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Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Mexican Military Runs Up Body Count In Drug War

Mexico (MAP) - Fri, 05/27/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 27 May 2016 - MEXICO CITY - In the history of modern war, fighters are much more likely to injure their enemies than kill them. But in Mexico, the opposite is true. According to the government's own figures, Mexico's armed forces are exceptionally efficient killers - stacking up bodies at extraordinary rates.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Body Count Points to a Mexican Military Out of Control

Mexico (MAP) - Fri, 05/27/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 27 May 2016 - MEXICO CITY - In the history of modern war, fighters are much more likely to injure their enemies than kill them. But in Mexico, the opposite is true. According to the government's own figures, Mexico's armed forces are exceptionally efficient killers - stacking up bodies at extraordinary rates.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Mexico Mulls Legalizing Opium Poppy For Medicine

Mexico (MAP) - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 07:00
Kuwait Times, 15 May 2016 - Fed up with drug-related violence, a growing number of Mexican politicians see one potential cure: Legalizing the cultivation of opium poppies for the production of medicine. The debate has emerged in recent weeks after President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed legislation in April to loosen marijuana laws by legalizing medical cannabis and easing restrictions on its recreational use. Since then, governors and congressional lawmakers have voiced their support for regulating opium poppies, which are often grown by farmers in poor areas of the country and sold to cartels as the raw material for heroin. The idea was launched by Hector Astudillo, governor of the southern state of Guerrero, which has the country's highest murder rate amid turf wars among drug cartels battling for control of the mountains where US-bound heroin is born. Astudillo, whose state is the biggest producer of opium poppies, proposed a pilot program for the crop's cultivation for medical uses. Graco Ramirez, governor of the neighboring crime-plagued state of Morelos, which is a transit route for the drug, voiced his support. "In (the northwestern state of ) Sinaloa and Guerrero, growing opium poppies is a fact of life and we must take it away from the criminals and give it to health," Ramirez said.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo Wants To Return To Old

Mexico (MAP) - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 07:00
Daily Telegraph, 11 May 2016 - Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is so disgusted by the dirt in his new prison cell that he has asked for chlorine to clean it himself, his lawyer said. Guzman, 59, was abruptly transferred from his maximum-security prison near Mexico City to a jail in Ciudad Juarez, at the US border, on Saturday. His lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, told AFP that he has since filed two motions to have Guzman returned to the Altiplano lockup, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the capital.
Categories: Mexico

Chronicle AM: VT Legalization Really Dead This Year, Huge Mexican Pot Seizure, More... (5/6/16)

Mexico (STDW) - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 20:11

A final nail in the coffin for Vermont legalization this year, the California legalization campaign gets some police support, the Mexican army makes a huge pot bust, and more. 

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Some California Law Enforcement Leaders Support Legalization Initiative. As expected, California law enforcement groups are mostly lining up against the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) initiative, but there are some significant defections. Former LAPD Deputy Chief Steve Downing was present at the campaign's launch Wednesday, and San Francisco District Attorney (and former San Francisco police chief and LAPD assistant chief) George Gascon is also supportive. When it comes to marijuana legalization in California, there are cracks emerging in the blue wall.

Vermont Legalization Now Even Deader This Year. It's over. Vermont will not legalize pot this year, and now the legislature won't even study it or let voters voice their opinion in a non-binding referendum. The Senate has sent a miscellaneous crime bill back to the House after removing a provision that called for a study commission. The move came after the House refused to pass the legalization bill approved by the Senate, and a frustrated Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Sears moved to strip all pot-related provisions from the crime bill.

Harm Reduction

Hawaii Overdose Reversal Drug Bill Awaits Governor's Signature. The legislature has approved Senate Bill 2392, which establishes "immunity for health care professionals and pharmacists who prescribe, dispense, distribute, or administer an opioid antagonist such as naloxone hydrochloride to persons who are at risk of experiencing or who are experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose." The bill also mandates Medicaid coverage for the drug, naloxone. Now, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and the CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent AIDS) are calling on Gov. David Ige (D) to sign the bill.

