PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM
Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles. His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception. Master of ceremonies, Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1] In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…” Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.
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Reaching Out in Redcar UNITY Day
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Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW, and see that this peace is not dependent upon the condition of the mind, body or world, just as a screen is not dependent on the quality of the words or images that appear on it.
The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues
There are many biological factors that are involved with the addicted brain. "The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues" (2) In the brain, there are many changes that take place when drugs enter a person's blood stream. The pathway in the brain that the drugs take is first to the ventral tegmentum to the nucleus accumbens, and the drugs also go to the limbic system and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is called the mesolimbic reward system. The activation of this reward system seems to be the common element in what hooks drug users on drugs (2).
Drugs seem to cause surges in dopamine neurotransmitters and other pleasure brain messengers. However, the brain quickly adapts and these circuits desensitize, which allows for withdrawal symptoms to occur (3). Drug addiction works on some of the same neurobiological mechanisms that aid in learning and memories (3). "This new view of dopamine as an aid to learning rather than a pleasure mediator may help explain why many addictive drugs, which unleash massive surges of the neurotransmitter in the brain, can drive continued use without producing pleasure-as when cocaine addicts continue to take hits long after the euphoric effects of the drug have worn off or when smokers smoke after cigarettes become distasteful." (4)
Since memory and pleasure zones are intertwined in the brain, many researchers have been using psychological approaches to stop drug use. Many rehabilitation centers have used classical conditioning to rehabilitate drug addicts. They combine exposure to drugs combined with cognitive scripts, like statements how drugs have destroyed a person's life or what can be accomplished without using drugs, according to DeLetis (5). By using classical conditioning, the drugs addicts pair the drugs with negative connotations and properties. "Adverse withdrawal symptoms can function as an instrumental negative reinforcer and can be linked to the opponent process theory of motivation." (6) However, drug addicts may relapse and start using again because of many environmental "cues", which are external forces that are associated with drug use in their lives. When the drugs addicts see these cues, their brain circuitry, especially the orbitofrontal cortex become hyperactive and causes these people to start craving drugs again (2). No matter how successful the rehabilitation treatment is, once those "cues" are around, the drug addicts remember how pleasurable the drugs felt and relapse into drug abuse again.
Through all of the research done about drug addiction and its affects on the brain, one can see how drug addiction is considered a brain disease. Drug addiction is a disabling disease and can ruin a person's life. By taking drugs, a person's brain becomes "rewired" to tolerate high amounts of dopamine neurotransmitters, but once those high amounts of dopamine cease to exist, the person experiences withdrawal symptoms. However, there are ways drug addicts can control their drug intake by using classical conditioning techniques, which allows them to associate drugs with negative attributes.
Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.
The Serotonin Support Group (SSG)
Is a mutual support group for people who suffer from low Serotonin levels, wishing to participate in a support group that uses as one method a vitamin supplement as a method of replacement or addition to a diet to help the sufferer.The historical basis of this form of nutritional treatment was discovered and researched by Bill Wilson of Alcoholics Anonymous and it is to promote this Legacy to persons who suffer from low serotonin uptake and depression that the Group was formed.Bill Wilson wished to add a step to the 12 he had produced for AA. We struggle to make that possible and fulfill his promise. Without detracting from the message of recovery in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. If alcoholics and addictive abusers of other drugs have specific chemical imbalances in the brain, and if these imbalances turn out to be reliable enough and measurable enough in sufficiently large numbers of human addicts, it is natural to wonder whether, eventually, science can find a way to correct them.
Some sort of neurotransmitter cocktail, maybe.
Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles. His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception. Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1] In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…” Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.
The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.
|We examined tryptophan and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) levels in the blood after consumption of alcohol. Forty-five minutes after drinking, whole blood serotonin concentration was significantly reduced, whereas no changes were observed in tryptophan level. The diurnal rhythm of 5-HT in subjects who the day before had drunk alcohol was quite different from the control group, but very similar to that of patients with depression. The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.|
The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels. The medicines that raise the level of serotonin in the brain do so by slowing the reabsorbtion of serotonin. The alcohol increases the availible serotonin for a bit and then it drops off quickly, leaving the depressed person feeling worse, and they tend to not take the medicine correctly when they feel badly or are drunk. High serotonin levels do not mean somebody will feel happy or good, It makes it more likely that they won't feel realy bad.
Learned helplessness involves feelings of powerlessness. The combination of learned helplessness and addiction can be highly destructive
The individual has developed the idea that they have no real control over what is going to happen to them in the future. They feel powerless to control their future so they just accept their current situation no matter how unfavorable it happens to be.
The ideas of learned helplessness originate from experiments on animals. Researchers put test subjects in a situation where they were faced with unpleasant stimuli from which they could not escape. Eventually, these animals would just accept their situation. They would stop trying to escape. Later, when researchers added a means of escape, these animals would fail to make use of it. They had learned to be helpless. This same type of learning can also occur in humans if they are frequently put in a negative situation in which they feel powerless.Some individuals who feel powerless in their life may turn to substance abuse as a means to escape this discomfort. In the beginning, they may feel that alcohol and drugs helps them, but in reality their problems are only starting. The situation is described perfectly in the lament of the alcoholic: alcohol gave me wings but then it took away the sky.
There are also those individuals who will develop learned helplessness as a result of their addiction. This occurs because of failed attempts to quit or control their substance abuse. The individual develops the idea that they have no choice but to accept their current situation. There can be any number of reasons for why people fail in a recovery attempt. It never means that they will be always destined to fail. Sometimes, it can just be that the individual had not managed to summon up enoughwillingness, or that they failed to use the right resources. Unless the individual understands this they can begin to feel helpless and just accept their miserable situation.
The combination of learned helplessness and addiction can be highly destructive for the following reasons:
- The individual will feel completely powerless to escape the alcohol or drug abuse.
- The person will accept the misery of addiction as the best they can expect from life.
- The individual may believe that giving up their addiction will just be a waste of time. No matter what they do, they believe their future is going to be bleak.
- Some people believe that they deserve to be addicted.
- The person may expect family and friends to take care of them. They may become completely dependent on other people. This makes life miserable for everyone involved.
- It can mean that the addict is unable to trust those individuals who are trying to help them. They just cannot believe the promises that their life will get better if they give up the substance abuse.
- The individual can become so upset by their feelings of powerlessness that they become depressed. They may even decide that the best solution is to commit suicide.
