Cannabis coffee: Indonesia’s sharia stronghold sidesteps drug ban

first_imgAgus, not his real name, is part of a clandestine economy in the region at the tip of Sumatra which, despite its no-nonsense reputation, is Indonesia’s top weed-producer with fields covering an area nearly seven times the size of Singapore, according to official estimates.Pot was once so common in Aceh that locals grew it in their backyards and marijuana was sold to the public.But it was outlawed in the Seventies and Muslim majority Indonesia has since adopted some of the world’s strictest drug laws, including the death penalty for traffickers.The nation has declared itself in the midst of a drug “emergency” because of soaring methamphetamine use. Agus plunges a wooden paddle into his coffee and marijuana-filled wok, taking care to roast just the right mix of ingredients — and stay one step ahead of police in Indonesia’s Aceh province. His contraband brew is a hit with locals and buyers in other parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago, who pay 1.0 million rupiah ($75) for a kilo of it.But this is risky business in Aceh, where even drinking alcohol or kissing in public can earn you a painful whipping under its strict Islamic law. But the situation is Aceh is muddled. Police hunt weed farmers, imprison users and torch mountains of confiscated marijuana — more than 100 tons last year alone.Yet just last week a lawmaker from the province proposed in Parliament that the drug should be legalized, so the country could export it for pharmaceutical purposes. He was quickly reprimanded by his Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), while the national narcotics agency slammed the proposal claiming it would discourage Aceh ganja farmers from adopting its suggestions to switch to vegetables and other crops.Despite the risks, Agus, claims he has little fear of going to jail.”How can you ban something that’s everywhere?” he said, adding: “It’s all over Aceh. This huge crackdown just makes it rarer to see in public but people still use it.”Most days, his biggest concern is hitting the perfect ratio for his java —  70 percent coffee and 30 percent marijuana.”If you put more than 30 percent ganja in there then you lose the coffee taste,” he explained. For two decades Agus was a white collar professional but he swapped his prestigious career for a more lucrative trade in order to better support his family.”I wanted to focus on coffee because this is my area of expertise,” he added.Agus insists his recipe offers a pleasant, less intense high than smoking it or eating popular dodol ganja. The local specialty mixes marijuana with a fudgy sweet made from glutinous rice, palm sugar and coconut milk. “That stuff can really make you hallucinate,” Agus said.How marijuana became a thing in Aceh is a matter of debate. Some say it was brought by Dutch colonists hundreds of years ago as a gift for a sultan in the jungle-clad region.But local historian Tarmizi Abdul Hamid counters that marijuana use — for everything from medicine and cooking to repelling pests from crops and preserving food — can be found in manuscripts that pre-date the Dutch arrival.”It shows that ganja can be used to cure baldness or high blood pressure,” he said of one text. “Ganja was also used for cooking and medicine. Smoking, however, is not mentioned in the ancient scriptures,” he added.Centuries later, marijuana was on the front lines — literally — of a separatist insurgency in Aceh.Former weed farmer Fauzan remembers harvesting his crop when bullets started flying across his field in a shootout between government soldiers and rebels back in 2002, three years before a peace deal ended the bloody conflict.Fauzan estimates that some 80 percent of the people in his hometown Lamteuba, about 50 kilometers from provincial capital Banda Aceh, were once ganja farmers.Locals in the one-time rebel stronghold created secret pathways to their lucrative crops and even built hiding places to stash their weed harvest in a cat-and-mouse game with authorities.”This village is like heaven. Whatever you plant here it’ll grow,” Fauzan said. “Throw a ganja seed on the ground, leave it and then come back for the harvest.”But, fearing arrest, he later quit the trade.Fauzan, who now grows chilies to support his family, works with the government to convince farmers to switch to vegetables and other crops. That’s a hard sell in an impoverished village with few job opportunities.”If the government doesn’t take care of people and supply assistance, they’re likely to go back to their old routine,” Fauzan acknowledged.For pot enthusiast Iqbal — not his real name — the only thing prohibition has done is make locals better at hiding pot in a cup of coffee or plate of noodles.He mused: “It’s impossible to get rid of ganja in Aceh. Cracking down on meth by destroying a lab is easier. But when police destroy a ganja plantation, it’ll just grow somewhere else.”Topics :last_img read more

NegOcc cops beef up security amid cash aid distribution

first_imgOn March 25, President Rodrigo Duterte signedthe law declaring the existence of a national emergency. It also granted himadditional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis, which includes the provisionof emergency subsidy to “18 million low income households … a month for twomonths.” NOCPPO chief Colonel Romeo Baleros saidthis move will avert lawless elements from taking advantage of the situation. The cash subsidy under the Department ofSocial Welfare and Development is intended to low income families who arefinancially suffering due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson placed NegrosOccidental under ECQ from March 30 until April 14 in a bid to slow down thespread of coronavirus disease 2019. He recently signed an executive orderextending the ECQ until April 30./PN BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental PoliceProvincial Office (NOCPPO) is tightening its security in various banks in theprovince during the distribution of cash aid under the government’s socialamelioration program. Baleros assured that while police authoritiesengaged in the fight against the viral disease, law and order as well as safetyand security will not be set aside.last_img read more

Lady Bulldogs And Lady Cardinals Split Volleyball Games

first_imgSt. Louis Lady Cardinals 7th Grade Volleyball team was defeated by the Batesville Middle School Lady Bulldogs. 25-15, 25-12.The top server spot was shared by Maggie Beiser, Kate Weber, Hope Kroen and Allie Savage by serving up 2 points each followed by Sylvia Eckstein and Isabelle Wonnell served one ace each to score 2 points for the team. Lilly Schebler and Catherine Streator scored one point respectively. The Cardinals played defense most of the game. Ingrid Tuveson had the only attack of the night.The St. Louis Lady Cardinal 8th Grade Volleyball Team topped the Batesville Middle School Lady Bulldogs in 3 exciting sets. 14-25, 25-23, 15-12.The Cardinals started strong but fell back in the middle of the first set to allow the Bulldogs to take charge. In the beginning of the second set, the Cardinals regrouped their focused in the match and stepped up their play. “The girls played as a team. They did not let their mistakes get them down. They worked through it and setup the game into their favor,” commented Coach Meer. Regina Gerstbauer served up 12 points which included 4 aces. Elizabeth Gigrich was close behind with 7 points and 1 ace. Audrey Beiser, Ellie Cornett and Faith Tekulve each had 3 points and Chelsea Robertson contributed for 2 points with 1 ace. The Lady Cardinals had their best offense match of the season. Gigrich and Gerstbauer commanded the net with 6 attacks each and 2 and 1 kills respectively. Robertson, Beiser and Ava Allen also had a kill each. Cornett and Lilly Wonnell led the defense with some great passing.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Jennifer Meer.The 7th Grade BMS Volleyball won against St. Louis last night: 25-12 and 25-15!Timbre Davies was our leading server with 13 serves and no misses. Jenna Honnert followed with 8 serves and 2 aces. Megan Meyer led the team in hit with 2 kills and 3 good hits. Following with kills was Cayman Werner and Jadyn Harrington with 2 kills. Ashlee Cornn, Samantha Kessens, Isabelle Westerfeld, and Timbre Davies each had one kill. The girls as a team played very well. Their record is 4-5.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Megan Werner.The BMS 8th Volleyball team had a disappointing loss to St. Louis 14-25, 25-23, 15-12.The team lost their momentum and made a few errors to end the game.  Even in the loss the team played together.  The front row was strong with 12 kills.  Shelby Westerfeld, Katie Shane, and Brayleigh Patterson each had 3 kills.  Carley Pride, Jade Kopp, and Gabby Elston each earned a kill.  From the service line Shelby Westerfeld had 15 service points.  Brayleigh Patterson had 8 points from the line.  Katie Shane earn 6 points and Sydnee Schaefer had 5 points.  There record is now 5-4.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Angie Ehrman.last_img read more

Family of boy left on school bus in Palm Beach County gets $200,000 settlement

first_imgBack in 2015, a 7-year-old boy with autism was left on a school bus for more than five hours.According to, The Palm Beach Post the family of the boy will receive $200,000 from Palm Beach County public schools.Officials say the boy hopped on the bus to head to school, and he remained on the bus even after the bus driver returned to the bus depot. A mechanic found him.last_img

GOtv Boxing Night 13Boxers Talk Tough Ahead of December 26 Clash Â

first_imgAhead of GOtv Boxing Night 13, scheduled to hold on December 26, boxers billed to fight at the event have been talking tough. The event, which holds at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, will feature seven bouts and musical performances by Small Doctor, Simi, Falz and Reekado Banks.Nigeria’s Oto Joseph, who is billed to fight Egyptian champion, Abdulrahim Ahmed, for the African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight title, said his opponent will not last the distance. “I am sure Ahmed will not go beyond the third round. I have waited for this opportunity and I can’t let it slips by. Ahmed will fall. Nigeria must triumph. I have to show Ahmed that Nigeria is the giant of Africa,” he said.Olaide Fijabi, who will take on Shadrack Kobero of Tanzania for the ABU light welterweight title, said he is convinced that he remains the best in the division on the continent. Fijabi added that he considers the ABU title as a stepping stone to a world title.“Kobero can’t stop me. He will regret accepting to fight me. As a matter of fact, the title is already mine. I am aiming at the next level. We are not in the same class,” he bragged. Reigning West African Boxing Union (WABU) middlweight champion, Abolaji “Afonja Warrior” Rasheed, also vowed to demolish his Ghanaian challenger, Arye Ayitteh.Afonja, who narrowly missed out on the Commonwealth title last year, said he wants to use the fight to take another shot at the Commonwealth crown.“The belt is staying here. It is mine. Unless I voluntarily relinquish it, nobody can take it from me. Ayitteh is just coming for sightseeing and punishment in the ring,” he said.Tickets for the event are available online at, SLOT and Ebeano Supermarket outlets, Freedom Park and National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.The best boxer of the evening will win N2.5million, while the runners-up will win N1million and N500, 000 respectivelyShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Syracuse ranked 4th in Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, 5 named preseason All-Americans

first_imgSyracuse has been ranked No. 4 in the country in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook preseason Top 20, which was released on Monday.The Orange trails No. 1 Denver, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Duke in the rankings and five of the top 20 teams are from the Atlantic Coast Conference. North Carolina and Virginia are the other two teams from the conference that appeared in the poll.Attack Kevin Rice and defender Brandon Mullins were both named preseason first-team All-Americans, which Inside Lacrosse released Tuesday morning. Attack Randy Staats was named to the second team, defender Sean Young to the third team and midfielder Henry Schoonmaker an honorable mention. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on December 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more

Eighth USC president passes away

first_imgJohn “Jack” Randolph Hubbard, eighth president of USC and U.S. Ambassador to India, died Sunday and was immediately remembered by colleagues and friends alike.President C. L. Max Nikias announced Hubbard’s death at Salute to Troy on Sunday afternoon.Hubbard served as president between 1970 and 1980.Nikias said Hubbard was a true leader and a distinguished historian.“He was a man of tremendous breadth and a champion of our faculty and students. We look forward to a celebration of his life and the legacy that has forever changed USC,” Nikias said in an email.Hubbard came to USC in 1969 and served as vice president and provost for one year. In 1970 he was unanimously voted to succeed Norman H. Topping as university president.During Hubbard’s tenure, the push to transform USC into an elite academic institution truly began.Hubbard was known to have said, “It seemed, to me, that this would be a good time, strategically, to become aggressive as a university.”This initiative propelled the grade point average for admitted freshmen to 3.4 on a 4.0 scale, began the construction of many major buildings and initiated programs with the surrounding community, promoting the inclusion of minority groups into the university.Hubbard prided himself on having international connections. He formed relationships with schools in Asia and the Middle East to promote exchange programs between schools and set up many alumni clubs to connect the USC student body around the globe.With the goal of transforming USC, he also launched the “Toward Century II” campaign, which raised more than $306 million in gifts and pledges and helped establish USC as one of the top 20 research universities in the United States.Hubbard stepped down as president in 1980 and returned to teaching classes in history.Steven Ross, former chair of the history department during Hubbard’s teaching years, said Hubbard was a unique character.“Hubbard was an inspiring person as a teacher and as a human being,” Ross said. “He was one of the most dedicated teachers I have met.”Prior to his appointment to USC, Hubbard served as chief education adviser for the International Development Agency missions in New Delhi from 1965 to 1969.In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Hubbard the U.S. ambassador to India.Hubbard joined the Navy during World War II and served as a naval aviation pilot. He was awarded four Air Medals and the rank of lieutenant commander for his outstanding service.“Flying just came easy to me,” Hubbard said in a 1988 video interview.In 2003, as a commemoration to Hubbard’s services to his country as well as the university, USC renamed the student services building John R. Hubbard Hall.Aside from his passion for education, Hubbard had a deep-rooted love for USC athletics.He used to send in football plays to then-coach John Robinson.“The team might be able to fare reasonably well even without Hubbard to send in plays,” Robinson said.Hubbard earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in history from the University of Texas, was a professor of European history at Yale University and dean and associate professor of British and European history at Tulane University from 1953 to 1958.Nikias said a memorial service for Hubbard will be held in October.last_img read more

