Nimbin Hemp Embassy Medican Workshop Easter Saturday 15 April [Hemp Embassy]

Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy is holding another of their popular MEDICAN Workshops on Easter Saturday which includes a talk this time on a recent tour of North American Cannabis dispensaries. “We were given tickets to fly to Vancouver to judge a Cannabis Cup and used the opportunity to visit dozens of legal Cannabis dispensaries in both Canada and America,” said President Michael Balderstone, who said the ‘weed tour’ with his friend Miss Guidance was quite eye opening for them. “We just wish we’d had a hand full of politicians with us to see the employment and tax benefits and how it was all just no big deal for the public. Suits were lined up at Dispensaries after work buying ready rolled joints like you would a bottle of wine. Interestingly drug driving was simply not an issue.”

Dr Deborah Walden is the guest speaker. A Queensland GP who healed her own cancer and is now at the end of her Herbalism degree after the Doctors Club banished her for openly supporting medical cannabis. Local Solicitor Steve Bolt will be talking again on medical cannabis legal advice, Zane Archer on healing with Cannabis, nutrition and therapy combined, Andrew Kavasilas on the latest from the government on their provision of the real deal and his venture into corporate medical Cannabis, and Dolph Cooke of Biochar Industries will talk about his vision for a Community Cannabis University.

This MEDICAN Workshop is at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre beside Mulgum Creek which has brilliantly managed to survive the flood and be open again so quickly. It’s a top venue and food from the on site Phoenix Rising Cafe is the same. Everyone is welcome as are donations. From 11am – 4.20pm Saturday April 15 Easter Saturday.

Gauntlets Are Down – But What Will The Government Do? [Australian Medical Cannabis Signpost]

As the struggle over medical cannabis intensifies and patients find themselves increasingly on the periphery of a debate in which their role should be central, we reproduce – with thanks – a selection of (anonymised) testimonials from individuals using medicines sourced from an (obviously illicit) supplier.

Marijuana legalisation: Perth-based MGC Pharmaceuticals produces first cannabinoid extracts, while South Australia resident faces cannabis oil charges [International Business Times]

Perth-based MGC Pharmaceuticals has reportedly produced its first cannabinoid extracts at the company’s new European extraction facility. The company told on Monday that it has successfully produced the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, cannabinoid, at its Slovenia extraction facility. MGC is a traditional medicinal cannabis company that is searching for marijuana-based cures. The company also makes money from selling its marijuana-based dermatological and skin care based products. The company is preparing to plant 1,000m2 of cannabis at the academy in the greenhouse of Panax Pharma. MGC owns 80 percent stake in the Czech-based medicinal cannabis company. The company is looking to commercialise its medical marijuana products, targeted at the booming Australian, European and US markets, reports Business News.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana charges on South Australia’s Hillier resident Jenny Hallam are puzzling lawyers as public debate grows on the issue. Hallam has admitted to supplying cannabis oil to terminally ill patients. Her lawyer has asked why charges against Hallam have only been laid recently. Her home was raided back in January, and all the cannabis oil was seized. Hallam will be appearing in court in May over allegations that she possessed and supplied a controlled drug.

Petition: Grant Clemency to Jenny Hallam [change.org]

Jenny Hallam makes medicine for people all over Australia for FREE – We, the undersigned, request that amnesty is given to Ms Jenny Hallam, of Hillier, South Australia, relating to the supply of medical cannabis; and she be given exemption from prosecution so she can continue to provide her patients with medicine until the government can guarantee the supply of an affordable product that is deemed fit and proper by the people of Australia.

The new White House drug czar has quite an idea for where to put nonviolent drug users [The Washington Post]

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) will be President Trump’s drug czar, according to a report from CBS News. Marino’s congressional voting record is that of a hard-liner on marijuana issues, and he recently said that he’d like to put nonviolent drug offenders in some sort of “hospital-slash-prison.”

Legal Marijuana Ends at Airport Security, Even if It’s Rarely Stopped [The New York Times]

People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if they want to travel with it? Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in states where it is legal for adults to consume it. The laws conflict, but federal law trumps state law, making it illegal to fly with marijuana in carry-on or checked luggage. It is also illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if both states have legalized it. Still, some passengers, especially on domestic flights, take the risk, because searching for marijuana is not on the T.S.A.’s to-do list. The agency focuses “on terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers,” a spokesman, Bruce Anderson, said. Airport screeners are looking for things that can take down an airplane, like guns or explosives, not marijuana, he said.

Of the 54 million passengers who went through Denver International Airport in 2015, the T.S.A. stopped just 29 for possession of marijuana, an airport spokesman, Heath Montgomery, said. In those cases, as long as the amount was legal for personal possession in Colorado — one ounce of dried flower, for example — the local police simply asked the flier to dispose of it, either by throwing it in the trash or taking it home. All 29 complied, and no tickets were issued.

Pot on a plane? TSA reverses course after briefly saying it’s OK to fly with cannabis [The Guardian]

For at least 24 hours, it appeared that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had officially declared what many had suspected all along: if you have a prescription, you can fly with marijuana.

The TSA website’s “What Can I Bring?” page – listing items allowed and banned from plane travel – amended their “Medical Marijuana” section on Tuesday so that a bright green “Yes” appeared next to “checked” and “carry-on bags”. By Wednesday afternoon, that same page disappeared for a few hours, then returned with a red “No”. “We’re sorry for any confusion. A mistake was made in the database of our new ‘What Can I Bring’ tool,” the TSA tweeted in response to marijuana-reform advocates celebrating the apparent change in policy.

Oregon set to shield marijuana user data from US officials [KGW]

Oregon state lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would shield the names, birthdates and other identifying information of marijuana users from being accessed by federal drug agents amid worries of heightened enforcement.

Medical Cannabis: Calls for Docs to Be More Supportive [MedPage Today]

Healthcare providers need more education and openness about the role of medical cannabis for treating chronic pain, including possible combinations with prescription opioids, advocates say. “It really goes at the heart of educating physicians. Opioids with cannabis can be a much better tool for fighting pain [than opioids alone], and doctors should have that option,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) at the ASA annual meeting on medical cannabis.

What Happens When You Legalise Cannabis? [BBC]

In 2014 marijuana was legalised for recreational use in Colorado and Washington states in the US. Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada and Massachusetts have all followed. These votes were the result of fierce campaigns. Activists argued that changing the law would eliminate the black market in marijuana; creating a legitimate, taxable industry and allowing the police to focus on more serious crime. Opponents feared more people would become cannabis addicts and predicted an uptick in health problems and robberies. So – three years in – what happened?

Justin Trudeau to launch plans to legalise marijuana across Canada [Independent]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government will publish draft legislation on the legalisation of marijuana later this week. Under the new rules which will fulfil an election campaign pledge made by the Liberal Party, citizens will be able to carry up to 30 grams of the drug, according to CBC News.  But there will likely be a debate on the age at which it will be legal to buy cannabis. Mr Trudeau has previously said he favours the law being set to allow the drug to be used legally from the age of 18.

Legalizing Cannabis Will Fail If Producers Can’t Brand Their Pot [The Huffington Post]

Reasonable taxation, responsible branding and in-store marketing are the most powerful tools the federal government has to eliminate the black market. Professional companies must be allowed to explain to consumers why their products are superior to those offered by their illegal competitors. Legal producers must also be able to compete with the black market on price.

Joints by Snoop Dogg or white label cannabis? Government ponders ad restrictions for pot [Ottawa Sun]

The elegant white box shipped from the Tweed Inc. medical marijuana plant in Smiths Falls is stamped with a gold cannabis leaf that signals the dried bud inside is endorsed by Snoop Dogg himself. Will customers in Canada’s world of legal pot be scooping up Leafs by Snoop, or perusing plain packages packed with health warnings? Some clues might be revealed this week, with speculation the federal government will introduce its long-promised legislation to legalize marijuana. The legislation is expected to provide a framework, with many of the regulatory details worked out over the next year or more with the provinces and municipalities.

Will Internal Trade Barriers Hamper Cannabis Legalisation in Canada? [Talking Drugs]

Canada has experienced historic difficulties with trade between its provinces, so policymakers are working to prevent this from occurring with the upcoming legal cannabis trade. The Canadian government is expected to introduce legislation to legally regulate recreational cannabis on April 13, with sales of the drug to begin by July 2018. However, as each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories retain significant control over the sale and distribution of goods and services, the accessibility of cannabis could vary significantly across the country.

Canadian province gambles future on marijuana’s ‘extreme growth potential’ [The Guardian]

The thick scent of marijuana hangs heavy in the small room where rows of green plants are neatly arranged on shelves. For the medical marijuana company OrganiGram, this is simply the latest round of production. But for New Brunswick, the small east coast Canadian province where this facility is based, the plants are part of a bigger gamble – one that aims to transform Canada’s looming plans to fully legalise marijuana by July 2018 into an economic boon capable of solving the problems of chronic unemployment and a rapidly ageing population. “We see here an industry that we think has extreme growth potential,” Brian Gallant, the Liberal premier of New Brunswick, told the Guardian. His province has embraced the country’s nascent marijuana industry like no other, betting heavily on its potential to shake up an economy long dominated by fishing and forestry. “We’re very optimistic that we’ll see significant investments and significant jobs created in the province because of it.”

Why stop with pot? Let’s decriminalize all drugs [The Globe and Mail]

Canada is preparing to legalize and regulate possession of marijuana – with a target date of July 1, 2018. It’s a long overdue public policy with sound economic and health arguments to back it up, notably:

  • More harm is caused by criminal prohibition and prosecution than the use of marijuana itself;
  • Criminal laws prohibiting possession do not deter use;
  • Decriminalization of possession does not lead to greater use;
  • Decriminalization frees up resources for police and the courts to deal with more serious crimes;
  • Profits (or taxes) from sales go into public coffers instead of to organized crime.

Here’s the thing: Every one of those arguments apply to every drug, from hash to heroin. So why stop at marijuana?

Former UK Government Drugs Minister announced as Patron of Medicinal Cannabis Organisation [volteface]

The United Patients Alliance – a UK campaign group focused on improving access to medicinal cannabis form patients – has announced that Norman Baker, former UK government drugs minister, will be their first patron.

The spice epidemic shows why we should legalise herbal cannabis [New Statesman]

Spice is a problem that is largely of our own making. History tells us that prohibition of one drug often leads to the emergence of more toxic alternatives. The ban on smoking opium led to injecting heroin, alcohol prohibition in the USA led to deaths from hooch and methanol, cocaine enforcement led to crack, the mephedrone ban led to naphyrone and so on. We need a much more holistic and mature approach to drug use than simply banning everything. Heroin has been illegal for recreational use for a hundred years. Yet the latest data we have shows the highest ever number of heroin-related deaths in the UK. Prohibition of synthetic cannabinoids is not working, and will not work, as the sole approach to this growing and very worrying problem.

Audacious bid to run cannabis farm next to Buckingham Palace goes up in smoke [International Business Times]

Three men who ran a huge cannabis farm in a central London mansion just yards from Buckingham Palace have been jailed for six months. Police raided the £15m (€17.5m) Grosvenor Gardens property – which overlooks the Queen’s London residence – in February, seizing 600 cannabis plants.

Child trafficking in UK hits record high, figures show [Independent]

More than a third of all potential victims of trafficking were children aged 18 and under, with a majority of children drawn into exploitative labour, including forced criminality, such as cannabis cultivation. Overall, the NRM identified 3,805 potential victims of trafficking in 2016, a 17 per cent increase on 2015.

Switch to vaping to reduce fire death risk warns London Fire Brigade [Fire]

Switching from tobacco to vaping can greatly reduce the risk of dying in a fire according to London Fire Brigade figures.  While cigarettes remain the biggest of cause of fatal fires there have been no recorded deaths or injuries as a result of vaping or e-cigarette fires.

MSPs to hear case for medical use of cannabis [The National Scot]

MSPs from across the political spectrum will hear demands to legalise cannabis for medical use when they attend a summit on the issue in Holyrood this month. The event’s organiser Bernadette McCreadie hopes the meeting, which will also be attended by clinicians, will put pressure on the Scottish Government to move forward with plans to allow the drug to be used by patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Delegates at the SNP’s autumn conference last year backed the decriminalisation of cannabis for medicinal use and called on the UK Government to devolve the power to regulate the drug to the Scottish Parliament.

Legalising cannabis could boost Irish tax revenues by millions [The Irish Times]

Ireland could raise hundreds of millions of euro in much-needed tax revenues by legalising cannabis, according to a leading US entrepreneur in the business. Jesse Stanley who, with his four brothers, has built a $30 million (€28 million) medical cannabis business in just a few years, claims the pharmaceutical industry has a “vested interest” in ensuring cannabis is not legalised.

‘I can have one joint, right?’ Everything you need to know about roadside drug testing [The Journal]

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority in Ireland launched their new drug testing regime for drivers today. Officers will be breathalysing motorists for a range of illicit drugs – Cannabis, cocaine, opiates (like heroin and morphine) and benzodiazepines (like valium) – at roadside checks from the early hours of tomorrow morning. There will be 86 drug screening devices located in Garda stations nationally, and 50 more available for use at the roadside, Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn told reporters today. He also addressed questions about whether road users could trust the force to carry out the testing and record accurate statistics, at today’s event.

French election: Four out of five presidential candidates support relaxation of cannabis laws [Independent]

Centrist Emmanuel Macron, currently leading polls for the first round of voting on 23 April, and right-wing candidate Francois Fillon, have both said police should issue warnings and on-the-spot fines for cannabis use. These measures may be designed to appear strict, but are in fact a relaxation of the current law. Officers have welcomed the proposals, saying they will cut down court time and paperwork for an offence that in many cases police turn a blind eye to. Left-wing candidates Jean-Luc Melenchon and Benoit Hamon have said the drug should be legalised, while only Marine Le Pen, of the far-right Front National, is against any change to the law.

Hebrew University launches cannabis research centre with high aspirations [Jewish News]

The Multidisciplinary Centre on Cannabinoid Research, announced by the university on Wednesday, will be staffed by leading scientists and doctors, including the Israeli chemistry professor considered the father of cannabis research. It will conduct and coordinate research on cannabis and its biological effects with an eye toward commercial applications. Last month, ahead of its official opening, the centre funded research projects on the use of the chemical compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids, on traumatic brain injury, the cancer-fighting potential of a cannabinoid receptor and the effect of a cannabis extract on pain and painkillers. It also signed a memorandum of understanding with The Lambert Initiative, a medical cannabis research centre at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Uruguay government legalises sale of recreational cannabis in pharmacies [Independent]

Uruguay’s three-year process of legalising recreational cannabis consumption reached its final stage on Thursday, when the government said it would authorise pharmacies to begin selling the substance as of July. Sixteen pharmacies have registered with the government of the tiny South American country to be able to sell marijuana for recreational purposes. That number is expected to increase to 30 in the coming months, said Juan Roballo, head of the National Drug Board. Uruguay became a global pioneer when it legalised the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana in late 2013. But the roll-out has been slow, and the authorisation for pharmacies to sell cannabis – initially expected by the end of 2014 – has been postponed several times.

Why Couples Are Turning to Marijuana for Happy and Healthy Relationships [volteface]

What does it take to have a healthy and happy relationship? Many factors go into keeping a relationship thriving, but with the mass legalization of cannabis and couples’ access to weedy products, it seems that pot could me a major key to relationship bliss.

33 Incredible Marijuana Statistics [Potent]

I am always amazed by the staggering statistics of the cannabis industry. As more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana sales and usage, I thought I would take a look at the latest statistics reported in the market.

Strip ‘violent wine’ monks of charity status, say secularists [BBC]

Monks who make Buckfast tonic wine linked to violent crime in Scotland should be stripped of charitable status, say campaigners.

Survey on Medicinal Cannabis [The Australian Medicinal Cannabis Observatory]

This survey will ask you questions about your attitudes to, and use of, medicinal cannabis. You can also choose to have further input into the project at the end of the survey. The survey has 40 questions and should take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete.

Nimbin MardiGrass 5-7 May 2017 [Hemp Embassy]

The Nimbin MardiGrass is an annual rally & celebration in the tiny village of Nimbin in northern NSW, Australia.  Beginning in 1993, MardiGrass is held to protest the drug laws, educate people on the various uses of cannabis (medicinal, industrial, recreational & spiritual) and to celebrate the culture that has grown here over the last 40 years.  Our mission is to bring about change with as much fun as possible.

Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & SYMPOSIUM 2017 [HHI]

The Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & Medicinal Cannabis Conference 2017 is taking place in Sydney 27th and 28th May 2017 at Rosehill Gardens.

The 1st Australian Medicinal Cannabis Course [Australian Medical Cannabis Observatory]

A 1 Day Course on 22 June to be offered as a Workshop on behalf of The UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium 2017 – Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course, designed for health care practitioners, by health care practitioners.

2017 UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]

SAVE THE DATE – 23, 24, 25 JUNE 2017 • MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

Program is shaping up with confirmed speakers including Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather, Dr Michelle Sexton, Dr Dedi Meire, Dr Bareket Schiff Keren, Dr Greg Gerdman and more to come. This really is a not to be missed program The program will cover how clinicians can develop a Cannabis treatment plan, clinical applications and other considerations, application in Palliative care and rehabilitation, The ECS, Debunking myths, PTSD, Cancer, Epilepsy and also will tackle the complex social and ethical issues relating to poor patient access. We will also provide opportunity around the establishment of an Australian Chapter of Cannabis Clinicians and an Australian Cannabis Industry Association. We are also seeking additional sponsorship to fund running Australia’s first medicinal Cannabis course developed for health care practitioners by health care practitioners. Please contact lucy.haslam@uic.org.au if you can assist. Tickets on sale now through https://www.trybooking.com/OUVD or
https://www.trybooking.com/260133 or www.uic.org.au

Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium 8th – 10th of December [EGA]

We’re delighted that after more than a year of planning, persuading and wooing a world-leading line up of speakers, early bird tickets to EGA’s 2017 (outdoor) Psychedelic Symposium are now on sale! EGA’s 2017 Psychedelic Symposium will be a botanical, academic and lifestyle conference – with a pinch of psychedelic energy.  The program will span three days and three nights, featuring more than 50 lectures from diverse fields covering the botanical, academic, and philosophical, to arts and drug law reform. Accompanying the main program will be workshops, panel discussions, a marketplace, and much more.