Justin Trudeau And The Cannabis Factory

CANADA: At a former Hershey’s chocolate factory just outside Ottawa a company called Tweed now produces a rather different confection: marijuana for Canada’s tightly regulated medical market. Under the gaze of surveillance cameras, scientists in lab coats concoct new cannabis-based blends in near-sterile conditions. A repurposed candy mixer does the blending. Only in the growing rooms does the spirit of Cheech and Chong, a stoned comedy duo, seem to preside: the plants have names like Black Widow, Deep Purple, Chem Dawg and Bubba Kush.

The market, though growing fast, is still tiny: just 30,000 registered patients buy their supplies from licensed firms like Tweed (short for therapeutic weed). Its parent company had sales of C$4.2m ($3.1m) in the six months that ended on September 30th. But the promise by Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new prime minister, to legalize marijuana could widen the customer base to well beyond the 3m Canadians thought to consume it now. The government’s first “speech from the throne” on December 4th named legalization as one of its priorities.

The existence of companies like Tweed, which obtained a stock market listing in 2014—long before Mr Trudeau, a tattooed former snowboarding instructor, looked likely to become prime minister—suggests that Canada’s transition from remedial to recreational pot will be smooth. It probably won’t be. “It’s going to be a lot harder to implement than you think,” said Lewis Koski, until recently the director of marijuana enforcement in Colorado, to a Canadian news agency.

‘Grandma’s Magic Remedy:’ Mexico’s Medical Marijuana Secret

MEXICO: When her legs ache, this Mexican grandmother rubs them with marijuana-infused alcohol. She is well aware the homemade remedy defies the country’s cannabis ban, but her family has used the concoction to treat ailments since she was a child, handing it down the generations.

“I really have a lot of faith in it,” said the slender 53-year-old, a housewife and amateur dancer who spoke to AFP about her cannabis use on condition of strict anonymity.

“When I’m very tired, I spread it on my legs, feet and body. It’s really good. I can go without salt but not without marijuana with alcohol. My grandmother used it,” she said, holding a plastic bottle filled with the leaves and liquid.

In turn, she used the family remedy to care for her three children, and three grandchildren. For the kids, a piece of cotton soaked in the liquid is placed in the bellybutton to fight fevers. When they’re congested, the alcohol is rubbed on the chest and back.

A debate on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal uses in Mexico is in its infant stages, but Mexicans have used cannabis for therapeutic purposes for centuries.

 

Mexico Issues First Permits For Growing And Possessing Marijuana

MEXICO: The Mexican government granted the first permits allowing growing and possession of marijuana for personal use on Friday.

The government’s medical protection agency said the permits will apply only to the four plaintiffs who won a November Supreme Court ruling.

The permits won’t allow smoking marijuana in the presence of children or anyone who hasn’t given consent.

The permits also don’t allow the sale or distribution of the drug.

The court’s ruling doesn’t imply a general legalization. But if the court rules the same way on five similar petitions, it would then establish the precedent to change the law and allow general recreational use.

Canada To Become First G7 Nation To Legalize Marijuana

CANADA: Canada will next year become the first country in the G7 bloc of leading economies to legalize marijuana, the government said Friday in a speech by the governor general.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised the move during the recent election campaign that swept his Liberals to power, after two previous administrations failed to follow through on a similar pledge.

International Drug Laws: Iran Takes Steps Towards legalizing cannabis

IRAN: After Uruguay courageously legalized the use of cannabis under a new drug policy, could Iran be the next country to make it legal? From the outside, the image of Iran as retrograde and inherently conservative hardly fits with the reality of a more dynamic domestic political debate within. But drug policy is one of the areas of debate in which the Islamic Republic has produced some interesting, yet paradoxical, policies.

Iran has a conspicuous drug addiction problem – which officially accounts for more than 2m addicts (though unofficial figures put this as high as 5-6m). Drug traffickers risk harsh punishments that include the death penalty.

Yet Iran also has very progressive policies towards drug addiction, which include distribution of clean needles to injecting drug users, methadone substitution programs (also in prisons) and a vast system of addiction treatment.