The Oseberg mound is the richest Viking burial ground that has ever been discovered and dates back to 834 AD. It was dug up in the year of 1904, and consisted of a Viking ship with two women in it, a young person around 50 years old, and an elderly person between the ages of 70 and 80. They brought with them seven beds, several woven tapestries, a richly decorated chariot, and four horse sleighs. There were also animal bones discovered from 14 or 15 horses, four dogs, a cow, a bull, a red-breasted merganser, and a Eurasian woodcock. The objects were very well preserved bearing in mind how long they had been buried. It was so well preserved because of the dense clay and peat that it was buried in. During the excavations, archaeologists discovered a bucket of apples which were still red, as well as cress and blueberries. Additionally, they discovered a lump of raised bread dough that could have intended as a funerary gift; something for the women to cook immediately after they reached the afterlife.

The most interesting puzzle is the two female skeletons. Who were these ladies?

They must have been quite influential within their community to be given such a burial. Average people were not buried in ships or with so many valuable objects. So these women might have been religious and political leaders. It is unclear which of the two women held the most power.

It appears that one woman was bigger than the other. The older woman definitely was eating very well, she was close to 80 years old, which was very old for a Viking woman. The younger one was 50 years old.

Their skeletons showed that they lived for a while, and the oldest had different health issues; it was most likely cancer that was the root of her death. The older woman was holding a leather sack that has received a lot of attention because of its contents. She would have suffered from a lot of pain because of her illness, and it is speculated that the cannabis that was discovered in her sack was used as a painkiller. Given her possible status as a religious leader, it may have had spiritual connotations and been used in rituals.

The Vikings had an outstanding knowledge of which plants could be utilized for what, some could be used to cure diseases and alleviate pain, whilst others were intoxicants, like cannabis. There is another possible explanation for the cannabis discovered within the Oseberg ship; in the Viking Age people used hemp to create rope and clothes, it might have been intended for the women to use the cannabis in the afterlife as a building material.

Source: 31 may:

The United Communist Party (VCP) in the municipality of Oldambt wants to regulate the home growing of medicinal cannabis through a convenient like in the city of Tilburg.

The VCP requested at a political meeting on Monday night that the mayor will inform with the local prosecution office and the police how to regulate the home growing of medicinal cannabis within the municipality-borders. The VCP directs towards the example in Tilburg where the mayor initiated a covenant before.

According to the VCP medicinal cannabis has gained acceptance. ‘Many people benefit form it, like in the form of weed oil. The use of this has had explosive increase lately’, the VCP stated.

The VCP finds it unexplainable that health insurances don’t cover medicinal cannabis, while there has been many scientific studies who show the efficacy of cannabis as medicine. ‘The herb is in fact a medicine. It’s a nature’s product which everybody should use.’ The VCP stated that medicinal cannabis is not to  be compared with weed form the coffeeshop, cause medical cannabis won’t get you that high and is not addictive. People with chronic pain can function better when using cannabis and saves costs for society as well, which is a pre in an expensive care-society.

It’s totally unheard of that people who grow cannabis at home for medicinal reasons are harassed by the police, who could do other things instead cause other police work is left behind.

The VCP things it’s time that the municipality regulated the home growing of medicinal cannabis on a save way looking at the quality as well. ‘We have to listen to experiences of doctors and the call of the people who benefit from cannabis as medicine, and have proof of the efficacy. We should regulate that within the municipality borders’ Mayor Smit promised to elaborate a vision on medicinal home grow policy for the municipality of Oldambt in a statement. Thus, to be continued…

Source: 30 may:

French officials have announced a plan to discontinue prison sentences for cannabis consumers by the year’s end, according to a recent report.

The change was a campaign promise of France’s newly elected liberal centrist President Emmanuel Macron and is a meaningful step toward cannabis reform for the country. However, according to government spokesperson Christophe Castaner, the plan stops short of fully decriminalizing the plant.
According to Castaner, it takes a police officer an average of six hours to carry out a single drug arrest, which can then cost magistrates a similar amount of time in carrying out the state’s punishment.

“Is the system effective? No,” Castaner said. “What is important today is to be efficient and above all to free up time for our police so they can focus more on essential matters.”

Under current French law, individuals caught using cannabis can face up to a year in jail and fines of up to €3750.

The new law promises to end prison sentences for cannabis use. Instead – according to statements – Macron made on the campaign trail cannabis users who are caught by police may be ticketed up to a maximum of €100.

“It is a good idea that takes into account reality,” said Patrice Ribeiro, member of France’s police officers’ union. “Most police office officers who stop consumers tell them to throw the joint away and then let them go.”

France is one of only six countries in the European Union that still considers cannabis use to be a crime – the majority of EU member countries have either decriminalized possession or, at the very least, have decriminalized the use of cannabis (though possession remains a crime).

