Traffic Roots Pixel
 

Bill Weinberg's blog

Florida health department tries to stop herbaceous medical pot

Posted on May 18th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FloridaFlorida is rapidly shaping up as a test case in whether the term "medical marijuana" necessarily has to include actual herbaceous cannabis. On May 15, the state's  Health Department ordered Quincy-based Trulieve dispensary to stop selling a "whole flower" product—officially intended for use in vaporizers but which can of course also be smoked. Trulieve just last week began sales of product dubbed “Entourage,”—named for the so-called "entourage effect," the synergistic workings of the various compounds in the actual cannabis flower. product meant to be used in the Volcano vaporizer, last week, reports Orlando Weekly. The Health Department's cease-and-desist letter came after local media reports about the sales of Entourage.

Brazil, Bolivia launch joint anti-narco operation

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .
BoliviaBolivia and Brazil agreed to a joint plan to fight criminal gangs that operate on their shared jungle border, long pourous for drug and arms traffickers. The decision was taken at a Brasilia meeting between Brazil's Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio and Bolivia's Government Minister Carlos Romero on May 13. The plan includes establishment of new border checkpoints in the Bolivian outposts of Bella Vista and Puerto Evo and the Brazilian villages of Costa Marques and Plácido de Castro. It establishes mechanisms for sharing intelligence, and operations to secure control of air-space over the border zone. It also calls for joint military training between the two countries.

Cannabis reverses aging processes in brain: study

Posted on May 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

THCHere's some counterintuitive news for those who have been hammered all their lives with claims that cannabis causes memory loss. A new study by scientists at the University of Bonn, written up in the journal Nature Medicine, finds that aging mice treated with daily small doses of THC actually experienced a reversal of cognitive decline. That is, they started doing better on cognitive tasks, such as going though a maze. The researchers foresee potential cannabis-based treatment to fend off dementia. "If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care then that is more than we could have imagined," said study leader Andras Bilkei-Gorzo.

Trump's troubling 'bromance' with Philippines' drug war strongman

Posted on May 8th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' inimitable President Rodrigo Duterte is being his usual charming self. The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, arrived in the country on May 5 to attend a conference on drug policy and human rights at the University of the Philippines. Callamard is of course a harsh critic of Duterte's campaign of police and paramilitary terror against low-level drug dealers and users. Duterte wasted not a moment in voicing defiance, warning drug users: "And here's the shocker: I will kill you. I will really kill you. And that's why the rapporteur of the UN is here, investigating extrajudicial killing."

Florida: is it 'medical marijuana' if you can't smoke it?

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

FloridaFollowing last-minute changes, the lower house of Florida's legislature on May 2 voted 105-9 to pass HB 1397, ostensibly following through on the voter mandate to establish a medical marijuana program in the Sunshine State. But those last-minute changes included both a limit on the number of license holders—and a ban on actually smoking herbaceous cannabis. House sponsor and Republican leader Ray Rodrigues blamed fears of interference from the Trump administration, telling the Tampa Bay Times: "We have to make it legal and available to Florida residents, but we have to do it in such a way that it complies to the guidance we’ve been given by the federal government."

US Marines back to Afghanistan's opium heartland

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

opiatesUS Marines this week returned to Helmand province, now the epicenter both of Afghanistan's Taliban insurgency and opium production. Ostensibly, the mission is to train Afghan forces struggling to stem the insurgency, but they certainly have the power to fire if fired upon. Many of the 300 Marines coming to Helmand under NATO's Resolute Support training mission are veterans of previous tours in the province—where almost 1,000 coalition troops (mostly US and British) were killed fighting the Taliban before they pulled out in 2014. When they left, as part of that year's supposed "withdrawal" of US troops from Afghanistan, they handed over the sprawling desert base they dubbed Camp Leatherneck to the Afghan army, hoping not to return.

Meth plague hits Bangladesh

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

South AsiaThe rural marshlands of Bangladesh have become the latest part of the world to be hit by the unhappy global plague of methamphetamine use. More and more of the country's struggling peasants are taking to "yaba," little pink sugar-coated pills made from caffeine and meth that are flooding in from neighboring Burma. Annual seizures of yaba in Bangladesh increased by a jaw-dropping 80,000% over the past decade, authorities say. A disturbing on-the-scene report from Public Radio International emphasizes that in conservative and Muslim rural Bangladesh, yaba is not being used as a "party drug." The speed pills are most often used to get folks through long days of hard labor.

No, Donald, your wall won't 'stop the drugs'

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

border wallJust three days before the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Donald Trump blinked April 25, backing off from the demand that his planned border wall receive funding (to the whopping tune of $11.4 billion) in the spending measure now before Congress. But just two days earlier, in an interview with the Associated Press, Trump again invoked the need to protect the country from drugs as mandating his wall—and making absurdly hubristic claims about its effectiveness to do so...

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman