Source: Guardian News
Author: Isabel Jensen
Police have seized Cannabis resin with a street value of £1.5 million after a raid on a rented unit at Ashlyn's Organic farm in High Laver.
Initially officers found 80kg of drugs after stopping a vehicle in London Road, Hastingwood.
A police spokesman said officers from the Essex crime unit went on to find a further 600kg after raiding a rented unit at Ashlyns farm on thursday evening.
Source: Drug War Chronicle
Earlier this month, the New Mexico Department of Health issued its long overdue regulations for state-licensed, nonprofit medical marijuana providers, making it the first state to do so. Advocates say the new rules will allow for expanded access to medical marijuana for qualified patients. Not everyone is happy.
The process was long and involved, with numerous state agencies and law enforcement entities, as well as patients and advocates all trying to ensure that their interests and concerns were met. Originally mandated to be done by October 2007, the regulations were only finalized this month, with the Department of Health making late revisions based on public comments to earlier versions.
Under the newly promulgated regulations, nonprofit providers can grow no more than 95 plants, including both mature plants and seedlings, and can possess an amount of medical marijuana "that reflects current qualified patient needs." The nonprofits must sell medicine at constant unit prices and without volume discounts.
Source: STLtoday.com (USA)
Author: Carolyn Tuft
The Illinois State Police on Monday stopped a Chevy van driven by a woman and found nearly 83 pounds of pot stuffed inside five suitcases, police said.
The woman — Roberta Albrecht, 54, of Wisconsin — was driving on Interstate 55 near Litchfield when she was pulled over by a state trooper, police said.
The officer walked up to the van and could smell the odor of cannabis, police said. Albrecht told the officer that she had a permit from California that allowed her to carry the marijuana, police said. The officer told the woman that the California permit was not legal in the state of Illinois, police said.
Source: The Northern Star
Author: Saffron Howden
WHILE Australians increasingly frown on habitual cannabis use, local experts are warning the bigger problem – alcohol – is hiding in plain sight.
Public support for legalising cannabis has declined from a 1998 high as the country takes an increasingly dim view of the drug.
A new study by the University of NSW’s Drug Policy Modelling Program shows only 10 per cent of
Australians now approve of regular cannabis use, compared with one-quarter just four years ago.
“The high watermark for support of cannabis legalisation was around 1998, and since that time support for legalisation has progressively decreased,” program director, Associate Professor Alison Ritter, said.
Source: The Lantern (USA)
Author: Stephanie Webber
A puff a day might keep Alzheimer's away, according to marijuana research by professor Gary Wenk and associate professor Yannic Marchalant of the Ohio State Department of Psychology.
Wenk's studies show that a low dosage in the morning of a certain cannabinoid, a component in marijuana, reversed memory loss in older rats' brains. In his study, an experimental group of old rats received a dosage, and a control group of rats did not. The old rats that received the drugs performed better on memory tests, and the drug slowed and prevented brain cell death. However, marijuana had the reverse effect on young rats' brains, actually impairing mental ability.
Alzheimer's is a disease unique to humans and the memory loss in the rats was a natural decline, but rat brains are similar enough to human brains to serve as partial models for humans, Wenk said.
Source: BBC News
Cannabis has been reclassified by the government from a Class C to a Class B drug, carrying a higher maximum jail sentence for possession.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said there was "uncertainty at the least" on the future impact on young people's mental health as a result of using cannabis.
Therefore she was going to "err on the side of caution and protect the public" by upping the classification level, she went on.
Cannabis users in the UK tend to smoke the drug in "joints" although it can also be eaten in "hash cakes" or drunk (the active ingredient is soluble in milk) in "hash coffee".
The Cannabis Lobby has challenged the British government to take the advice given by their own drugs advisors, and to come up with a cannabis policy which is based around reducing harm amongst the population, as opposed to using law enforcement as the primary strategy in the war against cannabis.
And according to a spokesman for the Canna Zine cannabis news website , the governments reticence to take into account the fact close to 4 million people choose cannabis over other soft drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, is motivated not by any public health concern, but by money.
To illustrate this fact lets use tobacco as a comparison?
