Sunday, December 16, 2007

Migraine May Be Related To Underproduction Of Cannabinoids

Perugia, Italy: Patients with a history of migraine headaches may be suffering from a clinical deficiency of the endocannabinoid system, according to clinical trial data published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Investigators at Italy’s University of Perugia, Department of Public Health, reported that patients with chronic migraines possessed "significantly lower" levels of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in their platelets compared to age-matched controls.

"These data support the potential involvement of a dysfunctioning of the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems in the pathology of chronic migraine and medication-overuse headaches," researchers’ concluded.

A previous paper published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters similarly suggested that migraine, fibromyalgia, and other treatment-resistant conditions may be associated with dysfunctions in the endocannabinoid system. This system is believed to play a primary role in regulating humans' mood, appetite, skeletal development, motor coordination, digestion, and reproduction.

Full text of the study, "Endocannabinoids in platelets of chronic migraine patients and medication-overuse headache patients: relation with serotonin levels," appears in the November issue of the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Benefits of Cannabis in Migraine, and other Treatment-Resistant Conditions - Russo EB

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Swiss Study Finds Cannabis Use Alone May Benefit Some Teens

Teens that use cannabis may function better than teen tobacco-users, and appear to be more socially driven and have fewer psychosocial problems than those who do not use either substance, according to a Swiss survey.

Researchers at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland surveyed 5,263 students, including 455 who smoke marijuana only, 1,703 who smoke marijuana and tobacco and 3,105 who smoked neither one.

The survey, which will be published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that marijuana-only smokers had better relationships with friends, better grades and were more likely to play sports than teens who smoked tobacco and those who abstained from both substances.

A U.S. substance abuse expert disagreed with the study and said U.S. teens should not be encouraged to use marijuana, particularly since teenagers’ brains are still developing at this time.

“Switzerland is very liberal compared to us in many ways,” Dr. Edwin Salsitz, senior physician of chemical dependency at Beth Israel Medical Center. “In general, it’s not a good idea for teenagers to use psychoactive drugs. The brain is still developing until the age of 21.

“Maybe (there’s) a cultural bias there that says it’s ok to use marijuana once or twice a month,” he continued “But from what I know, I’ve never heard that anyone thought it was beneficial. Most experts here would say that it’s not a good idea to use cannabis before the age of 15, because it interferes with school and the development of brain.”

Researchers found that marijuana-only users had the following characteristics:

— More likely to be male (71.6 percent marijuana smokers versus 59.7 percent of teens who used tobacco and marijuana)

— Play sports (85.5 percent vs. 66.7 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

— Live with both parents (78.2 percent vs. 68.3 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

— Have good grades (77.5 percent vs. 66.6 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

Cannabis-only smokers were also less likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days, less likely to use cannabis before the age of 15 and less likely to use marijuana more than once or twice in the past 30 days. They were also less likely to use other illegal drugs, compared to students who used both substances, researchers found.

“The gateway theory hypothesizes that the use of legal drugs (tobacco and alcohol) is the previous step to cannabis consumption,” the authors wrote. “However, recent research also indicates that cannabis use may precede or be simultaneous to tobacco use and that, in fact, its use may reinforce cigarette smoking or lead to nicotine addiction independently of smoking status. In any case, and even though they do not seem to have great personal, family, or academic problems, the situation of those adolescents who use cannabis but who declare not using tobacco should not be trivialized.”

In comparison to students who abstained from both substances, marijuana-only smokers were:

— More likely to be male (71.6 percent cannabis users vs. 47.7 percent of teens who abstained)

— Have a good relationship with friends (87 percent vs. 83.2 percent)

— Be sensation-seeking (37.8 percent vs. 21.8 percent)

— Play sports (85.5 percent vs. 76.6 percent)

— Less likely to have a good relationship with their parents (74.1 percent vs. 82.4 percent)

The fact that some students who smoked marijuana were less likely to have a good relationship with their parents wasn’t surprising to Salsitz. “The way to look at it is to look at alcohol as an analogy,” he said. “Do adults or teens who use alcohol have better relationships than those abstinent? That’s just not true. It looks like if you smoke marijuana and not tobacco, it’s better for you.”

He said the study should be viewed in terms of culture. “In France, people drink wine with food, but they don’t get drunk,” he said. “Kids also start doing this when they are young, and that’s different from here. I don’t think anyone would say that the active ingredient in marijuana is doing anything good in the brain, compared to abstaining or smoking tobacco, so there must be cultural reason for this happening.” - FOX NEWS

Friday, October 26, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Legalise all drugs.

One of Britain's most senior police officers is to call for all drugs – including heroin and cocaine – to be legalised and urges the Government to declare an end to the "failed" war on illegal narcotics.

Richard Brunstrom, the Chief Constable of North Wales, advocates an end to UK drug policy based on "prohibition". His comments come as the Home Office this week ends the process of gathering expert advice looking at the next 10 years of strategy.

In his radical analysis, which he will present to the North Wales Police Authority today, Mr Brunstrom points out that illegal drugs are now cheaper and more plentiful than ever before.

The number of users has soared while drug-related crime is rising with narcotics now supporting a worldwide business empire second only in value to oil. "If policy on drugs is in future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence-based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society," he will say.

The Chief Constable's verdict

* British drugs policy has been based upon prohibition for the last several decades – but this system has not worked well. Illegal drugs are in plentiful supply and have become consistently cheaper in real terms over the years.

* The number of drug users has increased dramatically. Drug-related crime has soared equally sharply as a direct consequence of the illegality of some drugs. The vast profits from illegal trading have supported a massive rise in organised crime.

* The ABC classification of drugs is said by the RSA Commission to be indefensible and is described as "crude, ineffective, riddled with anomalies and open to political manipulation". Most importantly, the current ABC system illogically excludes both alcohol and tobacco.

* Mr Brunstrom says: "If policy on drugs is in the future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral. Such a strategy leads inevitably to the legalisation and regulation of all drugs."

* The chief constable asserts that current British drugs policy is based upon an unwinnable "war on drugs" enshrined in a flawed understanding of the underlying United Nations conventions, and arising from a wholly outdated and thoroughly repugnant moralistic stance.

* He concludes: "The law is the law. In the meantime, I will continue to enforce it to the best of my ability despite my misgivings about its moral and practical worth."

Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dagga seized in Port Alfred home

Dagga packed in 50 kilogram bags worth about R120,000 was found at a house in Nemato in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday. Captain Mali Govender said police found the dagga on Tuesday night. No one was arrested as there was nobody in the house. - Sapa

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Prince! Perfect!

  • Azifwekaré - “homeless pothead” on the song "Style" and director credit to the "Face Down" video
  • adopted as official name from 1993 to 2000
Click the pic - you have 21 days...
Live Sky High Genius

Son of safety and security - drunk death on wheels

The son of the national minister for safety and security, Siyabonga Nqakula, smelled of liquor when he allegedly drove into oncoming traffic and caused a head-on collision earlier this year, the Cape Town magistrate's court heard on Friday.

He was also unsteady on his feet, the victim, Yaseen Moses, told the court.

Nqakula, 27, of Bruma in Johannesburg, pleaded not guilty before magistrate Phindi Norman to charges of drunken driving and reckless driving... - SAPA

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labels warn boozers

The Health Department has published regulations requiring labels on alcoholic beverages to carry messages “highlighting the negative effects of alcohol consumption”.

The regulations have been published under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act.

They are the result of lengthy consultations with parties concerned to address “the challenge of alcohol abuse”, the department said yesterday. – Sowetan

I wonder what these labels will look like:

Warning if you drink while pregnant your child could be affected.

That's mild and should get the message through...


Could cause liver cirrhosis (sic)/e.g./i.e./'I-am-saying'/just like Health Minister Manto.

And for the illiterates? Is it going to be printed on papsak's? and on umqombothi yeast packs? in all 11 Languages....?

Oh yes! One day Cannabis will have a label on it that will read as a much milder and less harmful intoxicant. Truth will prevail!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Geen Boomplant week vir 2007

National Arbour Week kicks off in South Africa

This year's National Arbour Week will be celebrated under the theme "Plant a tree, grow our future". The week starts today and will end on September 7. In Limpopo, various events will be held in all the municipalities.

The main focus of the week is to highlight opportunities for sustainable economic development, community participation, poverty alleviation and job creation in forestry. It is also to focus on the vital role trees play in the natural environment and to encourage the youth to participate in tree-planting activities. - SABC

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alcohol abuse a drain on economy

More than double the amount collected in liquor taxes is spent on the social costs of alcohol-related trauma and accidents in South Africa each year.

With this in mind, a government and industry initiative - aimed at reducing the socio-economic impact of alcohol by ensuring legal compliance by traders and responsible drinking by consumers - was announced on Monday... - Pretoria News

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This lion was reared by the guys in the clip,he was then released into the wild in Africa but a year later the guys returned to see if he was doing OK.

