AUSTRALIA & NZ

Let the good times roll! [Daily Mail]

The yearly protest against cannabis prohibition held in the hills of New South Wales has once again attracted a host of revelers who made the pilgrimage to the tiny village to support their message of decriminalisation.

Green Rush [ABC]

The race to riches for Australia’s new marijuana moguls. Tonight we take you inside Australia’s booming medicinal cannabis industry, where fortunes are being made, amid promises of revolutionary new products to treat ailments ranging from cancer to insomnia.

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.

 

NORTH AMERICA

Director of drug abuse institute offers words of caution on marijuana [Boston Globe]

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was in Boston on Thursday to speak at a symposium sponsored by Boston University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction. Before her talk, she sat down with the Globe to talk about marijuana legalization and the opioid crisis.

Support for Marijuana in U.S. Hits New High [Medical Marijuana Inc]

A new nationwide survey indicates that the opinion of Americans is continuing to become more favorable with regard to legalizing marijuana. Voters in the United States now support marijuana legalization by a 63 percent to 33 percent margin, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll. Support is up 5 percentage points since Quinnipiac’s last poll in March, and is now at its highest level ever.

U.S. Cannabis Will Be a $25 Billion Industry by 2025 [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The marijuana industry in the United States should reach $25 billion in sales by 2025, according to the latest estimates by industry analytics firm New Frontier Data.

Florida’s medical marijuana program is attracting troubled doctors: ‘It’s like the Wild Wild West’ [Tampa Bay Times]

Marijuana doctors are more likely to have been disciplined or arrested. Some have lost their licenses in other states.

Here’s How Much Money States Are Raking In From Legal Marijuana Sales [Forbes]

Much of the country’s outmoded views on cannabis persist, but in the arena of legislation, these arguments are falling on deaf ears. Legalization of cannabis has opened a door to a massive, new source of revenue for state governments. Click through to read about one of the fastest-growing industries to invest in for 2018, and how much states are making off it.

Study: Legalization Reduces Crime in Border Towns [Leafly]

Recent data shows an interesting phenomenon in Southwestern states that border Mexico: As those states have legalized medical cannabis, they’ve seen a fairly dramatic decline in the rate of violent crimes. The study was published by The Royal Economic Society in England. Researchers wanted to provide evidence for the claim that legalization indeed reduces violent crimes committed by Mexican drug trafficking cartels. These organizations are the largest supplier of illegal drugs, including cannabis, to America.

Michigan Gets to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Voters in Michigan recently got word that they would have the opportunity to legalize marijuana for recreational use when they head to the polls November 6. Michigan’s State Board of Canvassers last week ruled in a 4-0 vote that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol obtained enough signatures for their recreational marijuana measure to qualify for the ballot. “This November, Michigan voters will finally get the chance to eliminate Michigan’s outdated marijuana laws,” said Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol spokesperson John Truscott, in a statement. “Just like with alcohol, it is clear that prohibition doesn’t work and that regulation and taxation is a far better solution.”

Sens. Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren to Introduce Cannabis Bill for States’ Rights [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado told Yahoo News last week that he and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren are crafting a bill that would protect state-legal cannabis from interference from the federal government. The bill, which Gardner said could be introduced as early as this week, would give states the power to completely legalize marijuana.

Canadian legal market will fail unless cannabis is $1 a gram, say experts [verp]

Chad Chaderson, a self-described cannabis aficionado and advocate, says legalization will be an abject failure because the government-mandated price of $10 a gram will be too high, allowing the black market to thrive.

Cannabis in health products: How CMA is working to protect Canadians​ [Canadian Medical Association]

Today in Canada, there are more than 220 health products for sale containing cannabis. And with legalization on track for the summer of 2018, that number is sure to grow.

Cannabis advertising in Canada: What we know right now [Lexology]

The Cannabis Act would prohibit the promotion of cannabis, cannabis accessories or services related to cannabis. Activities such as broadcasting, inducements, and packaging and labelling would also be largely restricted.

 

 

 

UK & EUROPE

U.K. Royal College of Physicians Calls for Legalization of Cannabis, Cocaine, Heroin [Ganjapreneur]

The Royal College of Physicians, a professional organization in the United Kingdom which represents 26,000 medical professionals, have called for the legalization of cannabis, heroin, and cocaine saying the criminal justice system is stopping people from seeking help, according to a report from the Sun. The position is in line with a Royal Society of Public Health campaign, called “Taking a New Line on Drugs” that seeks to move the nation from a law enforcement-based drugs strategy toward one based on public health and harm reduction. The RCP adopted the new policy during the meeting of its general counsel.

Tapes reveal Francis Bacon’s shock at 1968 drug bust [The Guardian]

Francis Bacon was so shaken after the police raided his studio and found cannabis hidden in the base of an African carved statue that he vented his fury at his easel. To release his tension, the artist painted a portrait of his then lover George Dyer, to whom the drugs belonged and who had tipped off the police after a row, a previously unheard recording reveals.

German Imports of Canadian Medical Cannabis Likely to Continue [Marijuana]

Those who feared legalization in Canada could stop the flow of  medical cannabis imported to Germany can breathe a sigh of relief. Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) confirmed it will continue to license the import of medical cannabis from Canada.

Lidl offers locally grown cannabis to Swiss shoppers [The Guardian]

You may have heard about their cut-price stollen, and possibly their surprisingly flavoursome jam. But you probably won’t have sampled the latest range offered by the supermarket chain Lidl: locally grown cannabis. Two products derived from hemp flowers are being offered in Swiss stores as an alternative to rolling tobacco.

