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  1. Long Covid sufferers using medical cannabis to ease symptoms with demand on the rise More than two million people are thought to be battling long Covid symptoms which can include a shortness of breath, tiredness, difficulty sleeping and joint pain People suffering from long Covid are finding medical cannabis can ease their debilitating symptoms, the People can reveal. And services allowed to prescribe the drug say demand is on the rise. Medical cannabis was made legal in the UK three years ago. Under MHRA guidelines, it can only be prescribed by a specialist when other licensed treatments for a condition are proven not to have worked or are unsuitable. As long Covid is a new disease, sufferers are unlikely to meet this criteria yet. But pain consultant Dr Jean Gerard Sinovich, medical director at Cannabis Access Clinics, said enquiries for long Covid treatment were on the rise. The online prescriber has heard from 65 long Covid sufferers in four months. Sharron Brothwell is among those with long Covid who claim medical cannabis eased symptoms. The mum-of-three, of Blackpool, Lancs, was prescribed the drug to treat chronic fibromyalgia. After contracting Covid in March 2020 she became reliant on inhalers – but says she no longer needs them thanks to her £380-a-month cannabis prescription from Sapphire Medical Clinics. Sharron said: “I constantly felt like I had jet lag. That has all changed now. The other day I was able to take my dog out on my own to the park for a ten-minute walk there and back which I never could have done a few months ago. It is amazing.” Another patient, a grandfather aged 50 from Flintshire, Wales, was prescribed the drug 15 months ago by Cannabis Access Clinics for arthritis. He upped his dose after a bout of Covid in September left him with long-term breathlessness and fatigue. He said: “I was wrecked, absolutely drained. But I found that using my vaporiser more frequently helped open my airways and reduced muscle pain.” More than two million people in the UK are thought to be battling long Covid, in which symptoms persist at least four weeks after the initial virus. Dr Sinovich said: “I’ve seen patients who have long Covid and seen improvements in sleep and fatigue levels. “There’s scope to use this as an extra armour if we want to treat long Covid. It is exciting.” Dr Simon Erridge, Sapphire’s head of research and access, said there was “no evidence that can directly suggest medical cannabis is better for long Covid symptoms.” But he added: “Lots with long covid have muscular aches and pains, abdominal pain, neuropathic pain. We’ve seen positive effects with medical cannabis in these conditions.” He expects to see further research into long Covid and the role medical cannabis can play. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/long-covid-sufferers-using-medical-25563032
  2. Hello All, I was wondering if someone can enlighten me, as to what is going on with the Green. Someone gave me some stardawg to test for them, and I stuck it under the microscope to check for contaminates. As you will see in the pictures there seems to be some kind of fabric string, and possibly some hair. but i'am more concerned with the black marks, which kind of look like aphids, but there not. I was also wondering if the plant had been sprayed, because if you look on one of the pictures with string/hair it looks like some form of drop stuck to the string/hair. What do you people think?
  3. hi vid on link Warning UK faces 'worst research blackout in history' as Home Office falters on drug law TORY MP Crispin Blunt has blamed the Home Office for blocking a change to how an illegal hallucinogenic drug is tested as a new antidepressant. In an op-ed seen by Express.co.uk, Crispin Blunt MP describes how he urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change what is known as the "schedule" of the drug psilocybin. This change would mean it would be easier to run trials on its use in mental health treatments. The Prime Minister had already approved the rescheduling of psilocybin for exploring its potential as a treatment for depression, which he informed Mr Blunt in a meeting in May. Despite this, the Home Office “fails to act, perpetuating what can be considered the worst research blackout in scientific history,” according to the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG), of which Mr Blunt is chairman. Rescheduling, in this case, means that psilocybin would be easier to get hold of and test in scientific and medical trials. Psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, will still be a Class A drug for anyone looking to consume it. The group say that if the Home Office continues to drag their feet over making psilocybin easier to trial for medical purposes, there will be “dire consequences for the UK’s life sciences sector” and those who “stand to benefit” from new treatments. Mr Blunt used an analogy to describe the current situation of not looking at the uses of certain illegal drugs in treating mental health problems. He likened restrictions on cannabis and other currently illegal substances to “keeping an offender whose risk of future offending is close to zero, is desperate and able to become a contributing positive member of society". He said: “Some sensible supportive probation supervision might be appropriate, but instead they are locked up in a maximum-security prison at vast expense indefinitely.” “In the 110 days that have passed since the PM’s sign off nearly 2,000 people have taken their own lives; the majority probably preventable when this research is translated into treatment.” A Home Office spokesperson said: “There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines including psilocybin to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their quality, safety and efficacy. “The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is currently considering barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs. The first part of their review was published in July and the second part of the work is now underway. We will carefully consider any recommendations or advice they provide. “We currently have no plans to reschedule psilocybin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.” Psilocybin has been the subject of numerous clinical trials in addressing mental health conditions against which currently-available medication has had little effect. Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London have found that psilocybin could target areas of the brain which current antidepressants cannot touch. However, the CDPRG argues that the brain drain coming from professionals and experts in the space leaving for other countries with different drug policies will put the UK further behind on pioneering new treatments. The CDPRG add that a change in policy on psilocybin could pave the way for exploring how other drugs, like LSD or MDMA, can be used to treat mental health conditions. Currently, psilocybin cannot be produced, supplied or prescribed without Home Office sign-off. Yet recent data from YouGov shows that over half of the UK public support a change in the law which would mean psilocybin is more easily accessible for treatment trials. A Home Office spokesperson said: “There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines including psilocybin to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their quality, safety and efficacy. “The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is currently considering barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs. The first part of their review was published in July and the second part of the work is now underway. We will carefully consider any recommendations or advice they provide. “We currently have no plans to reschedule psilocybin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.” https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1493174/psilocybin-drug-law-UK-change-UK-science-research-warning-Crispin-Blunt Vid On Link Bongme
  4. hi Will London’s budding cannabis market turn the EU green with envy? One after the other, medical cannabis companies are listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and investors are piling in cash, keen to be early investors in what they hope will become a major industry in the UK. It is an exciting time for the medicinal cannabis industry. In September, City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) allowed medicinal cannabis companies to list on the LSE, opening up the UK market to a growing sector already popular in North America. The regulator’s green light led to a flurry of activity. Just this month two medical cannabis companies made their UK stock market debut; MGC Pharmaceuticals and Kanabo Group. Each have enjoyed profitable market opens, with stock prices soaring 232 and 116 per cent respectively since listing on the exchange. Read more: Medical cannabis company Kanabo enjoys supherb first day as listed company While London opens up to a buzzing new sector, across the pond the new Biden administration is pro-cannabis, and wants to make the use of medical cannabis legal at a federal level, rather than at individual state level, in a move that would open the market to millions more consumers. For Avihu Tamir, the CEO of Israel-based Kanabo Group, it was the perceived prestige of London’s market that pulled Kanabo to the UK – and the buzz that inevitably came from being one of the first in a sector to list in a new market. He believes London has the potential to become Europe’s leading player in the industry. “[The listing] has proved that the investor community is interested in medical cannabis,” said Tamir, “and that means that there is a place for more companies, and bigger picture, there’s an chance for government and decision makers to take advantage. To them I would say ‘don’t waste the opportunity’.” Read more: NBA star Chris Webber partners with asset manager to launch $100m cannabis impact fund Tamir said Europe had no obvious leader in medical cannabis, and taking up such a position would provide a “huge opportunity” to the UK. Post-Brexit, Britain is seeking a new identity away from the European Union, and cannabis could be key. With the UK saddled with debt from Covid-19, compounded still by challenges brought about by Brexit, Tamir thinks the timing could help get the UK back on its feet. “The benefit of Brexit means you’re not tied to EU decision making, so the UK can move faster, and lead, and could see massive growth as a result,” he added. “Canada had a golden age because of cannabis. It created thousands of jobs, and at the same time it helped to solve problems like opioid addition. Across the board there’s huge potential here.” ‘Not if, but when’ The UK legalised medical cannabis in 2018, in a move that meant specialist doctors could prescribe cannabis-based products for medical use. The products can contain cannabidiol, known as CBD, as long as they only contain trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. The drug is often used to treat pain relief, epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety and PTSD, among other medical conditions. There is also research underway to look at how medicinal marijuana could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Despite the sector’s legalisation, the NHS is reluctant to prescribe medical cannabis, stunting the sector’s reach in the UK. According to Health Europa, by October 2020, two years after its legalisation, the NHS had prescribed just a handful of cannabis prescriptions. As a result, those in need of the drug have, on occasion, been forced to go private. Read more: Cannabis rally goes up in smoke as shares plummet Tamir thinks getting the NHS properly on board is a necessary step to medical cannabis becoming a major UK industry. “It’s not a discussion of if the cannabis industry is going to be big,” he continued, “now the question is, when is it going to happen? “If you’re conservative, you think we could be looking at five to 10 years until we see a really massive cannabis market. If you’re more optimistic, you understand that in two to three years we’re going to be at the tipping point. “We’re close, but we’re not there yet. Having cannabis companies on the LSE is a milestone, and the discussion is changing… We need cannabis to be proscribed by the NHS… I think that’s one of the limitations.” Despite the fever surrounding the burgeoning sector, investors are still limited on how they can take a slice of the pie. David Barfoot, director at Rize ETF, a company that offers investors access to a medical cannabis-focused fund, said compliance teams at large asset managers are still wary of the sector, as mistakenly investing in a medical cannabis company that also works with recreational cannabis elsewhere in the world would be a breach of law. “Due diligence on medical cannabis companies is capital and labour intensive,” he said. As a result, it was unlikely big name asset managers would be keen to start offering exposure to the sector through their funds in the short-term, forcing investors to invest via one of a small number of ETFs, or risk putting money into single cannabis stocks. “It’s early stage, it’s difficult to pick the winners and losers, because there’s not much competition yet, if you’re investing at an individual level, there’s a huge risk,” Barfoot added. For Kanabo’s Avihu Tamir, the problem for asset managers is that the market cap of recently listed medical marijuana companies in the UK is too small for them to take notice: “Almost all the big institutions were interested enough to take our call, but the issue wasn’t the cannabis, it was the size of our market cap, which was the time was around £23m, when institutional investors tend to need a market cap of £100m,” he said. “We had a few cases where managers invested in us personally, and I think that’s a statement as well, because obviously if a manager is interested enough in this personally, the fund will come at a later stage. Mentally [the cannabis] is no barrier anymore.” ‘The funds will follow’ Venture capitalist Ed McDermott invested in Kanabo. He is the co-founder of MF Life Sciences, the largest independent medicinal cannabis company in Europe, and CEO of Fast Forward, a Guernsey-based venture capital fund. He too is excited about the sector, and the prospect of London becoming something of a cannabis hub in the coming years. However McDermott cautioned against believing all cannabis companies would go on to be successful. “We have to be somewhat mindful here. [UK-listed medical cannabis companies] are trading at many hundreds of times their revenue, which is fundamentally not usual,” he said. “There has been a massive burst of excitement, and it’s warranted, but not all companies are created equal, and because they carry a cannabis title one should not immediately think they’re a good company.” He said investors should be paying attention to the fundamentals of a company, like scale and the number of core investors. The ventured capitalist predicted that by the end of the year anywhere between 15 and 20 listed companies would have a cannabis theme to them in the UK, but their market caps would vary wildly, with anything from single digit millions to potentially over one billion on the table. “It’s going to be an interesting year ahead,” he continued. “I hope London becomes a destination for the cannabis market, but the key is making sure good companies come to the market, and we back those that are going to be the best operators.” https://www.cityam.com/will-londons-budding-cannabis-market-turn-the-eu-green-with-envy/ Bongme
  5. hi Cannabis organisations unite to demand robust cannabis industry in the UK The Cannabis Industry Council is the first truly representative cannabis body dedicated to advancing the UK’s cannabis sector The legal cannabis market has been estimated to be worth up to $124 billion by 2028. Accordingly, there is undeniable potential for Britain's medical cannabis businesses to cash in on this ‘green rush' and ready themselves for what appears to be a bright future. However, the industry is yet to capitalize on the huge opportunities presented to it. Despite striving for a shared goal - improving access to medical cannabis - the efforts of organisations and individuals within the industry have lacked coordination and collaboration. This fragmented approach has prevented the industry from being perceived as truly legitimate and subsequently, it is yet to receive the political endorsement it so desperately needs. However, in May of this year, the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) was launched to set standards and drive meaningful change within the UK's medical cannabis and CBD sector. It marks the first time the growing sector has unified through a truly representative and homogenous cannabis industry body. The Council's launch follows renewed calls for the government to reduce the red tape hampering the cannabis industry. According to a report launched by Maple Tree and Mackrell Solicitors last month, the medical cannabis market could be worth £2 billion, create almost 100,000 jobs and transform patient access if the government amended its outdated laws and regulations on the sector. At present, the new organisation has over one hundred members, who have worked beyond their individual organisational aims and collaborated to define and maintain gold standard industry practice. With six sub-groups, Quality Standards, Parliamentary lobbying, Research, Environmental & Social Responsibility, Media and Hemp, the CIC is calling for patients - adults and children - to be better supported by the sector and for the government to reduce the red tape currently restricting the growth of the industry. From clinics, patient access groups and doctors, to insurers, licensed producers and cannabis infrastructure bodies, the Council brings together disparate organisations, businesses and working groups. Membership invitation has been extended to representatives from the Home Office, The Department of Health and NHS England, in the hope of strengthening ties between the cannabis industry and the UK public sector. As a step towards achieving this ambition, one of the Council's first acts will be to organise a round table conversation. Leading public and private bodies across the UK will be invited to discuss how the UK can develop a robust cannabis industry, which drastically improves patient access and stimulates the economy post pandemic. Initially, the CIC will be chaired by Professor Mike Barnes, with formal elections and organisational subgroup Chairs to be appointed. Commenting on the issues facing the industry, Professor Barnes said that "Despite having a reputation as a globally dominant medicinal cannabis producer, the UK is almost entirely unable to cater to the needs of domestic patients. As it stands, there are numerous restrictions on full medical access due to unclear governmental bureaucracy, a lack of medical education and restrictive guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other regulatory bodies. With the participation of the government, NHS and Home Office, the Cannabis Industry Council hopes to set a gold standard practice on how the sector should operate. He added: "Having signed up a large proportion of the industry, we hope to be taken incredibly seriously as a collective voice and trusted gateway for, and by, the sector." Kate Thorpe, Coordinator of the Cannabis Industry Council, said: "Collaboration and harmony is a crucial component for the advancement of any sector, and this is nowhere truer than in the cannabis space. Only by harnessing the greatest breadth of expertise and by offering all organisations within the industry a voice, can we generate real change." It must not be forgotten that at the industry's roots are very unwell adults and children who, even after being lucky enough to receive a medicinal cannabis prescription, face high costs and long waiting times. Sadly, their voices are often lost within other industry bodies, so the Council will give patients, businesses and public bodies an equal say. By asserting pressure on government to act now and act fast, the Council's efforts may finally bring about lasting change in an industry which so many depend upon. For decades, patients have faced significant barriers to access and now, at last, they have reason to believe that their struggle is coming to an end. The CIC is spearheading the revolution in the UK medical cannabis industry and its members are committed to fulfilling its mission. http://www.newbusiness.co.uk/articles/trainingeducation/cannabis-organisations-unite-demand-robust-cannabis-industry-uk Bongme
  6. hi Stardawg Is the Weed Dividing the UK's Smokers “When you open up that bag, you take a smell and it makes your eyes bulge out.” England’s weed smokers don’t have a whole lot of choice. Unless you’ve got a Bitcoin wallet and a dark web market link, chances are you’ll end up buying Stardawg at some point. The strain is one of the country’s most common, alongside Cheese and Amnesia, but it’s only Stardawg that aggressively splits opinions. There are those who’d pick it over any other bag, and those who’d dump their dealer over it. On the r/uktrees subreddit, some argue that it “got a nation through a pandemic”, while others complain it’s “wet and chemically”, or “the only strain” that makes them paranoid. According to its creator, JJ from Top Dawg seeds in the US, the strain was never supposed to become this inescapable. “When I created it, I really wasn’t looking to create something to the extent of what it is today,” he says over Zoom. Over the past few years, JJ has watched his strain grow in popularity in the UK. “I get a lot of messages from people from the UK asking for seeds,” he says. “It's an honour. If people think that Stardawg is highly regarded, or that it’s a symbol for quality, then I’ve got to be happy about it.” “The genetics were good enough that people took notice,” says JJ. Named after “Stardog Champion” by the American band Mother Love Bone – “I had to come up with some kind of ‘dawg’ name, so it just clicked for me” – Stardawg seeds worked their way into the hands of staff at High Times, the cannabis magazine. Soon enough, people in California took notice and started growing the strain too. As for how it came to the UK? “I’m not sure of the story,” says JJ. “There’s this famous Manny Stardawg that I always hear about.” “There’s several rumours, but it seems that someone in Manchester got ahead of the game,” says Simpa, a drug reform advocate. “What became known as the Manny cut was probably on the scene a couple of years before anybody else had commercial access to it.” Along with the strain’s high yield and its rarity at the time, Stardawg was seen as exotic, and smokers who wanted to be the first to try the newest strains in the UK – Simpa refers to them as “flava chasers” – quickly made Stardawg the strain you had to be seen smoking. “As soon as people start seeing a popular strain name, they'll start just copying it,” he says, explaining that half of what’s sold as Stardawg isn’t the real thing. “They're just trading off the brand in the same way that people copy Adidas or Gucci. The product is inferior, but they’re trading on the illusion of the label.” If you’re trying to identify the real thing, JJ and Simpa both say the smell is the biggest giveaway. “It’s very strong,” says JJ. “It's very gassy, and when you open up the bag you’re going to smell a gassy, chemmy, diesel, kind of pine-y smell.” Whether Stardawg’s hold on the UK will last is down to “mothers” – the plants needed to make clones – but Simpa thinks its chances are strong, unlike other strains in that have been popular in the UK, like Blue Cheese. “With the original Blue Cheese, enough raids happened that very few people were left with the mothers, so they weren’t getting out to the big industrial growers,” he explains. While JJ hopes to one day breed another strain with the same longevity as Stardawg, he doesn’t have a huge amount of control of the popularity of his plants. “A lot of these things take on a life of their own,” he says. “No matter where it comes from, or what name it has on it, it’s when you open up that bag, you take a smell it makes your eyes bulge out, and you're just like, ‘What is this?’” https://www.vice.com/en/article/4avekg/stardawg-weed-strain-uk Bongme
  7. This was brought to my attention by our new friend saber on another thred Grossly over the top I thought, but then I followed his link. http://www.schmoo.co.uk/soapcak.htm What does everyone think? Admin Guys, please could this one be pinned? It seems bloody serious to me!!
