AUSTRALIA & NZ

Greens want cannabis to be made legal [The Conversation]

The Greens say cannabis should be legalised and sold in plain packaging, with its wholesale distribution monopolised by a new government agency.

Greens propose full legalisation of cannabis [The Guardian]

Richard Di Natale’s policy would also allow sales in licensed shops and up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.

Federal government rejects Greens push to legalise cannabis [SBS]

Health Minister Greg Hunt has spoken out against a Greens push to legalise cannabis use, arguing it is a gateway drug to others.

Australia’s Medicinal Cannabis Patients Will Get 48-Hour Access…In A Few Months [BuzzFeed]

Many within Australia’s increasingly vocal medicinal cannabis community were elated last Friday when state and territory leaders met at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and agreed to a national scheme that would see patients’ waiting time for cannabis reduced from months to days. However, there is confusion around just what the COAG decision means. While politicians have met and agreed to the idea in principle, patients will still have to navigate the double-approval process via state governments and the Therapeutic Goods Administration while the faster pathway becomes a reality.

Legal highs: arguments for and against legalising cannabis in Australia [The Conversation]

The research to date suggests there is no significant increase (or decrease) in use or other outcomes where cannabis legalisation has occurred. It’s possible the harm may shift, for example from legal harms to other types of harms. We don’t have data to support or dispel that possibility.

420 Smoke In-Out [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

NORTH AMERICA

Trump Backs State-Level Marijuana Regulation, Lifting Pot Stocks [Bloomberg]

President Donald Trump endorsed letting states decide how to regulate marijuana, in a major boost for the legal pot industry. Marijuana stocks surged on the news, which removed the threat posed by Sessions’s decision in January to rescind an Obama-era policy that helped states legalize recreational pot.

Medical marijuana push spreads to Utah, Oklahoma [MedicalXpress]

The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.

Marijuana-based drug gets positive review from US agency [MedicalXpress]

British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking permission to sell its purified form of an ingredient found in cannabis—one that doesn’t get users high—as a medication for rare, hard-to-treat seizures in children. If successful, the company’s liquid formula would be the first government-approved drug derived from the cannabis plant in the U.S.

Marijuana use and perceptions among 12th graders in response to legalization [BASIS]

Some fear that legalization leads to increased marijuana usage among adolescents. This fear is challenged by the observed increases in perception that marijuana is harmless, paired with stable rates of daily use over time. Barriers to access and cost might be additional factors that limit marijuana use among this group. These findings suggest that the continued use of well-designed and long-term studies can help policymakers make informed decisions about the true effect of legalization.

Meghan Markle’s nephew is a ‘proud’ cannabis farmer ‘planning new strain of the drug called Markle’s Sparkle’ [Mirror]

Meghan Markle ‘s nephew is helping to farm millions of dollars worth of cannabis, according to reports. Tyler Dooley is even believed to be planning on developing a new strain of the drug to mark the royal wedding. According to reports, he will call the potent hybrid batch ‘Markle’s Sparkle’. Recreational marijuana was made legal in the US state Oregon, where Tyler lives, in 2015. Reports say Tyler is proud of being part of the industry, which remains illegal in the UK.

Oregon Marijuana Dispensaries Pass Latest Round of Decoy Tests to See Whether They’d Sell to Minors [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Marijuana dispensaries in Oregon are successfully keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, suggest the most recent random minor decoy operations performed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). In the latest round of operations targeting 43 dispensaries in Portland, Bend, and Salem, all refused to sell marijuana to minors.

Sen. Mitch McConnell Introduces His Bill to Legalize Hemp [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, last week introduced a bill to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States. McConnell’s bill, The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (S. 2667) would remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and federally legalize the commercial cultivation of the sustainable crop.

Poll finds 87% of millennials believe marijuana is safer than alcohol [The Cannabist]

Everyone knows millennials love marijuana. Now, a handful of polls by The Tylt back up that claim — and the numbers are staggering. In a study which polled over 6,000 millenial-aged users, 84% believe marijuana should be legalized.

Here are the people most likely to use marijuana based on their professions, study says [ABC]

In the “accommodation and food services” industry, 30 percent of workers reported smoking pot at least once in the past month. Those in the job category “food preparation and serving” had the highest use at 32 percent of workers. “Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media” came in second at 28 percent. Marijuana use was reported by 19 to 21 percent of workers in “production,” “life, physical, and social science,” “sales and related,” and “installation, maintenance, and repair.”

