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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?

NYPD under fire over continuing racial disparity in cannabis busts

Posted on February 28th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

New York CityDespite repeated pledges by the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio to lift the police pressure on cannabis, and especially to address the long-standing racial disparity in pot busts, all too little seems to be changing in Gotham. In a sometimes heated session, New York's City Council held hearings Feb. 26 to discuss new stats showing that despite a significant drop in cannabis arrests, the overwhelming majority of those busted remain Black and Latino.

Mendocino cannabis company in showdown with authorities —already

Posted on February 2nd, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaJust little over a week before legalization took effect in California on Jan. 1, state police stopped a truck hauling 1,875 pounds of cannabis in Mendocino County, seizing the goods and slapping the two occupants with misdemeanor possession charges. This despite the fact that they were hauling for their employer, Ukiah-based Old Kai Logistics, and had paperwork showing the firm is licensed by county authorities. It remains to be seen if prosecutors will pursue the case in light of legalization, and the affair has enflamed suspicions between growers and authorities at a critical moment.

Chechen police state turns ire on druggies

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaucasusYou could smell this one coming. Last year, horrific reports emerged from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya that authorities were rounding up gays in detainment camps and subjecting them to torture —the first time this kind of thing has happened in Europe since Nazi Germany. Now the reign of terror is being extended to drug users and small-time dealers, who are facing grisly torture at the hands of Chechen security forces as part of the same ultra-puritanical campaign. Reports describe electric current being applied to suspects' fingertips to induce them to "confess." No one has survived such questioning without eventually admitting their crime, the victims were told.

New Zealand moves toward roadside tests for meth —and cannabis

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchA big push is on in New Zealand for a bill that would give police the power to conduct roadside saliva tests for methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA)—and cannabis. And the public face of the campaign to pass the legislation is Malcolm Barnett, who in 2005 lost his 18-year-old step-daughter to a road crash with a driver who was wasted on meth, or "P," as they call it in New Zealand.

Global Commission on Drug Policy strikes blow on semantic front

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

cocaineA welcome blow is reported against the deeply ingrained stigma that attaches even to users of basically harmless drugs like cannabis that happen to be illegal. The Global Commission on Drug Policy—a body with dissident views but made up of prestigious elder statesmen and world leaders, so it can't be readily ignored—has just issued a statement calling on policymakers and the media to avoid using terms such as "drug user," "addict" and "junkie." The report includes a checklist of what terms should be eschewed or embraced to avoid language portraying people who use drugs as "physically inferior or morally flawed."

The Philippine contradiction: martial law and medical marijuana

Posted on January 9th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

South East AsiaThe Unites States is facing a pretty surreal contradiction, with blustering Trump and his cannabis-phobic Attorney General Jeff Sessions holding the federal reins, as legalization takes effect in California. The Philippines is looking at a similar paradox. Ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte is again sending the National Police back into drug enforcement, after he was pressured to withdraw them by a public outcry over their slaying of thousands of innocent civilians since he took office in June 2016. And on New Year's Eve, he won a grim victory as the Philippine Congress voted to extend his declaration of martial law in the conflicted southern island of Mindanao through the end of 2018.

Brazil: deadly deja vu in New Years Day prison riot

Posted on January 2nd, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

BrazilFor the second year in a row, Brazil has witnessed a deadly prison riot on the first day of the year. A death toll of nine is reported from the central state of Goias. One inmate was decapitated. The violence began New Year's Day afternoon at the rural penitentiary in the outskirts of the state capital, Goiania. Rival criminal factions clashed, broke the barriers of the compound and escaped, by the BBC News account.

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