AUSTRALIA & NZ

Weeding out the Truth [Gold Coast Bulletin]

“We’re the kind of doctors who don’t play God.” Dr Teresa Towpik

Facing Prison for Providing Free Cannabis Medicine: An Interview with Jenny Hallam [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]

The benefits of medicinal cannabis have been rediscovered over recent years. Clinical trials and research papers have documented evidence that shows cannabis medicines can treat conditions, such as  chronic pain, seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and multiple sclerosis. In the US, medical marijuana is legal  in 29 states. While the Australian federal government passed legislation in February 2016, to allow for the legal cultivation and manufacture of cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, close to two years later, there’s still no domestic products available in this country. So, it seems slightly amiss that a South Australian woman, who was supplying patients with medicinal cannabis oil for free, should be facing up to 9 years behind bars. Indeed, Jenny Hallam was giving these people in need the same sort of medicine the government is supposedly trying to make available to them.

Queensland trial evaluating benefits of medical cannabis for cancer patients [The Courier Mail]

A Queensland trial evaluating the benefits of medical cannabis for people with advanced cancer will be part of a $69 million boost to fight the disease. The Federal Government will invest the money in world-leading medical researchers to target devastating and rare conditions like acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in infants, aplastic anaemia, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. The University of Queensland will receive $1.4 million to better define the role of medicinal cannabis for cancer patients in palliative care, and look at how patients with advanced cancer can benefit from the drug.

No pot at the end of the Rainbow Serpent Festival [Victoria Police]

Police will be out in force with a round the clock presence at the Rainbow Serpent Festival this year. The annual festival in Lexton, near Ballarat, commences on Thursday and police will have a zero tolerance for illegal activity.

What to do If the Cops Try to Search You at a Festival This Summer [Vice]

Under the current laws police have the power to stop, search, and detain you if they reasonably suspect that you have drugs or anything dangerous or unlawful on you. The only basis required for a search in these contexts is a reasonable suspicion held by the police officer. Reasonable suspicion is a low threshold and may be met by your presence in a high risk area. So just as important as your water, sunscreen, and ticket when you’re heading to a festival is knowing your rights and responsibilities during a police drug search. The police are not obliged to explain the process to you as it is occurring, which is why you need to be informed beforehand.

NORTH AMERICA

Setting HIGH expectations? Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces feasibility study into legalizing recreational marijuana in New York [Daily Mail]

New York is to launch a feasibility study into legalizing recreational marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. Nine states and the District of Columbia have already legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in recent years. And with New Jersey’s incoming governor vowing to legalize the drug during his term, the pressure was on Cuomo to take the next step to making weed legal in New York.

Re-criminalizing cannabis is worse than 1930s ‘reefer madness’ [MedicalXpress]

Re-criminalizing marijuana in light of current research findings, including my own research of more than 15 years, makes Sessions’ proposed crackdown on legal marijuana look worse than reefer madness. Researchers like myself, who regularly talk with people who are actively using hard drugs, know that legal cannabis can actually reduce the harmful effects of other drugs.

Cancer Patients Get Little Guidance From Doctors On Using Medical Marijuana [National Public Radio]

Scientific research, mostly in animals, supports the idea that cannabis can effectively treat the nausea of cancer therapy, in addition to some types of cancer-related pain, according to the National Cancer Institute’s cannabis information page. Only about 1 percent of Massachusetts’ 25,000 doctors are registered with the state and allowed to legally prescribe marijuana. And only a fraction of those know much about cancer care.

Vermont legalises marijuana despite Trump administration’s attempt at crackdown [Independent]

Vermont has become the ninth state to legalise marijuana, but sales won’t be allowed. In signing a bill allowing adults to possess and grow cannabis, Republican Governor Phil Scott said he overcame “mixed emotions” that included his concerns about a profit-driven commercial marijuana industry. Unlike in other states that have legalised cannabis usage, the law does not allow for legal sales. “I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Mr Scott said.

From Prohibition to Progress: A Status Report on Marijuana Legalization [Drug Policy Alliance]

Check out From Prohibition to Progress: A Status Report on Marijuana Legalization, our new comprehensive report with abundant evidence indicating that legalization has been a success so far. Here are some major highlights:

  • Marijuana arrests have plummeted.
  • Youth marijuana use has not increased.
  • Marijuana legalization is linked to lower rates of opioid-related harm.
  • Legalization has not made our roads less safe.
  • Marijuana tax revenues are exceeding initial estimates.
  • States are allocating marijuana tax revenues for social good.
  • The marijuana industry is creating jobs.

Battle over legal marijuana: a monumental moment for states’ rights [The Christian Science Monitor]

Either way, the heated power struggle represents, law experts say, a monumental moment for states’ rights in America and a major rethink of core values by Republican powerbrokers.

Canada’s weed stocks are out of control [Vice]

Stocks in Canada’s biggest cannabis companies have skyrocketed in the past year – with the three largest rising by more than 200 percent each. But analysts are warning the high times won’t last as the nascent legal weed sector seems to be heading towards a bubble. The combined market capitalization — the value of a company’s individual stocks multiplied by the number of shares‚ of Canada’s three largest weed firms, Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis and Aphira Inc., topped $14.5 billion at the end of 2017. It’s an impressive feat for a budding industry that’s only four years old, and is expected to get a major boost when the recreational market opens this year. But the combined revenue of the three largest firms was less than $110 million in that same period, as analysts told VICE News that rapidly rising stock price are unsustainable given the companies’ sales and future prospects.

Canada cannabis industry merger creates pot giant [Yahoo News]

Canadian cannabis producer Aurora’s Can$1.1 billion (US$890 million) acquisition of rival CanniMed Therapeutics on Wednesday will create a global pot behemoth as the legalization of recreational-use of marijuana takes hold.

Ontario consulting public on allowing cannabis lounges after legalization [The Globe and Mail]

Ontario is considering allowing licensed cannabis consumption lounges in the province once recreational marijuana is legalized this summer, and is asking the public to weigh in on the idea. The proposal is being met with optimism by some cannabis activists and municipal politicians who say the provincial government’s approach on where legal weed can be consumed has been too restrictive so far. Under rules outlined in the fall, the province intends to sell marijuana in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to people 19 and older, with a ban on pot’s consumption in public spaces or workplaces.

HEALTH

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant [MedicalXpress]

Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple’s chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH), was the first to evaluate the link between fecundability—the average per-cycle probability of conception—and marijuana use.

A Complete Guide to Cannabis Tinctures [Medical Marijuana Inc News]

In this guide, learn everything you need to know about cannabis tinctures, including what they are, their benefits, how they’re used, and how you can make your own.

Pharmaceutical cannabis could reduce sudden falls for treatment-resistant epileptics [thejournal.ie]

People with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe and lifelong form of childhood-onset epilepsy, were found to have benefitted from the treatment.

OTHER DRUGS

Adults only brands served up to children at the Australian Open [Institute of Alcohol Studies]

Cricket and the football codes are the sports we usually associate with alcohol marketing. This summer Lion’s XXXX brand was highly visible during the Ashes series, having taken over the cricket’s beer sponsorship from CUB’s VB in 2017. Tennis is rarely thought to be in the same league – less proletarian, more bourgeois perhaps. Nevertheless, things are changing down at the Rod Laver Arena because this year Tennis Australia has signed up four booze sponsors: Coopers, Jacobs Creek, Canadian Club and Aperol Spritz.

Young Australians Want Pill Testing At Music Fests And Would Heed The Results [Huffington Post]

The push to legalize drug checking at music festivals in Australia is gathering momentum, with a new study reporting nearly 90 percent of participants said they would use such a service, if it were available, before taking illicit drugs. In a study of 642 people from Western Sydney University, conducted at a major Australian music festival in 2016 and published in the Harm Reduction Journal, more than 54 percent of respondents said they would be highly likely to use a free drug testing service at a festival. Another 33 percent said they would be somewhat likely to use it, making a total of 87 percent saying it would be useful. Participants also said the results of a test would influence their decision to take that drug, with 65 percent saying they would not take any substance found to contain methamphetamine, and 57 percent saying they would not take a substance containing the anesthetic ketamine.

Why police don’t roadside test for cocaine [The Northern Star]

Cocaine users and their parents are too influential to be roadside tested, claims a Greens MP. Currently, drivers across Australia are only tested for methylamphetamine (ice), ecstasy and cannabis in random roadside stings. After a successful push to test drivers for cocaine in NSW later this year, David Shoebridge MP told news.com.au the excuse that it is too expensive to detect in other states is “bulls**t”. He claims the equipment police have been using across such as the Drager 5000, for second stage testing in NSW, has been capable of testing for eight dangerous drugs, including cocaine and benzodiazepines, for years. According to its website, the Drager 5000 can test for drugs of abuse, such as amphetamines, designer amphetamines, opiates, cocaine and metabolites, benzodiazepines and cannabinoids. However, Mr Shoebridge says there is a “policy decision” to pick models which can only detect ice, ecstasy and cannabis.

