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  • The plan to save California's legendary weed from 'Big Cannabis'

    Small operators have to cope with a sprawling new bureaucracy governing the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
    Wired (US)
    Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    The cannabis industry in California historically has been anything but centralized. That has made the cannabis in the Emerald Triangle legendary. Thousands of small farms have developed strains unique to their microclimates: A prized varietal needs specific conditions to thrive. But these farmers are in danger of losing their livelihood to consolidation. "As the cannabis industry is just coming out of prohibition and companies are beginning to get licensed, there are a lot of investment dollars going towards large indoor and greenhouse grow operations in the Central Valley of California," says Michael Steinmetz, founder and CEO of Flow Kana which quest is to save this cannabis culture to compete with the supply chains of Big Cannabis.

  • U.S. has been quietly helping Mexico with new, high-tech ways to fight opium

    The Drug Enforcement Administration said in a report last year that Mexico supplies 93 percent of all heroin consumed in the United States
    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    In the past few opiate-soaked years, U.S. officials say, nearly all the heroin coursing through American cities has come from one place: Mexico. “There are still a lot of question marks around the figures,” said Martin Jelsma, director of the drug program at the Transnational Institute, a research organization based in Amsterdam, and the co-author of a forthcoming study on Mexican and Colombian poppy production. Equally challenging, Jelsma said, is identifying the source country of a heroin sample. He doubts that the DEA can always tell whether heroin is made from Mexican or Colombian poppy, given that Mexican drug traffickers in some cases have hired Colombians to teach heroin-production techniques, so the product is similar.

  • U.S. marijuana friends and foes cautious at signs of softer Trump

    The agreement made it "even more politically difficult for Sessions to initiate a crackdown"
    Reuters (UK)
    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    us buying marijuana dispensaryBoth advocates and opponents of legalized marijuana reacted with caution to signs from the White House that growers in U.S. states where the drug is permitted would be shielded from federal prosecution, saying it was too early to know the final impact. U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado announced that he had convinced President Trump, a fellow Republican, to protect from federal interference those state laws that legalize marijuana for certain uses. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who opposes marijuana use, rescinded a memo issued by Obama, that dialled back enforcement of the federal ban in states that legalized the drug. That decision unnerved the fast-growing U.S. marijuana industry, which has been legalized in more than half of all states.

  • 'I will arrest you': Duterte threatens ICC lawyer over 'war on drugs'

    Duterte has cited numerous reasons why he believes the ICC has no jurisdiction over him
    SBS News (Australia)
    Friday, April 13, 2018

    rodrigo dutertePhilippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor if she conducts activities in his country, arguing it was no longer an ICC member so the court had no right to do any investigating. Hitting out at what he said was an international effort to paint him as a “ruthless and heartless violator of human rights”, Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the ICC’s Rome Statute a month ago and promised to continue his crackdown on drugs, in which thousands have been killed. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in February announced the start of a preliminary examination into a complaint by a Philippine lawyer which accuses Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity, and of killing criminals as a policy.

  • Mexican states should start legalizing marijuana - tourism minister

    Drug policy is one of the major issues in Mexico's July 1 presidential election
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Taking a lead from the United States, Mexico should allow states to begin legalizing marijuana while broader efforts are in limbo, Tourism minister Enrique de la Madrid said, as the country seeks ways to tackle record gang violence. De la Madrid, confronting rising lawlessness in and around the resort cities of Cancun and Los Cabos, said it made no sense for Mexico to maintain prohibition given permissive U.S. policies in states such as California. "I think in Mexico we should move towards regulating it at state level," he said, calling it "illogical" to divert funds from fighting kidnapping, rape and murder to arrest people using marijuana. (See also: Former Mexican President Fox calls for opium poppy legalization)

  • Can excessive marijuana use lead to psychosis?

    Correlation is not the same as causation
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, April 11, 2018

    Psychosis is quite rare – fewer than three in 100 people will experience a psychotic episode in their lifetime. People who smoke or otherwise consume cannabis, especially in significant quantities, have a higher incidence. Some people have vulnerability, a genetic predisposition to psychosis, and cannabis can be a trigger, as can other things like trauma or amphetamines. Severe mental illness like schizophrenia tends to arise in late teens and early adulthood, the same time young people tend to experiment with drugs, so the psychosis can be coincidental. Finally, many people with severe mental illnesses that feature psychotic episodes self-medicate, with cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis.

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