Dutch Police Officer deletes Twitter and Facebook accounts after threats

The Twitter account and Facebook page from police officer Braakenburg in the city of Harderwijk have been deleted. The social media accounts have been removed as a consequence of threats after posting about removing weed plants. ‘This goes beyond all boundaries’, says a spokesman in response to the weed plant affair of Braakenburg.
The police officer from the Harderwijk-neighbourhood posted a message on Facebook Friday about removing five weed plants from a balcony. That message got thousands of negative reviews on Facebook and Twitter. So that’s why he placed another message on Sunday, also receiving lots of negative responses. Monday night the threads started to come. For officer Braakenburg this was the reason to remove his accounts, according to a spokesman for the police.

People would have been encouraged to share the information of the officer, so they could ‘seek for him’. ‘The plants have been removed in accordance with the owner of the house’, Braakenburg wrote on Friday. The house owner understood that plants with such a size ‘would not be handy in the hood’. Understanding of the house owner or not, the weed plant affair was born. Sunday he posted: ‘The negative reactions I can understand, but do react with dignity’. He also said that his colleagues from the public prosecution office were reading the reactions to his post. ‘Before you know it you could be a suspect of a criminal reaction’. That last remark again resulted in negative wave on social media.

There was a lot of shouting by anonymous users of social media. And also somebody made a fake-account with Braakenburg’s name. So under this name, a lot of negative reactions were posted on social media. The police are aware of this fake-account and are not amused. Braakenburg himself on Monday had no further comments.

Source: August 28 – omroepgelderland.nl

The Drug Czar of the Federal Republic of Germany, Marlene Mortler (CSU), verbally attacked the U.S. cannabis lobby during a presentation of the government’s 2017 Drug and Addiction Report. During a recent press conference, Mortler explained that “U.S. cannabis companies are doing a great deal of business in Germany.”

The CSU-representative added that the wealthy nation of Germany was a desirable market for hedge funds — especially from the USA. According to Mortler, these investors lurk in wait for Germany to the expand the market opportunities.

She also said that since the legalisation of medical cannabis in Germany, U.S. companies have touted high expectations regarding Germany’s business potential. According to Mortler, the cannabis lobby now has more direct access to decision-makers than the alcohol or tobacco lobbies, and can effectively engage younger generations through the social media.

During the presentation of this year’s report, the Drug Czar sought out culprits to blame for her poor performance record, which showed a rise in drug-related deaths in Germany for the fourth year in a row. In her home state of Bavaria, where there are hardly any aid programs to help drug addicts, the numbers are increasing immensely.

When it comes to cannabis, Mortler is convinced that the plant’s increasing popularity is the direct result of activism and lobbying efforts. She has continuously declined opportunities to speak with cannabis activists — the “Hemp-Lobby” as she put it — ignoring any possibility of a direct exchange of factual arguments. No interviews, meetings, panels, not even a Skype-dialogue has occurred since she took the role of Drug Czar in 2013. Mortler does not talk to or with her drug policy opponents or cannabis consumers; instead, she talks about them.

In 2016, Mortler complained that Germany’s cannabis users had started a kind of digital war against her. Activists had launched “Mortler off” T-shirts, published a related Facebook page, and promoted a petition for her withdrawal on Change.org. But the CSU leader is hardly diplomatic when it comes to cannabis. She once advised the well-known German rapper Thomas D. on Facebook not to publicise his opposing opinions on cannabis, acerbically asking whether the highly reputed artist “if he has smoked too much.”

Even the former financial economist, green politician and founder of the German Hemp Association, Georg Wurth, was called a “gambler and player” by Mortler. He’s never given her a harsh word.

In Mortler’s criticism of the U.S. cannabis lobby and the situation in Colorado, the staunch cannabis opponent skates on thin ice when asserting that the consumption among young people has surged in Colorado since the state regulated cannabis. The source of her ignorance stems from the questionable figures of the “Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area” (RMHIDTA). The report does not address the Colorado Ministry of Health’s official report on the effects of legalisation. In contrast to the RMHIDTA’s alleged report of increased cannabis use among adolescents, the state’s Health Department released a study in June, finding that cannabis use among teens has not increased since legalisation and remains in line with the national average.

Mason Tvert, the current communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project in Colorado, commented on the windy figures and the work of the RMHIDTA 2016 for Vice magazine:

“It’s kind of laughable, but unfortunately it gets taken seriously by some,” Tvert said of the Rocky Mountain HIDTA report. “This is an agency that, much like the DEA, is living in the 1930s when it comes to marijuana.”

Germany Drug Commissioners also claim that today’s cannabis products are much stronger and therefore more dangerous than they were in the 1970s — this is also demonstrably wrong. In the 1970s, Europeans almost exclusively smoked hashish, which contained a  similar THC content to today’s most potent indoor flowers. The Federal Criminal Police Office confirmed this fact in 2004 when the rumour of highly-potent GMO-cannabis made national headlines for the first time. Additionally, Mortler’s predecessor, Mechthild Dyckmans, confirmed those findings in 2012:

-The active substance content has fallen overall since 1997 and has not increased ever since,
-No figures are available that are older than 30 years to compare with the current ones,
-Only a short-term increase in the late 1990s could be established.
-Last but not least, highly potent cannabis is no more dangerous than the less potent varieties, as long as the consumers are aware of its THC content.

Mortler, an expert on agricultural policy, lacked drug policy experience at the time of her inauguration. Her perfidious and often difficult-to-believe tactics, just as in the “Pharmacy Review” of January 2015, may be doing more to help pro-cannabis efforts in Germany:

-PR: Would a general prohibition on advertising for alcohol and a uniformly high tax rate on alcoholic beverages prevent alcohol abuse among young people better (than the current law)?
Mortler: If you forbid everything, do you think a child says: ‘Yes, mama, you’re right.’? Our country does not want and can not ban anything. Children and young people must be convinced – through education and role models.
-PR: Do you believe in the efficiency of bans when it comes to cannabis prohibition?
Mortler: Cannabis is an illegal drug.

Unfortunately, the poor defender of Germany’s drug policy will leave office after the coming elections in October. Since the position of the Drug Officer is not very popular and has never been occupied by the same person for more than one legislative period, Mortler will likely lose the opportunity to provide such a weak case against legalisation, as she has for years. In Germany, a pseudo-liberal Drug Czar could do more to slow down the movement’s intake and influence than a drug-related hardliner with moderate stances, representing long-outdated science and facts.

Source: August 28 – Marijuana.com

It only makes sense that a classic California beer company would end up teaming up with a cannabis company

Last week, Lagunitas Brewing Company debuted their SuperCritical Ale, a beer brewed with terpenes, aromatic compounds of essential oils that are extracted from some plants, including cannabis and hops. “What we’re trying to focus on really has nothing to do with the drug component,” explains Lagunitas brewer Jeremy Marshall in a promotional video for the beer. “Instead what we’re interested in is a molecule known as a terpene.” Sixty barrels of the hoppy beer were produced and they do not contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that triggers a psychoactive effect.

The beer, which is only available in a few California locations, is part of a partnership between Lagunitas and cannabis-extract manufacturing facility, CannaCraft Inc., who provided the terpenes needed for the beer. In exchange, Lagunitas helped them develop new vaping products and obtain a beer-like aroma for a product of theirs that does include THC.

Lagunitas has been pro-marijuana for some time. One of their beers, the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, recognises a 2005 raid by state Alcohol Beverage Control agents who sought out to arrest employees smoking pot at the beer company’s plant in Petaluma, CA. The raid happened on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, when legend says that employees planned to smoke an eight-inch joint with the circumference of a dime. At the time, the brewery threw weekly open-house parties for employees and regulars at smoker-friendly 4:20 p.m. on Thursdays — and the raid occurred during their largest open-house yet.

They aren’t the first company to combine booze and weed. There are weed-infused wines on the market in California, like Canna Wine. And Humboldt Distillery in Northern California has brewed batches of vodka infused with hemp These partnerships are a sign of the times, as California gears up for the legalisation of recreational marijuana use that kicks in on January 1, 2018.

Source: August 27 – Mens Health

Netflix has co-created a set of cannabis strains based on a selection of its most popular original shows.

The set, called The Netflix Collection, will be sold as part of a pop-up event at Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Hollywood from 25-27 August to legal medical marijuana card-holding customers. Federal laws prevent the products being available by mail and Netflix will not be profiting from any of the sales.

“Each strain was cultivated with the specific shows in mind, designed to complement each title based on their tone,” a press release read. “For example, sillier shows may be more indica dominant, while dramedies will be more sativa dominant to help the more powerful scenes resonate.”