Plea change hearing set for Mason City man accused of vandalism spree

first_imgMASON CITY — A plea change hearing has been set for a Mason City man accused of a vandalism spree throughout the community earlier this year. The Mason City Police Department says they arrested 36-year-old Bill Grouette Junior on August 25th and charged him with second-degree criminal mischief. Police say Grouette is suspected of spray painting and writing on the walls and windows of various businesses in the downtown area during the month of August. Grouette originally pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree criminal mischief with his trial scheduled to start on October 29th, but online court records show that Judge Karen Salic has scheduled a plea change hearing for October 28th in Cerro Gordo County District Court.last_img read more

Marco is pipped in French championship play-off

first_img England’s Marco Penge was just pipped in the French men’s international amateur championship when he lost a title play-off on the second extra hole in heavy rain at Chantilly.The honours went to Ivan Cantero of Spain but Penge, who holed a 50-footer to birdie 18 and get in the play-off, was not disappointed. “It’s a learning curve for me,” he said.“I gave it a good go and tried my best,” said the 18-year-old international from Golf at Goodwood in Sussex. “This time it wasn’t enough, but next time, you never know.“I’ve had good start to the year and I’m really happy with the way I’m playing and looking forward to the St Andrews Links Trophy,” he went on. Penge, from the England Golf men’s squad, has proven good form north of the border, having previously won the 2015 Scottish men’s open stroke play.Penge was five-under par and leading the French championship after 36 holes, surging to the top of the leaderboard with a second round of five-under 66, which included an eagle and five birdies. But the third round was washed out by heavy rain and the championship reduced to 54 holes.When play resumed, Penge had to play through heavy rain on his final nine holes, losing at least one shot to the bad weather when he had to putt through puddles. “I wasn’t happy with that, but the putt on the last gave it back to me,” he remarked, after holing the monster putt for a level par last round – and five-under overall.The Chantilly green staff made a tremendous effort to prepare one hole for the play-off, the short 16th. The green was squeegeed and the bunkers were pumped out and, first time round, both players halved in three. Cantero also managed another three at the second attempt to win the championship and the Coupe Murat.Chantilly will host the European men’s team championship this summer and this event attracted an excellent quality field of players keen to gain course knowledge.England Golf’s Men’s Performance Manager, Steve Burnett, watched the final round and commented: “This is a really good result for Marco in a very strong field.”Marco also had the support of his girlfriend, England women’s international Sophie Lamb, who caddied throughout, despite the drenching rain.Click here for full scoresImage © Filipe Farinha 22 May 2016 Marco is pipped in French championship play-off last_img read more

Port Plaza Features Olympia Brew Fest August 3

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0 Olympia Brew Fest, on August 3 from 1:00 – 8:30 pm, showcases Northwest micro-breweries and supports Thurston County Economic Development.  Everyone 21 years of age or older with a valid ID is welcome at the Port Plaza.More than 30 Northwest breweries will be on hand with 60+ beers along with five local food vendors and live music.  General admission includes a commemorative mug and six taste tickets for $25.  You may also purchase additional taste tickets.  Admission for designated drivers is discounted to $5.Port of Olympia is a sponsor of this event which benefits the Thurston County Chamber Foundation Small Business Development Program.You will find the Port Plaza just north of Percival Landing, behind Anthony’s Homeport.  Look for the tall viewing tower.Submitted by Port of Olympialast_img read more