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Can magic mushrooms cure authoritarian personality?

Posted on January 31st, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

psychedelicsA new study by the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London has reached astonishing findings about the therapeutic potentialities of psilocybin, the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms. A first report from the group's study, released in October, indicated that psilocybin can "reset" the brains of depressed patients. A second report, just published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, indicates that the psychedelic agent may even affect political views.

UK khat ban fails to stop contraband imports —surprise!

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

khatHere's some news that should surprise nobody. International efforts to suppress the trade in a psychoactive plant are failing to do so, but are jacking up the social costs of its use—which might be quite negligible if the stuff weren't illegal. In this case we're talking about khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially in the Horn of Africa and its immigrant diaspora. It was sold openly at groceries and eateries in London's African communities until Britain finally banned the stuff in of 2014, following the example of the United States (of course). At that time, it became a Class C substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. By way of comparison, cannabis is in the more restrictive Class B—although between 2004 and 2008 pot was placed in Class C, and there is an initiative to have it removed from the classification system altogether.

Global Commission on Drug Policy strikes blow on semantic front

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

cocaineA welcome blow is reported against the deeply ingrained stigma that attaches even to users of basically harmless drugs like cannabis that happen to be illegal. The Global Commission on Drug Policy—a body with dissident views but made up of prestigious elder statesmen and world leaders, so it can't be readily ignored—has just issued a statement calling on policymakers and the media to avoid using terms such as "drug user," "addict" and "junkie." The report includes a checklist of what terms should be eschewed or embraced to avoid language portraying people who use drugs as "physically inferior or morally flawed."

Albania under pressure to catch 'big fish' of cannabis

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

AlbaniaThe Balkan country of Albania, trying to live down its pariah status as Europe's top cannabis producer, has cracked down hard in recent years, sparking instances of armed resistance from peasant growers. But despite repeated declarations that the country is "marijuana-free," the issue won't go away—and is coming to the fore once again as Albania seeks to join the European Union. The latest to lecture Albanian leaders is US ambassador Donald Lu, who this month warned that the country's criminal networks remain intact.

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.

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