Source: The West Australian
Author: Cathy O'Leary
A Perth businessman wants the Federal Government to lift a ban on the sale of hempseed foods and oils for human consumption, arguing they have a better balance of essential fatty acids than popular fish oil.
Hemp Resources chief executive Kim Hough has written to his local MP and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith calling for an exemption from the Australian food standard which makes hemp foods illegal for human ingestion.
Hempseed and its oil come from the leaf of the cannabis plant but do not have any psychotropic properties. They are already used in food products such as health bars, salad oils and dairy substitutes overseas.
Source: The Star (Canada)
Author: Dean Beeby
OTTAWA – Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.
The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany. The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.
The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour. "To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.
Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.
Source: National Post (canada)
Author: Matthew Coutts
Supporters of the legalization of marijuana will gather on the steps of Old City Hall this morning in support of the Kindred Café, a pot-friendly coffee house raided last week for allegedly selling laced milkshakes, hot chocolates and baked goods.
More than 100 people are expected to attend the morning rally, beginning at 8 a.m., many acting as “human billboards” with signs promoting the regulation of cannabis and demanding pot-friendly stores such as the Kindred Café be left alone.
“It’s all supporters and friends just coming out to show moral support, said organizer Matt Mernagh.
“It’s a very busy intersection at 8 a.m., right. Being human billboards with our flags, our signs, our megaphones. It just shows people that we’re not going to let this go away.”
Scientists suggest ingredient of drug could potentially offer cognitive benefits. Scientists have suggested that cannabis might actually boost memory.
The idea is that specific elements of the plant - also known as marijuana - can reduce inflammation in the brain and possibly stimulate the formation of new cells, according to a team of researchers based at Ohio State University in the US.
If it is indeed found to be the case, the scientists said that it could provide hope of a therapy to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Amsterdam is being forced to close 43 of its 228 cannabis-selling cafes to meet national regulations, report various newspapers on Friday. The cafes, known as coffee shops, have to be closed down by the end of 2011 because they are less than 250 meters from a secondary school.
One of those set to vanish is the famous Bulldog cafe on the city’s Leidseplein which is housed in a former police station and was opened over 20 years ago. It is too close to the city's prestigious Barlaeus high school. In an interview in Friday’s Volkskrant, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen makes it clear that he is following the government’s directive under duress.
Author: Zelda Venter
A cannabis farmer who grew the weed to cultivate strands for possible industrial use, is claiming R620 000 in damages from the police after he was "unlawfully arrested" for possession of the plant. The farmer had claimed that he in fact had a permit to be in possession of 1,2 tons of seeds.
A second claim for R2-million in damages against the police is expected to be served before the Pretoria High Court at a later stage by Russell de Beer after he claimed he had lost his crops and his business had collapsed because of the conduct by the police.
De Beer on Thursday broke down and cried bitterly as he told the court of his nightmare ordeal when he was arrested in February 2004 following a police raid on his farm in the Kameeldrift area.
Source: The Nothern Star
Author: Peter Weekes
JIGGI farmer Kenrick Riley hopes to be one of the first farmers in the region to start growing industrial hemp after the State Government yesterday said it would introduce a licensing system for the legal cultivation of the crop.
Industrial hemp, as distinct from the mind-altering variety, is widely used throughout the world and much of Australia, but until now NSW farmers have not been permitted to grow the potentially lucrative crop.
“We currently grow organic herbs and vegies,” Mr Riley said. “We have been waiting for the opportunity to grow industrial hemp for quite a while.”
Source: The Advertiser
Author: Callie Watson
DRUG detection sniffer dogs have been unleashed on South Australian motorists for the first time, uncovering a small amount of cannabis and amphetamine.
About 70 cars were pulled over at random at a general drug detection site on the South Eastern Freeway between Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend during a two-hour period earlier today.
Two highly-trained labradors searched motorists and their cars. Police also took swabs from inside cars to test for traces of illegal substances.