Source: 29 may:

Two of the three members of the CSC Trekt Uw Plant, founded in 2006 were released from prison in Antwerp. They were accused of money laundring and the production and posession of drugs in communion.

In the beginning of may there we 18 simultaneous house raids throughout Belgium, among which three members, the chairwoman, stand-up comedian and a grower were arrested. Now the chairwoman and the stand-up comedian filed a complaint against their arrest which was prolonged for a month initially, but now the complaint has been heard of by the court and the judge decided to release the two TUP-members from prison on may 23.

The vzw Trekt Uw Plant has hunderds of members, and is the first cannabis social club in Belgium. Since 2010 TUP grows cannabis for the members their personal use from the principle of one plant per member. The members get their cannabis at a trade-meeting and pay 7 euro per gram to cover the costs of care and productioncosts.

The grower of Trekt Uw Plant has not filed a complaint at the court yet, thus he remains in custody.

Source: may 23:

M. Hutten of the Foundation PGMCG (patient group medicinal cannabis users) in Tilburg received a letter from Mayor Noordanus in September 2016 detailing the terms on which it would be allowed to cultivate cannabis at home for medicinal purposes. This followed after a request from Mr. Hutten and S. de Bruijn for allowing the home cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes from an administrative framework. Also thanks to the advice questions that the group Smolders asked in the city council of Tilburg on medical cannabis cultivation at home and in the context of self-medication.

For many patients, the efficacy of the available selections from Bedrocan on prescription from the pharmacy through the Office for Medicinal Cannabis (BMC) is not sufficient. Moreover, there is often a maximum payment to the insurer so the pharmacy cannabis is to expensive for many patients. A recent survey shows three-quarters of the patients are compelled to involve cannabis from a source other than pharmacies, including through home cultivation of cannabis for personal use, or possibly through a collective for people who are unable itself to grow medicinal cannabis because of their disability.

This peculiar terminal initiative of Mayor Noordanus following coordination in the local triumvirate, has led to the scheduling of home-grow cannabis for medicinal use under a covenant in the municipalities of Bergen op Zoom, Arnhem, Hof van Twente and Heerlen. Also parliamentary questions we asked in the Tweede Kamer by the labour party about this, where the Minister of Health states that mayors have their own disciplinary discretion, but actually if cannabis is not grown under standardised conditions it should not be considered medicinal according to the Minister. Uptill now the PGMCG have about 14 patients providing in their own medicinal cannabis needs. Possibly the amendement of the green party on the billed weedlaw about homegrowing for patients will give another boost in The Netherlands for the perspective of ‘cannabis as selfmedication’.

Source: may 21:

In February there was a majority in Dutch parliament for a law to regulate the growing of weed fort he coffeeshops. Than weed can be bought with certified growers and there will be quality-control so it’s also clear what consumers smoke besides THC. The politician responsible fort his is Vera Bergkamp of D66, the liberal democrat party. It’s not quite sure yeti f this weed law will pass through the Senate. That’s way a journalist of VICE talked to Vera.

Vera forgot what she did on 420 when VICE asked her, nothing to do with cannabis at least.

VICE: What problem she wants to solve with thee weed law? -Vera: The most important motivation is that about 500.000 cannabis consumers don’t know what they are smoking. It’s the only product what’s allowed to be sold without knowing the ingredients. Secondly because the growing and transport is not allowed a big illegal market appeared with a enormous cash-flow. She spoke to many coffeeshop owners who would like to see things change. Also she got a lot of support from mayors and municipalities, it’s an important momentum. The mayors will be responsible fort he volume of the certified growing, but the Ministry of Health will issue the permits. The exact criteria will still have to be formulated though, first the law has to pass the Senate. The Senate have filed their questions, these first have to be answered and there could be a second round with questions also.If the Senate have all the information they need there will be a vote, that’s the procedure.

VICE: Coffeeshops don’t want light weed and if the allowed THC level will be to low people go  tot he streets isn’t it? -Vera: there has to be diversity in the supply, there has to be be an agreement about this cause we don’t want a big illegal street market of course.

VICE: How long will it take till we are allowed to grow yourselves? -Vera: there is an implementation period in the law, and it could still take years, the whole chain has to prepare for a shift from an illegal to an allowed context. Lots will depend of the position of the VVD, the democrat party who had a amendment for clever regulation on their congress, but during the parliamentary procedure they filed nothing about this though, so it’s not quite clear what their exact position is and will be.

Source: may 18:

New policy brief provides guidance to states on aligning regulations of recreational cannabis markets with international legal obligations.

Collaboration between leading international scientific body and Canada’s premiere academic institution on global policy issues outlines four scenarios for how national governments could respond to questions of treaty compliance raised by their pursuit of domestic reform of cannabis policies.

As an increasing number of jurisdictions consider regulating recreational cannabis markets, concerns about how such a policy change would impact compliance with international drug treaties have arisen.

“National governments have several options when it comes to reforming cannabis policies while managing their relationship with the international treaty obligations,” said Dr. Dan Werb, Director of the ICSDP, The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. “What this policy brief demonstrates, though, is that whatever policy path governments choose, the consensus on recreational cannabis policy is inevitably changing.”

Four scenarios are identified to explore how states party to international drug treaties could respond to questions of compliance while pursuing domestic cannabis policies that appear in breach of those treaties, including:

  1. States Parties request an amendment of the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to allow for the national regulation of recreational cannabis markets;
  2. States Parties withdraw from the 1961 Single Convention and re-accede with reservations related to articles on the regulation of recreational cannabis markets;
  3. States Parties articulate a legal argument on the compatibility of recreational cannabis regulation within the international drug treaties; and,
  4. States Parties enact a stance of principled non-compliance by acknowledging that regulating recreational cannabis markets violates international legal obligations and taking steps to modernise the international drug treaties.

The policy brief uses Canada as a primary case study, the second country in the world to commit to legalising and regulating recreational cannabis markets at a national level. On April 13, 2017, the Canadian federal government introduced legislation to implement a regulatory framework for recreational cannabis markets by July 2018.

Source: may 17:

Michiel van Nispen MP of the Socialist Party issued parliamentary questions the Minister of Security and Justice on april the fourth about raids by the police with home growers. On may 16 these were answered by Minister Stef Blok and again as usual the answers a quite formal.

The separate questions were about tree cases where the police used brute force during the raids. One was about a traumatised family in the upper north of Holland, where the parents were taken in custody and the children left at home alone by the Police. But the Minister quoted the verdict and stated that the Police force was impressive, but not over the top. That these growers had an agreement years ago with the tax office paying taxes for growing weed was not taken over by the court, so according to the Minister there was not an idealistic motive but a focus for financial gain instead.
The second was about a home grower from Emmen, in the east of Holland, when there was a big Police force raiding the house of a woman, growing weed for her own use, again the Minister downplayed the shape of the police force stating that no Police helicopers were used.
The third case form Middelburg in the south was about an MS patient who had three weed-plants in the garden for his own medical stash and during a search the police found 364 grams of ready to use weed and later after he had to leave his house cause of this quantity after a request of the Mayor. The public prosecutor decided to drop the case against the MS patient under probation in the end the Minister replied.

The Socialist Party also asked if the police makes an educated guess if a case concerns a small home grower who grows for his or her personal use or a large scale commercial grow operation. The Minister replied that with 5 plants or less they will be confiscated and no charges will be pressed. Mostly because of anonymous tips the police investigates a certain location and then decide to do a raid or not. But for the police there is no difference if it’s a small or big grow operation, they are both illegal and can be a tread fort he public safety according to Minister Blok.

Source: may 16

Last October the police confiscated 10 kilos of weed at Kamperman’s home, for which he was put two days in solitary confinement in prison. The entrepreneur from the east of the Netherlands wanted to make medicinal weed oil for personal use and for patients, who get no support from their health insurance and thus can’t afford medicinal cannabis from the pharmacy. The 10 kilo from 5 weed plants from his garden were wet plants, after drying the weight would be only 1 kilo he states.
Kamperman wants to use the court case on Thursday 11th of may against him to plea for a sane medicinal cannabis policy in the Netherlands, while politicians in The Hague don’t make very little movement on the medicinal cannabis issue.
The public prosecutor has asked for two months probation and 120 hours of labour punishment, cause Kamperman stated that he kept plants for acquaintances next to the harvest of his own five weed plants. There were about 200 supporters of Kamperman present in court. The verdict will be issued at the 24th of may.

Source may 11:

Tree members of Trekt Uw Plant (TUP) the first cannabis social club in Belgium got arrested last week after 18 busts throughout Belgium. The court decided that they have to stay in prison.
The club sells weed to 500 members, among many medicinal users for about 295.000 euro per year, also to cover the costs of the grown harvests and which is published on the internet. The court wants to know how the finances of the club are handled. The 500 members pay 25 euro per year membership and get one personal plant in return, which is not located home, but is tagged with growers of the club. For every gram of dried weed a member pays 7 euro per gram. The harvest per plant depends, that goes from 20 to 60 grams per two months. TUP acts as a mediator between growers and members, all payments tot he growers are in cash, so the growers stay out of sight of the tax office, that’s why the court suspects TUP of money laundering of and trade of illegal grown cannabis.

Tuesday many supports came tot he courthouse, among a Belgian stand-up comedian to support on of the arrested TUP-members also stand up comedian. In this  Belgian ‘war on drugs’ this is the third time TUP has to stand up to court. The last two verdicts were an acquittal.

Source may 10: