AUSTRALIA & NZ

Legalising cannabis adds $3.6bn to Australian economy, budget office says [The Guardian]

Legalising cannabis would reap the Australian economy almost $2bn a year, the Parliamentary Budget Office has found. The Greens plan to not only decriminalise cannabis but also legalise it for adult use is the latest case study of political differences, with both Labor and the Coalition looking into legalising it for medicinal use, but going no further. But claiming that the “war on drugs had failed”, the Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, last week proposed the full legalisation of cannabis, which would allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use.

The Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis) Bill 2018 [Parliament of Australia]

On 10 May 2018 the Senate  referred the provisions of the The Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis) Bill 2018 for inquiry and report by 17 August 2018. The deadline for submissions to this inquiry is 15 June 2018.

 

 

NORTH AMERICA

Tommy Chong Turns 80, Looks 50. Is It the Cannabis? [Leafly]

So much so that when the High Priest of Stoner Comedy turns 80 on Thursday — that’s right, 80 — he expects his Chong’s Choice brand of marijuana, available in legal dispensaries in several states, will be consumed in abundance at the parties his family is planning.

California Pulled In $60.9M in Marijuana Tax Revenue in 2018 First Quarter [Medical Marijuana Inc]

California made $60.9 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales in the first three months of 2018, according to new data provided by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

March marijuana sales top $41M in Nevada [Fox 5 Vegas]

Sales for recreational marijuana topped $41 million in March, setting a new record, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer Believes Marijuana Will Be Descheduled Within Five Years [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The battle to deschedule marijuana across the United States is fewer than four years away, predicts United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). The longtime champion of legalizing marijuana made his prediction during a recent presentation in front of a crowd of cannabis business owners at the Cultivation Classic in Portland, an event focused on advancing the cannabis cultivation industry.

Publix Billionaire Donates $800,000 to Fight Medical Marijuana in Florida [Time]

The family that founded the Publix supermarket chain has given $800,000 to a lobbying group fighting the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida.

Arizona Becomes Latest State to Legalize Hemp Farming [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Arizona last week became the latest U.S. state to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Senate Bill 1098, which provides funding for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program that allows universities and licensed growers to cultivate hemp.

College football player who uses cannabis oil to prevent seizures barred from playing [Independent]

A football player who takes cannabis oil to stop his seizures has been barred from playing at university due to using the drug for medicinal purposes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will not allow him to play American football, according to local TV station WGXA.

Congress To Vote on Legislation that Would Push Cannabis Research for Veterans [Medical Marijuana Inc]

House lawmakers have taken a significant step forward to facilitate research into the safety and effectiveness of cannabis for veterans. A bill that would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct cannabis research – the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 (H.R. 5520) – earlier this month passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs with a unanimous vote, advancing the legislation to the House floor.

Here’s What The DEA Told Agents About Cannabis Enforcement This Week [Marijuana Moment]

Officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) aren’t allowed to mess with businesses that sell certain cannabis products, the agency clarified to personnel in an internal directive on Tuesday.

A lot less pot is being sold in California than initially estimated, analyst says [Los Angeles Times]

With tax revenue from legal pot sales in California falling short of projections, a financial analysis firm estimated Tuesday that total sales this year will be $1.9 billion, significantly less than the $3.8 billion the company expected.

Ontario Moves to Take Hemp Out of Marijuana Regulations, Setting Up Canadian Hemp Wave [Dankr]

In a decision that could set a global precedent for hemp production, the Canadian province of Ontario decided hemp won’t be regulated the same as marijuana, leaving cannabis below 0.3% THC under the regulation of agriculture authorities.

 

UK & EUROPE

A majority support liberalising policy towards cannabis [YouGov UK]

The public has a reasonably liberal attitude towards “soft drugs” and perceive cannabis as being less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.

MPs seek to make medicinal marijuana legal [Channel 4]

Britain is the largest producer of medicinal cannabis, producing almost half of the world’s supply but those products are illegal in this country despite some evidence of their benefits in treating people. Some politicians remain sceptical about legalisation but a new cross-party group of MPs aims to change the law.

Doctors in Commons rally to overturn ban on medicinal cannabis [The Guardian]

Doctors in the House of Commons are to lead a campaign to change the law banning the medicinal use of cannabis, as a new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) forms to campaign for the issue.

‘The Government’s Drugs Minister Must Step Down’ [Vice]

Because of a huge conflict of interest, she can no longer talk about cannabis – the most commonly used illegal drug in the UK.

UK missing out on cannabis industry ‘green rush’ worth billions because of outdated policies, say experts [Independent]

European cannabis industry could be worth €56bn but Britain is missing out as other countries such as Germany move to legalise.

The Status Quo Has Changed In France [volteface]

In an interview on France Inter radio last week, French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said she is considering regulating medical cannabis in France.

French Law Regulating Cannabis Cultivation, Use Doesn’t Necessarily Restrict THC [Marijuana]

What if one of Europe’s nations with the strictest cannabis prohibitions had inadvertently legalized THC 11 years ago without anyone realizing it? This could be the case in France. But, there is a technicality.

Complications Arise From High Demand for Medical Cannabis in Germany [High Times]

When Germany legalized medical marijuana just over a year ago, government officials may not have realized just how over their heads they truly were. The demand for the plant, for medicinal purposes, has been much higher than anticipated, and as a result, the newly christened industry is still figuring out how to meet the needs of its thousands of patients. Typically, such a hot commodity would bode well for the future of a new medical marijuana program, but as complications arise from high demand for medical cannabis in Germany, it appears that these early humps have actually caused more problems than it has solved.

 

WORLD

Photographer captures the tranquil life inside “The Lost City Of Marijuana” [Herb]

Some of the highest quality cannabis in the world can be found growing in the small town of Toribío, Colombia.

Zimbabwe’s Medical Marijuana Program Looked a Hell of a Lot Like Canada’s [Civilized]

They may be on two separate, far-away continents, but that didn’t stopped Zimbabwe from turning to Canada with its latest plan to legalize cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.  Now, however, those efforts are now being ended by the government, which says it received over 350 applicants and that it needs to undertake a feasibility study before it legalizes the drug medicinally.

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Marijuana Compound Removes Toxic Alzheimer’s Protein From The Brain [Science Alert]

An active compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Adolescent cannabis use increases risk of an adult psychotic diagnosis [The Mental Elf]

Most research has focused on psychotic symptoms rather than an actual diagnosis of a psychotic illness.

What is CBD? The ‘miracle’ cannabis compound that doesn’t get you high [The Guardian]

In early May, a federal court declined to protect cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical produced by the cannabis plant, from federal law enforcement, despite widespread belief in its medical value.

Can Cannabis Be Used for Lupus Treatment? [Marijuana Times]

It is in a Lupus patient’s best interest to use non-toxic treatment options or medications with fewer side effects. Medical cannabis could help lupus patients by relieving nausea, debilitating pain, and inflammation and can also calm down the dysfunctional immune system. When compared to conventional medications, the side effects are generally tolerable and temporary.

 

POLICY & BUSINESS

Marijuana: Big Tobacco 2.0 [National Review]

On both the bobo Left and the libertarian Right, legal pot has been traditionally imagined as a civil-rights issue for a small minority of stoner oddballs who practice harmless commerce amongst themselves. Yet as this longtime dream becomes reality, its actual outcome is manifesting as something far more aggressively capitalist and corporatized, driven by ambitious businessmen with no intent of staying small.

Legalising cannabis for medical reasons doesn’t have to lead to recreational use [Conservative Home]

Cannabis has been a controversial issue in British politics for decades, and without a political consensus emerging over how to change policy direction, or where it might lead us, the current prohibition has held. But perhaps for not much longer.

‘I want to produce the world’s best cannabis’ [BBC]

With dozens of fans whirring, and under bright lights, Lars Havens shows us thousands of cannabis plants being cultivated by his company, Del-Gro.

From Peas to Hemp, Dairy Companies Are Milking ‘Just About Everything’ [Bloomberg]

First came soy, then almonds, cashews and coconuts. Now, dairy companies are milking everything from peas and quinoa to flax, oats and hemp amid surging demand for plant-based alternative drinks.

In An Oversaturated Market, Growers Are Turning From Flower To Oil [New Frontier Data]

To wait out the cannabis market’s oversupply and diminished prices for flower, some cultivators are treading oil to survive. Operators are increasingly turning to oil extraction to give a lift to their bottom lines.

‘Sustainability Is Not Enough’: Why Cannabis Growers Are Looking to Regenerative Farming [Leafly]

Regenerative agriculture, defined by the regenerative design consultancy Terra Genesis International, is “a system of farming principles and practices that increase biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services.” While regenerative agricultural practices have been around for centuries, many of these approaches have been replaced by those that favor commercial farms with large yields.

 

CULTURE & SOCIETY

The cannabis experience from the U.S. tells us the kids will be all right [The Globe and Mail]

As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the western United States? The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on children and teens is largely unwarranted.

How a Marijuana Researcher Talks to Her Kids About Pot [Westworld]

Her first tip: Tell the whole truth, and not only part of it.

Young prefer Marijuana over cigarettes, alcohol [The Asian Age]

Greater numbers of youth start with marijuana as their first drug, there’s an increasing need for public interventions, treatment services.

 

 

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.

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

Decriminalisation of drug use in Portugal: An Evening with Manuel Cardoso [Unharm]

What happened when Portuguese police stopped arresting people for using drugs? Come find out, straight from the source. DR MANUEL CARDOSO runs the drug policy system that decriminalised drug use in Portugal 2001. On June 5, Unharm and Uniting team up to present this public event with Dr Cardoso, and you’re invited! ***Limited tickets available for the Sydney event – make sure you register to attend. Not in Sydney? You can also view the event live on Facebook Live – via the Unharm page***

JUNE 23/24 MEDICAN WEEKEND at the BUSH THEATRE, Nimbin [Hemp Embassy]

Entry by donation, beside the river at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre. Starting at 11 am and aiming to finish by 420! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine! Speakers confirmed from the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, and The Hemp Club including Malcolm Lee, Rayman, Andrew Kav, Michael, Frances, Caroline,  Radic Al, Zane, Gerald, Dr Deb; as well as Deb Lynch from the Medical Cannabis Users Association [MCUA], Steve Bolt on legals, and more for sure.

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.