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  1. hi Cannabis users told by police: ‘Just say sorry and watch a video’ Cannabis users are being allowed to watch an educational video instead of getting a criminal record because police are dealing with offences in an “informal” way, it has been revealed. Forces around the country are increasingly using “community resolutions” to deal with people caught with the Class B drug, despite them being designed for “low level offences”. Think-tank Civitas warned that failing to send a strong message means police are “effectively decriminalising cannabis”. Analysis by The Daily Telegraph indicates the national proportion of offenders who were given community resolutions for cannabis possession dramactically rose in recent years. In 2015-16, it stood at 6.6 per cent but increased to 27.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019-20. For Hampshire, community resolutions for cannabis offences jumped from 7.5 per cent to 70.2 per cent over the same period. In the London area the figure rose from 3.8 per cent to 50.7 per cent. Watch a video Community Resolutions are officially described as an “alternative way of dealing with less serious crimes”. They “can be used for offences such as low level public order, criminal damage, theft, and minor assaults”. According to the Metropolitan Police, when used for cannabis they require offenders reading information on “how cannabis can have a negative impact on your future” – or watching the message on video. Decriminalising David Green, who leads Civitas, said: “There might be a justification for a community resolution on a first offence if it is associated with a pledge to take part in treatment. “But I suspect this is just a way of getting it off police books and not doing much about it. “If it doesn’t send a strong message of disapproval, then you are effectively decriminalising cannabis and making it likely to be used again.” Mental health The Police Federation, which represents officers on the ground, claim the policy of making drugs illegal ‘is failing’. It said it was not calling for decriminalisation or legalisation, but wanted further debate on the issue. The Government said the resolutions “must be used proportionately and never to let adult offenders off the hook”. It added that the police must “enforce the law”. Cannabis is strongly linked with poor mental health. Two experienced psychiatrists recently said that the evidence is “now incontrovertible that heavy cannabis use increases the risk of psychosis”. https://www.christian.org.uk/news/cannabis-users-told-by-police-just-say-sorry-and-watch-a-video/ Bongme
  2. hi a look back... X-Prince Harry Used to Smoke Marijuana, but Have Any Other Royal Family Members Tried It? Everybody knows just how conservative the British royal family can be. But some of the younger members of the family occasionally cause trouble for a matriarch like Queen Elizabeth II. An easy example? The brush that Prince Harry had with marijuana — and the numerous tabloid headlines it sparked. Prince Harry has definitely experimented with marijuana. But have any other members of the royal family tried it? Read on to get all the details, including how one of Queen Elizabeth II’s predecessors might have used the drug 1. Prince Harry started smoking marijuana at age 16 The New York Times reported in 2002 that Prince Harry started drinking and smoking marijuana at age 16. Harry reportedly used the drug at private parties, as well as at Charles’ Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire. And the Times reported that the first time Harry was alone at home from Eton — his boarding school — he tried drinking at a country pub. His father was away in London, and his brother, William, was out of the country during his gap year. As the Times explained, “A member of the royal staff reportedly alerted Prince Charles after smelling marijuana at a Highgrove teenage party, and friends confirmed that the youth had been a regular and sometimes boisterous drinker at the Rattlebone Inn in Wiltshire.” Plus, the Mirror reported the prince even earned the nickname “Hash Harry” at Eton. Next: This is how Prince Charles responded when he learned about Prince Harry’s experiments with marijuana. 2. Prince Charles sent Prince Harry to rehab for his marijuana use The New York Times reported in 2002 that Prince Charles sent his son to rehab — but only for a day. While at the drug clinic, Featherstone Lodge in South London, Prince Harry met recovering drug addicts. Many praised Prince Charles for the parenting decision and contrasted it with what Charles’ own father might have done in a similar situation. Bill Puddicombe — then chief executive of the Phoenix House Treatment Service for Drug Dependency, the charity that ran Featherstone Lodge — said of Prince Harry’s visit to the facility, “He met some people in recovery — heroin and cocaine addicts mostly — and heard their life stories, complete with harrowing details.” Prince Charles also helped a marijuana grower avoid jail time Civilized reported that Prince Charles once helped a marijuana grower avoid spending time in jail. In 1998, Prince Charles met a patient with multiple sclerosis and asked whether she had tried using medical marijuana — a comment that caused controversy due to the legal status of the treatment. As Civilized explained, however, “His comment has had an impact on British drug policy.” Years later, a multiple sclerosis patient who was arrested for growing cannabis for personal, medical consumption “was given a conditional discharge after using Prince Charles in her defense.” She told the judge she began using cannabis to treat her symptoms after hearing his comment from 1998. 4. Prince Harry later got in trouble for a party in Las Vegas About 10 years after news broke of Prince Harry’s teenage marijuana use, the prince made headlines again for what The New York Daily News characterized as a “naked Las Vegas pool party scandal.” Prince Harry seemed to have enjoyed a late night of partying in Vegas, throwing a party that involved strip billiards and some pretty serious drug usage. Guests at the party — held at Harry’s suite at the Wynn Las Vegas — reportedly had cocaine, shrooms, and marijuana. But none of the witnesses said Prince Harry himself partook of any of the illegal drugs, even marijuana. 5. Prince William and Kate Middleton traveled to a country that grows a lot of marijuana E! News reported ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2016 trip to Bhutan and India that the couple would be “surrounded by cannabis” when they stayed in Bhutan. “There the plant grows like a weed and is found everywhere; in the fields, on the side of the road, you can even see it growing on the roof of houses.” The publication noted most Bhutanese don’t use much recreational marijuana. But they do feed it to their animals. And some locals produce cannabis-infused milk. Of course, we have no word on whether the duke or duchess partook — though we’d assume they probably didn’t. 6. Meghan Markle’s nephew created a strain of cannabis named for her The Cut reported Meghan Marke’s nephew Tyler Dooley is a cannabis farmer. Dooley announced he created a new strain of cannabis he’s calling “Markle’s Sparkle” as a wedding present for his aunt. Dooley lives in Oregon, where recreational marijuana is legal. But as The Cut noted, cannabis remains “completely illegal in England.” As the publication explained, “If Markle and Harry ever want to get blazed off of Markle’s Sparkle, they’ll instead have to take a trip to visit Markle’s family.” Cosmopolitan reported Dooley hasn’t spoken to Markle in years. But he thinks she likely has progressive views on marijuana. “Meghan grew up in California and I am sure has an American view on pot,” he said. “I know in England that marijuana is still a taboo subject but it’s more normal to us here because we grew up around it in high school. Everybody experiments with it here.” 7. Meghan and Harry may have smoked marijuana at a wedding in Jamaica Vanity Fair reported in 2017 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the wedding of Harry’s best friend, Tom Inskip, in Jamaica. The two reportedly celebrated “into the early hours” of the morning. But otherwise, the details of Vanity Fair’s report seemed quite tame. The Daily Star, on the other hand, made a show of reporting that guests at the wedding smoked marijuana at “the Jamaican-themed” wedding. One source said Prince Harry became so intoxicated — on rum cocktails, according to the publication — that he knocked over a tray of drinks. 8. Queen Elizabeth II’s predecessor used medical marijuana Despite a few memes and satirical “news” stories, we have no reason to think Queen Elizabeth II has tried marijuana. But if she did partake, she wouldn’t be the first queen of England to do so. According to Bustle, Queen Victoria “may have been given cannabis as a method of relieving her menstrual cramps.” Her doctor seems to have prescribed her a tincture — a liquid form of medicine made by dissolving a drug in alcohol — which Bustle characterizes as “the most common way of administering it (and many other things) at the time.” Plus, The Daily Meal reported Queen Victoria may have used cannabis to deal with the worst symptoms of pregnancy and even the pain of childbirth. 9. Prince Philip probably hasn’t tried marijuana, either If we had to guess, we’d say that Prince Philip likely hasn’t tried marijuana, either. The Express reported Philip, husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, quit smoking for good the night before the couple’s wedding. The publication was undoubtedly referring to tobacco, but we’d guess the prince hasn’t smoked anything else, either. According to PopSugar, the prince actually quit smoking “cold turkey the morning of the wedding.” Queen Elizabeth II expressed serious concerns about how her father died of lung cancer. So Philip gave up his smoking habit — likely a good choice both for his health and for the health of their marriage. https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/prince-harry-used-to-smoke-marijuana.html/ Bongme
