Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


East Boston man arrested after police find 240 grams of fentanyl in home

An East Boston man is facing a slew of drug charges after police found a stockpile of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and thousands of dollars in his home, Suffolk DA Kevin Hayden announced Sunday. “Fentanyl is a death drug, plain and simple,” Hayden said in a release. “The amount seized here — 240 grams […]

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2 arrested in Tewksbury for alleged fentanyl trafficking

TEWKSBURY — An investigation by the Tewksbury Police Narcotics Unit at a known hot spot for drug activity led to the arrest of two men on fentanyl trafficking charges on Thursday. Jeffrey Gutierrez, 32, of Lawrence, and Nathan Leach, 45, of Sanford, Maine, were both charged with trafficking in more than 10 grams of fentanyl […]

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Massachusetts post office manager seized cocaine to sell it himself, sentenced to prison

Related Articles A former Massachusetts post office manager who grew up in Quincy was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for intercepting a “brick of cocaine” and other drugs from the mail and selling them himself. “I’m disgraced at my decision to be coerced into doing this and truly am sorry,” Shawn […]

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Dorchester man accused of receiving cocaine packages in the mail: Boston Police

A 28-year-old Dorchester man is accused of receiving dozens of cocaine packages in the mail from fake addresses in Puerto Rico, Boston Police said on Wednesday. Marco Clark, 28, of Dorchester, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with trafficking Class B drugs — more than 200 grams of cocaine, according to police. Boston police officers, […]

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What’s that smell? California flower town’s shift to pot creates stink

This picturesque coastal town cradled by mountains and sandy shores is a scene out of a Southern California postcard. Residents of Carpinteria say they feel lucky to live in what they consider a slice of paradise.

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Opioid epidemic shares chilling similarities with the past

While declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency Thursday, President Donald Trump said: “Nobody has seen anything like what’s going on now.”

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Yuma County sheriff is struggling with a massive land area — and too few deputies

Responding to a family dispute that erupted in gunfire was just another day in the life of the budget-strapped Yuma County Sheriff’s department, which has few officers, a vast area to patrol, and criminal acts that run the gamut from hog theft to methamphetamine distribution.

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Dr. David Sack and Modern Marijuana Propaganda

propaganda dr sackAs scientists provide more solid evidence and a generation of lies is being exposed, a vast majority of Americans now support medical cannabis.  Since the science and the hearts of the people are now on the side of advocates, the propaganda machine has been forced to utilize more subtle but equally misleading tactics. Today’s modern …continue reading

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1956, a Grave Injustice


One of the more infamous events in drug law history was the passage of the Narcotic Control Act in July of 1956.  One of its many effects was the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for possession, distribution and trafficking of drugs, particularly Marijuana.  At this time, Marijuana was still highly castigated by the majority of the US population, especially those eager-to-please, power-hungry politicians.  Henry J Anslinger (the man behind the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937) was still the drug czar of the era, and although this bill was not his brain-child, he certainly championed it as it gave enormous power to his organization (the Federal Bureau of Narcotics).  Interestingly enough, some members of the Federal bureaucracy (those in law enforcement) were against this because it gave so much power to a sub-department of the Treasury Department.  Some of its provisions wanted bureau agents to carry firearms and serve warrants.  It also allowed them to make arrests and obtain wiretaps without warrants.

In the 1950’s, “narcotic” drug use was ramping up in the United States.  Also, it was a time where the first congressional hearings were broadcast on television.  These Senate hearings discussed organized crime and its continued rise in power.  Where was this stemming from? More money = more power, and the crime lords were making vast swaths of money in drug trafficking, specifically heroin, cocaine and marijuana.  For a quick tutorial on this, take a few minutes to check out The Godfather.  There’s a great scene where the Dons of the Five Families get together and discuss how they will make peace between themselves and carve out their empires by building on drug revenue.  Some were against drug sales due to moral objections (although they had no problem with gambling, prostitution and protection rackets) while others saw an untapped market just waiting to explode.  Well, the entrepreneurs were right and drugs were indeed the wave of the future.  It only takes a little taste to get most users hooked.  So, a lot of society’s members were legitimately worried about this rising tide.  It was a pity that Marijuana got caught up with the much more dangerous drugs, but alcohol and tobacco were once again ignored.

Let’s get to the meat-and-potatoes of this bill.  It “increased the minimum and maximum penalties for all drug offenses to 1-10 years, 5-25 years, and 10-40 years for succeeding convictions; increased the fine in an categories to $20,000; and imposed 5-20 years upon first conviction for any smuggling or sale violation, and 10-40 years thereafter, with a separate penalty of 10-40 years for any sale or distribution by a person over eighteen to a minor, and from ten years to life, or death when a jury so recommended, if the drug was heroin.  All discretion to suspend sentences or grant probation, and all parole eligibility-generally available to anyone convicted under any other federal criminal law-were prohibited except for first offenders convicted of possession only.”  By removing the chance for parole, inmates had no incentive to reform their behavior and become functional members of society.  Furthermore, the law required that anyone convicted of drug crimes must register and receive special licenses to exit and enter any borders of the United States. Failure to comply with this provision led to fines and further imprisonment.  There are a few more caveats to this piece of legislation; if there are any interested people, that information can be found here.

