heroin

Hong Kong: triads crushed at last?

Posted on August 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

East AsiaAuthorities in Hong Kong are boasting that the city's long-reigning criminal gangs, the notorious Triads, are finally crushed following an operation coordinated with police forces in Macau and mainland China's Guangdong province, in which more than 14,000 were arrested and 2,500 properties raided—including discos, massage parlours and nightclubs. Police confiscated HK$39.3  million (US$5 million) worth of illicit goods, including drugs, contraband cigarettes, pornography and weapons. Leading figures in the powerful Sun Yee On and 14K triads are said to be among the detained. 

Political economy of Mexico's narco-nightmare

Posted on January 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Drug War MexicoAs nightmarish violence continues in Mexico, with horrific massacres and chaotic urban warfare right on the USA's southern border, a couple of academics at England’s University of Sheffield provide a readable 250-page primer on why this is happening now, and take a stab at what can be done to address the crisis—other than escalating it with militarization.

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

Crime wars rock Cape Town

Posted on December 5th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

The Cape Flats, a sprawling poor area on the outskirts of Cape Town, has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's crime crisis, the country's key transshipment point for dagga (cannabis), tik (cystal meth) and heroin. Long-simmering gang wars over control of the traffic exploded into horrific violence this year, leading to political stand-offs over how to respond. Western Cape province has called a special commission of inquiry into police actions in the conflicted township of Khayelitsha following charges that corrupt and aggressive policing has enflamed violence and led to vigilantism. But national Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says the inquiry is illegal and exceeds provincial powers. In July, a request from West Cape Premier Helen Zille for military troops to patrol the Flats was turned down by President Jacob Zuma. By then, some 25 people, including seven children, had been killed in drug-related violence in the Flats over the past five months. (IOL, Dec. 4; SABC, Nov. 27; The New Age, South Africa, Nov. 14; Times Live, Johannesburg, Nov. 8; AllAfrica, Oct. 4; The Economist, Aug. 11)

Afghanistan: Reaper drones in fruitless fight against opium

Posted on September 3rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

opiatesThe UK's Royal Air Force on Aug. 22 boasted that its Reaper drones helped uncover a stash of heroin with an estimated street value of over £10 million. The Reapers, remotely piloted by members of the RAF's 39 Squadron, tracked two vehicles after determining that they were likely to contain the hidden compartments typically used by drug traffickers. One vehicle was low on its suspension, while the rear of an accompanying flatbed truck appeared too shallow, suggesting a hidden storage area. A raid on the two vehicles by Afghan National Security Forces and the US Marine Corps led to the seizure of 1,208 kilograms of dry opium and 59 kilograms of processed heroin. (Defence Management, Aug. 22)

Afghanistan counter-narcotics tribunal convicts nearly all defendants

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

The US-funded Counter-Narcotics Justice Center (CNJC) in Kabul handles all of Afghanistan's large-scale drug cases—anyone arrested with more than two kilograms of heroin, 10 kilograms of opium, or 50 kilograms of hashish. It has sent hundreds to the city's notoriously harsh Pul-e Charkhi prison, and records show that nearly 98% of defendants are convicted. The conviction rate for drug offenses in the US judicial system is also very high, at 93% for federal cases in 2006—but that is largely due to plea bargains, and the ability of prosecutors to drop cases and judges to grant reduced sentences. In the CNJC there is virtually no leeway for prosecutors to drop cases that are too small or poorly evidenced. Defense attorneys say the high conviction rate means that just about every suspect who arrives at the court ends up in prison for a long time. (Joshua Hersh for Huffington Post, June 10)

UN drug agency won't take stand on executions

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaThe UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said Feb. 28 that it is taking no view on the Thai government's plans to speed up the execution of convicted drug traffickers. The agency said it neither supports nor opposes the death penalty for drug-related offenses. "We are an impartial body and respect the rule of law and jurisdiction of countries," said INCB Thai board member Viroj Sumyai. 

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