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Pot might awaken wellbeing, but it will also fill company coffers

Bob Marley's estate have done a deal to allow the late singer's name to be used on a brand of marijuana planned for sale in places around the world where pot is now legal.

Marley's daughter said her father would be delighted as he "viewed the herb as something spiritual that could awaken our wellbeing, deepen our reflection, connect us to nature and liberate our creativity."

This spiritual liberation comes thanks to a Manhattan-based private equity firm.

I don't mean to be cynical, but I'm guessing the deal will make a few quid for the Marley estate too.

It points to a worrying development though - the corporatisation of cannabis.

Corporatisation is different to legalisation. The latter was what happened when Walter Raleigh brought tobacco back from the New World - people smoked the occasional pipe, as Native Americans had been doing for generations.

The former (corporate involvement on a grand scale) left us a legacy of industrial production of packs of cigarettes (allowing smokers to consume vastly more tobacco than ever before), an advertising industry dedicated to the stimulation of consumers, and research labs producing stronger forms of tobacco to increase addictiveness.

Some reports suggest that certain strains of cannabis have already grown significantly in strength as reduced criminal sanctions in developed countries have led to bigger and more discerning markets.

It can surely only be a matter of time before the big tobacco brands follow the Marley lead and look at cannabis as a revenue stream that could be industrialised.

And just like tobacco, we could very quickly discover that when you apply big business practices to apparently minor vices, things can get out of hand very quickly.

Bob Marley may have wanted to connect us to nature. Phillip Morris, British American Tobacco? Not so much.

Cast iron security at JFK

JFK Airport have released pictures of the stuff staff have confiscated over the last year. It's the usual daft array of sharp items that you'd expect - scissors, pen-knifes, corkscrew nail-clippers. Things that you might forget were in your handbag or pockets.

The only object that really defied belief was a steel tyre iron.

Who brings a tyre iron in their carry-on? In what context could you ever imagine turning to your spouse at departures and asking 'Last minute checklist honey - wallet? Tickets? Passport? Tyre iron?'

Even if you were taking the flight exclusively to change a wheel in a far away place, tyre irons are one of the few tools which can be borrowed from almost every passing motorist. Why bring one on a plane?

Unless, as JFK security clearly thought, their real plan was to seize the plane by threatening to unbolt any 17, 19, 21 or 22 millimetre bolts they found inside the cabin. Thank God that threat was averted.

Life on the edge

Poor aul' Bono (above) is now partially bionic. He's reported to have had steel plates and pins inserted in his torso to hold his shoulder and back together.

This is all thanks to a bike accident he had in Central Park on Sunday, which originally sounded pretty minor, but in reality put Bono into hospital for a bout of surgery.

On top of that, Bono's convalescence has put the band out of their planned week-long residency on The Tonight Show, a spot which had been hugely anticipated by fans and viewers.

The only upside to the whole thing are the internet jokes - particularly those pointing out that at his age and with so much at stake, Bono really shouldn't keep living so close to The Edge.

Sorry.


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