  8. Hi Police smash suspected Finnart Street cannabis farm 12 Dec 2014 A SUSPECTED drug ring is believed to have been smashed in Greenock after a massive cannabis farm said to be worth £130,000 was allegedly found inside a house in the town’s west end. Two Vietnamese nationals, understood to have links to London and Manchester, have been charged in connection with the discovery — as well as tampering with the electricity supply to the property. Police swooped on the house in Finnart Street on Tuesday afternoon after being alerted to a suspected illegal ‘cultivation’. More than 350 plants, understood to be cannabis, were recovered from the property by a team of officers amid fears that the alleged illicit activity could have sparked a life-threatening fire. Suspect Bang Van Hoang, 60, and his female co-accused Ngo Thi Loan, 56, yesterday made no plea or declaration to the charges against them during a brief petition hearing in private at Greenock Sheriff Court. The pair — represented by defence lawyers Aidan Gallagher and David Tod — are charged with producing cannabis at the Finnart Street address. They are further accused of tampering with the electricity supply to prevent a meter from registering the level of energy being used at the house. Sergeant Allan O’Hare, of Greenock Police, told the Telegraph: “At about 2.30pm on Tuesday 9 December police attended Finnart Street, Greenock, having received a report of a cannabis cultivation. “Police safely removed the cultivation from the property once the electricity had been made safe. “A 60-year old Vietnamese male and a 56 year-old Vietnamese female have appeared from custody at Greenock Sheriff Court in relation to the matter.” Sgt O’Hare added: “The manner in which the cultivation had been established posed a significant fire risk to the occupiers and neighbours. The safety of our community is paramount to Police Scotland.” Shocked residents told today how they had been smelling a ‘sweet’ odour coming from the suspected house for weeks. One local, who asked not to be named, said: “There was a lot of police activity at the house as officers were there all day Tuesday and Wednesday. “We heard that a cannabis farm was found. Funnily enough, there were very sweet smells coming from that place about four weeks ago and other people had mentioned it too.” Another resident said: “You never really saw the people who lived there as they never opened their windows or curtains.” Van Hoang, of no fixed abode, was remanded in custody by Sheriff Derek Hamilton. Thi Loan, of Joycebuttle House, Main Road, London, was granted bail. The case against them was continued for further examination and both are due to appear in court again next Thursday. Sergeant O’Hare has asked members of the public to report any suspicious activity or information on the supply of drugs by phoning 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/greenock/articles/2014/12/12/518876-police-smash-suspected-finnart-street-cannabis-farm-/ Bongme
  9. hi Police seize secret cannabis stash growing in Oldbury green space The illegal grow was found by Oldbury Police officers Police busted a secret cannabis farm that was disguised among wild shrubbery on greenbelt land in Oldbury. The bizzare discovery was made by the West Midlands Police on Friday, September 24. The plants were seized and destroyed. It is believed they had been placed there deliberately. The Oldbury Police team tweeted: "Think you can outwit us by making use of sheltered greenbelt? Wrong! Although these plants were growing in a wild area, it was obvious they had been planted deliberately. Now destroyed" In the UK, cannabis is categorised as a class B drug which will result in penalties for those found in possession, dealing or producing the substance. Police can issue a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90 if you’re found with cannabis. Being found in possession of class B drugs can result in up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Those convicted for supplying or production of class B drugs can face up to 14 years in prison. Anyone who believes a property in their area is being used to grow cannabis should contact the police. Tell-tale signs include a strong sweet smell, heat surges, high electricity bills and permanently shuttered or covered windows. https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/police-seize-secret-cannabis-stash-21669378 Bongme
  10. hi Exclusive: Public support for PR, debt cancellation, decriminalising cannabis UK adults support bold policy ideas going to Labour conference, including a switch to proportional representation for Westminster elections, debt cancellation and decriminalising cannabis, exclusive polling by Savanta ComRes for LabourList can reveal. 153 constituency Labour parties have called on Keir Starmer’s party to endorse a switch to proportional representation for UK general elections at conference this year – more than have made a single demand on any issue in recent conference history. There has been no sign so far that the leadership will adopt the PR policy. While it has solid support among local party delegates, the campaign faces difficulties on the conference floor as just four trade unions have explicitly committed to backing it. New polling by Savanta ComRes shows that 44% of UK adults back the switch to PR, with the rest saying they neither support nor oppose (25%), they oppose the policy (15%) or they do not know (15%). One of the key ‘green new deal’ motions being sent to conference this year is on “global climate justice”. It calls for the cancellation of all low-income country debt held by UK institutions and legislation to prevent UK courts prosecuting countries stopping debt payments. The Savanta polling results suggest this proposal has the support of the UK public. Asked about cancelling debts of poorer countries so they can better fund initiatives to aid climate change, 44% say they would support the move. As for the remaining 56% of adults, 25% say they neither support nor oppose, 21% oppose it somewhat or strongly, and 11% say they do not know. Among those who do know their view on the idea, over 49% support it and 23% oppose it. Another Momentum-endorsed motion advocates drug policy reform and urges Labour to support the “decriminalisation of the possession and use of drugs”, as well as legislation aimed at a regulated and publicly run drugs market. A total of 41% say they support decriminalising the possession and use of marijuana, while 29% oppose it. 43% are against decriminalising the possession and use of Class A drugs, however, and 27% back this move. The polling suggests there is also substantial support among UK adults for the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy, which stops those subject to immigration control from accessing mainstream benefits and housing assistance. Labour called for NRPF to be suspended during the pandemic and has said the policy should not prevent victims of domestic abuse from getting the help they need. It has supported initiating a review of ‘NRPF’ and its impact on health inequalities. Below are the results of the latest polling by Savanta ComRes for LabourList. To what extent do you support or oppose each of the following policies? A proportional representation voting system for Westminster elections, whereby parties are assigned a number of seats based on the percentage of votes acquired nationally Strongly support – 19% Somewhat support – 25% Neither support nor oppose – 25% Somewhat oppose – 8% Strongly oppose – 8% Don’t know – 15% Sum: Support – 44% Sum: Oppose – 16% Cancelling debts of poorer countries so they can better fund initiatives to aid climate change Strongly support – 16% Somewhat support – 28% Neither support nor oppose – 25% Somewhat oppose – 11% Strongly oppose – 10% Don’t know – 11% Sum: Support – 44% Sum: Oppose – 21% The ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy, which stops those subject to immigration control from accessing a range of welfare benefits Strongly support – 24% Somewhat support – 22% Neither support nor oppose – 24% Somewhat oppose – 10% Strongly oppose – 7% Don’t know – 13% Sum: Support – 45% Sum: Oppose – 17% Decriminalising the possession and use of marijuana Strongly support – 18% Somewhat support – 23% Neither support nor oppose – 21% Somewhat oppose – 12% Strongly oppose – 17% Don’t know – 9% Sum: Support – 41% Sum: Oppose – 29% Decriminalising the possession and use of Class A drugs Strongly support – 12% Somewhat support – 15% Neither support nor oppose – 20% Somewhat oppose – 15% Strongly oppose – 28% Don’t know – 9% Sum: Support – 27% Sum: Oppose – 43% Polling by Savanta: ComRes for LabourList. Fieldwork conducted 17th-19th September 2021. Poll of 2,112 adults in the UK. https://labourlist.org/2021/09/exclusive-public-support-for-pr-debt-cancellation-decriminalising-cannabis/ Bongme
  11. hi Popular 'wonder crop' offers farmers hope for saving the planet Hemp has boomed in popularity in the UK with farmers praising the "wonder crop" - amid hopes it could help save the planet. A cannabis crop - known as hemp when it is grown for manufacturing - has surged in popularity in the past year in Scotland due to the boost it gives to other crop yields. Studies have shown it enhances pollinators such as bees, and the potential to be used for eco-friendly packaging which biodegrades. Hopes are high it could contribute to a homegrown UK CBD market - with most products brought in from Europe or America due to legislation. Kyle Esplin, 39, of the Scottish Hemp Association, believe cannabis will be legalised within two to five years due to the interest shown by pharmaceutical companies - and says the booming 'wellness' industry is likely to surge if that does happen. He first used CBD in 2013 after giving up his job as a cruise ship entertainment due to becoming ill the year before from a respiratory virus, and was motivated by the health benefits when he tried it in Holland. Nearly a decade later, Kyle has become a forerunner in the UK CBD industry and has his own firm, Holistic Highland Hemp. Kyle said: "You can't buy CBD extract in the UK, it's all coming from hemp fields in the US and Europe. "One of the main benefits of hemp is it removes carbon - it takes one season of hemp to remove the same amount as 25 years with trees. "It can be used in insulation, and the environmental benefits show it improves the yield for other crops." There are now seven hemp farmers in Angus, where Kyle is based, and another three in Aberdeen, while traditionally the main industry has been based in England. Studies in Colorado have shown new species of bees attracted to hemp, while in Poland bees exposed to hemp benefited from an improved lifespan. The species grown in the UK is a low THC variety - THC is the active ingredient which causes a high. It originates from Finland and is so hardy it can be grown in the Shetland Isles. Other crops grown by hemp farmers in Scotland include barley, wheat, blueberries, and as well as arable farming some producers also keep livestock. Kyle had planned to return to entertainment work last year but covid meant that never happened, and instead he invested his energy into the hemp industry. His tasks include liasing with Food Standards Scotland, as hemp is considered a 'new' crop and is subject to the Novel Foods Process required of things not common before 1997. Kyle believes the stigma around the cannabis leaf needs to end, and said it is a resource which has barely been tapped into in the UK. He said in the 1930s and 1940s it was branded a "wonder crop" and was a commonly used natural resource. Kyle said: "Back in the 30s and 40s it was advertised as a 'billion dollar wonder crop'. "It was used for rope and other products. "It is biodegradable so has a lot of potential for packaging. "With all the interest in COP26, hemp is one of the best crops for the environment. "In the last few years there's been more attention, thanks to CBD products. "It's brought the cannabis leaf design into people's kitchens. "There's the potential for a big wellness market." https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/popular-wonder-crop-offers-farmers-21643071 Bongme
