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Large 'cannabis cloud' covers tiny village in Albania

A large plume of marijuana smoke has blanketed a small village in Albania, started from fires set by locals to burn their plantations as police moved in to close them down.

According to NBC News, ten tonnes of cannabis was destroyed in the process, with drug barons and riot police battling over the land throughout the night.

The cloud hangs over the tiny village of Lazarat, Albania. Credit: REUTERS/Arben Celi
Members of the Albanian special police patrol in the village of Lazarat. Credit: REUTERS/Arben Celi
Smoke rises as police burn cannabis plants during a raid in the village of Lazarat. Credit: Reuters


Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana possession

Jamaica is rethinking its marijuana laws, with the government announcing that it will decriminalise the possession of small amounts of the drug, known there as "ganja".

The Jamaican government has decided to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Credit: PA

Minister of Justice Mark Golding said that Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs Act would be formally amended this summer.

"Cabinet approved certain changes to the law relating to ganja," he said. "These relate to possession of small quantities of ganja for personal use, the smoking of ganja in private places and the use of ganja for medical-medicinal purposes."

"Approval has been given also to a proposal for the decriminalization of the use of ganja for religious purposes," he added.

Possession of small quantities of the drug would become a non-arrestable, ticketable infraction in Jamaica resulting in a fine, said Golding, adding that "too many" youngsters in the country have landed criminal convictions after "being caught with a 'spliff.'"

Obama: 'Poor kids get locked up for smoking pot'

Barack Obama has said that although he believes smoking marijuana is a "bad idea" he is concerned that "poor kids" get locked up for "smoking pot".

It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.

Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do.And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.

...we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.

– Barack Obama speaking to The New Yorker Magazine.

President Obama speaks about marijuana: 'I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol'

When asked about his views on marijuana, President Barack Obama said that he did not believe it was more dangerous than alcohol.

United States President Barack Obama. Credit: Aude Guerrucci/DPA/Press Association Images

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”


New York 'to allow limited use of medical marijuana'

New York will soon allow the limited use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients under a plan the governor will announce in the next few days, the New York Times reported.

A cannabis plant. Credit: lantatuplanta.Com/Handout/DPA/Press Association Images

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has steadily resisted pressure to legalize marijuana, was expected to announce the plan at Wednesday's State of the State address, according to the New York Times article.

A spokesman for Mr Cuomo was not immediately available to comment on the report.

'Beginning of the end' for US cannabis prohibition

Ezekiel Edwards, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Criminal Law Reform Project, hailed the legalisation of cannabis in Colorado, saying it was the "beginning of the end" for prohibition at a national level. He said:

By legalizing marijuana, Colorado has stopped the needless and racially biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws.