International News Desk – At Home: Canada’s largest legal grow op closes – In Foreign News: Record number of US prisoners serving life terms

International News Desk – At Home: Canada’s largest legal grow op closes – In Foreign News: Record number of US prisoners serving life terms

At Home: Canada’s largest legal grow op closes

After nearly a decade in operation, Canada’s largest legal marijuana operation has closed down. Located in Flin Flon, Manitoba, the ?ganja mine? was a partnership between Prairie Plant and HudBay Minerals.

As the Globe and Mail reports, the closure is a result of a disagreement between the two companies.

?We’ve moved out; we’re gone,? said Prairie Plant Systems President and CEO Brent Zettl of the Trout Lake facility. ?It boils down to a disagreement between us and the senior management at HudBay.?

HudBay is a mining company, and the owner of the high-security shaft where the marijuana was being grown; Prairie Plant is a Saskatoon-based pharmaceutical company. When the partnership began, Prairie Plant had just been awarded Health Canada’s first contract to produce medical marijuana?specifically, to ?deliver 1,865 kilograms in cigarette and dried-leaf form.?

Although high security around the operation was required, it was issues of supply and demand that led to the closure. As Zettl told reporters, the demand for medical marijuana is increasing by 37 per cent per year.

?We had to expand,? Mr. Zettl said. ?That was the trigger for all this. Our monthly patient usage exceeded our monthly production.?

Although the increased demand proved good for Prairie Plant (their Health Canada contract was extended by three years), around the same time HudBay announced plans to close the Trout Lake facility. Prairie Plant has now moved its operation elsewhere.

In Foreign News: Record number of US prisoners serving life terms

In the US, more prisoners than ever before are serving life sentences?140,610 out of 2.3 million prisoners nationally. According to a recent report by the Sentencing Project, the increase in life sentences is due to the declining use of parole as well as mandatory minimum-sentencing laws. As the New York Times reports, ?the report tracks the increase in life sentences from 1984, when the number of inmates serving life terms was 34,000.?

While most life sentences are handed out for violent crimes, some experts say that too many exceptions exist, including non-violent criminals whose third conviction results in a life term. One example is Norman Williams, 46, whose third crime was the theft of a floor jack from a tow truck (he eventually won an appeal on his conviction).

Increasing numbers of inmates also means a strain on corrections budgets. The California prison system, the largest in the nation, is in federal receivership for ?overcrowding and failing to provide adequate medical care to prisoners, many of whom are elderly and serving life terms.?

%d bloggers like this: