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Thursday, September 3, 2015

World News for September 2015

                                                      New Meaning for Coffee Pot
In Cambodia, marijuana is still technically illegal, though according to multiple sources is easily accessible to tourists looking in the proper places, yet law enforcement officials are more concerned with the plant being imported rather than who is obtaining it within their borders. Recently the Cambodian police seized 3,278lbs of cannabis being smuggled into the country. The dried flower was packed into bags of Dao coffee, a brand of Laos coffee which is popular in Cambodia. Officials estimate the cannabis to be worth a total of $7 million in the Western market, which is where they believe the bags were eventually headed. The three men arrested in association with the smuggling ring could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Russia Blocks Wikipedia
The Russian communications body, Roskomadzor, ordered all ISP’s in the country to block access to Wikipedia this month. The order was handed down after an entry discussing charas, a form of marijuana, with information on preparing the substance appeared on the Russian language version of the site. The Russian site generates over one billion views of its one million articles every month but in the notice given to the Wikipedia Foundation, the site will remain blocked until the editors remove the article. The site isn’t backing down that easy, however, and the editors are searching for ways to include additional information and citations to the problematic article with the hopes of appeasing the Russian government while still maintaining the sites commitment of free access to all information. This issue follows closely behind a similar threat Russia recently made toward Reddit, which was resolved when the site agreed to the terms of the Roskomadzor.

Düsseldorf Moves to Try Legalized Pot
Following in the footsteps of Berlin, Düsseldorf, capital of Germany’s most populated state, is attempting a pilot project to sell marijuana legally to adults. The program is intended to hinder the black market dedicated to selling the drug in the area. Counselors in support of the pilot believe that study, prevention, and aid fall short because of criminalization while the number of cannabis consumers was falling drastically in areas such as Portugal and the Netherlands after it was decriminalized. The supporters want controlled trade in cannabis products, which would open up a possibility for sensible regulation that the black market couldn’t permit. To continue with the idea the civil servants must apply to the Federal Institute for Medicines for a license. There are many that disagree with the plans, arguing that marijuana is not a harmless drug but can trigger serious mental illnesses like depression.

Mayor of Graz Won’t Follow World Trend
While the rest of the world is finding ways to decriminalize or fully legalize marijuana to discourage the black market, the mayor of Graz, Siegfried Nagl, plans to introduce €100 ($112) fines for people caught with small amounts of cannabis. He feels that this will tackle drug dealing in the city as administering on the spot fines and confiscating the drugs would curb open dealing on the benches, parks, and streets. After he has made it harder for them to deal in these locations he believes “the dealer then has no business”. Others feel this is naive and unrealistic. This new proposal is in conflict with a recently passed amendment which says people caught with small amounts of cannabis should be provided treatment from the health department rather than punished.

Parents Fight to Save Daughter
 A Canadian couple is fighting the Ministry of Children and Family Development in court after the department attempted to take their infant daughter off life support. Mary Jane Pierce was born premature at 25 weeks and has been suffering from brain bleeding, severe seizures, and cerebral palsy. The couple had previously convinced doctors to administer CBD oil to the baby with hopes of alleviating her symptoms. However, a lawyer for the hospital claims the treatment may have worsened her condition and had the Ministry of Children and Family Development get involved.

     A lawyer for the couple claims the Ministry threatened them with seizing any children they may have in the future if they didn’t agree to a temporary custody order granting the Ministry control over the child. Not even two weeks after custody was turned over, the department moved to have the infant’s ventilator removed. Thankfully a judge granted a temporary injunction last week to keep Mary Jane on life support and the Ministry agreed to not remove the machine without the couple’s consent. Now the couple is back in court trying to gain more control of their daughter’s care. The parents believe the girl was receiving some relief from her seizures while on the CBD oil, but now that she has been taken off it, as ordered by her new guardians, her condition seems to be worsening.

Corpse or Cannabis?
Police were called to investigate some suspicious boxes earlier this month in Hunslow. The anonymous caller feared the boxes contained a dead body, however after searching the area, and uncovering the boxes, the officers discovered 22 big bags of marijuana. The seizure was worth around £32,000, and an arrest was made. Detective Constable Dan Whitehead thanked the individual that made the initial report, calling him a ‘vigilant member of the public’ and vowing to do all they can to bring drug suppliers to justice.

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