Germany Bans Red Bull Cola

May 27th, 2009 by Rick

Red Bull Cola

The Health Institute in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, conducted a sample test of Red Bull Cola and discovered a minute amount of a byproduct of cocaine, per liter in the drink. Fearing violations of their narcotics law, five other German states (Hesse, Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate) banned the drink from being sold in stores.

On Monday, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Germany’s equivalent to the FDA, but more scientific), said that that level of cocaine within the drink was too low to pose any sort of health risk and planned to release a more detailed report sometime today.

Red Bull said it’s cola was…

harmless and marketable in both the U.S. and Europe.

It doesn’t make sense why the ban went into effect. It would take 12,000 liters of the drink to become affected. Even negative publicity is still publicity and with all the media outlets covering the story, Red Bull Cola (which has only been available for a year) may certainly benefit from the buzz.

Candian Cabinet Tweaks Medical Marijuana Law

May 27th, 2009 by Rick

Canadian Cabinet

After a Canadian Federal Court ruled last year that allowing only one medical marijuana patient per licensed grower was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada’s Cabinet increased the limit to two patients per producer. This slight increase has sparked heavy criticism from the MP’s and advocates for medical marijuana.

A Health Canada spokesman, Philippe Laroche, said in an e-mail:

As a result of (the Federal Court ruling), the government has moved quickly to address this regulatory void and has modified the (regulations) to allow one designated person to now produce marijuana for up to two authorized persons. [...] This modification is currently in force.

Eric Nash, a licensed Vancouver Island marijuana supplier under the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations said:

From one to two patients, that’s just insane.

Despite several hundreds of requests from medical marijuana patients, Nash and his partner are limited to one patient each.

New Democrat MP Libby Davies said:

From the beginning, the federal government has been dragged kicking and screaming into accepting the use of marijuana for medical reasons.

Davies also says that the government ruling is “abysmal” and that the courts should reverse the decision eventually. Health Canada is aware that thousands of medical marijuana patients receive their marijuana through “Compassion Centers” but that marijuana is not regulated for quality and safety and it’s source is usually the black market.

Andean Cocaine: By Paul Gootenberg

May 27th, 2009 by Rick

Andean Cocaine By Paul Gootenberg

Cocaine… it’s origins derive from South America, particularly in the foothills of the Andes in Peru. In the 19th century, the drug was used medicinally. In the 20th century, it was repressed. After World War II cocaine moved to the “illicit goods” list and was declared an illegal substance worldwide.

Paul Gootenberg, professor of history at Stony Brook University in New York and author or editor of four other books, chronicles the global influence of cocaine in his new book, Andean Cocaine.

Not only does Gootenberg include people and organizations (Sigmund Freud, Coca-Cola, and Pablo Escobar) within the book that historically have been connected to cocaine but he also researches the obscured history. From the Peruvian pharmacist who created techniques for refining cocaine on an industrial scale to the creators of the original drug networks, Gootenberg shows how it gave birth to the 1980’s American cocaine epidemic and the never ending U.S. drug war in the Andes.

Excerpt from the book:

Pharmacist Alfredo Bignon was burning the midnight oil in the backroom laboratory of his Drogueria y Botica Francesa, just around the corner from Lima’s main Plaza de Armas. Once more, he went over in his head his hard-won new formula for making cocaine. Tomorrow, the thirteenth of March 1885, he would present his findings at the Academia Libre de Medicina de Lima, where a distinguished panel of Peruvian doctors and chemists would judge his innovation in a ten-page official informe.

William O. Walker III, University of Toronto, author of Drug Trafficking in the Americas said:

There is simply no other work comparable to Andean Cocaine. The methodology, the evidence, and the interpretations come together in mutually reinforcing ways that make this arresting study an outstanding example of what scholars in history and anthropology should aspire to in their own work.

Andean Cocaine is comprised of 446 pages and 16 illustrations and is available in a cloth or paperback cover.

Former Congressman Wants to Legalize Drugs

May 27th, 2009 by Rick

The drug legalization movement received an unexpected ally last Wednesday, when always outspoken former Republican Congressman, Tom Tancredo, gave a speech at the Denver Lincoln Club in Colorado in front of a mostly conservative audience. He says the drug war has been a failure and that it’s time to legalize drugs before the cartel violence, that has already crossed the border, becomes any worse.

