Peru legalises medical marijuana in move spurred by mother's home lab

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Lawmakers in Peru have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, allowing cannabis oil to be locally produced, imported and sold.

With a vote of 68-5, Peru’s Congress approved the bill which will be written into law in 60 days, once regulations for producing and selling cannabis have been set out.

Ahead of this week's vote, pro-government lawmaker Alberto de Belaunde said: "Science is on our side, the regional current is on our side, let's not let our fears paralyse us."

Medical cannabis makes small steps in EU. Italy Suffers from the serious medical cannabis shortage.

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As of 1 January, Denmark now allows the use of medical cannabis for patients suffering from various illnesses.

The four year-trial was authorised on 18 December by the parliament in Copenhagen, in a move which also licensed some companies to grow and produce the drug in the Scandinavian country.

Capsules, cannabis extract as a mouth spray, and dried cannabis flowers for vaporising or teas are the main authorised medicines in the EU, a 2017 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Addiction (EMCDDA) states.

By contrast, no country authorises the smoking of cannabis for medical purposes – given the risks that smoking poses to health, especially if combined with tobacco.

In the EU, only Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain currently authorise marijuana's use as a medicine - while a few other states are planning legislation on the issue.

In fact, Italy is currently experiencing a serious medical cannabis shortage, since not enough marijuana plants for medical use are grown, patients and NGOs report.

Patients had to resort to the "black market and self-cultivation" as a result of the shortage, the Italian Association for Civil Liberty & Rights (CILD) reported in December.

To tackle the lack of plants, the Italian ministry of defence (responsible for the secure growing of medicinal cannabis) was forced to look abroad to buy some 100 kilos of marijuana in November.

More Ganja Crops destroyed in Vishakhapatnam

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Continuing their raids on ganja farms in Vishakhapatnam Agency, Excise officials in association with the District Police destroyed ganja plantations on 36 acres at several villages in Paderu mandal, here on Thursday. 

The officials had to face resistance from the tribal people.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Excise (Prohibition & Excise-Enforcement Wing) SVVN Babji Rao, the teams destroyed around 90,000 ganja plants on 18 acres at Yeguva Solamulu village of Paderu Mandal and another team destroyed another 90,000 ganja plants on 18 acres at Sariyapalli village of the same mandal. 

Around 1.8 lakh saplings have been destroyed, he claimed. 

Mr. Babji Rao also said that there a was mild resistance from residents of Sariyapalli of Paderu mandal, where few of the agitators broke windshields of the vehicles even though the local police and armed party were present.

Two people arrested with 180 pounds of cannabis in North Carolina

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Authorities in North Carolina say they found two California women driving with 130 pounds of cannabis stuffed in their trunk.

A deputy pulled the women over on I-40 East for a routine traffic violation.

During the course of the investigation, the deputy asked for assistance from a Mebane Police Department K9 unit. After arriving, the dog alerted to the odor of illegal drugs in the trunk of the car. When officers opened the trunk of the Toyota Camry, they found 130 pounds of cannabis packed inside.

The driver of the Camry, Ruth Paez Diaz of San Jose, California and her daughter Briann Marie Diaz of San Francisco, California were each charged with two counts of trafficking cannabis and are in the Orange County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond.

The women will appear in court later this month.

There is an increase in the support for legalising cannabis. but there is an increase in the number of cannabis-based arrests too

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Cannabis is a legal multi-billion dollar industry, yet someone in America is arrested every 48 seconds for a cannabis related crime.

Though, cannabis is now legal in 29 states for either medical or recreational use, the number of arrests involving cannabis have actually increased across the country.

Those numbers come from the Uniformed Crime Report compiled by the FBI from data sent to the agency from law enforcement operations around the country. The information covers arrests for all of 2016.

The number of people arrested on cannabis-related charges jumped 12 percent from 2015 to 2016, with 75,000 more people arrested. Overall, the number of drug-related arrests reached 1.57 million, about 5.6 percent higher than in 2015.

The FBI typically releases arrest numbers in the annual report broken down by the drug involved. However, they did not do so for 2016. Reporters had to return to the FBI and ask for the specific numbers on cannabis.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group, the numbers were as follows:

  • There were 653,249 arrests involving cannabis
  • That’s about one arrest involving cannabis every 48 seconds
  • Cannabis arrests made up more than 41 percent of all drug busts in the U.S. in 2016

No matter how you look at it, those are very strange numbers in a country where cannabis is legal in so many places.

Morgan Fox, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a prepared statement that the arrest numbers show cannabis users “continue to be treated like criminals across the country.”

“This is a shameful waste of resources and can create lifelong consequences for the people arrested.”

It’s already been reported that cannabis-related arrests in Washington D.C. tripled between 2015 and 2016. They are on pace so far in 2017 to have a similarly high number of arrests. Arrests numbers are also up in many states in the Deep South.

The cost to taxpayers for arresting and processing that many people through the legal system is in the billions, according to Newsweek.

All of this seemingly runs contradictory to public sentiment, not only on the War on Drugs but on cannabis. Support for cannabis legalization reached a new high in a survey released earlier this year by CBS News.

About 61 percent of those surveyed in the poll think cannabis should be legal, while 71 percent opposed federal intervention in states that have made cannabis legal.

More gaanja is grown indoors than outdoors in California. Revealed after illegal cannabis seize.

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California’s illegally grown cannabis, once largely produced in national forests and other outdoor locations, is increasingly found indoors, federal statistics show.

In 2016, authorities seized 313,000 plants from indoor operations in California, which made up 75 percent of all indoor plants taken nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

While the total accounts for only 8 percent of all seizures in California, that is the highest total in at least eight years.

California voters approved the legalization of recreational use of cannabis in November 2016. But local laws still place limits on how it can be grown, and federal law prohibits it.

A DEA spokeswoman in San Francisco said she was “unable to speculate” why authorities are seizing more indoor-grown cannabis. She noted that the figures come from local as well as federal law-enforcement agencies.

A November 2016 report by the DEA said cannabis is increasingly grown inside because “indoor production is more difficult for law enforcement to discover and has the advantage of not having to rely on climate conditions or growing seasons.”

Read more in the link given below.

NDLEA DESTROYS 16 HECTARES OF HEMP IN OSUN

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The Osun State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Wednesday announced that 16.8 hectares of Indian hemp (Cannabis Sativa) farm located in Ikoyi community in the state had been destroyed. The Commandant, Mr Samuel Egbeola, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Osogbo on the achievements of the agency in Osun.

He said that the farm was destroyed on Sept. 26. The commandant said that the farm was discovered and destroyed by the NDLEA, following a tip-off by an intelligence source.

He said that during the operation, 25 kilogrammes of already harvested hemp were found on the farm. The NDLEA chief said, however, that no arrest was made during the operation because nobody was found on the farm.

Egbeola re-assured people of the state that the agency would not rest on its oars until those involved in illicit drug operations were apprehended.

'He called on members of the public to cooperate with the agency by always giving useful information that would lead to the arrest of anyone involved in India hemp plantations.
 

Past pot convicts struggle to find a job in the cannabis industry

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As the cannabis industry continues to grow, a debate is brewing over whether those with drug convictions should be allowed in the industry. Cannabis businesses are in a position of uncertainty amid U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' anti-drug rhetoric. Meanwhile, the fast-growing, multi-billion-dollar industry is drawing investors and entrepreneurs.

Indeed, there is a hypocrisy evident in some corners of the newly legal cannabis market. Earlier this year, Massachusetts medical cannabis provider Patriot Care drew controversy after it opposed a proposal to remove the ban on felony drug convictions from the state's medical cannabis program.

Many states have cannabis laws that bar drug offenders from entering the cannabis industry in an effort to legitimize the trade and help prevent out-of-state diversion. In practice, the ban does not prevent trafficking. But it does shut out individuals with cannabis-related convictions, who are disproportionately black and Latino. And in a twist of absurdity, many of these felony bans apply only to drug-related crimes.

 

Huge Leap in the world of cannabis: Atlanta decriminalizes marijuana

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The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation this week that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he will sign the legislation, which doesn't legalize the drug but lessens penalties associated with it. Under the old law, people found with an ounce or less of pot faced a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Now, violators would face a fine of $75 and no jail time.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who sponsored the measure, said the vote passed 15-0.

For more details, click on the blog link given below. 

Oil tanker busted with 800 kgs of Ganja in vijaywada

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The Vijayawada police intercepted 800 kg of ganja (marijuana) being smuggled in an oil tanker on the Ramavarappadu Ring Road on Wednesday and arrested three people.

The ganja was being smuggled from Odisha to Chennai.

Disclosing the bust to mediapersons on Wednesday, deputy commissioner of police Gajarao Bhupal said his staff had received intelligence about the cargo and stopped an Innova car that was accompanying the tanker. A search of the vehicles unearthed the banned substance.

The first marijuana crop in Maryland is ready but still, not available for sale. Know why!!

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The first crop in Maryland’s long-delayed medical cannabis program is mature and waiting for testing, but it is still unclear when patients might be able to buy it.

And industry officials caution that when it is ready for sale, there will not be nearly enough to meet market demand.

The nascent industry has grown in fits and starts, beset by delays, court cases and a complete overhaul of the commission this summer.

On Tuesday afternoon, regulators approved eight more firms to enter the market — one grower, four processors, two independent testing labs and two dispensaries.

ForwardGro, the Anne Arundel County company that was the first in the state to get a growing license, sent its product to the lab last month and is waiting.

ForwardGro spokeswoman Gail Rand said her company gave the testing lab some of its product to help the facility calibrate its machines, a process that is still underway. That must be completed before the marijuana flowers are tested for potency and quality, then certified for sale. She could not estimate when that would happen.

Newly approved dispensary owner William Askinazi said he’s hoping to have at least some product in two to four weeks.

The medical marijuana commission granted him permission Tuesday to open the doors at Potomac Holistics, his 3,000-square-foot medical suite near Shady Grove Medical Center in Montgomery County. In addition to dispensing at its office space, Potomac Holistic plans to deliver cannabis to patients all over the state.

There is not a public list of doctors available, so patients must seek out professionals to recommend it. Doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners and midwives can recommend the medicine.

During a meeting of the cannabis commission held in the Frederick County Council chambers, Jameson cautioned that the whole supply chain won’t be up and running at once, and patients may need to wait.

Florida demands for edible cannabis rules from the state to regulate the cannabis consumption

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Surterra Wellness, the Atlanta-based company with medical cannabis dispensaries in Tampa and Tallahassee, on Monday asked the state to let it begin offering edible products in Florida.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical cannabis, and lawmakers passed legislation in June to implement the amendment.

That bill allows patients to use cannabis pills, oils, edibles and “vape” pens with a doctor’s approval, but it bans smoking.

Florida law requires the state’s Department of Health to determine “any shapes, forms” edible products can take and what other ingredients they can contain. No medical marijuana provider can offer edibles after the rule goes out.

Surterra officials say this means no Florida patient will have access to legal edible marijuana till the Department makes these rules, and they have yet to initiate that on their own. Thus, the petition to get that process moving.

Surterra is one of seven companies licensed in Florida to sell a variety of marijuana products. The number is expected to rise to 17 later this month.

Nixon had zero chill!!

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"Nixon had zero chill!!" 

It literally gave me stomach cramps when I saw this video of Adam Ruins Everything.  

Adam Ruins Everything is a show that started as video clips on College Humor before moving to the truTV network. The host, Adam Conover, examines popular myths and misconceptions and “ruins” them for the audience by presenting facts and citing references that refute a particular claim.

Only this time, Adam weeds through the myths of marijuana, exposes the blunt truth about the War on Drugs, and explains how prescription pills are the true gateway drug. 

Check it out while Adam Ruins Drugs

L.A. is ready to be a hot-selling market for cannabis sales. But....

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Los Angeles lawmakers are laying the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the hottest markets for marijuana in the country, one that could bring more than $50 million in taxes to city coffers next year.

The city is drafting rules to allow greenhouses that grow cannabis, industrial facilities that process it, and new shops that sell it for recreational use, not just medical need.

But anyone expecting L.A. to become the next Amsterdam may be disappointed: It has held back, so far, on welcoming cafes or lounges where customers could smoke or consume cannabis.

That has troubled some marijuana advocates and attorneys, who warn that even after California legalizes the sale of recreational pot, many tourists and renters could be left without a safe, legal place to use it in Los Angeles.

Under draft regulations released earlier this year, it would be illegal for L.A. pot shops and other cannabis businesses to allow marijuana consumption on site.

It is also illegal, under state law, to consume it in a public place. And smoking pot will remain illegal anywhere that cigarette smoking is banned. At a recent city hearing, several speakers complained that could leave tourists and renters in the lurch.

The obvious place, for locals, would be at home. But while Californians can generally use marijuana on private property, renters may not be able to smoke it inside their apartments if their landlords forbid smoking of any kind. And some cannabis attorneys fear that zealous landlords could also target tenants for using marijuana if their leases prohibit illegal activity in their apartments.

The idea alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs argued that permitting marijuana to be consumed at businesses would ramp up the risk of intoxicated driving.

Los Angeles Police Protective League President Craig Lally agreed, saying it is difficult for police or users themselves to know if someone is too high to drive.

And UC San Francisco clinical professor of psychiatry Peter Banys argued that cities should hold off on allowing any “consumption cafes” until there is better research on intoxicated driving.

This Telangana village has been growing and selling ganja for decades, now busted by cops

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The police got a tip-off when they detained a few engineering college students for possessing ganja.

For decades farmers in Lakshmipuram village in Telangana have been harvesting ganja as a cash crop and selling them in open bazaars, unperturbed that growing and selling ganja is illegal. However, their seamless business was interrupted when police cordoned off the village that comprises more than 200 families and conducted a search operation in the village. 

The police got a tip-off when they detained a few engineering college students in Tandur, a neighbouring mandal, for possessing ganja, on Wednesday. After detaining them, during the investigation they revealed their source’s name and on told the police about how they shared the contact of their source with their friends. 

One of the arrested persons told the CI that for decades they have been growing ganja and the police have never entered their village. He said that farmers in the village harvest ganja during rainfall.

Chintala told TNM that during the raid women who fled into the farm fields, weeded out the ganja before police could come.

He said that the arrested persons claimed innocence and saying it is not just them but the entire village that grows ganja. 

Police are still investigating the case. The arrested persons were charged under NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act. Police seized 30 kg of ganja during the raid. 

Clarendon Man Nabbed with Ganja at Airport

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The Narcotics Police have arrested and charged a man for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act after he attempted to leave the island with a quantity of ganja.

Charged with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking steps preparatory to the export of ganja is 44-year-old Paul Baldwin of a Clarendon address.

Reports are that about 1:35 yesterday afternoon Baldwin checked in a suitcase on a Caribbean Airline Flight destined to Antigua while at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The police say his suitcase was searched and ganja weighing 5.4 pounds was found concealed in a hammock and two pairs of shoes. He was processed and taken into custody. He is scheduled to appear in the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court tomorrow.