Check out the look on the lions face as he realises-"thats not food its my MATES!!"
The wild lion he is friends with, has never met the humans and is totally passive towards them.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rasta warders to take case to High Court

Five prison warders were dismissed from their jobs for refusing to cut off their Rastafarian dreadlocks, their union said Friday.

The five, employed at the Pollsmoor prison outside Cape Town, were disciplined for contravening the Department of Correctional Services' dress code, said Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesperson Benzi Soko.

"The dress code cannot supersede the constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion," said Soko, adding the matter would be pursued to the highest level necessary.

"Our lawyers are preparing an urgent application to the Cape High Court for the members' immediate reinstatement."

He said the five were barred from the workplace, but were receiving their full salaries pending the outcome of an internal appeal process.

The department confirmed the dismissals, saying the five "defiantly ignored warnings to comply" with its dress code.

"The department of correctional cervices fully respects the legal rights of every official but cannot compromise discipline nor appreciate the flouting of its policies and regulations," it said in a statement. - Sapa-AFP

Monday, July 16, 2007

City's heart is hardening, say homeless

For the homeless on Fort Wynyard Road, the by-law is a puzzle: "I want to ask them why they don't take the rubbish away but they take us away," says Rasta. - Cape Argus

Friday, June 29, 2007

They Say..

Police say, In the 2005/2006 financial year 290 000kg of dagga valued at R377-million was seized throughout South Africa while police, through their cannabis eradication programme, destroyed 170.5ha of dagga plantations valued at R119-million in the Eastern Cape alone.

Pretoria News

I would say - someone can't add... that looks like the appelton case below and not total figures, once again I would have to question these figures - which continuously seem to amaze me. How this can be called a success when each year the figure is higher - - - all that is clear to me - is the current way of dealing with drugs is flawed and destined to fail in preventing social harm.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guard stoned to death

A fire destroyed shacks at an informal settlement in Mamelodi near Pretoria on Friday, police said.

Police spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the cause of the fire was not known, but it started after residents at the Lusaka informal settlement in Mamelodi East attacked security personnel who had arrived to evict them.

He said one of the security officers was stoned to death and a truck was also burnt.

He said people refused to move and a confrontation ensued between them and the security officers.

"They threw stones at security guards and one security officers was stoned to death.

"A truck that was to load their belonging was also set on fire," he said.

A strong police contingent had been sent to monitor the situation, he said. - Sapa

Police & Prison call for review of Cannabis/Dagga laws

The union representing the majority of South Africa's police called on Thursday for a review of the laws against dagga and sex work.

In resolutions approved on the final day of its national congress in Cape Town, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) declared that both areas should be "regulated".

One delegate even urged that if sex work was legalised it should be turned into a public-private partnership rather than be left to the vagaries of free enterprise.

The resolutions, both proposed by Popcru's Gauteng region, follow a suggestion earlier this year by National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi that prostitution be legalised for the 2010 soccer world cup.

The resolution on dagga noted that use of the drug was regulated in other parts of the world, such as Holland's Amsterdam.

It called for research on "the prospective aspects of dagga regulations" and on the drug's medical effects, and committed the union to work towards steps "to counter the stigma".

The union will also "pursue discussions with authorities on dagga regulations".

One delegate, Durban police officer Christopher Mkhize, told the congress that dagga had been around in South Africa long before white settlers arrived and decided it was wrong.

"We can't stay with that in a democratic country," he said. "It is our democracy and we are the ones who should say what is wrong and what is right."

He said he himself would not have achieved his current qualifications if it were not for the money raised by his family's cultivation of dagga in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

"Most of our kids have been taught through money generated by dagga," he said.

The resolution on sex work - described in the original motion as "prostitution" but changed after objection from a female delegate - called for "street transactions" to be made illegal, which they already are, and for a working environment which complied with labour legislation.

Giving his interpretation of the dagga resolution, union president Zizamele Cebekhulu told Sapa afterwards that the union was calling for research "that confirms the danger of dagga to a human being".

He said the drug contributed a certain percentage to South Africa's gross domestic product whether one liked it or not.

"Some parents are still smoking dagga in their house. It's outlawed, but they smoke it. So we say, regulate this thing, tax this thing, and... let dealers not go away with the money."

He insisted that regulation of the drug would mean a harsher regime than the current ban on dagga.

"It's useless to say it's illegal, and yet you have got no control measures over it.