Source: The Australian
Author: Siobhain Ryan
AUSTRALIAN attitudes to cannabis use have hardened dramatically over the past four years, and support for its legalisation has fallen away.
But people are increasingly looking to needle and syringe exchange programs and safe injecting rooms, rather than law and order crackdowns, to tackle the wider illegal drug problem, a new study has found.
The study, from the University of NSW Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, reviewed a series of survey results over time and reported a large drop in support for regular cannabis use to less than one in 10 Australians last year, compared with one in four in 2004.
Advocates of cannabis law reform also lost ground, with more than half the population in 2007 opposing legalising the drug, compared with 44.5 per cent almost a decade earlier.
Source: The Australian
Author: Michael Milnes
A DRIVER has been charged after doing burnouts outside a police academy during a graduation ceremony.
A police officer on his way to yesterday's graduation ceremony at Fort Largs in Adelaide saw a car doing a burnout about 10.30am. He pulled the driver over and cautioned him, AdelaideNow reports.
Source: AFP / Google News
LONDON (AFP) — The crew of a South African Airways plane arrested over a drugs haul find in London were freed on bail without charge Wednesday, while the airline vowed zero tolerance if any crime was confirmed.
The flight and cabin crew -- 10 women and five men -- will have to report back to British police in March after being arrested at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, on arrival from Johannesburg, they said.
Border agency officials found 110 pounds of cannabis worth 150,000 pounds and four kilos of cocaine worth about 160,000 pounds in three suitcases.
"The 15 arrested crew members were interviewed overnight by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs investigators," an HMRC spokeswoman said.
Source: African Press Agency
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Some 1,200 kilograms of cannabis worth millions of dollars were burnt on Sunday in Ethiopia, according to police.
Police said the drugs were seized in the past 12 months at the country\’s international airport and other customs check points in the country.
The cannabis was burnt at Sebeta, some 15 kilometres west of Addis Ababa, witnessed by police and customs officials.
Source: BBC News
A man has been jailed for seven years after cannabis with a street value of £8.8m was found in the West Midlands.
Dean Merrick, 42, of Church Street, Bulkington, Warwickshire, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply at Birmingham Crown Court.
The roofer was arrested in July 2008 following a raid on storage units on the edge of Coventry. The discovery of three tons of cannabis resin was the biggest ever seizure of the drug by West Midlands Police.
Source: The Independent Weekly
Author: Hendrik Gout
Many typical things happen in a typical month, and March 2006 was typical. It started with yet another US televangelist (Pat Robertson this time) exposed as a charlatan. A week later Slobodan Miloševic died but, as usual, ethnic hatred did not. In Gaza, Israeli rockets killed 10 children.
"We are doing everything to prevent innocent people from being harmed, but this is a war and nothing is certain," Israel’s Air Force chief General Eliezer Shkedy said, as usual. In a small pocket of the antipodes, tucked out of mind from the rest of the world, typical South Australian voters returned Mike Rann and his State Labor Government to power. Everywhere, the world was as it always is.
Except Kawana George’s world.
It was a bit of a mess. On the last Friday of that month there was a loud knock at his Seacombe Gardens home – and when he opened the door, his wide eyes saw police waving a search warrant. His surprise turned to alarm as the cops went through the kitchen cupboards and fridge, his lounge room, bedroom, wardrobes, and finally out to the garden shed where they found 12 marijuana plants and 20 newly hatched seedlings.
"They were plants for personal use," Mr George told The Independent Weekly.
Author: Dan Linn
Taxing and regulating cannabis similar to alcohol would generate needed income for the state and local governments of Illinois. Why are we arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for their recreational use of cannabis? Isn't this a free country?
Arresting responsible marijuana users wastes tax dollars. The 70-year cannabis prohibition needs to be repealed. Taxing responsible marijuana users could provide needed funds for the government.
Responsible users are not the problem and should not be punished. There will be those who break laws while under the influence of cannabis, and they should be punished if they broke the law. Being high is no better an excuse than being drunk.
