Mexico: The Mexican army says it has discovered a huge field with mature marijuana in the northern state of Baja California. Soldiers were patrolling the area, some 300km (190 miles) south of the US border, when they found the plantation. The field near the town of San Quintin, measuring 1.2sq km (300 acres), was surrounded by a hedge of cacti. It is the largest marijuana plantation ever found in Mexico, officials say.
July 22nd 2011
They say it would have yielded a harvest worth about $160 million. A Mexican army spokesman told the BBC it was unclear who owned the territory. An estimated 60 people were working on the plantation, said the local army commander, Gen Alfonso Duarte. "When they saw the military personnel, they fled," he told reporters.
Australia: Western Australia Toughens Marijuana Laws – The state government in Western Australia announced Sunday that it put into place more repressive marijuana laws as of August 1. Western Australia had effectively decriminalized the possession of up to 30 grams of pot under the previous Labor government, with violators ticketed and fined between $100 and $200. But Police Minister Rob Johnson said those "relaxed, soft drug laws" would be repealed and replaced by a tougher regime. "What it will mean is that those people caught with cannabis will not simply get a slap on the wrist," he told reporters. Under the new law, the personal use amount will shrink to 10 grams, and people caught with those small amounts will not be ticketed, but referred to court and will receive a Cannabis Intervention Requirement to attend a mandatory counseling session. People possessing more than 10 grams will face up to two years in prison or a $2,000 fine. Persons possessing more than 100 grams (less than a quarter-pound) will be charged with the Australian equivalent of possession with intent to distribute and could face up to two years in prison or a $20,000 fine.
The Netherlands: Medicinal cannabis use - Four cannabis varieties are available in Dutch pharmacies. According to an analysis of the use of prescribed cannabis over the period 2003-2010 cannabis was dispensed more than 40,000 times to about 6,000 different patients. The number of patients steadily increased in recent years, growing from about 850 patients in 2006, to more than 1,300 in 2010. This increase coincided with the fact that some Dutch pharmacies had specialized in medicinal cannabis, resulting in lower prices and better information for the patient.
USA: Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Filed - Twin initiatives that would regulate marijuana sales and production and legalize the possession of pot by adults were filed with the state Secretary of State's office Wednesday. The initiatives were filed by a new coalition called Show-Me Cannabis. One of the initiatives would amend the state constitution; the other would revise state statutes. The Secretary of State's office has a month to approve their language. Once one or both are approved, signature gathering aimed at putting the initiative on the November 2012 ballot could get underway.
USA: Miami Beach Likely to Vote on Marijuana Decrim - Voters in Miami Beach could make it the first city in Florida to decriminalize marijuana possession after campaigners announced Tuesday they had turned in more than double the number of voter signatures needed for their initiative to make the ballot. They needed 4,300 signatures and turned in more than 9,000. The initiative is sponsored by the Campaign for Sensible Marijuana Policies in Florida. Under the initiative, people caught in possession of up to 20 grams of pot would face no more than a $100 fine. Under Florida state law, possession of up to 20 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Science: Tolerance - According to research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, USA, regular users of cannabis present with reduction (downregulation) of CB1 receptors in the cortex of the brain. After 4 weeks of abstinence numbers of receptors (receptor density) returned to normal levels.
Science: Arthritis - According to research at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, USA, blockade of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide, reduces development of arthritis and associated increased pain sensitivity (hyperalgesia) in mice. The blockade results in an increased anandamide concentration.
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