What with the previous news that indicated vapers/smokers were in some way less susceptible to corona, we now have this.
Get the chillums out lads and write them lungs off…. Doctors orders!!!
What with the previous news that indicated vapers/smokers were in some way less susceptible to corona, we now have this.
Get the chillums out lads and write them lungs off…. Doctors orders!!!
Six more men charged in connection over fatal cannabis raid
Three men were previously charged with the murders of Khuzaimah Douglas, 19, and Waseem Ramzan, 26, who were shot with a crossbow during the aftermath of the Pensnett Road raid in February.
Mr Douglas and Mr Ramzan were killed on February 20 after an attempted burglary at a cannabis farm in Brockmoor turned into a violent brawl.
West Midlands Police detectives investigating the murder have now charged a further six men with a range of burglary matters, allegedly connected to the cannabis factory robbery.
Theo Bailey, 28, from Victoria Road, in Handsworth, was charged on Tuesday, with aggravated burglary, while Troy Parkins, 25, of Claughton Road, in Dudley, was charged with two counts of aggravated burglary.
Omari Beckford, 25, from Lewis Street, in Walsall, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and a further charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, relating to a separate series of cannabis factory robberies.
A further three men were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary on Wednesday night and were due to appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court today. They are Amir Naisiri, 22, from Swinford Road, in Selly Oak; Jason Kavanagh, 20, of Swinford Road, Weoley Castle; and Godfree Mbugoniwia, 22, from Brunswick Road, in Sparkhill.
was also charged with an additional conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary in relation to a series of offences across the West Midlands in December last year. As part of this series, but not connected to the Pensnett Road raid, another two men – William Thompson, 26, of Sedgehill Avenue, Harborne, and Aldane McKenzie, 26, from Newick Grove, in Kings Heath – have been charged in relation to conspiracy to burgle cannabis farms across the West Midlands area.
Six other people have been charged in connection with the Pensnett Road incident including father and son Saghawat Ramzan, 46, and Omar Ramzan, 23, who live on Pensnett Road, who have also been charged with two counts of murder. They are currently in prison on remand.
Last month, police charged a third man with two counts of murder – Sageer Moahmmed, 33, of Gorsty Avenue, in Brierley Hill.
Birmingham men Lewis Graver, 21, and Said Ammai, 23, Micah Evans, 19, of Drummond Street, Lye, and Bradley Knight, 22, of Tugford Road, Bourneville, have been charged with conspiracy to burgle in connection with the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro from West Midlands Police’s homicide team said: “Our investigation has been detailed as we remain committed to finding out exactly what happened that fatal early morning.
“Two men sadly lost their lives and we’re determined to bring those responsible to justice.”
Enquiries are continuing and anyone with information is urged to call West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on:
The last post I have to work tomorrow need all my computers to make an animation from home have not done anything for weeks no idea when I will back! Take care and stay safe
Following reports of a strong smell of cannabis in the Victoria area, officers from Team 3 of East Leeds Neighbourhood Policing Teams found the farm yesterday (Monday, May 18).
The plants and cash were seized by police and a man has been arrested.
The investigation is ongoing.
A police spokeswoman said: “East Leeds Neighbourhood Policing Teams will continue to act on local information provided in order to provide safer communities for all and would like to thank our local communities for their continued support.”
An international survey shows that Swiss youngsters are at the top of the table when it comes to smoking cannabis but near the bottom when it comes to physical activity.
Published on Tuesday, data from the international HBSC study external linkcommissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO-Europe), provides an overview of the health behaviour of students in more than 40 countries.
In terms of vices, cannabis is king among Swiss 15-year-olds. Around 27% of the boys surveyed admitted to using cannabis – the highest proportion in the survey – while 16% of the girls of the same age indulged at least once in their lifetime. The Alpine nation is also among the leaders when it came to being high in the last 30 days: 15% of boys and 9% of girls.
The country’s teens have an statistically average exposure to alcohol. Around 13% of 15-year-old boys and 8% of 15-year-old girls report having been really drunk at least once in the month preceding the survey. The youngsters are also in the middle of the pack when it comes to smoking: 16% of 15-year-old boys and 14% of girls report having smoked cigarettes at least once in the past month.
In terms of physical activity, only a minority of Swiss 15-year-olds follow the WHO recommendation and engage in moderate to sustained physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day – boys: 15% and girls: 8%.
However, a significant number are getting their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The daily consumption of vegetables of 15-year-olds is good by international comparison (boys: 39%; girls: 49%), and even very good for fruit (boys: 33%; girls: 47%).
The 2017/2018 survey report presents data from over 220,000 young people in 45 countries and regions in Europe and Canada.
Two dogs returned to their owners stoned after they ate human faeces which contained high levels of cannabis.
A red heeler pointer named Mack, and a kelpie bull Arab cross called Viola were exploring the GJ Hosken Reserve in Altona North, Melbourne on Sunday morning.
They returned to their owners, Claire Sutherland and Gabriele D’Angelo, later that day and both animals became extremely ill and were rushed to a veterinary clinic as the owners believed they may have been poisoned.
Mack and Viola had their stomachs pumped where it was found both dogs had eaten faeces from a person who had consumed edible marijuana.
Ms Sutherland said Mack was acting strange when he returned from the park.
‘He lost control of his back legs, he was drooling, he was flinching when we put our hand near him, he was trembling,’ Ms Sutherland told the Herald Sun.
A vet initially diagnosed Mack with a slipped disc and gave him morphine, but when Mr D’Angelo called Ms Sutherland and said Viola was showing the same symptoms, they knew something was wrong.
She contacted her veterinary friend, Ross Ansell, who said it was impossible for both dogs to have slipped discs.
He urged the pair to take them to an emergency clinic who discovered the dogs had consumed high levels of marijuana.
After returning from the vet, Ms Sutherland said Mack had the munchies.
‘He also seemed very anxious for the entire night but in hindsight it was probably paranoia kicking in. You worry about your kids getting mixed up in drugs, but you don’t imagine your dogs will get stoned.’
Mr Ansell said marijuana can cause serious harms to dogs if consumed.
‘It can cause a coma, it can lead to death if they have enough, it really knocks them around. It’s a neurological toxin, so it can have a spectacular medical effect on the nervous system,’ he said.
Police Scotland have said they made the recovery after a ‘proactive operation’ on Henderson Street, Clydebank at around 9.45am yesterday
Cops have seized £30,000 of cannabis and thousands of pounds in cash during a morning raid in a Scots town.
Police Scotland have said they made the recovery after a ‘proactive operation’ on Henderson Street, Clydebank at around 9.45am yesterday.
Two men, both aged 25 and a 31-year-old woman have been arrested and charged in connection and are expected to appear at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Monday.
DCI Ogilivie Ross said: “This was a significant recovery linked with serious and organised crime within Clydebank. I want to reassure people that we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to remove Organised Crime from the community.
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Horrifying footage shows the moment firefighters desperately tried to escape a building following an explosion Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles.
At least six firefighters are seen making their way out of the building on a ladder after attempting to tackle a massive blaze at a building of a supplier of butane honey oil – also known as hash oil.
Some of the first responders were engulfed in flames as they tried to reach safety.
Twelve firefighters, who were inside during the explosion, were injured after they had to run through a wall of flames estimated to be as much as 30 feet high and wide.
Others ran out onto sidewalks, where they tore off their burning protective equipment, including melted helmets.
On Sunday, police and fire investigators launched a criminal probe into the cause of the explosion.
Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s major crimes division were working with investigators from the Fire Department’s arson team to determine what might have sparked the blast that shot a ball of flames out of the building Saturday night and scorched a fire truck across the street, police spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.
The wall of flames shot out of the building and burned seats inside a fire truck across the street.
‘We’re in the very early stages of the investigation … to understand what happened and figure out how to move forward,’ he said.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting local fire investigators, an agency spokeswoman said.
‘Everybody off the roof!’ a firefighter shouted in scanner traffic captured on Broadcastify.com.
Mayday mayday mayday! All companies out of the building. Mayday mayday mayday!’ another shouted.
Firefighters first thought they were battling a routine structure fire, city fire Capt Erik Scott told KNX Radio, but as they got a little farther in the building they started to hear ‘a loud hissing sound and a significant rumbling that you could feel vibrating throughout the area’.
He said ‘one significant explosion’ shook the neighborhood around 6.30pm.
Three firefighters were released after spending the night in the hospital, fire department spokesman Nicholas Prange said Sunday.
Of the eight who remained hospitalized, two were in critical but stable condition.
Officials initially announced that 11 firefighters were injured. But Prange said a 12th was treated and released for a minor injury. All are expected to survive.
‘Things could have been so much worse,’ said Los Angeles Fire Department Medical Director Dr Marc Eckstein, who helped treat the injured at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.