 

 

 

WORLD

Gaston Browne becomes world’s first leader to apologise for cannabis prohibition and calls for reparations [Transform]

In an extraordinary statement a couple of weeks ago, the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Gaston Browne apologised to the Rastafarian community for the prohibition of cannabis and called for reparations to be made to them.  In response to a request from cannabis activists for a statement for 4/20 day (when cannabis activists celebrate its use) the Prime Minister went beyond anything that we’ve seen from global leaders ending the prohibition of cannabis.  It’s worth listening to his groundbreaking statement here.

Zimbabwe legalises cannabis for medical, scientific use [Times Live]

A statutory instrument entitled Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations, said prospective producers can apply to the health ministry for a licence to grow cannabis but under strict conditions.

 

 

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Cannabis versus Cancer [Scientific American]

We know weed can mitigate the side effects of the disease and its treatments, but it might also fight malignancies directly.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Suspected As Cause For Fibromyalgia [Fibrowomen]

Medical cannabis has been anecdotally shown to reduce many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia including pain, fatigue, sleep problems, digestive problems and mental fog.

CBD oil: all the rage, but is it really safe and effective? [MedicalXpress]

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become the hot new product in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems—everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for most of these touted benefits.

It’s Time for a New Discussion of Marijuana’s Risks [The New York Times]

Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering released a comprehensive report on cannabis use. At almost 400 pages long, it reviewed both potential benefits and harms.

The role of cannabis in the opioid crisis is focus of new expert roundtable discussion [EurekAlert!]

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discussed how medicinal cannabis can impact the opioid crisis, though clinical research to quantify this is difficult given strict federal laws. The expert roundtable, titled “Cannabis and the Opioid Crisis,” is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers . The article is available open access on theCannabis and Cannabinoid Research website.

What do we know about women, cannabis and psychosis? [The Mental Elf]

We know far more about the impact of cannabis on men than women, particularly the relationship between cannabis and psychosis.

How Autoflowering Cannabis is Changing the World of Growing [High Times]

Over the past decade, dedicated breeders and growers have created autoflower strains and growing techniques to rival their photoperiod cousins. After ten-plus years as an also-ran, autoflowering cannabis is ready to take center stage.

Understanding Terpenes: Pinene [Cannabis Now]

A deeper look into the fragrant oils and powerful compounds that boost the healing potential of cannabis.

Say Goodbye To Your Favorite Star Wars Strains: Copyright Holders Are Striking Back At The Cannabis Market [Civilized]

If you’ve had difficult tracking down a few grams of ‘Skywalker’ indica in past months you’re not alone. George Lucas’s famous ‘Star Wars‘ brand is just one of many that has begun to crackdown on trademark infringements in the cannabis industry. As pot becomes increasing legalized across the United States, trademark holders are becoming more concerned about potential damages caused by allowing their products to be associated with cannabis, according to Leafly’s Deserea Weitmann. Additionally, the legal status of cannabis allows more power to prosecute when these kinds of infringements come up.

Marijuana Users Report High Rates Of Dependence In Global Drug Survey [Huffington Post]

A large percentage of marijuana users around the world report signs of dependence, even as cannabis appears to be one of the safest and most commonly used drugs overall, according to the results of a survey released on Wednesday. The findings are contained in the 2018 Global Drug Survey, a detailed questionnaire that compiled responses from more than 130,00 people in over 40 countries in the past year. One section of the survey used the “Severity of Dependence Scale,” or SDS, a popular tool that asks respondents five questions regarding impaired control over drug use and anxieties related to consumption and quitting.

POLICY & BUSINESS

YouTube Remains Silent as Weed Pages Are Purged [High Times]

YouTube is shutting down, and issuing “strikes” against, accounts that feature marijuana or marijuana-adjacent content at an unprecedented rate. The crackdown is leaving many in the community who’ve built large subscriber bases and revenue streams wondering, “what the hell changed?”

‘I Heart Jane’ Offers Cannabis Ecommerce And ‘Jane Lanes’ [Forbes]

As a West Point graduate and Apache helicopter pilot, Soc Rosenfeld was “anti-cannabis,” he said. That changed when he returned from the war in Iraq. “I was always operating at an intensity level of 11,” he said, and that translated to a challenging re-entry to civilian life. Rosenfeld found the calming effects of cannabis helped him to re-adjust to the pace of life at home. He also found many other veterans using it — to help with PTSD, sleeplessness, and anxiety, even though the Veterans Administration medical staff is prohibited from prescribing the substance.

INCB should exert caution in presenting data on cannabis regulation [International Drug Policy Consortium]

At the recent 63rd Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organisation of American States, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) member who was present, Raúl Martin Del Campo Sánchez, spoke on a panel titled “The link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Drug Policy: A focus on international organisations”.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Groovin the Moo pill tests find lethal stimulant, paint and toothpaste in drugs [ABC]

A total of 85 substances were tested at the music festival over the weekend in an Australian first by Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE), with many consumers surprised by what was revealed.

Pill testing at music festivals will save lives, politicians say after Groovin the Moo trials [ABC]

Federal Labor backbencher senator Lisa Singh said: “If we are going to get serious about harm minimisation, then pill testing at a health facility at a music festival without fear of police needs to be an option.”

 

 

 

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.

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.

Multiple Sclerosis: 23 May 2018

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.