Another reason to legalize, Tancredo says, is because the children are able to get drugs before they can get alcohol. This is the classic argument when it comes to legalization and the kids – dealers don’t check ID’s.

Some believe that Tancredo plans to run for Governor or even Senator for Colorado (even though he himself has not decided on what he’ll be doing) and feel that speaking out against prohibition and siding with drug legalization is political suicide.

Tancredo says:

People may not be ready for this, all I’m asking the people to do is to think about this issue, very carefully.

Tancredo also wants the states to individually legalize drugs in their own way and then have the other states, unsure of what direction to go in, to use them as an example. Question is, which state would take that leap of faith and open up a whole new can of worms with the federal government by legalizing drugs?

Religious Minister Busted for Holy Grow House

May 27th, 2009 by Russ

Charles "Eddy" Lepp

When openly defying the federal government, it’s often a good idea to spread the evidence of your crimes around a little. Take the example of Charles “Eddy” Lepp, a minister of the The Universal Life Church who was busted for maintaining a garden of over 32,000 marijuana plants.

While Charles Lepp claimed to be using the plants for religious purposes, local officials were skeptical. Lepp was sentenced to ten years in prison a week ago by a Northern California District Court, to the outrage of hundreds of friends and followers in the courtroom.

The Universal Life Church is already on the radar of federal officials who have accused the group of forming a faux religion as a tax dodge. It is well known as having ordained tens of millions of people (including yours truly) to perform religious or secular ceremonies, or simply to refer to themselves as Reverend.

Fun internet phenomena aside, there doesn’t seem to be a religious exemption to growing 20 acres of ganja without a permit.

FBI Director Taken to School

May 26th, 2009 by Rick

Director of the FBI Robert Mueller, is the latest drug warrior to be schooled on the subject of marijuana prohibition, this time by Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen.

The fact that Mueller and the other drug warriors actually believe that kids in high school and college are having less access to drugs is ludicrous. When that idea was shot down by Rep. Cohen, saying that there are studies saying that more kids and adults are trying marijuana, Mueller has to back peddle and do what every other drug warrior does — avoid the issue at hand and incorporate all the drugs together (including pharmaceutical) and start talking about deaths.

Rep. Cohen stays on point and has Mueller admit that marijuana has of yet caused any deaths. When his argument on that front is squashed, Mueller resorts to the “gateway theory,” saying that if you talked with the parents of those that died from drugs, they would tell you that it started with marijuana.

Rep. Cohen doesn’t skip a beat in dismantling the gateway theory, saying that before marijuana there was probably milk, then beer, then maybe a Bourbon… then they tried marijuana. It’s a reality, not a gateway.

R.J. Reynolds Develops Orbs, Tobacco Candy

May 26th, 2009 by Rick

A smokeless tobacco product, that dissolves from a tablet, called Orbs, is being test-marketed in Central Indiana by the makers R.J. Reynolds.

The new product’s tag line is:

the best tobacco you never smoked.

Some opponents of Orbs are against it saying that it has too much of an appearance of candy. Others worry that the cellphone sized box would attract more children to the product and multiple tablets would be taken at a time.

David Howard, a R.J. Reynolds spokesman said:

These products meets society’s expectations. There’s no second-hand smoke. There’s no spitting and there’s no litter. They are marketed specifically to adult consumers who make informed decisions about tobacco.

Ironically enough, R.J. Reynolds didn’t create this product to have people reduce their smoking habit, but to instead be able to use this product and garner the nicotine intake where smoking is prohibited.

Minnesota Takes Tiny Step Toward Medical Marijuana

May 26th, 2009 by Erin

Minnesota State Capitol

Minnesota is in the initial stages of pursuing a medical marijuana law. The Minnesota House vote on the medical marijuana bill came 70-64, approving a measure to allow terminally ill patients to use cannabis to help treat their ailments.

The YES voters were 63 democrats and 7 republicans. The NO voters were 24 democrats and 40 republicans.

The version passed by the House is different than the one passed by the Senate and may not get to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s desk in the remaining four session hours this year. Even so, since Pawlenty took office, the administration has been opposed to this legislation and he said he would veto any medical marijuana measure that doesn’t have the support of law enforcement.

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