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Thursday, June 1, 2017

World News for June 2017 - by Rachel Bunting

Do You Smell That?
England: Nawdar Mahmoud was in the rear passenger seat when police pulled over the vehicle he was in and found 752 grams of marijuana next to his feet. When questioned about the ripped package in the back with him, Mahmoud told officers he had no idea the drugs were at his feet while in the vehicle. He claimed that he couldn’t smell the ‘overpowering stench’ of the cannabis due to a broken nose and never having smelled the plant before.

     However, prosecutors in the case say that Mahmoud, along with the vehicles driver Heersh Mohammed and second passenger Dana Rahim, were transporting the cannabis, and 27 grams of cocaine also found, into Devon to sell.

     Mohammed relayed to officers that he had nothing to do with the drugs, but couldn’t smell anything because he had just smoked a joint himself. Both Mahmoud and Mohammed claim Rahim brought the packages into the vehicle. Rahim declined to answer any of the questions about the marijuana and cocaine other than stating that they were not his.

     A search of Rahim’s home revealed a list of potential dealers and how much they owed for each product. Further investigation found that Rahim has previously admitted to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis after unknowingly attempting to set an undercover officer up with a dealer on the street. The three men will appear before a jury at Plymouth Crown Court as the trial continues.

Sneaky Stewardess
Taiwan: A flight attendant for a Taiwan-based China Airline was arrested for bringing illegal drugs into Taiwan from Amsterdam. The Investigation Bureau found a small amount of marijuana and ecstasy in the attendant’s luggage, took her into custody, and turned her over to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act. Officials for the airline claimed they were shocked to learn of the incident and state this is the first case of a situation like this. The airline says they will fire the attendant immediately if the allegations are proven to be true.

Seizure at the Port
Ireland: Over 7.5kg (16.5lbs) of marijuana were discovered by Meg, a canine drug detector, at the Dublin Port last month. Revenue officers claim the seizure has an estimated street value of €150,000 ($167,812.50 US). The drugs were found in a package traveling from Nigeria and heading for a location in Dublin city center. Investigations into this incident are on-going though an arrest has been made with plans to prosecute. The Revenue is continuing ongoing operations to target illegal importation of drugs into the country.

Marijuana Helps Crack Addicts
Canada: New research from the BC Center on Substance Use in Vancouver suggests that marijuana could assist crack-cocaine addicts in overcoming their drug dependency.

     Crack is a form of cocaine which is heated and inhaled. It is highly addictive and can cause heart attacks, severe depression, malnutrition, “coke bugs”, and seizures. Overdoses on the substance are increasing in many countries due to the addition of fentanyl into the mixture.

     Currently there is no effective treatment in helping crack addicts kick the habit, unlike heroin users who are able to substitute government approved methadone for their drug of choice. However, if future trials prove this research to be accurate, the treatment for crack users could be coming in the form of cannabis.

     Researchers surveyed 122 crack users in a downtown suburb where use of the drug is common. The study found that by substituting marijuana for crack the amount of daily crack users in the trial dropped from 35 to 20 percent.

     Ian Hamilton, a cannabis researcher at the University of York, expressed excitement about the findings saying, “'This study adds to the increasing evidence that cannabis could have the potential to treat many health-related problems. Many of these patients have found that cannabis helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and improve their chances of becoming abstinent. It is important that we listen to these patients and investigate rigorously the potential benefits of using cannabis to aide their recovery.”

     Hamilton did complain that laws regarding cannabis, in multiple countries, make continued research on the medical benefits of the drug difficult. Findings of the new study were presented in Montreal with hopes of moving forward with clinical trials.

Cannabis Skin Care
Europe: A new dermatological product is set to hit the market later this year after finishing clinical trials last month. The new skin care line, produced by MGC Pharmaceuticals, was tested on 90 volunteers over a three-month period with extremely positive results. According to The West, the trial found an “80% improvement in acne prone skin, 73% improvement in psoriatic plaques, 86% improvement of irritated skin and over 70% improvement in the visual appearance of redness, dryness, flaky and oily skin conditions.” A shocking 92% of the volunteers claimed they would continue to use the products, satisfied with the astonishing results. The line will be called DermaPlus and will sport the ‘dermatologically tested’ label.

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