There was light to moderate smoke when firefighters entered the one-story building in the city’s Toy District and went on the roof – normal procedures to try to quickly knock down any flames.
os Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said one of the firefighters inside the building thought things didn’t seem right – the pressure from the smoke and heat coming from the rear of the building were increasing.
He directed everyone to get out, and they quickly started exiting the building as it was rocked by the explosion.
More than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene, and dozens of engines, trucks and rescue vehicles clogged the streets.
The fire spread to several nearby buildings, but firefighters were able to douse it in about an hour.
Scott said the building was a warehouse for SmokeTokes, which he described as a supplier for makers of ‘butane honey oil’.
Butane is an odorless gas that easily ignites, and it´s used in the process to extract the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis to create a highly potent concentrate also known as hash oil.
The oil is used in vape pens, edibles, waxes and other products.
A call to SmokeTokes went unanswered on Monday, and the company’s voicemail was full.
On its website, SmokeTokes advertises a variety of products including ‘puff bars,’ pipes, ‘dab’ tools, vaporizers, ‘torches and butane,’ and cartridges.
The company says it is ‘an international distributor and wholesaler of smoking and vaping products, and related accessories’.
Prange, the LAFD spokesman, said carbon dioxide and butane canisters were found inside the building but that it was still not clear what caused the blast.
Adam Spiker, executive director of the cannabis industry group Southern California Coalition, said he didn’t know what activities were taking place inside the building.
However, if the business was using butane in cannabis extraction it would be illegal because the city has never issued a license for that type of operation.
Because of safety concerns, such businesses are typically restricted to industrial areas and kept away from urban centers.
‘If they were doing volatile extraction with butane … they couldn’t be legal in the city of LA to do those types of activities,’ Spiker said.
He said the coalition was unaware of the business having any type of license and ‘something about this doesn’t pass the smell test’.
Information so far ‘puts up a lot of alarm bells,’ Spiker said.
In 2016, there was another major fire at a business called Smoke Tokes at a nearby address.
The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that it took more than 160 firefighters to put out the blaze and that they encountered pressurized gas cylinders that exploded in the fire.
No one was injured in that fire. It was unclear whether that business and the one that burned Saturday were connected.
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RABAT (Reuters) – With the usual routes to Europe closed by the coronavirus pandemic, Moroccan drug traffickers are making a circuitous journey involving food trucks and fishing boats to smuggle locally grown cannabis to market, police say.
Morocco has since March imposed an internal lockdown that has stopped most movement between cities and closed its air and sea borders in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This has also blocked the normal drugs route.
Smugglers previously took the cannabis grown in the northern Rif Mountains, trucked it the short distance to the Mediterranean coast and then whisked it across the sea by speed boat or concealed in the daily fleets of commercial shipping.
But recent seizures of contraband show they have been forced to adopt an alternative, longer route – food trucks across Morocco and then fishing vessels sailing from Atlantic ports, police and domestic intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik said.
The police successes in disrupting the smuggling networks during lockdown point to a “drastic shift” in trafficking methods, he said, as gangs “opt for coasts distant from Europe, requiring long and expensive sea trips in a bid for a safer route”.
While only 14 km (9 miles) separates Tangier from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar, the route up the Atlantic coast requires a long voyage and a sea rendezvous with European smugglers in international waters.
It also involves driving the drugs for hours from the Rif to the remote beaches of Sidi Abed, 217km (135 miles) south of Rabat, using food trucks whose drivers have lockdown travel permits, Sabik said.
Police have seized 32.6 tonnes of cannabis resin, known as hashish, during the lockdown period and 62 tonnes since the start of the year compared to 210 tonnes seized last year.
North African and the Middle Eastern drug busts show that restrictions aimed at the coronavirus have failed to halt the narcotics trade, as European users buy more to see them through lockdown, the United Nations drugs agency said in a report.
Morocco made big strides in cutting drug cultivation this century, offering farmers subsidies to grow other crops as the land used for cannabis fields dropped from 134,000 hectares in 2003 to stabilise six years ago at 47,000 hectares.
However, while cannabis trafficking continues, the coronavirus restrictions have entirely stopped shipments of cocaine being flown through Morocco, once a way station on the way to Europe, Sabik said.
With so much COVID-19 doom and gloom online, some in the cannabis community have opted to turn the channel with what they call “care-mongering” on Instagram.
People have been dropping off or mailing cannabis-related products, including pot seeds, to friends, explained Lisa Campbell, the Toronto-based CEO of the cannabis sales and marketing company, Mercari Agency Ltd.
