AUSTRALIA & NZ

Medical cannabis is legal. That does not mean it works [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Tens of thousands have applied for legal access to medical cannabis, mostly to treat chronic pain, estimates Dr Alex Wodak, president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. So far, only 525 patients have been approved. “The community is onside, the politicians are onside, the government officials are not onside,” says Dr Wodak. “Why stop these people?”

E-cigarettes: NSW bans vaping in public places with $550 fine for offenders [The Guardian]

Health officials say vapours can contain cancer-causing substances as ban brings state in line with Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and ACT.

Expats say Australian woman on drug charges in Cambodia criticised Hun Sen [The Guardian]

Rachel Prins had openly and publicly criticised prime minister and that could have been catalyst for her arrest, expats post on blog.

Denying elderly stroke patients medical cannabis a form of elder abuse, Grey Power branch says [NZ Herald]

Grey Power Otamatea representative, Beverley Aldridge, says elderly people in chronic pain should be able to grow their own cannabis.

NORTH AMERICA

Legal marijuana could soon be a bigger market than fizzy drinks [Independent]

Cannabis could soon become a bigger industry than fizzy drinks and it has already started putting pressure on alcohol sales. If marijuana is made legal nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75bn (£53bn) in sales by that year, according to a new note from the investment bank Cowen.

John Boehner: Ex-Republican speaker joins marijuana firm despite previously being ‘unalterably opposed’ to legalisation [Independent]

‘My thinking on cannabis has evolved’.

Sessions Pushes Death Penalty for Some Drug Cases [Medical Marijuana Inc]

In the one-page memo, Sessions advised U.S. attorneys to use a statute that gives them the ability to seek the death penalty on large-scale drug crimes that are also connected to murder. The statute, in place since 1994, has not been used to seek the death penalty before.

U.S. Sees Dramatic Increase in Hemp Production Amid Push for Legalization [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The number of hemp producers in the top 10 hemp-growing states doubled from 2016 to 2017, most likely fueled by relaxed state regulations and increased acceptance of CBD and hemp products.

New Jersey Estimates Recreational Marijuana Could Raise $60 Million in Tax Revenue [Medical Marijuana Inc]

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy included estimated tax revenue for legalized marijuana in his upcoming budget, demonstrating commitment to his campaign promise to add New Jersey to the the nine other states with adult-use cannabis markets. While legalization faces significant opposition in the New Jersey legislature, the move represents a small step forward on the path to overturning the staunchly anti-drug policies enacted by former governor Chris Christie.

Alaska House Passes Resolution Telling Federal Government to Leave Legal Marijuana Alone [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The Alaska House of Representatives last week unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution demanding the federal government not interfere in the state’s voter-approved adult use marijuana industry. Recreational marijuana became legal in Alaska in November 2014 after voters approved Measure 2.

Will California Lower Taxes on Marijuana? Lawmakers are Considering It [Medical Marijuana Inc]

California’s legal marijuana sales market is less than three months old and lawmakers are already considering ways to improve it. Earlier this month, a pair of bipartisan lawmakers proposed a plan to slash the current state tax rates in an effort to encourage consumers to get their marijuana from licensed shops rather than the illegal market.

Quebec signs marijuana supply deals with six Canadian companies [The Globe and Mail]

Hydropothecary Corp, Canopy Growth and Aphria Inc are among six companies that have signed agreements with Quebec’s liquor board to supply the province with marijuana when Canada legalizes its recreational use this year, the companies said in separate statements on Wednesday.

 

 

UK & EUROPE

I Tested the Weed You Can ‘Buy Legally’ in the UK [Vice]

Over 200 companies sell cannabis they claim is legal throughout Europe, so I ordered a bag. The high-CBD weed I ordered was fun to try, and kudos to its producers for finding a loophole that allows them to sell it legally – under European law, at least. However, in the UK, it is yet another reminder of how regressive the British government’s approach is to cannabis. Not only are they purposefully ignoring evidence from countries all over the world, but in doing so are actively harming the people who call the UK home.

Inverclyde mum crowdfunds to buy illegal cannabis oil drug for daughter [BBC]

A Scottish mother is asking strangers to help to buy her terminally-ill daughter illegal drugs to prolong her life.

WORLD

Cops who claimed mice ate missing marijuana fired [New York Post]

Eight police officers in Argentina, including a former town police commissioner, have been dismissed from their posts after four of them claimed that more than half a ton of missing marijuana was carried off by mice, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Medical cannabis bill advances in South Korea [Marijuana Business Daily]

A revised law to permit the use of medical marijuana in South Korea is scheduled for review by key lawmakers in the Legislative Welfare Committee later this month, the first real test for the bill since its introduction in the legislature two months ago.

Most Luxembourg residents want cannabis legalised [Luxembourg Times]

The majority of Luxembourg residents think cannabis should be fully legalised for personal use and not just for medical reasons, according to a survey carried out by TNS Ilres.

Israel’s Global Cannabis Dominance Will Help the U.S. [Above the Law]

Researchers in the U.S. are eager to run trials with high quality Israeli cannabis strains they cannot get anywhere else.

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Two More Studies Suggest Legalization Could Fight the Opioid Epidemic [Marijuana Times]

For years, medical marijuana advocates have pushed for legalization to provide an alternative to prescription medications – with one of the main conditions repeatedly mentioned being chronic pain of any sort.

New analysis of alcohol and cannabis – what’s the harm? [Virgin]

We’re all used to weighing up the benefits and pitfalls in our decision making. Is it worth the cost? Is it safe? Will I be able to get up in the morning?

Cannabis for veterinary patients gets research attention, funding [VIN News]

In the first study to attract substantial independent funding in the United States, a neurologist at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences has begun enrolling patients in a clinical trial to test the effects of the cannabis compound cannabidiol on 60 epileptic dogs who respond poorly to standard treatment. The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF) has awarded the research $356,022.

Daily cannabis use could delay at-risk youth from moving to higher risk drug use: study [The Globe and Mail]

Consuming cannabis every day could delay at-risk youth from moving on to injecting more dangerous drugs, according to a new study that casts doubt upon the age-old assumption that marijuana acts as a gateway for teens to try other more harmful substances.

Cannabis in Clean Technology- A New Renewable Energy [AZO Cleantech]

As a crop, hemp exhibits a good resistance to drought and pests, a well-developed root system that is resistant to soil erosion, as well as a much lower water requirement as compared to other crops like cotton. Hemp is therefore a highly versatile fiber crop that is particularly unique for its possession of both a high percentage of useful oil and biomass components.

POLICY & BUSINESS

International drug policy: Is the UN becoming irrelevant? [The Hill]

When the wave of adult marijuana legalization in some states started in 2013, the position of the federal authorities regarding the government’s international obligations to prohibit drugs was based on a flexible interpretation of the United Nations drug conventions, commonly known as the Brownfield doctrine. The legality of this interpretation has been questioned by the U.N. convention-control bodies. But as the U.S. administration grows more suspicious of multilateralism, is the United Nations still equipped, technically and politically, to be heard?

New Study Reveals Positive Effects of Decriminalization [Medical Marijuana Inc]

A new study from researchers associated with Washington University and the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that reducing the penalty for marijuana possession from a criminal to a civil offense leads to a dramatic decrease in drug arrests and does not cause increased youth consumption.

Harvard study finds liberal cannabis policies fuel innovation [Herb]

States with laxer cannabis laws had 22% more innovation.

The Founder of Blue Moon Is Coming Out with a THC-Infused Craft Beer That Gets You High [Maxim]

And it prevents dry mouth at the same time!

Announcing the launch of Beckley Canopy Therapeutics [Beckley Foundation]

The Beckley Foundation and Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (“Canopy Growth”) is pleased to announce the launch of Beckley Canopy Therapeutics (“Beckley Canopy”) at www.beckley-canopy.com, a partnership between its affiliate and biopharmaceutical research arm Canopy Health Innovations (“Canopy Health”) and drug research pioneer Lady Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation (“Beckley”).

  

CULTURE & HISTORY

Gravity Bongs: What They Are, Why Use Them, and How to Make Your Own [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Gravity bongs are a DIY way to take big hits of your favorite marijuana flower.

Running Amok on Marijuana: Re-hashing the grain of truth in one of the world’s most persistent myths about Cannabis [Points Blog]

Mexican ideas of “marijuana madness” eventually made their way north into the United States, providing the foundation for the distinctly American myth of “Reefer Madness.” In his amateur history of marijuana in America, cannabis advocate Larry Sloman offers a compelling explanation for widespread reports of “running amok”-type incidents.

CBD is cannabis that won’t get you high. So why are so many people using it? [The Washington Post]

For Generation Anxious, affixed to its phones and stricken by news alerts, overworked and under-rested, the mysterious substance known as CBD is quickly becoming the new “it” drug. Devotees whisper about CBD as a soothing remedy for racing thoughts and aching extremities. CBD for those restless nights. Also, somehow, CBD for those listless mornings.

The next big thing in marijuana won’t get you high [Quartzy]

I took a little hit, and soon after, felt my body pleasantly melt into a lawn chair, my ability to socialize not at all impeded. Truth told, at the end of a physically exhausting vacation and a can of Tecate, I was already pretty relaxed. But the CBD seemed to deepen that state.

How to spot child drug couriers campaign [BBC]

Bus drivers and train staff are being given tips on how to spot children being used as drug couriers. The signs – highlighted on new posters – include not having a local accent and receiving “excessive” text messages.