Wine veteran hopes to elevate cannabis with wine and food pairings [San Francisco Chronicle]

“I just want people to realize that you can incorporate cannabis into so many different experiences. It can be more high-end,” she said. “It’s important for people to realize it’s not just for ‘lazy stoners.’ It’s actually a very intelligent, intellectual plant. People can think of it like they think of a wine.”

Canada To Measure Marijuana Use By Testing Sewage [National Public Radio]

Six cities have agreed to contribute samples from the place where all drains congregate — their wastewater treatment plants. Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Alberta; Vancouver and Surrey in British Columbia; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, will participate. All told, the network would capture data on drug use from about a quarter of Canada’s total 36 million inhabitants.

 

UK & EUROPE

75% of Drug Offences in England and Wales are Cannabis Possession [Talking Drugs]

On 17 April, the House of Commons Library published data on the 136,352 recorded drug offences that took place between April 2016 and March 2017 in England and Wales. According to these findings, around 83 per cent of all drug offences recorded by the police were for drug possession offences. Over 75 per cent of all recorded drug offences were for cannabis possession.

Oxford college forced to cancel ‘cannabis themed’ bop after being accused of cultural appropriation [Evening Standard]

One undergraduate said the college’s elected welfare representatives were worried that the event could be exclusionary. “Anyone who might have negative experiences of drugs or addiction might be affected by it,” the student told The Daily Telegraph.

The Hague bans cannabis smoking in city centre in Dutch first [The Guardian]

The Hague has become the first Dutch city to ban the smoking of cannabis around its city centre, central railway station and major shopping areas, in the latest example of a wider trend towards reining in country’s traditional gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy).

WORLD

Israeli Pharmacies to Sell MMJ Under Pilot Program This Month [Ganjapreneur]

Starting April 20, some Israeli pharmacies will begin selling medical cannabis products under a national pilot program, CTECH reports. The program, approved by the government in 2016, will see participation from 20 pharmacies as part of a broader Ministry of Health-approved expansion.

Italian firm files patent for solar powered cannabis and cryptocurrency farm [Global Construction Review]

Evolution BNK, an Italian medical cannabis grower, is planning to build 20,000 sq m of solar powered greenhouses which will combine marijuana growing and cryptocurrency mining. 

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Cannabis harm to teenagers’ brains ‘overstated’, finds study [Independent]

Studies have shown it is 114 times less harmful than alcohol, but marijuana’s impact on adolescents’ brain development and mental health is a major concern for policy makers in debates over legalisation.

Marijuana-related ER visits by Colorado teens on the rise [Reuters]

Between 2005 and 2015, the proportion of emergency department or urgent care visits by youth ages 13 to 20 for pot-related illnesses rose from 1.8 per 1,000 visits to 4.9 per 1,000, the study team reports in Journal of Adolescent Health.

‘Cannabis strengthened our bond’: can pot make you a better parent? [The Guardian]

Touting the benefits of ‘being present’, some parents claim marijuana helps with their job – but the facts are uncertain.

Can You Treat Bipolar Disorder With Medical Marijuana? [High Times]

Research on cannabis might offer brighter news for those dealing with it. Since medical weed has gained acceptance, it has played a critical role in managing other disorders, like borderline personality disorder. But what about when dealing with the teeter-totter of mania and depression seen in bipolar disorder? It’s an important question for both doctors and bipolar patients when they decide on treatment. Can you treat bipolar disorder with medical marijuana?

Binge Drinking Drops In States With Recreational Marijuana [Forbes]

Binge drinking across the United States is at an all time high. Yet, a new report from the Wall Street investment firm Cowen & Company shows that this dangerous alcoholic behavior is on the decline in states that have legalized the leaf in a manner similar to alcohol.

Can Cannabis Help Prevent Domestic Violence? [High Times]

Research showed that the more often married couples smoked together, the less likely they were to engage in forms of domestic violence.

Disaster For Big Pharma As 50% Of People Report Quitting Pills For CBD [Health Expert]

According to a recent survey conducted by cannabis market research firm the Brightfield Group and HelloMD, an online medical cannabis community, nearly half of CBD (cannabidiol) users give up prescription drugs and over the counter medications in favor of the non-psychoactive substance.

POLICY & BUSINESS

Should the Popular Strain Green Crack be Renamed? [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Strain names like Green Crack spark a conversation about the perception of the cannabis industry in the age of legalization.

