EMBASSY HEADLINES Issue 206
Vote 1 Marijuana (HEMP) Party to re-legalise and regulate personal, medical and industrial use. The Marijuana HEMP Party has a plan to integrate the whole plant into our everyday lives for medicine, food security, the environment and social harmony.
HOW TO VOTE
There are a full deal of how-to-vote HEMP / Sex instructions and a list of candidates in your state on the HEMP website. You could print a flyer or two.
Major parties fail to respond to ‘war on drugs’ questions [EchoNet Daily]
Nimbin’s HEMP Party is urging voters in the Page and Richmond electorates to vote for The Greens in the House of Representatives after receiving no reply from the Nationals and Labor to questions related to ‘the war on drugs’. Candidates were asked their views but only The Greens Page candidate Kudra Falla-Ricketts, Animal Justice Party Richmond candidate Angela Pollard, and Liberal Democrat candidate for Page Mark Ellis responded. The HEMP Party president Michael Balderstone said Ms Falla-Ricketts showed an excellent knowledge of the subject. ‘She also advised she had talked to (Nationals) Kevin Hogan who does support medical cannabis but we can only guess was shy too put it on paper. I’m confident Labor’s Janelle Saffin would support it also but again no reply. We guess they are following orders from Head Office and this is a subject not to be raised.’
Police arrest 11 men during raids on Nimbin, Lismore [EchoNet Daily]
About 40 police, with sniffer dogs, swooped on Nimbin yesterday as part of Strike Force Cuppa, which was formed in August last year to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs. and consorting involving members of an alleged criminal syndicate within the township of Nimbin.
Nimbin drugs fund ‘gangster lifestyle’ on Gold Coast [Northern Star]
Gold Coast “gangsters” who allegedly sold drugs in Nimbin to support their lavish lifestyle have been arrested during a joint police operation spanning two states.
11 (very different) opinions on the Nimbin ‘gangster’ raids [Northern Star]
WHAT you said about yesterday’s raids, during which 50 police officers descended on Nimbin, arresting 11 people:
Young Australians drinking ‘much less’ than previous generations, study shows [ABC]
Young Australians are drinking about 50 per cent less alcohol than people the same age 10 years ago, new research shows. Data from population surveys was used to analyse the drinking habits of more than 124,440 Australians aged 14 to 79 who were surveyed over 18 years. The study was led by Dr Michael Livingston from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Melbourne’s La Trobe University. Dr Livingston said Australians who are in their teens or early 20s were drinking much less than previous generations. While alcohol has been the target of public health campaigns in Australia, Dr Livingston said the trend was evident across the world.
Drug experts plan Australia’s first ice smoking room despite Government opposition [ABC]
Drug law reformers Matt Noffs and Dr Alex Wodak are pushing ahead with Australia’s first supervised ice smoking room, in a move which directly contradicts the NSW Government’s stance on such a centre. The planned centre in Sydney would provide clean pipes and smoking equipment and encourage contact with addiction health services, but not provide any substances to users. “My understanding is we don’t face any legal obstacles to having an inhalation room. The obstacles are all politics and crisis management,” Dr Wodak told 7.30.
Helen Kelly pushes for dope vote [NZ Herald]
Cannabis decriminalisation could happen through a citizen-initiated referendum, says reform advocate Helen Kelly. At a public meeting at Auckland’s Town Hall last night on the effects of cannabis law, Ms Kelly said she hoped a referendum could be pushed through by a dedicated team of volunteers. About 60 people were at the launch of the “Let’s Start The Conversation” campaign, which also featured AUT professor and cannabis legalisation advocate Max Abbott, and Warren Young of the New Zealand Law Commission. Ms Kelly, who has lung cancer, maintains cannabis is the best drug available to help ease her pain. “I think we could pull it off if we had the team to do the work,” the former trade unionist said of a referendum. “It’s my view we need 500 volunteers getting 800 signatures each [from members of the public].” While she conceded that was a big job, Ms Kelly said she believed the public support for change was out there and she felt optimistic about the possibility for legalisation. Dr Abbott said 75 per cent of Kiwi adults were in favour of legalising marijuana for medical use.