Source: The Australian
CANNABIS could soon be going up in buildings rather than going up in smoke. The hemp plant is one of six identified by Department of Primary Industries (DPI) scientists in Queensland as a source of natural resin to reduce the building industry's reliance on resins produced from fossil fuels.
DPI project officer Dr Andries Potgieter said generating resins from renewable sources such as plant oils could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and result in a smaller carbon footprint.
Currently most resins and adhesives used in aerospace structures and in structural building materials are ultimately derived from crude oil. Cannabis sativa, also known as marihuana or hemp, was very widely used in the past.
Source: Independent Political Report
Author: Steve Kubby
Millions of people die each year from diseases that could be largely prevented or minimized by cannabinoid medicines.
The science is irrefutable. We now have thousands of peer-reviewed, scientific studies that have emerged and clearly show how cannabinoids can be used to treat, reverse and even prevent many of our worst diseases.
What’s worse, we are only now beginning to understand how just deadly conventional prescription drugs actually are. For example, one brave pioneer, Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, wrote an article for the July 26, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), volume 284, no. 4. She entitled her article, “Doctors and Their Drugs Could be the Number One Cause of Death in America, Causing Almost 500,000 Deaths Every Year.”
The North American state of New Mexico (pop. 2 million) looks set to become the 14th US state to legalise medical use of cannabis, as its been announced this week the New Mexico Department of Health has finalised regulations for the registry identification cards and a production/distribution system for its state-wide medical cannabis program.
According to state regulations medical marijuana patients will be able to grow, 4 mature cannabis plants as well as upto 12 seedlings for their own personal use.
On top of this its been announced a non-profit, private entity may also be permitted to produce upto 95 mature plants, as well as providing what the state calls, "an inventory of usable marijuana that reflects current patient needs at any time."
The Health Secretary will consider the health needs of qualified patients versus the public safety aspect, in determining the number and location of licenses that the Department of Health approves.
Author: Bill Stone
The British Cannabis Lobby is to write to the UK government, over what its calling the "gross mishandling" of the nation.
They're accusing the government of refusing to acknowledge the fact legalising and encouraging the growing of industrial hemp as a national crop, could play a huge part in cutting the Great British carbon footprint.
A spokesman for the Cannabis Lobby said "Once upon a time, the stories regarding the multitudes of benefits and uses associated with industrial hemp were the stuff of hippy legends and folk-lore."
"But with the global communications platforms we have available today," he continued, "and specialist news agencies such as the Canna Zine cannabis news portal keeping us informed of whats happening in the world of agricultural cannabis hemp, we can see there are countries around the world, like Canada for instance, who are feeding a hugely bouyant market even in todays economic crisis, worth multi-millions of US dollars in the North American market alone."
Source: The Vancouver Sun
Author: Ian Mulgrew
Barricade the border, America is going to pot.
For years we've heard Canada couldn't liberalize its marijuana laws without inciting a crackdown by U.S. authorities and creating chaos along the international boundary.
Well, the shoe's now on the other foot with some American jurisdictions telling police forces to quit making minor marijuana arrests and instead issue tickets.
In the country that four decades ago launched the interminable so-called War on Drugs? Perfidy.
Author: Russ Belville
If Dr. Sanjay Gupta is picked for the post of surgeon general, he would become the nation's leading medical advocate. His experience in the media would be beneficial in bringing the Surgeon General's office back to the prominence it held when C. Everett Koop was successfully battling tobacco smoking.
But is Gupta ready to deliver the Obama administration's promised end to the politicization of science and medicine? More specifically, will Gupta toe the federal line that cannabis is lacking in any medical value, or will he recognize what 13 states and the past 12 years of research prove -- that cannabis is a beneficial medicine for some people and an intoxicant far less harmful than alcohol for others?
Source: ABC News
A 54-year-old man who was storing cannabis for a friend has been sentenced to six year's jail in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
Police found more than 28 kilograms of cannabis packed in vacuum sealed bags and stashed throughout a house in Humpty Doo last August.
The drugs would have been worth $1.4 million if sold in remote communities.
Source: All Headline News
Police departments across the state of Massachusetts reportedly will not ticket people in possession of marijuana, even if they are caught smoking it.