  3. hi Medicinal cannabis may not ease sleep problems in people with chronic pain 'because frequent users can build up tolerance to its sleep-inducing effects' Daily Mail Medicinal cannabis may not ease the sleep problems of people with chronic pain, a study has suggested. Scientists in Israel believe frequent users of the drug build up tolerance to its effects, rendering it useless after time. Researchers assessed the sleep quality and pain levels of 128 people being treated at a specialist clinic. They found cannabis users were less likely to wake up during the night, compared to those who did not use the drug. But over time, the benefit of cannabis on waking in the night was reversed, with the drug being associated with waking up more often. Cannabis users also found it harder to fall asleep than those who steered clear of the drug, according to the study. This indicated that tolerance to the beneficial effects of the drug may develop with further use, the researchers said. Medicinal cannabis is not legally prescribed for sleep problems in the UK. Limited prescriptions are given out for cannabis-based medications which treat illnesses including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In the US, some states allow doctors to use prescribe medicinal cannabis to treat some conditions. It is also legal for recreational use in 11 states, meaning that people are free to use it to try to treat their sleep problems. The latest study was published in the British Medical Journal's Supportive and Palliative Care journal. Study author Dr Sharon Sznitman, from the University of Haifa, said the findings may 'signal development of tolerance'. She and her colleagues wrote: 'These findings have large public health impacts considering the ageing of the population, the relatively high prevalence of sleep problems in this population, along with the increasing use of medicinal cannabis.' The scientists assessed the sleep quality and pain scores of 128 people over the age of 50 being treated at a specialist clinic. Sixty-six of them used cannabis to manage their sleep problems, while a further 62 did not. One in four (24 per cent) said they always woke up early and weren't able to get back to sleep. And one in five (20 per cent) said they always found it difficult to fall asleep. Another 27 per cent said they woke up during the night. Cannabis users had used the drug for an average of four years, consuming around 31 grams a month. Most (69 per cent) smoked it, while around 20 per cent used either using cannabis oil or vapour. Despite waking up less during the night, cannabis users did not get to sleep more quickly or wake up early less often. The scientists took into account other factors which might have influenced people's sleep. These included the average amount of pain people were experiencing, their use of sleep aids or antidepressants, as well as age and gender. However, the researchers did say the study was only observational and so could not establish a causal link. They also recognised there were not many people who took part in the study and the time of day when they had cannabis was not recorded. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7907995/Medicinal-cannabis-not-ease-sleep-problems-people-chronic-pain.html 22 comments Top Hitter In my experience, you build up a tolerance to a point, but that tolerance stops increasing after a while and you reach a sort of tolerance plateau. But even with the tolerance, as a sleep aid it still works. You might have to use a little more, but it still works. Raymond Mosch, Brooklyn, United States Bongme
  4. hi Millions of cannabis smokers at risk of deadly heart attack and stroke, docs warn The Sun MILLIONS of cannabis smokers are at risk of deadly heart attack and stroke, doctors have warned. Experts say that for the first time ever there are more marijuana users in the US than cigarette smokers - and the number continues to grow. In a review article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers estimated that more than two million US adults who reported marijuana use had cardiovascular disease. This includes recreational use and approved medical uses, such as treatment of seizure disorders or chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. But observational studies have linked cannabis use to a range of cardiovascular risks, including stroke, arrhythmia and diseases that make it hard for the heart muscle to pump properly. The investigators urged doctors to ask their patients about marijuana use, which can interfere with other medications that they might be prescribed. Potent drug Lead author Dr Muthiah Vaduganathan, of Brigham and Women's Hospital's Heart and Vascular Centre in Boston, Massachusetts, said: "Some observational studies have suggested an association between marijuana and a range of cardiovascular risks. "We also know that marijuana is becoming increasingly potent. "Our review suggests that smoking marijuana carries many of the same cardiovascular health hazards as smoking tobacco. "While the level of evidence is modest, there's enough data for us to advise caution in using marijuana for our highest-risk patients, including those who present with a heart attack or new arrhythmia, or who have been hospitalised with heart failure." Medicinal effect Certain cardiovascular medications, including statins and blood thinners, can be affected by cannabis use, the review found. For example, statin levels can increase in the blood when used together with cannabis because both are metabolised through a network of liver enzymes. Dr Vaduganathan said: "The review provides detailed tables of many drugs administered for various cardiovascular conditions, with the anticipated effects of marijuana on each one. "These will be helpful to cardiologists and pharmacists reviewing patients' medications and will help them collaboratively decide whether they need to adjust dosing if the patient continues to use marijuana." Screen patients The team also recommend that cardiologists screen their patients for cannabis use, asking them how often and how much they use. Dr Vaduganathan said: "Vaping marijuana is becoming more and more common, and we know vaping marijuana increases the pharmacological effects of the drug." For patients who wish to continue to use cannabis, or who have other medically indicated reasons for use, the experts suggested limiting use as much as possible. They also advised medics inform patients that vaping and certain synthetic forms of cannabinoids are particularly potent and may have greater adverse effects. In some patients, cardiologists should test for marijuana use by urine toxicology screening, the reviewers recommend. These include patients being considered for heart transplantation or those who present with early-onset heart attacks or heart failure at a young age. The review also analysed the current state of evidence linking marijuana use with cardiovascular health and disease. Dr Vaduganathan said that data on the exact health effects of cannabis on the cardiovascular system are limited, largely because federal laws have limited the ability of scientists to conduct high-quality research. He added: "Now that we have seen marijuana use become more popular than tobacco smoking, we need more rigorous research, including randomised clinical trials, to explore the effects of marijuana on cardiovascular health." https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10780139/millions-cannabis-smokers-risk-heart-attack/ Bongme
  5. hi Drug addict dad converted Stoke-on-Trent home into cannabis factory David Mason grew the plants to write off his £3,000 drug debt Drug-user David Mason grew thousands of pounds of cannabis in his Stoke-on-Trent home. The 34-year-old was arrested after police raided his Baddeley Green address. Officers discovered a drugs factory with a total of 35 plants. Now Mason has been handed a 10-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Prosecutor Paul Spratt said police visited the defendant's property on January 30 last year. He said: "He was growing 35 plants and anticipated a financial gain from the cannabis to write off his £3,000 debt. "Somebody bypassed the electricity in the street causing significant disturbance. In interview he said it was for personal use and he was uncooperative in every sense. "We will order forfeiture and destruction of the plants." Mason, who now lives in Noble Street, Wem, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis. The court heard that Mason was struggling with a drug problem at the time. Mark Nicholls, mitigating, said: "It could have got worse, but it didn't and from the time he was arrested he has done all he can to correct things. "His children were taken away from him and rather than dealing with that like he should have done, he took to taking a lot of drugs. He built up this debt. "He doesn't take any Class A drugs anymore and he has tried to right the wrongs. He now speaks to his children daily and sees them every other weekend. "He's moved away to Shropshire, away from all of the people he was seeing and he has a new relationship. He's a hardworking father, take a chance on him." Judge Paul Glenn told him: "You're 34-years-old, you have convictions going back to 2004. There are some significant gaps in your offending. "A gap from 2007 to 2011 and another gap up until 2018. You are capable of keeping out of trouble. When police attended this house, you were the tenancy of the house and inside police found 35 plants and a number of rooms had been converted with specialist lighting. "When you were interviewed you chose to make no comment. You had ample opportunity to put forward the account that you now put forward that you were put up to it to clear a debt. "The yield of this crop was significant, 3.67 kilos. You needed to pay off a drug debt of £3,000 and you agreed to grow the plants. You claim that you're now free of class A drugs. "You did not in fact receive any money from your involvement but that was the motivation for this. You are holding down two jobs." The defendant was also handed a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours unpaid work. https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/tattoo-covered-drug-addict-dad-3754406 6 comments Bongme