“A lot of people have been talking about care-mongering as opposed to fear-mongering where you can go down these YouTube or Google spirals where you’re just reading about horrible things happening,” said Campbell.
“People are trying to move away from a state of fear to a state of caring on social media,” she added. “What I’ve noticed is there’s this trend, especially on Instagram, where the cannabis community is really strong, with care-mongering with cannabis. So it all started the first package I got.”
Campbell first heard from someone who asked for her address to drop off seeds, hemp rolling papers and some weed.
“Because it was the first week of COVID-19 (lockdown) we did not see each other, we did not touch, we did not smoke cannabis together,” she said.
“He just left the care package on my front door and I just took photos and thanked him and sprouted all the seeds, smoked the cannabis, and it was just like this really awesome thing,” added Campbell. “And it’s becoming almost like a trend. Like if it happens to one person you kind of pay it forward.”
Since then, several sources have provided Campbell with cannabis products, including a rosin press which can make cannabis oil extract from the marijuana buds. She decided to drop seedlings off to pals.
“I made these little to-go packs,” recalled Campbell. “I found these like little clear plastic Dollarama containers that had a little handle on them and put a little bit of soil, a few of the seedlings ‘cause they’re still really tiny, and I just went to all my friends who I know would appreciate it and I dropped off two to four plants per person.
“So now for my friends in Toronto …, I’ve got four or five different friends growing (plants) from the seedlings from the seeds that were given to me. It’s just like a really cool trend.”
Single households can have up to four weed plants (and condos and apartments, too, as long as it’s not prohibited by a lease agreement). If you’re mailing cannabis, the law allows Ontario residents aged 19 and up to send others up to 30 grams of pot or as many as four seeds.
In February, Decca Aitkenhead found herself taking magic mushrooms on a beach in Jamaica. She took a friend, ratioed one bad trip to two good, came some way to processing her dealings with mortality and experienced one of the best days of her life. Then she came home and wrote all about it for The Times.
After all, Aitkenhead isn’t a gap year student but an awarded and decidedly adult journalist. Her account can be placed alongside the first episode of Gwyneth Paltrow’s divisive Netflix series The Goop Lab, which saw a number of Goop staffers travel to the Caribbean for a similarly emotionally laxative experience via mushrooms. 2020 was the year the notion of using psychedelics for good – for health or for therapy – entered mainstream culture. As Mark Hayden, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), so astutely put it to Paltrow: “Psychedelics are back!”
Their rise and fall story goes like this: Swiss chemist Albert Hofman accidentally invented LSD while attempting to create a stimulant in a lab in 1938. He saw the potential in its psychotherapeutic application and sent it to clinics and universities around the world alongside psilocybin, a naturally occurring prodrug produced by what are commonly known as magic mushrooms. More than a thousand scientific papers were subsequently published on its effects in patients suffering from certain mental disorders and trauma.
And then the 1960s happened; more accurately the Harvard Psilocybin Project happened. Researchers such as Dr Timothy Leary pushed the ethical boundaries of psychedelics’ use in a medical setting and the drug leaked into middle class America’s recreational fabric as ‘acid’. Its use became synonymous with counterculture and youthful rebellion, and was consequently made illegal in the US by 1966.
The slow reemergence of therapeutic psychedelics came to a head in 2018 with the publication of How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan’s bestseller subtitled: ‘What the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression, and transcendence’.
“That book really further destigmatized [psychedelics] and made this a dinner table conversation for most of America,” says JR Rahn, the founder and chief executive of MindMed, a public company developing psychedelic medicines for public use. It’s part of a crop of firms springing up around the psychedelic renaissance – a movement that’s piqued the interest of culture much like activism around cannabis laws did in the previous decade.
And much like cannabis, this burgeoning industry is spawning a wide range of well-designed brands promising a wide range of solutions. There’s MycoMedications, the luxury retreat attended by Aitkenhead that sports flat graphics created by Norwegian designer Anders Bakken. There’s Mud\Wtr, a trip-proof stylish and monochrome ‘coffee alternative’ reminiscent of the CBD latte aesthetic taking over the east and west coasts. There’s Rainbo, ‘a sustainable medicinal mushroom company’ whose cutesy graphics could be mistaken for a DTC beauty company on first glance.
And there’s DoubleBlind, a media brand that looks like Dazed for psychedelics. It was launched by Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin – two journalists who had previously reported on the industry for the likes of Rolling Stone, Vice and LA Weekly. Like many in the sector, the success of Pollan’s book had been the catalyst they needed to take the plunge.