International

Mexican Army Seizes 25 Tons of Pot From One Truck. Mexico's marijuana industry may be feeling the competition from north of the border, but it isn't gone yet. In a single drug bust that occurred when a truck driver rolled his load trying to avoid a military checkpoint, soldiers scored a whopping 25 tonsof marijuana, with four pounds of meth thrown in as a bonus. The bust took place this week in Huatabampo, Sonora. Authorities believe the load was headed to a Pacific port for shipment north.

Azerbajian Ponders Decriminalizing Drug Possession. Member of Parliament Gudrat Hasanquliyev has proposed a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. "It is useless to fill prisons with drug addicts, since the state spends huge funds to detain them," he said. "These people must be sent to mandatory treatment. If there is selling, transporting drugs, such persons must be held criminally responsible. But if the drugs are intended for personal use, it is necessary to legalize the use of drugs by these people."

Categories: Mexico

Chronicle AM: NE Ends Civil Asset Forfeiture, New England Pot Politics, Mexico Marijuana Reforms, More... 4/25/16

Mexico (STDW) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 20:02

Marijuana policy is keeping state houses busy in New England, Nebraska becomes the 10th state to end civil asset forfeiture, Maine's Tea Party governor vetoes a Naloxone bill, Mexico's president expands marijuana reforms, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Marijuana Activists Meet Today With White House. Two members of the DC Cannabis Campaign (DCMJ) were set to meet with Obama administration officials at the White House today. DCMJ head Adam Eidinger said he had been requesting a "Bud Summit" with Obama's leading drug advisors for years, but had no response until his group demonstrated in front of the White House on April 2. "This is an opportunity for the White House to meet with serious and committed cannabis activists and hear our case for why it's in President Obama's best interest to work with the attorney general to fully remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act," DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller said in a statement.

Connecticut Legalization Bill Dies. There will be no marijuana legalization in Connecticut this year. Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven), sponsor of the legalization bill, withdrew it last Wednesday after first attempting to add it as an amendment to a related bill. The bill had been declared dead earlier in the session, and Candelaria's move last week was a last ditch effort to keep it alive.

Illinois Decriminalization Bill Advances. A bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was approved by the Senate last week. A similar measure was approved by the legislature last year, only to be vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). This year's bill lowers the decrim limit from 15 grams to 10 grams, making it a bit more palatable to the governor. A spokesman for Rauner said he was "encouraged" that legislators heard his concerns and would be monitoring the bill's progress. The bill now goes to the House.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Dies. The Senate voted last week to kill House Bill 1631, which would have decriminalized the possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana. This is the seventh time the House has approved decriminalization, only to see it shot down by the Senate. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that has not decriminalized small time pot possession. This year, the legislation ran up against concern over heroin and prescription opioid abuse. "We are in a war, and the last thing we need is to tell our citizens it is OK to use a little marijuana or any other illegal substance," said Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford).

Rhode Island Poll Has Support for Legalization at 55%. A new Brown University Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy poll has two-thirds (67%) supporting medical marijuana and a solid majority (55%) in favor of marijuana legalization. This as a legalization bill has been stalled this year. "I know public officials are being very thoughtful and careful on this issue," pollster James Morone said. "But it's hard to see in the long run how legalization won't happen because there is so much strong support among young people. But I would emphasize 'in the long run.' I think anytime you have voters under 44 years old supporting something by 72 percent, it's just a question of time," he added. "Like same-sex marriage around the country, it's being driven by the demographics around the country. It's the exact same dynamic."

Vermont Legalization Bill Amended. The state's legalization bill, Senate Bill 241, faces an uncertain fate after the House Ways and Means Committee approved it, but only after amending it to allow residents to grow and possess small amounts of pot, but not to allow regulated sales. Another House committee had rejected legalization, and a third House committee now has it under consideration. If the House manages to pass some version of the bill, it will have to be reconciled with the version passed earlier by the Senate.

Medical Marijuana

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Prevent DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws. The committee voted last week 21-8 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration. After decades of inactivity on marijuana reform, Congress has moved at lightning pace to advance marijuana reform in recent years. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend marijuana. The Committee approved similar amendments last year as well as an amendment to allow state-legalized marijuana businesses to access banks and other financial services. The Mikulski amendment is expected to pass the full Senate as well as the House. Similar amendments were passed by Congress last year and the year before.