"We say, regulate it, meaning that you put more stricter measures in terms of dealing and in terms of consuming dagga." - Sapa

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Irrigation scheme a white elephant

More than R200-million spent on an irrigation project in Limpopo appears to have gone to waste, SABC television news reported on Friday.

The availability of water and electricity were not considered during the programme's initial planning and there was no water available in its installation area, according to the Friday night report.

Some of the R100-million worth of irrigation equipment had been vandalised. - Sapa

Friday, May 25, 2007

GM truth 2

"The world would be a better place to live if more people smoked cannabis than drank alcohol,"

George Michael, also defended his use of cannabis.

"I'm not going to pretend that my drug of choice is not marijuana, because it is," he said.

"We could sit here with any number of policemen and doctors and they would all tell you if everybody who had a dependence on alcohol changed their mind and had a dependence on weed, the world would be a much easier place to live in.

"What I am saying is that nobody ever came home stoned and beat up their wife."

The singer plays a second straight night on Saturday in Aarhus, Denmark, on his 25 Live European tour that will see him become the first artist to play the new 90 000-seater Wembley Stadium in London, something he described as a "dream come true."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scorpions burn 3 900 bricks of dagga - "It's a feel-good occasion"

Standing outside a warehouse, Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy held up a shrink-wrapped, one-kilogramme brick of dagga and smiled for the cameras.

Behind him, workers inside the building were pushing four tons of the drug into a furnace to be incinerated - about 3 900 bricks with an estimated street value of R364-million, had the bricks reached their destination in England.

"It's a feel-good occasion," McCarthy said. "Scorpions in the Western Cape have punched a hole in organised crime."

The burning put a ceremonial cap on Operation Appleton. In July, the investigation led to the largest seizure of contraband in the Western Cape yet.

It was also the largest success yet in Project Red Cross, the Scorpions' two-year-old initiative targeting South Africa's drug syndicates.

Members of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will not discuss the specifics of the programme for fear of tipping off criminals about their methods.

The project has its sights on international traffickers and importers and exporters who deal in the largest and most valuable drug loads and who have made South Africa a hotspot in the global drug trade.

The Scorpions had not gained extra manpower or funding for the effort, but officers were using resources more strategically, said NPA deputy spokesman Tlali Tlali.

"We are operating on the basis of what we have," he said. "We will not fold our arms and say it's not enough."

This translated into extra emphasis on fundamentals like information analyses and following up on even the smallest leads, he said.

In the case of Project Appleton, the tip-off seemed unextraordinary at best, said Jannie Stamatiadis, a Scorpions special investigator and the project's manager.

An ordinary theft complaint spurred the investigation, largely on a hunch. The Scorpions found the dagga - a seedless variety grown in Mozambique and prized on the European market - packed into the apple containers, two days before they were to be shipped to England.

A South African and two British nationals have been arrested. The investigation continues. Cape Times

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

'Apple box' drugs go up in smoke

About four tons of dagga seized before it could be smuggled out of the country in apple boxes is due to go up in smoke on Wednesday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phumzile Kotane said on Tuesday that drugs, mostly dagga, were seized in the Scorpions' Operation Appleton in Cape Town, which foiled an international drug trade worth about R364-million.

"Operation Appleton ended in July 2006 with the arrest of two British nationals and a South African. The trio was caught in the act of concealing tons of drugs in boxes of apples which were being exported," said Kotane.

"A warehouse used to store more drugs was later discovered by the investigators.

"It was clear that the intention was to smuggle the drugs into the United Kingdom."

The three were convicted of trafficking in drugs and given sentences ranging from five to 12 years and fines.

NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the drugs could not be destroyed until the court case and any appeals were over.

"You don't interfere with exhibits of evidence until the trial is concluded."

The drugs are due to be burnt in the Western Cape on Wednesday afternoon. - Sapa

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cops dump guns, drugs on city tip

A haul of home-made guns, knives, cellphones and drugs, including tik, have been found at a municipal tip near Muizenberg - all of it believed to be evidence dumped by police.

There were at least 30 knives, homemade BB-type guns and drugs, including dagga, Mandrax and scores of tik straws and lollies.

The stash also included a large number of ampoules containing a local anaesthetic called Xylotox.

Attached to some of the items were police case numbers from last year and, on one official forensic laboratory bag, the name of a Mitchell's Plain constable. Cape Argus

Friday, April 27, 2007

Freedom Day

How to build a home from available Cannabis

Demonstrated out side the Department of Housing

  1. Plant a cannabis seed. Water and allow the plant to grow and produce seed. Plant and water these seeds. Your goal is to grow enough to build a house, you will need about 1 acre to build a 5 roomed home.