The first issue of Doubleblind’s print edition. / Michael Isaac Stein
DoubleBlind runs news and features such as ‘New York Assemblywoman Introduces Measure to Decriminalize Psilocybin’ and ‘You Can Now Get Ketamine in the Mail for Your Depression’. Its revenue model is sensibly diverse, with cannabis and wellness brands making up its roster of clients so far.
“We have advertisements in the print magazine to help us pay for the production costs,” explains Hartman. “Brands also sponsor our events – virtually and in person – and our videos. But we don’t do traditional branded content in which we write favorable things about products in exchange for money as we feel that would compromise our editorial independence.
“Our goal is to provide people with all the tools necessary to embark on a safe and supportive journey with plant medicine. To us, this means: educational resources, actual products (such as legal plant medicines such as kava and tools for harm reduction such as drug testing kits) and community. We have more online courses on the horizon, partnerships with incredible people in the plant medicine space making things we’ll be selling in our store, and, of course, events, from integration circles to a pop-up dinner with the Disco Dining Club.”
Hartman is positive about the growth opportunity in the space, citing the FDA’s encouraging interest in MDMA and psilocybin as prescription medications, as well as the 100+ cities and counties seeking to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi at the local level. But she and Margolin also believe the sector at large shouldn’t be “branded” for the benefit of wider consumer palates.
“We don’t want to see psychedelic culture or history become sterilized the way that cannabis has,” says Hartman. “We don’t think there’s a right way to do psychedelics; we believe doing them at a festival can be deeply therapeutic, and doing them in a clinical trial with researchers can, too. We do believe that more people should learn about psychedelics and their therapeutic potential—and that accessible, entertaining content will help with that.”
Rahn holds a similar view.
“We’re not planning on selling micro doses out of a dispensary,” he says, referencing the Silicon Valley hobby of taking tiny doses of LSD throughout the day in the hope of boosting productivity. “These are going to be picked up from your local pharmacy. They’re going to be prescribed by a doctor. We’re not trying to build cannabis 2.0.”
Nevertheless, Rahn – thirsty for FDA approvals – looks to the protracted rebranding of illegal ‘pot’ into decriminalized ‘cannabis’ for inspiration. He is conscious psychedelics also need somewhat of a rebrand in the mainstream in order for both consumers and investors to buy into his the MindMed vision. It could come in the form of a new name or it could come in the form of an overarching campaign. Luckily for Rahn, there’s a pretty well-known brand already planning the latter.
David Bronner, of Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps / Michael Staver
Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps may not sell psychedelics, but the company has a campaigning interest in getting them decriminalized for medical and therapeutic benefits. Founded in 1948 by the eponymous Emil Bronner, the company used labels on its soaps to spread a message of ‘unity across religious and ethnic divides’ from the very beginning.
Bronner’s grandson, David Bronner, took over as chief executive in 1998 and went on to augment this sense of purpose, using the brand’s platform to campaign for policies such as the Green New Deal, regenerative organic farming and better schooling. The use of psychedelic medicine and therapy is a new cause for the company, and one that Bronner calls his “passion project”.
He sits on the board of MAPS, while the company has pledged $5m to aid the association’s work to make MDMA an FDA-approved medicine for the treatment of PTSD. But September will see the brand make one of its most public-facing displays of support with its ‘Heal Soul’ campaign. Dr Bronner’s will turn its soap bottle labels into mini-pamphlets explaining how psychedelics can be used successfully in a medicinal environment, while its social media platforms will reinforce the messaging.
“We’ll be using our brand as a platform to really communicate this amazing psychedelic renaissance we’re living through and hopefully help mainstream the conversation,” says Bronner. “It’s still definitely a bit spicy but it’s also a well-calculated moment to really communicate. And for people who have a problem with it, we’ll engage with them and try and explain it, and hopefully they’ll come around.”
Rahn, meanwhile, is on the hunt for a creative agency – not a pharma agency per se, but one that has a deep understanding of both mental wellness and the limitations of pharmaceutical advertising. Data, in his opinion, is the best form of marketing to investors, but even he realizes communications are necessary to reverse the raw fear that still surrounds psychedelics in everyday life.
“We’re going need further efforts like to ultimately change the stigma,” he says. “We definitely know that it’s a big part of what we have to do.”
The question is whether marketers – for all their ‘bravery’ – will also see psychedelics as a big part of their future too.