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  1. Hi Scotland's first medical cannabis clinic approved by regulators The move will enable patients to access the drug more easily to help ease conditions such as epilepsy Scotland’s first medicinal cannabis clinic has been approved by regulators. Sapphire Medical Clinics has been authorised by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to provide safe access to medical cannabis to Scottish patients. The private clinic is offering virtual appointments from today and will be offering face-to-face consultations when coronavirus restrictions allow it. In November 2018, medical cannabis was legalised in the UK to allow doctors to prescribe it in certain situations. Cannabis-based medicines can be considered for a vast range of conditions, including arthritis, anxiety and epilepsy. It can also be prescribed to patients whom have tried standard treatments with little relief of their symptoms, or where traditional medicine is providing relief but with an unsustainable level of side effects. Sapphire Medical was the first clinic granted approval in the UK after it received approval by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England. Its Scottish clinic will be located in Allan Park, Stirling, although it was initially planning to open in Aberdeen first. It will also be offering a scheme to help patients who are unable to pay the expensive costs to use the clinic to those enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Andie Connolly-Brown lives in Edinburgh and suffers with complex PTSD and anxiety for which she has tried a range of conventional therapies. She said: “Having access to medical cannabis is a lifeline for me, so today’s news that Sapphire Medical Clinics are now registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland is timely - my anxiety in particular has been made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown so safe and affordable access to medical cannabis is welcome.” Dr Mikael Sodergren, managing director of Sapphire Medical, commented: “We are delighted to be the first clinic to be registered with HIS, which is a testament to the robust clinical governance framework we have established in evaluating patients for treatment with medical cannabis. "By capturing clinical outcomes through the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, we will significantly contribute to the evidence base and ultimately allow more patients to benefit from medical cannabis as a treatment option.” https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scotlands-first-medical-cannabis-clinic-23771439 Bongme
  2. 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
  3. Hi Edinburgh dad caught red-handed with £10,000 worth of cannabis plants after fire alarm Firefighters broke down his door after a fire alarm prompted a worried neighbour to call for help An Edinburgh dad's cannabis cultivation was busted after a worried neighbour called 999 because of his fire alarm. Firefighters broke down the door to Lee Lambert's Edinburgh home after a call from Police Scotland and discovered £10,000 worth of cannabis plants. Four cannabis plants were found alongside growing equipment were found and Lambert, 36, was later arrested by police. He appeared at the Edinburgh sheriff court on Wednesday and admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis at his Corstorphine area home on August 8 last year, the Daily Record reports. Defence agent Jim Stephenson, acting for Lambert, acknowledged the “high value” of the drugs recovered, but added his client was “absolutely clear it was only for his own use” to treat a bad back. Fiscal depute Jack Caster, prosecuting, said cops arrived at Lambert’s home shortly after midnight to find the lights were on inside and there was an “audible fire alarm sounding”. Mr Caster said the cops got no reply from repeated calls at the door so alerted the fire service to “establish the welfare of any occupants”. Firefighters forced entry, the court heard, and found the address was empty. Mr Caster said: “However, they observed a number of items relating to the production of cannabis.” The items included transformers, lights, a grow tent, and the four plants. The court heard Lambert arrived home at 1.53am and was arrested. An analysis of the plants found there was cannabis buds weighing 1.56kg, added Mr Caster, which had a value of up to £10,920. Mr Stephenson said Lambert suffered a “serious back injury” in 2000 and had used cannabis for pain relief. The solicitor said Lambert no longer used cannabis, and recently secured new employment in building maintenance for a pharmaceutical firm in Edinburgh. Sheriff John Cook deferred sentence for reports until next month. https://www.edinburghlive.co.uk/news/edinburgh-news/edinburgh-dad-caught-red-handed-20299336 Bongme
  4. hi Police uncover largest ever cannabis grow in Lincolnshire so far Three men have been arrested and charged after Lincolnshire Police uncovered the county’s largest ever cannabis grow, with a street value estimated to be in excess of £6 million. The large scale cannabis grow was found during a police raid in the Fishtoft Road area of Boston on Friday, March 26. Three men, age 20, 23 and 25, have been remanded into custody. Police said the sheer scale of the grow, which was housed within a 50K square foot unit, required the tireless efforts of a large number of staff. Cannabis grows of this size are often linked with serious and organised crime and other criminality. T/Detective Inspector Mark Seage said: “This was a huge challenge. It required the dedicated efforts of staff from a number of policing departments. “I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved. We take such investigations very seriously and every member of staff worked incredibly hard. “We work very closely with partners, taking a robust and proactive stance in order to reduce the risk to communities through rigorous investigations. “Cannabis cultivation happens in both commercial and residential premises. We urge landlords to be stringent and vigilant in the letting of their properties and if they have any suspicions or concerns, to come to us and report them. “Communities can also play a role in passing on any information they have about drugs in our county. The policing activity will have been noticed locally and we appreciate the support, patience and cooperation from residents.” Meanwhile, a residential premises was used to grow a large amount of cannabis plants in the Prince Alfred Avenue area of Skegness. Three suspects were arrested who have all since been released under investigation. https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2021/03/police-uncover-largest-ever-cannabis-grow-in-lincolnshire-so-far/ Bongme
  5. hi Man arrested after sweets found to contain cannabis in Barrow town centre Concern has been raised that drugs are being disguised as sweets on Barrow streets after lollipops and chocolate bars were found to contain cannabis. Police are urging parents to remain vigilant after a variety of 'treats' which contained cannabis were seized from a property in Barrow. The seizure was made from the town centre building as officers executed a warrant last week. The discovery resulted in a man being arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue, police have confirmed. Barrow police are asking whether parents know what their children are consuming after the discovery. A spokesman for Barrow police said: "Barrow Proactive Team recently seized a variety of sweets, lollipops and chocolate bars. "At first glance everything may appear as it should, but these sweets are cannabis edibles. "The individual was arrested for possession with intent to supply. "Do you know what your children are eating?" Councillor Bill McEwan, who represents Ormsgill on Barrow Council, described the seizure as 'deeply concerning'. "This is absolutely horrendous because if children get their hands on these, it could potentially be fatal," he said. "What is the point in using sweet packets and potentially putting children's lives at risk? "It's very concerning." Cllr McEwan is urging all parents and families to remain vigilant of any suspicious-looking sweets. "Parents, brothers, sisters, all family members need to be very careful and remain vigilant of this," he said. "All parents need to be aware because if it gets into a child hands, it could make them seriously ill or even kill them." Sergeant Gareth Sargent is urging parents to remain vigilant, particularly of unregulated sweets which are 'dangerous'. He said: “The wrappers on products such as these can look like any sweet packet so parents should be aware. “Unregulated sweets are dangerous as we don’t know what levels of drugs they contain. “We would ask parents to be vigilant. https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/19184938.man-arrested-sweets-found-contain-cannabis-barrow-town-centre/ 2 comments Bongme
  6. hi Jailed drug farmer must pay £59k in three months A MAN who operated a flourishing cannabis farm in a disused church has been given a three-month time extension to meet a crime proceeds confiscation order. It was made against Paul McAllister at Durham Crown Court on December 22, when it was agreed he benefited from his crime by £281,343. The available amount for confiscation was put at £59,790 and he was given three months to pay or risk a further 18-months behind bars, on top of the 32-months he was sentenced to, at the court last July. But his case was mentioned again yesterday as the £59,790 has yet to be paid. Ian West, for the Crown, told Judge Ray Singh: “We are now beyond that time limit, but I can confirm the defence has been proactive in their efforts and consequently I’ve been told to offer no opposition to an extension.” Judge Singh agreed to extend the deadline for payment to June 22 but said there can be no further extensions beyond then. Mr West said: “It will be just a question of enforcement proceedings after June 22 as the crown court will have no jurisdiction after that.” But, the 18-month custodial default period also remains hanging over McAllister. The now 44-year-old electrician, from Oldham in Greater Manchester, admitted producing cannabis and abstracting electricity. It followed the police discovery of the active cannabis operation at the former Methodist Church, in Dodds Terrace, Wheatley Hill, on May 20, last year. Officers involved in the inquiry believed there were plans to extend the growth areas, with new lighting and watering equipment just removed from packaging. McAllister was found hiding in the roof space. The court heard there were 72 mature cannabis plants and 99 pots containing stalks, in the ground floor area, which were fitted with lighting, extractor fans, transformers and cooling fans. A further 70 plants in varying stages of growth were found in the first-floor area with 61 mature plants being hung up to dry. There were also eight kilograms of cannabis flowering material found in a cardboard box alongside 14 plastic bags each containing a kilo of dried cannabis. The prosecution said it appeared to be, “a large-scale commercial cultivation”, with potential for three crops a year to be bagged for bulk distribution to mid-level dealers, with a potential value for the seized cannabis as s high as £287,000. https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19201421.jailed-drug-farmer-must-pay-59k-three-months/ Bongme
  7. hi Swindon homeowner finds out tenants were running a cannabis factory What looks like an ordinary two-bedroom house was transformed into a cannabis factory by an organised gang running a multi-million pound drugs operation in Swindon. The Old Town property was one of several raided by police last weekend, leading to a haul of £1 million worth of plants. Hundreds of plants were found growing in pots in the living room and the bedrooms on Belle Vue Road, while heating and lighting were installed, and windows blacked out with plastic sheeting. In order to ventilate the plants, reduce the humidity and the smell, extractor fans were put in place – all connected to an old chimney breast. A victim of human trafficking was found inside and had been forced to look after the crops. The stunned owner of the house had absolutely no idea it was being used by a criminal enterprise – and has been left with a repair bill running into thousands to repair the damage. Terry Davis, who has owned the house with wife Alison for 10 years, said: “We’ve rented them the house since September. I was completely shocked. “I’m angry, Alison is angry, we feel disappointed, we feel we’ve been let down. There was no alarm bell ringing because they were paying their rent.” “In all the years we’ve been renting properties we’ve never had any issues. Usually, it’s families or professionals, good people, normal people.” https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/19203096.swindon-homeowner-finds-tenants-running-cannabis-factory/ 1 comment Bongme
  8. hi Swindon drugs raids: £1m of cannabis seized by police Cannabis plants with a value of more than £1m have been seized during raids across Swindon. Six victims of human trafficking, all men aged between 19 and 28, were taken into care by Wiltshire Police. Eight cannabis factories were discovered in residential properties between Thursday and Sunday. Two men, aged 21 and 22, from London, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and human trafficking offenses. They have been released on conditional bail. The operation was carried out by the Wiltshire Police Operation Fortitude team, introduced in 2020 to tackle serious offenders across Wiltshire. 'Prey on the vulnerable' Det Insp Angela Shipp said that factories on this scale can produce more than £4m of cannabis each year. "In most of these addresses each room had been converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants," she said. "Men had been trafficked and were being kept in the properties to look after the plants; these victims were rescued and are assisting in this investigation." She added that human trafficking for cannabis production is "often seen as a hidden crime", but that this operation showed it occurs "within our communities in plain sight". "The extent of the impact on vulnerable victims and to the wider local community is appalling," she said. "My message is clear, for those that commit these offences of human trafficking, by preying on vulnerable individuals, and setting up cannabis factories, if you come to Wiltshire to do this, we will find and dismantle these factories and bring you to justice." https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-56566225 Bongme
  9. Hi Police find the keys to a cannabis factory in Rugby after stopping two men in a car Both have been jailed for producing cannabis at the house and possessing criminal property When the police stopped two men in a car in Rugby, one of them had the keys to a nearby house which officers then discovered had been turned into a cannabis factory. Both men denied ever having been at the property in William Street, where there were more than 200 cannabis plants, but the fingerprints of one of them was found on a drinks can. And Klaudi Mehnetaj and Vilson Hoxha both pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to producing cannabis at the house and possessing criminal property. Mehnetaj (29) of Middleton Road, London, was jailed for 18 months and Hoxha (33) of no fixed address, for 20 months after he also admitted driving while disqualified. Prosecutor Justin Jarmola said that at lunchtime on October 8 last year police officers stopped a car being driven by Hoxha, with Mehnetaj in the passenger seat. When they searched the car, the officers found a council tax bill for a house in William Street, Rugby, although both men denied any knowledge of the address. Mehnetaj, who told the police he lived in London and worked as a gardener, had two phones and £250 in cash on him, while Hoxha had £1,265. A key taken from Hoxha fitted the lock at the house in William Street, and inside was ‘a sophisticated cannabis grow.’ There were 205 plants being grown in five rooms using a hydroponic system, lighting, fans and filters, and the electric meter, to which Mehnetaj had a meter key, had been by-passed. When he was interviewed Mehnetaj said he had fallen on hard times during the pandemic and had been offered work and was driven to Rugby and handed the key and £200 in cash. “He denied having entered the address, which was false, because there was a drinks can with his fingerprints on it in the house,” said Mr Jarmola. Hoxha denied any knowledge of the address, and claimed he did not know he was disqualified from driving at the time. Laura Collier, for Hoxha, said: “He entered into this because of his dire financial situation. He had been living at that property for a short period of time, working as a gardener. Lee Master, for Mehnetaj, suggested that the judge could ‘draw an inference’ about him from the fact that he was not the driver and had less money on him. And he said that Mehnetaj had lost three members of his family in Albania to Covid, and other members had been infected. Jailing the two men, and banning Hoxha from driving for three years and ten months, Judge Peter Cooke told them: “The two of you had been tending 205 cannabis plants. “It was an operation of some scale and sophistication involving by-passing the electricity supply. This was undoubtedly at a commercial level. “It has been urged on me that the two of you were, albeit in the country illegally, busying yourselves with non-criminal employments until you were adversely affected by the pandemic, at which point you were recruited to play these roles at this cannabis grow. “But each of you took this as employment. It was to be for the time you were doing it your sole means of support. “I take the view that although you were not shareholders in the enterprise, you were salaried employees of it. "As the people running the William Street operation day-to-day, you did each of you have knowledge of the scale of that William Street enterprise. "The fact that you were out and about in a car showed that you two enjoyed a greater degree of autonomy than is usually granted to cannabis gardeners by their employers.” And Judge Cooke added that once they had served their sentences, the authorities would move to deport them. https://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/crime/police-find-the-keys-to-a-cannabis-factory-in-rugby-after-stopping-two-men-in-a-car-3185737 Bongme
  10. hi Four arrested after 200-plus cannabis plants and £10,000 in cash discovered at Clipstone property Four men have been arrested after 208 cannabis plants were seized and around £10,000 recovered from a property in Clipstone. Police were tipped off after receiving a call from a member of public who could smell cannabis and had seen a group of men allegedly dismantling the grow, using dustbins to transport items from the address to a van. Neighbourhood and response officers were quickly on the scene and spotted a heat lamp and fertiliser believed to be used in cultivating cannabis inside the vehicle. They heard voices from inside the property, on The Circle, and detained four men aged 30, 29, 28 and 27 in connection with the incident at around 9.40am on Tuesday. Insp Sue Wain said: “Some people may think that cannabis growing is a victimless crime but quite frankly, they’re wrong. The production and distribution of drugs has a detrimental impact on communities and ruins lives. It can also often be linked to more serious organised crime and violence. “Not only is cannabis growing illegal but it can also be extremely dangerous due to the fire risk, especially if people are living in adjoining properties. "The production and supply of drugs have a hugely detrimental impact and we remain committed to doing all we can to bring those involved in the supply of such drugs to justice as well as preventing harmful drugs from hitting the streets. "Information from the public is vital in helping us crack down on drug crime and I'd urge anyone with any information about suspected drug-related activity in their community to get in touch with us.” https://www.chad.co.uk/news/crime/four-arrested-after-200-plus-cannabis-plants-and-ps10000-in-cash-discovered-at-clipstone-property-3185809 Bongme
  11. hi Man arrested after cannabis factory found in Peterborough home A man has been arrested after a cannabis factory was found in a Peterborough home. Officers carried out a warrant at the address in Oswald Road, Sugar Way, Peterborough yesterday. A Peterborough police spokesman said: "The landlord visited the house to carry out checks, but when he couldn't get inside he called us A" 26-year-old man of no fixed address was found inside and arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis. He remains in custody at Thorpe Wood. "There were 121 cannabis plants in total. Cash made from cannabis factories is often used to fund organised crime and we're working hard to tackle that, but need your help. "Look out for signs of illegal cannabis factories, including blacked out windows and people coming and going at various times of the day. If you live close to one you may also notice a distinctive ‘hum’ noise from the fans and ventilation." https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/crime/man-arrested-after-cannabis-factory-found-in-peterborough-home-3185144 Bongme
  12. hi Four arrested as police raid '£1m' drug farm Officers were spotted at the disused farm site in Droylsden on Tuesday morning. Four men have been arrested after police busted a cannabis farm in Droylsden that could be worth over £1m. Officers were at a disused farm site on Sunnyside Avenue, Droylsden, throughout Tuesday (March 30). The site was searched as part of an investigation into an organised crime group in Tameside, and four men have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences. Paul Walker, Superintendent of Tameside borough, said the site could have been used to produce over £1m worth of cannabis. He said: “We’ve got an operation ongoing at the present time at a large disused farm premises in the Droylsden area. “What I’ve seen so far from this morning’s operation there appears to be a very large number of cannabis plants growing at the premises. “If you take into account that this perhaps isn’t the first time that’s occurred at the premises and if it’s being used for that on a regular basis, then there is the potential for value to be well in excess of a million pounds.” Officers were alerted to the location after residents raised concerns about the property, with “intelligence” linking the site to illegal activity. Witnesses reported seeing arrests made at the site where police were searching, with at least one man taken away from the area in handcuffs. Supt Walker added: “The operation is targeting what we believe to be an organised crime group who were using that location to produce cannabis on quite a large sort of industrial or commercial scale. “This operation has come about as a result of concerns from the local community, and intelligence in relation to the premises being used for illegal activity." The area is still being searched, and officers are hoping to complete the investigation into the site by Wednesday morning. https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/four-arrested-police-raid-1m-20290472 Bongme
  13. hi Bristol gang ran lucrative cannabis operation stretching across country One of their units grew cannabis with a value of almost £2million each harvest A Bristol-based gang used motor insurance fraud to run a multimillion-pound cannabis operation. Six men involved in the scheme, which had drug factories in Easton and Merseyside, have been jailed for a combined 18 years and eight months. They used an industrial unit in Birkenhead to grow cannabis with a street value of up to £1.9million each harvest. These men pleaded admitted conspiracy to produce the Class B substance: Mario Fioruci, 37, of no fixed abode, jailed for four and a half years Alessandro Carbone, 46, of Glen Park in Eastville, jailed for four years Luca Fioravanti, 37, of High Street in Kingswood, jailed for three and a half years Edi Daka, 46, of Dudley Court in Barrs Court, jailed for three years Arjan Dishmima, 42, of no fixed abode, jailed for 22 months Eno Suma, 35, of Bishopsworth Road in Bedminster Down, jailed for 22 months. Four of the men – Fioruci, Daka, Dishmima and Suma – were arrested as they headed back to Bristol after visiting the cannabis grow in October 2019. They travelled in convoy in two Mercedes Sprinter vans which, when stopped by officers, were found to be loaded with 30 large bags of soil and cannabis plant waste, as well as a large bag of cannabis. Police then searched the industrial unit at Birkenhead's Craven Industrial Park and discovered an "extensive setup", says the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit. Spread over three floors, they found 610 plants, six growing tents, a large drying room, and a by-passed electricity meter to supply the high wattage heat. Light systems, air extraction and ventilation were used to control the "aggressive growing cycle that would ensure numerous crops throughout the year", the crime unit added. Fioravanti and Carbone