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1 UK: The 3D Interactive Marijuana 'Galaxy' Researchers Hope To Use ToTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Macdonald, Cheyenne Area:United Kingdom Lines:128 Added:12/27/2016

* 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.

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2 UK: High Time This HappenedMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Daily Mail (UK) Author:Stern, Carly Area:United Kingdom Lines:102 Added:12/27/2016

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 craze.

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3 UK: Column: Look Out! They're Sneaking Up on You With aSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:79 Added:08/28/2016

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.

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4 UK: PUB LTE: Peace In Colombia And The Cocaine TradeSat, 23 Jul 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Morris, Keith Area:United Kingdom Lines:28 Added:07/23/2016

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.

Keith Morris

British ambassador to Colombia 1990-94

[end]

5 UK: Puff JusticeFri, 22 Jul 2016
Source:Daily Record (UK) Author:Stewart, Stephen Area:United Kingdom Lines:132 Added:07/22/2016

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 for smoking.

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6 UK: 'Make Cannabis Legal for Medicinal Purposes,' SaysThu, 09 Jun 2016
Source:Evening Chronicle (UK) Author:Hill, Laura Area:United Kingdom Lines:96 Added:06/10/2016

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.

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7 UK: Ban Will Not Stop Supply, Drugs Adviser WarnsWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Gayle, Damien Area:United Kingdom Lines:41 Added:06/09/2016

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."

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8 UK: OPED: The Legal Highs Ban Will Have Only One Result - MoreWed, 01 Jun 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Nutt, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:112 Added:06/02/2016

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.

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9 UK: Column: One More Lie In The Drugs 'War'Sun, 29 May 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:36 Added:05/30/2016

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.

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10 UK: PUB LTE: Legal High Ban The Right Thing To DoMon, 30 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Batliwala, Yasmin Area:United Kingdom Lines:60 Added:05/30/2016

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, especially cannabis.

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11 UK: The Party's Over? Legal High Ban Could End Shop SalesThu, 26 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Travis, Alan Area:United Kingdom Lines:129 Added:05/26/2016

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.

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12 UK: PUB LTE: Where Are the Brave Politicians Needed toWed, 25 May 2016
Source:Herald, The (Glasgow, UK) Author:Stubley, David Area:United Kingdom Lines:32 Added:05/25/2016

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.

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13 UK: Legal Highs Brought Low As Councils Employ Banning OrdersWed, 11 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Wilding, Mark Area:United Kingdom Lines:180 Added:05/14/2016

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 legislation.

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.

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14 UK: Britons Want Cannabis to Be Legalised - Change IsSun, 08 May 2016
Source:Observer, The (UK) Author:Doward, Jamie Area:United Kingdom Lines:77 Added:05/08/2016

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.

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15 UK: Sturgeon: Medicinal Cannabis Use Should Not Be Criminal ActWed, 04 May 2016
Source:Courier, The (Dundee, UK) Author:Andrews, Kieran Area:United Kingdom Lines:60 Added:05/05/2016

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.

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16 UK: Warning Over Rise Of Danger Drugs In PrisonMon, 02 May 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Sample, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:110 Added:05/02/2016

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.

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17 UK: Column: Clegg's Drugs ConfessionSun, 01 May 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Hitchens, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:50 Added:05/01/2016

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.

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18 UK: Column: Legalise Cannabis - but There's No Fire WithoutMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Courier, The (Dundee, UK) Author:Donachie, Mike Area:United Kingdom Lines:58 Added:04/26/2016

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.

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19 UK: May Tried To Tamper With Drug Report, Says CleggMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Asthana, Anushka Area:United Kingdom Lines:97 Added:04/19/2016

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.

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20 UK: Editorial: Harm Reduction Must Guide Our Attitude toMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:76 Added:04/19/2016

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 dangerous results.

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.

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