* Phylos Bioscience is attempting to map the genetic data for every
marijuana strain in the world
* The team has so far sequenced over a thousand different kinds, which
they plot on the interactive 'Galaxy'
* Genetic report reveals a strain's closest relatives, clonal
relationships, its uniqueness, origin, and more
* The researchers say this could one day help scientists to achieve
'unthinkable' strains of marijuana
Scientists may soon be able to achieve 'unthinkable' strains of marijuana
thanks to new efforts in DNA sequencing.
[continues 634 words]
A California company is selling a MARIJUANA monthly subscription box
packed with curated cannabis products
* San Diego-based Club M requires a California medical marijuana license
to join and delivers boxes each month for $97
* The packages include marijuana, edibles, vapes, and other 'gear' for using
* Each box is worth about $200 and can be purchased without a
subscription, except for the new limited-edition boxes for $1,000 each
There seems to be a subscription box service for everything these days,
from cosmetics to snacks to alcohol -- so really, it was only a matter of
time for the medical marijuana community got in on the monthly shipment
[continues 465 words]
THE most sinister thing I have heard all year was this week's
revelation that British government doctors secretly sought to drug
troublesome teenagers in the 1960s and we have only just found out.
One of the pills they wanted to use was called Haloperidol. Its side
effects include incurable lifelong twitching, delirium and rigid muscles.
This plan was stopped, but another worrying substance, Beclamide, was
given to boys at a Yorkshire 'Approved School' (a state-inspected
home for troubled teens). Neither the boys nor their parents were
told of this experiment.
[continues 500 words]
The progress towards a peace deal between the Colombian government
and the Farc guerrillas is greatly to be welcomed (Editorial, 21
July). The terms are inevitably controversial and many who have
suffered at the Farc's hands will find it hard to see them pass
directly into politics. But that is the price of peace. The cocaine
trade has fuelled this conflict over the last 35 years or so. You are
absolutely right to propose that governments which wish to support
peace in Colombia should consider backing President Juan Manuel
Santos's efforts to reform the UN system of drugs prohibition and
open the door to experiments in regulated markets in drugs like
cocaine, just as is already happening with cannabis.
British ambassador to Colombia 1990-94
Amputee's Plea to Legalise Medical Marijuana
A WAR hero who lost both legs in an Afghan bomb blast is forced to
break the law to get cannabis to ease his pain.
Lance Corporal Callum Brown is now leading calls to legalise the drug
for medical use. He wants to see cannabis made available to patients
like him who suffer agonising pain 24 hours a day.
Callum, 28, also shattered his pelvis in the huge explosion after he
stepped on a boobytrap bomb while on patrol in Helmand five years
ago. Speaking exclusively to the Record, he said: "As well as my
other injuries, I have no skin on my backside it's just thin scar
tissue so the nerve damage and the phantom pains are the main reason
[continues 883 words]
Ron Hogg Said the War on Drugs Has Failed and the UK's Drug Policy Is
'Unsustainable' As He Called on Colleagues to Back His Views
Cannabis should be made legal and used for medicinal purposes,
Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner has said.
In a letter to the country's 40 PCCs, Ron Hogg said the "war on
drugs" has failed and the UK's present approach is "unsustainable".
Mr Hogg highlighted the "genuine body of evidence" that cannabis
brings pain and symptom relief to sufferers of various conditions.
[continues 559 words]
The ban on legal highs will not lead to the disappearance of spice
and other synthetic cannabis-like drugs because they are so
profitable to dealers, a senior government drugs adviser has warned.
Prof Harry Sumnall, a member of the Home Office's Advisory Council on
the Misuse of Drugs, said the economics of producing the substances -
often collectively dubbed "spice" - versus that of growing
traditional cannabis made them an appealing proposition.
Sumnall said the ingredients were easily available online. "We were
making some in the lab the other day. Very, very easy to do, pretty
much shake and bake. Really easy to make, highly profitable, these
drugs aren't going anywhere."
[continues 127 words]
This Act Drives Users Back Towards Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, the
Most Dangerous Substance of Them All
With the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, ministers last week banned
the sale or procurement of any substance that has psychoactive
activity, regardless of whether it is harmless or even useful. The
sole exceptions are alcohol, nicotine products and caffeine.
The main justification for this draconian piece of legislation is to
make it easy for the police and local authorities to close down "head
shops", or at least to stop them selling so-called legal highs: drugs
such as nitrous oxide; some synthetic cannabinoids, salvia, and some
weak stimulants known as bubbles or sparkle. The act is based on the
false premise that legal highs are responsible for up to 100 deaths a
year, when in fact the true number is fewer than 10. Media hysteria
about the use of nitrous oxide by a few footballers and a dislike of
young people doing something different from their parents has also
played a part.
[continues 735 words]
THE trumpeted 'ban on legal highs' is a fiction, like the rest of our
drug laws. The new Act imposes no penalties at all for possessing
these dangerous poisons - except for people who are already in jail.
This is an amazing giveaway of the Government's real drugs policy,
which is to look the other way while pretending to be 'tough'.
In fact, simple possession of cannabis, heroin or cocaine is now
hardly punished at all, even though it is illegal.
[continues 104 words]
The new law (Legal high ban risks creating fresh crisis, 28 May),
which criminalises the selling of so-called legal highs, but
crucially does not criminalise the user, is the right thing to do. It
came out of an independent study into these substances which I set up
when drugs minister.
A wide range of experts produced a unanimous report and that forms
the basis of the law. I was clear that so-called legal highs
presented more of a danger to users than many long-prohibited drugs,
[continues 294 words]
Critics of Law Say Trade Will Simply Shift Underground
Whipped Cream Chargers May Come Under Suspicion
The blanket ban on the trade in legal highs which comes into force
today is expected to end their sale through high street "head shops"
and UK-based websites almost overnight, police and trading standards
officers have said.