were arrested a fortnight later in Brislington, where police seized £19,000 in cash from a bedroom and a further £50,000 worth of cannabis in a car boot. "Following their arrests, the investigation led to a further cannabis grow being located within a house in Easton," the crime unit said. "The grow was partially dismantled, but again the electricity meter had been by-passed and substantial damage had been caused to the house." The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) became involved in the case following suspicions the gang was fraudulently using motor trade insurance to support large-scale cannabis production. "IFB experts worked swiftly to uncover evidence of how members of the crime group (for whom none were motor traders) had used motor trade policies to insure ten vehicles," said an IFB spokesman. This helped the men distance their identities from the vehicles being used and evade ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) detection for no insurance. The defendants were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court last month. Fioravanti had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis, as well as the conspiracy to produce cannabis. The group had been remanded in custody since their arrests in autumn 2019. DI Charlotte Tucker, from the crime unit, said, “What we found in Merseyside was an enormous and sophisticated set-up which was capable of generating £1.3million to £1.9million worth of cannabis each harvest. “Organised criminals like this group think they’re operating under the radar and can exploit anyone and anything to make money. Focus will now turn to stripping them of the money and assets they made through crime.” Matt Brown, from Merseyside Police, added: “Cannabis farms cause a significant threat and harm to communities across the country, and working alongside other forces and regions, we can be even more effective in removing them, and putting before the courts those who look to make criminal gains. “In this case, a cannabis farm and an organised crime group have both been dismantled. If you suspect a cannabis farm has been set up where you are, speak to your local force and we’ll take action.” https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-gang-ran-lucrative-cannabis-5248629 Bongme
  14. hi Why are the UK’s drug laws so backward? As US states pursue overdue reform, Britain remains wedded to a dogmatic and ineffective war on drugs. he war on drugs was launched by Richard Nixon – and 50 years on, in the US at least, the drugs are winning. Anti-prohibition movements have been gaining ground over the past decade, culminating at the 2020 presidential election in a wave of ballot initiatives across various states to relax the rules around – and in some cases fully legalise – cannabis. There was also a particularly bold vote in Oregon to decriminalise possession of all drugs, including heroin and cocaine, and to legalise medical psilocybin (the chemical in magic mushrooms). Spurred into action by proactive states, even Joe Biden, who as a senator campaigned for tougher drug laws, has changed his tune. The president announced last month: “No one should go to jail for a drug offence, no one should go to jail for the use of a drug”. The prevailing wisdom runs that, where the US leads, the rest of the world follows. So it was in the 1970s, when the UK and other countries jumped on Nixon’s bandwagon, opting for prohibition and enforcement instead of a regulated legal market for controlled substances. Yet the UK doesn’t seem to have got the latest message. On the Labour side, despite the views of some party members, Keir Starmer recently made clear that he opposes relaxing drug laws. The Conservative government, meanwhile, is veering even further away from liberalisation. It was reported recently that a “PR blitz” is planned that will liken cocaine use to drink-driving , and that “the PM wants to make it socially unacceptable to do drugs”. Boris Johnson’s self-confessed past drug use, along with that of other cabinet colleagues, does not appear to have lent this government much insight into the failure of prohibition; instead of “following the science” – and the history – of drug legislation, they are continuing a blinkered policy that has been proven not to work. One man who knows all about the political double-think around drug use is Professor David Nutt. A doctor and expert in neuropsychopharmacology (a branch of neuroscience that considers the effects of drugs on the mind), Nutt, 69, has held a number of positions at prestigious universities and institutes on both sides of the Atlantic, and advised both the Blair and Brown governments on drug policy. He was appointed chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in 2008 – but less than two years later, after repeated clashes with government officials, he was dismissed. At the time, Nutt wrote of his removal: “I gave a lecture on the assessment of drug harms and how these relate to the legislation controlling drugs. According to Alan Johnson, the home secretary, some contents of this lecture meant I had crossed the line from science to policy and so he sacked me. I do not know which comments were beyond the line or, indeed, where the line was.” More than a decade later, Nutt is scathing about the way politicians treat science in relation to drug policy. “Facts are an irrelevance to politics. It’s about avoiding the facts,” he laments, talking to me via Zoom with copies of his new book Nutt Uncut behind him. He points out that alcohol is far more dangerous – in terms of addiction and its effect on the brain – than prohibited drugs such as cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy). “The policies come first, rather than the evidence.” It was the insistence on said evidence, which included arguing that “equasy” (horse riding) was over 20 times more likely to result in serious harm than the drug ecstasy, that led to Nutt's departure from the ACMD. Shortly afterwards, he founded Drug Science, which describes itself as an “independent, science-led drugs charity, uniquely bringing together leading drugs experts from a wide range of specialisms to carry out ground-breaking research into drug harms and effects”. In 2010, Drug Science analysed and added up the “harms” (to both society and the individual) of 20 different drugs and ranked them in terms of risk. The most high-risk, according to this data, is alcohol. Cannabis – class B in the UK – is ranked below alcohol and tobacco. Ecstasy – a class A drug in the UK (the most highly restricted category) – is near the bottom of the scale. Nutt considers it less than half as harmful as alcohol to the user. “Alcohol addiction takes 15-20 years off your life,” he explains. “Ecstasy use, if you know you what you’re doing and don’t take too much, doesn’t affect lifespan at all.” That doesn’t mean it is risk-free. “All drugs have harms,” Nutt reminds me, noting that people can die from simply drinking too much water. “But we don’t respond to that by banning water.” What really enrages Nutt is how readily available alcohol is, while the use (let alone the supply) of far less harmful drugs is punishable by prison. This to him is both an unconscionable double standard and a drastically counterproductive policy if the aim is keeping people safe. “The drug laws are a mishmash of political expedience and the influence of powerful lobbyists. They don’t serve any purpose in terms of minimising the harms of drugs or reducing the use of drugs – if anything they do the opposite.” His ideal legislative approach would begin by decriminalising personal possession of all drugs – as was done in Oregon recently and in Portugal in 2001. He would then introduce a legal, regulated market for less addictive drugs such as cannabis, MDMA, LSD and magic mushrooms, balanced with higher alcohol taxes to reduce consumption. Highly addictive drugs such as heroin would still be illegal to sell, with the hope that the availability of regulated alternatives would shrink the black market and bring down associated crime. Nutt acknowledges, however, that this is a fantasy. Leaders of all parties are too fearful of a media backlash to proposed an evidence-based drugs policy – he cites the pressure on Tony Blair to get tough on magic mushrooms, David Cameron’s volte-face on downgrading MDMA's classification once he became Tory leader and Gordon Brown’s bizarre (in Nutt’s view) move to upgrade cannabis to class B from class C. He notes too that many politicians – such as former drugs minister Bob Ainsworth and former Conservative leader William Hague – miraculously became liberalisation converts after leaving office. But while he understands the awkward position they are in, he is utterly disparaging about their duplicity, especially when so many were – and may still be – users themselves. “We’ve been campaigning for wastewater testing outside the Houses of Parliament for decades,” he laughs, when asked what impact a shaming initiative focused on cocaine use would have, suggesting some politicians struggle to live up to their own rhetoric on the evils of drug use. “You’ve got the second or third most powerful man in government – Michael Gove – who by his own admission could have been imprisoned for his past cocaine use. The hypocrisy is so overreaching.” You can sense Nutt’s frustration when he talks of how Britain has been left behind, while other countries have abandoned their misguided wars on drugs and embraced a model that aims to help users, not imprison them. “You’ve got to show that the countries that have changed the law haven’t disintegrated,” he says. “Look at the example of Portugal. Portugal decriminalised all drug possession. That allows heroin addicts to get treated instead of going to prison.” Portugal now has the lowest rates of drug-related death in western Europe. “In the same time, we’ve increased heroin deaths to an all-time high. Our policies of using criminal sanctions kill people.” Nowhere, Nutt says, is the anti-science approach more apparent than with cannabis. Despite a much-heralded law change two years ago allowing medical cannabis products to be available on the NHS, excessive red tape means a mere handful of prescriptions have been granted. With children with severe conditions such as epilepsy still unable to get treatment, Nutt asks what the government is so afraid of. “They’ve had medical marijuana in America for 20 years, 200 million Americans have access to it, 100 million have access to recreational marijuana. The world isn’t ending. But in Britain…” he trails off in despair. “We’re so fearful of cannabis. We scaremonger.” And that’s what seems to antagonise him most: how successive UK governments refuse to look at evidence from beyond our borders and rethink their hard-line stance. “We’re so up our own arses in terms of thinking how clever we are as a nation. We won’t learn from anyone else at all. But there’s plenty of evidence out there.” And, he notes, it’s not as though the UK approach is working anyway. “Anyone can get cannabis anywhere… and it’s illegal. So at what point do you accept that the policy has failed?” Ultimately, the situation will only change when the political maths does – when politicians realise how much they have to lose from refusing to countenance liberalisation. Economics may well play a part – establishing a legal, regulated cannabis market in the UK would provide an estimated £690m a year in tax for the Treasury, in addition to cost savings on policing and prisons. The UK public already back cannabis legalisation by two to one, and perhaps the example of the US can jolt UK MPs out of their anti-drugs dogma. It’s hard to say whether Nutt has much optimism, after all, he’s seen how governments operate. “We’re still living with the historical legacy of the lies we’ve told about drugs,” he sighs, with the air of a man who has fought this battle many times, and come up against a wall of irrationality, fear and hysteria. But his message to those who ignore lessons from the rest of the world and oppose his work and that of his colleagues at Drug Science is clear: “Get real. We need to realise in this country that prohibitionist policies based on punishing people for using drugs haven’t worked. They don’t work – and they won’t work.” https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/03/why-are-uk-s-drug-laws-so-backward Bongme
  15. hi Two men found hiding in cupboard at cannabis factory Two men were found hiding in a cupboard when police raided a cannabis factory set up in an industrial unit in Bowthorpe, Norwich. Michael Petsalarh, 26, of no fixed address and Sadik Meduli, 21, had been acting as gardeners tending the 527 cannabis plants which were found growing in the Morgan Way unit, Norwich Crown Court heard. Nathalie Carter, prosecuting, said that plants were in various stages of growth and said that one room in the building had been turned into living accommodation. "A bedroom had been made out of an office with two single beds. It was clear at least two people had been living there for some time, Both defendants were found hiding in a cupboard." She said when they came out of hiding they were fully compliant with officers. She said that they had both been acting as gardeners and tending the plants. Ms Carter said that six mobile phones were seized and £110 in cash. Petsalarh and Meduli both admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis on February 1. Petsalarh was jailed for 16 months and Meduli was jailed for 18 months. Sentencing them, Recorder William Clegg QC told them: "You two men were the gardeners who were cultivating the cannabis plants. Each of you must have had an understanding of the scale of the operation and without your gardening skills the plants would not have grown." He said they were paid for their work as gardeners but not given any significant financial reward. He added: "Neither of you were organisers of the cannabis growing operation and were effectively employees performing to some extent as reluctant ones." Andrew Oliver, for Petsalarh, said that he had been living in Greece but had moved to the UK legally. He said that he had been forced to work in the cannabis factory by an Albanian gang. He said that he had only been at the factory for about six to eight weeks and said: "He was threatened and he obeyed." Steven Dyble, for Meduli, said he was of previous good character and was also lawfully in the UK. https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/gardeners-jailed-for-bowthorpe-cannabis-farm-7864332 Bongme
  16. hi 'SO SAD' 24 Hours in Police Custody viewers horrified by cannabis addict hooked on drugs from just eight years old Vid On Link VIEWERS of 24 Hours in Police Custody were left saddened to discover how a man had been hooked on drugs from just eight years old. Justice McCann had been peacefully arrested at his home shortly after he was seen gunning down a 23-year-old male in a random attack in Luton. As the 21-year-old from New Town plead guilty to the attempted murder, his lawyers revealed he had grown up in an abusive household and had been addicted to drugs since his childhood. They detailed that while social services were called to the home when Justice was four years old, he was never taken away and began using cannabis as an escape aged eight. Getting involved with petty crime, the young man said he had been arrested multiple times, including for previous use of a firearm, throughout his youth. His lawyers also detailed how Justice had tried to seek help for his deteriorating mental health, but never received medical treatment. Fans of the hit policing show were left horrified as he was handed a 22 year sentence with no chance of parole until 2035, lamenting that he "had no chance". While they acknowledged he deserved prison time, many angrily took to Twitter to voice how they felt Justice had been "failed by the system" as a child as he was left to endure "serious neglect". "Teachers noticed injuries on Justice's body aged 4, smoking cannabis aged 8, he didn't really stand a chance," wrote one upset woman. "So sad." Another agreed: "Neglected from the age of four and smoking weed from eight, this poor bloke never stood a chance." "This person was smoking weed and drinking alcohol by the age of eight yet support appeared to be minimal," a man added. "More needs to be done." One said they "felt sorry" for the young man, writing: "Not condoning what he did but can't help but feel sorry for the bloke being failed by health professionals and children services." "He needed help and everyone failed him," another concurred. "Absolutely no justification for the crime but the amount of issues he had as a child, abused from birth essentially. Very very sad." Justice was kept in custody after shooting a man named Jakub, 23, shooting at a car he tried to steal and attacking a woman by holding the gun against her head. While he refused to answer questions, the officers were taken by surprise when Justice didn't put up a fight on his arrest and was booked quietly. He was seen breaking down in tears as he was shown CCTV footage of himself committing the crime that he had no recollection of. The young man explained his "head gets muddled" and had been treating his mental illness with cannabis, which sometimes caused blackouts. It was in one of these blackout episodes that he committed the crime, which led to him being sentenced for 22 years in prison. In an open letter to the court at his trial, Justice wrote: "Nothing will ever justify my actions or make them acceptable as nobody deserves to be put through physical or psychological trauma that I have caused in people’s lives. "I never intended to hurt him. None of what happened was his fault. Not only do I deserve to be here for my actions, but I’m also now able to get the help that I’ve been asking for. "I hope that one day, I can express my deepest apologies. In all hope it will help him to find some sort of peace of mind, and put him at ease." https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/14507620/24-hours-in-police-custody-cannabis-drugs-child/ Bongme
  17. hi Police joke about 'like and share to win' option after finding cannabis farm in Burnley home Police have seized a 'significant' amount of cannabis from a house in Burnley. On Tuesday, acting on information from the community, officers found a cannabis farm in a house on Bank Parade. Police say the grow will be disposed of and the equipment used for cultivation donated. Posting on social media, officers joked with the public that unfortunately there wasn't a 'like and share' option to win the plants, merely an opportunity for them to tell the community how they rely on tip-offs in order to take drugs like these off the streets. A spokesperson for the police said: "After great information from the public we have seized a significant amount of cannabis from an address on Bank Parade. "We rely on this information and connection with the public in order to take drugs off your streets. "Neighbourhood, task force and response officers seized this amount of cannabis. "We love a good joke but unfortunately there isn't a 'like and share' option to win the contents of the address. "The amount of cannabis will be disposed of and equipment has been donated to a fantastic cause. Great bit of community engagement. "Keep providing us with this type of information through 101, crime stoppers and Lancashire Talking." https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/19198269.police-joke-like-share-win-option-finding-cannabis-farm-burnley-home/ Bongme
  18. hi Shameless mayor caught driving while high on cannabis refuses to step down A SHAMELESS mayor caught driving while high on cannabis is refusing to step down. Louise Wride, 37, insists she has the backing of fellow town councillors despite being banned from the wheel. The self-employed hairdresser was pulled over by police in October while behind the wheel of her BMW 3 series. Officers noticed a smell of drugs and Wride later tested positive for cannabis. A blood test showed she had cannabis derivative THC in her system. Wride, who is mayor of Llandovery in Mid Wales, this week admitted drug-driving in nearby Abergwili when she faced Llanelli magistrates and got a year’s ban. She was also fined £120 and must pay £120 costs. Wride said she had no plans to resign and wanted to see out the term as mayor of her 2,500-population hometown. She said: “I am still trying to come to terms with it at the moment. “I don’t have any plans to leave the council. “My fellow councillors have been very supportive of me. “I was going through a bad few weeks of my life at the time.” Llandovery council has been approached for a comment https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14505017/mayor-driving-high-cannabis-refuses-step-down/ Bongme
  19. hi Strange “red fluid” leads police to New Whittington weed lover’s 30-plant grow A New Whittington man was caught with 30 cannabis plants with a street value of £22,000 after neighbours reported a “red fluid” outside his flat, a court heard. Weed lover Dean Crabtree’s solicitor told magistrates he would smoke the 10 mature plants within three months - while waiting for the other 20 to be fully grown. Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how in August last year police found the plants along with cabling and hydroponics after breaking into 52-year-old Crabtree’s Field Court flat. The drugs bust came after fellow residents had alerted them to a “red fluid” outside his flat. Prosecutor Stella Moses told the court that - had the other 20 plants reached maturity - the crop would have produced between 28 and 88 ounces of the drug. Crabtree’s solicitor, Karl Meakin, said his client was “no spring chicken”, adding: “Mr Crabtree is a maturing man - he doesn’t want to go out and buy cannabis from street dealers with the associated pitfalls. “This is a matter where the cannabis has been grown in Mr Crabtree’s flat by Mr Crabtree for Mr Crabtree’s use - there’s no suggestion of supply.” The solicitor described how only ten of Crabtree’s plants were close to “maturation” while the smaller plants were at the beginning of the grow. He said: “By the time the plants are mature enough the first grow of 10 plants will have been smoked by Mr Crabtree. “It’s the case that the plants were all for personal use - 10 plants would be enough cannabis to smoke for roughly three months.” Mr Meakin told the court it had been over a decade since Crabtree’s last conviction - similarly for cannabis production. Unemployed window cleaner Crabtree, of Field Court, admitted producing cannabis. A magistrate said: “There were a number of plants involved and you have a previous conviction for exactly this offence in the past as well.” He was jailed for eight weeks suspended for 12 months, given 60 hours unpaid work, victim surcharge of £128 and court costs of £85. https://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/crime/strange-red-fluid-leads-police-to-new-whittington-weed-lovers-30-plant-grow-3182543 Bongme
  20. hi Lanarkshire mum to speak about battle for son's vital medication on Montel Williams podcast Lisa Quarrell will be a guest on the podcast talking about her campaigning to have cannabis oil and medications provided and paid for by the NHS. Lisa Quarrell will be living the high life later this week as she gets set to appear on a Hollywood podcast. The campaigning mother is set to appear as a guest on Montel Williams’ ‘Let’s Be Blunt’ – the first UK guest ever. She will be speaking to the A-list chat show host about her campaigning to have cannabis oil and medications provided and paid for by the NHS. Lisa told the East Kilbride News this week: “At first I thought someone was on the wind up. “I got a message on Facebook at first and then his producer reached out to me on LinkedIn. We had a bit of back and forth and now I’ll be on his show on Thursday.” But despite the date, Lisa won’t be taking part in an April Fool’s prank, rather speaking bluntly with Montel about the importance of cannabis oil for the health of her son, Cole Thomson. Cole suffers from severe epileptic seizures and relies on Bedrolite cannabis oil to survive. Television host, actor and motivational speaker, Montel is best known as host of the long-running daytime tabloid talk show The Montel Williams Show, which ran from 1991 to 2008. However, since 1999 he has been one of the highest profile advocates for cannabis medicines in the US, using such products to effectively manage the symptoms of his chronic MS. And it is this common ground that Lisa will be talking about, as well as her struggles to keep her son not only healthy, but alive – and the struggles to afford his medicine. She added: “I didn’t know much about Montel at first, other than I used to watch him with my mum when I was younger. “But then I read into his story and realised that he uses cannabis products to treat his MS symptoms. So it’s a really exciting opportunity. “He has a massive following online and I’m hoping it will create a bit of a buzz. I believe I am the first person from the UK that he has spoken to about this on his show. “I’m hoping this can break a bit of a deadlock, because the Scottish government and NHS Scotland seem to have ground to a bit of a standstill with things.” Lisa and the family