  12. hi Number of cannabis farm busts almost double in one year during pandemic Police were called to a house fire which was found to be a cannabis farm this week The number of cannabis plants seized by the police has almost doubled in a year. At least 10,607 cannabis plants were seized by the police force in 2020, exclusive figures show. That was up from 5,517 plants seized the year before, according to the data obtained through a Freedom of Information request. While the total number of crimes recorded by police went down by 5 per cent last year, the number of drug offences - including possession, trafficking and other crimes such as production - went up from 4,152 to 5,084. This week, Leicestershire Police were called to the scene of a fire that ripped through a house in the Evington area of Leicester being used to grow cannabis. The blaze quickly caught the attention of the neighbours who alerted Leicestershire Fire and Rescue services. Police also attended and shortly after, acting on a tip-off, a second house in the same street was found with a 'large' number of cannabis plants inside. Neighbours living in the street looked on in 'shock' as the roof of the burning property caved in. One person who did not want to be named said: "It is quite unfortunate that something like this has happened in our street." According to UK Research and Innovation - a public body funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - the lack of people moving around during lockdowns made it easier for police to track down dealers. Leicestershire Police recorded 168 offences specifically related to cannabis production in 2020 - up from 152 the previous year. National figures from the Home Office show that nationally, the number of possession of cannabis offences recorded by police was up from 113,663 in 2019/20 to 133,805 in 2020/21. The rise in recorded drug crimes has been driven by pandemic restrictions providing police with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to target dealers. National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said: "During lockdown, the reduction in overall crime levels allowed officers to be redirected towards more proactive policing to tackle organised crime groups involved in the cultivation and distribution of illegal and dangerous drugs. "We will continue to focus efforts on the criminals and organised gangs who are destroying lives and fuelling the violence we’re seeing on our streets. "Our tactics are already showing some success, with a 13% increase between March 2019 and March 2020 in the overall amount of cannabis seized by police." In a statement about the house fire in New Way Road, Evington on September 20, Leicestershire Police said that no arrests had been made but enquiries are ongoing. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/number-cannabis-farm-busts-almost-5944406 Bongme
  13. hi Drug user who blew up flat while attempting to produce cannabis avoids jail David Hastie was badly injured during the explosion in his Hamilton property. A drug user blew up his Hamilton flat in a failed attempt to produce cannabis. David Hastie was badly injured in the explosion, which blew out windows and doors at the Craigburn Street property. Hastie, 39, narrowly avoided a prison sentence at Hamilton Sheriff Court today. He admitted culpably and recklessly attempting to produce tetrahydrocannabinol – a compound found in cannabis – on March 27, 2019. The charge stated that he was severely injured, his flat was damaged and there was potential danger to neighbours in the block of flats. Hastie was taken to hospital for treatment to burns after a butane gas cylinder exploded. The court heard that, fortunately,damage was confined to his property. Not guilty pleas to charges of possessing drugs, including cannabis and street valium, were accepted. Defence agent Jackson Bateman told the court: "My client suffered significant injuries in the explosion. He still has visible scars." Mr Bateman said it was accepted that Hastie had not been intending to produce cannabis for profit. He added: "His record is not the most serious and social workers suggest that, on a margin, there is a viable and credible alternative to custody available." Passing sentence, Sheriff Linda Nicolson told Hastie: "You put others in danger, but I accept you did not anticipate the extent of harm and damage that occurred. "You were the one who was seriously injured and you are still suffering. "Your previous convictions are not the most serious the court has seen. "The amount of cannabis involved was minimal and you were producing it for your own medicinal use. "In all the circumstances I'm just persuaded that a community-based disposal can be imposed." Hastie was placed under supervision for a year. He was also electronically tagged for nine months, meaning he must stay within his home between 7pm and 7am each day. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/in-your-area/lanarkshire/drug-user-who-blew-up-25027081 Bongme
  14. Hi This an article on crime it only a very small section of what she says BUT gives you the idea of where she stands on Cannabis! (maybe some media later may get a more enlightened response to this) Patel also voiced a tough stance on drugs, saying cannabis users should not be overlooked by police, the Press Association reports. “Any form of drug use,” she said. “You don’t turn a blind eye to it at all. It has a corrosive impact on people and communities.” The Lib Dems accused Patel of “rank hypocrisy” over the zero-tolerance approach, considering the series of admissions from senior Tory colleagues. rest of the interview here https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/priti-patel-death-penalty_uk_5d4594f0e4b0acb57fcd2cff Bongme
  15. hi DEBATE: Should we remove the word ‘cannabis’ from medical cannabis advocacy? The House of Commons debate last Monday was a fantastic display of support and solidarity for families, campaigners and advocates alike, all hoping to expand access to medical cannabis that remains almost entirely inaccessible on the NHS. Speakers from across the House offered emotional and impassioned pleas for intervention by Under Secretary for Health Jo Churchill, calling for: better education and direction for prescribing medical professionals in the NHS; the consideration of an observational study to alleviate the need for children suffering with refractory epilepsy to come off their medication as part of a placebo group; and temporary financial support for the seventeen families currently eligible. Interestingly, a sizable number of the speakers discussed the reputation of the term ‘medical cannabis’ and its language as a focal point of their time. Many MPs claimed the besmirched reputation of the word ‘cannabis’ actively impedes upon access, where doctors may be wary to prescribe due to its connotations. It would not be the first time advocates have concertedly shifted the terminology of cannabis. Burdened by its racial connotations, the Mexican term ‘marijuana’ was co-opted by prohibitionists in 1930’s America in order to manufacture an impression of the drug as ‘un-American’, and justify the over-policing of non-white groups’ possession and consumption of cannabis. While this blighted history is well-known in advocacy circles, the origins of the dissemination of this term remains hidden from the general public. The MPs’ speeches reflect the tendency of a fragmented movement to ‘break off’ from its predecessors burdened by history, as they advocated for the rehabilitation the reputation of medical cannabis. In practical terms, this might look like replacing ‘cannabis’ with ‘cannabinoid’, ‘hemp’, or referring to the specific compounds within cannabis-based medicines. This article will first look at the benefits of a rehabilitated image for cannabis, starting with its name. It will then turn its attention to the arguments against embracing new terminology for cannabis-based medicines both for cannabis users and people who use other drugs. The House of Commons debate last Monday was a fantastic display of support and solidarity for families, campaigners and advocates alike, all hoping to expand access to medical cannabis that remains almost entirely inaccessible on the NHS. Speakers from across the House offered emotional and impassioned pleas for intervention by Under Secretary for Health Jo Churchill, calling for: better education and direction for prescribing medical professionals in the NHS; the consideration of an observational study to alleviate the need for children suffering with refractory epilepsy to come off their medication as part of a placebo group; and temporary financial support for the seventeen families currently eligible. Interestingly, a sizable number of the speakers discussed the reputation of the term ‘medical cannabis’ and its language as a focal point of their time. Many MPs claimed the besmirched reputation of the word ‘cannabis’ actively impedes upon access, where doctors may be wary to prescribe due to its connotations. It would not be the first time advocates have concertedly shifted the terminology of cannabis. Burdened by its racial connotations, the Mexican term ‘marijuana’ was co-opted by prohibitionists in 1930’s America in order to manufacture an impression of the drug as ‘un-American’, and justify the over-policing of non-white groups’ possession and consumption of cannabis. While this blighted history is well-known in advocacy circles, the origins of the dissemination of this term remains hidden from the general public. Creative Commons license: Wellcome images The MPs’ speeches reflect the tendency of a fragmented movement to ‘break off’ from its predecessors burdened by history, as they advocated for the rehabilitation the reputation of medical cannabis. In practical terms, this might look like replacing ‘cannabis’ with ‘cannabinoid’, ‘hemp’, or referring to the specific compounds within cannabis-based medicines. This article will first look at the benefits of a rehabilitated image for cannabis, starting with its name. It will then turn its attention to the arguments against embracing new terminology for cannabis-based medicines both for cannabis users and people who use other drugs. THE CASE FOR Insurmountable fear & a clean slate. “In this House, we should not be using the word “cannabis”, because it strikes that fear into the hearts of many, many people across the UK.” Tonia Antoniazzi, Labour MP for Gower. “I think this problem might be to do with the terrible word “cannabis” that we use in this country. This is not anything to do with cannabis, really; I wish we could invent another name for it and just say “oil with TCHs in it”, because that would eradicate much of the fear that there is at present—and it is not just fear, it is dangerous to the argument.” Sir Mike Penning, Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead. For as long as we have seen representations of cannabis in the media and politics, it has been intrinsically connected with fear. The early 20th century saw the immediate categorisation of the drug by politicians, doctors and police as one with the capacity to morally corrupt the British people. This assumption was directly informed by racist and imperialist ideologies that connected the use of cannabis among immigrants and non-white residents with danger to upstanding communities. A moral panic was manufactured out of fear of a drug that had predominantly existed in countries which had been colonised by Britain. Cannabis and hashish was a perceived problem by the colonizers; thus, authorities sought to control it. This panic has persisted for over one hundred years, its malleable state allowing ‘cannabis’ to be a vehicle for suppressing the anti-war ‘hippy’ movement and racial equality movements in the US through fear-mongering. MPs in the Commons debate have aptly understood the crux of all issues pertaining to drug policy reform: decisions that engage first with fear, and then with reason. Jonathan Haidt’s’ The Righteous Mind’ uses the analogy of a rational Rider atop an intuitive Elephant, where the former is in control until the Elephant’s overpowered, primal instincts are alerted. If we eliminate the initial alarm- the instinctual and fearful aversion to ‘cannabis’- we can more readily appeal to our target (in this instance, medical practitioners). While the process of overcoming this initial and intuitive fear with heroin, cocaine, or recreational cannabis use may be a longer process, medical cannabis is not necessarily positioned in the same way. Already distinct due to the reforms in 2018 which created a legal pathway for access, medical cannabis is an unnecessary casualty in the War on Drugs and for this reason needs to be, above all else, uncontroversial. By separating medical cannabis from the term ‘cannabis’ and embracing an alternative, we might start to quell the instincts that encourage the reluctance to prescribe the life-saving medicines. It is an easier win than doing so for all drugs, so should we not take our victories and prioritise the wellbeing of suffering patients? While not explicitly mentioned in the debate, it is important to recognise that before 2018 much of the understanding around cannabis in primary care was tied to its alleged link with psychosis. If a GP was approached by a patient who was self medicating with cannabis for conditions such as anxiety and depression, their apprehension to support this would be understandable. Since its legalisation, however, revelations of the ability of cannabis-based medicine to effectively manage symptoms in a variety of mental health conditions have emerged. It could take years to re-inform and shift medical opinions on cannabis-based medicines, especially where patients are either children, or have a mental health condition. But if a new term free from the drug’s loaded history and preconceived understandings was popularised, it could help accelerate this necessary shift. Ultimately, increasing patient access has the potential to drastically improve patient outcomes and reduce harms, the cornerstone of medical intervention and care. A line in the sand. “[…] the crucial thing about when the law was changed was that it was about the prescribed medical use of cannabis oil by a specialist consultant, not a GP. It was not about a spliff behind the bike sheds or anything like that; it was prescribed medical use that saved children’s lives.” Sir Mike Penning, Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead. “Does she [Christine Jardine MP] share my frustration—I am sure she does—that the debate around medicinal cannabis is often confused with people who just want to smoke dope and drop out? “ Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor. “If we continue to talk about medicinal “cannabis”, stigma will continue to attach to the part that gives a hallucinogenic effect. That is the part that everyone will focus on unless we start to change the direction, the language and the naming, which is why the medical profession is blackballing it on every occasion.” Paul Girvan, DUP MP for South Antrim. Another crucial argument in favour of changing the way we talk about medical cannabis is in pursuit of the separation between medical and recreational cannabis use. It is true that the reputation of medical cannabis users have been conflated with those of recreational.. Since the inception of the Misuse of Drugs Act, cannabis has been presented as equally dangerous as heroin and cocaine for both the individual and society. Cannabis use and users attracted multitudes of misinformation and inflammatory headlines. The criminalisation, and ultimately stigmatisation, of those who use cannabis continues to underpin medical opinions and understanding of the harms and risks associated with prescribing cannabis as a medical treatment. The risks of being associated with recreational cannabis may limit a doctor’s confidence in advising, and supporting patients who are trying to obtain cannabis medicine, and prevents them from accepting cannabis-based medicines as legitimate treatment pathways. . If the Rt. Hon. Paul Girvan is right, and the continued association of medical cannabis use with its recreational use is the primary inhibitor of reform, we must seek to alleviate this associated stigma. A holistic rehabilitation of the image of cannabis is possible, but it could take decades to do so. People are dying now, and children are suffering, Ronnie Cowan MP suggested, “let us call it ‘medical hemp’”. But is it that simple? THE CASE AGAINST “[…] the core of the problem [is] the reputational issues that we are dealing with. We owe it to our constituents to do just a little better. We owe it to them to try to understand the evidence and create institutions that will advise our Government based on the evidence. We have a duty not to be stampeded by the popular press in a particular direction about the particular meanings of words, but we have done so for 50 years in regard to cannabis” Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP for Reigate. Realistic assessments of use. In spite of the Hon. MPs’ claims, a neat distinction between recreational and medical use of cannabis (nor other drugs) simply does not exist. Neurosight and Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK’s ‘Student Drug Behaviour and Mental Health during COVID-19’ survey contains compelling evidence to support this stance. Among students who had taken illicit drugs in the 2020-2021 academic year, as many as 36% reported that they had never or rarely used drugs with socialisation as their primary motivation. For those students who used drugs daily, motivations related to mental health including dealing with anxiety, relieving depressive symptoms and escaping reality were uniformly cited most. These motivations can be considered both recreational and medical, and are the reality for many cannabis users. Image credit: Marco Verch The media and politicians’ tendency to separate cannabis users into either critically ill or irresponsible pleasure-seekers is therefore inappropriate, failing to take into account the myriad nuances between the two classifications. The reality is that most cannabis use is more complex than the distinction between chronic illness and not, unable to aptly be pigeonholed into neither recreational nor medical. Therefore, in drawing a line in the sand we are ignoring the needs of the vast majority of cannabis users, who are still at risk of criminalisation, and other harms associated with the prohibition of cannabis. Working with fear, not against it “All of us have a duty to […] be able to disaggregate all the issues and negative connotations associated with the use of cannabis” “We refuse to listen to the evidence because it will be politically inconvenient and subject to misrepresentation in the media. We owe our constituents way more than that” Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP for Reigate. In the Commons debate, the implication was clear; The policy deadlock and reform for access to medical cannabis access should be delineated from the wider drug policy reform movement. The fear instilled by the word ‘cannabis’ was presented as insurmountable, and as such in order to expand access to medical cannabis, we must abandon the term in and of itself. While doing so may be immediately advantageous for medical cannabis reform, the consequences for the wider drug policy reform movement would be devastating. Advocates, activists and reformers have been pursuing the holistic dismantling of the War on Drugs since its creation. The movement has made incredible triumphs that encouraged research into cannabis-based medicines, and successfully lobbied for its legalisation in 2018. This was done so in the interest of saving lives and reducing harm above all else, a mission shared by medical cannabis campaigners. To draw a line in the sand between medical cannabis and other drugs, including recreational cannabis, would be disastrous to the advocacy efforts of drug policy reformers. This symbolic betrayal has real-world consequences. The ONS recently released devastating and unprecedented drug-related death statistics for England, Wales and Scotland for 2020, showing the real-world catastrophic consequences of the dehumanising drug policy of the UK government. Anything short of a holistic dismantling of the War on Drugs, achieved through humanising policy that does not distinguish between users of caffeine, ketamine and heroin, is insufficient. If the concern of MPs is of saving lives, specifically those most vulnerable, we cannot afford moral high-grounds in our pursuit of change. Should we abandon the term ‘medical cannabis’ to encourage more comfort and trust in prescribing the life-saving treatments among GPs? Should we instead seek to change minds, benefitting wider drug policy reform? We want to hear your opinion! Have your say on Twitter (@Voltefacehub), Facebook, or Instagram (@Voltefacehub). This piece was written by Content Officer Issy Ross (tweets @isabellakross) and Operations Officer Ella Walsh (tweets @snoop_ella). https://volteface.me/debate-replace-term-medical-cannabis/ Bongme
  16. hi Expert panel issues ‘weak’ recommendation for use of medical cannabis for chronic pain The official journal of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society A BMJ rapid recommendation for medical cannabis to be used in the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic pain in adults and children has been labelled 'weak', owing to a close balance of harms and benefits. An international expert panel has issued a “weak” recommendation to offer a trial of non-inhaled medical cannabis, or cannabinoids, for people with chronic pain, if standard care is not sufficient. The BMJ rapid recommendation, published on 9 September 2021, applies to adults and children living with moderate-to-severe chronic pain, regardless of pain mechanism, including cancer-related chronic pain. It aims to address the confusion around the role of medical cannabis in the management of chronic pain. The recommendation includes a linked series of four systematic reviews summarising the current body of evidence, as well as patient values and preferences, regarding medical cannabis or cannabinoid for chronic pain. In its review, the guideline panel said that it was “confident” that non-inhaled medical cannabis or cannabinoids resulted in a “small” increase in the proportion of people living with chronic pain experiencing an “important” improvement in pain and sleep quality; and a “very small” increase in the proportion experiencing an improvement in physical function. They said that the treatment did not improve emotional function and could result in a “small to very small increase” in the proportion of people experiencing cognitive impairment, vomiting, drowsiness, and a “moderate increase” in the proportion experiencing dizziness. The panel also said they were “less confident” about whether use of medical cannabis or cannabinoids result in reduced use of opioids or increased risk of cannabis dependence. They added that the recommendation was “weak” because of the close balance between benefits and harms of medical cannabis for chronic pain. “It reflects a high value placed on small to very small improvements in self-reported pain intensity, physical functioning and sleep quality, and willingness to accept a small to modest risk of mostly self-limited and transient harms,” the guideline panel said, adding that shared decision making was required to ensure patients made choices that reflect their values and personal context. “Further research is warranted and may alter this recommendation,” they continued. Andrew Yates, pharmacy lead at the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, said the “important recommendation” was “greatly welcomed” by the organisation. “It represents a number of important firsts: it’s the first recommendation related to CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] that treat chronic pain as one condition regardless of cause, it’s the first recommendation that has taken account of patient values and preferences so often forgotten about, and it’s the first recommendation that is easily translated into existing UK guidance for using non-inhaled formulations, and only after other therapies have been deemed unsuitable for the use of CBMPs. “We hope that this new recommendation is reviewed rapidly by NICE [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] who currently do not recommend the use of CBMPs, as currently only patients who are able to pay privately for their medicine will benefit from this recommendation which will result in a two-tier system when it comes to access to cannabis medicines here in the UK.” The NICE clinical guideline on cannabis-based medicinal products does not currently recommend their use for chronic pain. A spokesperson for NICE said the rapid recommendation “does, however, acknowledge the need for more research to build the evidence base for the use of these medicines, and supports NHS England’s call to collect evidence from both randomised controlled trials and observational studies”. The rapid recommendation states that therapeutic trials should start with low-dose non-inhaled cannabidiol products, gradually increasing the dose and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level depending on clinical response and tolerability. https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/news/expert-panel-issues-weak-recommendation-for-use-of-medical-cannabis-for-chronic-pain Bongme
  17. Can anyone tell me what to look out for when Auto's need feeding when growing outdoors in pots. I know when to water, if the pots feel light when lifting, but when should you feed them. I read that if you use good soil, they shouldn't need feeding. But some of my larger fan leaves are turning yellow, and when i posted some pictures, on here to ask why, someone said they are hungry and need feeding. But surely when the when fan leaves are going yellow, it might be a little to late. I know there are many reasons why leaves go yellow, but going by my knowledge, it isn't due to over watering, as usually you would see leaf droop, due to leaves holding excess water. It isn't due to PH levels as this mainly affects Hydroponically grown, I am growing in soil, which should balance out the PH levels. My auto's are just coming into flower, about 2.5 weeks. is it a natural cycle for auto's for fan leaves to die off to put energy into buds.