  6. hi Cannabis compound could be weapon in fight against superbugs Mice cured of MRSA, raising hopes of treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria A compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs. Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs. Tests in the lab showed that CBG, which is not psychoactive, killed common MRSA microbes and “persister” cells that are especially resistant to antibiotics and that often drive repeat infections. The compound also cleared up hard-to-shift “biofilms” of MRSA that can form on the skin and on medical implants. Having seen how effective the substance was against bacteria in the lab, the researchers decided to test CBG’s ability to treat infections in animals. In a study that has not yet been published, they found that CBG cured mice of MRSA infections as effectively as vancomycin, a drug widely considered to be the last line of defence against drug-resistant microbes. The study is under review at the ACS Infectious Diseases journal. Eric Brown, a microbiologist who led the work at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said cannabinoids were “clearly great drug-like compounds”, but noted it was early days in assessing the compounds for use in the clinic. “There is much work to do to explore the potential of the cannabinoids as antibiotics from the safety standpoint,” he said. Antibiotic resistance has become a major threat to public health. England’s former chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has said the loss of effective antibiotics would lead to “apocalyptic scenarios”, with patients dying from routine infections and many operations becoming too risky to perform. In the study, the researchers describe how the rapid global spread of drug resistance, caused by microbes developing mutations that protect them against antibiotics, has driven an urgent need to explore new sources of drugs. Among antibiotics in use today, the newest date back to discoveries made more than 30 years ago. Bacteria fall into two classes depending on the makeup of their cells. MRSA bugs are known as gram positive bacteria, and have a single, thick cell membrane. Gram negative bugs differ in having inner and outer cell membranes, and these infections can be harder to treat. In the World Health Organization’s priority list of drug-resistant bacteria, all three ranked as a “critical” priority are gram negative, namely Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacteriaceae. Brown found that CBG and other cannabinoids did not work well against gram negative multi-drug resistant bugs. But the team went on to show that when CBG was used with small quantities of polymyxin B, an existing antibiotic that disrupts the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria, the cannabis compound wiped out the drug-resistant pathogens. Cannabis plants are thought to make the compounds to fight off invading pathogens, but there are other ways to produce CBG. To study the compound, Brown’s team synthesised it in the lab using the chemicals olivetol and geraniol. “We are now pursuing the required paperwork to work with a wide variety of cannabinoids,” he said. Mark Blaskovich, who studies antibiotic cannabis compounds at the University of Queensland, said cannabis seemed to be particularly rich in antibiotics, though other plants such as tea tree, garlic and the spices turmeric and curcurmin also contained antibacterials. “These are likely made as a defence mechanism to protect the plant from bacterial and fungal infections, but to date have not been very useful for human infections as they really only work outside the body,” he said. “That’s what makes this new report potentially exciting – evidence that cannabigerol is able to treat a systemic infection in mice.” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/19/cannabis-compound-could-be-weapon-in-fight-against-superbugs Bongme
  7. hi Stoned driver caught after police spotted a big clue Turbo technician James Hovarth said he regularly used drugs A red and watery-eyed driver stopped by police was under the influence of cannabis. James Hovarth's Volkswagen Scirocco was pulled over at 9am on August 25. The 21-year-old was driving along De Lacey Avenue in Almondbury at the time, Kirklees magistrates were told. Vanessa Jones, prosecuting, said: “As soon as the officers spoke with him they could smell a strong scent of cannabis and his eyes were red and watery.” Hovarth was arrested and taken to Huddersfield Police Station after giving a positive roadside drug test. He later gave a sample of blood which showed that he had 2.9 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (cannabis derivative) per litre of blood. This is over the legal limit of two micrograms. Hovarth, of Broadgate Crescent in Almondbury, pleaded guilty to driving with a proportion of a controlled drug above the specified limit. In November last year he was handed a nine month suspended jail term for possession of a drug with intent to supply it. Paul Blanchard, mitigating, said that his client was stopped for routine checks but did admit to being a regular drug user. He told magistrates that despite this he holds down a job as a turbo technician working with motor vehicles. However, he is unsure if he will now be able to keep this role due to his conviction. Magistrates banned Hovarth from driving for 12 months. He was fined £200 and must pay £85 court costs and £32 victim surcharge. https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/stoned-driver-caught-after-police-17599415 My last post for a week or two have to go to work, look ater your selfs... Wherever You Are By Angus & Julia Stone Bongme
  8. hi Sunderland had cannabis hidden in Kinder Eggs Anthony McMahon, 20, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to supply when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates’ Court. Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said on November 1 last year police saw McMahon being handed something through a fence by another man, which they thought looked unusual. She said they searched him and found a large bag of cannabis bush, which he said was for his cousin. Ms Rimell said the officers searched his home and found other cannabis items including foil wraps and the drug inside Kinder Eggs. She said McMahon, of Brandon Street, Downhill, has no previous convictions. Jason Smith, defending, said: “He acknowledges and accepts he is a young man who has had a cannabis problem. “He is, or certainly was, a very heavy cannabis user. “His cousin has contacted him and asked if he could get him some. He went to his dealer and got some for his cousin.” Mr Smith said when the police saw him being passed the drug he was not a dealer at this point, but a customer and he was going to pass it on to his cousin. He said: “He is not making any profit, it is not for gain, he is doing his cousin a favour.” A spokesman for the probation service said McMahon started using cannabis at a very young age following the loss of his father at the age of ten. He said being arrested has had a profound effect on the young man who has never been involved with the criminal justice system before and as a result he has stopped using the drug. The officer said: “It has served as a big wake up call for him. “The arrest has been a blessing in disguise. He wants to turn his life around and make his mother proud. He wants to go back to college.” McMahon was given a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation days. He was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 surcharge. https://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/crime/sunderland-had-cannabis-hidden-kinder-eggs-1371282 Bongme
  9. hi London’s first Cannabis ETF to list as industry growth looks set to accelerate The Medical Cannabis and Wellness fund has been set up by Canadian investment asset manager asset manager Purpose Investments in partnership with Deutsche Boerse The launch of the Medical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF (MCW) on the LSE on Wednesday will enter the books as the first cannabis exchange traded fund (ETF) to list on the London market. Set up by Canadian asset manager Purpose Investments, in partnership with Deutsche Boerse, MCW consists of investments in publicly-listed companies engaged in areas such as medical cannabis, hemp and the burgeoning cannabidiol (CBD) industry, collectively known as the Medical Cannabis and Wellness Equity Index. ETFs differ from more traditional investment trusts in that they are traded on stock exchanges and track specific indexes such as the FTSE 100, they are also transparent and incur lower fees than actively managed trusts. UCITS, meanwhile, stands for Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities, a European Union regulatory framework that governs the management and sale of mutual funds. Funds certified as UCITS compliant are perceived as safe and well-regulated investments and are popular among those looking to invest across Europe. Europe next step after success in Canada Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose, says that following the company’s cannabis success in Canada, the group is bringing its investment knowhow to European investors. While 2019 was something of a mixed year for the industry, particularly in Canada where the weaker operators have fallen by the wayside, the sector has come through the other side stronger. “Now we have well-managed companies with good business plans, but this could still be the chance to get in on an early stage investment opportunity”, Taylor told Proactive. The new ETF is targeting not just cannabis companies, but also what Taylor calls “ancillary” firms such as those who supply growers, or cannabis-focused real estate investment trusts. He says that this method follows that used by similar exchange traded funds in North America, which initially focused on more conservative elements of the industry before adding more companies in different areas as laws around the sector liberalised. Should cannabis laws be relaxed in the UK and Europe, Taylor says the MCW is likely to follow a similar path in chasing slightly more exotic investments. “Huge” opportunity in medical cannabis While most of the buzz in recent years has been around the financial opportunities of recreational cannabis, Taylor said the somewhat overlooked medical market offers a “huge opportunity”, particularly as populations age and individuals seek out more naturally-derived medicines. “We’re just scratching the surface”, Taylor said, adding that the ETF will “absolutely” look to add new, innovative firms to its roster through its quarterly rebalancing mechanism. Everyone waiting on the US However, the CIO said that in terms of cannabis legalisation, there will likely be very few changes in laws across the world until the US takes decisive, federal action to reform its policy on the drug. “The US is the world police…and right now there are 33 states with [legal cannabis] and there is bipartisan support to federally legalise cannabis. Once that happens it will globally advance the cause…we’d expect other countries such as the UK and Australia to follow on behind that”, he added. Strong investor interest While a change in the US may be the catalyst for other countries to relax their laws, Taylor pointed out that investor interest in the firm’s ETF and the sector as a whole is already strong. “Cannabis is a market that’s huge and it’s not going away…There’s a lot of money in the sector that hasn’t yet been brought into the public marketplace...bringing an investment vehicle into the space shows that there are a lot of opportunities here that investors will want to add to their portfolio,” he said. For those considering whether this is the right time to get into cannabis, Taylor said the sector went through a “reckoning” in 2019, when the value of the market dropped 40-50% after an initial period of ‘hype’, and now investors can be “more reassured” that they are buying companies that have “been through growing pains and now have a path to accelerate higher”. https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/911154/londons-first-cannabis-etf-to-list-as-industry-growth-looks-set-to-accelerate-911154.html Bongme
  10. hi The huge cannabis factory crammed inside a house in Newport Gwent Police seized 200 plants in the raid on Saturday A huge cannabis factory has been discovered in a residential street in Newport. Gwent Police executed a drugs warrant in the early hours of Saturday, January 18, at a property in York Place. Officers discovered a large quantity of cannabis and about 200 plants were seized. Pictures taken by officers at the scene show hundreds of plants, sophisticated equipment and a large pile of harvested cannabis. Gwent Police said a 41-year-old man from Newport was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of a controlled Class B drug. A force spokesman added that the man had been released "under investigation". Gwent Police asked anyone with information about the supply of drugs to contact them on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/gwent-police-cannabis-factory-newport-17603230 Bongme
  11. hi Huge £300k cannabis farm busted inside house backing onto school Police have arrested one male after over 300 plants were discovered in Greenfinch Road - at the rear of Smithswood Primary Academy A huge cannabis farm has been busted by police just yards from a city primary school. Officers discovered a factory worth £300,000 during a raid on a house backing onto Smith's Wood Primary Academy on Monday, January 20. Some 300 plants were found in a property in Greenfinch Road, which backs onto the gates of the school playground. Police arrested one man at the scene as they seized the drugs. Officers were pictured outside the house ahead of the bust. Smith's Wood and Castle Bromwich neighbourhood police shared the images to Twiiter. They said: "Another successful drugs warrant executed in Smiths Wood this afternoon.. You'll need a few more cans of air freshener to hide from us!" They added: "Greenfinch Road b36. 300+ plants. One male arrested." Elsewhere in Ladywood, officers busted another, separate cannabis farm. Officers said all of the plants had been seized from the property. The force said: "A large cannabis factory has been discovered in Ladywood over the last few days. Our cannabis disposal team have attended and seized all of the plants!" https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/huge-300k-cannabis-farm-busted-17599465 Bongme
  12. hi How a boy from Vietnam became a slave on a UK cannabis farm BBC News It was a horrifying death for the 39 Vietnamese nationals found in the back of a trailer in an industrial park in Essex, in October last year. The story shone a light on the subterranean world of people smuggling and human trafficking, reports Cat McShane, specifically the thriving route between Vietnam and the UK. Ba is slight for 18. His body shrinks into a neat package as he recalls his experiences. We're sitting in a brightly lit kitchen, a Jack Russell dog darting between us under the table. Ba's foster mum fusses in the background, making lunch and occasionally interjecting to clarify or add some detail to his account of his journey here from Vietnam. She wants to make sure his story is understood. Ba's lived here for nearly a year. He was placed with his foster parents after being found wandering, confused and scared, around a train station in the North of England, with just the clothes he was wearing. "You feel safe now though, don't you?" his foster mum asks, needing affirmation that the mental and physical scars Ba wears will heal with enough care. His story is one both extraordinary, and typical of the growing number of Vietnamese men and women recognised as being potential victims of trafficking in the UK. For several years, Vietnamese have been one of the top three nationalities featured in modern slavery cases referred to the National Crime Agency, with 702 cases in 2018. The Salvation Army, which supports all adult victims of modern slavery in the UK, says the number of Vietnamese nationals referred to them over the last five years has more than doubled. It's estimated 18,000 people make the journey from Vietnam to Europe each year. Ba believes it was a Chinese gang that trafficked him to the UK. He was kidnapped off the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, where he was a street child, an orphan who slept in the bend of a sewage pipe. He sold lottery tickets for money, although older men sometimes beat him and grabbed his takings. A 2017 Unicef report described Ho Chi Minh City as "a source location, place of transition and destination of child trafficking". And a 2018 report by anti-trafficking charities said numerous trafficked Vietnamese children had reported being abducted while living on the streets. That's what happened to Ba. "An older man told me that if I came with him, he could help me earn a lot of money. But when I said no, he put a bag over my head. I couldn't believe what was happening," he says. He was then bundled into a small van, bound as well as blindfolded, his shouts stifled. Somewhere along the way, Ba's captors changed, and now he couldn't understand the language they spoke. When they finally came to a standstill and the bag was removed, Ba found himself in a large, empty, windowless warehouse in China, and was told to wait. "I knew they were preparing to send me somewhere to work," he says. During the months that Ba was held there, a guard regularly beat him. "I don't know why," Ba says with a shrug, "there was no reason." When he was caught trying to escape, his punishment was far worse than kicks and punches - the guard poured scalding water over his chest and arms. "It was agony. I was shouting at him to stop but he didn't listen," he says. Ba became unconscious with the pain. "I just lay still for days. I couldn't walk. It was painful for a very long time." His foster mum adds that his scarred skin is tight all over his body, and a permanent reminder of what happened to him. Ba was then moved to the UK in a succession of trucks. He remembers the silence of the final container, where the human cargo hid among boxes. The quiet was broken only by the rustling of cardboard being ripped up, to be used as insulation from the gnawing cold. His long-sleeved top offered little protection. "I was always scared on the journey, and very tired. I couldn't sleep because I was so worried. I didn't know what was happening to me. I wasn't told anything about where I was going." In fact, Ba was destined to work as a "gardener" in the UK's illegal cannabis trade - which is valued at around £2.6bn a year. In an abandoned two-storey house surrounded by woodland, he was locked-up and told to look after the plants that grew on every available surface. It was a mundane vigil of switching lights on and off over the plants at set times and watering them every few hours. But it was also punctuated by violence. When a plant failed, Ba was starved and kicked by a Chinese boss, who would aim for the burns on his chest. Ba never received any payment for his work, and wasn't told he was earning to pay off his fare to the UK. He was a slave. "How did I keep going? I kept telling myself to keep eating, keep working and to wait for the opportunity to run away," he says. He finally escaped by smashing an upstairs window, and jumping to the ground. Then he ran for as long as he could. "I was frightened, depressed and panicking. If I had been caught I would have been beaten even worse," Ba says. But he had to take that risk, because his life in the cannabis farm was "unbearable". With no idea what direction to head in, he followed the path of a train line. He only had a packet of biscuits to eat. "I didn't even know I was in England." The train line, predictably, led him to a train station - and to what was for him a very happy meeting with British Transport Police. "It had been a long time since anyone had been nice to me," he says. Ba has now settled into British life. He recently won a prize at college for his grades, and celebrated his first Christmas. He'd never unwrapped a present before. The translator who met Ba when he was taken into police custody says the transformation is remarkable. She recalls how skinny and scared he was. "Like a rabbit in the headlights," adds his foster dad Ba doesn't know whether he'll be allowed to stay in the UK. His last meeting at the Home Office to discuss his application for asylum didn't go well. The official tried to persuade him that if he returned to Vietnam he'd be helped by the authorities, which Ba finds impossible to believe. He is sure that if he is sent back, he will be trafficked again. That's a worry shared by Vietnamese trafficking expert Mimi Vu, who says that people who have been trafficked and returned are at serious risk of being re-trafficked, especially if their traffickers claim they owe them money. It's the quiet that Ba likes about the tiny hamlet he lives in, filled with old stone cottages and sprawling bungalows. Crowds make him anxious; he's scared he'll see the man who held him captive in the cannabis farm and kicked his injured chest. Chinh's scared too, but not of the people who smuggled him here to the UK. He's scared of the Vietnamese authorities. These fears are grounded in bitter experience. The 17-year-old was forced to leave Vietnam early in 2019 to escape a 10-year prison sentence for distributing anti-government literature door-to-door. "I didn't think I would come out alive," he says. There are harsh punishments for people who criticise Vietnam's Communist government. In a report last week, Human Rights Watch said that at least 30 activists and dissidents were sentenced to prison in 2019 "simply for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and religion". That even includes writing something deemed anti-government on Facebook; Amnesty International says at least 16 people were arrested, detained or convicted in 2019 for this offence. "[The year] 2019 was a brutal year for basic freedoms in Vietnam," Human Rights Watch's Asia director, Brad Adams, commented. "The Vietnamese government claims that its citizens enjoy freedom of expression, but this 'freedom' disappears when it is used to call for democracy or to criticise the ruling Communist Party." Chinh's arrest was due to his family's membership of Vietnam's Hoa Hao Buddhist community. The religion is recognised by the government but there are many groups that don't follow the state-sanctioned branch, and these are monitored and forcefully suppressed by the authorities. It's the same for other unapproved religious groups. Human Rights Watch says followers are detained, interrogated, tortured, forced to renounce their faith and imprisoned "in the national interest". Chinh lived in Hai Duong, a city in northern Vietnam. His dream, along with millions of other teenage boys and girls, was to be a footballer, and he avidly followed the Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo. But he was also happy working on his mum's household goods stall, when he wasn't at school. He was very close to her, and to his grandfather, who lived with them. n 2018 Chinh attended a demonstration with his grandfather. He recalls his nerves in the morning and the flags of 100 people waving in the wind as they chanted, calling for freedom of religion and the release of political prisoners. After that, Chinh struggles. "I find talking about that day very difficult," he says. Chinh's grandfather was arrested and sent to prison, where he died not long after. "When we visited him, he looked very weak," Chinh says. According to Amnesty International, jailed activists are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Vietnamese prisons are reported to be unsanitary, with inmates denied adequate access to medical care, clean water, and fresh air. His grandfather's treatment spurred Chinh to continue protesting but in early 2019 he too was arrested, for distributing flyers. He was held in a small, narrow cell for 10 hours and questioned alone. His faith helped to get him through, he says. "Of course, I was scared. The police would come to the cell and question me about my family and why I had anti-government literature. They shouted at me when I didn't answer. I was very scared they might hit me." In court, he wasn't allowed to defend himself, convicted, and told his sentence would start when he turned 18. His mum then raised the money to pay an agent to smuggle him to the UK. "My mum's last words were, 'Go over there, find someone to help you, and never come back.'" At the airport, she handed him over to two agents, who kept his passport. "We got lots of flights and stayed at people's houses until we got to France," Chinh says. He hasn't a clue what countries he passed through, apart from Malaysia and Greece. In France, one night, he was put into a lorry container. There was only one other man inside, but they didn't speak until they arrived in the UK, terrified of alerting a border official to their presence. "It was very cold and it was very difficult to breathe, because it was a confined, small space," Chinh says. "I was lying on top of boxes piled up high on the lorry, almost to the top, so I only just had enough room to lie down. It was very dark. I just slept. I had nothing with me - no food, no water." When the lorry finally stopped, Chinh was taken to a Vietnamese family, who fed him and gave him a bed for the night. "I can get you somewhere safe," his host said. In the morning, Chinh was left outside the local Home Office building with a piece of paper showing his name and date of birth. He remembers how strange he felt because he couldn't speak English. But he felt safe, he says, "because I was in the UK". The Home Office has recently granted him refugee status, which entitles him to remain in the UK for five years. Then a decision will be taken on whether he can remain indefinitely. Chinh was lucky. His mum was able to pay his passage in advance. When the bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found in Essex last year, it was reported that these were economic migrants from some of the poorest regions in Vietnam, who had taken out loans of up to £30,000 in order to get here. Family houses had been used as security and they would have been obliged to pay off their passage once here, by working illegally in cannabis farms, nail bars and restaurants. We may never know what the 39 people found in Essex had been promised, but it's likely that some of them would have ended up in slave-like conditions. Jakub Sobik from Anti Slavery International says that Vietnamese people who have taken out loans to pay for their journey here are more vulnerable to being exploited. "They start their journey believing they have paid to be smuggled in the search for a better life, but end up being victims of trafficking. "The extent that they have to hide from the authorities makes it easy for traffickers. You are illegal and it is a criminal offence to be here. They can't risk being deported to Vietnam with huge amounts of money owed over their heads." Some of the data in this article is drawn from BBC Briefing, a mini-series of downloadable in-depth guides to the big issues in the news, with input from academics, researchers and journalists. It is the BBC's response to audiences demanding better explanation of the facts behind the headlines. While males are typically siphoned off into cannabis factories, Vietnamese women are at risk of sexual exploitation. I have read an account given by a boy of 15, who said that while working in a cannabis factory he could hear the screams of women downstairs. He believed they were being sexually abused. A young single mum, Amy, was raped on many occasions during her journey to the UK, and again after her arrival, until a health worker identified her as a potential victim of trafficking. She had been excited to leave the family farm with her sister back in 2013, she told the charity that eventually started looking after her in the UK. Two men had convinced her family to send the girls abroad to earn money. There was no upfront fee, so they would need to work to pay the fare. Amy left her young son with an uncle. She was trafficked first to a clothes factory in Russia, where she worked for 10 to 12 hours a day without pay. She slept in a small room with about 10 other people, where she was raped repeatedly by the male workers. After two years, she and eight others were taken overland to the UK, and told that if they worked hard they would be paid. Instead, after waking up alone in the lorry that brought them across the Channel (the traffickers had left her behind for reasons that are unclear) she was sucked into a fresh world of exploitation. She ended up being forced into prostitution in the home of a Vietnamese couple, which doubled as a cannabis farm. It was only after becoming pregnant, and getting arrested in a raid on the house, that a midwife noticed that something was wrong and referred Amy to the National Crime Agency as an apparent victim of modern slavery. Then the Salvation Army found her a place in a refuge. Now she's a mum again, focused on doing the best for her baby. Chinh is living with a foster family. He is working hard on his English - and even the local Northern slang - and he remains a practising Buddhist. His 18th birthday, the day he would have been jailed, is fast approaching. Ba still suffers nightmares and flashbacks to his time in the hands of traffickers. He is waiting nervously for a decision on whether he will be granted asylum. But he recently started counselling, and day by day, under the loving care of his foster mum and dad, he is beginning to feel safer. The names Ba, Chinh and Amy are aliases In June 2018, 33 pregnant women were arrested and confined to a villa in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. All were surrogate mothers bearing children for foreign customers. They have since been released - but on the condition that they bring up the children themselves. The penalty is up to 20 years in jail. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51176958 Bongme
  13. hi Mum who suffers from uncontrollable orgasms denied medicinal cannabis treatment she says would change her life A MUM who suffers from uncontrollable orgasms has been denied medicinal cannabis treatment she says would change her life. Maria, 61, climaxes when driving over bumps on the road, taking the escalator - even having an orgasm at a Shania Twain concert. But now the mum, who says the condition was triggered during an NHS check up, has been left devastated after being told the health board won't fund the medicinal cannabis to help her. This means she will have to fork out £1,000 a month for the treatment herself. The widow, from East Dunbartonshire, told the The Herald: “Why should I be paying the bill when I didn’t cause the problem? This was inflicted on me by the NHS, so the NHS should be paying for it. "It’s been recommended by the very specialist they sent me to – that I had to fight to be sent to – and now they’re ignoring his advice. "The condition has calmed down a lot. My own GP says she’s never seen me looking better in the past two years than I do now. They’re the only thing that’s worked. For me, it’s amazing not to have feeling down there." Maria believes the condition was sparked during a routine check at Glasgow's Stobhill Hospital in September 2017, claiming a consultant "rammed" a speculum into her. In the weeks after the examination, Maria said she started to notice distressing symptoms, which were eventually diagnosed as PGAD, caused by damage to her pudendal nerve. And she said she was furious after it was a NHS consultant who recommended the treatment, with the board now not paying. Other treatments, including numbing gels, pelvic floor physiotherapy and steroid injections directly into her clitoris, have proved ineffective. Previously, the mum opened up about the condition - saying she first began to notice distressing symptoms in the wake of her smear test. Maria said: "I just didn't know what was happening. "You've got this great arousal but it's not going anywhere or triggered by anything. "Most of the time I feel like I am sitting on an ant's nest. "There's times where it's a tickle all day, but then something sets it off and it's a full-blown orgasm. "Driving over potholes, aircraft turbulence, escalators, the vibration from violins - I don't know how many women could say they went to a Shania Twain concert and she made them orgasm. "Ninety per cent of my life has been wrecked and the other ten per cent is not so great either. "I had to give up volunteering because just moving can set it off. "One of my friends said to me I'd become a recluse." A PAINFUL CONDITION WITH NO SEXUAL SATISFACTION PERSISTENT genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is spontaneous, persistent and unwanted genital arousal without any sexual desire or satisfaction. Multiple orgasms over hours, days or weeks can be agonising for sufferers, offering no relief. Scientists do not know what causes the condition, but suspect neurological, vascular, pharmacological or psychological causes may play a role. Symptoms can persist for long periods of time, and include: pressure pain clitoral throbbing tingling vaginal congestion vaginal contractions spontaneous orgasms The signs and symptoms can affect the vagina, labia, perineum and anus. The condition can impact on a sufferer's work and home life, leaving many feeling embarrassed, and avoiding sexual relationships. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10768264/mum-uncontrollable-orgasms-denied-medicinal-cannabis-treatment/ Bongme
  14. hi First shop of its kind is coming to Plymouth city centre n a former life it’s been a coffee shop, milkshake bar, a streetwear fashion retailer and even Plymouth’s first shop specialising in selling products derived from cannabis plants – but now Plymouth city centre’s quirkiest building is about to start anew as a high-tech estate agents’. The tiny octagonal building, which sits just outside Drake Circus mall and belongs to the nearby Methodist Central Hall, has been rented by ambitious Plymouth property firm SW4 Group Ltd. The company is giving the structure a complete overhaul and turning it into a sales office, complete with glowing green LED lighting and the latest in touch screen technology, which will allow property browsers to use the window like it is a giant iPad. It is getting a white and green paint job too, which means it’s goodbye to the large mural of reggae star Bob Marley which had adorned the building. SW4 will station one or two staff in the new office throughout a six-day week, and are keen for it to attract students from the University of Plymouth, just opposite, who are looking for rental properties. https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/first-shop-kind-coming-plymouth-3759715 Bongme
  15. hi Stop persecuting sick people for using medicinal cannabis, demands police boss A police boss is calling for assurances that people using cannabis for medicinal purposes will not be prosecuted. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has written to the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales asking for a guarantee that sick people will not be hauled before the courts for trying to alleviate their conditions. Mr Jones, a former police inspector, is a long term advocate of drug reform. He was deeply touched by the recent death of Phil James, a young father from North Wales who took cannabis oil to prolong his life after being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the aged of 33. Mr James’ case made global headlines after he advocated for the use of CBD which contains banned Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The father-of-one from Oakenholt, near Flint, said the oil shrunk his tumour and staved off seizures allowing him to spend longer with his wife Nicola and their 15-month-old daughter, Phoebe. He was diagnosed with a grade three tumour at the end of 2015 and it dramatically reduced in size after taking the drug. But Mr James then suffered a minor stroke and a CAT scan revealed a secondary tumour, causing him to suffer a series of falls, in February 2018. He died at Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham on January 5. According to Mr Jones, the case of Phil James was a perfect example of why it was necessary to ensure that people who took medicinal cannabis should not have the additional worry of being threatened with the possibility of prosecution. It was, he said, “cruel and inhumane” for people to be criminalised for being seriously ill. In his letter to Chief Crown Prosecutor Barry Hughes, the police and crime commissioner wrote: “I am writing to you to request your support in preventing the prosecution of those using cannabis for medical purposes. “On the 1st November 2018 the UK Government announced that cannabis products can be legally prescribed to individuals who could benefit from the medicine. “Cannabis based products have been proven to help those suffering with a number of issues including MS, Parkinson disease and epilepsy. “Since the legalisation of medical cannabis there have only been two individuals that have received an NHS prescription for the drug. “Unfortunately there are hundreds of individuals in the UK that need medical cannabis to continue to live without pain and enable them to lead a normal life. “To those who don’t have an NHS prescription they are left with two options, the first is to pay for a private prescription and the second is to cultivate cannabis with a risk of receiving a criminal record. The cost of a private prescription for medical cannabis can be up to £3,000 a month. This is a cost which is impossible to sustain yet these individuals are increasing their debts and using their savings just to live a pain free life and prevent prosecution. “In October 2019 MPs hosted a Cross Parliamentary meeting on Drug Reform called ‘forced to break the law: how should police respond to medical cannabis users’. “During this meeting we heard from individuals who use cannabis to relieve their symptoms yet spend their days worrying that they will be prosecuted for their cannabis use. “During the meeting we heard about Lesley Gibson an MS patient who has spent the last year awaiting prosecution for the cultivation of cannabis. “In January 2019 Lesley’s home in Carlisle was raided by Cumbria Police and her cannabis plants were removed. Lesley could not afford a private prescription and was left with no option but to medicate herself for her MS and grow her own cannabis plants. Her local Crown Prosecution Service decided to take the case to where she was acquitted. The Crown decided that it was not in the public interest to prosecute an individual who cultivated cannabis for medical purposes only. “Is this now National CPS Policy that it is not in the public interest to prosecute users of medical cannabis? If so I welcome this progressive policy change and I agree that it is not in the public interest to prosecute users of medicinal cannabis. “Individuals are forced to cultivate medicinal cannabis because the UK Government will not support widespread prescribing of pharmaceutical cannabis by the NHS. I look forward to receiving clarification from the Director of Public Prosecutions.” http://www.deeside.com/stop-persecuting-sick-people-for-using-medicinal-cannabis-demands-police-boss/ Bongme
  16. hi Rebecca Long-Bailey hints she smoked cannabis when younger as she launches leadership bid Hard-left leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey hinted at a cannabis smoking past as she officially launched her campaign today. The Corbynista said she had “been to Amsterdam, that's all I will say” when asked if she had taken illegal drugs. Labour suffered its worst loss since 1935 at the general election under Jeremy Corbyn and faces a major struggle to find a path back to power. In an interview with website Joe, Mrs Long-Bailey bizarrely revealed she had received a “little badge for doing gymnastics” when pressed on her winning credentials. The shadow business secretary promised to end the "gentlemen's club of politics" by devolving power out of Westminster in a speech later in Manchester. She said claimed she would "shake up" the way Government works and put power into the hands of voters. “The British state needs a seismic shock, to prise it open at all levels to the people – their knowledge, their skills, their demands,” she said. Contest no-hoper Emily Thornberry, who has struggled to secure support and is languishing in the polls, launched her leadership bid in her hometown of Guildford. The shadow foreign secretary warned that Labour faces "a long, tough road back to power" after its drubbing and promised an “unashamedly socialist but deliverable manifesto”. She said: “I’m standing to lead our party because I want to be the woman, and I know I can be the woman, who stands up and leads the fightback against Boris Johnson. “And we’re going to need someone tough, someone resilient, someone experienced and battle-hardened to lead that fight. Because we all know this is going to be a long, tough road back to power after the painful and crushing defeat we suffered last month.” The two frontbenchers are up against shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Birmingham Yardley’s Jess Phillips in the contest and the winner will be announced on April 4. Labour said around 14,700 people applied to register as temporary Labour supporters to vote in the leadership contest. The 48-hour window to apply to be a temporary supporter closed at 5pm on Thursday, and applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be able to vote in the leader and deputy leader elections. https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1229964/rebecca-long-bailey-cannabis-labour-leadership-launch 15 Comments Bongme