Learned helplessness is based on three things:
1. Internal blaming – “It’s me!”
2. Global distortion – “It’ll affect everything I do!”
3. Stability generalization – “It will last forever!”
If, like many children, you grew up in an environment where you continually received negative criticism, then you will get to a point where you feel you are not good enough. That you must somehow be a ‘bad’ child and therefore fully deserve to be criticised in such a fashion. As you can imagine, this is incredibly damaging to a child’s sense of self.
A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.
Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.
Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.
As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.
PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM
Researchers completing a new study on alcohol consumption have discovered that college-age students who binge drink are happier than those who don't.
Those who engaged in binge drinking tend to belong to so-called high-status groups: wealthy, white, male and active in fraternity life. And those who did not belong to the high-status groups could achieve similar levels of social acceptance through the act of binge drinking. In fact, the study results suggest that students engaged in the heavy drinking practice to elevate their social status amongst peers rather than to alleviate depression or anxiety.
"The present study offers another insight into the nature of a seemingly intractable social problem," the study released on Monday reads. "It is our hope that by drawing attention to the important social motivations underlying binge drinking, institutional administrators and public health professionals will be able to design and implement programs for students that take into account the full range of reasons that students binge drink."
The Washington Post reports that the study's co-author and Colgate University associate professor Carolyn Hsu presented some of the findings during the American Sociological Association gathering in Denver last week.
Interestingly, the study results compiled from surveying 1,600 college students also continues to support past evidence suggesting that binge drinking leads to a number of problems affecting the mind and body, including alcoholism, violence, poor grades and risky sexual behavior.
"I would guess it has to do with feeling like you belong and whether or not you're doing what a 'real' college student does," Hsu told LiveScience. "It seems to be more about certain groups getting to define what that looks like."
Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than four drinks in one occasion for women and more than five drinks for men. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they had engaged in the practice, compared with 36 percent who said they had not.
Those statistics differ from similar evidence gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's statistics measure binge drinking in the same quantity but limit the consumption period to two hours or fewer. Its results also found that the majority of binge drinkers (70 percent) were over the age of 26. The CDC has also found that 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21 is done in the form of binge drinking, compared with 75 percent among all U.S. adults.
Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.
Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.UK Citizens
This is the book that offers a different perspective on codependency and is strongly recommended by Dream Warrior Recovery as part of a solution based recovery. This bestselling book, now in a revised edition, radically challenges the prevailing medical definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Rather, the authors identify it as the result of developmental traumas that interfered with the infant-parent bonding relationship during the first year of life.US Citizens
Drawing on decades of clinical experience, Barry and Janae Weinhold correlate the developmental causes of co-dependency with relationship problems later in life, such as establishing and maintaining boundaries, clinging and dependent behaviors, people pleasing, and difficulty achieving success in the world. Then they focus on healing co-dependency, providing compelling case histories and practical activities to help readers heal early trauma and transform themselves and their primary relationships.
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill this week designed to create enhanced legal protections for valid medical marijuana patients
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill this week designed to create enhanced legal protections for valid medical marijuana patients prosecuted due to conflicting state and federal laws regarding the legality of the substance.
Under the Truth In Trials Act, sponsored by California Democratic Rep. Sam Farr and co-sponsored by other representatives such as Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), state-licensed medical marijuana users would be given the right to provide an "affirmative defense" in the case of a federal prosecution. This effectively allows them to prove that their actions, while illegal at the federal level, were in fact protected under state law.
"Any person facing prosecution or a proceeding for any marijuana-related offense under any federal law shall have the right to introduce evidence demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana, or that the property which is subject to a proceeding was possessed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana," the bill reads.
The legislation also lays out specific language stating that cannabis plants grown legally under state law may not be seized. Under the legislation, marijuana and other property confiscated in the process of a prosecution must also be maintained -- not destroyed -- and returned to the defendant if they are able to prove it was for a use accepted by the state.
The latest version of the Truth In Trials Act comes as federal crackdowns on dispensaries in medical marijuana states continue to surge. Last week, federal officials targeted one of the nation's largest pot shops. The Associated Press reported:
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has threatened to seize the Oakland property where Harborside Health Center has operated since 2006, as well as its sister shop in San Jose, executive director and co-founder Steve DeAngelo said Wednesday. His employees found court papers announcing asset forfeiture proceedings against Harborside's landlords taped to the doors at the two locations on Tuesday.
Morgan Freeman is a fan of marijuana. Morgan Freeman is a long-time advocate of marijuana legalization
Morgan Freeman is a long-time advocate of marijuana legalization, a point he recently reiterated in a wide-ranging interview with Newsweek.
Here's what the "Dark Knight Rises" actor had to say on the issue:
Marijuana! Heavens, oh yeah. It’s just the stupidest law possible, given history. You don’t stop people from doing what they want to do, so forget about making it unlawful. You’re just making criminals out of people who aren’t engaged in criminal activity. And we’re spending zillions of dollars trying to fight a war we can’t win! We could make zillions, just legalize it and tax it like we do liquor. It’s stupid.
Pot wasn't the only topic on his mind, however. Freeman also explained his own personal -- to use Barack Obama's word -- evolution on same-sex marriage:
I grew up in the South but I started dancing in my twenties when I got out of the Air Force, and studying dance, you’re surrounded by gay guys all the time. You get to know them and you have to shift gears!
Freeman is often a free-wheeling interview subject. In an interview in June of this year, the actor said he believes "we invented God." In September of 2011, he told Piers Morgan the Tea Party is "a racist thing."
"Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term," he continued at the time. "What underlines that? 'Screw the country. [...] We’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here.'"
In an AOL You've Got video featured below the following gallery, Freeman describes his childhood pets. What can one say? The guy's game!
The connection between weapons and Phuket's drugs trade was exposed today when Phuket police arrested a man in possession of a grenade.
Officers raided a house in Thepkasattri at 4.30am in pursuit of drugs and a drug gang and surprised a man out the front.
Police discovered that the bag contained a fragmentation grenade.
Somporn Rampung, 25, was free on bail in a case involving possession of 12 kilos of marijuana, officers discovered.
He told police that a ''Mr Petch'' had sold him the grenade, which came from Thailand's deep south, for 4000 baht.
He planned to use it on a rival drugs gang but added that weapons were often part of the currency in drugs deals.
Thalang Police Station Superintendent Colonel Witoon Kongsudjai said the fragmentation grenade could cause death or injury within a range of 10 to 15 metres if it exploded.