  18. hi Cannabis users under the age of 45 are twice as likely to have a heart attack RESEARCH has discovered a link between cannabis consumption and heart attacks in young adults. A new study has found that individuals younger than the age of 45 who recently used cannabis are at double the risk of suffering a heart attack in the next 30 days- and the link is even stronger in frequent users. The research, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, adds to evidence from earlier studies showing a correlation between heavy cannabis use and myocardial infarction- the medical term for a heart attack- in hospital settings. The new study analysed medical data from over 33,000 American adults aged between 18 to 44, of whom 17 percent reported using cannabis in the previous 30 days. A heart attack occurred in 1.3 percent of those who used cannabis and 0.8 percent of non-users. Those at the highest risk were male, cigarette smokers, vapers and heavy alcohol consumers. The research team added that those factors, plus others that increase the risk of a heart attack, were taken into account during the study. Lead researcher Dr Karim Ladha, a clinician scientist at Unity Health Toronto, said: “With recent legalisation and decriminalisation, cannabis use is increasing in young adults in North America, and we do not fully know its effects on cardiovascular health.” He added that the link was consistent across different forms of cannabis consumption, including smoking, vaping, and other methods such as edibles. Nikhil Mistry, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, added: "As a young adult, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with cannabis use, especially in the current climate where we are exposed to a wealth of misinformation and non–evidence-based health recommendations." Dr David Mazer, a clinician scientist at Unity Health Toronto, said: "Not only young adults, but physicians and other clinicians need to be aware of this potentially important relationship. "Cannabis use should be considered in cardiovascular risk assessment. When making decisions about cannabis consumption, patients and physicians should consider its associated benefits and risks, in the context of their own health risk factors and behaviours." https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1487657/young-cannabis-users-heart-attack-study Bongme
  19. hi MGC Pharma share price soars after CannEpil+ scores UK-first import deal Health & Biotech Europe-based biotech MGC Pharma has achieved a major milestone in its treatment of refractory epilepsy with CannEpil+ approved for import in the UK. MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC) has been granted a landmark UK import permit for its drug CannEpil+ to treat refractory epilepsy by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency via its UK distribution and clinical access partner Elite Pharmaco. It is the first time that an epilepsy treatment currently in a clinical trial process and containing THC has been approved by the authorities in the UK for import. CannEpil+ will be made available for free on compassionate grounds to 10 patients for six months, whose treatment will be monitored as part of an observational trial using a data collection app, provided by Alta Flora. The app will provide real time data on the efficacy of CannEpil+ to the regulatory bodies, and doctors monitoring its effectiveness as a treatment for refractory epilepsy, which means traditional seizure medicines no longer work. CannEpil+ provides treatment hope for refractory epilepsy One of the most common serious neurological conditions, epilepsy affects approximately 600,000 people in the UK, and around 50 million people worldwide. Approximately 33% of adults and 20-25% of children sufferers have refractory epilepsy. Just last week members of the British Parliament held a debate in the House of Commons about the use of medicinal cannabis in which MGC Pharma and CannEpil+ was mentioned. The approval to import CannEpil+ into the UK is in response to the urgent need of some patients to have access to a clinical product which has demonstrated its efficacy at treating refractory epilepsy, as well as its safety. Once the patients have begun their treatment, CannEpil+ will undergo an observational trial with data being entered into an app designed to establish a central platform to monitor the safety of treatment in patients globally. MGC Pharma’s growth continues MGC Pharma specialises in the production and development of phytocannabinoid-derived medicines. CannEpil+ is Biosimilar effect-identical product of CannEpil, manufactured under strict EU-GMP conditions and can be provided to patients in countries which allow cannabis-based medical products. MGC Pharma can offer CannEpil+ at more affordable prices to patients globally as the company moves through the clinical trial pipeline. It’s been a positive year of growth for the company, with record cumulative sales of phytocannabinoid products in FY21 with 12,457 units sold worldwide totalling around $2 million in revenue. At the time of writing the MGC pharma share price was up 8.33% to 6.5 cents. https://stockhead.com.au/health/mgc-pharma-share-price-soars-after-cannepil-scores-uk-first-import-deal/ Bongme
  20. hi Listed - The cheeky and offensive business names rejected by Companies House for being 'too rude' More than 800 names were rejected for registration over the last two years In the West Midlands, we have our fair share of shops with tongue-in-cheek names. We've got Balti Towers and Doggy Style Groomers just to name a few. However, across England and Wales more than 800 businesses have had their cheeky or offensive monikers rejected within the last two years. Read more: Meet Wolverhampton man who ditched footballing dream to work with Tyga, Lil Wayne and Drake The titles range from Anus Ale Limited to Camel Toe Clothing Limited. There were also 57 companies with the word cannabis - an illegal class B drug - in the name. The list of names rejected by Companies House was published as a result of a Freedom of Information request. Fat As Fork Ltd, Old Git Ltd, Peng Smoothies Ltd, Bumface and Dickweasle Ltd and Hugh Jass Consultancy Ltd are just some of the names which were rejected. Craig Goudie Erecting Ltd and Lou's Grooming are also among the potentially unfortunately offensive company names which have been banned by Companies House. There were also a number of companies whose names were rejected for references to the coronavirus pandemic. Names that are rejected can later be allowed on appeal if justification is accepted by Companies House. Companies House is the United Kingdom's register of companies and firms, along with their directors and significant shareholders. In addition to the obviously offensive words, there are 134 words and expressions which require approval from the Secretary of State in the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy to be used in company name. These include bank, benevolent, foundation, health care and Windsor. Below is a list of some of the company names which have been rejected over the past two years: ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND STUDIES( ASS)UK LTD ALLCOCK AND KNOBAL LIMITED ANUS ALE LIMITED ASS CLEANING LTD (rejected twice) ASSET ASSASSIN LTD BALLSBRIDE LTD BANDIT BULLIES LTD BARKS AND FARTS LTD BIMBO'S HAIR LIMITED https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/listed-cheeky-offensive-business-names-21554094 Bongme
  21. hi Cannabis could be used to make cushions after research by Scots scientists Researchers at Scotland's Rural College say the "future is definitely hemp" after study over making greener products from the plant. Farmers could soon be growing cannabis to make ­eco-friendly foam cushions thanks to research done by ­scientists in Scotland. Researchers at ­Scotland’s Rural College have found hemp – a plant best known for its ­hallucinogenic variety – can be used to make greener versions of ­environmentally damaging petrochemical products such as insulation, foam cushions and packaging. Vijay Kumar Thakur, professor in new products from biomass at SRUC, said: “The future is ­definitely hemp. The potential is huge and if we want to be carbon neutral by 2050 it is ­invaluable. Polyurethane alone is worth £14billion worldwide and there is no reason why hemp cannot replace that.” The growth of hemp has been restricted by global governments because of its links with cannabis oil but the plants used in the research are from a different type of hemp. The research comes after the first hemp farms were set up in Scotland. Twelve farms in Aberdeenshire and Angus have set up a co-operative to grow hemp, which needs to be licensed. The initial plan is to grow hemp for the medical cannabis market but the farmers hope to expand into other areas, including textiles and ­industrial use. Kyle Esplin, chair of the Scottish Hemp Association, said: “Hemp is definitely the future – we can use it for so many things and one of the biggest is creating bio-­plastics and other ­sustainable materials. “We need a processing plant in Scotland but I am hopeful funding for this can be found in the next couple of years.” https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/cannabis-could-used-make-cushions-24968070 Bongme
  22. hi Hemel Hempstead MP condemns lack of movement on prescription of medicinal cannabis NHS rules only permit the prescription of medicinal cannabis when all other ‘treatment options have been exhausted’ The MP for Hemel Hempstead Sir Mike Penning has spoken in a debate on access to medicinal cannabis on the NHS. Three years ago, he was instrumental in securing the backing of Parliament and the then Prime Minister Theresa May in making the use of medicinal cannabis legal to treat conditions such as rare forms of epilepsy in children. Sir Mike met with campaigner Hannah Deacon, whose son Alfie Dingley’s seizures had dramatically improved with medicinal cannabis that she had obtained from Holland. Sir Mike introduced Hannah, and Alfie, to the then Prime Minister. As a result of that campaign, the drug was moved to a different schedule in UK legislation and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance which should have made it possible for NHS doctors to prescribe it. However, at the moment NHS rules only permit the prescription of medicinal cannabis when all other ‘treatment options have been exhausted’ and where ‘clinically appropriate’ without clearly defining what this means. Also, many doctors are not keen on prescribing drugs they know little about. In order to be classed as a medicine, medicinal cannabis must be produced to specific standards. But most products are still unlicensed because they haven’t been subjected to long-term safety trials. It has also not been determined which conditions medical cannabis can be used for, and at what dose. As a result, only Alfie and two others have so far received NHS prescriptions. The families of other children with this very rare condition are forced to go to extreme lengths to raise funding to procure the drug. Speaking afterwards, Sir Mike said: “It is very frustrating. Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medicinal cannabis as long-term safety trials are still outstanding, but for that some patients will need to be put on placebos to be able to compare it with the medicinal cannabis drug. "No parent is going to risk their child being in the group that are given a placebo – even for a trial – when they know medicinal cannabis works and stops these horrible life-threatening seizures. “It is clearly the will of Parliament to make this happen. There is cross-party support from all corners of the UK. Other countries are moving forward with this. We need to make it happen here.” https://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/people/hemel-hempstead-mp-condemns-lack-of-movement-on-prescription-of-medicinal-cannabis-3378248 Bongme
  23. Hi The Labour and cons really trust you don't they Is it potty to re-think the War on Drugs? Portugal reversed Europe's worst addiction crisis with an injection of radical thinking - it decriminalised drugs. Sounds crazy? A former Tory leader says not... while others insist it would backfire horribly here An immaculately dressed, petite 44-year-old woman approaches what looks like an ice cream van and whispers a personal code number through a hatch. Inside, a server prepares her daily heroin substitute, ensuring it is the correct strength, before passing it out in a small paper cup. She knocks it back in one and says: 'Obrigada', or thank you — and well she might. 'This is what saved my life,' she says. 'Without this van, these kind people, I'd be dead.' Behind Dulcineia Mendes Correia, other addicts turn up for their dose of the synthetic drug methadone. They come from all walks of life. One is a smart businessman. Another, who appears a little bedraggled, requests a clean needle kit to inject heroin. A third politely asks for free tin foil on which to burn the drug, a method known as 'chasing the dragon'. Anything, the experts will tell you, is better than injecting with dirty needles. This is the sharp end of what Portugal calls its integrated drug strategy, a programme launched 20 years ago with decriminalisation of narcotics at its heart, but with important add-ons, such as harm-reduction, treatment, education and re-integration. And last month, in the wake of an Office For National Statistics report that revealed there were 4,561 drug fatalities in the UK last year — the highest total since records began in 1993 — an unlikely advocate of the Portuguese approach called for it to be adopted by the UK. Former leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, wrote an article in The Times headlined 'Decriminalising drugs is the only way forward'. 'Many Tories are reluctant, as I was two decades ago, to abandon a 'tough' law-and-order approach,' said Mr Hague, pointing out that politicians are fearful of even raising the issue because it is such a political hot potato. 'Yet two truths about this issue seem clear. The first is that it has become a massive social problem. The annual deaths represent tens of thousands more people trapped in addiction and heading for the same fate. The victims match closely with child poverty and areas of deprivation. 'The second truth, awkward though it may be for those of us who always wanted to get tougher, is we will never suppress the supply of drugs while the demand goes on.' A parliamentary report by Dame Carol Black last year found that the cost to society of illegal drugs was about £20billion a year in England and Wales but that we were spending only £600million on treatment and prevention. Since 2012, deaths from heroin had doubled and those from cocaine increased five-fold — while 27,000 young people now identified as being gang members, many drawn into drug dealing and violence. This was enough to persuade the Commons Health and Social Care Committee to recommend in 2019 'that the Government should consult on the decriminalisation of drug possession for personal use from a criminal offence to a civil matter'. 'After decriminalisation [in Portugal], all major indicators in a variety of studies improved,' Mr Hague said. 'Including an 18 per cent fall in the total costs to society. Might this not be worth a try?' In a bid to establish exactly how successful Portugal's bold move has been, the Mail travelled to Lisbon. What I discovered will shock some readers and surprise others who — quite understandably — have an instinctive aversion to any weakening of laws banning the possession of the sort of drugs that wreck so many young lives. First, though, it is important to explain what Portugal's approach is, how it came about — and to understand that decriminalisation is not the same as legalisation. In the 1990s, the country found itself in the grip of a heroin epidemic. The roots of the problem lay in Portugal's opening up to the outside world after the Carnation Revolution of 1974 ended the longest dictatorship in Europe. Portugal was suddenly exposed to new markets and influences and when, first marijuana then heroin, began flooding in, a country which the Swinging Sixties had passed by was utterly unprepared. By the late 90s, one per cent of the population was hooked on heroin. Almost half were injecting and, with few opportunities for acquiring new needles on a regular basis, addicts shared them, resulting in an incredible 56 per cent becoming HIV-positive. By 2001, Portugal accounted for 50 per cent of new needle-related HIV cases in the EU, despite having just 2 per cent of its population. 'It was desperate,' says Hugo Faria from Ares do Pinhal, the organisation that runs the van from which Dulcineia has just received her methadone. We are in Casal Ventoso, a once rundown and dangerous gathering place for addicts. 'There were incredibly high levels of criminality, with addicts using heroin everywhere. People were dying in the streets,' recalls Hugo. In the late 1990s, 70 per cent of all Portuguese crime was drug-related, with more than 40 per cent of the prison population in for offences related to drugs. 'Everyone, be it a family from a poorer district, or from the wealthiest areas — or even elected politicians — knew someone who had died from drug abuse or HIV,' says Dr Manuel Cardoso, Deputy General-Director of SICAD, Portugal's drug dependency agency. 'It was the number one concern at the time and we all knew something different had to be done.' The then prime minster, António Guterres — now Secretary-General of the United Nations — put together a panel of experts who, in 1999, reported back with 'The National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs'. Introduced in 2001, it involved a combination of better treatment facilities, reducing harm (by, for example, providing clean needles), better education for the public and offering free and safer drug substitutes, such as methadone. The biggest change involved the decriminalisation of personal possession of small amounts of drugs, focusing instead on support to manage or get clear of drug use. Possession was no longer a criminal offence but regarded as an administrative one — no more serious than a speeding fine. However, trafficking, dealing and possessing more than enough for one's own personal consumption for 10 days remain illegal and are punished firmly by the courts. When a person is caught in possession of a small amount of a drug, their supply is confiscated and they are ordered to appear before district panels called Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, comprising health, legal and social work professionals. I went to see one in action near Praça de Espanha on the edge of central Lisbon. A nervous-looking 20-year-old man had been caught with 3.08 grams of hashish. He was being interviewed by a social worker for an initial assessment. 'We are never judgmental and the atmosphere is relaxed,' says Nuno Capaz, vice-president of the Commission for Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, which administers the panels. 'We will usually explore why the person is using drugs, ask them whether they could use less, maybe try with none at all for a while, but we never tell them what to do. That would be counter-productive. 'If it's their first offence the case will be suspended and no more action taken — as it has been with this young man. However, for second and subsequent offences, they will be fined or asked to perform community service.' Fines are usually in the region of 35 to 40 euros, but in very rare cases, can be as much as 665 euros. 'Where there are signs of addiction, we can offer people treatment, counselling and harm-reduction medicine such as methadone,' continues Capaz. 'But they are not forced to do this. That won't work. They have to want treatment for it to be effective.' When chef Tiago Filipe, 32, was caught with 7.45 grams of cannabis at the age of 19, he was told he faced jail — five grams is usually the limit allowed as 'personal' — but his case was suspended on condition he agreed to receive help from one of the commission's counsellors. Tiago is now head chef at Lisbon's Lince Brewery Kitchen and he credits the more relaxed approach to possession with saving his career. It left him without a criminal record and enabled him to move on to senior positions in the UK — at The Savoy, Annabel's members' club and Hawksmoor steak restaurant. 'God knows what would have happened to me if I'd simply been thrown into prison,' he tells me. 'I didn't have a drug problem — I just smoked a bit of weed recreationally — but the counsellor made me ask myself why. It changed my behaviour and probably saved my career. It's a more humane system that tries to support people and help them change rather than simply punish them.' But doesn't this mean that more people will take drugs? Surely if there's nothing to fear, then there's nothing to deter? 'That's what we were worried about at the beginning — it was seen as a gamble that could backfire,' says SICAD's Dr Cardoso. 'We had to be brave, and it paid off.' New cases of HIV — the problem that prompted reform — fell from 1,287 in 2001 to just 16 by 2019. In the same year, the number of drug deaths fell to just six per million — about 50 times lower than the current rate in Scotland, which is still rising. Levels of drug use fell, too. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Portugal now has some of the lowest rates of drug use among 15 to 34-year-olds in the EU. And, as a consequence of decriminalising small consumers of drugs, the profile of the prison population has changed dramatically. In 2001, more than 40 per cent of inmates were there for drug offences. That is now around 15 per cent. Yet spending per head of population on prevention and treatment is less than in England and Wales — 65million euros (£55million) in Portugal for a population of 10 million, compared with £600million in England and Wales for a population pushing 60million. The police, who were resistant to change at first, also came round when they began to see results. Commissioner Rui Cruz of Lisbon's Criminal Investigation Department, says: 'Drug users were seen as criminals before the law changed. There were many impoverished neighbourhoods where lots of people consumed on the streets. We dealt with consuming as a crime — and that criminalised whole neighbourhoods. 'When the law changed, we were able to apply more resources to trafficking. When we reduce the supply, we reduce the demand.' Some critics believe admissions to hospital for cannabis-related psychological problems in Portugal — a 29-fold increase from 20 to 588 between 2000 and 2015, according a group of Portuguese psychologists — could be related to relaxing attitudes to possession. But this might well have been caused by its once-high numbers of heroin users moving to cannabis. And the strength of cannabis has increased considerably over the past 20 years. In England, numbers of cannabis-related hospitalisations have risen by 50 per cent to 31,130 since 2013. Not everyone believes that a relaxation of drug laws is the answer. In a 2018 report on the legalisation of cannabis, the centre-right think tank, The Centre for Social Justice, predicted that removing legal constraints in the UK would result in a million more users and 100,000 new addicts. Andy Cook, its chief executive, said it would 'open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of new users, many of whom will be young and vulnerable.' In America, sales have boomed as laws have been relaxed. There, 48 of the 50 states allow the sale of medical marijuana and 16 states have legalised it recreationally, including New York and the entire West Coast. In December last year, the cannabis-focused Leafly reported that Americans had purchased $18.3billion in cannabis products, up 71 per cent on the previous year, based on marijuana state tax and revenue records. It is figures such as these that give many British politicians pause. The last time Boris Johnson was asked about relaxing laws on drug use — when London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested reviewing the legality of cannabis — his then spokesperson Allegra Stratton, said: 'The Prime Minister has spoken about this on many occasions — illicit drugs destroy lives and he has absolutely no intention of legalising cannabis, which is a harmful substance.' Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also expressed opposition to decriminalisation. In an interview this year, he said: 'When I was Director of Public Prosecutions, I prosecuted many cases involving drugs and drug gangs and the criminality that sits behind, and it causes huge issues to vulnerable people across the country.' Advocates of the Portuguese system say they are not arguing that simply decriminalising personal possession works — treatment, harm-reduction and re-integration policies must be in place, too. These have all been made possible in Portugal because of SICAD, which oversees dozens of charities, NGOs and associations that work on the ground to help addicts. Each is funded in full or part by the government. At one such association, IN-Mouraria, run by the Group of Activists on HIV Treatments (GAT), I meet Patricia Pestana, 49, and Pedro Carvalho, 46. They share similar stories of having tried heroin with their friends when they were teenagers. 'We smoked it,' says Patricia. 'There was no information about the drug back then. We had no idea how bad it could get. We heard of people having problems from injecting but thought that wouldn't be us.' Each, in their own way, found IN-Mouraria, where they were given health checks, counselling and clinically administered methadone in order to wean them off heroin. The organisation also helps to treat Hepatitis C — a big problem for drug addicts. Patricia is now clean of heroin and works for GAT as a peer counsellor advising other drug users. Pedro, who has been living in a subterranean dwelling he dug in a forest on the outskirts of town for the past two years, has just been told he is to be given a rental home of his own. 'After that, I'm going to study to become an archaeologist,' he tells me. 'I have an ambition to find Atlantis.' Across town, I visit CRESCER, a program that provides help, advice and harm-reduction for homeless addicts. Its director, Andreia Alves, tells me proudly that they also provide homes for more than 100 addicts — every one of whom has gone on to either reduce their drug consumption or get clean. Out on the street, CRESCER psychologist Ary Teixeira and social worker Mariana Gomes find Carlos Figueiredo, 49, chasing the dragon. They give him some clean tin foil and ask how they can help. Before saying goodbye, they have arranged a meeting with a homeless charity to try to get him off the street. Around the corner, Dulcineia is just receiving her 'ice cream van' delivery of methadone, a substance that does not get her 'high' but simply stabilises her and removes cravings for heroin. 'My mother died of a heroin overdose by injection,' she tells me. 'So, I never injected, but I should never have started at all. I was 19 and thought smoking it wouldn't get me addicted, but it did. 'At the worst of my addiction, I was stealing things from shops and supermarkets to pay for my habit. You get desperate. I was so desperate that I would agree to have sex with men and ask for the money first — then run away with it. One night, a man locked me in a house and I had to escape through the bathroom window. 'Then I heard about this van and walked up one day and said, 'Please help me'. And they did blood tests, finding out I was HIV positive, and I was given help and treatment and methadone to get me away from heroin. That was seven years ago.' Dulcineia, who — unlike some addicts — does not wear the ravages of heroin use on her face, adds: 'Now I live a normal life and I have a job cleaning for two nice old ladies, who each have given me a key to their homes knowing I would never take anything from them. 'But most important of all, I have two children of my own, a boy and a girl, and they will never have to experience their mother dying from a heroin overdose.' https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9971277/Potty-think-War-Drugs-Portugal-reversed-addiction-crisis-decriminalising-drugs.html 600 Comments Top Hitter It shouldnt be a criminal offence it should be treated as a health issue because ultimately thats exactly what it is. The trouble with criminalising is that a lot of good people get caught up in it. They just need help. Put the money into rehabilitation, collect taxes, reduce crime and itll take money out of the criminal gangs pockets. It sounds scary but its proven in many places to reduce problems related to drugs even though some may think the opposite would happen Bongme
  24. hi telegraph As the party of entrepreneurship and sound public finances, it’s high time the Tories end the ‘war on drugs’ and decriminalise weed he ranks of former ministers who publicly support drug reform are both full and varied. There’s Bob Ainsworth, Tony Blair’s health minister, who called for all illicit drugs to be regulated and legally available back in 2010. There’s Jacqui Smith, who admitted in 2012 that her decision as Labour home secretary to upgrade cannabis to a Class B drug was wrong. There’s the Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb, who backed the legalisation of possession and consumption of cannabis in 2018. And most recently, there’s Conservative grandee and former leader of the party Lord Hague, who wrote a comment article earlier this month arguing that “decriminalising drugs is the only way forward”. What this diverse bunch have in common is that they only found the courage to speak out after they had left office, and were therefore no longer in a position to do anything about it. Convenient for them, as they didn’t have to face the political pressure of a public that has been terrified into submission by the US-led “war on drugs” for the past 50 years – a policy that has caused untold misery and cost many lives. But over the last two decades, at least, the US has been changing course. Marijuana for medicinal use is legal in 36 states, for recreational use in 18, while trailblazing Oregon has decriminalised personal possession of all drugs. In the UK, in contrast, drug laws have been stuck in a time warp – in defiance of not only the science but the economics and global politics. The moral case for drug reform is inarguable. Fifty years of prohibition have not led to a decline in addiction and deaths – on the contrary, drug-related deaths in England and Wales hit a record high this year and have been rising for the past eight, while in Scotland they are higher than anywhere in Europe. A sixth of inmates are in prison for drug offences, to say nothing of those whose crimes are linked to their addiction. The hypocrisy, when multiple members of the Cabinet – including the Prime Minister – have admitted to their own drug use is staggering. At the same time, while UK law technically changed in 2018 to allow medicinal cannabis in some very specific circumstances, the regulations imposed by an establishment petrified of being considered “soft” on drugs are so strict that the vast majority of desperate patients – from epileptic children to people battling cancer – cannot access it. Even politicians who are unsure about fully decriminalising all drugs know our cannabis laws are a disaster. They know it is wrong to condemn someone to a criminal record for possession of a drug that is less harmful (to the user and to society) than alcohol or tobacco, just like they know sending people to prison, where they are more likely to become dependent on far more harmful drugs than they are on the outside, is fuelling the UK’s spiralling addiction crisis. That’s why they keep changing their minds once they are no longer in power. If we are to “follow the science” and “save lives”, to use our Prime Minister’s favoured terms, we need a different way to make the case to the public. And as the party of business, sound finance and entrepreneurship, the Conservatives are the ones to do it. The first issue is simply one of cost – something any government struggling with the finances of a pandemic should have front of mind. In 2018 the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that legalising cannabis “could save at least £891.7m a year in reduced spending by police, prisons, courts and the NHS through pain relief treatments”. For context, that’s the amount the March 2020 budget pledged to invest to help British businesses lead the way in high-potential technologies. Speaking of those high-potential technologies, cannabis could be the new gold rush. The UK is already a world leader in growing medicinal cannabis, which is then exported in the absence of a legal market here. As our European neighbours press ahead with reform Britain risks being left behind on a multibillion-pound industry. A few years ago the Adam Smith Institute estimated a regulated UK market could be worth £6.8bn a year, increasing tax revenue by £1.05bn. In fact, back in 2015 a report by the Treasury itself found similar. That’s a much more appealing prospect than the post-pandemic tax rises Rishi Sunak seems fixated on. The kind of jobs a legal market would bring – in bioscience, agritech, marketing and retail – are either areas where the UK already excels, or where the pandemic destroyed job opportunities. As the furlough scheme winds down next month, imagine if the Conservatives could turn to the hundreds of thousands who have lost their jobs, and offer them a career in a cutting-edge new sector. You won’t hear Labour making these arguments. It is up to the Tories to change the terms of the argument, to talk both about ending the cruelty of the current anti-science approach and of inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, saving taxpayers money at the same time. The late campaigner for drugs reform, and former smuggler, Howard Marks, was fond of pointing out that legal or illegal, cannabis sellers would always make billions – the only madness was gifting all that money solely to organised crime. Hague’s intervention shows it is not un-Conservative to imagine another way forward. It’s time for the self-appointed party of both business and law and order to see sense. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/08/30/save-lives-create-jobs-legalising-cannabis/ Bongme
  25. hi Toddler aged 18 months old rushed to hospital after eating parents' cannabis-laced space cake The child's 'stupid' parents - who also had £670 worth of cannabis stashed in an airing cupboard - were charged with child cruelty and drug offences An 18-month-old baby girl suffered a seizure after eating cake laced with cannabis. The mother called for an ambulance and accompanied the ailing child to Leicester Royal Infirmary, it was revealed in court. Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, said: "She told a member of hospital staff the child had eaten some cake made of cannabis." She lied and said a visitor brought it to her Leicester home without her knowledge, but later confessed to having baked it herself. The youngster must have found it in the fridge, the mother said. When her partner's mobile phone was inspected by the police, text messages revealed that he was a cannabis dealer. Leicester Crown Court was told the little girl, who was suffering from stomach pains at hospital, tested positive for cannabis - although it was not possible for medics to conclusively say the cake caused the seizure or pain, as she was also found to have a low sodium levels. The child recovered and was returned home, following social services inquiries. Miss Bradley said the police searched the couple's house the next day, where their other children were also living, and found five clear plastic bags containing cannabis, worth £670, in an airing cupboard being used as a wardrobe. The father told the officers he only smoked cannabis outdoors and kept it on a top shelf in the cupboard, out of reach of the youngsters. Text messages on his phone revealed he had offered to sell different strains of cannabis to others, including a boast of having a top quality batch worth double the usual price. The mother, when questioned, later admitted using cannabis butter [made from cannabis oil] as an ingredient in the cake. She claimed to have fallen asleep before the child consumed some of the cake. The judge was told that social services were aware of the situation and the children had been placed on a child protection register, but they remained at home as a family unit. Michael Garvey, mitigating, said: "Social services are satisfied with the mother's parenting. "It was an unfortunate incident - they'd become too relaxed about cannabis in the house." Both parents, in their mid-20s, each admitted one offence of child cruelty, by exposing their daughter to physical danger in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury to health, last summer. The father admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply. The mother admitted possessing the same class B drug. The couple are not being named because of a court order protecting the identity of their daughter. Judge Keith Raynor said of the father: "He's the primary source of the cannabis that led to the cake, which led to the cruelty charge, although the mother had a part in the making of the cake." Sentencing, he told the defendants: "You were so stupid to make a cannabis cake without considering what was going to happen to the cake if the child came across it. "You unlawfully exposed her to physical danger by leaving it in a place where it could be eaten." The judge said he accepted the cruelty offence was "very much at the lower end" involving negligence. The mother was placed on a 12 month community order. The father received a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months. Both were made the subject of a condition to continue living at their present address. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/toddler-aged-18-months-old-5803072 Bongme