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Global Ganja Report's past, and current Feature stories.

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.

Mother Courage in Peru

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .


The woman behind the South American nation's new medical marijuana law may yet face prison time. Her crime? Providing the only medicine that worked for her ailing son.

In the working-class Lima district of Pueblo Libre, I make my way to an apartment complex and up to the flat of Ana Álvarez—the unlikely woman almost singly responsible for Peru’s groundbreaking new medical marijuana law.

In a bedroom, 18-year-old Anthony watches a noisy Spiderman movie, occasionally interrupting through the open door as I chat with his mom in the living room. Anthony suffers from tuberous sclerosis, a severe form of epilepsy, and was the voiceless central figure behind the events that led to a major reform of Peru’s drug laws in 2017.

Canada's Countdown to Cannabis Legalization

 Canada

After nine years of Conservative rule, Canada's Liberal Party had a momentous election night on Oct. 19, gaining a majority of seats in Parliament and a new prime minister in Justin Trudeau. The handsome and charismatic son of Canada's most formative prime minister, Trudeau had worked as a school teacher in Vancouver before becoming a parliamentarian representing Quebec. He promised a new beginning in Canadian politics—and a break with the increasingly right-wing policies of his predecessor, Stephen Harper. It remains to be seen if he will able to follow through on his ambitious promises—including to legalize cannabis.

Remembering Judith Malina, matriarch of Living Theatre

Posted on April 16th, 2015 by Baba Israel and tagged , , , , , , .

Judith MalinaJudith Malina, co-founder of the legendary Living Theatre, a ground-breaking and activist-oriented troupe that helped pioneer the countercultural explosion of the 1960s and still challenges audiences today, died April 10 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. She was 88 and still actively involved in the Living Theatre. This remembrance is offered by Baba Israel, a New York-based hip-hop artist and cultural worker whose parents were core members of the Living Theatre.Global Ganja Report

Big Cannabusiness: Reconciling the Recreational Boom and the Medical Marketplace

CannabusinessOn New Year’s Day, as retail sales of cannabis went legal in Colorado, the state's dispensaries registered well over $1 million in sales. Despite cold and wet weather, most of the 36 shops that opened that day reported long lines, with some customers waiting outdoors for hours. By the end of the first week, by which time another dozen retail outlets had opened, the figure was a whopping $5 million. More than 100 dispensaries in the Centennial State have now received licenses for retail cannabis sales and over 500 are eligible to apply. More are applying every day.

"A new industry is developing in a nascent state in Colorado," says Rachel Gillette, director of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "We're not just talking about retail sales, but a lot of other types of business associated with it—construction companies, HVAC contractors, nutrient companies, lighting and equipment sales, packaging, printers, labeling, marketing materials, websites, marijuana tourism, attorneys, payroll companies… This could represent a lot of jobs."

Legalize Peru!

Posted on May 4th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

After last year's victories for cannabis legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state, the US prohibition regime is under unprecedented pressure. But there is little awareness in Gringolandia of the strides in breaking with the US-led "war on drugs" in South America. Over the past decade, Argentina and Colombia have removed penalties for personal quantities of drugs, and Uruguay just passed a measure that essentially legalizes cannabis, with even cultivation permitted under state regulation. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have all barred the DEA from their territory.

That leaves Peru—now overtaking Colombia as the Andes' top coca producer, and also a burgeoning cannabis producer. Like Colombia, Peru remains a stronghold of the DEA in South America—even as it has moved towards decrim of personal quantities. Both countries have experienced long and bloody counterinsurgency wars related to the struggle for control over coca production. Much to Washington's displeasure, Peru even suspended eradication two years ago—before the empire struck back. But now activists are mounting pressure to break with the prohibition model—both in the remote campesino communities of the mountains and jungles, and in the streets of Lima.

Medical Marijuana: The Struggle for Herbal Healing

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

cannabis ediblesOver the past generation, an informal alliance of activists, cultivators, entrepreneurs and medical professionals has struggled to redefine how the United States views the cannabis plant. Victories at state and municipal levels have created a new field of medicinal treatment for a wide variety of ailments in California and other mostly western states. Medical marijuana marks the starkest point in the divide between an industrial model of healthcare and a millennia-long tradition of herbal self-treatment—because nowhere else has the federal government been so intransigent.

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

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