Known as the "El Mas Loco" or "The Craziest One," one of Mexico's most feared drug traffickers is now venerated as a saint by a new generation of smugglers and gunslingers.
Nazario Moreno was shot dead by police in December 2010 during one of the most spectacular battles of President Felipe Calderon's six-year offensive against drug gangs, but his spirit lives on in the criminal underworld that made him.
Soldiers raiding criminal safe houses in the western state of Michoacan have recently found altars topped with three foot high statues in the image of Moreno, shown in golden medieval armour and carrying a sword. A local verse dedicated to the dead trafficker invokes him as a supernatural force.
"Give me holy protection, through Saint Nazario, Protector of the poorest, Knights of the people, Saint Nazario, give us life," goes the "Prayer to Saint Nazario".
Now calling themselves the Knights Templar, after the medieval military order that protected Christian pilgrims during the Crusades, members carry a code book decorated with pictures of cloaked knights with red crosses.
And police have even seized 120 plastic helmets allegedly used by the gang in initiation ceremonies.
The Knights Templar is the most bizarre cult-like group to have sprung up since Calderon declared war against Mexico's drug cartels in late 2006, triggering a series of turf wars that have killed more than 55,000 people.
Nowhere has his government struck harder than in Michoacan, shattering the leadership of Moreno's quasi-religious cartel La Familia - only for remnants to regroup in a yet stranger guise.
Propaganda from the cartel blends a curious mix of Michoacan regionalism, Christianity and revolutionary slogans.
But the quirks do nothing to diminish the violent threat posed by the Knights Templar, whose beliefs appear to extend from paying tribute to the Pope to brutally murdering their rivals and extorting local businesses.
One of the biggest traffickers of crystal meth to the United States, the cartel has an army of around 1,200 gunmen, according to a report by Mexico's military intelligence.
Knights Templar gunmen are believed to be behind most of the 480 drug-related murders in Michoacan in the last 18 months, including dozens of decapitated or dismembered victims.
Calderon launched his army-led crackdown in Michoacan, his home state, a few weeks after taking office and it has been a focus of his national campaign since then.
So the ability of Moreno's followers to regroup as the Knights Templar after his death serves as a powerful reminder of the task awaiting Calderon's successor, Enrique Pena Nieto, when he takes office in December.
The Knights Templar are also blamed for the worst attack on a multinational company in recent years. In May, assailants torched more than 30 trucks and two warehouses in Michoacan belonging to PepsiCo's Sabritas, a leading potato chip brand.
Messages signed by the Knights Templar were printed on plastic sheets strung up in 10 towns, saying they launched the attack because federal police had hidden in the Sabritas trucks to arrest one of the cartel's top fugitives.
"The companies are sources of employment for Michoacan society and we respect their labour," read the gang's message. "But they must limit themselves exclusively to their business or they will be punished."
PepsiCo officials deny that Sabritas let the police ride in its trucks, and say they don't know why they were targeted.
MORENO'S RISE AND FALL
The roots of the Knights Templar lie in the network of smugglers built up by Moreno, police reports show.
Moreno was born in 1970 in a seething valley known as the Tierra Caliente, where traffickers have long grown marijuana and opium poppies.
Working as a labourer in the United States in the 1980s, Moreno converted to evangelical Christianity and when he returned home he spread his version of the gospel within the drug trade.
In 2006, Moreno named his cartel "La Familia Michoacana" and sent adverts to newspapers claiming his troops were good Christians who defended their kind even if they smuggled drugs.
La Familia was given a boost by the rising crystal meth trade, with smugglers bringing in precursor chemicals to Michoacan's bustling Pacific port of Lazaro Cardenas.
Federal police finally caught up with Moreno in 2010, when he was handing out Christmas presents of washing machines and cars in a festival in the village of El Alcalde.
Elias Alvarez, the police commander who headed the strike on Moreno, said the 2,000 officers involved in the attack ran into hundreds of gunmen who blocked roads with burning cars and trucks.
"They have look-outs so they were waiting for us. We drove into the town and they were was a wall of some 40 trucks and they attacked us," Alvarez said. "It was a very hard battle."
In hours of fighting, five officers were killed, but police shot dead more than 50 gunmen, Alvarez said. The gangsters carried many of the bodies, including Moreno's, into the hills.
As police didn't find his corpse, rumours abound in Michoacan that Moreno is still alive and may even be behind his own cult, even though there is no evidence to back up the speculation. Alvarez says he is certain that Moreno is dead and that the trafficker has a marked grave in the mountains.
Following Moreno's demise, one of his top lieutenants and a former rural school teacher called Servando Gomez took over the organization and renamed it as the Knights Templar.
However, other operatives kept the name La Familia and became bloody rivals of the Knights, fighting them in pitched battles. One shoot-out this month between the two groups in the State of Mexico, which borders the capital, left 10 dead.
Within the Knights, Gomez oversees a council of 12 deputies responsible for areas such as drug production, trafficking and spying networks, according to the military report.
In Michoacan state capital Morelia, a business leader said that companies large and small have to pay up to the cartel.
"There are shops, gas stations, avocado growers, taxis and even iron mines making extortion payments here," said the businessman, who asked that his name not be used.
The Knights owe their strength to support in the Tierra Caliente where many civilians do business with them or work as their spies, said an undercover military intelligence officer.
"They help people out by giving them presents like bags of cement. Many people in the area are against authority anyway. Others help the Knights Templar out of fear," said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Knights' elaborate ceremonies and codes also help keep the troops in line, the officer said.
The exact religious beliefs of the Knights are unclear. While the traffickers had been Evangelicals under Moreno, the name "Knights Templar" is closer to the Roman Catholic Church.
Furthermore, when Pope Benedict visited Mexico in March, the Knights displayed signs calling for peace in his honour.
The Knights' infamous code book, which soldiers have seized in raids, lists 53 commandments that members must obey.
Some justify their movement with a cause. "The Knights Templar will establish an ideological battle and defend the values of a society based on ethics," says order number 12.
Others concern discipline and organization.
"Any knight who betrays the Templars will receive the maximum punishment,
THESE are the first amazing pictures of a secret cannabis factory — hidden UNDER a filthy portable cabin.
They reveal how the subterranean chamber — made of metal shipping containers sunk into the ground — was crammed with illegal plants capable of generating MILLIONS of pounds for drug barons.