DEA Approves Colorado-Funded Study on Marijuana and PTSD. The DEA gave the go-ahead for the ground-breaking study last week. It's the first time the agency has given permission to use raw marijuana in a controlled clinical trial for PTSD. Enrollment in the study could begin as early as next month. The study is one of nine funded by historic grants from the Colorado Health Department, which are in turn funded by medical and legal marijuana fees and tax revenues.

Connecticut House Approves Medical Marijuana for Kids. The House voted overwhelmingly last week to expand the state's four-year-old medical marijuana program to include children. The bill also includes a provision to create a Board of Physicians to review requests for new ailments to be added the list of qualifying conditions, which currently lists 17 diseases or syndromes. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Asset Forfeiture

Nebraska Latest State to Institute to Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. Last week, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) signed into law LB 1106, which eliminates civil forfeiture in the Cornhusker State. The bill had passed the legislature a week earlier on a vote of 38-6. Nebraska becomes the 10th state to eliminate civil asset forfeiture. Now, if Nebraska cops want to seize cash and property, they must first obtain a criminal conviction. The bill also imposes some limits on state law enforcement participation in the federal "equitable sharing" program, under which police can end run state laws directing where seized assets go by turning the busts over to the feds, who in turn give back 80% of the value of seized goods to the arresting agency.

Harm Reduction

Maine Governor Vetoes Bill Seeking to Increase Access to Life-saving Overdose Antidote Naloxone. Gov. Paul LePage last week vetoed the bill last week, arguing that "naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose." Every state in the nation, with the exception of five, have either passed or are in the process of passing naloxone access legislation, and thirty states currently allow for sales of the overdose antidote without a prescription. The bill, LD 1547, could still be revived, though. On Friday, the legislature will take up all bills vetoed by Le Page, including LD 1547. Two-thirds votes in both the House and the Senate would be needed to override the veto.

International

Mexican President to Push Broader Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Marijuana. President Enrique Pena Nieto used his speech before the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs last week to call for decriminalizing up to an ounce of marijuana and legalizing the medicinal use of the plant. Currently, only up to five grams is decriminalized. "We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years," Pena Nieto said. "Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking. Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies," he said. "A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities."

Categories: Mexico

Mexico: The Americas Reflect An About-Face On Pot

Mexico (MAP) - Sun, 04/24/2016 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 24 Apr 2016 - Shift to Legalization Big Change in Area That Includes Big Producers of Marijuana, Opium MEXICO CITY - With a swipe of his pen last week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed that Mexican citizens could legally possess up to an ounce of pot.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: The Movement to Legalize Pot Gains Speed in the

Mexico (MAP) - Sun, 04/24/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 24 Apr 2016 - MEXICO CITY - With a swipe of his pen last week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed that Mexican citizens could legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The day before, Canada's health minister stood at a United Nations podium and announced that her country would introduce new federal legislation to make cannabis legal by next year.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Marijuana Legalization Gains Momentum in the Americas

Mexico (MAP) - Sat, 04/23/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 23 Apr 2016 - Mexico City - With a swipe of his pent his week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed that Mexican citizens could legally possess up to an ounce of pot. The day before, Canada's health minister stood on a United Nations podium and announced that her country would introduce new federal legislation to make cannabis legal by next year.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Mexico's President Intends to Legalize Medical

Mexico (MAP) - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 07:00
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 Apr 2016 - MEXICO CITY - President Enrique Pena Nieto said Mexico will move to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in what was seen as a stark shift for a leader who has made clamping down on all forms of drug trafficking a hallmark of his tenure. Speaking to the United Nations, Mr. Pena Nieto said Tuesday he would also raise the amount of marijuana that would be de-criminalized for personal consumption, calling its use a public health problem and urging policies that avoid punishing users.
Categories: Mexico

Mexico: Leader Says He's Open To Legalizing Some Pot

Mexico (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 20 Apr 2016 - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Tuesday that he is open to the legalization of medical marijuana in Mexico and that his government would announce new measures in the coming days. "I am giving voice to those who have [in public forums] expressed the necessity of changing the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes," he said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Categories: Mexico
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