Search Results: vidal (7)

Gore Vidal, pictured here in about 1970, died on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86. He was famous for his biting political critiques and acerbic take on American society.

Author, playwright and activist Gore Vidal’s death on Tuesday brought a worldwide expression of gratitude for a life well lived; millions are remembering the liberal author’s contributions to culture and politics.

What’s not as well known is that, decades ago, Vidal took a brave stand in favor of marijuana legalization, as pointed out on the Huffington Post by Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Lawmakers in Mexico City fed up with the social and financial cost of marijuana criminalization in their city are floating the idea of decriminalizing up to 35 grams of cannabis.
Currently the possession of up to five grams of marijuana is legal in Mexico under 2009 minor drug possession reforms aimed at curbing police corruption and crime. It’s done nothing to end cartel violence, but so far hasn’t been a major issue.

Mexico City Council is debating allowing private marijuana smoking clubs as well as the private cultivation of cannabis plants as a way of easing drug-related crime in the violence-torn nation.
While the idea makes perfect sense to supporters and anyone with a set of eyes who can see marijuana prohibition has failed, Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto says he’s against the measure and any legalization efforts.

According to Mexican news sources, members of the Party of the Democratic Revolution are drafting laws that would allow people to cultivate cannabis at home, smoke it at specific clubs and bars and possess up to 25 grams.
Currently, possession of up to five grams of cannabis is decriminalized in Mexico along with small amounts of other drugs like LSD and cocaine.

Paula Rafiza/Canna Cerrado
Marijuana March, Brasília, Brazil, 2011

Editor’s note: Brazilian activist Sergio Vidal, a good friend of Toke of the Town, is the author of Brazil’s very first cannabis grow book. Here, he shares with us the progress being made in his country in marijuana law reform.
Many marijuana marches will occur today, May 5, worldwide. In Brazil, the movement to legalize marijuana just started to gain power in recent years. The first march took place 10 years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
After many years of struggle and diversification of activism, the movement has grown significantly, in spite of repression. Only last year Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) dismissed an action in respect of Marijuana Marches. The judges of the Supreme Court unanimously decided that marches and other demonstrations for change in laws and policies on drugs are absolutely legitimate and constitutional.

Cadu Oliveira/Hempadão
The prizes Bud de Ouro (Gold Bud) and Flor Absoluta (Absolute Flower) went to an Ice from the Brazilian grower F.B.

The cannabis community is making great strides in the South American nation of Brazil. Now our friends to the south have held their first-ever Cannabis Cup competition.

Last Saturday, April 28, the 1st Copa Canábia Rio 420 (Cannabis Cup Rio 420), was held with 12 marijuana samples — each with eight grams — from different parts of Brazil, and one strain from Argentina.
Sergio Vidal, a leading Brazilian cannabis activist, author of the first Brazilian cannabis growing guide and a good friend of Toke of the Town, was lucky enough to serve as a judge at the Copa Canábia Rio 420, and he reports the Argentinian strain was no joke.

Photo: Sergio Vidal
“I have a feeling that at any moment I will be summoned by the police.” Author Sergio Vidal holds “Cannabis Medicinal,” the first marijuana grow book ever published in Brazil

Exclusive Interview: Author/Activist Sergio Vidal

​In a sure sign that attitudes toward cannabis are changing worldwide, the first-ever cannabis grow book has been published in Brazil — and it may well be the first grow book printed in the Portuguese language.

Cannabis Medicinal author Sergio Vidal, a marijuana activist, told Toke of the Town that just the discussion of weed — let alone its use and possession — is surrounded by taboos, legal prohibitions, and repression.
“We are a young democracy,” Vidal told us. “We lived in a military dictatorship for many years in the 1960s and 70s. Our Constitution is only 22 years old. And the drug laws are a reflection of this dictatorial period.”
According to Vidal, Brazil’s drug laws include one article that criminalizes conduct “encouraging the use of drugs,” which means you can be arrested for simply advocating the legalization of cannabis. That makes me realize how well we have it here in the States, where more than a year of Toke of the Town has resulted in zero police interference.
“Events such as the Marijuana March have been considered criminal in many cities,” Vidal told us. “The law has been used on several occasions to criminalize social movements for legalization.”