It was busted last year by cops who had kept the site in Irvine, Ayrshire, under surveillance after a tip-off. The images were finally released after the criminal masterminds behind the ingenious dope factory were yesterday sentenced at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.
Gerald McKenna, 60, and Stewart Allison, 54, were sent to jail while Samuel Strachan, 52 — described as “the watchman” — got off with community service.
A fourth man, Roy Dunstance, 58, was cleared of the farm plot at an earlier hearing but fined £350 for possessing cannabis.
Veteran gangster Dunstance was once one of Scotland’s most wanted criminals in Spain.
Drugs expert Detective Sergeant Michael Miller, who was the first cop to check out the factory, said: “As far as I am aware, this is the first underground cannabis cultivation in Scotland.
“I have been doing this job for 22 years and have never seen anything like this.
“A serious amount of time, effort and experience went into this venture, from placing the containers in the ground to the electrical system. It was there to make money.
“It was like something out of The Great Escape with an elaborate underground network similar to the one in the film — but they all got caught in the end.”
The Scottish Sun was given exclusive access to a 40-minute video taken by DS Miller as he walked through the site.
He is seen applying pressure to a piece of soft ground with his foot and when he digs down a little into the earth, it exposes the metal roof of the factory.
A short distance away lies a pile of leaves and other debris — used to mask the factory’s massive heat source from police helicopter infra-red cameras.
A hatch on the floor concealed what turned out to be an ultra-sophisticated cannabis cultivation.
A set of sturdy, dark grey metal ladders led down into the factory.
A total of 350 plants were crammed into one of four sunken containers.
They were blasted by powerful UV lamps which mimic the sun to encourage growth.
The operation was designed to grow a crop every three months rather than the average once a year. Another container acted as a nursery for fresh cuttings.
The cavern was raided on June 16 last year by Strathclyde Police’s Major Crimes and Terrorist Investigation Unit.
McKenna, Allison and Strachan later admitted producing cannabis from the plants which were valued at £150,000.
But after the raid, a source said: “It is suggested you can get one harvest every six or so weeks, which would bring in £100,000.
“If you are pulling in that kind of money, then it is not going to take too long to clock up a million quid.”
It was revealed during yesterday’s court hearing how grandfather-of-five McKenna, of Scotstoun, Glasgow, had been the “head gardener”.
His lawyer Murray Macara said: “His role was effectively that of a gardener giving advice.
“He got involved because he had an interest in cannabis. There was a financial interest too but he was taking cannabis for effective pain relief.”
Allison, of Duntocher, Dunbartonshire, was described as the “assistant” gardener.
Strachan, of Knightswood, Glasgow, was dubbed the “watchman” who looked after security for “one day only”, according to his solicitor Andrew Lambie.
Sheriff Seith Ireland jailed McKenna for 45 months while Allison was ordered to serve 26 months behind bars.
Strachan, who has learning difficulties, was hit with a community payback order and 210 hours of unpaid work.
Sheriff Ireland said: “This was a sophisticated operation at industrial scale. It involved the construction of underground chambers to grow cannabis with potentially high yields of illegal profits.”
And he told McKenna: “You played a major — but not pinnacle — role in the production.”
30 gang members have been sentenced to over 40 years in prison following a widespread anti-drug operation by the Trident Central Gangs Unit and Haringey police. Crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis were some of the drugs found by officers during the operation which was codenamed Fadden and targeted prolific offenders. The North London Somalian Gang, Albanian Young Guns, The Wood Green Mob and the Ida Road Gang were all implicated in the illegal supply of Class A or Class B drugs. Some 31 gang members were arrested over four separate dates in late February and early March of this year after simultaneous raids were conducted across Haringey borough in an effort to stop the street gangs’ criminal activity. All pleaded guilty at court hearings at Wood Green Crown Court between March and July. Among them was a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying cannabis and was given a 12-month referral order. Detective Superintendent Stephen Clayman of Haringey’s Gang Crime Unit, said: “We continue to police the areas of Turnpike Lane, Philip Lane and Wood Green using a range of tactics, such as intelligence led stop and search and dispersal orders to ensure that the problem does not return and that the local community can go about their lawful business in safety. “We are determined to enforce the law against those who damage our local communities through their involvement in gang crime. Equally, we will continue to work with local partner agencies to support those that want to leave their gang lifestyle behind.”
A gang member from Victorville was convicted in U.S. District Court on racketeering and drug charges and faces a life prison term, federal officials said. Gary White, aka Big J-Killa, 47, is scheduled to be sentenced by a U.S. District judge on Nov. 19, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. White was one of 46 defendants charged in 2010 following a multi-agency investigation into the Pueblo Bishops Bloods street gang’s violent and intimidating activities in the Pueblo del Rio housing project in South Los Angeles, prosecutors said. White was found guilty Monday of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act along with two Los Angeles men, Jermaine Hardiman and Anthony Gabourel. Additionally, White was convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, and drug trafficking within a public housing project and near schools and parks. Thirty-nine others were previously convicted in the investigation; prosecutors dismissed one defendant’s case and three others remain to be tried on Aug. 22, officials said. The two-year investigation that led to the August 2010 arrests was joined by the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
After the recent stream of disturbing news reports of people eating others' flesh, Hornaday Manufacturing has released bullets that promise to ‘make dead permanent.’
The ammunition, branded as Zombie Max offers Proven Z-Max bullets, is live ammunition, but is actually only intended for use on targets – not people.
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The Walking Dead: Hornady Manufacturing has started selling Zombie bullets, 'just in case'; it is live ammunition
Attacks: Carl Jacquneaux, left, who was arrested for allegedly biting another man's face and Brandon De Leon, right, who allegedly tried to bite two policemen while threatening to eat them
Hornaday spokesman Everett Deger told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the company’s president has a love of zombie culture – including popular shows like the Walking Dead – and was inspired to make the bullets in honour of the cultural phenomenon.
ON CLOUD NINE: BATH SALTS BY ANOTHER NAME... WITH STRONG COMPULSIONS TO REDOSE
The 'bath salts' sold under the name Cloud Nine are likely to be stimulant drugs such MPDV or ephedrine.
'Bath salts' does not refer to a single chemical, but instead to a range of synthetic drugs that can be sold legally in the U.S. as long as they are not marked for human consumption – hence the misleading name.
Drugs such as MPDV are highly potent stimulants, similar to some amphetamines, and in MPDV's case particularly, cause a strong compulsion to 'redose' with more of the drug.