Officials say a new law that decriminalizes having small amounts of "pot" makes it impossible to enforce penalties because it is poorly written.
"We're just basically not enforcing it right now," said Mark R. Laverdure, chief of police in Clinton, a Central Massachusetts town of about 8,000 residents, told the Boston Globe. "You'll probably have a lot of officers that, unless there's a caller complaining about it, won't even bother with it. They probably handled a lot of it informally before and probably more so now."
Source: San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com
Author: Henry K. Lee
A medical-marijuana advocacy group sued Solano County on Monday for its failure to issue identification cards to users of medicinal cannabis as required by state law.
The lawsuit, filed in Solano County Superior Court, said the county is among several in California that have failed to give out the cards, which protect their holders from arrest by state or local police for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
"Solano County cannot simply flout its obligation under the law," Joe Elford, an attorney for Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement.
The group sent letters to Solano County in August and October urging it to comply with the 2003 law requiring the marijuana ID card program, Elford said.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Author: Connie Littlefield
Low rates of use in the Netherlands demonstrate that the best way to assure teens will try marijuana is to tell them it's illegal
It's official: the Dutch have managed to make pot smoking uncool. The Dutch don't smoke nearly as much cannabis as Canadians, which is surprising because cannabis use is legal in the Netherlands. What can we learn from this?
Cannabis is not taboo, as it is in North America, under prohibition. That could be why there is no real attraction for Dutch youth to take up the practice. UN statistics tell it like it is: 16.8 per cent of adult Canadians have tried cannabis, yet only 6.1 per cent of Dutch have (2007 World Drug Report, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). Yet cannabis is legally available in one of 280 licensed coffeeshops in the Netherlands. Obviously, there is no connection between availability and higher consumption rates.
As far back as 2003, cannabis was shown to have a positive effect on the symptoms of epilipsy, and the topic is again at the forefront of peoples minds, as John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston struggle to come to terms with the grief of losing a child.
Jett Travolta was found unconscious on Friday morning (January 2nd 2009) in the bathroom of the family home at the Old Bahama Bay resort in the Bahamas.
Jett, aged 16, had suffered from "Grand Mal" seizures since the age of two years old and according to the family lawyers, he had been treated for some years with a drug that stopped the siezures from occurring.
But after prolonged use, anti-epileptic drugs (AED's) become ineffective as the body builds a natural tolerance, and it was said that long term use of AED's can cause unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects such as irreversible liver damage.
A team of police and excise officials, recently, destroyed nearly 300 tonnes of cannabis plants, worth more than Rs 50 crore, cultivated in 58 villages in Orissa. It has been found that farmers are using dense forests to grow hemp all over the state.
ORISSA, PARTICULARLY southern part of Orissa has emerged as a major supplier of hemp to the outside world during the recent times. Further, the number of drug addicts in Orissa is also growing. The most common drugs of abuse are ganja,opium and heroin. The discovery of vast ganja plantations in the dense forests areas under Phiringia blocks of Kandhmal district and Kudmulgumma block of tribal dominated Malkangiri district of Orissa comes as a clinching proof that hemp cultivation has been going on in several areas of southern and western Orissa.
What is worrisome is that cannabis, notwithstanding the huge illegal tag that it carries, seems to be turning into a regular cash crop for the people residing in the inaccessible, remote areas, hills and forests of southern and western Orissa where agricultural facilities are scare.
Source: TheStar.com (Canada)
Author: Paolo Loriggio
When police raided the Kindred Café Nov. 20 for allegedly trafficking marijuana, it shone a spotlight on one of the city's biggest open secrets. There are places where you can smoke weed with relative impunity, provided you don't make a scene.
With a couple of well-known pot cafés and a smattering of private smokers' clubs – not to mention a thriving network of bong shops and hemp stores – Toronto's marijuana scene rivals Vancouver's, according to some herb aficionados. Most of the action centres on "Yongesterdam," a strip of Yonge St. near Wellesley St. nicknamed after pot-friendly Amsterdam.
Each summer, pot activist Matt Mernagh leads a weekly tour of the area's cannabis community, showing off what he considers one of the city's untapped tourist attractions.