Canadians Support Expungement of Marijuana Criminal Records
Paraguay’s Weed Industry Caught Up in Police Corruption Scandal
For most Americans, or those who incredulously observe us from afar, the proliferation of secret tapes, corruption, bribery, extortion and threats of “you’re fired” have become an everyday occurrence.
So why not in other countries where police and political corruption also enjoy a prominent place in society?
Let’s take Paraguay, where a group of corrupt police officials was at the receiving end of a major bribery scheme involving the country’s huge network of weed cultivators and traffickers.
Marijuana producers in the main weed-growing region, Alto Paraná, had the polite custom of giving large sums of money as “welcome gifts” to the newly-hired police and anti-narcotics authorities assigned to work in the area.
The housewarming gifts were a way of ensuring that the growers’ operations would continue undisturbed, according to Paraguayan newspaper, ABC Color.
Martial Law Declared in South Philippines, Trump Praises Duterte’s Drug War
The declaration takes immediate effect and will last for 60 days—officially. But in his comments upon the declaration, Duterte said it could last up to “a year”—and (not for the first time) favorably invoked the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, under whose harsh rule the Philippines saw a decade of martial law.
“To those who have experienced martial law, it would not be any different from what president Marcos did,” Duterte said. “I’ll be harsh.”
Duterte’s murderous war on low-level drug dealers and users has already jacked up a body count of perhaps 7,000 since he took office last year.
Trump’s Drug Czar Flip-Flop: Funding for Border Wall Before Opiate Treatment
Proving America’s would-be strongman can be as pliant as a microwaved bagel when subjected to the slightest bit of pressure, the Trump administration completed a near-perfect 360-degree turn on drug policy on Tuesday.
But even Donald Trump’s flip-flops are ghastly disasters.
While abandoning an almost universally-derided plan that would have exacerbated the opiate overdose crisis, the White House instead found a way to make America even worse.
Earlier this month, shortly after Donald Trump’s rumored favorite for the position of White House “drug czar” dropped out of contention, it appeared the president was ready to eliminate the job entirely. As per a draft budget document leaked to CBS News, the Trump White House wanted to cut the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) funding by almost 95 percent.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott Vetoes Legalization Bill
Pot Legalization Has Little Effect on Neighboring States
Aside from increases in adult marijuana possession arrests in border counties, a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that state marijuana legalization has little effect on neighboring states.
In the paper, The Cross-Border Spillover Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization, professors Zhuang Hao and Benjamin Cowan from the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University found that legalization “causes a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests of border counties relative to non-border counties.”
“If a county shares a physical border with [a legalized] state,” the authors note, “it experiences an increase in marijuana possession arrests of roughly 30 percent.”
However, the study found that the increased arrests are almost entirely among adults.
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