Scorpion Smoking – the Latest Pakistani Craze? [High Times]

A grimly fascinating report in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper April 15 features an interview with an aging scorpion-venom addict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the border with Afghanistan. Sohbat Khan, 74, says he has been smoking scorpions to get high off the venom since the ’60s, and only recently managed to kick the habit—by switching to opium.

Salvia Leads Chemists on a Psychedelic Existential Journey [Wired]

On August 2, synthetic organic chemist Ryan Shenvi stood before 300 people at the Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds conference and told them something he knew was sacrilegious: He’d synthesized salvinorin A, the active ingredient in the wildly intense hallucinogen salvia, and he hadn’t just copied a molecule, as synthetic organic chemists are wont to do. He had subtly changed its molecular structure, as synthetic organic chemists are not wont to do.

4 big takeaways from the most comprehensive report on e-cigarettes yet [Vox]

E-cigarettes help adult smokers quit tobacco. But they also entice young people to start smoking.

FUNDRAISERS

Supporting Andrew Katelaris [GoFundMe]

Dr Andrew Katelaris is currently incarcerated facing severe penalties for prescribing and providing Whole Plant Cannabis to children with a condition formerly known as “Intractable Epilepsy.” Because of Andrew and others research he can confidently say that before “whole plant cannabis” there was no successful treatment for the hundreds of children with this supposedly untreatable condition.

Help fathers medical cannabis legal battle for sick daughters [MyCause]

We are hoping to be an example to show the Australian government that our laws need to change. If you want medical cannabis legalised we’re asking you to please donate to help us fight this battle.

 

EVENTS

CANBERRA CANNABIS PROTEST FIRST DAY OF PARLIAMENT [Hemp Embassy]

Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy is once again sending its giant inflatable mascots, the Big Joint and the LGTB (Lovely Giant Tincture Bottle), to Canberra for the first day of parliament, Monday February 5th.

“We welcome anyone who is sick and tired of the ridiculous restrictions on Cannabis use to join us,” says president Michael Balderstone. “We’ve been saying for decades this is a miracle medicine, and now the evidence is in, but we are hunted the same as ever. Something has to change, and soon.”

“Our Health Minister Hunt keeps saying it’s legal but the truth is that only applies to people on their death bed – if they’re lucky! How about we try using cannabis before that point? Why don’t we take notice of California and what’s happened there over the last 20 years?”

“We will not let up on this serious injustice that is based on lies and misinformation which the powers that be NOW KNOW! The results from legalising cannabis in some American states cannot be ignored forever and in every case they point to a win win for everyone. Except the pharmaceutical industry!”

For more information contact the HEMP Embassy 02 66 891842 or Michael 0472760236

Hemp Farming: Growing Renewable Economies OPEN EDUCATION DAY [Industrial Medical Food [IMF]

When: Friday 9th February 11 am to 4pm.
Where: 87/89 Cecil St Nimbin

Cost $20 includes Hemp Tea and delicious legal Hemp Foods

                 Follow Balloons.

Why: To educate and promote Hemp farming for:
Industrial: Building products, super strong plastics 3D printing.
Medical: Treating cancer, epilepsy, pain relief, etc etc etc !
Food: Twice the protein of meat. Omega 3, 6 & 9. Super Food!

Products made from Mining & Fossil Fuels can be made From HEMP grown by family Farmers

For further information contact Wadzy / Ph: 0407 895 569.
E: wadzywell@gmail.com / www.virginhempfarms.com

The CryptoPsychedelic Summit

Tulum, Mexico; 3rd – 3rd, February 2018. The CryptoPsychedelic Summit will bring together leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science to discuss new possibilities in research, innovation, and community building.

Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

Thanks to Disco Sista for documenting the many medican workshops that the Embassy has hosted in Nimbin over the past 3 years. If you’ve missed these amazing gatherings, then you can still watch the speakers online.

Click on this link to head to Disco Sista’s Nimbin Medican YouTube Channel.