Marijuana and Cannabis World News
Thanksgiving week in Amsterdam for the last 26 years or so has been a haven for cannabis users and those wanting to celebrate marijuana culture thanks to the High Times Cannabis Cup.
But it seems that after more than a quarter-century of generally being hassle-free, the Dutch are cracking down on events and have shut down the main expo for the event and are strictly enforcing five-gram possession laws and a total ban on solvent-based concentrates.
Despite laws against growing cannabis, a group of about 100 parents in Chile have banded together to begin growing cannabis to help their children, many of whom suffer from severe epileptic conditions.
The group, Mama Cultiva, or "Mama Grows", has formed to help parents learn more about how to grow cannabis, extract the beneficial cannabinoids and how to dose their children appropriately.
Last night, President Barack Obama announced he will take executive action to shield five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The prime-time speech was big news in the U.S., kicking up a political skirmish ahead of the 2016 elections. But it was far from the continent's top story. Instead, that title goes to the disappearance and presumed assassination of 43 students in Mexico.
The American media has largely ignored the unrest down south. Bizarrely, the Book Fair has brought the news to Miami anyway. Earlier this week, prize-winning Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska compared the massacre to the horrors of the "concentration camps." And in an interview to promote his own appearance this weekend, fellow writer Francisco Goldman tells New Times that this is a "terrifying and exhilarating" moment for Mexico.
The amazing landscapes of New Zealand can take you from skiing down pristine slopes in the morning, to relaxing on a white sand beach in the afternoon - just don't get caught smoking a joint while you're at it.
In New Zealand, the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1975 made it officially illegal to import, grow, sell, distribute, possess and/or use cannabis in any way, shape, or form. But with more than 4 million residents, and 13.4% of them smoking weed despite the law, the government there is realizing that their decades of patronizing anti-weed fear mongering may be somewhat ineffective.
So their latest idea is...more patronizing anti-weed fear mongering.
Soft spoken leftist Uruguayan President Jose Mujica's dream of legalizing cannabis to curb violence and drug problems in his country may be on the outs along with his role as the country's leader.
The Center for addiction and Mental Health, Canada's largest drug treatment center, says marijuana laws in Canada are doing nothing to keep Canadians safe or drug free. Instead, they say legalizing, taxing and heavily regulating who can access the plant is the best course of actions.
"Canada's current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use," Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH said in a radio interview this week. "Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."
Morocco is synonymous with hash. Not just any hash, either. Arguably the best hash in the world for centuries came from the mountain regions of the country, despite the plant's illegal status. That might change soon, though. With the global mood on cannabis lightening, Moroccan officials are mulling legalizing the cultivation of the plant for medical and industrial purposes.
But not every grower is trusting that the proposal will do them good. According to the Globe and Mail, which ran a story this week on Moroccan hash production, growers in the Muslim country say the system would likely exclude them anyway.
A bill that would decriminalize the possession of two ounce of ganja or less in Jamaica has been drafted, and officials say it should become law by the end of the year. Mark Golding, Jamaican Justice Minister, said that cannabis use will also be decriminalized for religious purposes - meaning the island's thousands of Rastafari can puff on Jah herb without fear of being arrested.
The move comes as Jamaica starts to embrace their longstanding cannabis culture due to the United States lightening their stance on the drug.
The Albanian flag (with additions).
So far this year, the country of Albania has destroyed about $8.2 billion worth of seized marijuana, according to Interior Ministry officials. The figure represents about 60 percent of Albania's total annual GDP. Also a part of those figures: 102 tons of pot were destroyed, 530,000 cannabis plants were uprooted and about 1,900 people have been arrested. In short: Albania doesn't mess around when it comes to weed enforcement.
Officials say they are working to change the perception of Albania as a drug-producing country. According to ABC News, the country has long been a stopping point for drugs imported from South America and Asia.
By comparison, Albania's haul isn't actually that huge. American drug warriors destroyed 4,395,240 marijuana plants, arrested more than 6,500 people and seized more than $29 million in 2013 according to the U.S. Justice Department.
A proposal to legalize medical cannabis in New South Wales, Australia's largest and most populous state, gained huge support this week as Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbot gave his approval on a weekly radio program.
In fact, Abbot said that the proposed clinical trials don't go far enough. Abbot says that there shouldn't need to be clinical trials for a plant that is already legal for doctor's recommendation in other Australian states.