 

 

OTHER DRUGS

Australia is falling behind in the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs [3AW]

Australia is falling behind in the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs. Research into the positive effects of psychedelics, particularly in areas of mental health, is booming around the world. But despite Australia’s strong contribution to medical research, this is one area we’re lagging behind in. Dr Martin Williams from Monash University said it’s because the word “psychedelic” carries a stigma in Australia. “It really represented the counter-culture of the 1960s,” Dr Williams told Ross and John.

Australia missing psychedelic drug ‘renaissance’ for mental health [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australia is missing out on a global “renaissance” of research into use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health problems, two psychologists say.

The Project Psychedelic Science [YouTube]

On April the 9th, 2018 The Project aired a segment in which Stephen Bright and Major Steve McDonald from Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine advocate for Australia to join the rest of the international community and establish a psychedelic science program.

Rock in a hard place: the decline of the all-ages music venue [The Guardian]

Despite a rich history, live music in Brisbane, as in so many other cities around the world, struggles to survive against the pressures of gentrification, regulation and competition.

Review by researcher calls for pill testing to be part of Australia’s Drug Strategy [MedicalXpress]

On-site testing of ‘party drug’ pills could reduce the harms caused by drug use and potentially save lives, according to an independent review of Australia’s National Drug Strategy, published in the open access Harm Reduction Journal.

U.S. Expands Airstrikes on Afghan Opium Labs: Military Justifies Killing Civilians for Alleged Drug Offences [Talking Drugs]

The U.S. is using airstrikes to destroy opium labs, and kill any people who happen to be present in them, as part of its counter-terror military policy in Afghanistan.

Homemade alcohol containing mosquito repellent kills more than 50 people in Indonesia [Independent]

Muslim-majority Indonesia has high tax rates on alcohol.

FUNDRAISERS

Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]

Tony of Mullaway’s Medical Cannabis has once again been arrested for growing his cannabis medicine! Tony makes cannabis tincture for children with epilepsy and countless others with cancer, chronic pain, ms and the list goes on. Tony Bower has dedicated his life to helping others and now needs your help. All Donations would be greatly appreciated.

 

EVENTS

Medical Cannabis Webinar Series [BuddingTech]

The Medical Cannabis Council is hosting a national medical cannabis webinar series. The first two webinars will cover essential background information, including the Endocannabinoid System, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics. Then, leading specialists from around the world with experience treating patients with medical cannabis will cover efficacy data, treatment, dosage, and contraindications. These free, 30-minute webinars will come with 1 CPD point each, and will include a Q&A session with each presenter.

Chronic Pain
24 Apr 2018

Palliative Care
09 May 2018

Multiple Sclerosis
23 May 2018

420 Smoke In-Out [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

2018 Freedom rally for the alternative healer [Facebook]

20 April at 14:00–18:00 The River Torrens Rotunda South Australia: Far too many of our alternative healers are being persecuted and held back from doing what they do best. This year we show our support for them and their magnificent work for the community at large, and of course to show our authoritarians how displeased we are with their perpetuation of a harmful law.

26th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]

The legendary Cannabis Law Reform Rally & Gathering, 4th – 6th May 2018, Nimbin Nth NSW. Gathering of the tribe! Protest! Educate! Celebrate!

420 Demonstration at Nimbin Mardigrass 2017 [YouTube]

Max Stone and the MardiGrass crew put on a spectacular 420 protest at the 2017 festival in Nimbin. Nimbin was one of over 200 towns and cities across the world that participate in the Global Marijuana March. This is an outtake from Druglawed 2 Episode 4: Spokeswoman, featuring Australian MP Fiona Patten.

HHI Expo & SYMPOSIUM 2018 [HHI]

Sydney, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018. In May 2018 we will have the HHI Expo & Symposium. There will be a large array of speakers and like-minded individuals showcasing their products, to educate, enlighten and entertain an audience. This will be our third Expo in Sydney with a growing awareness of the diversity and benefits of HEMP.

Hemp & Cannabis Expo [Body Mind Psychic]

19-20 April, Adelaide Showground, Adelaide, South Australia.

DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]

IF YOU WANT IT: When Phil Bromley moved from Sydney to one of Australia’s most famous and surprisingly largest tourism destinations, Nimbin he felt like he’d found home. Six years on, after observing and experiencing the
relentless police harassment and mainstream media victimization of his new hometown, Phil felt it was time to let the town tell their story in their own words. ‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ is an eight part radio documentary series that looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world. Broadcast around Australia on the Community Radio Network, from the 18th April and podcast at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/exposing-the-war-on-drugs . With the spotlight on Nimbin, Australia’s most famous “alternative” town, the team from NIM FM, (Nimbin’s local community radio station), explore drug prohibition, medicinal cannabis, addiction and Nimbin itself; and offer some solutions to the costly drug war that has raged since the early 1930s.

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.