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.

NSW Police Crackdown is Devastating the Nimbin Community [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]

Around 14 of the Lane Boys were charged with consorting under section 93X of the NSW Crimes Act 1900. The controversial laws were enacted in 2012 on the pretext of an alleged rise in illegal activities carried out by motorcycle groups and organised crime gangs. Under these laws a person – with or without a criminal record – can be warned by police, either verbally or in writing, not to communicate with individuals who’ve previously been convicted of a crime. The warned individual must have been associating with at least two convicted criminals, and must have met with them at least twice. Consorting includes meeting in person, or communicating over the phone, or the internet. The offence attracts a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment, and/or a $16,500 fine. Last year, the NSW Ombudsman released a scathing report on the use of the laws by NSW police. It found that the laws had heavily impacted upon children, the homeless and Aboriginal people, rather than members of organised criminal groups.

Medical Cannabis Available For Sale In Australia In Just Weeks [Huffington Post]

Medical cannabis will be available for sale in Australia in a matter of weeks, after the Federal Government approved plans to let domestic companies sell the products. Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on Wednesday that the Government would allow certain companies in Australia to import medical cannabis from overseas, and sell it to patients who have been prescribed the product by their doctor.

We Spent 419 with the Man Organising Australia’s Biggest 420 Picnic [Vice]

The guy behind Melbourne’s peaceful protest explains what drew him to weed activism. Matt Riley says prohibition hurts good people: he believes that smoking a joint every now and then shouldn’t have you labelled a criminal.

Proposed community centre for pot-smokers splits locals [Mojo News]

Collingwood could become the next hotspot for pot-smokers if a proposed safe-haven centre for cannabis users opens up in the heart of the suburb. Free Cannabis Community founder Matt Riley plans to lease a 1500 square metre property on Wellington St to provide a social space for people who smoke marijuana recreationally.

4/20/2017 [volteface]

April 20th is a special date in any cannabis consumer’s diary. For reasons that, though debated, are believed to revolve around a group of students from San Rafael known as ‘The Waldos,’ who would spark up religiously at 16:20 back in the ‘70s, the numbers 420 have come to stand for all things marijuana-related the world over. And, since 4/20 – in America, at least – is April 20th, the date has become a de facto international holiday, day of celebration, and time to protest pot prohibition.

What is 420? The meaning and origins behind ‘Weed Day’ [Independent]

But why are the numbers 420 synonymous with cannabis culture?

A Church Dedicated To Cannabis Will Open Its Doors Today, On 4/20 [Huffington Post]

Located in Denver, Colorado, the International Church Of Cannabis will open its doors to the public on April 20. “Elevationists claim no divine authority, nor authoritarian structure, therefore, those of all religious and cultural background are welcome to visit our chapel and take part in our celebrations.”

Homeland Security Secretary Thinks Marijuana Is ‘Not A Factor In The Drug War’ [Huffington Post]

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said that marijuana “is not a factor in the drug war,” placing him at odds with a number of other Trump administration officials. Kelly made his claim Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” during a discussion about the government’s efforts to stem the influx of illegal drugs into the United States. He said his agency is focusing on cutting off the transport and sale of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

Houston’s new district attorney stands by her bold move to decriminalize marijuana [The Guardian]

“The math is ridiculous,” Ogg said of marijuana prosecutions. Her department calculated that it cost more than $25m per year to prosecute 10,000 people annually for low-level marijuana offences, which took up about a tenth of the county’s docket. “The return in terms of public safety has been nothing, nil. We are not a safer society or a safer greater Houston urban area because marijuana was aggressively prosecuted,” she said.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Has a Synthetic Marijuana Problem [The Fix]

Incarcerated addicts stay ahead of the game by switching to synthetic drugs that won’t show up on tests while officials scramble to shut down the supply.

Here are the three crucial areas we could see marijuana reform under Trump [Business Insider UK]

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer is bullish on marijuana. “This is a pivotal time,” Blumenauer, a Democrat, said in a call with reporters on Wednesday. “The long term is clear. I’ve stated and I strongly believe in five years every state will be able to treat marijuana like it treats alcohol.”

First U.S. drive-through marijuana store to open in Colorado [Reuters]

The first U.S. drive-through marijuana dispensary is set to open on Thursday in a small town in Colorado, a state that has been at the forefront of pot legalization. The Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru, housed in a former car wash in Parachute, Colorado, will allow customers to pull their cars into the store’s bay to buy pot directly from their vehicles. “You actually drive into the building,” Mark Smith, chief executive of Tumbleweed, the company that owns the new store and six other pot shops in the state, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Weed & the American Family [Marist Poll]

In an unprecedented project undertaken by Yahoo News and The Marist Poll, “Weed & the American Family” takes a look at Americans’ attitudes about marijuana use.

The weed sommelier: ‘It’s simple – you smoke, you eat, you drink’ [The Guardian]

Having studied the unique flavour profiles of different strains of the plant – and the impact they have on energy levels and states of mind – Wolf has devised a private dining experience in Colorado that aims to give guests a higher appreciation for the food. His company, Cultivating Spirits, hosts five of these events a month for groups of 10, at $125 per head. Placed next to the knife and fork is a glass pipe for smoking the selected marijuana between courses. “It’s simple,” says Wolf. “You smoke, you eat, you drink.”

Wine Industry Finds a Companion in a Competitor: Marijuana [The New York Times]

Legal intoxication is big business and getting bigger. More states have legalized marijuana, leading some in the alcohol industry to regard it as a threat to their profit margin. The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony.

Court Rules Medical Marijuana Users Cannot Be Charged With DUI [Green Rush Daily]

Following Arizona’s Court of Appeals ruling, the burden of proof for charging cannabis users with a DUI is now on the police, not patients. Medical marijuana patients charged with a DUI can fight it in court. Importantly, this means that it’s now up to the arresting officer to prove that the THC impaired the driver.

How Canada plans to legalise cannabis [BBC]

Canada’s government has introduced a bill to legalise and regulate pot. What’s in it?

Weed Week [Vice]

Tune into VICE.com to read about, amongst other things: what a legal weed market would look like in the UK; why the South West smokes more bud than any other region; where exactly we’re at with all those cannabis psychosis studies the Daily Mail love so much; and a deep dive into the UK’s underground cannabis cafes.

UK Department of Health Has Neither Requested Nor Received Any Advice On Medicinal Cannabis [Cannabis Law Reform]

This is the astonishing reality of the way the UK government is responding to the national outcry for access to cannabis as medicine. They are doing absolutely nothing.

Israeli mum in London to press for cannabis autism treatment [Jewish News]

The trio, who have so far raised more than $10,000, are working with Professor Dedi Meiri and his data-gathering project at the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at Technion. He has already started gathering data and tracking over 70 Israeli children and adults being treated with medical cannabis, and the money will expand this research, understanding which cannabis strains are most effective in treatment, and why.

STUC to debate call to legalise medicinal cannabis use [The Herald Scotland]

The Scottish Trades Union Congress is to consider backing the legalisation of cannabis for medical use.

Cannabis-based medicine may cut seizures in half for those with tough-to-treat epilepsy [MedicalXpress]

Taking cannabidiol may cut seizures in half for some children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy, according to new information released today from a large scale controlled clinical study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. Cannabidiol is a molecule from the cannabis plant that does not have the psychoactive properties that create a “high.”

Topical cannabinoids may help to treat skin diseases [Medical News Today]

Cannabinoids – a class of chemicals found in cannabis – may be effective as a topical treatment for an array of skin diseases, including psoriasis, severe itching, and atopic and contact dermatitis. This is the conclusion of a new review by researchers from the University of Colorado.

Where We’re at with the Link Between Cannabis and Psychosis [Vice]

The studies say one thing, the right-wing press exaggerates that thing, people freak out and we’re none the wiser. So what’s the latest?

Your Relationship to Weed Explained by Astrology [Broadly]

Here it is, the most important thing ever.

Cannabis: It’s A Pleasure [volteface]

Improving our knowledge of the pleasures of cannabis could provide more balanced public health messages and information. This could in turn improve public engagement, message credibility, and the expectations of those entering treatment. By focusing solely on harms they have lost sight of why so many people start and continue to use cannabis. A fuller understanding of the pleasures and benefits of cannabis use could offer valuable intelligence for public health, treatment and policy.

Officers rue the return of US ‘war on drugs’ [BBC]

A return to the old war-on-drugs style, in the midst of an opiate addiction crisis which has swept the country, would be “a public health disaster”, said Mr Beletsky. Aggressive law enforcement interventions against drug crime had been shown to create economic incentives for more dangerous, more potent alternatives, Mr Beletsky said. A string of recent overdoses have been linked to carfentanil, an opiate 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

A Visual History of the Pot Leaf [Motherboard]

The pot leaf, with its iconic odd-numbered spears, is probably the most widely recognized botanical image in the world. It owes this visual fame partly to the rise of stoner culture over the last half-century, but the plant is also indebted to countless ancient and Medieval artists who were inspired to depict it in religious and scientific illustrations.

Dr. Bronner’s Pledges $5 Million to MAPS to Make MDMA into FDA-Approved Medicine to Treat PTSD [PR Newswire]

On the eve of the Psychedelic Science 2017 conference being held in Oakland, California, from April 19-24, Dr. Bronner’s, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, has announced it will donate $1 million per year over the next five years to the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The gift comes after MAPS was given the go-ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin Phase 3 drug trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psychedelic drug ayahuasca improves hard-to-treat depression [New Scientist]

It tastes foul and makes people vomit. But ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic concoction that has been drunk in South America for centuries in religious rituals, may help people with depression that is resistant to antidepressants.

It’s the 74th Anniversary of Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle Trip [Timothy Leary Archives]

To celebrate Bicycle Day on April 19th, the date of Albert Hofmann’s—and the world’—first LSD trip in 1943, we are publishing this excerpt from the forthcoming interview with Michael Horowitz—the third instalment of the Acid Bodhisattva series.

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]

23, 24, 25 JUNE 2017 • MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

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. Tickets on sale now through www.uic.org.au

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

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!!