tv America Tonight Al Jazeera August 12, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT
tomorrow night we'll talk about his discovery. that's it for this edition of al jazeera news, i'm libby casey, i'll see you again in one hour. hour. >> on "america tonight," street corner dropoffs. cash in hand. it's proof there's a way out of thug life. >> everything is done with the very same hustle and opportunistic you know attitude that made them successful in their own world. that's the good kind of hustle. >> our report from panama on stopping gang violence with an entrepreneurial approach. and is it really no problem month? the last place you would expect
to clamp down on pot sellers. "america tonight's" lori jane gliha, in jamaica on the rush against ganja. thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. we've seen the impact in the united states, after colorado and washington state legalized marijuana and all the states approved medicinal cannabis, increasing talk around the country. and it's inspired changes in marijuana laws off our shores in a place that you wouldn't expect that legalize ganja. jamaica's green rush. >> a three-hour drive from the jamaican capital of kingston,
wine enthuse yatsenyuk go twine. this is all your ganja -- >> cannabis. >> this is all different types of strains. >> many assume that mdges marijr cannabis or ganja has been legal but this is why this farmer has asked us to keep his identity secret. >> i've been arrested. >> earlier this year taking a cue from places like colorado the jamaican government decriminalized possession of small amounts of the plant. >> when did you think earlier this year marijuana was
decriminalized? >> i thought it was a good opportunity for growth for the people who had born the brut of the disgrace and the illegality of it to be redeemed. >> jamaica's decriminalization of marijuana has made some here uneasy. this is a conservative society. gangs have dominated the illegal drug trade and parts of the country bear the scars of the violence. in 2010, a state of emergency was declared because of that violence which left more than 70 people dead. advocates hope that decriminalization would put an end to that violence and shift profits away from gangs. ♪ >> reporter: ross iavie, is one of the people prosecuted for
possessing g aanja. >> my bravery and my stand and my determination, if you want to sell it, herb is herb. >> for 47 years he has practice he the rastafari religion. considers it to are like bread and wine in catholic ceremonies. >> i'll eat it i'll drink it. so it has become an integral part of our culture. especially if you are thinking of things from a point of view. >> jamaica's law legalizes immediatmedicinal and sacrifici.
iavie recommends years when he went to jail for smoking a joint. >> sometimes here it is so hot you have to take offer a shirt and use it for the common fan. >> not only is it no longer criminal but many jamaicans see an opportunity to capitalize on the multibillion dollar industry with what is already a home grown international brand, i ampvie is head of the growers association and looking forward to the opportunities that may come. >> some say, you come with your money and your facilities. these roots are here, they will grow. but we don't only want them to grow, we want the community to come and learn the science of marijuana so one, they can come and have their own business.
in other words, that can help not just. >> at a farm hidden in the hills nearby another grass roots farmer told us he's looking forward to his prospects. >> you'd like to make some good money from this? >> sure, of course, i want to make good money. i have a family. >> do you make good money now? >> it's hand to mouth. hand to mouth. just a little. >> you see big business in your future? >> yes, that's what i'm seeing right now i'm thinking about big big business. >> reporter: for every grower we met hoping to cash in on the green rush, there's an entrepreneur looking to launch a new business. >> so what is this place? where are we? >> well, we are in a state of the art spice and seasonings factory. >> maurice ellis manufactures
seasonings he hopes to one day infuse with medicinal ganja. >> why do you think your spices will be better for someone looking for medicinal ganja? >> when we blend pepper, local pepper with cannabis, and you school it, the pepper opens the glands and your taste buds and you receive your medication much better. >> when you look around, how much opportunity do you see? >> oh, this is budding with excitement, pun intended, budding with excitement. >> budding with excitement. extract thc. >> ellis said no one would invest in his spice business until he added the idea of adding ganja. pot entrepreneur brett bogue
came tall way from california. new uses are being tested here that aren't allowed in the u.s. >> you coming from the u.s. saw what jamaica was doing and looked at this as an opportunity. >> as an american it's wonderful because the government in jamaica is going to allow what the u.s. government hasn't done and that is doing patient live studies which is phenomenal. >> reporter: advocates think legalization could give jamaica's struggling economy a boost. >> my what the people will benefit from the medical marijuana industry? will it be the grass roots people who have suffered for it? as the rastafari community who
have borne the brunt of the persecution, will these people this benefit from it or will it be the very people we used to help at large against marijuana? >> "america tonight's" lori jane gliha joins us. lori jane, the authorities there are taking a harsh hand. >> i have a personal example, the one day we went to the one farm there, we were driving and our suv, i saw on the middle of the road, this roadblock, what is this, there were police officers and we got pulled over, they said we are going to search this vehicle for illegal gubs gs and illegal drugs. it would be more of a big deal a couple of months ago but they ended up letting us go. they will have to learn with the shifting attitudes. >> certainly intimidating. >> in the back seat, going
what's going on. it was a little stressful, we were throanl only there a few . we actually got pulled over another day. >> do you think you were attracting attention because you were foreigners and you were in a fancy rental vehicle. >> they were a checkpoint and that was part of it. we told them we were journalists and with a business owner, i think that kind of eased them up and that's what let us let them go. they didn't do any big time searching, they looked in the back window and let us be on our way. >> you have had a good deal of experience with the marijuana industry in the united states, you've gone colorado a bit, talked to the people in the industry there. do you see similarities between what is going on in jamaica and what you saw in colorado? >> yeah, i did the reporting of colorado getting ready for recreational marijuana. but there are similarities.