But there are fears that the trade in new psychoactive substances
(NPS) as they are officially known will move underground to illegal
street markets and the darknet, the network of untraceable and hidden websites.
[continues 886 words]
I AGREE wholeheartedly with David J Crawford in his exhortation to
government it should decriminalise cannabis (Letters, May 23).
What did the war on drugs achieve? In the US the prison population
has increased by 500 per cent in the last 30 years due almost
entirely to drug convictions. In the UK a large number of people now
have a criminal record for merely possessing a very small amount of
the drug. Vast amounts of money and violence have been the result as
the criminal element took control of the supply chain.
[continues 94 words]
Critics Say Antisocial Behaviour Powers Are Already Criminalising
Vulnerable People, Ahead of All-Out Ban
It's just before 11.30am on a Friday morning and I'm standing in
Lincoln's city square. With me are police officers Andy Balding and
Joel Dowse, an antisocial behaviour officer at Lincoln council. We're
on the lookout for socalled legal highs synthetic substances that
have similar effects to illegal drugs but have not yet been banned by
We scan the square for anything suspicious. Everything looks in
order, but I'm assured it hasn't always been this way. Balding points
to a line of benches overlooking the river. "Along here used to be
really bad," he tells me. I hear stories about groups of people on
legal highs terrorising shopkeepers and falling unconscious in the
street. Right now, all I can see is an elderly man peacefully
contemplating the river.
[continues 1392 words]
Lib Dem's Norman Lamb Urges MPs to Pass the Bill to Create a
Regulated Market for the Drug
Parliament will be failing in its duty to reflect the will of the
people if it continues to resist calls to introduce a regulated
cannabis market, a former coalition minister has warned.
A 10-minute rule bill proposing the introduction of a legal cannabis
market in the UK, something that would constitute the biggest shakeup
of the drugs laws in the past half-century, will end its passage
through the Commons on Friday. It was tabled by Norman Lamb, the
Liberal Democrats' health spokesman, and supported by MPs from all
parties, as well as experts including a serving chief constable.
[continues 473 words]
First Minister Makes Controversial Health Announcement As She
Confirms Dundee Will Get Its Own Trauma Centre
Nicola Sturgeon would back decriminalising cannabis for medicinal use.
The First Minister said there was a "specific case" for relaxing laws
to treat people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis but
reaction to her announcement split the audience of around 150
activists in Dundee's Queen's Hotel.
A wide range of topics were covered in the hour long question and
answer session, with the SNP leader committing to building a trauma
centre in Dundee and said she would "love" to implement Frank's Law
but stopped short of committing herself to a fairer care system.
[continues 254 words]
Synthetic Cannabis Has 'Devastating Impact' On Jails, Says Chief Inspector
Synthetic cannabis is having a "devastating impact" in British
prisons and making it difficult for normal life to continue in some
facilities, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.
Sold as "spice" and "black mamba", synthetic cannabis has been blamed
for deaths, serious illness and episodes of self-harm among
prisoners. Some prison officers have reported falling ill from
exposure to the fumes.
High demand for the compound has fuelled more severe problems in the
prison system than officers have faced from any other drug, with
prisoners racking up greater debts and suffering worse bullying and
violence, Peter Clarke told the Guardian. "Prison staff have told me
that the effect on individuals and prisons as a whole is unlike
anything they have seen before," said Clarke, who took up the post in February.
[continues 674 words]
SOME things are unsayable in British politics. One such is the truth
that cannabis has been, for many years, a decriminalised drug. The
police, the CPS and the courts have given up any serious effort to
arrest and prosecute users, just as evidence starts to pour in that
it is extremely dangerous.
Instead our elite moan about 'prohibition', which does not exist, and
the cruel 'criminalisation' of dope-smokers, which would be their own
fault if it happened, but actually doesn't. Arrests for this offence
are rarer every week, and some police forces openly say they don't do
it any more.
[continues 211 words]
Laws on Tobacco Smoking Should Extend to Marijuana
It's time to legalise marijuana, then ban it again. Here's why. The
Canadian government chose April 20 to make the announcement that
cannabis will be legalised next spring, in the latest progressive
move by the new Liberal government. The news had been coming for a
while, because it was an election pledge last year but the date was
significant because it was "4-20", when weed enthusiasts get together
to call for changes in the law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's
government beat them to it with a morning announcement.
[continues 277 words]
Nick Clegg has accused the home secretary, Theresa May, of attempting
to delete sentences from a Whitehall report after it concluded that
there was no link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use.
The former deputy prime minister also said senior Conservatives, such
as David Cameron and George Osborne, have failed to act on drug
reform because they see the issue as a "naughty recreational secret"
at Notting Hill dinner parties instead of a public health crisis.
In an interview with the Guardian before a major UN conference on the
global drug problem, Clegg said the Tories were failing to listen to
warnings that the war on drugs had failed.
[continues 638 words]
Drugs policy in the UK is not actually made in smoke-filled rooms but
it might as well be. The mixture of befuddled optimism with a lack of
urgency that characterises official thinking about cannabis has had
Getting on for 50 years of prohibition, vigorously defended in
principle but lackadaisically enforced in practice, have produced a
situation that combines the disadvantages of tolerance and
criminalisation. Two generations of parents now know that it is not
as dangerous as official propaganda told them, but this leads to a
reluctance to admit that the habit has any real dangers at all. That
in itself is dangerous to their children.
[continues 473 words]