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United Kingdom

Mega-bust points to Spain as Europe's emerging cocaine gateway

Posted on October 17th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

SpainSpain made unwanted international headlines Oct. 7 when nearly four metric tons of cocaine worth an estimated $260 million was seized by Spanish customs officers in the Atlantic, headed for the Iberian peninsula. The haul was found on a tugboat between Portugal's Madeira and Azores islands, with 165 packages of cocaine each weighing 23 kilograms—for a total of 3.7 tons—concealed beneath the vessel's cooking area. The operation was jointly conducted with UK's National Crime Agency under the co-ordination of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon. The crew, from Turkey and Azerbaijan, were arrested.

Shatter lab busted in North East England

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

dab rigA cannabis "shatter" production lab in England's North East, said to be the first of its kind in the post-industrial region, was busted Oct. 12 in a paramilitary-style raid by the Northumbria Police. Local media show a squad of cops in full body armor breaking down the door and smashing the windows of a local property with buzz-saws, battering rams and pick-axes. Two arrests were made in the raid on the Croft Estate housing project in the town of Gateshead, just across the River Tyne from the historic city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. An unspecified number of plants as well as butane and other equipment were seized.

UK government acknowledges medical value of cannabinoid

Posted on October 13th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

medical marijuana The British government's Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Oct. 11 issued a finding that cannabidiol (CBD) has a "restoring, correcting or modifying" effect on "physiological functions." The Independent calls the move "a potential milestone in the campaign to legalise cannabis and bring about evidence-based laws regarding drugs."  The review of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid increasingly studied for its therapeutic value, was undertaken following discussions with MediPen, a London-based company that seeks to market a CBD vaporizer.

Internet rumor besmirches medical marijuana

Posted on January 16th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchThere is no end to false Internet rumors concerning our favorite herb, and the latest was just called out by those dogged rumor-busters at Snopes. It seems that Britain's Sky News of Jan. 13 reported on a clinical trial of an experimental drug in France that went horribly wrong, leaving one brain-dead and another three with what could be permanent brain damage. A total of 90 were given then new painkiller compound manufactured by the Portuguese pharma firm BIAL in a test overseen by UK-based Biotrial. The original Sky News account (as quoted by Snopes) refered to the compound as "cannabis-based." Currently, it only says that French Health Minister Marisol Touraine "denied reports the drug was based on the compound found in cannabis." But it got around before the text was changed, popping up on e-mail lists and social media.

UK drug bill to ban church incense?

Posted on September 28th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

EuropeThe British tabloids are having a field day with this one. The Daily Mail warns that the UK's pending Psychoactive Substances Bill—aimed at closing the loopholes that permit "legal highs"—could outlaw incense and criminalize priests. Under the proposed law, it would become a criminal offense to sell "any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect," with a seven-year prison term. Two church groups, the Association of English Cathedrals and the Churches' Legislation Advisory Service, are urging lawmakers to make a "specific exemption" for incense. In testimony to a parliamentary inquiry, the Association warned: 'Cathedrals regularly make use of incense during worship services, especially celebrations of the Eucharist. Incense has been used for worship purposes for millennia, and by the Christian church since its foundation."

British khat ban sparks Kenya backlash

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

khatThe United Kingdom's ban on possession, sale and importing of khat took effect at the end of June, officially making the midly stimulating leaf a restricted Class C drug—despite the counsel of the government's own advisors who had been appointed to study the proposed ban, and recommended against it. Unlike cannabis, khat cannot be easily grown in the UK, and must be consumed fresh to have any effect. Before the ban, over a thousand tons were flown in annually from East Africa and distributed from warehouses near Heathrow airport—in 2013 around £15 million worth (that's $25 million) was imported from Kenya. That trade is now going to end or be driven underground—costing the UK millions of pounds in tax revenues. Critics say the ban will also further criminalize African and Arab immigrant communities in Britain, who traditionally chew the leaf. (The Economist, June 28; ITV, June 27)

United Kingdom to ban khat

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

khatThe herbal stimulant khat is to be banned by the British government—against the advice of its own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. In January the ACMD said khat should remain a legal substance, finding "insufficient evidence" it caused health problems. But Home Secretary Theresa May announced her decision to ban it last week, saying the risks posed could have been underestimated. Khat will be treated as a class C drug, along with anabolic steroids and ketamine. The Home Office said the ban was intended to "protect vulnerable members of our communities." 

Cannabis not tied to middle-age mental decline: study

Posted on January 7th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

THCA British study discounts a link between occasional cannabis smoking or other light illicit drug use and the decline in mental functions that comes with middle age. The study, carried in the American Journal of Epidemiology, tested the mental function and memory of nearly 9,000 Britons at age 50 and found that those who had used illegal drugs as recently as in their 40s did just as well on the tests as peers who had never used drugs—or slightly better.

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