Pope Francis U.N. Speech: Drug War ‘Threatens The Credibility Of Our Institutions’

Pope Francis criticized the global War on Drugs in his address to the United Nations on Friday. While the Catholic Church’s Vicar of Christ did not prescribe specific solutions, he spoke plainly the shortcomings of efforts to combat drug trafficking and the effects on everyday citizens.


7 Interesting Marijuana Facts From History

Marijuana, weed, bud, herb, spliffs, ganja, wacky tobaccy — whatever you call your friendly neighborhood cannabis, it's actually got a stranger and longer history than you likely knew.


Winding Down the War on Drugs: Reevaluating Global Drug Policy

Any discussion about transnational organized crime almost inevitably includes the trade in illicit drugs. A 2011 analysis by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that illicit drugs constitute the largest income source for transnational crime, accounting for about half of transnational crime proceeds, and one-fifth of all crime proceeds. The UNODC has estimated the value of the 2003 global illicit drugs market to be US$322 billion— higher than the GDP that year of 88 percent of the world’s countries.


Law and Border

How many wars can we fight?

Our presidential candidates demand "stronger action" against both illegal immigration and illegal drugs. But those goals conflict. The War on Drugs makes border enforcement much harder!

America's 44-year-long Drug War hasn't made a dent in American drug use or the supply of illegal drugs. If it had some positive effect, prices of drugs would have increased, but they haven't. American authorities say drugs are more available than ever.

Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, creates fat profits that invite law-breaking.


Mexico’s marijuana innovators

Genetically modified marijuana in Mexico? Cartel henchmen in lab coats producing super cannabis? Not quite. But Mexican marijuana producers are probably becoming more sophisticated in response to changing consumer habits and competition from legal U.S. growers.


Plants seized were cloned, ie not reproduced sexually as in traditional marijuana plantations. Pohotos: AP


Epileptic girl overcomes Mexico's cannabis ban


MEXICO CITY - An eight-year-old girl who endures 400 daily epileptic seizures will become Mexico's first authorized consumer of medical cannabis after the government granted her an exemption to its marijuana ban.

Grace Elizalde, who lives in the northern industrial hub of Monterrey, has a severe form of epilepsy known as the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

The health ministry announced in a statement that it would facilitate the paperwork needed to import a cannabis oil that is believed to alleviate epileptic fits.

"We are happy," Raul Elizalde, the girl's father, told AFP by telephone after he met with the head of Cofepris, the health agency that oversees medicine imports. "It's our last hope."


Epileptic girl challenges Mexico medical marijuana ban

Just eight years old, Graciela could become Mexico's first authorized consumer of medical marijuana to alleviate the hundreds of epileptic seizures that strike her small frame every day.

A judge last month gave her desperate parents permission to get a cannabis oil despite the government's opposition in a country engulfed in a bloody drug war.

Her parents have tried a slew of treatments, including brain surgery, to ease their daughter's pain, but nothing has worked and her condition has worsened.

They now hope that cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound, can finally help her -- if they can get it.


Judge OKs medical marijuana use in Mexico for 1st time

A Mexican judge has granted a couple permission to import a marijuana-derived compound to treat the frequent seizures of their eight-year old daughter, an unprecedented ruling in the Latin American country, the family's attorney told EFE.

"It's a watershed in our country because the marijuana issue in our country has been very complicated. What makes this significant is the departure from a policy of prohibiting all cannabis-related conduct," Fabian Aguinaco said Tuesday.

Martin Santos, a federal judge, on Aug. 17 granted an "amparo" request to the parents of Graciela Elizalde Benavides, a decision that forces authorities to allow them to import a medication containing cannabidiol, a prohibited substance under Mexico's General Health Law.


Authorities dismantle illegal marijuana grow site on Buffalo Pass; 2 Mexican nationals arrested

Steamboat Springs — Dressed in full tactical gear, a squad of Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies quietly headed into the Routt National Forest before sunrise Friday morning to secure and dismantle an illegal pot-growing site authorities had learned about on Buffalo Pass.

The squad of six was joined on the mission by a dozen federal officers.

Carrying 40 to 60 pounds of gear on their backs, they all walked three miles over rugged terrain with the help of a nearly full moon.

"I've been here a long time, and this is the first time I've had to participate in a mission like this," Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said.


How America's Legal Weed Is Changing the Black Market and Influencing Mexican Cartels

Drive an hour east of Portland, Oregon, through the stunning Columbia River gorge, and you'll arrive in the idyllic town of Hood River. Tourists come to windsurf and fly kites in the stiff breeze that blows off the river, and to tour the "fruit loop," a circuit of wineries and fruit vendors supplied by the area's abundant orchards.

But there are no tours — at least not yet — that introduce visitors to the region's other signature crop: marijuana.


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