Surge in support to decriminalise marijuana, multi-decade survey finds [The Sydney Morning Herald]

For the first time more Australians support decriminalising the use of marijuana than those who back retaining its classification as an illicit drug, a survey conducted over three decades has found. There has been a significant shift in sentiment around marijuana use since 2013, research has found, with experts pinpointing two critical factors: the legalisation push sweeping the United States and official acceptance by federal and state governments that cannabis has a part to play in pain relief for sufferers of disease.

Is Australia about to legalise cannabis completely? [Sunrise]

Polls show a majority of Australians support the legalisation of marijuana.

Can You Travel to Australia With Medical Cannabis? [Leafly]

The only kind of cannabis you can safely bring into Australia (after politely emailing the government to let them know) is CBD oil. Bringing in unprocessed cannabis with any THC, even if you have a lawful prescription—and even though medical cannabis is “legal” in Australia—will likely land you in hot water at the airport. You’d probably have better luck bringing in an invasive species of cane toad. For Australian border control, there’s no distinction between cannabis legally prescribed by an American doctor for pain and cannabis smuggled in for black-market sale. That view seems like a bit of a double standard given that other prescription drugs with street market value are not treated with the same aggressive approach.

Thomas Jefferson University Receives $3 Million Marijuana Research Grant [Entrepreneur]

With a $3 million grant from Australian philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert, Thomas Jefferson University has established a new medical center for cannabis education and research. The new facility, officially named The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp, will become the first such medical research center in the United States, according to information released by the university. The donation comes at a pivotal time for the marijuana industry in the U.S. A total of 28 states and the District of Columbia have approved the possession and use of medicinal marijuana. That number includes four of the five most populous states: California, Florida, Illinois and New York.

Licensing Medical Marijuana Stirs Up Trouble For States [The Huffington Post]

US States are struggling to hand out potentially lucrative medical marijuana licenses in a way that promotes public health while avoiding lobbying, lawsuits and a gold rush mentality.  The seven lucky balls that popped out of the Arizona Department of Health Services lottery machine in October produced big in the competition to make money in the medical marijuana industry. The prize winners were granted licenses to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a state where patients with prescriptions to treat conditions such as glaucoma and cancer spent $215 million last year on marijuana products. Arizona’s public health officials awarded most licenses based on rules designed to place new dispensaries within range of the greatest number of medical-marijuana patients. But when it wasn’t clear which applicant was in the most patient-dense area, they used a lottery to randomly select the winners, hoping to sidestep conflict.

Drug industry hired dozens of officials from the DEA as the agency tried to curb opioid abuse [The Washington Post]

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive pain pills have hired dozens of officials from the top levels of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the past decade, according to a Washington Post investigation. The hires came after the DEA launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year. In 2005, the DEA began to crack down on companies that were distributing inordinate numbers of pills such as oxycodone to pain-management clinics and pharmacies around the country. Since then, the pharmaceutical companies and law firms that represent them have hired at least 42 officials from the DEA — 31 of them directly from the division responsible for regulating the industry

The DEA Bursts the CBD Bubble [Project CBD]

The DEA has rained all over the CBD hemp oil parade. After hovering on the sidelines for several years while CBD ecommerce traversed state lines, America’s federal drug police have announced new rules that may portend a crackdown on CBD oil products — be they single molecule formulations or whole plant extracts derived from low-resin industrial hemp or high-resin cannabis. Many CBD hemp oil entrepreneurs seemed caught off guard. Apparently they believed the fantasy that cannabidiol was legal in all fifty states, a misperception promoted by numerous online businesses.

The seven habits of highly effective stoners [The Cannabist]

Thanks to the increasingly legal nature of cannabis, more and more celebrities are admitting their proclivity for smoking weed. This is a truly wonderful trend – because they are helping to debunk the stoner stereotypes. Successful, highly effective people practice these seven habits (and others), and many of them just happen to smoke weed.

  1. They are active
  2. They maintain a positive attitude
  3. They take action
  4. They moderate
  5. They know how and when to turn off
  6. They set (and fulfil) goals
  7. They work hard to pursue what they love

Smoking Weed Was the Only Thing That Made 2016 Bearable [Vice]

So it seems incredibly unimportant in the overall scheme of things, but after I got back into smoking weed a couple months ago I found out that weed technology has gotten really, really good. 2016 was a terrible year for everything, except for marijuana—this is absolutely the best time and place ever to smoke or consume weed. Smoking weed as an adult with disposal income is so great I’m kind of mad no one told me about it before. It’s not news to anyone, I know—just writing this story makes me feel very, very old and out of touch, like a mom just getting into Game of Thrones—but in a year that has been so terribly, monstrously shitty isn’t it OK to celebrate the little things? Especially when those little things can help you forgot the terrible big things? It’s a golden age for pot. Weed is becoming legal in more and more places. In Denver, you can even smoke in bars. In fact, it’s so easy to buy incredibly good weed that some people have started to prefer schwag, and delivery services have proliferated. The methods for smoking weed are also, I’m happy to report, completely terrific. Dabbing is cool if you like to treat getting high like a competition, but I’ve fallen in love with a portable vape.

