Russia

Cannabis and climate change: challenge for an emerging crop

Planet WatchSome of the key cannabis cultivation zones around the world are also those feeling the earliest and harshest impacts of the impending global climate disaster. How can the global cannabis community respond?

Brittney Griner gets her day in court —amid geopolitical intrigue

Posted on June 30th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Brittney GrinerUS Olympic gold-medalist Brittney Griner, held in a Russian jail since February, is finally going before a judge. But the trial is looking more and more like a political show.

The odds for justice in Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian Russia are already slim—and especially, we may assume, for a dreadlocked African American icon of the international LGBTQ community. But the war in Ukraine and the geopolitical rivalry between Moscow and Washington are now explicitly at play in the case of Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner: celebrity cannabis bust to become Putin's geopolitical pawn?

Posted on March 10th, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Brittney GrinerUS basketball star, Olympic gold-medalist and LGBTQ icon Brittney Griner was popped at the Moscow airport, supposedly in possession of cannabis oil. She faces up to 10 years—and given the anti-cannabis, anti-gay and anti-American atmosphere in Russia, things are not looking good for her. Will she be used as a bargaining chip to exact concessions from the US in the war for Ukraine?

Cannabis & counterculture in Ukraine: threatened by Russian aggression

Posted on February 21st, 2022 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

UkraineUkraine has been suddenly thrust upon the center of the world stage, as Russia pours forces over the border in defiance of the West. In the atmosphere of militarization, space for cannabis and alternative culture is likely to close in both countries—but at least such space had been, slowly and tentatively, opening in Ukraine. Russia, pursuing an aggressive drug-war police state at home, may now be poised to impose its cultural-conservative agenda and roll back the recent gains in its smaller neighbor.

UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs deschedules cannabis —partially

Planet WatchAt the annual Vienna meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the governing body of the UN Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODCvoted Dec. 2 to strike cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the global treaty regulating drug control policy.

Cannabis prisoners as geopolitical pawns

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

prisonersThe global prohibition of cannabis affords the opportunity for imperial powers and authoritarian regimes to exploit those caught in the web of enforcement to advance their own political agendas. The recent case of Naama Issachar was deftly leveraged by Vladimir Putin, and could encourage other depots to similarly use pot prisoners to exact concessions from foreign governments.

UN 'shadow report' blasts drug war as 'failure'

earthAn international network of non-governmental organizations has submitted a "shadow report" to the United Nations, calling the war on drugs a "spectacular failure"—and calling on the world's governments to reconsider it. The report takes heart from the growing official tolerance of cannabis in several countries around the world, but warns of escalating and horrific repression in the name of drug enforcement in several others. Will the UN take heed when it revisits the question of drug policy in 2019?

Activists bash Trump's 'Global Call' to renew drug war at UN

earthAs the UN General Assembly met in New York, President Trump issued a "Global Call" to renew the war on drugs—to the dismay of activists and dissenting nations. But the UN itself has a contradictory cannabis policy—with some agencies recognizing its efficacy as medicine and others backing the prohibitionist doctrine of the Single Convention treaty.

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