This law stood until it was thankfully overturned in 1970.  It led to many thousands of arrests and incarcerations.  Many of the convicted were young offenders and served the majority of their lives in jail, if they lived long enough to be released.  There were a lucky few who were pardoned by President Kennedy in 1962, but there were very few.

Surprised, horrified, and/or upset by this tidbit of history? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from. Luckily this law is gone, but the Marijuana community has many more battles to fight before they can declare victory.

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Keep it Clean

impurities in pot

Purity of product is one of the most essential requirements of any medication.  To date, it is not something that has been overly emphasized for medical marijuana.  It’s a naturally occurring plant that grows in the ground; what could be wrong with it?  Well, usually nothing.  But that is no reason to assume that any crop is 100% pure cannabis.  So, what can go wrong with marijuana?  There are some naturally occurring problems that plague growers, like molds, fungus, and pests.  These strike during the growing process and can damage yields and potency of crops, but have minimal effects on users.  The other, more dangerous problems are those that are man-made.  The nefarious and artificial treatment of marijuana can be very dangerous and is popularly known as “laced weed.”  Both of these problems can be addressed through regulation and proper laboratory testing of marijuana.

The diseases that strike cannabis crops are usually detectable by the vigilant grower.  All diseases have symptoms, and the primary caretaker should know how to spot them.  Proper climate control is the key to maintaining crop growth.  Sometimes the plant’s environment will have a pH (acidity) imbalance and that can effect calcium intake, which severely impairs a plant’s life processes.  Calcium is key for proper osmosis within the plant’s cells, which is how plants take in energy and remove waste on a cellular level.  Growers will observe plants with yellow leaves or brown stalks, and these are indicators of imbalances in pH or nitrogen shortages.  Molds and fungus also strike at cannabis and must be treated immediately or else the crop will be lost.  Pythium is one such mold that leads to rot in the roots and stem.  Mold and fungus can be controlled with proper humidity.  And if a mold or fungus attack is spotted early enough, the effected plants can be removed or sometimes treated with fungicides.  However, be wary of treating plants with chemicals. They must be removed, or catalyzed before people can enjoy a safe product.

Pests can also be a big problem for growers, especially as grow operations continue to grow in size and complexity.  An unnoticed invader can easily spread and damage a whole operation.  One of problems with cloning operations is that all the plants in a crop will be identical. So, if one plant is susceptible to a pest or disease then all of them will be.  That makes it very easy for plagues to multiply across a garden in very short time.  Some pests that have been striking California growers include spider mites, white flies, and lice.  These bugs are small but they pack a punch.  But why do they attack our plants? For the sweet sweet sap, the plant’s life-blood.  The majority of these pests hide from the eye, underneath leaves but you will notice their presence.  They chew into the plant’s veins and suck out the sap.  This leaves white spots on leaves, buds and any affected area.  But there is good news for growers.  There are natural remedies for some of these killers.  Spider mites, identifiable by the webs they spin (and the fact they are spiders and not insects), are the favored snack of Phytoseiulus persimilis (Predator Mite). So, get a batch of those guys and a magnifying glass then you can watch as your enemies are eaten and destroyed!  White flies and lice can be treated with Assassinator wasps (awesome name) and Amblyseius cucumeris.  However, the most effective way to protect a crop is through proper climate control and sterile surfaces.  This prevents plagues and pests from finding their way to the plants in the first place.

By far the most notorious impurities in marijuana are those added to it by people, after it is harvested.  Manufactured drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth, crack) are routinely cut with impure chemicals to increase profit and decrease potency.  For years people have known that they can find sugar, baking powder, drano, other herbs, and even Crisco in their designer drugs (that’s if their drugs even have any of the real drug in it).  It doesn’t happen too often in the United States that laced marijuana makes it into the news.  Why would someone do that?  Sometimes a plant yields a weak potency (perhaps due to previously listed problems) or maybe a dealer wants to add weight to make it seem like a larger crop.  And sometimes, they’re looking to get users hooked on other drugs and use a sprinkle of coke or heroin to jump-start a smoker into a profit-bearing coke addict.  These are serious issues that can mean life or death for the unsuspecting cannabis user.  Marijuana effects people because the chemicals in it mimic those already in our bodies.  When foreign chemicals (pesticides, embalming fluids, meth) are inhaled the experience is much different and can be life-wrecking, even deadly.  The big problem for most people in this country, is that the majority of users must purchase their marijuana illegally from black market sources, and there is no accountability for purity from these suppliers.

The key to ensuring pure marijuana for patients is regulation and quality-control testing.  In states like California and Colorado where medical marijuana is legal, regulation is underway and patients have a communal voice that can call for enforceable standards.  In other states, patients have no way to ensure their products will be clean. All they can do is avoid known crop-adulterers and hope the next bag is clean.  The Werc Shop is one of the leading labs for cannabis control and testing.  They ensure that patients are getting 100% pure marijuana from their suppliers.  They test for anything that people should worry about. Their dedicated technicians spot spider mites, find fungi and fungicides, and sniff out poisons.  Also, they analyze and break down the chemical contents of the buds.  It helps patients figure out what to buy.  Some people want a higher CBD content for treating inflammation and pain.  Others want something with more THC to treat depression or anxiety.  And as research unfolds, letting us know which chemicals help treat which ailments, these “ingredients labels” will be a great aid for future treatments.

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