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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.

Did William Shakespeare smoke cannabis?

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South African anthropologist Francis Thackeray has asked permission to open the graves of William Shakespeare and his family to determine what killed the Bard—and whether his immortal works may have been composed under the influence of cannabis. While Shakespeare's bones could reveal clues about his health and death, the question of his cannabis use depends on the presence of hair, fingernails or toenails in the grave.

Trafficked children working in UK "cannabis factories"?

Posted on August 17th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

EuropeChildren are being trafficked into the UK to work in so-called "cannabis factories," according to a new police report. The "factories" are typically located in private houses, but sometimes in agricultural and commercial properties. A study for the Association of Chief Police Officers has found children are being used to tend crops, to illegally divert electricity for the factories, and to break into rival sites.

UK licenses cannabis-based drug

Posted on June 21st, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisA new drug made from cannabis has been licensed in the UK. Sativex, a tincture of extracts from the plant, is sprayed under the tongue up to 12 times a day, as a treatment for the stiffness and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. The Home Office has rated it as having zero abuse potential. Britain is the first country to give the drug full regulatory approval, although Canada gave Sativex a limited license to treat neuropathic pain in 2005. It is made from plants grown at a secret location in southern England by GW Pharmaceuticals, whose shares have risen 60% in the last six months in anticipation of the new product.

Drug execution at issue in Milliband China visit

Posted on March 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

East AsiaThe British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released its 12th annual human rights report March 17, just as Foreign Secretary David Miliband returned from an official visit to China. The report singles out China for harsh criticism. Miliband said at the report's launch, "In China, 2009 ended with the execution of a mentally ill British citizen Akmal Shaikh, and the imprisonment of prominent human rights activists, whose cases I raised in China yesterday and the day before."

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