Science: Did William Shakespeare Smoke Weed?

A team of scientists has submitted a formal application to the Church of England for exhumation of William Shakespeare's remains so that they can find out about his life and death, and if he smoked weed.

Science: Did William Shakespeare Smoke Weed?

The team led by Francis Thackeray, an anthropologist and director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa hopes to dig up the bard's grave in Stratford-upon-Avon. "We have incredible techniques. We don't intend to move the remains at all," Fox News quoted Thackeray as saying about the "non-destructive analysis" the team has planned.

The team plans to perform the forensic analysis using state-of-the-art technology to scan the bones and create a groundbreaking reconstruction. After confirming the playwright's identity, Thackeray hopes to solve the longstanding mystery of Shakespeare's final days and the life he had led.

The team also looks to address a controversial suggestion Thackeray made a decade ago, when he examined a collection of two dozen pipes found in the playwright's garden and determined that Shakespeare was an avid marijuana smoker. "If we find grooves between the canine and the incisor, that will tell us if he was chewing on a pipe as well as smoking," Thackeray said while citing similar evidence found in Virginia. Thackeray claimed the devices were used to smoke cannabis, a plant actively cultivated in Britain at the time. The allegation has provoked disbelief and anger among some fans of the bard.

Italy: According to a ruling by the Supreme Court citizens may grow small amounts of cannabis at home

The Italian Supreme Court ruled on 28 June that citizens may grow small amounts of cannabis on their home balconies and terraces. Such an amount "could cause no harm," said the Cassation Court. Citing this rationale, the supreme judges rejected an appeal filed by prosecutors from the Catanzaro Court of Appeals.

This appealcontested the not-guilty verdict of a 23-year-old charged for keeping a cannabis plant in a small vase on his home balcony in the town of 
Scalea in Calabria. This verdict signals a new chapter at the Cassation Court, where 
previously narcotics cultivation always required a punishment, even in the case of minuscule amounts.

The court caused some excitement in 2009 when it said it was legal to grow cannabis as long as people didn't let it get big enough to harvest the drug, ordering police to step in only if there was a concrete threat.

USA: The federal government clarifies in a statement which licensed growers of cannabis may face prosecution in states with medical cannabis laws.

The US Justice Department said in a memo to federal prosecutors that cannabis dispensaries and licensed growers in states with medical cannabis laws could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.  It says that a 2009 memo by the US Justice Department did not give states cover from prosecution.

In 2009, the 
Justice Department told prosecutors they should not focus investigative resources on patients and caregivers complying with state medical cannabis laws. The new memo says that this view has not changed. "There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes," says the new memo.

With regard to large-scale cannabis 
cultivation centres it says: "Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants." On 30 June, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said that the new statement does not represent a new policy, but rather clarifies the 

Science: According to research at the Idaho State University in Pocatello, 
USA, both the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone as well as the cannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant reduced the reinforcing properties of physical exercise in rats. Sport then causes less fun.

Brought to you by The Greenish Warbler

July 5th 2011

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