NEXT NIMBIN MEDICAL CANNABIS WORKSHOP SATURDAY JAN 21 [Hemp Embassy]

There is a big day planned for the Nimbin HEMP Embassy’s next MEDICAN Workshop on Saturday January 21, from 11 am in the village Hall. “It’s all about education”, says Embassy president Michael Balderstone,” and finally there are a lot of ears wanting to listen. The workshop is also a good opportunity to ask questions and meet people who have been involved with mediweed for decades.”

Petition Update: When is a victory NOT A VICTORY? When it involves Medical Cannabis [change.org]

Buy the Sunday Telegraph on the 22nd (next weekend) and find the full-page letter from 5year old Katelyn Lambert. A link to a microsite be included on the page. This URL will link you to a template to complete and send to your MP. This will take you just a few minutes but it will get your voice to where it can be heard. In addition to this get educated, spread the word and be a voice for the sick!

Malcolm Turnbull Says He Can’t And Won’t Issue A Medicinal Cannabis Amnesty [The Huffington Post]

It may have sparked an unusual defection to One Nation and now become an unexpected flagstone for Pauline Hanson’s party, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists his hands are tied over pleas for an amnesty for users and suppliers of medicinal cannabis. The Prime Minister is concerned the black market cannabis oil market is unregulated and potentially “very, very” dangerous. “The Department of health is concerned that patients are treating themselves with a powerful medicine sourced from the illicit market. There are no controls over the safety and quality of medicines bought in this way. “Recently in New South Wales, for example, two women were hospitalised because of the strength of the cannabis they used in their treatment was much higher than expected.”

Turnbull says One Nation’s medicinal cannabis amnesty ‘irresponsible’ [The Guardian]

Malcolm Turnbull has rejected One Nation’s proposed medicinal cannabis amnesty, saying the government does not have the power and an amnesty for dangerous illicit substances would be “irresponsible”.

Queensland MP Steve Dickson defects from LNP to join One Nation [The Guardian]

The Queensland MP Steve Dickson has defected from the Liberal National party to join One Nation ahead of the next state election. Explaining the circumstances of his defection, Dickson said the crucial issue for him was an amnesty for medicinal cannabis users. He had approached Palaszczuk and asked the prime minister’s office for help on Monday but not received a return phone call.

Petition: Make CBD (Cannabidiol) industrial hemp extract a non schedule substance for all Australians and legal to use and sell! [ipetitions]

We the undersigned, fully support and agree that CBD derived from an industrial hemp strain of plant, should be lifted from the controlled substance list in all states of Australia and available to purchase and use as a health supplement.

Pot for pooches? Medical cannabis being used to treat doggy anxiety [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Medical cannabis may have a strong calming effect on pets, dull chronic pain, and significantly improve their vibrancy and quality of life, according to Australian-listed medical cannabis company Creso Pharma. On Wednesday Creso, which is listed on the ASX and has local offices but is headquartered in Switzerland, announced it had received European Union health registration for two cannabidiol-based products – one for horses, the other for smaller animals such as cats or dogs.

We Should ‘Just Say No’ To Australia’s Approach To Drugs [The Huffington Post]

To get some perspective, just think about whether it would be reasonable to ban alcohol at spring carnivals or New Year’s Eve celebrations because people may get into trouble or do something that may hurt themselves. Is the current approach to manage the events with crowd control, safety precautions, responsible service of alcohol and additional transport a better option? Of course it’s better to live in the real world where there is an acceptance that risk exists and programs and protocols are in place to reduce that risk. It does not mean that we condone the behaviour, but it does not condemn it either.

Soldier: ‘I’m now a productive member of society again’ [Sunshine Coast Daily]

After encountering stories about Vietnam and Iraq veterans who had used marijuana to ease their symptoms with great success Michael decided to give the less conventional treatments a try.

Is the Ministry of Health acting outside the law on medical cannabis? [Public Address]

The key barrier to the use of medical cannabis – or to even discovering what its uses might be – has long been marijuana’s illegality under the Misuse of Drugs Act. But what if it transpired that a key component of cannabis is not, and has never been, controlled by the act? And that heavy restrictions on its use and importation are in fact taking place outside the law?

Obama to commute hundreds of federal drug sentences in final grants of clemency [The Washington Post]

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, Justice officials worry that his administration will dismantle Obama’s clemency initiative, which has resulted in the early release of 1,176 drug offenders who were sentenced under the severe mandatory minimum laws passed in the 1980s and 1990s during the nation’s “war on drugs.” More than 400 were serving life sentences. Yates said Obama will grant “a significant” number of commutations this week, but would not specify a number. Several people close to the process said it will be several hundred.