i remember being in colorado with the owners with the recreational business. the same thing is happening with the business owners in jamaica. they are going into the warehouse and saying i envision this i envision that, they are getting ready for the big business is what they are hoping will be happening. >> when you were walking into the area of the farm, it isn't exactly a farm as we conceive of it in the united states. this is quite different from the sort of modern marijuana industry in the u.s. and jamaica. >> a lot of things over here, it is grown indoors and in jamaica, we had to drive massive miles to get there. we didn't know -- >> they didn't give you an address. >> no, the first farm, we're trusting the driver to take us where we needed to be. there was a big maze we had to
go up a hill and up into this area and we hiked a few minutes before we actually got to this place. he said here is this, technically you are not allowed to plant more than five of these plants now. >> and he didn't want to be seen either. "america tonight's" lori jane gliha continuing her report on the marijuana industry. next biting into trouble the new marijuana economy and a hidden danger. later, from drug runs to soupy sales, a novel approach to getting gang members off the streets. and hot on "america tonight's" website now, ferguson one year later, what's changed in the once embattled city. at aljazeera.com/americatonight.
the show is called "third rail". when you watch the show, you're gonna find us being unafraid. the topics will fascinate you... intrigue you. >> they take this seriously. >> let me quote you. >> there's a double standard. >> you can't be a hypocrite. >> you're gonna also get a show that's really fair, bold, never predictable. >> they should be worried about heart disease not terrorism. >> no, i wouldn't say that at all. >> you'll see a show that has an impact on the conventional wisdom, that goes where nobody else goes. my name is imran garda, i'm the host of "third rail" - and you can find it on al jazeera america. >> our fast forward segment looks at unexpected highs and potentially fatal lows that legalized recreational marijuana industries serving up pop tarts, brownies, that even without that extra boost are appealing.but
maintain's lori jane gliha tells us about the growing concern of the too easy overdoses of a tasty high. >> i had really, really lost touch with reality, started projectile vomiting in the car. >> you thought you were going to die. >> i thought it 20 times in the car, i'm going to die, going to have a latter attack right now. >> when jordan took his family to the county fair he never thought he would od on marijuana. >> i thought i'd gotten poisoned. >> they checked out the fair's pot pavilion, one of the fair's major excision areas. combinatioexhibition areas.coomt caught his eye. >> it was like willie wonka
factory, i started eating chocolates. >> reporter: less than an hour later, coombs became totally disoriented, begged his wife to take him to a hospital. after a terrifying ride to the emergency room, he says medical workers diagnosed him with a thc overdose, the medical substance in marijuana. >> i'm wondering how upset you are right now? >> really businesse pissed off,g to walmart and getting bad beef or something. you can't do that. >> coombs is one of seven people suing the company for chemical poisoning, one items that came
on the market after marijuana was legalized in colorado. >> like a tootsie roll, you are supposed to eat an 8th of that. >> read thc and go on the labels of every item that dwain contaie psychoactive ingredient. those warning signs have to be put on all marijuana edibles by january of next year. fighting gang crime in the sunny streets of a tourist paradise. hiding in plain sight, thursday on "america tonight," hiding behind l.a.'s tourist facade.
world support group is trying something very different. david mercer entrie brings us ty from panama city. >> just a few years ago, tourists would have regretted meeting antonio james on this street corner. he was the leader of a gang devoted to assaults robberies and extortion. now the 34-year-old and his four partners lead neighborhood tours, sharing their view. >> translator: before we robbed the tourists. now we guide them and tell them stories about how life here used to be. now walking with us gives them safety. it is a total change from what we used to do. >> antonio's group offers up to ten tours per week at $25 per head the group is netting around $3,000 per month. the emple-gang members say
earning money the legit way, word of their success is spreading. >> translator: guys come up to me and ask how they can change their lives. a friend of mine in prison said, i want to work for your company when i get out. they see the change in us. >> reporter: this change came from an unlikely alliance. casey harden came more than a decade ago. struck 50 crumbling beauty, he dreamed of changing it into a tourist destination, but back then the neighborhood was a different place. >> the house, the first boutique hotel we got bullets through the window twice because of fights between gang on this side and hot boys and gang on the other side, ciudad de dios.
>> the area was divided by three rival gangs, as casey and his gang started buying buildings and turning them into boutique hotels, it was clear they had to either pay them protection money demanded the help of the police or barricaded their buildings. but instead they reached out to the gang leaders. >> a group of guys who had always been marginalized, in the position of the victim or the punisher, to look at the world in a different way. and look at being part of something bigger and positive. to be protagonists in a story of revitalization. >> reporter: the espiransa social club was created. putting gang members through ten weeks of skills training and counseling, mentoring and help with small loans. in just two years, 45 people
have graduated and the area's three gangs have disbanded. >> translator: when you work with these young men it is clear that though they've led criminal lives, having been in prison, having killed, at their root they are human beings who are only asking for help, for an opportunity. that's what we offer. >> eves opened a lunch delivery service, he charges $3.75 for a meal and has already seen his client list more than double. after spending 16 years in prison for murder he says he was ready for a second chance. >> translator: the frame of mind that they're not going to help you, you're not going to be helped. it's you who are not helping yourself. if you say there is an opportunity, you well help yourself which is what i did. >> after fielding last minute
calls, eves races through the streets to make his deliveries on time. the 43-year-old says he's left his gang life behind and day by day earning back the trust of the community. >> translator: we're really happy people like the food we make. they are family recipes passed down through the generations. i like my work. >> reporter: having a solid business plan is key for graduates who pursue the entrepreneurial path. casey shows me a group photo of the ex gang members, productivity used to help their proposal. >> the guys learn, the process is necessary and they know that the environment is supportive. they know that the people in that room are there to support them and to see them succeed. >> reporter: esperanza co-founder matt is one of those
people, nearly every day he has meetings with graduates, and everything is done with the very same hustle and opportunistic you toad that made them successful in their own world. that made them -- that survived them for all these years. and in our case we just kind of leverage it in a pro-social way in the case of juan he had a question about clams. that's awesome. in the case of hos josue, he is trying to figure out what drink recipes will resonate with tourists. that's a good hustle. >> in a neighborhood that used to be a gang controlled hot zone, police reported not a single robbery or assault from the start of 2014 to march of this year. politician he of el salvador dor have invited, them to talk about
their initiatives. the success in programs like esperanza and the drop in crime is having unexpected results as developers continue to buy up more buildings, local people are being forced out. 20 families now live inside this abandoned school. eves's is one of them. he worries about the future of his business and his family. >> translator: the game of monopoly, people take it mortgage it sell it and collect it again. we are living here yet this building has also been sold. we don't know where we are going to go. >> reporter: here too casey thinks a committed community can make a difference trying oaddress a problem created in part by his success. he and a few other developers are building low income housing in the neighborhood. >> how you define success here i think is going to be based on
diversity. there in any neighborhood like this there's a mandate on one side to restore the architectural heritage. but then you have a human heritage and that has to be protected somehow too. >> reporter: thest pran sa project may not solve all the problems here but ask antonio james a former gang member whose son now wants to be a tour guide. david mercer, al jazeera el casco viejo, panama city. >> having fun in the streets instead. please tell us what you think at aljazeera.com/americatonight. talk to us on twitter and facebook and please come back. we'll have more of "america tonight," tomorrow. else can. this is our american story.
this is america tonight. >> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight, campaign contributions to get elected, how can they staying independent? and more mainstream than ever. tonight we're putting judicial elections on trial. that's because the honor of some american judges is being jeopardized by the potentially corrupting influence of politics and money. in some states judges have to pay for election campaigns to win seats on the bench meaning they take financial