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

The Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo Sydney 2017 is taking place at the award winning Rose Hill Gardens, Exhibition Centre. Held over 2 days, May 27th and 28th 2017, this event will have something for everyone. Come and look, feel, taste, and experience the excitement of a large number of exhibitors, showcasing everything from Hemp fibres, clothing, bedding, beauty and health products, medicinal hemp products, building materials, hydroponic equipment and supplies for industry and home hobbyists alike, innovative products and so much more. Gain valuable information and awareness of the amazing benefits the Hemp plant has to offer now and into the future. Learn how to grow your own produce, even where space is limited, fresh and free of chemicals. Discover new and innovative products.

Saturday 27 May – 9.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday 28 May – 9.30am – 3.30pm

Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course to teach students ‘whole continuum’ of plant [The Age]

Students of Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course will learn everything there is to know about the plant, short of ingesting the thing. There won’t be any visits to secret cultivation facilities, but architects of the new eight-week course at Deakin University will teach best-practice in growing, extracting and manufacturing medicinal cannabis in Australia.

No forced drug tests [The Greens]

It’s been two weeks since the government announced its mandatory drug test policy, one of the worst ideas I’ve seen in my time in Parliament. In a few days, Senator Rachel Siewert and I will hammer the government on this terrible plan during Senate Estimates. This is a great opportunity for us to hold the Libs to account, and you can help. Tell us what questions you would like us to ask the government during Senate Estimates by commenting on Facebook. We will ask as many probing questions as we can and grill the government on your behalf.

Global Drug Survey 2017 finds Australians are the biggest bong users, pay most for cocaine [The Age]

Australians respondents were not the biggest cannabis users in the world, but they were the biggest bong users, with water pipes more popular in Australia than any other country.

EP93 – Nimbin HEMP Embassy, MICF2017 and SSDP Melbourne Uni [Enpsychedelia]

Miss Guidance from the Nimbin HEMP Embassy joins the program to talk about her recent trip along with HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone to the United States and Canada, to see how their medical and recreational cannabis markets are operating.

Trust in the Crypto-Drug Markets [Global Drug Policy Observatory]

Despite perceived novelty, drugs have been online from the Internet’s very beginnings.  Anecdotal as it may be, it is widely understood that the very first transaction on ARPANET involved a small amount of cannabis. Ever since, cyberspace has provided fertile ground for all sorts of drug-related exchanges.

Cannabis isn’t the health problem – the tobacco people mix with it is [The Conversation]

Europe may seem like an increasingly divided continent, but there is one thing that unites its people: an obsession with using tobacco to smoke cannabis. Up to 90% of Europeans combine tobacco with cannabis, according to the latest Global Drug Survey. By comparison, only 8% of Americans smoke cannabis this way.

Medical marijuana used to treat heroin and cocaine addiction at Los Angeles rehab centre [Independent]

A drug addiction treatment centre claims to be helping patients give up heroin and cocaine with medical marijuana. Cannabis is more frequently associated with getting high than getting sober – but the directors of one rehab facility in Los Angeles say it can reduce overall harm caused by drug use. “Some say it’s hypocritical because, you know, you’re supposed to go to rehab to get off drugs,” Joe Schrank, founder of the High Sobriety clinic, told CNN.

Study suggests cannabis may reduce crack use [MedicalXpress]

Research done by the BC Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver shows that using cannabis may enable people to consume less crack. Could marijuana become to crack what methadone is to heroin – a legal, safe and effective substitute drug that reduces cravings and other negative impacts of problematic drug use?

Here’s what just changed in Washington state marijuana laws [The Cannabist]

A week ago, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed an omnibus marijuana bill, containing many changes to the regulations put in place in 2013, after Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana sales in 2012. What developments does this marijuana mega-bill contain? Here’s our wrap-up of the major changes that could affect how Washingtonians and visitors experience legal weed in The Evergreen State. (All of these regulations go into effect July 23, 2017).

Tips For Taking Cannabis Oil As Medicine For The First Time [Cannabis Health Radio]

Whether you’ve tried administering cannabis through other forms in the past or not, using cannabis oil is a completely different experience. In fact, for many it’s the best way to medicate, especially if you are suffering from cancer, anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation-related conditions. Here are some tips to help ensure that you have a pleasurable experience trying cannabis oil for the first time. Read more here.

Ohio supreme court judge calls for legalisation of marijuana [The Guardian]

Democrat William O’Neill, a possible contender for governor, wants to tax sales of the drug and release all non-violent marijuana offenders from prison

Jeff Sessions is wrong about the War on Drugs [ACLU]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a history of endorsing ineffective policies and positions based on political rhetoric. He wants to put as many people as possible behind bars. And not just anyone – the War on Drugs policies Sessions is rolling out target and harm Black and Brown people and communities. This has to end. We need smart criminal justice reforms – not regressive, recycled policies. Add your name now to tell Jeff Sessions that no matter what he says, the War on Drugs must end.