The shows featured include Orange is the new Black, which has spawned Poussey Riot, meant for “kicking it with somebody, talking, making mad stupid jokes”, Arrested Development, which has been labelled Banana Stand Kush ideally for a “big yellow joint” and Grace and Frankie, the Peyotea 73 – an “uplifting sativa hybrid”.

Other strains are inspired by Bojack Horseman, Lady Dynamite and cannibal comedy Santa Clarita Diet, which will “really ramp up your appetite”.

The collection also features three varieties based on new show Disjointed, a sitcom starring Kathy Bates as the owner or a marijuana dispensary, the inspiration for the pop-up event. The show, from The Big Bang Theory’s Chuck Lorre, has received mixed reviews. The New York Times’ James Poniewozik called it “a mess of a comedy that doesn’t feel as if it belongs anywhere”.

Source: August 25 – The Guardian

The pharmacies selling pot were doing a brisk business.

After Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalise marijuana sales for recreational use last month, some of the pharmacies struggled to keep up with the demand.

Then came the stern letters from American banks.

The letters immediately sent officials in Uruguay scrambling to make sense of the Patriot Act and other American laws that could doom an essential part of their country’s new marijuana market. American banks, including Bank of America, said that they would stop doing business with banks in Uruguay that provide services for those state-controlled sales.

Afraid of losing access to the American banking system, Uruguayan banks warned some of the pharmacies over the last couple of weeks that their accounts would be shut down, potentially signalling a broader international impasse as other countries, including Canada, set out to legalise marijuana. “We can’t hold out false hope,” President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay told reporters this week, adding that his administration was trying to come up with a solution.

The snag mirrors challenges that such businesses have faced in American states that have legalised medical and recreational cannabis. Under the Patriot Act, which was passed weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it is unlawful for American financial institutions to do business with dealers of certain controlled substances, including marijuana. The provisions were designed to curb money laundering and drug trafficking.

The Obama administration indicated in 2014 that banks were unlikely to face penalties for offering services to marijuana businesses in states where the trade is legal, as long they screened accounts for signs of money laundering and ensured that customers followed state guidelines. This enabled some of the businesses to get accounts at credit unions, but major banks have largely stayed away from the expanding industry, concluding that the burdens and risks of doing business with marijuana sellers were not worth the hassle.

“Banks are businesses, and they can pick and choose who they do business with,” said Frank Robison, a lawyer in Colorado who specialises in marijuana regulation. “From a banking industry perspective, the marijuana industry might be perceived as a flea on a dog’s back.” Several pot businesses in states like Colorado and Washington — the first to legalise recreational marijuana— have opted to remain cash-only businesses. Others have found small banks willing to take a calculated risk.

But finding a workaround in Uruguay may be hard. Sales of marijuana represent a small share of business for pharmacies, which are currently the only merchants licensed to sell it, and the pharmacies say they need banking services to operate.

Similarly, bankers in Uruguay will probably find it much more important to remain in good standing with American financial institutions than to preserve the accounts of a small number of pharmacies.
The threat of losing their bank accounts has led some of the roughly 15 pharmacies that initially signed up to participate in the new market to give up on marijuana sales, said Pablo Durán, a legal expert at the Center of Pharmacies in Uruguay, a trade group. Twenty other pharmacies that were expected to join the market are holding off while the government explores solutions, he said.

The American regulations are counterproductive, supporters of the legal market in Uruguay contend, because they may inadvertently encourage, not prevent, illicit drug sales.

Fighting drug trafficking was one of the main reasons the Uruguayan government gave for legalising recreational marijuana. Officials spent years developing a complex regulatory framework that permits people to grow a limited supply of cannabis themselves or buy it at pharmacies for less than the black market rate. Lawmakers hoped that legal structure would undercut illicit marijuana cultivation and sales. “There probably isn’t a trade in Uruguay today that is more controlled than cannabis sale,” Mr. Durán said.

As a candidate, President Trump said that American states should be free to chart their own courses on marijuana, and he promised to pare back regulation in the financial sector. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, has been a sharp critic of legalisation and has compared marijuana to heroin.

Now, some members of the cannabis industry wonder whether the United States government will resolve the conflict between its banking laws and the expanding patchwork of measures to legalise recreational and medical marijuana use around the world. The guidance from the Obama administration, issued by the Justice and Treasury Departments in a pair of memos in 2014, addressed the matter domestically but not for international banking. “Uruguay may be the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr. Robison, the Colorado lawyer who specialises in marijuana regulation.