Police discovered several illegal items, including 50g of cannabis, a small bag of amphetamine and two bongs.
Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide
A survey carried out by the Dutch broadcaster NOS has revealed that close to three quarters of Dutch towns which have more than four 'coffee shops' within their boundaries want to legalise the purchase and cultivation of cannabis. They believe this would reduce problems that currently plague such establishments. In the Netherlands, customers can legally buy small amounts of cannabis from so-called coffee shops.
Source: The Age
Author: Nick Miller
SOME ingredients in marijuana might improve memory, delay the onset of Alzheimer's or even stimulate the growth of new brain cells in old people, scientists believe.
However, the research, presented yesterday at a conference in Washington DC, comes with a health warning from local experts, who say the damaging effects of cannabis on the brain are well established.
A group from Ohio State University gave old rats a synthetic drug that closely resembles tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Ben Cubby
GROWING cannabis becomes legal in NSW today - provided you are a licensed farmer who will harvest hemp for industrial use. After years of debate, the State Government has approved large-scale hemp farming and will consider licence applications under a new scheme.
Hemp needs little water, grows quickly and the fibrous stems can be used in clothing, cosmetics, livestock and animal feeds, and building materials. The police-approved cannabis varieties all have low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound people smoke to get high.
Source: Daily Mail (UK)
Author: Fiona MacRae
Cannabis may help keep Alzheimer's disease at bay. In experiments, a marijuana-based medicine triggered the formation of new brain cells and cut inflammation linked to dementia. The researchers say that using the information to create a pill suitable for people could help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
The incurable disease affects 400,000 Britons, with around 500 new cases diagnosed every day as people live longer. For some sufferers, drugs can delay the progress of devastating symptoms such as memory loss and the erosion of ability to do everyday things such as washing.
However, there they do not work for everyone and, with the number of patients forecast to double in a generation, there is a desperate need for new treatments. The US researchers studied the properties of a man-made drug based on THC, the chemical behind the 'high' of cannabis.
Source: Your Local Guardian
An MP campaigning to shut a shop selling drugs paraphernalia has secured a meeting with a top Government official. MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, wants to close a legal loophole allowing businesses to sell cannabis seeds.
Earlier this month, he presented a 1,400-strong petition to close shop Your High to Association of Chief Police Officers’ Tim Hollis – recently tasked with reviewing the police approach to cannabis.
Source: The Herald Sun
Author: Mark Buttler
POLICE netted around 100kg of cannabis in raids across Melbourne this morning, bringing the total seized in a two-month operation to 500kg. Drug taskforce detectives swooped on seven properties in suburban Melbourne this morning, seizing 100kg of the drug.
Two search warrants were executed at Melton South and others at Melton, Thomastown, Caroline Springs, Albion and Reservoir. Investigators also grabbed 500g of the drug ice, 50 ecstasy tablets, cutting agents and $10,000 in cash. Equipment that could be used for the manufacturing of amphetamines was seized at Thomastown.
Source: Daily Nexus
Author: Alex Coffman
Cannabis is one of the oldest medicines known to man. The Chinese recognized the medicinal and “magical” properties of which many are fond. Ancient Egypt, India, the Middle East and later Europe all have left documents of the uses of cannabis. In the 1700s, an English medical text describes applying hemp to the skin to reduce inflammation, to promote joint health and to dissolve tumors.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. In 1870, the U.S. Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis as a medicine for various treatments. Cannabis was available over the counter at pharmacies for the better part of the 19th century.
Currently California residents are lucky enough to have access to medical cannabis. Many are rediscovering the incredible diversity of this herb’s healing capabilities. Medical marijuana is not just for the seriously ill or dying, but contains something for just about everyone. People with ADD, headaches, nausea, colds, asthma, any type of pain, anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bruises, muscle spasms, insomnia, hangovers, arthritis or skin infections have all found cannabis useful for relieving their symptoms or treating their illness. This list certainly does not give justice to the great utility of marijuana’s medicinal properties.