In high doses, such drugs can cause violent and unpredictable behaviour, and terrifying hallucinations – and the compulsion to take more of the drug continues, even once the 'high' has begun to make the user feel bad.
Various different compounds use the name 'Cloud Nine', and it's still not confirmed which exact chemical was in the drug reported to have caused these attacks, but some reports have pointed the finger at MPDV.
The chemical is already illegal in Florida – although other 'bath salts' remain perfectly legal in the state.
‘We decided just to have some fun with a marketing plan that would allow us to create some ammunition designed for that…fictional world,’ he told the radio station.
Mr Deger noted that the bullets are some of the ammunition company’s most popular products.
The news comes as two more cannibal attacks have been reported in the US as police warn of a dangerous new mind-altering drug called Cloud Nine.
Last week Rudy Eugene - who is believed to have taken the over-the-counter ecstasy-like drug - growled at officers as he chewed off most of a homeless man's face before being shot dead by Miami police.
Since then two further incidents have been linked to the substance, which is part of a new line of 'bath salts'.
- Revealed: Miami cannibal's girlfriend shows herself in public for the first time and claims her beau was carrying a BIBLE before the attack
- Caught on camera: The moment woman driver rams into pedestrian and travels for hundreds of yards with him clinging on 'because of her hormones'
- Revealed: The videos 'Canadian cannibal' sent to his 'fans' while on the run from police - and one of them contains infamous song from American Psycho
The second occurred on Saturday when a snarling homeless man, identified as Brandon De Leon, threatened to eat two officers, echoing the Miami attack.
A third incident took place in Louisiana where Carl Jacquneaux, 43, bit off a chunk of his victim's face. Miami police have issued a warning about Cloud Nine and told their officers to exercise extreme caution when dealing with homeless men who appear to be acting unusually.
Police investigating the case of Rudy Eugene, who ate the face off a homeless man, say as well as being naked, he was carrying a bible.
Some pages had been ripped out of the book and were found close by, according to CBS Miami. A preliminary toxicology examination has also found that the 31-year-old had been smoked cannabis shortly before the incident.
They were forced to fit 21-year-old De Leon with a Hannibal Lecter-style mask after he was arrested for disturbing the peace in North Miami Beach. When put in a police cruiser De Leon slammed his head against the plexiglass divider and shouted at officers, 'I'm going to eat you', NBC Miami reported.
He then growled, gnashed his teeth and tried to bite the hand of an officer attempting to treat his head wounds.
'Brandon growled and opened and closed his jaw, slamming his teeth like an animal would,' the report said. Miami police said they believe he was on a cocktail of drugs, including Cloud Nine.
In a second case Carl Jacquneaux, 43, is accused of attacking Todd Credeur at his home in Scott, Louisiana, over the weekend after he became upset following a domestic issue.
Victim: Todd Credeur, though in shock, managed to spray his attacker in the face with wasp spray to stop him from eating any more of his face
Scene: Todd Creneur was attacked while working on the yard outside his home in Scott, Louisiana
KATC reported that Mr Credeur was working in his front yard when he was attacked.
Scott Assistant Police Chief Kert Thomas said: 'During the attack, the suspect bit a chunk of the victim's face off.'
Mr Credeur reportedly managed to spray Jacquneaux in the face with wasp spray to stop him from eating any more of his face.
Jacquneaux then allegedly left the home and went to another man's home where he held him at knife point and stole a hand gun. This is where police found him and arrested him.
A friend of the victim said she believes Jacquneaux was under the influence of Cloud Nine, which is the same drug which is believed to have been taken by the 'Miami Cannibal' Rudy Eugene.
Eugene ate the face of homeless man Ronald Poppo in Miami last week and a police memo to officers has highlighted the dangers surrounding the drug's use.
It warned the De Leon case 'bears resemblance to an incident that occurred in the city of Miami last week, when a male ate another man's face'.
'Please be careful when dealing with the homeless population during your patrols.'
Police have suggested Eugene was under the influence of the synthetic stimulant usually sold in drug paraphanelia shops.
Cloud Nine is 'addictive and dangerous', the memo said, part of a 'disturbing trend in which new drugs are sold in the guise of household products'.
The drug, which is also as Ivory Wave in the U.S., comes in harmless-looking packets, police said, adding that it is illegal in Britain and Australia.
Crazed attack: Cloud Nine, which is the same drug which is believed to have been taken by the 'Miami Cannibal' Rudy Eugene (left) when he savagely attacked 65-year-old Ronald Poppo (right)
The potentially addictive drug stimulates the central nervous system and symptoms include heart palpitations, nausea, hallucinations, paranoia and erratic behaviour.
The series of shocking incidents began on May 26 when a naked Eugene encountered his victim, 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, who was sleeping in the shade on elevated train tracks.
In surveillance footage from the nearby Miami Herald building, Eugene was seen struggling with the naked homeless man, throwing him to the ground and then tearing into his face with his teeth as cars and bicycles sped by.
About 18 minutes into the attack, an officer appeared on the scene and yelled at Eugene to stop, but the 31-year-old just growled at him and continued chewing Poppo’s face.
The officer then opened fire on Eugene, shooting him to death.
Horrific attack: The spot on MacArthur Causeway when a man was killed after chewing the face off a stranger
Disfigured: Poppo, here on a stretcher, miraculously survived the attack, but was left without a nose, mouth or eyes
Poppo remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital with his nose, mouth and eyes torn off. He faces months of treatment to rebuild his features and psychological care.
Controversially this week the scene of the attack on Poppo has been Miami added to sites visited by a tourist tour's itinerary.
The famous Miami Mystery & Mayhem: Crime Tour tour led by Miami-Dade College professor Dr Paul George will stop on the road that connects downtown Miami to popular South Beach.
Dr Paul told the South Florida Business Journal: 'Horrible as it was, it is part of our history. Currently, our tour takes us over the causeway right past the site, so this fits well.'
In a completely separate case not involving the drug, Canadian Luka Rocco Magnotta has been sent back to his country from Germany after an international manhunt.
He is alleged to have killed his partner, Jun Lin, before eating parts of his body then chopping it to pieces that were then posted to different authorities. Mr Lun's head has not yet been found.
'ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE': RECENT CANNIBAL ATTACKS ACROSS AMERICA
A mind-altering drug banned in Britain two years ago is being blamed for the spate of cannibal attacks in America.
Narcotic Cloud Nine was blamed for the attack when Rudy Eugene ate 75% of homeless man Ronald Poppo’s face in Miami last month.
Horrific images surfaced of the attack that only ended once police shot and killed 31-year-old Eugene.
Mr Poppo is still recovering from his injuries in hospital.
Police are now warning people to stay away from Cloud Nine – also known as ‘bath salts’ - after two similar attacks were reported.
The most recent prompted an internal memo to police warning officers the case “bears resemblance to an incident that occurred in the city of Miami last week, when a male ate another man’s face”.
The memo called the synthetic drug “addictive and dangerous” and said it was part of a “disturbing trend in which new drugs are sold in the guise of household products”.
It added: “Please be careful when dealing with the homeless population during your patrols.”
Rudy Eugene, 31: Ate 75% of a man's face in Miami before being shot dead
Brandon De Leon, 21: Tried to bite two police officers after he was arrested in North Miami BeachCarl Jacquneaux, 43: Bit a man's face in Scott, Louisiania. Wasp spray was used to end the attackAlex Kinyua, 21: Accused of eating the heart and brain of friend in Maryland
Horror: Film cannibal Hannibal Lecter
During the latest attack homeless Brendon De Leon threatened to eat two Miami police officers and had to be fitted with a Hannibal Lecter-style mask to prevent him carrying his threats out.
He had been arrested for disturbing the peace in North Miami Beach while high on drugs and put in a police cruiser when he slammed his head against the plexiglass divider and shouted: “I’m going to eat you” to officers before growling and baring his teeth.
Miami police said they believe he was on a cocktail of drugs including Cloud Nine.
In another case, Carl Jacquneaux, 43, was accused of attacking Todd Credeur in his front garden in Scott, Louisiana, over the weekend after being upset over a domestic issue while under the influence of what is said to be bath salts.
Jacquneaux bit Mr Credeur before being sprayed in the face with wasp spray.
Scott Assistant Police Chief Kert Thomas said: “During the attack, the suspect bit a chunk of the victim’s face off.”
Jacquneaux was then said to have left the property and gone to another man’s home where he held him at knife-point and stole a handgun before being apprehended by police.
The drug, which is also known as Ivory Wave, was blamed for several deaths in Britain during 2010 before being banned. It is also illegal in Australia.
The potentially addictive drug stimulates the central nervous system and symptoms include heart palpitations, nausea, hallucinations, paranoia and erratic behaviour and is often sold in plain packaging with the contents purporting to be harmless.
Unemployed people suspected of suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction will have their benefits cut if they refuse treatment for their condition, the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, will signal on Wednesday. In a sign of the government's new benefits regime, which lies at the heart of Duncan Smith's cost-cutting welfare changes, staff in Jobcentre Plus offices will be encouraged to cut the jobseeker's allowance of claimants who reject treatment for addiction. The new rules will come into place in October 2013 when the universal credit, which is designed to wrap benefits into one payment, is introduced. A new claimant contract lies at the heart of the universal credit reforms. Claimants will have to sign a contract in which they agree to look for work in exchange for an undertaking from the government to support them while they do so. Government sources said the contract would allow Jobcentre Plus staff to say that a suspected addict is in breach of their commitments if they refuse help for alcoholism or drug addiction. Duncan Smith will give a flavour of the new rules when he addresses an event in parliament organised by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He will say: "The outdated benefits system fails to get people off drugs and put their lives on track. We have started changing how addicts are supported, but we must go further to actively take on the devastation that drugs and alcohol can cause. "Under universal credit we want to do more to encourage and support claimants into rehabilitation for addiction and starting them on the road to recovery and eventually work. Getting people into work and encouraging independence is our ultimate goal. Universal credit will put people on a journey towards a sustainable recovery so they are better placed to look for work in future and we will be outlining our plans shortly." It is understood that the work and pensions secretary will not make a formal announcement on Wednesday of the powers that will be handed to Jobcentre Plus staff. Duncan Smith wants to use the event to focus on what he regards as the positive work AA does in helping to treat alcoholism. A government source said: "Iain wants to focus on the brilliant work Alcoholics Anonymous does in changing people's lives. He really wants to encourage people who have drink problems to go to AA for treatment. It will transform their lives and will help them into work." The source said Duncan Smith believes it is right to give jobcentre staff powers to cut benefits if an addict refuses treatment because they can detect signs of trouble. The source said: "The universal credit will allow staff in Jobcentre Plus offices to say: this person has been unemployed for some time. The staff know if people are addicted to alcohol. They know the people they are dealing with. "But we want this to be positive and to be about signposting people to superb organisations that can help them. This is about changing their lives. It is very important to support addicts into the workplace." But if claimants refuse they will have their benefits docked. "There will be sanctions," the source said, citing cuts to the jobseeker's allowance as an example. Ministers believe that one indicator Jobcentre Plus staff can use to see whether a claimant is an addict is the amount of times they apply for a crisis loan. "If you are applying for that up to 10 times a year then that is a sign of a chaotic life," one source said. Analysis by the Department of Work and Pensions shows that almost 40,000 people claim incapacity benefit with alcoholism declared as their "primary diagnosis". Of these, 13,500 have been claiming for a decade or more. There are about 160,000 "dependent drinkers" in England who receive one or more of the main benefits. There are 1m violent crimes a year that are related to alcoholism and 1.2m admissions to hospitals a year related to alcoholism. Universal credit is the most important element of Duncan Smith's welfare reforms, developed during his years in opposition through his Centre for Social Justice, which is designed to achieve his central goal of encouraging people into work. It will integrate tax credits and out-of-work benefits into one payment, with the aim of smoothing the transition to work. Labour has given the universal credit a cautious welcome, though it has taken issue with the scale of benefit cuts. Lord Low of Dalston, the vice-president of the Royal National Institute of Blind People who sits as a crossbencher, told peers this year: "Though it has some very sensible and progressive things at its core, in the shape of the universal credit, nevertheless it goes too far to most people's consciences in the way in which it takes vital support away from some of the most needy in our society."
The US treasury department has put two sons of Mexico's most wanted man Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on its drugs kingpin blacklist. The move bars all people in the US from doing business with Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, and freezes any US assets they have. Joaquin Guzman, on the list since 2001, runs the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Mexico has seen an explosion of violence in recent years as gangs fight for control of trafficking routes. The US administration "will aggressively target those individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman's drug trafficking operations, including family members," said Adam Szubin, director of the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control . "With the Mexican government, we are firm in our resolve to dismantle Chapo Guzman's drug trafficking organisation." Ovidio Guzman plays a significant role in his father's drug-trafficking activities, the treasury department said. Ivan Archivaldo Guzman was arrested in 2005 in Mexico on money-laundering charges but subsequently released. As well as the Guzman brothers, two other alleged key cartel members, Noel Salgueiro Nevarez and Ovidio Limon Sanchez, were listed under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. They were both arrested in Mexico in 2011 and are still in custody. Under the Kingpin Act, US firms, banks and individuals are prevented from doing business with them and any assets the men may have under US jurisdiction are frozen. More than 1,000 companies and individuals linked to 94 drug kingpins have been placed on the blacklist since 2000. Penalties for violating the act range include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10m (£6m). The US has offered a reward of up to $5m a for information leading to the arrest of Joaquin Guzman, who escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001.
The UK should stop wasting money on policing minor drugs offences and decriminalise the possession of drugs, comedian Russell Brand said yesterday. The flamboyant film star, who told MPs reviewing the Government’s drugs strategy that he had beaten his heroin addiction, said some people could safely take drugs and he was not promoting a “just say no” message. But he called for more help and support for those with the “condition of addiction”. Brand, who has been arrested a dozen times over his drug use, said the legal status of drugs was “irrelevant, at best an inconvenience” and being arrested was just an “administrative blip”. Asked for his views on spending less money on the policing of possession offences, Brand said: “I think that’s a brilliant idea. “Penalising people for possession of drugs is costly and expensive. “A good number of times I was arrested was simply for possession and the administrative costs of that would be better spent, I think, on education and addressing the costs of treatment.” Saying he backed decriminalisation, he said of addiction: “The criminal and legal status, I think sends the wrong message, but I wouldn’t start banging a drum to make drugs legal. I don’t take any drugs and I don’t drink because for me they’re bad. “We need to recognise the distinction that certain people have a condition or a tendency that drugs and alcohol are going to ruin their lives. We need to identify those people and offer them the correct treatment.” He added: “Making it illegal is not working anyway. Brand – who arrived at the packed hearing wearing a black hat, gold chains and crosses, and a torn black vest top with jeans – spoke rapidly as he addressed members of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee by their first names. He called MPs “mate” and, when Labour MP David Winnick told him the committee was not a variety show, Brand replied: “You’re providing a little bit of variety though, making it more like Dad’s Army.” Chip Somers, chief executive of the detox centre Focus 12 where Brand sought help with drug dependency, said: “I think there’s an awful lot of money wasted on small-time possession of small amounts of drugs which is just part and parcel of the daily hustle and bustle of using.”
Eight American soldiers died of overdoses involving heroin, morphine or other opiates during deployments in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, according to U.S. Army investigative reports. The overdoses were revealed in documents detailing how the Army investigated a total of 56 soldiers, including the eight who fell victim to overdoses, on suspicion of possessing, using or distributing heroin and other opiates. At the same time, heroin use apparently is on the rise in the Army overall, as military statistics show that the number of soldiers testing positive for heroin has grown from 10 instances in fiscal year 2002 to 116 in fiscal year 2010. Army officials didn't respond to repeated requests for comment on Saturday. But records from the service's Criminal Investigation Command, obtained by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, provided glimpses into how soldiers bought drugs from Afghan juveniles, an Afghan interpreter and in one case, an employee of a Defense Department contractor, who was eventually fired. The drug use is occurring in a country that is estimated to supply more than 90% of the world's opium, and the Taliban insurgency is believed to be stockpiling the drug to finance their activities, according to a 2009 U.N. study. While the records show some soldiers using heroin, much of the opiate abuse by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan involves prescription drugs such Percocet, the Army documents show. Judicial Watch obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information of Act and provided them to CNN. Spokesman Col. Gary Kolb of the International Security Assistance Force, the NATO-led command in Afghanistan, verified the documents to CNN on Saturday. One fatal overdose occurred in June 2010 at Forward Operating Base Blessing, after a soldier asked another soldier to buy black tar opium from a local Afghan outside the base's entry control point. The first soldier died after consuming the opium like chewing tobacco and smoking pieces of it in a cigarette, the documents show. The reports even show soldier lingo for the drug -- calling it "Afghani dip" in one case where three soldiers were accused of using the opiate, the Army investigative reports show. The United States has 89,000 troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. death toll since the September 11, 2001, attacks that triggered the war has risen to more than 1,850, including 82 this year, according to the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Central Command. Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said his group was interested in soldiers' drug use partly because the risk was present during the Vietnam War. "You never want to see news of soldiers dying of drug use in Afghanistan," Fitton said. "Our concern is, will the military treat this as the problem that it is, and are the families of the soldiers aware of the added risk in this drug-infested country? "There is a dotted line between the uses. Prescription abuse can easily veer into heroin drug use," Fitton added. "Afghanistan is the capital of this opiate production and the temptation is great there and the opportunity for drug use all the more." The group is concerned that "there hasn't been enough public discussion, and we would encourage the leadership to discuss or talk about this issue more openly," Fitton said. In one case, a soldier bought heroin and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax from five "local national juveniles at multiple locations on Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan, and consumed them," one report states. Soldiers also distributed heroin, Percocet and other drugs among themselves, according to the reports. Another soldier fatally overdosed in December 2010 after taking several drugs, including morphine and codeine, though the drugs were not prescribed for him, the Army documents show. One female soldier broke into the Brigade Medical Supply Office at Forward Operating Base Shank and stole expired prescription narcotics including morphine, Percocet, Valium, fentanyl and lorazepam, the documents show. The investigative reports show soldiers using other drugs, including steroids and marijuana, and even hashish that was sold to U.S. servicemen by the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police personnel, the reports state.
Scientists have known for a while that the active ingredient in cannabis was a chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. Ingesting or smoking THC has a wide range of effects, from the psychoactive "getting high" to the physiological relief of pain and swelling. It also acts as both a stimulant and depressant. How could one substance do all that?
Meet the cannabinoid receptor
In the 1980s and 90s, researchers identified cannabinoid receptors, long, ropy proteins that weave themselves into the surfaces of our cells and process THC. They also process other chemicals, many of them naturally occurring in our bodies. Once we'd discovered these receptors, we knew exactly where THC was being processed in our bodies and brains, as well as what physical systems it was affecting. Scattered throughout the body, cannabinoid receptors come in two varieties, called CB1 and CB2 - most of your CB1 receptors are in your brain, and are responsible for that "high" feeling when you smoke pot. CB2 receptors, often associated with the immune system, are found all over the body. THC interacts with both, which is why the drug gives you the giggles and also (when interacting with the immune system) reduces swelling and pain.
Cannabinoid receptors evolved in sea squirts about 500 million years ago; humans and many other creatures inherited ours from a distant ancestor we share with these simple sea creatures. THC binds to receptors in animals as well as humans, with similar effects.
Tasty, tasty, tasty
Cannabis notoriously makes people hungry - even cancer patients who had lost all desire to eat.One study showed that cancer patients who thought food smelled and tasted awful suddenly regained an ability to appreciate food odors after ingesting a THC compound. There are CB1 receptors in your hypothalamus, a part of your brain known to regulate appetite, and your body's own cannabinoids usually send the "I'm hungry" message to them. But when you ingest THC, you artificially boost the amount of cannabinoids sending that message to your hypothalamus, which is why you get the munchies.
Understanding this process has actually led to a new body of research into safe diet drugs that would block those cannabinoid receptors. That way, your hypothalamus wouldn't receive signals from your body telling it to eat, and would reduce hunger cravings in dieters.
What you're forgetting
What's happening in your brain when smoking pot makes you forget what you're saying in the middle of saying it? According to the book Marijuana and Medicine (National Academies Press):
One of the primary effects of marijuana in humans is disruption of short-term memory. That is consistent with the abundance of CB1 receptors in the hippocampus, the brain region most closely associated with memory. The effects of THC resemble a temporary hippocampal lesion.
That's right - smoking a joint creates the effect of temporary brain damage.
What happens is that THC shuts down a lot of the normal neuroprocessing that goes on in your hippocampus, slowing down the memory process. So memories while stoned are often jumpy, as if parts are missing. That's because parts literally are missing: Basically you are saving a lot less information to your memory. It's not that you've quickly forgotten what's happened. You never remembered it at all.
A bit of the old timey wimey
Cannabis also distorts your sense of time. THC affects your brain's dopamine system, creating a stimulant effect. People who are stoned often report feeling excited, anxious, or energetic as a result. Like other stimulants, this affects people's sense of time. Things seem to pass quickly because the brain's clock is sped up. At the same time, as we discussed earlier (if you can remember), the drug slows down your ability to remember things. That's because it interferes with the brain's acetylcholine system, which is part of what helps you store those memories in your hippocampus. You can see that system's pathway through the brain in red in the illustration at left.
In an article io9 published last year about the neuroscience of time, we noted:
The interesting thing about smoking pot is that marijuana is one of those rare drugs that seems to interact with both the dopamine and the acetylcholine system, speeding up the former and slowing down the latter. That's why when you get stoned, your heart races but your memory sucks.
It's almost as if time is speeding up and slowing down at the same time.
Addiction and medicine
Some experts call cannabis a public health menace that's addictive and destroys lives by robbing people of ambition. Other experts call it a cure for everything from insomnia to glaucoma, and advocate its use as a medicine. The former want it to be illegal; the latter want it prescribed by doctors. Still other groups think it should be treated like other intoxicants such as alcohol and coffee - bad if you become dependent on it, but useful and just plain fun in other situations.
What's the truth? Scientists have proven that cannabis does have medical usefulness, and the more we learn the more intriguing these discoveries become. Since the early 1980s, medical researchers have published about how cannabis relieves pressure in the eye, thus easing the symptoms of glaucoma, a disease that causes blindness. THC is also "neuroprotective," meaning in essence that it prevents brain damage. Some studies have suggested that cannabis could mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's for this reason.
At the same time, we know that THC interferes with memory, and it's still uncertain what kinds of long-term effects the drug could have on memory functioning. No one has been able to prove definitively that it does or does not erode memory strength over time. Obviously, smoking it could cause lung damage. And, like the legal intoxicant alcohol, cannabis can become addictive.
Should cannabis be illegal, while alcohol flows? Unfortunately that's not the kind of question that science can answer. Let's leave the moral questions to courts, policymakers and shamans. I'll be off to the side, smoking a joint, thinking about my acetylcholine system and the many uses of the hippocampus.
What started as an undercover cocaine buy in Jeffersonville turned into 21 people being charged in a cocaine trafficking ring, with the leader based out of Sellersburg. That leader, Jesse K. Bottoms Sr., 47, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in prison Thursday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, lead prosecutor in the case, said it started when an undercover operative purchased one ounce of cocaine from Bottoms in 2008. The investigation continued for two years, prior to charging 21 people, with nine of those from Clark and Floyd counties. “We thought the investigation would be more successful if we could take away everyone involved, instead of one person who would be replaced the next day,” Minkler said. Fifteen people have pleaded guilty, including Bottoms, and have been sentenced. Another three have filed petitions to enter a guilty plea and are awaiting sentencing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “The evidence in this case was overwhelming,” Minkler said, explaining that is the reason behind the plea agreements. Minkler said there were recorded phone conversations, drugs seized, officers who witnessed the drug deals and more. “I’ve seen better cases, but not many,” Minkler said of the evidence. A total of 10 ounces of cocaine, $82,000 in cash and 30 firearms, including two AR-15 assault rifles, were recovered during this investigation. Minkler said Bottoms had to forfeit $37,568 once arrested and 80 percent of that will be given to local law enforcement. Minkler said it helps make the drug dealers pay for the investigation. All but three defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine. The remaining three people were Bottoms’ ex-wife, who lived with him, Nia Bottoms, 45, and his son Jesse Bottoms Jr., 22, both of Sellersburg, and Amber N. Tucker, 24, of Clarksville. Nia and Tucker were charged with one count of knowingly and intentionally using a communication facility to facilitate the commission of an act constituting a felony. Bottoms’ son was charged with one count of transferring a firearm, knowing that the firearm would be used in a drug trafficking crime. Minkler said the arrests would not be possible without the help of many agencies, including the Jeffersonville Police Department, which started the investigation in 2008 with the undercover buy, and the other agencies who have helped since then: Charlestown Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Department, Clarksville Police Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, New Albany Police Department, Scottsburg Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation — Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, Internal Revenue Service — Criminal Investigation Division, Chicago FBI, Illinois State Police, Indianapolis FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force, Louisville FBI, Louisville Metro Police Department, Seymour Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.
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