were dealt a hammer blow at the start of the year when Cole started having seizures again after an incredible 18-months without any – a stability in his condition down to Bedrolite CBD. His seizures returned after a change in his phenytoin levels caused by a change in the brand of another medication he receives. Cole had been on Dilantin to control his phenytoin levels for over 11 months, keeping his levels at around 8-9 on the scale; however, the family were forced to put him on a different brand, Epanutin, by doctors at the end of September. Lisa explained the bureaucracy surrounding this decision, saying that when Epanutin is in stock, the NHS are duty bound to use it rather than Dilantin, irrespective of someone’s prescriptions. This had seen Cole’s phenytoin levels rise to 12.1, increasing his anxiety and stress levels, causing him to act out and get emotional, and resulting in small seizures in the morning. One way to offset these seizures is to increase his Bedrolite intake, but the Catch 22 situation is that the more they use, the quicker they will run out. Because of Brexit, the prescription to Cole’s life-saving CBD oil was stopped when the UK left the EU. That left Lisa battling against the clock to find a solution Thankfully they were given a reprieve after the UK and Dutch governments agreed to extend access to his precious Bedrolite oil for six months. That means Cole’s private prescription is safe again until the end of June. However, after that, the fight starts again. Lisa says she has spoken with outgoing MSP Linda Fabiani, who said she would try to do everything she could to help Cole before she retires from politics. His mum hopes she will be able to influence outgoing Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman to have Bedrolite prescribed and paid for by the NHS. You can tune in to hear Lisa on Montel’s ‘Let’s Be Blunt’ show at 5.30pm on Thursday, April 1 via YouTube. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/in-your-area/lanarkshire/lanarkshire-mum-speak-battle-sons-23823362 Bongme
  21. hi 3 children treated in hospital after pupil hands out cannabis cookies at city school 'I was in tears - my child was A&E and we didn't know what was going on' Three school pupils were treated in hospital after a fellow student gave them 'home-made' cookies laced with cannabis. The teenagers at City of Leicester College, in Evington, Leicester, fell ill on Thursday last week, and have since recovered. Police and the school's leaders have launched an investigation. The school believes the pupil shared the biscuits within a group of their friends. However, the parent of one of the children who was taken to hospital believes they were dished out randomly. He told LeicestershireLive his child "turned grey" after eating the food, and had "a really bad couple of days", but began to feel better over the weekend. The man said his child was "easily led" and had accepted the cookie from a pupil they were not friends with, and had not known it contained the class B drug. He said: "I was in tears - my child had no idea this cookie had cannabis in it and ended up in A&E and was put on an ECG machine. "While we were in the hospital we met the parents of two other other children who had become unwell. "The children seem to have been given these cookies at different times of day. "As far as we know, the student wasn't just giving them to friends, it was also random kids like my child. "I've never heard of anything like this before." Ken Vernon, head teacher at the Downing Drive school, which is now closed for the Easter break, said he and his team were working with Leicestershire Police to establish exactly what had happened. Mr Vernon said: "On Thursday 25 th March, a student brought home made biscuits into the college and distributed them to a small number of their friends at lunchtime. "These biscuits appear to have contained cannabis and the students involved became ill. "This was an isolated event and our staff were fantastic in ensuring the safety of our students, having recently been on city-wide training for how to spot and deal with young people who have consumed edible drugs. "We are extremely pleased to hear the students have all recovered and we are currently dealing with incident in collaboration with the police." A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: "On Thursday, March 25 officers were contacted by a secondary school in the Evington area of Leicester reporting that several pupils had fallen ill after eating food that is believed to have contained cannabis. "Three pupils were taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary as a precaution. "The school is working closely with Leicestershire Police schools officers and substance misuse officers. "Inquires are ongoing." https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/3-children-treated-hospital-after-5239975 Bongme
  22. hi What ARE they smoking? Scientists claim people who regularly smoke cannabis are just as likely to exercise as non-users Daily Mail The stereotype of a cannabis smoker is one of a laid back, lackadaisical, sloth-like individual who is trapped in a lethargic stupor, with exercise far from their mind. But a new study from researchers at the University of Miami claims this is an unfair representation of the one in six people who use the class B drug. Data from more than 20,000 Americans shows that marijuana users have comparable exercise levels to non-users. The American researchers admit their findings fly in the face of previous research on the topic, which almost universally show the sedentary stoner stereotype to be true. The plant from which the drug is derived is being increasingly recognised for its medicinal properties. It is now used to help treat many conditions, such as arthritis, PTSD, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis. 'While certain health benefits of marijuana use are generally accepted among physicians and other medical care providers, clinicians often balance these benefits with the potential harmful effects,' the researchers write in their study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Some of the side-effects of cannabis can include mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and suicidality in some users. Many places around the world are beginning to relax their stance on the drug, with some states in the US among those to decriminalise and legalise the drug. CBD products, which do not contain the psychoactive compound THC but come from the cannabis plant, are now also sold over the counter. Researchers used data from two waves of a long-running study in America which occurred between 2008 and 2009, and 2018 and 2020. Participants ranged in age from 24 to 42 during this period and they were quizzed on a host of topics, including exercise levels and drug use. Researchers looked at how much exercise they had done in the last seven days, including cycling, team sports, running, golf and walking. This was then compared to self-reported levels of cannabis use in the last month. Participants were graded as a non-user, light user, moderate user or heavy user depending on their answers. Statistical analysis found no significant connection between marijuana and exercise levels, indicating the habit has no bearing on a person's activity levels. The researchers say this is 'counter to conventional wisdom that marijuana users are less likely to be active'. The researchers from the University of Miami actually found cannabis users may be more active than non-smokers, even among heavy users who admitted to smoking cannabis at least three times a week. While the data suggests a weak link between cannabis use and being more active, the scientists caution against reading too much into this as it is most likely due to 'strong associations than causal inferences per se'. The researchers say their findings should inform discussions about the legalisation of cannabis as it discredits the stereotype that cannabis leads to laziness. 'Behavioral health researchers, government officials, policymakers, and public health advocates should consider these rigorous and objective findings and support further research on the topic as they debate the merits of liberalization of marijuana laws at the state and federal levels,' they write. 'In particular, claims that marijuana legalization will lead individuals to become more sedentary, less active, and therefore less healthy are not supported by our empirical findings. 'However, it is difficult to draw clear policy implications until further research has been conducted.' https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9417969/People-regularly-smoke-cannabis-just-likely-exercise-non-users-study-finds.html 35 Comments Top Hitter I'm not condoning it but I do have an addiction to it. Fortunately it makes me productive so I clean, organise and exercise while high. It's more enjoyable. gs, London, Bongme