    Tyala imbewu ntsangu (ye-cannabis). Nkcenkceshela imbewu uze uyinike ithuba lokuba ikhule ide ikhuphe eyayo imbewu. Uyothi ke uyityale nalembewu uyinkcenkceshele njalo. Injongo yakho kukukhulisa izityalo ezothi zonele ekwakheni indlu, uyakudinga i-acre (malunga nentsimi) enye ukuze wakhe indlu enamagumbi amahlanu.

  2. Consider the many relevant points presented in the guidelines of Build your house step-by-step.

    Qwalasela yonke imigaqo oyibekelweyo kwincwadana i-Build Your House Step By Step.

    Download book from: InternAfrica
  3. Start planning where your house will stand. Consider everything about the environment you’ll be building in, like winter and summer sunshine, wind and rain – you don’t want to build on a floodplain, or your house will wash away. Be sure to plan all your water and waste requirements.

    Ceba indawo ozokwakha kuyo indlu yakho. Qwalasela yonke into ngomhlaba lo uzokwakha kuwo indlu yakho, izinto ezinje ngemimoya, ilanga, neemvula zehlobo nobusika, akekho umntu ofuna ukwakha indlu yakhe emgxobhozweni okanye apho iyothi ibe lilifa lezikhukhula khona. Uqiniseke ukuba unamanzi akulungeleyo ukwenza oku.

  4. Cut the grown cannabis plants down and leave in the field to rhett for a week. The morning dew and natural rotting process will loosen the fibers from the plant.

    a. Process the plant matter by cutting leaves and branches off, then hit small bundles the length of the plant over and upturned rake.
    b. The long fiber parts that remain in your hand are good for weaving rugs and making various other items your skills can accomplish.
    c. The seed can be gathered for more housing.
    d. Gather the small woody bits (the hurd) that have fallen, this waste is what will be used in the construction material.

    Sika / sarha izityalo uzibeke egadini ixesha elingangeveki ukuze zibole. Umbethe wasekuseni nezinye izinto zendalo ezibolisayo ziya kuyikhulula I-fibre ezityalweni.

    a. Yikhawulezise ngohlukanisa intonga zezityalo namagqabi, uhlale uyiharika rhoqo.
    b. Intonga ezi zinothi zincede kwezinye izinto ezifana nokwenza ingubo nezinye izinto onothi uzibonele zona ngokolwazi lwakho.
    c. Imbewu inokuqokelelwe ukwakha ezinye izindlu.
    d. Qokelela imithana ethe yaziwela njengokuba uzoyisebenzisa xa usakha indlu yakho.

  5. Wash the hurd, dry it, then wash it again. Be careful not to allow the matter to rot or decay during this process, by turning, airing and allowing the African sun to dry the hurd properly. Now combine in proportions 10:2:3:3 combine the cannabis/ntsangu/dagga Hurd(10), washed river sand 0.5mm(2), hydraulic lime(3) and water(3) to make the mulch (This process may need tweaking depending on your geographic location, humidity, rainfall etc)

    Hlamba ingqokelela yakho, uyomise, uphinde uyihlambe.Ulumkele ukuba lengqokelela ibole kwelithuba, yiguquguqule, uyivumele ibethwe ngumoya uvumele nelanga lase Afrika liyomise lengqokelela. Dibanisa ngokwalo mgaqo 10:2:3:3, dibanisa ke lemvuno yakho yomgquba wentsangu (10) kunye nesanti yasemlanjeni 0.5mm(2), ikalika (3) kunye namanzi (3) ukwenza udaka (Nale into ke iyokuthi ixhomekeke kwindawo leyo ukuyo nemvula zakhona njalo-njalo).

  6. Now build your house! Ngoku ke yakha indlu yakho!

  7. Teach others. Fundisa abanye.

· You can use this “dagga-cement” for making bricks, shutter casting or the proven “pole-and-dagga” method. This last method allows for a sturdy, warm, fireproof and water proof home – built with pride and intuitive engineering, not a ‘uniform box’.

Be sure to consider all aspects of your house design and structural requirements. Although the cannabis-cement will become stronger than steel in time, it is not advised to build over 2 floors high without considering structural implications. With planning this cement can be used to build up to 4 floors high.

