Colombia Bill Would Decriminalize Drug Plant Cultivation

Colombia Bill Would Decriminalize Drug Plant Cultivation | 

StoptheDrugWar.org.

 

A bill before the Colombian congress would decriminalize the cultivation of coca and marijuana in a bid to drive down raw drug prices and encourage peasant farmers to grow other crops. The bill is expected to be debated in the congress in coming days.

spraying herbicide on the rain forest to kill coca crops (wikimedia.org)

Colombia and Peru are the world’s largest coca (and cocaine) producers, with Bolivia in third place. In both Peru and Bolivia, national laws allow for some legal coca cultivation, although illicit cultivation also occurs. There is no legal coca cultivation in Colombia, where the government and the United States have spent billions of dollars trying to eradicate coca crops.

Introduced by Liberal Party Congressman Hugo Velasquez and cosponsored by seven other solons, the bill would eliminate the threat of prison for illicit crop production.

“Let’s see how well the laws of the market work,” said Velasquez, who represented the coca-growing province of Meta. “If there’s excessive production due to the lack of criminal penalties, surely the market will depress the price. We have to tell the United States and other consumers that Colombia has already paid enough, mostly in blood”, he added in remarks reported by the BBC. “It hasn’t worked. It’s time to change the strategy.”

But the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, who in recent months has frequently called for debate on alternatives to drug prohibition, has signaled that it opposes the bill. Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra said such a bill would violate international drug treaties.

“We have to be particularly prudent and careful,” he said.

The bill is unlikely to pass, but should help focus the attention of hemispheric leaders heading to Colombia in April for the OAS Summit of the Americas. Drug policy reform has been a hot topic in the region this year, and the bill will help keep it in the news.

Bogota

Colombia

GM marijuana booms in South America, growers reap ten times market value

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business is booming for sales of marijuana that has been genetically-modified (GM) to contain up to nine times more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than normal marijuana, according to a recent report by AFP.

The South American country of Colombia, which is known for its illicit drug trade, is apparently becoming a mecca for growing GM marijuana because the “frankenweed” is worth almost ten times the black market value of conventional marijuana.

Though growing marijuana is illegal in Colombia, many farmers have resorted to selling it on the black market to supplement their ailing incomes. In many cases, growing coffee and banana plants is not enough to sustain even a minimum standard of living, so many farmers now grow GM marijuana which sells for about $54 a kilo, which is the equivalent of 2.2 pounds.

“I don’t like growing marijuana, but it ended up that way,” said one farmer to AFP. “I received a loan to grow coffee, but I was drowning and I had to sell my harvest very cheap. My sister told me it would be better to plant marijuana.”

According to the report, the seeds for GM marijuana are coming from sources in both Europe and the US, but their specific sources are unclear. One particular variety, called “La Cominera,” contains about an 18 percent concentration of THC, while regular marijuana plants contain anywhere from two to seven percent THC on average.

Colombia farmers used to grow industrial hemp until international guidelines, prompted by anti-hemp countries like the US, ended up prohibiting it. So what was once a widely-cultivated, highly-valuable cash crop that benefited both the environment and the economy, is now an outlawed plant. Anti-hemp policies, of course, are a contributing factor to farmers’ desperation in turning to GM marijuana as a source of income.

Hemp, as many NaturalNews readers already know, is not the same thing as marijuana — it does not contain THC, and its seeds are a highly nutritious and medicinal food. And industrial hemp can be used to make clothing, paper, and other textile materials, and is a great alternative to cotton

GM marijuana booms in South America, growers reap ten times market value.

Colombia identifies almost 10,000 bodies in unmarked graves

War between Colombian paramilitaries, guerillas and government forces blamed for civilians deaths

Fighting between Colombian rightwing paramilitaries (above), leftist guerillas and government forces has been blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

The Colombian government has identified the remains of almost 10,000 people buried in unmarked graves across the country, and at least that many more bodies are still to be identified, an official said.

The interior minister, German Vargas Lleras, said it was “fundamental for advancing legal human rights proceedings” to identify the remains. Many of the bodies are suspected of being victims of the decades-long conflict between leftist guerrillas, rightwing militias and government security forces.

The process of identifying remains found in unmarked graves was carried out over the past five months by comparing fingerprints taken from bodies at morgues with data from the national registry, the agency that issues identity documents. Doing this enabled the identification of 9,969 people: 8,810 men and 1,159 women.

Politician Iván Cepeda said bodies in at least 10,000 more graves could not be identified because they were minors, lacked identity documents or their fingerprints were not taken properly.

Identified bodies would be exhumed from the graves and returned to their families, if they were claimed.

Each morgue in Colombia would have an attention centre and information would be posted on the website of the Legal Medicine Institute to help families recover the bodies of loved ones, Cepeda said.

Colombia identifies almost 10,000 bodies in unmarked graves | World news | The Guardian.

Worldwide Animal Deaths: Aliens Did It !

In Llanitos neighborhood, north of the city of of the city of Barrancabermeja, the collective death of two thousand fish is being attributed by the locals, to aliens. Witnesses said that saw an unidentified object that was hovering above the waters of a mangrove. The UFO emited a bright light and then, in few seconds disappeared. After that, the fish began to appear floating dead in the water. These fish showed signs of burns on the scales and gills.

A woman that is community leader from El Llanitos reported that the apparition of UFO phenomenon’s lasted about 20 seconds. In the district of Puente Sogamoso, Puerto Wilches city, others people reported that they also saw the object, which was round and flew over the area with lateral movements.
The Municipal Department of Environment says the deaths are related to lack of oxygen in the waters of the swamp but the Fishermen’s Association has rejected this hypothesis claiming that there was never a fish kills like was registered, now, in Barrancabermeja.
Furthermore, there is no known reason for this supposed lack of oxygen in the water. A committee headed by Environment Secretary, Isaac Lopez will inspect the marsh in order to ascertain the real causes of the phenomenon.
SOURCES
Mortandad de Peces en Barrancabermeja es atribuida a fenómeno sobrenatural.
IN RCN Rádio – published in 25/01/2011
[http://www.rcnradio.com/noticias/25-01-11/mortandad-de-peces-en-barrancabermeja-es-atribuida-fen-meno-sobrenatural].
Muerte de peces en Colombia es atribuida a “fenómeno sobrenatural”.
IN El Universal – published in 25/01/2011.
[http://www.eluniversal.com/2011/01/25/int_ava_muerte-de-peces-en-c_25A5042971.shtml].

Brazil Weird News.