  23. hi Three men jailed after running large-scale cannabis factory in Wareham THREE men have been jailed after running a large-scale cannabis factory at an industrial estate in Wareham. Kastriot Aliaj, Arber Aliaj, and Leonard Bruci were producing the class B drug through using a criminal property - namely a site in Sandford Lane Industrial Estate, Bournemouth Crown Court heard. Just before midnight on December 27, 2019 officers executed a warrant at a number of industrial units on the Sandford Lane Industrial Estate following reports of suspicious activity involving a white van. Officers discovered the units had been knocked through to form a single large cannabis growing facility with the building separated into different growing zones using plastic sheeting. They discovered a number of plants at various stages of growth. Bruci, aged 27 and Arber Aliaj, aged 23, were located inside the premises and arrested, who later stated they were Albanian nationals. Kastriot Aliaj had been stopped in the white van seen acting suspiciously and he was further arrested in connection with the discovery of the cannabis factory. Kastriot Aliaj, aged 31, was found guilty following a trial for growing the class B drug on a large scale. Arber Aliaj and Bruci both admitted an offence of being concerned in the production of the class B drug at an earlier hearing on June 26 last year. The total number of plants, including cuttings and seedlings, that were found in the building was 2,122. A drugs expert estimated the total value of the crop was between £594,160 and £1.78 million - with a potential annual value from plants grown at the facility of between £2.376 million and £7.129 million. The fingerprints of Arber Aliaj and Leonard Bruci were found on various items of growing equipment in the factory. Analysis of phones seized from the defendants showed that Kastriot Aliaj had been in repeated contact with the others and appeared to be travelling between Birmingham and Wareham on a regular basis. Detective Constable Declan Cummings, of Dorset Police, said: "These men were clearly involved in a major operation to produce illegal drugs and thanks to information received from a member of the public, we were able to uncover their factory and seize a significant quantity of cannabis. "We're fully aware of the detrimental impact the supply of illegal drugs and related activity has on our communities and we will do all we can to disrupt the efforts of those involved in the supply chain. "Anyone with information about drug related activity in their area is urged to contact us at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101." Kastriot Aliaj was sentenced to five years in prison. Arber Aliaj and Bruci were sentenced on January 29 this year to two years and three months in prison. https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/19195745.three-men-jailed-running-large-scale-cannabis-factory-wareham/ 14 Comments Bongme
  24. hi More than 70 cannabis plants destroyed by police after cultivation discovered in Blackburn house More than 70 cannabis plants have been destroyed after a cultivation was uncovered by police. On Monday, officers in Blackburn were called to Whalley New Road in the town, where they came across a large set-up in a domestic property. Upon discovery, police have dismantled the cultivation, which contained more than 70 plants, and destroyed the grow. A spokesperson for the police said: "Today police have discovered and destroyed a cannabis cultivation containing more than 70 plants in a dwelling on Whalley New Road. "Drugs affect people in many ways - the sale, use and production is relied upon heavily by criminals who in turn affect your neighbourhoods and communities praying on the vulnerable. "Such production is not acceptable in our neighbourhoods and the neighbourhood policing teams will work relentlessly to disrupt and cease criminal activities. https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/19195805.70-cannabis-plants-destroyed-police-cultivation-discovered-blackburn-house/ Bongme
  25. hi GHB to become class B drug in UK after use in high-profile rape cases The drug GHB and related substances are to be reclassified from class C to class B following their use in “truly sickening” high-profile rape cases, the home secretary has said. The reclassification means those found in unlawful possession of the drugs will face tougher penalties and victims will be better protected from their use by criminals, the Home Office said. It’s important to say this is not a step towards a paywall Registering is a free and simple way to help us sustain our independent Guardian journalism. When you register with us we are able to improve our news experience for you and for others. You will always be able to control your own . Thank you. Have a subscription? Made a contribution? Already registered? Priti Patel announced she would tighten the restrictions around GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, and related substances following recommendations by the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which previously found evidence of a “concerning increase” in the harm the drugs cause. A review of controls on these drugs was commissioned by the home secretary in January 2020 amid growing concern over their criminal use, particularly following the conviction of Britain’s most prolific rapist. Reynhard Sinaga was jailed for a minimum of 30 years in January last year for drugging and raping or sexually assaulting more than 40 men in his flat in Manchester. He is believed to have used drinks spiked with drugs such as powdered GHB or its liquid equivalent, GBL (gamma-butyrolactone), to incapacitate his victims and render them unconscious. GHB was also found to have been used by the serial killer Stephen Port, who drugged, raped and murdered four men who died after being given fatal overdoses of the drug. Known as liquid ecstasy, GBL is used recreationally and as a club drug, and has become popular in the gay chemsex scene. It acts as a sedative, lowering inhibitions and giving users a sense of euphoria, and is typically bought online or from street dealers. But GHB and GBL are also used as a weapon by rapists. The drugs can make users feel sleepy and experience anterograde amnesia, where someone is unable to make new memories and cannot remember anything about the period of intoxication. About 15 minutes after taking one small dose, a person may fall into a deep sleep or even become unconscious, and may not be able to remember anything for seven hours. It can also put them at risk of overdose and death. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, there were 120 deaths in England and Wales between 2014 and 2018 involving GHB. But the total number is likely much higher as GHB is not part of routine toxicology tests after sudden deaths, and can also be difficult and expensive to detect. An ACMD report released in November last year recommended that GHB and other related substances, known as GHBRS, be moved to class B in line with amphetamines or cannabis, possession of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. Patel said: “GHB and related substances have been used to commit some truly sickening crimes, including murder, sexual assault and robbery … These changes will make the drugs harder to access and introduce tougher penalties for possession.” The Home Office said it would also “bring forward legislation” around two substances that can be converted to GHB on ingestion: GBL and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD). The department said this would mean that “those wishing to possess them for legitimate industrial purposes will require a licence”. Necessary legislation will be brought forward “when parliamentary time allows”, the Home Office added. You've read in the last year https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/30/ghb-to-become-class-b-drug-in-uk-after-use-in-high-profile-cases Bongme