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Monday, December 7, 2015

World News for December 2015 - by Rachel Bunting

Canadian Company Helps Brew the Morning Pot
VAUGHAN: CannTrust, a medical marijuana producer in Ontario, has created CANNCUP, a single-serve marijuana pod for coffee machines such as Keurig. Similar to the coffee pods already available, the CANNCUP will contain coffee, tea, or hot chocolate but will also contain dried cannabis. The pods will run between $3 and $4 a cup but the marijuana will not affect the taste of the drink.

     CannaTrust is awaiting approval from Health Canada for the license to begin selling the pods to medical patients. A statement released from Health Canada stated the agency is “working to determine if these pods would be permissible.” This is because up until June patients were only allowed to smoke the dried plant, but in June the Supreme Court ruled that patients were not restricted to smoking to consume the drug. While this ruling permitted cannabis companies to produce oils and fresh buds, it did not specify whether pot-infused edibles would be acceptable. The CEO of CannaTrust is optimistic that the new Liberal government will expand the rules and make access to medication easier.

Public Smoking Allowed in Ontario
CANADA: Under new regulations in Ontario, medical marijuana patients will now be allowed to medicate with either a joint or an e-cigarette in public places. These public places include areas where cigarette smoking is already prohibited such as movie theaters, restaurants, or even playgrounds. Ontario’s associate health minister did state that employers and business proprietors have the right to ban marijuana smoking or vaping in their establishments.

     If a patron refuses to leave after they are told smoking is prohibited in the business, they will be considered to be breaking the law. Business owners will also have the right to ask a patient for verification that they are permitted to be using the drug. While many feel that not much will change as patients will not be running to the streets to medicate, others, including the Canadian Cancer Society, warn that second-hand smoke is a real danger and worry about children being exposed. The Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana said the new guidelines are an “important milestone in the recognition of the legitimacy of the use of cannabis as a medicine.”

Window Jumper
DUBLIN, IRELAND: The apartment manager of a building in Dublin alerted authorities of a possible grow operation in one of the premises. Officers went to the apartment, were able to smell the plants, and returned later that evening with a warrant. After breaking down the door police found 126 plants at various stages of growth. An officer noticed an open window and looking out, found their suspect 2 floors down on the pavement with no shoes and a back injury from the jump. The suspect, Nianjie He, was cooperative with the investigation and claimed he was under threat of physical harm if he did not tend to the plants. While the judge in the case acknowledged He’s cooperation with the police, and accepted He had been forced into the work of caring for the drug, he also noted the He had committed similar offenses in the past and sentenced him to three and a half years in prison.

Nepal Police Vow to Destroy Cannabis
UDAIPUR DISTRICT: The Armed Police Force and Nepal Police have started a campaign to end marijuana cultivation in the western areas of the Udaipur District. They started the operation on November 20th and destroyed more than 100 bigaha, roughly 40 acres, of commercial marijuana within three days, according to District Police Chief Surendra Gurung.

     More than a dozen Village Development Communities (VDCs) in the district have been cultivated by locals. Though the crops continue to be destroyed, farmers will not stop growing because, according to one farmer, it is nearly a Rs 50 crore, or $12 million dollar industry in the country.

Mexico Will Not Violate Human Rights Over Prohibition
MEXICO: After being denied authorization to start a cannabis club by the government, a group of citizens decided to go to court. Judges in the case ruled 4-1 that prohibiting the group to grow and exchange marijuana among themselves is unconstitutional. The court ordered the health agency to legalize the club and not interfere with its activities.

     The ruling only applies to people in the club but could eventually spread to the rest of Mexico as the reasoning behind the decision, according to The Metro, was “pot may cause some degree of harm in large quantities – but so do alcohol and tobacco and they are allowed, subject to regulation. Prohibition is too heavy handed when compared to the risk.” There are currently five petitions ready to go before the court which, if ruled the same way, would make it possible to change the laws and make recreational use legal.

Nigerian Smugglers Can’t Keep Stories Straight
LAGOS: The Nigerian Police Border Patrol Unit stormed the beach at the Seme-Badagry area after receiving a report about suspected smugglers. The unit arrested one man at the beach, Ismaila Aliu, while the other suspects escaped. Aliu admitted to police that he is a smuggler in the area but denied knowing anything about the marijuana contained in the 20 bags police found at the raid site. He claimed that he was called about a “job” to carry the bags into the country but was never told they carried the drug.

     After being arrested, police had Aliu call the man who told him about the job and ask for money for the police. His accomplice, Edwin Igwe, showed up at the station with the “bail money” and was promptly arrested. Igwe for his part claimed Aliu set up the deal with a woman from Ghana and knew what was in the bags as he had orchestrated the bargaining. The assistant inspector said the suspects will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency when they have finished their investigation.

Don’t Sell Molta in Malta
ITALY: Malta, a small island country off the coast of Italy, called on the larger country to extradite a 49 year-old restaurant owner who was wanted for dealing over one kilogram, or 2 pounds, of marijuana. He ran a restaurant in Malta, where he supposedly sold the weed, before moving to Italy to open another shop. Lawyers for the man claimed the legal differences between the countries would be unfair to his client. The courts agreed and he will now face the charges against him in Italy. If he were to be extradited to Malta he could face life in prison for the accusations.

Death for Dealers
INDONESIA: In early November, a 42 year-old man, only named as P.M., was arrested after being found in possession of 12.35 pounds of marijuana in Indonesia’s capitol city of Jakarta. He is being charged with possession as well as trafficking. Police received an anonymous tip from residents about the possible dealer. Unfortunately, since Indonesia operates under the 2009 Anti-Narcotics Law and has one of the strictest anti-drug policies in Southeast Asia, it is possible P. M. can be sentenced to death for his charges.

1 comment:

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