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Monday, August 1, 2016

World News for August 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Government Official Leaves Bag Behind

     Israel: A small bag of marijuana was found in a restroom last month by a parliamentary assistant. The drug was found in a bathroom that is exclusively used by lawmakers and their aides. The assistant that found the bag turned it into Chief Security Officer Yosef Griff, and an investigation was launched to find the source of the bag. Officer Griff believes the bag was left by mistake and that no one had used marijuana in the restroom. Investigators have a long list of potential suspects as many lawmakers have admitted to using the drug, most prominently Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg, who is also the chair of the Knesset Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, as well as Meretz MK Michal Rozin, and four or five other lawmakers. The investigation is ongoing.

Who Were the First Pot Heads?

     Germany: A study conducted by researchers from the German Archaeological Institute and the Free University of Berlin. The researchers found that, contrary to previous beliefs that cannabis was first harvested by China or Central China, marijuana was possibly first harvested and used by the Yamnaya people. They discovered the uses of marijuana for medicinal purposes, as well as a food source and material to make ropes and textiles dating back to around 5,000 years ago. The results were found using ‘archaeological and paleo-enviromental records of cannabis pollen, fibers, and achene from Europe and Asia’. Researchers found that cannabis use became common in East Asia when they began trading with Yamnaya people at the dawn of the Bronze Age. Those involved with the study say more investigation is needed as there are other variables to take into account with the trans-Eurasian exchange migration network.

Don't Deal and Drive

     England: Ishfarque Uddin, a 24 year-old man, was arrested shortly after running from the scene of an accident on foot. He was not arrested for leaving the scene of the accident, but for the £6,500 worth of marijuana found in the trunk of the vehicle he crashed. Uddin was charged with, and pled guilty to, careless driving and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. At his sentencing, the Judge told Uddin he was on “thin ice” and needed to get his life back on track. The defense admits Uddin was a heavy cannabis user who was able to join a gym and turn his life around. He was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 12 months in prison as well as 120 hours of community service to be completed over the next year. 

Trying to Make Bread

      Manama: Four men from Asia were arrested in connection with smuggling marijuana into Bahrain. The first man arrested was caught carrying wooden cylinders used to make bread. The man was first suspected because officers found him “in an abnormal condition” arriving from Bangladesh. He claimed to know nothing of the 2,098 grams of marijuana hidden in the cylinders and was cooperative with police. Three other men were arrested when they came to pick up the cylinders from the first. 

Meanwhile in Humpty Doo...

     Australia: An extremely angry and loud man called the police last month to report that his father was destroying his marijuana plants. When police arrived to the small town of Humpty Doo, they found that “in order to teach his son a lesson” the father of the emergency caller allegedly set fire to his son’s small crop of cannabis. Police released a statement that no charges will be filed in this case because “any evidence of a drug stash, had it been present, had been destroyed”. The son was last seen gathering his things and claiming he was going to stay with relatives. Superintendent Louise Jorgensen, according to the Digital Journal, commented on the case, “the evidence has been destroyed as has the son’s reputation... people don’t usually come forward to say their drug stash has been destroyed or stolen but there you go.”

Huge Haul in Fiji

     Fiji: In a joint operation between the Fiji Police Force and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, 23 people, five of which have been jailed, were arrested for the unlawful cultivation of illicit drugs. Officers uprooted more than 1500 plants and 860 seedlings in the forest around the Cakaudrove Province. The anti-drug task force operation began on July 6th and has been receiving support from many committees for the prevention of crime. The officers released a statement reminding the public to come forward with any information that could help locate marijuana farms in the area. 

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