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DRUGS

Greens launch cannabis legalization tour

Austria's Green party's youth wing has launched an initiative to drum up support for legalization of cannabis, by commencing a tour around the country promoting the benefits of smoking or otherwise ingesting the currently-banned natural substance.

Greens launch cannabis legalization tour
Photo: Young Greens

Launching on Saturday, campaigners will travel around the country for the next three weeks, hauling with them a giant 'joint' – although it's probably just a costume, and wouldn't appreciate someone trying to light it.

The aim of the tour is to address drug policy and to advocate for sensible legalization of cannabis, said the Young Greens in a press release.

"It is now the time to convince parents, grandparents and friends that legalization is just reasonable," the Greens' Federal spokeswoman Diana Witzani said as she outlined the objective of the Young Greens. 

They cited the examples of Washington, Colorado and Uruguay as places where legalization showed positive benefits, they said.

The Greens advocate a controlled release of cannabis through licensed and regulated outlets, along with an absolute ban on advertising for all drugs, including alcohol.  They also called for greater education in the field of drugs. 

"Preaching abstinence is useless – enlightened and empowered people are the solution," said Witzani.

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DRUGS

Drug raid on Nigerian gang sees 50 arrests

Police in Vienna have arrested 50 people in connection with a Nigerian drug ring which operated in the Austrian capital.

Drug raid on Nigerian gang sees 50 arrests
File photo: Paul Gillingwater

Investigators said they had been on the trail of the gang for the past three years, and that in that time it has netted a profit of over €6 million. 

21 kilos of illegal drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin, were seized during raids on Thursday. However, police told a press conference on Friday that the gang would probably cut the drugs with other substances to increase the amount that could be sold on the street to around 100 kilos.

The drugs were mainly sold in Vienna by Nigerian dealers. Detective Georg Rabensteiner said that 100 kilos of drugs would “cover” demand in Vienna for a few months. 


Photo: LPD Wien

Police first became aware of the gang's existence at the end of 2012, when a Nigerian man was caught smuggling €250,000 in cash hidden within cars which were brought from Vienna to Nigeria. An investigation revealed that the money came from drug trafficking. Gang members regularly sent over large amounts of drugs to Austria via ten people who acted as drug mules. 

The couriers would swallow between one and one and a half kilograms of drugs, which were then sold in Vienna. Police said that the cocaine and heroin which was seized was 80 percent pure. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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