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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

World News for October 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Tainted Weed
Vancouver: Officials in Vancouver are butting heads over tainted marijuana products that were allowed to be sold on dispensary shelves. Kerry Jang, a member of the Vancouver City Council, is blaming the federal Health Minister, Jane Philpott, for failing to warn residents or take action when lab results crossed her desk stating that there were dangerous toxins, pesticides and fungicides in some of the marijuana tested. Jang said the lack of action by the minister was “irresponsible”. The Health Minister, however, has said she was never aware of a lab report and wasn’t sure it had ever crossed her desk. 

     Philpott has gone on to say, “We have made it very clear that Canadians should not purchase products from any illegal salespeople no matter where they are found, whether in dispensaries or street corners. These dispensaries are illegal. There are regimes in place for access to medical marijuana, those products are safe.” The lab results, that may or may not have “crossed” the minister’s desk, show 13 of 22 samples tested from about a dozen different dispensaries contained high levels of banned chemicals not intended for human consumption. The minister went as far as to ask The Globe to send the documents to Health Canada even though it had already been sent to her chief of staff. The chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health authority, Patricia Daly, agrees with the minister stating the dispensaries are illegal and “therefore the market is buyer beware.”

Lots of 'ChambaĆ­'
Malawi: Police in Malawi have arrested 36 year old John Namowa for being in possession of Chamba, the local term for marijuana. Officers were doing a sweeping exercise when they received an anonymous tip that Namowa was keeping Chamba in his home. A search of his home shortly after revealed 17 plastic bags full of the illegal substance. Each bag weighed about 5kgs, totaling around 85kgs. The recovered plant material will be sent to Bvumbwe Research Station to determine if it truly is marijuana. Namowa is being charged with possession which is in violation of the country’s Dangerous Drugs Act.

Baby Hospitalized Due to Cannabis Exposure
Italy: Police in Bologna are looking for evidence to charge the parents of a child with neglect after she was brought to the hospital with evidence of cannabis in her body. The 10 month old girl was brought to the hospital in serious condition and in a catatonic state. While her condition has improved, her parents, both 35 from the Apennine Mountains, have been unable to give authorities any insight as to how she may have come in contact with the illicit substance. The father has a previous drug record and law enforcement has launched an investigation.

100 Kg. in the Garbage
Australia: The ACT Magistrates Court has denied bail to a man accused of trying to dump 100 kilograms of plant matter at a Canberra Recycling Centre. Dac Ho is being charged with possession, trafficking, cultivating marijuana, and trying to destroy evidence after a public tip reported seeing the man drop off 20 large bags of the material. While officers were investigating the bags at the center, Ho returned with a second load of bags to dispose of. Ho is claiming he received a call from a man in Sydney asking to rent two vans, but did not tell him what they were to be used for, only to leave the vans overnight and come back the next day to empty them at the recycling center. He claims he never knew the bags contained the plants. His lawyer claims Ho is in the garbage collection business and tends to not look in the bags he is collecting. The magistrate agreed with prosecution stating, “The fact is the defendant was caught red-handed with 100 kilograms of cannabis.” Ho is expected back in court this November. 

UWI to Study Extracts
Jamaica: CITIVA, a major marijuana cultivator, is working with the University of West Indies in a new “ground-breaking” study to observe the effect of cannabis extract on children with epilepsy. The high CBD strain was extracted into an oil by Epican, a Jamaican-owned and operated company. Epican is partnering with the Scientific Research Council for large scale CO2 extraction of phytocannabinoids and terpenes for medicinal reasons. These companies are working toward “the advancement of science, research, development, and marketing of effective cannabis-based products” for different medical conditions. The first batch of marijuana grown and used in the extraction process will be used for the study in treatments of type II diabetes and child epilepsy.

Compassion in Patagonia
Argentina: Chubut became the first province to allow cannabis oil to be used in the public health system. This ensures that hospitals will now carry the drug for treatment of epilepsy caused by Dravet Syndrome as well as any other ailments the health minister determines appropriate. The medication will also be covered by health insurance provided to public employees.

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