AOTEAROA, NEW ZEALAND — A pro-cannabis political party from New Zealand has found a unique approach to sell cannabis to supporters without breaking the law. The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is selling bond certificates good for an eighth of marijuana, redeemable once it is legal to do so.
The $50 Cannabonds are part of a fundraising effort looking forward to a 2014 election campaign to promote a regulated, taxable cannabis market for adults.
“We think this is a fun way of repaying our supporters in the future,” spokesman Steven Wilkinson said.
“We are the only political party in New Zealand that is offering Cannabis bonds so we think it will give us an advantage leading into the next election.”
The party says they anticipate legalization, and the bonds will be redeemable after six months of growing a “Victory Crop,” which will be distributed to bond holders upon harvest.
When asked about the legality of the Cannabonds, Mr Wilkinson said they were “entirely legal” and “the party would not be engaging in any illegal activity”.
The bonds can be purchased on the ALCP’s website: www.alcp.org.nz/vote2014/shop
MEXICO CITY – The Mexican navy announced late Monday it had captured Miguel Angel Trevino Morales , the head of the infamous Zetas drug cartel, the most violent crime organization in Mexico, the AP reports:
Miguel Angel Trevino Morales , 40, was captured before dawn Monday by Mexican marines who intercepted a pickup truck with $2 million in cash in the countryside outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long served as the Zetas’ base of operations. The truck was halted by a marine helicopter, and Trevino Morales was taken into custody along with a bodyguard and an accountant and eight guns, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told reporters.
In recent years, the Zetas have been blamed for tens of thousands of gruesome deaths south of the border, and untold atrocities in the US.
While the capture symbolizes a win for Mexican president Enrique Pena-Nieto’s administration, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, border patrol officials, DEA agents and other law enforcement officers opposed to the war on drugs, cautioned it would make little difference to the prosecution of the drug war.
The war on drugs is based on the idea that if law enforcement can restrict the supply of drugs, prices will rise and demand will drop. The problem is that, because of its illegal nature, drug sales remain so lucrative that the arrest of a single individual does little to nothing to affect t. . . . . READ MORE
MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS — The trial of the owners and staff of three cannabis cafes in the southern Netherlands city of Maastricht began Wednesday, charged with selling marijuana to foreigners in a case both sides of a heated debate in this border city hope will clarify the legality of a clampdown on the city’s coffee shops.
Maastricht is using new national legislation banning coffee shops from selling cannabis and marijuana to people who don’t live in the Netherlands as a way of clamping down on what the local mayor says was a nuisance caused by hundreds of thousands of drug tourists driving into the picturesque heart of the city to stock up on weed.
The cafe owners and staff being prosecuted were arrested last month after serving foreign customers as a way of testing the legality of the new rules. A second group of owners is due in court later this month and verdicts are expected in mid-July.
Prosecutors asked judges to fine the seven suspects up to 5,000 euros (more than $6,500) and give them community service orders and short suspended prison sentences.
In an interview Tuesday in his ornate office in Maastricht’s old City Hall, Mayor Onno Hoes defended the crackdown on coffee shops as an effective way of reining in proble. . . . . READ MORE
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, a group of leading scientists argue that global drug prohibition has not only compounded the harms of drug use, but also produced the worst censorship of research in centuries. They likened the banning of psychoactive drugs and the subsequent hampering of research on them to the Catholic Church banning the works of Copernicus and Galileo.
The paper, Effects of Schedule I Drug Laws on Neuroscience Research and Treatment Innovation (abstract only), was written by Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London and Leslie King, both former government advisors, and Professor David Nichols of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The possession of marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy) and psychedelics are stringently regulated under national laws and international conventions dating back to the 1960s, but those laws are not based on science, and the global prohibition regime is rigid and resistant to change, they argued.
“The decision to outlaw these drugs was . . . . . READ MORE
PARIS, FRANCE – At the behest of Social Affairs and Health Minister Marisol Touraine, France has modified its Public Health Code to allow for the use of marijuana-based medicines, apparently including raw marijuana itself.
Decree n° 2013-473 was published Friday, removing what had been a prohibition on all non-industrial use of the plant.
The code modification makes legal “the production, transport, export, possession, offering, acquisition or use of specialty pharmaceuticals that contains one of these (cannabis-derivative) substances.”
But individual marijuana-based medicines must still be approved by the National Medical Safety Agency.
How exactly the law will be implemented remains to be seen. That will be up to Minister Touraine, who will ratify the decree in coming weeks.
While the law appears to clear the way for marijuana-based medicines such as the sublingual spray Sativex and the old marijuana substitute Marinol (Cesamet), it could also allow for the use of raw marijuana produced under strict conditions for medical purposes, such as that produced by Bedrocan in the Netherlands.
But it co. . . . . READ MORE
BOGOTA, COLUMBIA – The Organization of American States (OAS) Friday released a ground-breaking report on hemispheric drug control that includes not only an assessment of the current state of affairs, but also looks at a number of alternate scenarios for future directions in drug policy, including explicit analysis of possible regulation and legalization regimes.
The report comes even as the US military is expanding its drug war in Latin America.The military is deploying assets to Central and South America, and US military assistance in Latin America has quadrupled in the last decade — even as the region faces no external and diminishing internal threats.
The report, The Drug Problem in the Americas, was commissioned at last year’s Cartagena Summit of the Americas, where a number of Latin American leaders led by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos criticized existing drug policies and called for a discussion of alternatives. On Friday, OAS head Jose Miguel Insulza hand-delivered the report to Santos in Bogota.
TBILISI, GEORGIA – The government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia is considering legalizing marijuana, the country’s Labor, Health, and Social Affairs minister said Friday.
“As far as drugs are concerned, ban-related mechanisms very often entail a ricochet effect, which means strengthening and development of other directions and etc.,” David Sergeyenko told the local Novosti-Georgia news agency.
Dealing with drugs requires “a well-considered strategy” and “the legalization of marijuana could be a part of it,” he said.
But don’t start torching up in Tbilisi just yet, Segeyenko said.
“The fact that we are now discussing this issue does not mean that we will wake up one day and see marijuana at supermarkets. Of course, it will not happen this way,” he said, leaving unclear just exactly what he did envision.
Under current Georgian law, people convicted of illegal drug possession face up to a year in jail, a fine, or community service.
This isn’t the first time there has been legalization talk in Georgia. In 2005, the head of the Georgian Council for Drug P. . . . . READ MORE
MEXICO CITY — The United States singled out eight “plaza chiefs” of Mexico’s Sinaloa drugs cartel for sanctions Tuesday, saying they rely on “horrific acts of violence” to control a large swathe of the US-Mexico border.
The US Treasury named the eight, alleged top deputies of notorious Sinaloa chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as “Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers,” placing freezes on their assets on US soil and banning Americans from doing any business with them.
The eight are Cenobio Flores Pacheco (also known as Luis Fernando Castro Villa), Jesus Alfredo Salazar Ramirez, Guillermo Nieblas Nava (aka Adelmo Niebla Gonzalez), Ramon Ignacio Paez Soto, Felipe De Jesus Sosa Canisales, Armando Lopez Aispuro, Jose Javier Rascon Ramirez, and Raul Sabori Cisneros.
Each one is a Sinaloa plaza boss, managing narcotics smuggling for the cartel in a specific area along the border between the US state of Arizona and Mexico’s northern Sonora state, the Treasury said.
“Plaza bosses rely on violence to maintain their positions, using sicarios (hitmen) to control a specific geographic area,” it said in a statement.
The Treasury noted that Salazar, Paez and Sabori have already been arrested by Mexican authorities. . . . . READ MORE