A mother who smoked cannabis before killing her daughter and her son’s girlfriend in a car crash has been found guilty.
Anastasia James, 37, smoked the drug before the crash on the M1 in Leicestershire in January 2014.
Her daughter, Destiny James-Keeling, 14, and Megan Marchant, 18, died when the car left the road at 70mph and hit a tree, Leicester Crown Court heard.
James, of Thornton Close, Braunstone, had denied all charges.
She was convicted by a jury of two counts of causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs and is due to be sentenced next month.
The court heard she had been at a child’s birthday party in Islington, north London, before she took the “unforgivable” decision to smoke cannabis – which she did either before setting off or during the journey back to Leicester.
Prosecutor Michael Evans QC said James’s Vauxhall Astra convertible veered into the central reservation near Shawell, then travelled across three lanes of the M1 before plunging down a verge, becoming airborne and hitting a tree at 50mph.
Destiny and Megan died within minutes of the crash. James’s son Wade survived.
Forensic scientist David Berry told the jury traces of cannabis found in James’s blood would have probably “impaired” the motorist. He said it was “impossible” she had smoked the drug passively.
James said she had switched from using cannabis to a legal high because of her job as a private investigator.
James – who had stitches for a head wound after the crash – denied smoking anything on the day of the collision and blamed her car.
“I just remember going straight and then this feeling of pulling,” she told jurors.
“That’s the point where I was really holding on tight to the wheel – it was just like a wobbly sensation. I couldn’t actually stop it from pulling to the right.”
The court heard James, who was convicted of possessing cannabis in 2000, had previously been involved in drug education and has a degree in youth and community development.
Det Sgt Mark Partridge, from the East Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This case shows the shocking effects of driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
“The deaths and now the subsequent conviction has devastated the families of all those involved.”
James, who was granted bail, was warned by Recorder Paul Mann QC she faces a jail term.
A woman accused of fatally stamping on her daughter used the money she received in benefits to fund her cannabis habit, a court heard.
Kathryn Smith said she received 52 a week in income support, some of which was used to buy the Class B substance.
Jurors previously heard she was concerned 21-month-old Ayeeshia Jane Smith may have had a seizure after taking drugs kept at the house.
Ms Smith and ex-partner Matthew Rigby both deny murder.
The toddler, known as AJ, died in 2014 at the couple’s flat in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.
Under questioning from prosecutors, Ms Smith, 23, said she did not initially tell doctors treating Ayeeshia over her fears she had accessed drugs because she feared they would think she was “a bad mother”.
She also said she did not tell police about the drugs being at home because she knew they were illegal.
A quantity of cannabis worth 30 was found inside a Tommee Tippee plastic cup at the property on Britannia Drive after Ayeeshia’s death but Ms Smith said her daughter did not use the cup as it was broken.
The court heard a senior social worker had reported seeing Ms Smith, of Sandfield Road, Nottingham, looking “spaced out” during a home visit a week prior to Ayeeshia’s collapse, although her daughter had not been in the house at the time.
Two social workers had tried to conduct an on-the-spot drugs search at the flat on 17 April 2014, days before Ayeeshia died, after smelling cannabis, but Ms Smith refused to comply.
Text messages made by Ms Smith to Mr Rigby and her parents were mentioned by the prosecution, including one where she threatened her father on the day Ayeeshia died.
Christopher Hotten QC, prosecuting, said the message showed her in a bad temper “on the day somebody killed your daughter in anger”.
However, Ms Smith said: “Nobody was angry on that day, or the day before that, nobody was being angry that day.”
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court previously heard her death was caused when her heart was torn by a forceful stamp.
Medical experts said the injuries were normally only seen in car crash victims or people who have fallen off buildings.
The trial continues.
Marijuana restrictions in the United States have come down in recent years, and as of June 2016, all but 22 states have legalized marijuana in some form or another. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have all legalized recreational use, as have Washington DC and a handful of cities.
As cities, counties and states across the country come around on marijuana prohibition, citizens are exploring the full depth of options available to ingest weed, so cooking with marijuana is on the rise. Eating weed rather than smoking it comes with many health benefits, most notably the opportunity to avoid inhaling clouds of smoke in order to get a buzz. However, incorporating it into your food is not as easy as crumbling up some bud over your salad.
For the curious would-be-chef, this guide will delineate everything you need to know to get started on your culinary journey.
