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Edward Seaga death recalls One Love Peace Concert —and Jamaica's near-destabilization

Posted on May 31st, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

One LoveOne of the most iconic events in Jamaica's history as an independent country was the One Love Peace Concert of April 22, 1978, organized by reggae superstar Bob Marley in response to the wave of deadly political violence that was then gripping the island nation.

At the climax of the event, Marley, amid a rendition of his hit "Jammin'," brought Jamaica's two rival political leaders on to the stage at the National Stadium in Kingston, and made them shake hands. They were both reluctant, and the shake was awkward, mutually grudging. But it happened, an ebullient Marley standing between the two sullen statesmen, literally guiding their hands together with his own.

One of these two rivals was then Prime Minister Michael Manley, a populist of the left. The other was his conservative opponent, Edward Seaga—who has just died on his 89th birthday, May 28.

NYC Cannabis Parade draws bigshot pols —but legalization stalled in Albany

Posted on May 7th, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Jumaane WilliamsNew York City's annual Cannabis Parade, launched long ago by Yippie counterculture freaks, this year headlined one of the Big Apple's highest officials, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams—a sure sign of that the leaglization cause has hit the mainstream. However, politicking in the statehouse in Albany has stalled passage of a long hoped-for legalization bill.

Naked Tuna

Posted on April 18th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

JormaHardcore Tuna-heads aren't going to be able to resist this one. They already know the basic outline of Jorma Kaukonen's life: an authenticity-obsessed student of traditional finger-picking country blues in the folk revival of the early '60s (Harlem legend Blind Gary Davis was his special inspiration), he was catapulted to stardom when he went electric as the lead guitarist for the Jefferson Airplane, flagship band of the San Francisco sound.

Free-speech fight over Vancouver 420

Posted on April 16th, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

VancouverA showdown is shaping up in Vancouver, where the city's 420 event has always been held with no permit. This year it promises to be huge, with Cypress Hill headlining—and city authorities are pressing for cancellation. Organizers pledge to go ahead with the event—with approval of the bureaucracy or not.

Real-world utopian quests

Posted on December 26th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

True StoriesIn his new memoir True Stories: Tales from the Generation of a New World Culture, Garrick Beck spans a personal journey through radical bohemia in the 1950s, hippie utopianism in the 1960s, back-to-the-land communalism in the 1970s, to applying those ethics today through community work and urban land-reclamation back in the New York City of his youth.

He was born into artistic activism as the offspring of Julian Beck and Judith Malina, the leading figures of the Living Theatre.

Canada's Le Dain Commission: Vindicated at Last

Posted on October 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Canada legalizationCanada's course to cannabis prohibition closely followed that in its southern neighbor. As in the United States, cannabis a century ago was widely available in tincture form as a medication before being banned in a campaign that blatantly harnessed racism and xenophobia. Yet now Canada is legalizing coast to coast, while the US federal government remains intransigent.

An early harbinger of Canada's enlightenment was the 1969 Le Dain Commission, which studied illegal drugs at the order of Ottawa, in response to then exploding use—especially of cannabis. The Le Dain Commission cut through the propaganda to recommend a common-sense policy—which Canada's government is actually now going beyond.

Riot police break up protest smoke-in in Bogotá

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

ColombiaWith Colombia's new conservative president threatening to roll back the country's ground-breaking decriminalization policy, a group of young activists in Bogotá held a public cannabis smoke-in to demand their right to the "personal dose." But, in what seems like a foreboding sign, it was quickly broken up by the feared National Police riot squad.

 
Since the right-wing Iván Duque was sworn in as Colombia's president last month, many have expressed fears that he will reverse the country's recent progress toward a more tolerant drug policy and de-escalation of its long crisis of nightmarish narco-violence. 

Cannabis! Theatrical Concert unveils music in New York performance

Posted on August 31st, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Cannabis theatrical concertWhat will ultimately be a multimedia extravaganza on the history, culture and politics of the cannabis plant is currently under production in New York City. The music for Cannabis! A Theatrical Concert was just unveiled for New York audiences in a special performance at a nightspot on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

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