Cannabis Strains That Take the Angst Out of Anxiety [Wikileaf]

Anxious people have a love/hate relationship with pot: some strains reduce it and others make anxiety much worse. Because pot is linked to paranoia, it compounds feelings of unease. However, that’s avoidable if you ingest the right strain.

Cannabinoid Therapy May Offer Potential for Childhood Brain Cancers [Globe News Wire]

PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing targeted treatments for cancer and diabetes, today announced that recent research performed at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the journal Child’s Nervous System provides further support for PharmaCyte’s efforts to develop a targeted cannabinoid-based chemotherapy for brain cancer utilizing its technology.

Cannabis Company Charlotte’s Web Aims to Protect the Brain With Hemp Oil [LA Weekly]

The National Institute of Health issued a government patent in 1998 regarding Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants with “particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” This, along with the 2014 US Farm Bill section 7606 have given growers and researchers the governmental backing needed to continue exploring the medicinal benefits of CBD. “They went after symptoms and stopped treating the cause,” Ashley Grace, the Chief Marketing and e-commerce officer for CW Hemp explains. So while CBD doesn’t cure epilepsy, it helps many patients to alleviate or completely halt their seizures.

Readers Mock British Cops Bragging About Marijuana Christmas Tree Bust [Weed News]

The constabulary of the English town of Gloucestershire is bragging about their recent marijuana bust. They found a small home garden where a couple had decorated their large cannabis plant with traditional Christmas tree decorations. While the bobbies may think cannabis growers with yuletide cheer are the knife-wielding scourge of Gloucestershire, it seems many of the followers of their Twitter account @Glos_Police think their priorities are a bit daft. Some sarcastically worry about the marijuana addicts turning to robbery, while others wondered if the police had already solved the problems of terrorism and real crime.

This Is What Happens To Your Lungs If You Smoke Marijuana [Counter Current News]

Since tobacco smoking causes cancer, marijuana smoking must as well. Right? Wrong. Marijuana decreases the risk of lung cancer. Marijuana does not cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thus, Pot is safer than cigarettes. Professor emeritus of medicine at UCLA and one of the United States’ leading pulmonologists who has been studying weed and its effects on lungs for more than 30 years, Dr. Donald Tashkin once sought to prove pot causes lung cancer, but the evidence forced him to conclude that average weed smoking does not cause lung cancer or impair lung function.

A brief history of war and drugs: From Vikings to Nazis [Aljazeera]

From World War II to Vietnam and Syria, drugs are often as much a part of conflict as bombs and bullets.

Early Christianity’s Drug Fuelled Magic Rituals [Cannabis Culture]

Did Jesus and his disciples use cannabis and other drugs in magical ceremonies? Author and cannabis historian Chris Bennett takes us through some of the startling ancient evidence of early Christianity’s drug-fuelled rituals.

Psilocybin May Be a Psychiatry Game Changer [Medscape]

Two similar randomized controlled trials in late-stage cancer patients suggest that a single, high dose of the psychedelic drug psilocybin has rapid, clinically significant and lasting effects on mood and anxiety. The findings may be a therapeutic game changer for psychiatry.

Medican Workshop Sat 21 Jan 2017 Nimbin Town Hall [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

The Medican workshops are proudly hosted by the Nimbin HEMP Embassy. Each workshop has the similar format with a new list of respected guest speakers. We are all about sharing knowledge. The workshops have proved very informative for members of the public who are now hearing more about the medical benefits of cannabis. The workshops also provided much information about the best methods of producing cannabis preparations and great Q & A sessions.  For genuine people to learn the best methods of production. To make safe, effective, reliable tinctures and C.O. Get the best advice, tips and knowledge.  Q & A session. Meet & greet the speakers! Meet others that want to produce a product that is safe and natural. Entry by donation. FREE to those who can’t afford it.

ENTHEOGENESIS AUSTRALIS 2017 PSYCHEDELIC SYMPOSIUM [EGA]

Friday 8 – Sunday 10 December 2017. It is with great excitement, that we can now officially announce Australia’s premier psychedelic symposium Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) 2017.  The 2017 EGA Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium (Retreat) is set to unfold on a beautiful bushland property 2 hours drive east of CBD Melbourne Australia. The event will cover a diverse range of fields from the botanical, academic, and philosophical, to arts and drug law reform.

This world renowned conference will once be placing a mature discussion around psychedelic related compounds back on the agenda.  The outdoor symposium and program will span three days and nights from Friday 8th December, featuring more than 50 lectures and workshops, situated within a stunning Australian bushland setting just 2 hours from Melbourne, Australia.  The 2017 Psychedelic Symposium promises to be an incredible gathering, continuing EGA’s 14-year history of bringing together diverse experts and perspectives from across Australia and around the world, to discuss psychedelics and entheogenic plants – furthering this important field of study. EGA’s much-loved outdoor main conference space will return for 2017, supported by modern and professional indoor conference areas and adjoining facilities.