Scientists to Government: Make It Easier to Study Marijuana [The New York Times]

A report published last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine points out that scientists who want to study cannabis have to seek approvals from federal, state and local agencies and depend on just one lab, at the University of Mississippi, for samples. As a result, far too little is known about the health effects of a substance that 28 states have decided can be used as medicine and eight states and the District of Columbia have approved for recreational use.

North Americans Spent $53.3 Billion On Marijuana Last Year, Most Of It Illegally [The Huffington Post]

A new report estimates consumers spent $53.3 billion on cannabis in North America last year. The first-of-its-kind analysis, compiled by ArcView Market Research, spans legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets across both the United States and Canada. At around $46 billion, the illegal market constituted 87 percent of marijuana sales in 2016 (a decrease from 90 percent in 2015), dwarfing both medical and legal sales.

Mapping Cannabis Use [Source Weekly]

Every year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health asks Americans about their use of cannabis and other drugs. The results of the 2015 survey, released recently, show that 8.3 percent of Americans aged 12 and up said they had used cannabis at least once in the past month. Meanwhile, 13.5 percent said they had used cannabis at least once in the past year. These rates are essentially unchanged from 2014 and equate to approximately $6.7 billion in legal cannabis sales.

Beer sales don’t take a hit from marijuana legalisation, study finds [The Guardian]

The legalisation of marijuana in several US states has not curbed beer sales, according to new research, as Americans managed to find room in their social schedules for both. Analysts at investment firm Bernstein said fears that the brewing industry would be sent into chronic decline by red-eyed revellers reaching for joints instead of beers have proved unfounded. But rather than swapping Budweiser for bud-smoking, the legalisation of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes has in some cases corresponded with an uptick in beer consumption.

What does Donald Trump think about drugs? [The Conversation]

In recent years, many countries – with the conspicuous exception of Indonesia and the Philippines – have been rethinking the international war on drugs. The world, it seems, has grown tired of mass incarceration, militarised law enforcement and endless interdiction of drug shipments that nonetheless keep arriving at borders. Even the United States, the key enforcer of this relentless and violent obsession with narcotics, started to ease up during the Barack Obama administration. Will Donald Trump continue his predecessor’s reform path? Or will he reheat the 40-year drug war, domestically and abroad?

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is now the Law Enforcement Action Partnership! [LEAP]

For more than a year, our board and staff have been hard at work to expand into the broader field of criminal justice reform while maintaining a keen focus on our drug policy work. Not only will this expanded scope be a natural fit for our speakers’ criminal justice expertise, but it will also help us to become even more effective at moving the drug policy reform conversation forward. And, as I wrote on the Huffington Post this morning, when you care about something, you want it to be the best it can be. With the right criminal justice reforms, we can do better, for ourselves and for our communities. Our new name reflects the core of our organization.

Marijuana is about as popular as Donald Trump in these 5 red states [Business Insider Australia]

The results of the 2016 election tell us being a Republican and a marijuana legalization advocate are no longer mutually exclusive, if the labels ever were to begin with. Eight US states voted on marijuana legalization ballots in the 2016 Election. Five of them — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota — turned red for Trump. Of those five, four states also legalised cannabis in some form, the Marijuana Business Daily reports. “In each case, with the exception of Arkansas, the cannabis initiatives received almost as many or more votes than Trump garnered,” the Marijuana Business Daily’s Eli McVey writes.

Israel, a medical marijuana pioneer, is eager to capitalise [Financial Review]

Marijuana, or cannabis, is still classified as a dangerous drug in Israel and remains illegal for recreational purposes. But the government is also at the forefront of efforts to develop and expand the fast-growing medical marijuana industry and make Israel a major centre for it.

Hundreds of British soldiers busted for taking drugs including cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy in one year [The Sun]

Nearly 1,000 members of the Armed Forces were busted for drug abuse last year – a rise of almost a third on the previous 12 months. The figures equate to three people testing positive for cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and banned steroids every day.

As Duterte’s drug war worsens, Thailand provides a glimmer of hope [Transform]

Today, 13 years later, Thailand’s Minister of Justice Paiboon Koomchaya has admitted that this ruthless and violent approach has not worked. He has said that methamphetamine is less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes and he has declared that the world must ‘come to think of how to live with drugs’. The country is now in the process of revising their drug policies where legal regulation of methamphetamine is being considered as a viable policy. Whatever is decided, there is a clear transition occurring where the Thai government wants its new drug policy to be more humane, a policy where far fewer lives will be negatively impacted by incarceration and execution. It would appear that there is a valuable lesson to learn here for the Philippines.

The war on drugs causes massive human rights violations [MedicalXpress]

The war on drugs has had devastating effects on human rights and public health worldwide, argue experts in The BMJ today. In November, the journal argued that prohibition laws have failed and called on doctors to lead the debate on alternative rational policies that promote health and respect dignity.

Brazil issues first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug [Reuters]

Brazilian healthcare regulator Anvisa on Monday said it had issued the country’s first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug in the country after years of legal wrangling with patients. The multiple sclerosis treatment, an oral spray derived from marijuana and developed by Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, is known as Sativex internationally and will be sold in Brazil under the brand name Mevatyl.

Drug trafficking penalties across the European Union: a survey of expert opinion [European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction]

The results of a study on national drug trafficking laws and their application in the Member States of the European Union are presented in this report. It is based on an analysis of the national laws and on the opinions of legal practitioners — judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers — from 26 countries. The penalties set out in national laws for trafficking cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and heroin are compared with the sentencing outcomes expected by the legal practitioners, including penalties imposed and the estimated time likely to be spent in prison.

Cannabis Treatment and Child Exploitation [volteface]

A new report by the Children’s Society on behalf of Public Health England highlights the relationship between sexual exploitation and drug use.

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research [The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine]

In one of the most comprehensive studies of recent research on the health effects of recreational and therapeutic cannabis use, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999. This report summarizes the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries. Areas in need of additional research and current barriers to conducting cannabis research are also covered in this comprehensive report. A PDF version is at: http://www.nap.edu/24625

Most marijuana medicinal benefits are inconclusive, wide-ranging study finds [The Guardian]

There is not enough research to reach conclusive judgments on whether marijuana can effectively treat most of the symptoms and diseases it is advertised as helping, according to a wide-ranging US government study. The same is also true of many of the risks said to be associated with using cannabis, the study finds. There was only enough evidence to support treatment for three therapeutic uses, the study found: to reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, to treat chronic pain and to reduce spasms from multiple sclerosis.

Marijuana compounds show promise in treatment of cardiac disease [MedicalXpress]

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH PROTEST RALLY [MCUA]

Parliament House Canberra ~ Tuesday 7th February ~ 10 Am – 1pm

Bring a picnic basket and a placard and join the CannaWarrior Coalition for lunch on the green. Australians united for full legislation of cannabis

Open Education Day: Hemp Farming for Renewable Economies [Health Farms International]

When: Friday 3rd February 10 am to 4pm.

Where: Cecil St Nimbin – Follow Balloons.

Why: To educate and promote Industrial, Medical and Food products grown from HEMP and other useful plants. If it’s mined and made from Fossil Fuels it can be grown by Farmers and made from HEMP! For further information contact Wadzy Ph: 0407 895 569. E: wadzywell@gmail.com

Rainbow Serpent organisers call for pill testing after drug deaths in Melbourne [The Courier]

Rainbow Serpent Music and Arts Festival organisers are calling for a fresh approach to recreational drugs laws after a horror weekend in Melbourne resulted in three deaths.

From preventable deaths to pills that kill [QNADA News]

It’s disappointing that the Sunday Mail Exclusive “The Pills that Kill” doesn’t acknowledge we could be doing more than simply telling people drugs are dangerous and they should avoid taking them. The reality is these deaths would be largely preventable if we put the right information into users’ hands, instead of continuing with the mistaken belief that law enforcement action will be effective on its own. While the current policy approach in both Queensland and nationally is harm minimisation, the focus on supply reduction far outweighs that on demand or harm reduction.  That’s left us in a position where the general public has heard the ‘just say no’ message so many times it’s problematic to even suggest we might change that message to ‘we want you to live’, which means we can’t have a pragmatic discussion about what else we could be doing that we know is working in other parts of the world, like drug checking.

Drug Prohibition Is Killing Young Australians [The Huffington Post]

The prohibitionist model of attempting to control drug use by criminal sanctions should be replaced with proven, health-focused laws that properly control drug use through a state-controlled licencing regime, as is currently the case with other potentially harmful drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, prescription medication and over the counter drugs.

Pharmaceutical industry financial ties linked to ‘positive’ outcomes in clinical trials for new drugs [The Sydney Morning Herald]

A new study has found links between medical researchers’ financial ties with pharmaceutical companies and “positive” results in clinical trials. The study was published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal and completed by researchers at several United States’ universities.

Inquiry into the status of the human right to freedom of religion or belief [Parliament of Australia]

Please distribute this to anyone who utilises psychedelics [including cannabis] for religious purposes. The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday, 10 February 2017.