Source: AAP (News.com.au)
Author: Tamara McLean
ONE in three drivers involved in car smashes were under the influence of drugs at the time, a study of blood tests showed.
A study of Victorian drivers admitted to hospital found 30 per cent were under the influence of "downers" or illegal substances - and a third of these had taken a drug "cocktail". About 16 per cent of the 436 people screened tested positive for tranquilliser medications like sleeping pills or Valium, mostly older women. And 8 per cent, mostly younger men, were clinically "stoned".
Almost half the entire sample had some sign of cannabis in their system, indicating they had smoked recently. The report, in the journal Emergency Medicine Australasia, also showed that 11 per cent were under the influence of opiates, like heroin, and 4 per cent had taken amphetamines.
Source: AAP (News.com.au)
Author: Jade Bilowol
AN Australian man has been extradited from Cuba to face charges of attempting to import nearly eight tonnes of cannabis resin more than a decade ago.
The 49-year-old man is due in Brisbane Magistrates Court today charged with conspiring to import eight tonnes of cannabis resin. He was charged on his arrival today in Brisbane after being escorted from Cuba by Australian Federal Police offficers. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The AFP alleges the man was the master of a vessel named Highlander which made two unsuccessful attempts to transport 7.9 tonnes of cannabis resin from another ship to shore near Poona in Queensland's southeast in late 1996.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
Author: Angela Kamper
KABBALAH sect leader Gilla Mogilevsky claims she was "cleansing" the air - not spraying her son's million-dollar cannabis on Sydney's North Shore.
But a magistrate yesterday begged to differ, ordering her to trial for her alleged part in cultivating and supplying the illicit drug. Police surveillance in June last year captured Mogilevsky, 53, spraying what police allege was pesticide or herbicide near a crop of 494 plants on a North Shore property.
She was also filmed using an industrial vacuum cleaner to collect fallen debris. "On the defendant's conduct as videotaped ... quite comfortably the jury could infer that she, of course, was acting in concert with her sons to cultivate cannabis," Magistrate Jayeann Carney told Central Local Court yesterday.
Source: AAP (News.com.au)
A MAN has been charged over a multi-million dollar cannabis cultivation racket. The charges follow a police operation spanning three years and involving raids on several houses in Sydney's southwest. Cannabis plants worth $3.24 million were seized during the operation.
A 36-year-old man was arrested during the search of a Cabramatta house yesterday and has been charged with cultivation offences.
AN increasing number of British government ministers have confirmed they used cannabis in their youth, following an admission by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Press Association (PA) has reported.
A total of seven cabinet ministers, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, confirmed they used the illegal drug as students, PA reported.
Two more ministers at the Home Office also said they tried it at university. The ministers made their admissions after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a review of the classification of cannabis, which may reverse the 2004 decision to classify it as a less serious illicit drug.
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Author: Dan Gardner
OTTAWA -- Well, thank goodness the Conservative government has silenced all talk of liberalizing Canada's marijuana laws. The way things were going, teenagers may have completely stopped smoking pot.
What's that, you say? I have it backward? Everybody knows it's the namby-pamby approach that leads to more teens using drugs, while a hard line keeps kids on the straight and narrow. It's common sense. It's what the police say. And as we all know, what the police say is the gold standard of common sense.
When the renowned social scientists of the Canadian Police Association testified to a Senate committee on illicit drugs, they claimed there is lots of evidence that liberal drug policies lead to greater drug use. "Legalization and permissiveness will increase drug use and abuse substantially," a spokesman told the senators.
Everybody knows the police are the real experts on drugs, right? And the experts came out against decriminalization. Even talking about it sends a bad message to the kids, they argued. It says the drug is harmless. Acceptable. Keep it up, the police warned, and pretty soon your kid's high school will look like the set of a Cheech and Chong movie.
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Will Indonesia Legalise Cannabis?
A study by Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency has sparked a squabble in the world's largest Muslim nation, after it suggested the drug might be useful in the alternative fuel or agriculture industries, and the government should consider legalising its use. Indonesia's vice president Jusuf Kalla has also suggested it is acceptable to use cannabis for cooking.
"To add up in a curry or soup recipes, that's common," Kalla said last week. "Not to get high, but merely for food seasonings.
"It's alright to use it as a food seasoning, but it should not be fully legalised." But the issue has drawn a strong response from the militant Islamic group Islamic Defenders Front ( FPI ). On Friday, dozens of FPI members threatened to burn down the National Narcotics Agency if it took the idea any further.
Source: Mail and Guardian (South Africa)
Rabat, Morocco - Morocco, which has slashed cannabis cultivation by nearly half over the past four years, hopes to eradicate the main remaining area of cultivation in the northern Rif mountains by opening up the region and introducing substitute crops.
The eradication programme encourages farmers to switch to other crops, especially on fertile land where the growing of cannabis is a recent development, said Khalid Zerouali, a senior official at the Interior Ministry.
"In the ... [Rif mountain chain] we are centring our efforts on non-agricultural infrastructure and activities such as rural tourism," he said. "Opening these areas up plays an important role in reducing cannabis."
Production of cannabis resin, or hashish, which amounted to 3,070 tonnes in 2003, has already dropped by 61% in the area, according to Zerouali.
That mirrors the progress across the country. A 2003 inquiry sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) using both observations on the ground and satellite pictures put at 134,000ha the area used to grow cannabis.
Source: Kitsap Sun (WA USA)
Author: George Will
In January 2002, in Juneau, Alaska, Joseph Frederick had the sort of idea that makes a teenager seem like one of nature's mistakes.
Last week, after five years and the attention of 13 federal judges, Frederick became a footnote in constitutional history.
His case illustrated how the multiplication and extension of rights lead to the proliferation of litigation. It also illustrated something agreeable in a disagreeably angry era -- how nine intelligent, conscientious justices can civilly come to strikingly different conclusions about undisputed facts.
This story actually began in 1965, in Des Moines, Iowa, when three teenagers wore to school black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. Their school said the bands or the students must go. The students kept the bands, were suspended, sued and won a 7-2 Supreme Court victory in 1969. The court said that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." One of the dissenting justices was Hugo Black, a fierce proponent of First Amendment rights who nevertheless warned that the decision denied schools "the power to control pupils."
Thirty-three years later, at a school-sanctioned and faculty-supervised event during normal school hours, students were watching the Olympic torch pass through Juneau en route to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. Frederick and some friends, standing on a public street across from their school, unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." The school's principal read that as endorsement of, even advocacy of, an illegal act (marijuana use) in violation of the school's stated policy and educational mission.