Source: The Bellingen Shire Courier Sun
Two men faced court on numerous drug charges after police seized an estimated $100,000 worth of cannabis on the State's Mid North Coast on Thursday..
About 8am, following extensive inquiries, officers attached to Mid North Coast Local Area Command conducted a search warrant at a property on the Pacific Highway at Valla.
After speaking with the owner and searching the premises, police will allege they located a large sum of money and numerous bags of cannabis hidden in various locations both inside and outside houses on the property.
During the last few years the demand for Legalise Cannabis Alliance’s advice and expertise, regarding regulatory and legislative frameworks surrounding the decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis, has increased with the realisation that harm reduction and human rights are directly related to each other.
As part of a selected team from 6 European Countries and organised by ENCOD, Alun Buffry from Norwich, a founder and delegate representative of the LCA will attend a Basque Government consultation on their forward-looking drugs policy model. The Consultation will take place near Vitoria-Gasteiz, November 21-23.
In the Basque region they operate “Cannabis Social Clubs”, where a collective of users are allowed to grow their own plants in a communal,safe and secure effort.
Source: The Daily Californian
Author: Eric Kittleson
If you're reading this column you probably live somewhere in the vicinity of UC Berkeley, a university that is famous (or infamous) for a few things. One would be deeply depressed nerds bawling over their latest midterm-a stereotype I see a great deal (in the mirror). Another may be the amazing scientific research that goes on in the laboratories all around campus, or the infectious activist spirit, the large homeless population, a fantastic academic environment and last, but certainly not least, marijuana.
Yes, everyone from Berkeley has almost certainly come in contact with Cal's favorite plant somehow, most likely by walking down Telegraph Avenue. I never really enjoy it when I'm out for a stroll and the unmistakable smell mauls my nostrils, but in the end it's just another one of those lovable Berkeley quirks.
Source: The Nothern Rivers Echo
The Nimbin Museum is open for business and the Nimbin HEMP Bar will soon be opening its doors again, with locals banding together to save the two iconic buildings from closure.
The landlords of both buildings were advised several weeks ago they would have to comply with a strict set of conditions or police would declare them ‘restricted premises’ under the Restricted Premises Act of 1943, which allows police to search or raid at will.
Museum tenant Michael Balderstone was also told he could no longer manage the tourist drawcard, however, his business partner Elspeth Jones has stepped into the breach and advised the landlord she will take over tenancy of the building.
The landlord will be required to install CCTV and enclose the backyard, while Elspeth will be required to enforce the $2 entry fee and report any illegal or potentially illegal activity immediately to police.
Source: ABC News
The Supreme Court in Brisbane has heard a Sunshine Coast man was on a surgery waiting list for so long that he turned to using cannabis for pain relief.
Fifty-four-year-old Alan Ross Purves pleaded guilty to possessing and producing cannabis at his Mapleton home in March this year.
An anonymous tip off has led police to a large hydroponic cannabis production set up in Sydney. Officers today swooped on homes at Riverwood and Narwee where they found cannabis plants worth an estimated $700,000.
"While no one was home at either of the homes, both had numerous rooms converted specifically for the cultivation of cannabis and police are in the process of seizing almost 300 plants from seedlings through to mature sized," police said in a statement.
Today's operation in Sydney's south follows raids on three homes in Kingsgrove and Roselands in the past three weeks.
Professor Rod Peakall does not think highly of the science in CSI. The procedural crime TV show uses the trappings of forensic investigation, he argues, but the execution usually falls short of the possible or firmly in the realms of the ridiculous.
“They pump someone’s stomach, and identify plant material from somewhere like the Everglades, and I think, ‘Come on, we can’t do that yet’.” But if the show was to run an episode where cannabis DNA from different plants was compared to establish if they shared a common source, Peakall might pay closer attention.
The evolutionary biologist from the School of Botany and Zoology at ANU has been leading a team that compared the DNA of over 500 cannabis plants seized in drug raids from all over Australia.
Source: Daily Times (Pakistan)
While businesses all around the world are struggling in these difficult times, it’s boom time for one type of establishment in Amsterdam. The coffee shops, for which the city has become famous, are full and doing brisk trade in carry-out cannabis and, for the more indulgent, ‘smoke-in’ spliffs. “Business is good.
The tougher the economical situation is, the more we’re selling, because more people need to relax from stressful situations,” said Co, a manager at Amsterdam’s Abraxas coffee shop, who did not want his full name revealed.
Source: The Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
NEARLY a quarter of all Europeans, or around 71 million people, have tried cannabis in their lifetime, and around 7 per cent or 23 million have used it in the last year – making it Europe’s most commonly consumed illicit drug, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said yesterday.
In Cyprus, 6.6 per cent of people have used cannabis at least once in their lives, according to the latest EMCDDA report, one of the lowest rates in the EU. The report said that in Cyprus the total number of problem drug users was estimated at 1.3 per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15-64 in 2006, but there was a significant increase in heroin use among new users.
In 2006 in Cyprus, there were seven direct drug-related deaths, compared to nine in 2005 and 14 in 2004. As regards the distribution by age and sex, the majority were young men – six cases – with a mean age of 28.3.
Source: Highlands Today
Author: Brad Dickerson
What started as a traffic stop for speeding ended with three men being arrested for allegedly trying to destroy cannabis evidence by eating it.
Christopher George Bigelow, 19, of 6125 Monegro St., Sebring, Nelson J. Adams, 22, of Zolfo Springs, and Jonathan Edward Parsons, 22, of Sebring, were each charged with possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence.
Additionally, Bigelow was also charged with driving under the influence, while Adams and Parsons were both charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Bigelow remained in jail Friday on a $4,000 bond. Adams and Parson were both released Thursday on a $2,000 bond apiece.
Source: ABC Local
ACT Policing has seized more than 15 kilograms of cannabis in a raid on a Canberra home this morning. Police searched the Hackett residence shortly before 9:00am AEDT and discovered a hydroponic set-up containing more than 60 plants.
A large stockpile of ammunition, gunpowder and firearm components were also found.
Author: Amanda Schaffer
This summer, British and Italian researchers found that in a laboratory plate, molecules in marijuana can slay the superbug methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, which recently infected seven babies and four employees in a Yonkers, N.Y., maternity ward, heightening fears of outbreaks in schools and locker rooms, as well as in its more familiar breeding grounds, hospitals and nursing homes. In theory, compounds derived from the cannabis plant could someday serve in topical creams for patients with MRSA or other antibiotic-resistant infections.
This isn't the first time marijuana has tantalized the world as a possible wonder drug. In recent years, compounds in cannabis or related molecules have been shown to slow the growth of lung tumors in mice, decrease hardening of the arteries in rats, and boost the egg-binding capability of tobacco smokers' sperm.
Source: The Register (UK)
Author: Tim Worstall
Regular readers will recall the confused mess that is this government’s cannabis policy. There has been a drop in cannabis consumption since it was downgraded from Class B to C, but nevertheless they want to put it back up to Class B again. Yes, we know all about the argument that what you ingest is entirely your business, it being your body and all that but morals are always trumped by politics.
In the comments section to our last piece the general consensus was that the policy was driven either by a craven servility to the Murdoch press or, as a daring alternative, a bending to Daily Mail woo woo. The general consensus however was that it was Puritanism, that awful fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying themselves and that this situation cannot be allowed to continue. We’re arguing over whose Puritanism, not whether.
There was one vaguely respectable argument that could be put forward on the prohibitionist’s side, that of cannabis induced schizophrenia. This has been increasing even as the general incidence of schizophrenia has been stable (or even falling, depending upon who you ask). That the rise was on the order of 500 people a year means it’s not a very important point, not when compared to 3 million regular tokers, but there are still those who will buy the argument that people should be stopped from harming themselves, even if the risks are very low.
Author: Paul Armentano
The politics of compassion have overcome the politics of fear.
On election day, Michigan became the thirteenth state to legalize the physician supervised possession and use of cannabis. According to early returns, more than 60 percent of Michigan voters decided in favor of Proposal 1, which establishes a state-regulated system regarding the use and cultivation of medical marijuana by qualified patients.
Voters endorsed the measure despite a high profile, deceptive, and despicable ad campaign by Prop. 1 opponents -- who falsely claimed that the initiative would allow for the open sale of marijuana "in every neighborhood, just blocks from schools." (In fact, Proposal 1 does not even allow for the creation of licensed cannabis dispensaries.)
Michigan's new law goes into effect on December 4th, at which time nearly one-quarter of the US population will live in a state that authorizes the legal use of medical cannabis.
Author: Scott Morgan
The Drug Czar claimed today that San Francisco has more medical marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks coffee shops.
As we've noted previously, state "medical" marijuana laws breed confusion, abuse, and violence in neighborhoods and communities.
Here's our latest analysis of this phenomenon. In downtown San Francisco alone, there are 98 marijuana dispensaries, compared to 71 Starbucks Coffee shops
As is typical considering the source, this is just totally wrong. There are 25 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco, not 98. I contacted Americans for Safe Access today and they had no idea what’s up with this crazy map. Most of the "dispensaries" on the map simply don’t exist. It’s incomprehensible. My best guess is that they’re including doctors' offices, which might write prescriptions, but certainly don’t provide medicine. It might be something even crazier and more dishonest than that.
Source: Archives of General Psychiatry
Authors: Mikkel Arendt, MScPsych, PhD; Preben B. Mortensen, DrMedSc; Raben Rosenberg, DrMedSc; Carsten B. Pedersen, MSc; Berit L. Waltoft, MSc
Comparison of Subjects Treated for Cannabis-Induced Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Context Cannabis-induced psychosis is considered a distinct clinical entity in the existing psychiatric diagnostic systems. However, the validity of the diagnosis is uncertain.
Objectives To establish rate ratios of developing cannabis-induced psychosis associated with predisposition to psychosis and other psychiatric disorders in a first-degree relative and to compare them with the corresponding rate ratios for developing schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
Source: The Australian
CANNABIS plants worth almost $300,000 have been found in a house in Sydney's south. Police found 145 cannabis plants during a raid on a house in Penshurst St, Roselands, about 4.30pm (AEDT) yesterday.
The plants, ranging in size up to 70cm tall, were found in an elaborate hydroponic set up in five rooms of the house.
Source: Evening times (UK)
SCORES of arrests have been made and more than £20million of cannabis seized by police in a crackdown on drug factories. Operation League has seen 127 suspects caught and 143 cannabis plantations uncovered across Scotland, it was revealed today. Almost 70,000 plants have been recovered, with an estimated value of £21.6m.
But police warned there had been an increase in cultivation of the drug since the start of the year. The profits from peddling cannabis were used to fuel other serious crimes, such as people-trafficking.
Source: The Guardian (UK)
Author: Justin McCurry
The revelation that students at the country's most prestigious seats of learning enjoy an occasional joint is hardly the stuff of headlines - unless that country is Japan. Judging by recent coverage, Japan is in the midst of a marijuana epidemic that is ensnaring everyone from students to suburban housewives and sumo wrestlers.
A slew of arrests for drug-related offences among elite scholars has sparked widespread indignation that more youngsters are choosing to while away their university years in a fug of marijuana smoke.
While police once focused their attention on amphetamines and other stimulants, recent statistics show a dramatic increase in cases involving cannabis. In the first half of this year the number of cases in which suspects were questioned or arrested stood at 1,202, a 12% increase on the same time last year. The number of cases involving the cultivation of cannabis at home was up by almost 50%, the national police agency said.