High on the list of priorities: Cannabis beauty takes off [The Age]

2018 is set to be the year of extending the beauty boundaries with the rise of body part specific masks for the décolletage, arms and breasts, silk cocoon finger balls that you place on your fingertips to help with exfoliation and one of the hottest ingredient trends on the radar this year, cannabis.

Study Warns Sky-High Marijuana Taxes Drive Consumers Back to the Black Market [Entrepreneur]

State governments eager for cannabis revenue need to remember the people who have sold pot tax-free for years are still in business.

Cannabis Industry Preps for Biggest 420 Ever [Cannabis Now]

According to MJ Freeway, the statistics from last year supports the building excitement for this year’s 420. Their widely accepted data in Colorado shows over $37.5 million in sales on April 20, 2016. The day marked a 192 percent increase from the average day, but it only took 30 percent more foot traffic to pull off. Now, add the rest of the country to this and you can understand the madness.

Marijuana Is The Fastest-Growing Job Category, Top Recruiting CEO Says [Forbes]

The head of a leading firm that connects businesses with job seekers says that employment in the legal marijuana industry is growing faster than any other field.

Marijuana firms use creative marketing tactics to skirt strict regulations [The Globe and Mail]

It may be mere months before adults will be able to walk into a store and score legal weed, but the strict rules for marketing and advertising mean it is far from a free for all. While deep-pocketed producers ink contracts with celebrities, other marijuana companies are exploring creative tactics to generate brand buzz, such as the use of augmented reality, branded mindfulness sessions, mobile promotional campaigns and cannabis-flavoured products — minus the active drugs (for now).

 

OTHER DRUGS

Why you should care about jailing ‘junkies’ [Australia21]

If you think jailing someone for drug use is likely to fix a problem, think again. Evidence shows that criminalisation of drug use actually causes more harm to the person who’s caught and convicted. So what? Why should the rest of us care about someone being punished for what everyone knows is a crime? Well here’s why: because of the collateral damage to families and the negative flow on effects across our communities. When the wheels fall off, we all end up paying.

FUNDRAISERS/CAMPAIGNS

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.

Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]

Andrew is behind bars again and may be there until the trial starts in November unless a Supreme Court appeal passes. Funds to date have gone to a legal team plus barrister. More recently a lawyer has been engaged to appear in court RE the current matter. 3 lawyers will now have visited Andrew in jail since the beginning of his first in Parklea and now in the Hunter Valley.

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.

Just Legalise It [The Greens]

Wow, what an incredible response we’ve seen to our plan to legalise cannabis for adult use! We knew support to legalise it was big and growing, but I’m so inspired by the positive response to our announcement from health experts, the law enforcement community and progressive Australians. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Liberal party and their cronies in the Murdoch media. Their campaign to spread lies and misinformation has already begun. Yesterday, Health Minister Greg Hunt span the lie that, “The risk of graduating to ice or to heroin from extended marijuana use is real.” Former Victorian Liberal Leader Jeff Kennett thinks our “Russian Roulette” policy will lead to more serious drug use (while proudly stating his support for medically supervised injecting facilities) and the Daily Telegraph today labels our campaign a “Loopy Green pot plan”. The conservatives are scared, and trying to shut this important conversation down before it begins. We can’t let that happen.

LEGALISING CANNABIS [The Greens]

Let’s get real about cannabis. The “war on drugs” has been lost. These days, millions of Australians choose to use cannabis and countries all around the world are changing their laws after realising prohibition does more harm than good. It’s high time we joined them and legalised it. That’s why I’m proud to announce today that the Greens are launching our national plan to legalise cannabis for adult use.

 

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

NIMBINS 26th MARDIGRASS. A Celebration, Almost! [Hemp Embassy]

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

Organisers of Nimbins 26th annual MardiGrass on the weekend of May 4 – 6, say there is plenty of interest now the law is finally in question. “It looks like the argument is pretty much over as to whether Cannabis is a medicine or not, it’s just about who gets to make all the money from it now,” says Michael Balderstone, president of Nimbins HEMP Embassy, chief sponsor of the annual Cannabis law reform protest and gathering.

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.

Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]

Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) would like to thank the psychedelic community for it’s ongoing support and attendance at our recent Psychedelic Symposium. Since the event we’ve had a lot of inquiries about obtaining copies of the new EGA Journal 4 and other special merchandise. To browse, please feel free to head to the EGA Shop online or click on the items below. This is also your chance to pick up classic and new T-shirt designs. Please keep in mind much of the stock is very limited so don’t delay!

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.