors to seek the death penalty for those "dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs," even mainstream media outlets began raising the alarm that this could actually be used against large-scale legal cannabis cultivators in places like California. Is this threat is at all realistic?

Iran relents in draconian drug war —after international protest

Posted on January 11th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

Middle EastSome rare good news is reported from Iran, where a reform of the country's drug laws may save the lives of thousands now on death row. Some 5,000 people are currently awaiting execution for drug offenses in the Islamic Republic, and all of them could now have their sentences reviewed, according to the New York Times.

Public death sentences kick off China anti-drug campaign

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ChinaIn a lugubrious public spectacle, a Chinese court sentenced 10 people to death before a crowd of thousands at a stadium in the southern city of Lufeng Dec. 15. Of course, most were convicted of drug-related crimes, According to a harrowing report in South China Morning Post, they were summarily tried on the spot, and immediately taken away for execution. The grim ceremony kicked off a new anti-drug campaign in the People's Republic of China.

Hong Kong cannabis interceptions soaring

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Hong KongCannabis seizures are rapidly escalating in Hong Kong—whether due to greater quantities on the market or stepped-up enforcement, or both. The city's South China Morning Post reports June 19 on a haul of 35 kilos in 136 baggies ready for sale, uncovered in a vehicle during a police raid on a car park. Three were arrested. Police estimated the street value of the load at HK$10 million (about US$1.3 million). As recently as May 27, the SCMP reported a police raid on an industrial building in the city's Tai Po district that netted 110 kilos, worth HK$19 million. (Obviously, the math is not adding up here, raising questions about how the Hong Kong cops arrive at their estimates.)

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.

Gaza court gives Palestinians death for dealing

Posted on March 19th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Middle East A military court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced two men to death after they were found guilty of drug dealing, the independent Palestinian media outlet Ma'an News Agency reported March 19. At a press conference in Gaza City, a representative of the Strip's Interior Ministry—controlled by the Hamas movement—said that the first "convict," an officer in the Palestinian Authority security service, was sentenced to death by firing squad for possession of 40 boxes of the synthetic opiate Tramadol. The second, also Palestinian and described as a "fugitive on the run," was sentenced to death by hanging after he was allegedly caught with a bag containing "a large quantity" of Tramadol, cannabis, and opium. Both are accused of bringing the substances in from across the border with Egypt.

Impeachment proceedings against Philippine drug-war strongman

Posted on March 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaA lawmaker in the Philippines filed impeachment proceedings March 16 against President Rodrigo Duterte over killings carried out in the name of his war on drugs. Rep. Gary Alejano accused the president of constitutional violations, betrayal of public trust, bribery and other high crimes. "The most important thing here is the state policy of killing of drug suspects. The killings of fellow Filipinos were done without due process," Alejano said, according to ABS-CBN news service. "More than 8,000 have died. This is disturbing. We should not wait for the deaths to reach 20,000, 30,000, or 50,000 before we stand up and fight."

Executed for cannabis in Singapore

Posted on November 25th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaChijioke Stephen Obioha, a Nigerian national sentenced to death in Singapore for cannabis possession, was executed Nov. 18, in defiance of international protest. As the final appeals for clemency were exhausted last week, Amnesty International issued an urgent statement calling on Singapore to halt the execution. "The death penalty is never the solution," said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty's director for Southeast Asia. "It will not rid Singapore of drugs. By executing people for drug-related offenses, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law."

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