The cannabis-cement will dry over a period of a month (depending on the weather). At this point you will be able to add the roof. Seal your home’s walls with lime; lime external walls annually.

Decorate your house with masonry to make it unique, and paint with coloured lime as per custom.

Always PLANT A TREE in a place that will provide shade, to commemorate this accomplishment.

Council will plant trees if citizens care for them. Call (021) 689-8938

Assist your family, friends or neighbors with your experience and expertise. Share information and technique; you can uplift yourself and your community.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

2010 Love to be Legal!

Prostitution and drinking in public could be legalised for the duration of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, if National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi has his way.

The police chief on Wednesday asked the National Assembly's safety and security committee to apply their minds to his dilemma of what to do with the thousands of "soccer hooligans" expected to imbibe in public spaces and those who would feel the urge to try out other more exotic pastimes both currently illegal in South Africa.

"You as a committee must be sitting and thinking of how we are going to get around this. If a visiting fan is out on the street having a bottle of beer, must I arrest him, because it is illegal?


Friday, March 23, 2007

Scientists want new drug rankings

The drug classification system in the UK is not "fit for purpose" and should be scrapped, scientists have said.

They have drawn up an alternative system which they argue more accurately reflects the harm that drugs do.

The new ranking system places alcohol and tobacco in the upper half of the league table, ahead of cannabis and several Class A drugs such as ecstasy.

The study, published in The Lancet, has been welcomed by a team reviewing drug research for the government.

The Academy of Medical Sciences group plans to put its recommendations to ministers in the autumn.

I would say that on balance, many 'illegal' drugs are less harmful than the two 'legal' drugs available
Chris, Shropshire

A new commission is also due to undertake a three-year review of general government drug policy.

The new system has been developed by a team led by Professor David Nutt, from the University of Bristol, and Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council.

It assesses drugs on the harm they do to the individual, to society and whether or not they induce dependence.

A panel of experts were asked to rate 20 different drugs on nine individual categories, which were combined to produce an overall estimate of harm.

In order to provide familiar benchmarks, five legal drugs, including tobacco and alcohol were included in the assessment. Alcohol was rated the fifth most dangerous substance, and tobacco ninth.

Heroin was rated as the most dangerous drug, followed by cocaine and barbiturates. Ecstasy, however, rated only 18th, while cannabis was 11th.

Arbitrary ranking

Class A
Magic mushrooms
Crystal meth (pending)
Class A/B
Class C

The researchers said the current ABC system was too arbitrary, and failed to give specific information about the relative risks of each drug.

It also gave too much importance to unusual reactions, which would only affect a tiny number of users.

Professor Nutt said people were not deterred by scare messages, which simply served to undermine trust in warnings about the danger of drugs.

He said: "The current system is not fit for purpose. Let's treat people as adults. We should have a much more considered debate how we deal with dangerous drugs."

He highlighted the fact that one person a week in the UK dies from alcohol poisoning, while less than 10 deaths a year are linked to ecstasy use.

Professor Blakemore said it was clear that current drugs' policies were not working.

"We face a huge problem. Illegal substances have never been more easily available, or more widely abused."

He said the beauty of the new system, unlike the current version, was that it could easily be updated to reflect new research.

Professor Leslie Iversen, a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences group considering drug policy, said the new system was a "landmark paper".

He said: "It is a real step towards evidence-based classification of drugs."

Professor Iversen said the fact that 500,000 young people routinely took ecstasy every weekend proved that current drug policy was in need of reform.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "We have no intention of reviewing the drug classification system.

"Our priority is harm reduction and to achieve this we focus on enforcement, education and treatment."

He said there had been "unparalleled investment" of £7.5 billion since 1998, which had contributed to a 21% reduction in overall drug misuse in the last nine years and a fall of 20% in drug related crime since 2004.

But he added: "The government is not complacent and will continue to work with all of our partners to build on this progress."

Drug rankings


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Soccer scores - homeless loose

Plans to build hundreds of thousands of new low-cost homes could fall victim to shifting budget demands in the run-up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, South Africa’s housing minister said on Thursday.

While the government has targeted the eradication of all shack dwellings by 2014, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said there was a danger that her ministry’s demands for both cash and infrastructure “could be completely wiped off the radar screen”.

Sisulu said there was a “clear and present urgency” to secure the finance, raw materials and land needed to re-house the 2,4-million families currently living in informal settlements before the competition for resources becomes even more intense.

“This [low-cost housing for the poor] is a constitutional requirement of this government, so we want to make sure that … in the next two years we can have a massive injection in housing,” she said.

The minister said housing delivery would have to double from the current 250 000 units a year to achieve the goal of eradicating shantytowns by 2014.

A shortage of cement was only one of the obstacles, with retailers more willing to sell to private companies than the government, Sisulu said.

South Africa, with unemployment estimated as high as 40% and millions living in poverty, has budgeted R15-billion to host the first World Cup on the African continent. — AFP

Scroll down the page to find a sustianable eco-alternative to cement - why yes ITS THE CANNABRICK. 1 5th the price - readily available. Carbon trap. Green-building

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

At last some truth...

Skweyiya said the most abused substance in the country was alcohol, followed by Cigarettes.

A SA Risk Survey conducted in 2004 found that 49 percent of South African teenagers consumed alcohol.

It showed that 31 percent smoked and 13 percent used dagga on a regular basis.

These figures are well within the norm.

To identify the problem a comparative pie chart showing the extent of the health and societal risk and burden, would be useful...

South African teenagers that report for treatment of:
Dagga Abuse?
Alcohol abuse?
TIK abuse?
Sugars abuse?

...while asking these questions...

It would be pertinant to start with a measureable cost to society.

Lets see what the comparative piechart looks like when we measure the Foetal cost:
  • What are the Foetal methamphetamine syndrome figures?
  • What are the Foetal alcohol syndrome figures?
  • What are the Foetal cannabis syndrome figures?
  • What are the Foetal crack/coke/heroin syndrome figures?
When compared against each other - we should be able to see which drug is causing the biggest problem to our unborn. A measureable statistic!

At home in the western Cape we have the worlds largest occurrence of FAS...?

and at a rate of 10 000 abortions a week?

One would believe that we have the right to choose what we do to our body.

What the state regulates as social harm, and allows other harms which are much greater in nature and number, than say smoking a doob...

Makes you think ? I hope! Please follow the links in the post for the revelations

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cop van packed with dagga

Bloemfontein - A tip-off led to a constable being arrested and dagga with a street value of about R500 000 being seized from a police vehicle on Tuesday, said eastern Free State police.

Superintendent Motarafi Ntepe said the Bloemfontein dog unit was tipped off that a police vehicle was about to load and transport dagga in the Ficksburg area.

"On Tuesday, about 00:30, 10km from Ficksburg, they noticed the police bakkie travelling towards Rosendal."

Ntepe said the driver of the bakkie sped off when he realised he had been spotted.

In uniform and on duty

The bakkie was chased for about 30km until it was found parked on the premises of Rosendal police station.

The driver, who was trying to run away, was stopped and the vehicle searched.

Three bags of dagga were found on the front seat and there were another 16 bags in the back.

Ntepe said the 23-year-old constable was in full uniform and on duty when he was arrested.

Free State police commissioner Amon Mashigo said: "This kind of corrupt police official does not have a place in the South African Police Service.

"We are not going to tolerate this kind of behaviour in the police service," he said. SAPA

Dagga 'trees' cut down

Ladysmith - Dagga smokers have been tossing their joint ends, and Nature has done its work, causing a massive growth in dagga bushes in and around the CBD.

SAPS area spokesperson, Captain Charmaine Struwig told the Witness that SAPS members had removed 7 321 dagga bushes valued at around R500 000, from vacant lots in between residential areas including Acaciavale, Lennoxville and areas adjacent to the CBD.

"They were more like trees, taller than our tall cops. The stems were 10 to 15cm in diameter. If we had not been using tree-poppers we would have been struggling," Struwig explained.

She said that the trees had not been deliberately cultivated, but were more likely the result of people discarding joints containing dagga seeds, speculating that dagga growers would have harvested the plants before they became so tall.

"There are a lot of vacant plots of land in Ladysmith in between residential areas which are densely overgrown. I mean, some of the weeds were as tall as the dagga trees," she said, adding that while Ladysmith had experienced "shoulder-high" dagga plants in previous years, this year had set records. The removed plants were all burnt, downwind of human settlements.

The SAPS would be monitoring the re-growth of the offending dagga plants, Struwig confirmed.

According to figures from a recently released South African Risk survey, in 2004 49% of teenagers used alcohol, 31% smoked and 13% used dagga regularly. The Witness

Monday, February 05, 2007

World's poor to be hardest hit by global warming: UN

The world's poor, who are the least responsible for global warming, will suffer the most from climate change, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told environment ministers from around the world on Monday.

