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The Hempire News - September 04

Cafe News
It's over for very open British cannabis cafes. For now. The owner of the last one, the Purple Haze in Edinburgh, has just been fined 500 pounds for the crime of allowing his premises to be used for the consumption of cannabis.

This very public case was settled with a pretty small fine. Still, it had the intended effect. Most other prospective cafe owners, myself included, saw the force which would be levelled against us and decided on an alternative approach. There will be cannabis cafes in Britain. We're just going to need more support for them first.
- full story here


They're a bit ahead of us in Canada, though they suffer very similar problems. Police and politicians are more sympathetic toward legalisation. But force their hand and force they'll use. They've got a lot of it at their disposal.

A Vancouver cafe called Da Kine had been operating nice and quietly for about four months. Then the owners went public. Nine days later forty police raided the joint. A cafe which received no complaints previously, a cafe which local businesses credited with removing a lot of street dealers, had incurred the wrath of some well-meaning but completely misinformed objectors.

Up to 200 local people demonstrated against the raid. Other businesses played Bob Marley tunes in support. The owners declared they'd carry on regardless. But now they're closed. They fought the law and, well you know the rest.

Police reckoned the cafe was doing $30,000 Canadian a day and counted 230 customers in one hour. So their public stand wasn't a marketing exercise. It was a political act, an attempt to highlight the absurdity of existing laws. The problem is there's still too many people who want those laws enforced.
- come get us
- okay then
- we shall overcome
- all right, we'll stop
------------------------------



Medical News
Biz Ivol, one of Britain's leading campaigners for medicinal use, died last month. Biz had MS and dedicated her life to helping other sufferers gain relief through cannabis. She went to extraordinary lengths to promote the cause, even attempting suicide in the hope this would highlight the plight of the people she cared so much about. Fortunately, her attempt wasn't successful. She passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Her work is being continued by THC4MS and others.
- A tribute to Biz
- THC4MS


Most evidence about the beneficial effects of cannabis on MS has so far been anecdotal. Doctors don't trust and can't dismiss the feel-good factor. The results of last year's study, the largest ever conducted, were inconclusive. However, a new study – following 500 of the original patients for a year – contains much better news.

At first cannabis was thought only to relieve the painful symptoms of MS and not the spasticity or disability associated with the disease. But it seems this might be because the original study was too short. When taken over a longer period cannabis results in significant improvement in these areas. And even better, it may well arrest nerve death in sufferers.
- full story here


Gamma Herpes Viruses are pretty nasty things. They are impossible to get rid of. They can lie dormant for years and then spring into action. Infected cells are much more likely to become cancerous.

The only thing found to prevent this is THC. Cells that normally died when infected survived when cultured with delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol. More research is needed and it's still very early days. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest cannabis does more than help people once they're ill, it may prevent some getting ill in the first place.

Gamma Herpes Viruses are unrelated to the herpes viruses which cause cold sores or genital herpes.
- full story here
------------------------------



UK News
Every month comes more evidence of the price children pay for prohibition. We desperately need age controls on cannabis use. We need to make it harder for 10-year olds to get high. We need to teach young people why they should wait before experimenting. We cannot do any of this under prohibition.

A policy which aims to prevent anyone using cannabis but which results in schoolchildren doing so has clearly failed. We've tried prohibition for thirty years and yet more kids use cannabis than ever before. Scare tactics have not worked. Only a change in approach will.
- 10-year olds
- 13-year olds


Britain's parents are so worried about drugs more of them want children expelled for dealing cannabis than for carrying knives. Even more worrying just five per-cent objected to drug-testing in schools. The only thing drug testing has been proven to do is to alienate kids. And alienation is the last thing they need.
- full story here


The Crown Office in Scotland has decided against prosecuting two shops for selling magic mushrooms. More test cases are on the way but the Government has a problem; mushrooms can't be made illegal because they grow naturally.

If only cannabis grew wild in Britain.
- full story here
- sow the seeds
------------------------------



US News
Did you know your dope smoking funds Al-Qaeda? No? Then you've not been listening to the DEA enough. They've got a new exhibit, 'Traffickers, Terrorists and You', whose purpose is to garner support for an increasingly unpopular war on drugs by linking it to the war on terrorism.

Prohibitionists are desperate and its showing. Fortunately, the more they reach the more unbalanced they become.
- full story here


This is a war of many battles, one of which has just been won. The US government has decided not to proceed with its attempt to ban hemp products and so soap, pasta and clothing – none of which gets you high George – are now legal.

How insane must you be to try and ban them in the first place?
- full story here


A new book claims George Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David whilst his dad was president. He says he gave all that up 25 years ago. Someone's not telling the truth. Kitty Kelly's not the most reliable of authors but I trust her more than Dumbya.
- full story here
------------------------------



Miscellaneous News
Most of us have probably crashed a party in our time. Some of us may even have offered to get the guests cannabis. So you have to feel for the German teenager who made his services available to party full of off-duty police.
- full story here


An Australian radio announcer who abused police officers on air after they'd sprayed a cannabis crop has had to apologise. Tony Storey referred to police in disparaging terms, played songs with offensive lyrics and invited listeners to a dope smoking party down at the station.
- full story here


The local newspaper of Ukiah, California, has a unique editorial policy. A recent missive asked readers to be sensitive to their neighbours and not let the smell of their cannabis garden waft onto unappreciative noses.
- full story here