Trump Praised Philippines President Duterte For Drug War That Has Killed 9,000 People [Huffington Post]

Trump told Duterte he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” according to a transcript. Human rights groups disagree.

On Our Own: Medical Cannabis for Mental Health in the UK [volteface]

A growing (yet glaringly incomplete) body of scientific evidence supports the efficacy of cannabis for a wide range of conditions, from anxiety to PTSD. However, the continued illegality of medicinal cannabis leaves most patients self-medicating, without any professional guidance or regulation – potentially exposing themselves to unforeseen harms. While mental health has been pushed up the political agenda in the run-up to the election, there has been little discussion of medical marijuana as a potentially safer and more cost-effective alternative to many mental health treatments currently offered.

Why are the British so scared of cannabis? [The Times Literary Supplement]

200 million US citizens now have access to medical marijuana and 100 million can legally buy recreational cannabis.  Seventeen other countries including Holland, Belgium and Germany have made cannabis a medicine. Israel has opened the world’s first university course in medical marijuana. Yet in the UK all the government can say to the requests of the patient community is their infantile mantra: drugs are harmful – cannabis is a drug, and so it is harmful, so we will keep it illegal.

Lord Monson and CLEAR to Campaign for a Regulated Cannabis Market [CLEAR]

Lord Nicholas Monson, whose son Rupert committed suicide after he had become psychotic from ‘skunk’, has teamed up with CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform to campaign for a safer, regulated cannabis market.

Drug use or drug abuse? [Varsity]

Here’s some election news that’s not about Brexit, public services or strong and stable government: the Liberal Democrats [UK] have pledged a regulated cannabis market. Over 18s will be able to purchase small amounts of it as a recreational drug, like alcohol.

Fact Check: do the police [UK] spend over a million hours a year fighting cannabis? [The Conversation]

The police spent nearly a million hours fighting cannabis in 2015, on the assumption that cannabis supply caseloads accounted for 84% of all Class B drug offences. A regulated and licensed cannabis market will definitely release police time with regards to enforcing possession of low potency cannabis.

Cannabis drug cuts seizures in children with severe epilepsy in trial [The Guardian]

A new drug derived from cannabis has been shown to reduce the convulsive seizures experienced by children with a severe form of epilepsy by nearly a half – and in a small number, stop them altogether. “This is cannabidiol. It is not the oils that are available over the internet and the results cannot be ascribed to that,” she said. “Families should not be feeling this is something they should be able to get [for themselves]. This is a pharmaceutical product.” GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes the drug, will apply for a licence to the authorities in the US and Europe.

Noted experts critically evaluate benefits of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy [EurekAlert!]

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant.

Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System – EDRS [National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre]

Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre would like to invite people who use ecstasy to participate in a one-hour CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS interview for the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). Participants are reimbursed $40 for their time and expenses. Contact the study coordinator in your state.

SA vape shop owners push for changes to legislation subjecting e-cigarettes to same regulations as tobacco products [The Advertiser]

A group of South Australian e-cigarette vendors are making an 11th-hour appeal to the State Government to amend a law that would subject the vaporisers to the same regulations as tobacco products. The legislation — which was introduced to Parliament by Substance Abuse Minister Leesa Vlahos — would prohibit the advertisement and online sale of e-cigarettes. The devices would also be banned in non-smoking areas, such as outdoor dining venues. Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research, or AVATAR, is a South Australian industry body hoping to work with the Government on variations to the new law.

Report into clubs and pubs penalty regime kept secret [The Age]

A review of laws designed to crack down on misbehaving pubs and clubs is being kept under wraps by the NSW government, despite Parliament being asked to consider significant changes and an extract being provided to a Sydney hotel baron. A bill introduced by Racing Minister Paul Toole winds back key aspects of the “three strikes” law under which pubs face the loss of their licence for serious breaches under the Liquor Act. For clubs, the ultimate penalty is the removal of a licensee.

Six UK music festivals are to allow drug testing including Reading and Leeds [BBC]

At least six UK music festivals are expected to allow people to test their illegal drugs this summer. It’s after a number of drug-related deaths in recent years. Reading and Leeds Festivals and a number of other live music events are aiming to introduce the scheme with the support of local police forces.

Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug [The Guardian]

Mushrooms are the safest of all the drugs people take recreationally, according to this year’s Global Drug Survey. “Magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world,” said Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey, pointing out that the bigger risk was people picking and eating the wrong mushrooms.

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!!