  17. hi Cannabis is ‘secret to happy relationship, better sex and less arguing’ Daily Star New research suggests that couples that use marijuana together gain significant benefits from it – even though it's still illegal in the UK Practically every couple you ask will have a different response to the question “what’s the secret to a long and happy relationship” – but now it seems there’s a scientific answer, cannabis . According to new figures from CBD suppliers American Marijuana , couples not only have better sex if they both smoke cannabis, they argue less too. Importantly, though, the drug’s positive effects are best seen in couples where both partners are smoking. For example, when both partners use marijuana, they experienced increased intimacy, having sex an average of 9.7 times per month. When only one partner smokes cannabis, that number goes down to 7.9 times a month. Twosomes that toke together are less likely to get into disagreements; 36.2% of couples bicker when only one partner gets high. When both partners smoke, that number drops to 9.6% The American Marijuana research, which is based on the responses of 1,000 people in a relationship where at least one is a marijuana user, also revealed some interesting details about differences between the sexes when it comes to marijuana use. Across the board, men tended to have more experience with cannabis. Men are nearly 18% more likely than women to have used marijuana before hooking up with their partner. By contrast, many women are introduced to marijuana by their partners: 15% of women started using cannabis because the man in their life did. However, according to the study, women and men appeared to smoke roughly the same amount, smoking between 3.6 and 3.8 days a week on average. https://www.dailystar.co.uk/love-sex/cannabis-secret-happy-relationship-better-21255612 Bongme
  18. hi Ballymoney man was smoking cannabis joint as he pushed pram through crowds at Halloween event POLICE on patrol at a Halloween lantern parade in Ballymoney detected a smell of cannabis and when they followed a man who was pushing a pram through crowds he dropped a lit ‘joint’ on the ground and said: “It’s going to be legal in a few years”. Wayne Reid (37), of Henry Street in Ballymoney, admitted possessing cannabis on October 28 last year when he appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday. The court heard the drugs were worth around £10. A defence solicitor said the married father of a young child had a “very small amount” of the drug. The defendant had a relevant record and as well as fining the defendant £250, District Judge Peter King referred the matter to the Crown Court as it was in breach of a sentence. The judge said the defendant had a “cavalier attitude” to drugs. He told the defendant that whatever happens in the future with cannabis it is currently an illegal drug. https://news.causewaycoastcommunity.co.uk/local-news/ballymoney-man-was-smoking-cannabis-joint-as-he-pushed-pram-through-crowds-at-halloween-event/ Bongme
  19. hi Newport drug dealer spared jail after judge told of family tragedy CANNABIS dealer was spared from going to jail after a judge was told his mother had died suddenly last autumn, and he is turning his life around. Lewis Marshall, aged 24, of Aberthaw Road, Newport, was handed a suspended prison sentence at the city’s crown court. Prosecutor Harry Baker said police raided the defendant’s home last May where they found more than £3,000 worth of cannabis. Marshall told officers the drugs were for his own personal use. Police also discovered air rifles, a crossbow and a knuckleduster, Judge Daniel Williams was told. Marshall pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply in May last year. Mr Baker said Marshall was sentenced to a referral order in 2013 for possessing cannabis with intent to supply, and two years later, he received a community order and unpaid work for producing the drug. Defence counsel Emma Harris said: “The defendant entered a guilty plea at the very first opportunity and is still a relatively young man. “Last October, his mother died very suddenly. This and the birth of his young daughter has made him reassess his life and look to turn it around.” “He has weaned himself off cannabis. He has gone from a £40 a week habit to giving it up. "The defendant still has a lot of growing up to do. “He has a full-time job as a plastering assistant and he is described as ‘pleasant, honest and respectful’ by his employer.” Marshall also helps take care of his younger brother while his father works. Judge Williams said that because of the personal mitigation in this case, he could suspend the inevitable prison sentence, despite Marshall being caught with a “substantial amount of cannabis”. The defendant was jailed for 10 months, suspended for 18 months. He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay a £140 victim surcharge. As he left the dock, Marshall said to the judge: “Thank you, your honour.” The defendant is set to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on April 24. https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/18171270.newport-drug-dealer-spared-jail-judge-told-family-tragedy/ Bongme
  20. hi Police discover cannabis farm following raid in Tameside Manchester Evening News "Please can the owner of these exotic plants get in contact," A cannabis farm has been discovered by police in Tameside . Officers raided the premises in Dukinfield at 10am on Sunday morning. Inside they found around 50 plants, as well as harvested leaves that were hanging from the ceiling to dry. Inspector Andy Holden said no arrests had been made as of yet, and that enquiries were ongoing. GMP Tameside North posted on Facebook, urging the owner come forward, joking their plants 'don't seem to be growing too well'. They said: "Please can the owner of these exotic plants get in contact. "They don’t seem to be growing too well. "Luckily for you, the East neighbourhood team, assisted by colleagues from the Tactical aid unit have collected them ALL up and taken them back to the station for safe keeping. "Oh, and we've cut your electric and dismantled your equipment. There was a lot of water everywhere. "Would hate for anyone to have an accident! Can’t wait to hear from you!" Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/cannabis-farm-dukinfield-tameside-raid-17599980 Bongme
  21. Drug dealer who once smoked £100-a-day of cannabis after getting hooked at the age of 14 is now in jail Cannabis dealer Jordan Russell has been jailed for pedalling the drug two years after a court gave him a chance to kick his habit. The 26-year-old was arrested after police executed a drugs warrant at an address in Shelton. He was in possession of two bags of cannabis and more cannabis was found under the television along with dealer bags, scales and a phone. The defendant told police he was earning £30 a day to supply the class B drug on behalf of someone else. Now Russell, who was handed a community order for the same offence in 2017, has been jailed for eight months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Prosecutor Richard McConaghy said police executed a warrant at an address in Sun Street, Shelton, at 1.25pm on February 13 last year. Mr McConaghy said: “Three people were inside. One was the defendant. He was searched and he had two bags of cannabis and £30 on his person. “Underneath the television was a bag containing five bags of cannabis. Four were dealer bags and one was a larger amount. There was also some clear empty snap bags and a mobile telephone and scales were also seized.” In total the cannabis was valued at £200. In his police interview the defendant admitted the drugs were his. He said he was dealing on behalf of another and earned about £30 a day. Russell, of Windermere Street, Hanley, pleaded guilty to possession of a class B drug with intent to supply. The court heard the defendant was handed a community order in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to a similar charge. Hamish Noble, mitigating, said the defendant has been using cannabis since he was aged 14 and at one stage he was using £100 worth of the drug a day. Mr Noble said: “He tells me his cannabis use is less than it was. “He was unable to resist the encouragement of others to deal cannabis on their behalf.” Judge David Fletcher said: “For the second time in a little more than two years you find yourself in the crown court accepting your responsibility for possession of cannabis with intent to supply. “I spelled out to you what would be the consequences of your continued cannabis use, let alone if you continued to supply the drugs. You were told. You took not notice. “Immediate custody must follow. I am afraid people who do not take the opportunity they are offered have to bear the consequences that they were warned about. And you were warned time and time again.” https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/drug-dealer-who-once-smoked-3737915
  22. Woman caught with £40k of cannabis given a second chance A WOMAN who claimed her £40,000 worth of cannabis was for ‘personal use’ has been spared prison. Meena Katara, 48, of Dudgeon Drive, Oxford, admitted one count of producing a controlled drug of class B - cannabis on December 19. Officers discovered the huge haul of drugs at her home on April 23, 2018. Two tents were found to be cultivating some 16 plants in each, with the value of the drugs estimated to be £16,000 wholesale and £40,000 if sold separately on the street. Yesterday, Judge Maria Lamb gave Katara a two-year community order, a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement, 120 hours of unpaid work and £15,000 in costs to pay. She said: “If you don’t carry out the requirements then you will come back before the court and will be sentenced, where you can expect at least three years in prison if this doesn’t work. “It’s not gone away but I’m giving you the chance. It’s better for you to get on this programme now. You’ve got the chance to show me that the 21 months spent out of trouble is good, and you know what will happen if you don’t - so take this opportunity.” Defending, James Reilley said in court that Katara is ‘trustworthy’, ‘hardworking’ and someone who has ‘suffered with trauma’. He told the judge that she has experienced mental health problems and suffered a bereavement. He said: “She has suffered from depression and anxiety for quite some time and this culminated in her decision to start growing this cannabis. “She grew the cannabis because she felt unsafe to buy it as a single woman.” Mr Reilley also spoke of how, almost two years since being caught growing the plant, Katara has 'turned her life around' by becoming a personal trainer at the gym where she works. He said that with a custodial sentence, she would lose her house and job. When Katara stood in the witness box at Oxford Crown Court in December she claimed she was ‘not really aware’ of the scale of cannabis she was growing. She claimed that she borrowed the equipment to set up the operation and that her first effort was a ‘disaster’. She said: “It’s not nice, so I just heard that people grow it and I thought 'why don’t I grow it'?” But drugs expert Paul Duffin gave evidence that the cannabis yield would ‘absolutely not’ be consistent with personal use. He said: “If someone was growing cannabis for their own personal use they would certainly not need two tents each capable of producing 16 plants. “It is far beyond what anyone could say was suitable for personal use.” Judge Lamb disagreed with Katara’s reason, saying it would have helped her case if she had told the court who had given her the equipment to grow the cannabis. She said: “Perhaps she [Katara] should be more forthcoming about who lent her this equipment. This was going to find it’s way back into the supply chain. This wasn’t for personal use. "You were turning a blind eye that this was going to get back out.” https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18169966.woman-caught-40k-cannabis-given-second-chance/
  23. So I have been a Lucky girl * I have grown for years Outdoors in the beautiful hot South of Spain but now I am moving to the UK and have a giant polytunnel in my garden but no experience yet of how to grow in polytunnels..................... Last year my bf had good results with some semi autos a friend had bred..... I did put a couple Green Poisons in there and they did well - with a couple patches of mold So season 2020 will be looking for autos and semi autos and a few "fast versions" like my sweet seeds Green Poison I loved growing the S.A.D sweet afghani delicious outdoor in Spain and now they have the "fast version" of that I would like to try So I will grow some Photoperiod Plants Outside in the Garden and I guess fill the Poly with AUTOS Any hints and tips would be greatly appreciated from you guys Coz dude! This is a whole NEW enviroment xxmissxx
  24. hi Why MDMA must be reclassified as a Schedule 2 drug Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation discusses the organisations new report ‘Roadmaps to Regulation: MDMA’ which recommends rescheduling MDMA to a Schedule 2 drug. MDMA should be reclassified as a Schedule 2 drug to enable greater scientific research into its clinical benefits. That is the finding of a new report Roadmaps to Regulation: MDMA published this month by the Beckley Foundation which I founded in 1998 to research the medical benefits of psychoactive substances and to call for global drug policy reform. MDMA remains classified as a Schedule 1 substance – which designates substances with no medical use and a high potential for abuse – while more dangerous and highly addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine remain Schedule 2. Cannabis was moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 last year after high profile cases involving children with epileptic seizures including Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley. That This has allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis medicines for the first time. Rescheduling MDMA for scientific research Rescheduling MDMA in a similar way would reduce the political, bureaucratic, and financial barriers blocking research so that we can better understand the risks and potential benefits of this popular substance. Clinical research carried out over the past decade demonstrates the strong benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More recently alcoholism and autism research have also shown positive outcomes. However, despite the progress in research, a gram of clinically made MDMA can cost researchers in the UK £10,000 compared to a street price of £30 to £40. In 2012, the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme carried out a detailed neuroimaging study on MDMA to explain why it is so valuable for psychotherapy. We found that pleasant memories were experienced as more vivid, emotionally intense and positive with MDMA, while traumatic memories were less negative and therefore more useful in therapy. Then, in 2015, a Beckley-sponsored study at UCL demonstrated that MDMA reduces self-criticism and improves self-compassion. We also observed increases in feelings of openness and decreased neuroticism, prolonging the benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Combined, these attributes indicate that MDMA may be a powerful tool to facilitate the recall of traumatic memories in such a way that it can be useful for healing the mind. Clinical applications of MDMA MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD has been given breakthrough status by the US Food and Drug Administration and has now reached the final phase of clinical testing before it can be approved as a licensed medicine. To date, MDMA has been administered to over 1500 patients in controlled settings without a single emergency room visit, further demonstrating that this substance is not dangerous in and of itself. It is undeniable that the UK needs to be more open to exploring the therapeutic potential that lies in MDMA research. I have for many years researched MDMA as well as the psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca and DMT as these compounds are all severely understudied, despite their promising clinical application. However, if the government finally acknowledges the reasoning behind the latest Roadmaps to Regulation report; relaxes restrictions on the study of MDMA; and moves towards a fully regulated market there are countless studies that could, and should, be fast-tracked for the betterment of both ill and well people. Our report, Roadmaps to Regulation: MDMA, also calls for the drug to be decriminalised. As we enter the festive season it is inevitable that many people will be taking recreational drugs at parties and at home. In the UK over 100,000 young people have taken MDMA in the last month, and over 300,000 in the last year. Sadly, it is possible there will be some casualties and even fatalities. Our report shows that current government policy towards MDMA contributes to this problem. The law is endangering more citizens than it is protecting – in particular, the young. None of the adverse effects associated with MDMA, such as hyperthermia, hyponatraemia, serotonin syndrome, and isolated physiological disorders, have occurred in a clinical setting. This implies that risks could be prevented with comprehensive harm reduction advice and better regulation. MDMA is rather unique among the other recreational substances in that it has relatively low abuse potential, with 96.5% of users indulging in MDMA less than once a month. Mitigating risk with regulation Under the current policy, people can only purchase MDMA from an illegal market which is not subject to any production standards. This exposes people to the risk of taking substances of far greater strength and purity. Illegality also leads to a higher potential for contamination. Many of those who do suffer an MDMA-related emergency are also less likely to seek medical help for fear of being prosecuted. In short, zero tolerance drug policies are leading to record levels of deaths. To be more precise, in 2018 there were 92 unnecessary deaths across England and Wales – nearly two people per week and almost double the number of deaths recorded the year before. A legally regulated market would go a long way towards mitigating the risks associated with MDMA use. While many still consider this view controversial, it is one that is gaining support – from parents of those whose lives have been lost or ruined by harms related to the prohibition of MDMA; academics and scientists undertaking ground-breaking research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA; and former police members now fighting for reform. We have the roadmap, ready to guide us forward, and we have the global support and the reasoning to back us, all we need now is for a bold enough government to step forward, take up its role as custodian, and move toward rescheduling and decriminalising MDMA and finally creating a strictly regulated market. To read the report click here. Amanda Feilding Founder and Director Beckley Foundation Tweet @BeckleyResearch www.instagram.com/beckleyresearch beckleyfoundation.org/ https://www.healtheuropa.eu/why-mdma-must-be-reclassified-as-a-schedule-2-drug/95780/ Bongme
  25. https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/eg7klp/putting_cannabis_offenders_in_prison_costs/ Lots of facts and figures on the costs and waste of cannabis prohibition to the UK, obvious me thinks. Listening to the Matt Stadlen (idiot presenter), LBC phone in now, some real cretins going on about the mental health dangers. More from David Lammy earlier, he's pro regulation, but wants to make it mild and has same 'risk to mental health' slant. Let the profits convince them, that the only language they understand.