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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

World News for October 2015 - by Rachel Bunting

Testing the Benefits of Marijuana Without the Illegality of Growing
GERMANY: Scientists around the world acknowledge that there is something medicinally beneficial about the cannabis plant, but continue to scratch their heads as to what in the plant cures which ailment. While several studies have shown cannabinoids in marijuana can be effective at treating ailments such as seizures, scientists and physicians say that without knowing which chemical specifically works, they are essentially prescribing a drug cocktail knowing at least one will work. But researchers in Germany may have unlocked the key to studying marijuana and its properties. The researchers found that they can use genetically modified yeast to generate the chemicals found in marijuana, including THC. This could potentially give scientists the ability to produce and individually test over 80 of the drugs chemicals.

 Anonymous Tip Leads to Big Bust in India
JAMALPUR: Authorities in India, known as Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have arrested Md Sohag Hossain after following an anonymous tip. Hossain, son of Abul Kashem, was found with nearly 154lbs of cannabis. RAB believes he had intended to sell the marijuana and has filed charges with the Jamalpur Sadar police station. Possession of any amount of marijuana in the country is illegal, and a possession charge may even be brought against Kashem unless he can prove he had no knowledge of the substance that his son had brought into the home. In many cannabis cases in the country, the accused is considered guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

Leave it to Pot Lovers to Create their own Narnia
LONDON: Police began searching a piece of property outside of London, trying to locate a suspect in an assault case. However, in their search, rather than finding upon their suspect, they stumbled across a 6ft wardrobe with a hole in its ceiling leading to the loft above. Using a chair, which was already found in the wardrobe beneath the hole, the officers climbed into the loft and discovered a magical world of marijuana plants. The loft housed a massive grow of over 600 plants and lighting equipment.

     Two men were arrested at the residence on suspicion of cultivating cannabis. According to London24, social media is already lighting up about the find with one user writing, “Wow, Narnia’s changed a bit since I was a kid…”

Community Service for Woman Trying to Help Dying Husband
ENGLAND: A woman who pled guilty to one count producing cannabis and two counts of possession with intent to supply has been sentenced to 18 months of community service after a judge determined she was not involved in trying to distribute commercially. Jeanette Hurst was found to be growing cannabis worth £34,000 to extract the oil for her husband, who is dying of cancer. An anonymous tip about a strong odor of marijuana led police to check her home, finding over 1.7kg of plant material and over 16 plants. At her sentencing the judge stated, “It seems to me that the vast majority of cases that I have to deal with involved the growing or possessing with intent to supply with a commercial or similar element and it was sold for profit. This is not that sort of case.” However, the judge also warned Hurst that if she were to do it again she would likely face a lengthy prison sentence.

Cannabis Turf Dispute Leads to Gang Violence
CHINA: Two factions of the Wo Shing Wo Triad society have been causing problems at a busy railway platform. The gangs are believed to be responsible for a knife attack that occurred at the railway station during rush hour, leaving three men injured. Investigators believe six Yuen Long faction members waited at the platform for the eight members of the rival gang, Yau Ma Tei, to exit the train before attacking them with beef knives and fleeing the scene. One of the causes of the ongoing gang war is the sale of marijuana and gang members selling on one another’s “turf”. Police in the area have stated that they will be stepping up surveillance and raiding the venues where the gangs generally meet. Currently there are eight suspects from the knife attacks still at large.

Cannabis and Schizophrenia
UK: A UK based pharmaceuticals company, GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, has been granted permission to begin using cannabidiol, or CBD, as an experimental drug to treat schizophrenia. According to the Mayo-Clinic definition, schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. It may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior. While many people with schizophrenia respond well to anti-psychotic meds, there are some that have little to no improvement from them. GW tested the CBD on 88 patients with schizophrenia and who had not responded to any type of anti-psychotic. During the trial the patients remained on their anti-psychotic medication and received doses of either cannabidiol or a placebo. While testing is currently in its mid-trial stage, results so far are showing CBD as superior to the placebo in helping boost the effectiveness of the anti-psychotic medication in schizophrenic individuals. GW is also testing the cannabis based drug on people with cancer-related pain, epilepsy, and treating newborn children with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (NHIE), NHIE is acute or sub-acute brain injury due to asphyxia caused during the birth process and resulting from deprivation of oxygen during birth.

And the Most Commonly Used Drug in Northern Ireland Is….
IRELAND: According to the Irish News a recent survey found the most commonly used illegal substance in Northern Ireland is cannabis. While prescription drugs are becoming an increasing problem in the country, with nearly 1/5 of those surveyed having taken them recently, police are trying to crack down on illegal drug dealing and consumption within their local communities and are constantly asking for the public to report any suspicious activity. The illegal drug activity would mostly consist of marijuana dealers as prescription drugs, such as codeine and morphine, are considered the “legal high”, making it harder for police to disrupt.


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