Before you can prepare any dish, you have to prepare your weed. Raw cannabis has THCA, which is not psychoactive. The process of heating it above 200 degrees converts the THCA to THC, which, as the average stoner knows, is what makes weed fun.
To decarboxylate your weed, it needs to go, fully crumbled, into an oven at 240 degrees for 40 minutes. Stir it every ten minutes. You can watch thisstep by step video to ensure you get the process right.
After you take it out of the oven, put it into a food processor and grind it until it becomes a powder. Once you’ve completed this step, you can start extracting the oil.
The simplest and most widely-recommended method of extraction at home is by infusing it into some sort of fat.
THC is highly fat-soluble, which makes food items like butter or coconut oil excellent vehicles for cooking. Recipes for making cannabutter are widely available, but they usually can be summed up as follows:
- Boil a quart of water in a saucepan, leaving several inches between the bottom of the pan and the water line. Add in four sticks of butter for every ounce of marijuana you’re cooking. If you’re working with half an ounce or a quarter, use two sticks or one stick respectively. Melt the butter fully in the saucepan.
- Add the marijuana, then lower the heat to a simmer and let it stew for several hours. Four or five hours is good. Look for a glossy, thick finish.
- Place a cheesecloth over a bowl and secure it with tape, twine or elastic. Carefully strain the butter concoction into the bowl through the cheesecloth. Pick up the cheesecloth and strain out any remaining butter into the bowl.
- Cool the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. Once it’s cooled, it’s ready to be used.
Other options exist as well. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, ghee or any other fat-soluble ingredient you can think of, but butter is a trusty and straightforward ingredient.
How much THC you will get in a single serving of your final product depends on a variety of factors, including the strength of the weed you’re using, the amount of infused fat your recipe calls for, and how much weed you’re accustomed to ingesting.
On average, a middle-of-the-road strain of weed will have 10 percent THC. For an average user, 10 milligrams of THC is considered a proper dosage. An average gram of weed, with 10 percent THC, will have 100 milligrams of THC in it.
Your cannabutter, if you used a full gram of middle-of-the-road weed, would therefore be divided into 10 pieces to represent a full dose. That is about 330 calories a dose, not including any calories from the food you cook the butter into. This is why it’s betterto use a stronger weed for cooking.
It is important to remember that edibles are not processed in the same way that smoking is. Frequent smokers may find that even a weaker serving of an edible can knock their socks off. Factors such as how much you eat, whether you eat on a full or empty stomach and whether you’ve correctly dosed your weed infusion will affect how high you get.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the time it takes for an edible to affect you. The wait can be anywhere from half an hour to three hours, which is why experts advise that you avoid impatiently eating more edibles if you think you’re not feeling an impact fast enough.
Many sites suggests that fat-infused foods enhance the effects of marijuana, while sugar decreases the effects. If after consuming an edible you feel as though it hasn’t kicked in, eat something fatty first. On the other hand, if you’re feeling a little too buzzed, a sugary drink should help relax your high.
Cooking with marijuana can add a great deal of flavor to your stoner lifestyle. It’s a good excuse to get into baking, and as a bonus, weed-infused foods are easy to eat and transport discreetly without arousing suspicion. Enjoy your new edible-filled lifestyle.
Ladies everywhere rejoice!
What makes her product different? It’s all in the name of relieving women’s menstrual cramps.
The 60-year-old admits she was motivated to pursue the cause because of having “grown granddaughters who have severe cramps” — so she’s doing something about it!
The View host is partnering with “canna-businesswoman” Maya Elisabeth to launch a medical-marijuana company called Maya & Whoopi that will offer cannabis edibles, tinctures, topical rubs, and a THC-infused bath soak that it describes as “profoundly relaxing.”
The company will also include products that only use cannabidiol (CBD) — which lacks the euphoric effects of weed, but still gives the consumer the health benefits of cannabis (so, everything but the high).
“For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort. Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work. This, you can put it in your purse. You can put the rub on your lower stomach and lower back at work, and then when you get home you can get in the tub for a soak or make tea, and it allows you to continue to work throughout the day.”
The whole line is scheduled to be available in April — but for now (because of state medical-marijuana laws) will only be available in California.
[Image via WENN.]
PHILADELPHIA Americans pleased with the country’s progress toward marijuana legalization should be wary of a Donald Trump presidency, cannabis advocates say.
Their reason: The possibility that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), one of the country’s most outspoken anti-marijuana elected officials, would be Trump’s attorney general.
Trump told Denver NBC affiliate 9News on Friday that marijuana policy should be “up to the states.” But his close relationship with Christie, an early Trump endorser and former U.S. attorney likely to be on Trump’s short list for attorney general, is giving pause to activists familiar with Christie’s record.
Chris Goldstein, a columnist for Philly.com and communications director for Philly NORML, the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Christie “would really be the one running that White House and that would be awful for legalization.”
“Donald Trump will say anything to get elected. He really has not been able to pin down a position on this issue,” Goldstein told HuffPost at a Democratic National Convention marijuana welcome party last week at Connie’s Ric Rac, a bar in South Philadelphia’s Italian Market. “Chris Christie is the most vocal anti-marijuana voice in America today literally.”
Christie, while campaigning for president a year ago, said Colorado residents who smoke marijuana should “enjoy it” now, because he would enforce federal laws against marijuana on states that have legalized it. In March 2015, he called tax revenue generated from the sale of recreational marijuana “blood money.”
A May study released by New Jersey Policy Perspective, a progressive think tank, and New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, a coalition of groups backing legalization in the state, estimated that legalizing recreational marijuana and taxing it at a rate of 25 percent would create $300 million in annual sales tax revenue. That $300 million happens to be the amount of spending on early childhood education, property tax rebates for seniors and other programs that Christie vetoed in a budget approved on June 30.
“We are dealing with an enormous budget deficit where our bridges and roads are falling apart,” said Ari Rosmarin, the public policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. “That is money that our state needs. Yet that’s so-called blood money that he is happy to see the illegal market take in.”
(The ACLU of New Jersey is a member of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform’s steering committee.)
Christie has not presided over a specific policy change tightening New Jersey’s enforcement of marijuana laws. But under his leadership, state law enforcement made a record 24,765 arrests for marijuana possession in 2013, and 24,689 in 2014. By contrast, there were 20,347 arrests for marijuana possession in neighboring Pennsylvania in 2014, even though the state has a much larger population.
“The numbers don’t lie,” the ACLU of New Jersey’s Rosmarin said. “To the extent that his public comments can set a culture for law enforcement in the state, they would set one that favors aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession.”
Everybody thought the state passed a good law until Gov. Christie got his hands on it. Ari Rosmarin, ACLU of New Jersey
Brian Murray, a spokesman for Christie, rejected that characterization and said New Jersey “has been recognized nationally for its declining prison population.”
“Under Governor Christie, programs have been developed that deal with addiction as a disease and return people to productive lives after recovery rather than locking them up,” Murray said.
New Jersey state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D), a Clinton delegate, introduced the law legalizing medical marijuana in New Jersey, which then-Gov. Jon Corzine (D) signed shortly before Christie took office. Christie told Scutari he would not have signed it, according to the lawmaker.
“I don’t think that bodes well” for a Trump administration with Christie in a key role, Scutari said at the DNC marijuana party.
Indeed, Christie’s implementation of that medical marijuana law has angered advocates for patients, who say state regulations impede access.
“Everybody thought the state passed a good law until Gov. Christie got his hands on it,” Rosmarin said. “Many patients have abandoned the medicinal system and gone back to the illegal market to get the medicine they need.”
Murray said the controls were designed to prevent the medical marijuana program from becoming “a back door to legalization.”
“The program is medically based with provisions to expand coverage for different diseases in an orderly and scientific process,” Murray said. “But the Governor is adamant that marijuana used outside medical purposes is a gateway to harder drugs.”
Murray wouldn’t answer questions about Christie’s position on marijuana, in light of Trump’s remarks on Friday, but pointed to past comments. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, the most severe prohibitive category, to Schedule 2, which would enable much greater research on marijuana’s medical uses, according to her campaign website. Clinton has said she respects the rights of states to legalize it, but would like to learn more about the results of those efforts before decriminalizing the drug nationwide.
The Democratic Party platform also calls for re-scheduling marijuana as a move toward “providing a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”
N.A. Poe, a local comedian and marijuana activist who organized the DNC cannabis party, is the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general. He said he plans to mobilize marijuana activists behind Clinton, because of his disdain for Trump and his fear of how Christie would affect marijuana policy in a Trump administration.
“If Chris Christie gets to be attorney general of this country, then I am going to be in Brazil smoking a joint this big and just relaxing on the beach,” Poe joked, spreading his hands apart.