Pharmacists in Uruguay were incredulous to learn that their bank accounts could be shut down, considering the years of study and planning that preceded the start of retail marijuana sales last month. The country’s marijuana law was passed in 2013.

“We can’t understand how the government didn’t have the foresight to anticipate this,” said Gabriel Bachini, a pharmacy owner in the coastal city of Colonia.

Since sales began, the number of registered buyers in Uruguay has more than doubled. As of Aug. 15, more than 12,500 people had enrolled in a system that verifies customers’ identities with fingerprint scanners and allows them to buy up to 40 grams per month (at a price of about $13 for 10 grams, enough for about 15 joints, advocates say). Under the law, only Uruguayan citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to buy or grow marijuana.

“Demand has been very strong,” Mr. Bachini said. “People are thrilled that they no longer have to go to private homes or venture out into neighbourhoods” to get marijuana.

In emailed statements, the Treasury and Justice Departments said that their earlier guidance was still being applied. But banking and legal experts say the Trump administration has yet to lay down clear markers on this area of policy. Officials in Uruguay are hopeful that American lawmakers will pass legislation allowing banks to do business with marijuana sellers in states and countries where it is regulated. Representative Ed Perlmutter, Democrat of Colorado, introduced a bill in April that would do that, but marijuana advocates say they do not expect a prompt legislative change.

“It is ironic that laws aimed at fighting drug trafficking and money laundering have created a roadblock for a system that intends to do just that,” said Hannah Hetzer, an analyst at the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports decriminalisation of marijuana. “Uruguay is creating a legal market that displaces the illicit marijuana market.”

Mr. Bachini, the pharmacist, said he had not yet heard from his bank. But if it threatens to shut down his account, he said, he will not think twice about giving up marijuana sales.

“This pharmacy has been around for 30 years,” he said. “I’d just stop until this issue with the United States is resolved.”

Source: August 25 – New York Times

 

More info from: Mujica threatens to lock Uruguays parliament cannabis sales due to US interference https://greendorphin.com/mujica-threatens-lock-uruguays-parliament-cannabis-sales-end-due-us-interference/

The South African law banning the smoking and cultivation of dagga is racist‚ unscientific and neither rational or based on good lawmaking.

This was the testimony of Rhodes University historian Craig Paterson. His master’s dissertation probed how colonial laws criminalising dagga use came to be. He is a witness in the trial brought by Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs asking that the laws banning the sale of dagga be ruled unconstitutional. Paterson’s paper finds that cannabis, or dagga, was widely used before colonial times. He told the High Court in Pretoria it was easier to ban dagga officially in 1922 than alcohol, because at the time it was only used by Indian‚ coloured and black people. He said historical evidence showed that alcohol caused more social ills and crime, but was not banned because it was used by whites.

“Alcohol was the real issue for the government‚ so we have to ask why they chose to ban cannabis, not alcohol,” Paterson said. “The only rational conclusion I could come to is [that] white people didn’t smoke cannabis [at the time].” Paterson said one of the first reasons dagga use was halted was because it affected the quality of Indian labourers’ work in 19th-century Natal.

State advocate Bogosi Bokaba SC was aggressive in his cross-examination of Paterson and said the historical reasons for the law criminalising dagga were not relevant today. He said: “It is our view that the history that you specified around dagga use is irrelevant for the issues that are involved today. Do you agree?”

Paterson said it was for the court to decide whether the history behind the laws mattered. Bokaba asked Paterson whether he agreed with the medical symptoms‚ like red eyes‚ linked to the use of dagga.

“I am not sure why I am being asked these questions as a historian‚” Paterson replied.

The court case took seven years of preparation and will last about a month.

More info on the dagga-courtcase, the ‘Trial of the Plant’ via cannabis news network: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETt-dqg9unc&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Source: August 15 – Herald Live

For years now THC has been the most popular and widely researched cannabinoid in cannabis science. However, nowadays like CBD has stolen the spotlight given its ability to provide therapeutic relief to children suffering from various epileptic disorders, while lacking the psychotropic effects (i.e. high) of THC. It’s even gotten to the point that state legislature are passing laws “CBD-only” medical marijuana legislation.

Given all of this, it is easy to see how CBD and THC can be viewed as being in competition. But the reality is that both compounds, along with as many as 66 other cannabinoids, play important roles in providing the therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis therapy. They work in conjunction with approximately 420 additional compounds (terpenoids flavonoids, etc.) to give cannabis its versatility in treating a multitude of medical ailments.


