opiates

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.

Mexican prosecutor jailed in New York on narco charges

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

MexicoEdgar Veytia, attorney general of Mexico's western state of Nayarit, was once himself targeted for death by the narco-gangs. But on April 8 he was ordered jailed by a US federal judge in Brooklyn, facing charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the United States. Veytia, who has now won the epithet in Nayarit of "Diablo," allegedly netted at least $250 million in protection payments from a smuggling ring since his election in 2013, according to the Daily News.

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.

Baltimore police hit by drug scandal

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

police Seven Baltimore police officers were arrested by federal agents March 1 on racketeering charges. The officers are accused of conducting illegal stops, stealing money and drugs from suspects, swearing false affidavits, submitting false incident reports and participating in overtime fraud. One of the officers was also charged in a separate drug conspiracy indictment, involving a heroin distribution ring. The charges are the latest blow to Baltimore's already scandal-mired police force.

Burmese dissidents broach opium decrim

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaAs Burma's opium wars continue despite the country's democratic opening, actvists are using the new political space to advocate for a more tolerant policy on poppy cultivation. At a Feb. 16 panel in Rangoon, the Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) issued a call for a reform of Burma’s drug laws, The Irrawady newspaper reports. "The 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law focuses on punishment. But what then, after a drug user is given imprisonment?" asked DPAG coordinator Dr. Nang Pann Ei Kham. "The 1993 law is out of date, and what's more, is that it has not been a successful law [in terms of] drug elimination."

Colombia: peasant strike against coca eradication

Posted on February 25th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ColombiaFor 48 hours Feb. 21-2, hundreds of peasant coca-growers shut down the main highway between the southern Colombian cities of Tumaco and Pasto. The feared anti-riot force, the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD), was finally called in to clear the roadway, using tear-gas and rubber bullets to break up the estimated 1,200 cocaleros. But the highway was repeatedly re-taken by the protesters. The action was called by the newly-formed National Coordinator of Coca, Opium and Marijuana Producers (COCCAM) to oppose the government's renewed "forced eradication" of coca crops in Tumaco municipality. COCCAM called the resumption of forced eradication in the area a betrayal of government commitments under the recent peace accords with the FARC guerilla movement, according to a report on Contagio Radio.

India: opium legalization initiative in Punjab

Posted on January 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

opiatesA candidate for the assembly in India's northwest state of Punjab is calling for the legalization of opium to address the much-hyped drug problem in the state.  Calcutta's The Telegraph reported Jan. 22 that candidate Tarsem Jodhan unveiled the proposal at a campaign rally in his native village of Dakha, saying: "Opium is not a killer like heroin and other synthetic drugs."

Taliban versus ISIS in Afghan opium wars

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

AfghanistanIn a "worrying reversal" for global anti-drug efforts, the latest annual report from the United Nations Office for Drug and Crime (UNODC) finds that opium cultivation in Afghanistan increased 43% over the past year—with a total estimated yeild of 4,800 tons compared to 3,300 tons in 2015, The area under poppy cultivation increased 10% according to the report—clocking in at 201,000 hectares (496,681 acres), up from 183,000 hectares (452,200 acres). Simultaneously, there was a 91% decrease in eradication across the country—with no eradication reported at all in the top producing provinces. "It is very disturbing to see a considerable increase in poppy cultivation in the north which may be linked with a deteriorating security situation in the region," said Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC's chief in Afghanistan, at an Oct. 23 Kabul press conference.

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