This article has been updated to include comments from Christie’s spokesman.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims 1.6 billion members of an entire religion from entering the U.S.
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of people who support marijuana legalization got high in front of the White House on Saturday in a demonstration aimed at getting cannabis removed from the federal government’s most serious category of illegal drugs.
The mass protest, led by DCMJ, a D.C.-based marijuana group whose activists could be spotted wearing distinctive red, smurf-like ski hats, called for President Barack Obama to take marijuana off the list of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The federal government classification given to the “most dangerous drugs” lumps marijuana in with more serious drugs like heroin, bath salts and LSD, allowing it to be prosecuted aggressively.
At around 4:20 p.m. Eastern time, which was chosen because of the number 420’s association with weed, the protesters lit their joints, fired up their bowls and pulled on their vaporizers in unison with little disruption from the Secret Service or the local police. They even inflated a 51-foot plastic inflatable joint with the message “Obama, deschedule cannabis now” that was made by artists especially for the occasion.
Adam Eidinger, a founder of DCMJ and leader of the 2014 campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in the District of Columbia, said that law enforcement initially refused to let the massive inflatable joint into Lafayette Square Park, but they were able to circumvent them by smuggling it in deflated and inflating it in the park.
“Just like good stoners everywhere, we snuck in a 51-foot joint, past the Secret Service,” Eidinger joked.
Smoking in public remains illegal in the district, despite a November 2014 vote to legalize it. It is illegal on federal land, including Lafayette Square Park and the pedestrian street in front of it, under any circumstances. Eidinger had expected arrests to be made — even publicly expressing his readiness to be arrested for the cause.
But he had not heard of any arrests, he said, though some police citations were issued. The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department could not immediately be reached to confirm the number of arrests or citations.
It was clear, however, that the D.C. cops largely turned a blind eye to public marijuana consumption. Several motorcycle-bound officers provided an escort for the group to march on K Street NW following the protest, during which many demonstrators smoked openly. Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” cannabis anthem blared from speakers as the parade went forward.
The march concluded at the corner of K Street NW and Vermont Avenue, where protest organizers had attacked a mock jail cell to the trailer post of an SUV in protest of the incarceration of marijuana smokers. A sign above the cage-turned-cell said “Jail Is Not A Drug Policy” in big red letters.
Obama has the constitutional authority to remove marijuana from Schedule I without the need for congressional approval. Switching it to Schedule III, for example, would allow marijuana businesses in states where the drug is legal to deduct business expenses, and restore access to student loans and public housing for convicted users, among other benefits, according to Ilya Shapiro, a legal scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute.
Among the presidential candidates, only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic contender, has said he would remove marijuana from Schedule I as president. Sanders also introduced a bill in Congress in November that would legalize it completely.
Eidinger said that if Hillary Clinton wants to ensure high turnout from Sanders’ supporters in the general election, endorsing the reclassification of marijuana would be a good way to do it.
“As a Bernie supporter, I do want to see a united Democratic Party, but you gotta give us something — this is like in the top three or four issues of Bernie supporters,” Eidinger said, before excusing himself momentarily for a gulp of water.
“I’m a little cotton-mouthed, oh my God,” he said.
Sanders was clearly the preferred candidate of rally attendees, many of whom sported “Bernie” pins and shirts.
Other activists described their involvement in down-ballot races. Zack Pesavento, 29, a veteran of the D.C. legalization campaign, is president of 420 USA Super PAC, a Super PAC dedicated to electing pro-legalization members of Congress. The group has plans to help unseat Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), one of the fiercest opponents in Congress of Washington, D.C.’s attempts to legalize the substance.
Sandra, a D.C.-based marijuana grower who was there with her husband, Josh, a certified arborist, said marijuana had been a godsend for her arthritis, sciatica and depression. They had left their two young boys with the kids’ grandparents.
“The only harm that [legalization] would cause would be to the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies,” she said. “There are so many medications I don’t have to take because I smoke marijuana.”
Sandra said she appreciates concerns people have about how marijuana has grown more concentrated over the years — but to her, it only made the case for legalization more obvious.
“We need laws for it so we can regulate… so that people don’t have bad experiences,” she said.
Two consultants who worked with a Native American tribe on its plans to open the nation’s first marijuana resort have been charged with drug offenses, South Dakota’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
The charges come eight months after the Flandreau Santee Sioux destroyed their crop amid fears of a federal raid, abandoning an ambitious scheme to develop “an adult playground” that they estimated could net as much as $2 million a month in profits. Tribal leaders this week said they don’t plan to revisit the proposal, and instead will use their land to grow vegetables, including tomatoes.
Attorney General Marty Jackley, who warned against the tribe’s proposal from the start, said that a range of marijuana possession charges had been brought against two top officials of Monarch America, the Littleton, Colorado-based company hired to work with the tribe.
Eric Hagen, Monarch’s chief executive, was charged by indictment with conspiracy to possess, possession and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana. Jonathan Hunt, the vice president and cultivation expert, was charged with conspiracy to possess between a half-pound and a pound of marijuana.
Hagen, 34, of Sioux Falls, declined to comment. Hunt, 43, of Colorado, didn’t immediately respond to telephone messages requesting comment. Jackley said Hunt was expected to plead guilty Aug. 15.
Court documents say Hunt ordered marijuana seeds from a company in the Netherlands that were put in CD cases and sewn into shirts and shipped surreptitiously to the tribe’s office in 2015. Authorities say Hunt and others cultivated the plants at the Flandreau grow facility before they were burned.
“It is very clearly a violation of both federal and state law what was proposed and what was happening,” Jackley said.
The Santee Sioux began exploring a marijuana growing operation after the Justice Department in 2014 outlined a new policy clearing the way for Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana under the same conditions as some states that have legalized pot. When tribal leaders initially touted their plan to open the resort on tribal land near Flandreau, which is about 45 miles north of Sioux Falls, President Anthony Reider said they wanted it to be “an adult playground.”
They projected as much as $2 million in monthly profits, with ambitious plans that included a smoking lounge with a nightclub, bar and food service, and eventually an outdoor music venue. They planned to use the money for community services and to provide income to tribal members.
Jackley warned against the idea from the outset, saying that changes in tribal law to permit the operation wouldn’t protect non-tribal members.
Federal officials had concerns, too, that Reider said were about whether the tribe can sell marijuana to non-Indians, along with the origin of the seeds used for its crop. After the tribe destroyed its crop in November, he said they wanted to demonstrate good faith in trying to resolve concerns about the project.
Many tribes have hesitated to move into marijuana cultivation, in part because of uncertainty over the risks involved due to a tangle of state, federal and tribal law enforcement oversight on reservations. Just a few months before the Santee Sioux burned their crop, two California tribes had their growing operation raided by federal authorities who cited concerns about third-party ownership and pot distribution off tribal land.
Arrests for cannabis possession in England and Wales have dropped by 46% since 2010, figures obtained by BBC Breakfast suggest.
Cautions fell by 48% and the number of people charged fell by 33%, according to data from police forces released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Crime survey data suggests cannabis use remained roughly level from 2010-15.
One force which no longer targets cannabis users said officers had been “freed up” for “more important” work.
The Home Office said all crimes reported to the police should be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts.
“Decisions on individual investigations are an operational matter for Chief Constables based on the evidence available to them,” a spokesperson said.
Of the 43 police forces contacted by BBC Breakfast, 32 responded with full data.
The figures showed that, from 2010-15, the number of:
- arrests for cannabis possession fell from 35,367 to 19,115
- cautions for possession fell from 9,633 to 5,036
- people charged for possession dropped from 15,366 to 10,220
Arrests for possession with intent to supply remained about the same – 4,934 in 2010 and 5,012 in 2015.
Last July Durham Police said it would no longer target or investigate cannabis users or those growing the class-B drug for their own use.
Asked if this was sending out a message that smoking cannabis was acceptable despite being illegal, Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “I’m not condoning drug use. I never have.
“It’s freed up our staff to deal with things that are more important.”
He told the BBC his force still had “zero tolerance” for drug dealers.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales asks people aged 16-59 if they have used cannabis in the last year, and the figure of about 7% who say they have has remained steady from 2010-15.
One cannabis user, Jonathan, told the BBC he used cannabis for medical reasons but supported legalisation for both medical and recreational purposes.
He dismissed suggestions that this would lead to more young people using the drug, saying it was currently easier for them to get cannabis than alcohol because the sale of alcohol is regulated.
But Craig, a former cannabis user, said it “robbed” him of 10 years of his life and led to experimentation with other drugs, including heroin.
He said it was “crazy” to legalise cannabis.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35954754