"The degradation of the global environment continues unabated ... and the effects of climate change are being felt across the globe," Ban said in a statement after last week's toughest warning yet that mankind is to blame for global warming.

In comments read on his behalf at the start of a major week-long gathering in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Ban said all countries would feel the adverse impact of climate change.

"But it is the poor, in Africa and developing small island states and elsewhere, who will suffer the most, even though they are the least responsible for global warming."

Experts say Africa is the lowest emitter of the greenhouse gases blamed for rising temperatures, but due to its poverty, under-development and geography, has the most to lose under dire predictions of wrenching change in weather patterns... Reuters

Thursday, January 25, 2007

110 Fires - 1000 people homeless

It appears it's as hot as Sodom here - homes burning - publicAdministrators living it up - Sodomising the cityzenry - children burning....

A total of 110 fires have raged across greater Cape Town in just 24 hours - leaving firefighters exhausted and fearing the worst with temperatures in the city set to reach a blistering 38°C on Thursday…

The City of Cape Town’s acting chief fire officer, Ian Schnetler, said this morning that the 110 fires had been recorded between midnight on Tuesday and midnight last night - 66 of them grass or bush fires.

‘Close to 1 000 people had been left homeless after fires destroyed 240 shacks’

“Some firefighters left the stations at 9am yesterday (Wednesday) and had still not returned after 8pm last night,” said Schnetler. “It’s hectic.”

At the last count, close to 1 000 people had been left homeless after fires destroyed 240 shacks.

Help was at hand on Thursday for 320 people stranded when a devastating blaze tore through an informal settlement off Pama Road in Khayelitsha on Thursday, destroying 120 homes…Cape Argus

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How to build an eco-house

What does it mean to be green? Not too many months ago I visited a village in the Western Cape that has an eco-friendly home under construction. It also had no geysers, no electricity, hardly any plumbing and less than half a roof. Made of cob, it was all very interesting, but I came away thinking there would be no cold beer at the end of the day.

The truly green house is not connected to any grid. It collects its own water and generates its own energy. It also disposes of its own waste. It may even be carbon neutral or positive, selling excess clean energy into the central grid.

But it would be exceedingly costly and difficult -- stupid even -- to attempt such a house at present in the South African urban environment.

City homes can aim to be sustainable, though, if they are designed to minimise both inputs and outputs. They can aim to maximise efficiencies so that running costs are low, as is waste output.

Sustainable homes aim to limit negative effects on the environment by using local and natural materials, recycled items and local products and services. They aim to be low maintenance and maximise energy efficiency by good orientation to the sun and using effective insulation...

Some websites offer online checklists where you can score your home in terms of how sustainable it is. But these are usually of limited value as what makes sense in Europe, for instance, is unlikely to be suitable for Johannesburg. In the north heating is the main thing, in the south cooling may be as, or more, important...

The house has used a lot of cement, a natural product with almost magical building properties, but one that takes vast amounts of electricity to produce. Along the way I found out that by-products of industrial processes, such as fly ash or slag, can be used as extenders, reducing the cement content in each bag by up to 34%.

All cement bags are labelled to reflect this, you just have to know how to decode the label.

There is also a lot of embodied energy in the steel used to make windows, doors and stairs and to support three slabs.

The house is nearing completion. It will harvest rainwater, recycle grey water (from the washing machine and showers, but not from the dishwasher), it will use natural gas for space heating and hot water, lighting will be low-wattage and where there are large sections of glass, safety glass will be used which has better insulation properties. It will have a closed firebox linked to water-based under floor heating. An outbuilding will have a sod roof.

In the United Kingdom the market for ethical goods and services, at £29-billion, now exceeds that for cigarettes and alcohol, according to a recent report.

In Cape Town there appears to be an active market in green building products and services. In Gauteng there is none.

I have learned from this project that if there is an eco-consciousness in this country it is in Cape Town.

As far as Gauteng is concerned, Noah's flood could be coming, we don't know it and we don't care. M&G Kevin's Ark

or read more below...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Driving Stoned vs. Driving Sober

Here’s an interesting video aired on British television that’s been gaining popularity online.

It’s not the most scientifically sound piece of research on the planet, but it does illustrate the point that maybe driving while stoned isn’t as dangerous as everyone makes it out to be. The consensus is that a healthy dose of paranoia after smoking generates increased concentration in the driver. On the flip side, driving while drunk makes your more liable to take risks.
InternAfrica is a not-for-profit organisation addressing the Cape Habitat Crisis through education of sustainable green building methods as demonstrated here on HouseIT