As good students of the Cannabis Classroom, you are probably familiar with the previous pieces which featured what can simply be described as the Big Six cannabinoids: THC, CBD, CBN,CBC and THCV. Each cannabis plant contains these and many other cannabinoids at various percentages as part of the plant’s total chemical profile.

“The chemical profile of the cannabis plant contains other compounds like terpenoids, amino acids, proteins, sugars, enzymes, fatty acids, esters, and flavonoids…”

In addition to cannabinoids, the chemical profile of the cannabis plant contains other compounds like terpenoids amino acids, proteins, sugars, enzymes, fatty acids, esters, and flavonoids, just to name a few.
Naturally, you consume all of these compounds when medicating with cannabis. The question is how do all of these compounds work together to provide therapeutic relief? The answer can be found in a concept called the “entourage effect.”

The Entourage Effect: Chemical Teamwork

First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Rapahael Mechoulam, the basic idea of the entourage effect is that cannabinoids within the cannabis plant work together, or possess synergy, and affect the body in a mechanism similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid system.
This theory serves as the foundation for a relatively controversial idea within pharmacology community, that in certain cases whole plant extractions serve as better therapeutic agents than individual cannabinoid extractions. The entourage effect theory has been expanded in recent times byWagner and Ulrich-Merenich, who define the four basic mechanisms of whole plant extract synergy as follows:

-Ability to affect multiple targets within the body
-Ability to improve the absorption of active ingredients
-Ability to overcome bacterial defence mechanisms
-Ability to minimise adverse side effects.

Affecting Multiple Targets

Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cannabis as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. A study conducted by Wilkinson et al. determined that whole-plant extracts were more effective than THC alone.
Researchers compared 1 mg THC vs. 5 mg/kg cannabis extract with the equivalent amount of THC, and found the whole plant extract to have significantly more anti spastic effect.

The researchers attributed this result to the presence of cannabidiol (CBD) within the cannabis extract, which helps to facilitate the activity of the body’s endocannbinoid system.

Improving Absorption Of Active Ingredients

The entourage effect can also work to improve the absorption of cannabis extracts. Cannabinoids are chemically polar compounds, which makes them at times makes them difficult for the body to absorb in isolation.

“With the assistance of terpenoids like caryophyllene, absorption of cannabinoids can be increased.”

Absorption of topicals provides a prototypical example of this problem. The skin is made up of two layers, also known as a bi-layer, which makes it difficult for for very polar molecules like water and cannabioids to pass through. With the assistance of terpenoids like caryophyllene, absorption of cannabinoids can be increased and therapeutic benefits achieved.

Overcoming Bacterial Defence Mechanisms

The entourage effect also accounts for cannabis extracts to be effective in treating various bacterial infections. There are a number of studies which show the antibacterial properties of cannabinoids.

“Whole-plant cannabis extracts have non-cannabinoid constituents which also have antibacterial properties.”

However, bacteria develop defence mechanisms over time to combat the effects of antibiotics ultimately allowing them to become resistant to therapies which were previously effective. Thus, it is beneficial that whole-plant cannabis extracts have non-cannabinoid consituents that also have antibacterial properties. These molecules attack bacteria through pathways which differ from cannabinoid pathways. Given the attack on multiple fronts, the development of bacterial resistance is limited.

Minimising Adverse Side Effects

Finally, the entourage effect allows certain cannabinoids to modulate the negative side effects of other cannabinoids. The most fitting example of this is CBD’s ability to modulate the perceived negative effects of THC.
Many patients have heard about (or experienced) the increased anxiety and paranoia sometimes associated with cannabis consumption. Thanks to the entourage effect, research has shown that CBD can be effective in minimising the anxiety associated with THC, lowering users’ feelings of paranoia.

As you can see, THC, CBD, and the remaining cannabinoids don’t have to compete with one another – they can work in tandem alongside the other components of cannabis extracts to provide therapeutic relief for a wide variety of ailments.

Source: August 15 – Medical Jane

Examples of the high tea at coffeeshopamsterdam during the month of September

High Tea at coffeeshopamsterdam takes place every Sunday between the 27th of August and September 17th. Regular visitors to our shop, as well as visitors to Amsterdam are welcome to come along and join us for our very own special high tea.