The FDA told the DEA whether pot is medicine — but it won’t tell the public [Vice]
On April 4, the heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to members of Congress that said a decision would likely be made on rescheduling “in the first half of 2016.” With just three days left in June, that deadline is fast approaching. Asked recently for an update, DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne told VICE News, “We don’t have a timeline on the decision.” The attorney general and DEA have the final say on rescheduling, but the FDA offered its official stance on the issue at least eight months ago, according to the agencies’ joint letter to members Congress, which said the DEA received the FDA’s input sometime prior to September 30, 2015. Neither agency, however, is currently willing to reveal what the FDA thinks ought to happen. The FDA also rejected a public records request from VICE News for documents related to the matter, citing the DEA’s pending decision and a provision that allows federal agencies to withhold certain “intra-agency memoranda.” The broad and oft-used exemption the FDA cited in its decision is commonly known as the “withhold it because you can clause.” It previously allowed such records to be kept secret forever, but Congress just passed a reform that forces disclosure within 25 years.
Marijuana provision stripped from Veterans Affairs funding bill [Military Times]
A provision that would have made it legal for Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss medical marijuana with their patients in some states disappeared mysteriously from the final VA funding bill last week, just before the House approved the legislation by a 239-171 vote.
Marijuana Legalization In California: Is The State’s Cannabis Industry Too Divided To Take Advantage Of It? [International Business Times]
In early January, the California Growers Association (CGA), an organization of marijuana farmers, gathered at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom in the state’s capital to nail down political strategy for the coming year. By most indications, the mood in the sweeping ballroom, with its intricate chandeliers and gilded ceiling, should have been jubilant. In just a few years the association had evolved from a provincial group with only a single full-time grower on its seven-member board to a statewide operation with 550-plus members and a leadership team comprised of young, energized marijuana growers ready to move out of the shadows. “Half of my board is third-generation farmers, people who grew up in the drug war, lying about what their parents did and wishing they were normal,” said Hezekiah Allen, CGA’s executive director and Humboldt County native, in an interview last year. “And we are in charge now.” The CGA and other cannabis industry stakeholders in California are beset by infighting over what, exactly, their state’s marijuana market should look like.
California to vote on legalising marijuana for recreational purposes [Independent]
California will vote on whether to legalise marijuana for recreational purposes on 8 November, after an initiative backing the measure secured the 402,000 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. The California Secretary of State’s office announced on Tuesday that voters could now decide whether to approve the creation of the world’s largest legal marijuana market. If passed, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) would permit California adults aged 21 or over to possess and carry up to an ounce of marijuana, and to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. It would create the framework for a distribution and retail market, managed by a new Bureau of Marijuana Control, with a 15 per cent tax on all cannabis product sales.
CBD Oil Dominates Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in NYC [Green Rush Daily]
CBD oil made a huge impact at last week’s Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo. So much so, in fact, that it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to rename the event the CBD Oil Expo. In total, there was more than 100 cannabis related companies at the expo. Those companies represented everyone from growers, producers, and sellers to tech companies, dispensaries, and media outlets. But CBD oil stood out above them all. Out of the 100 plus companies that showed up for the expo, more than 20 of them were involved in some way in the CBD oil market. This enormous presence could be an indicator of how strong this particular space is becoming.
Jake Plummer crushes Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in medical marijuana rant [Fox Sports]
Over the past few months, more and more NFL players have come out in favor of medical marijuana use, with everyone from Eugene Monroe to Derrick Morgan publicly discussing the benefits it could bring to players suffering from chronic pain. However, while those guys have quietly, calmly, rationally discussed cannabis’ benefits, another former NFL player spoke up on Wednesday. And he was anything but quiet. That would be Jake Plummer, who came out fired up when discussing marijuana, as well as the public perception of players who want to use it to deal with pain. Specifically he talked about the divide between the perception of players and ownership in public in an interview with BSN Denver.
Canadian Medical Cannabis Patient Enrollment Takes Off [New Cannabis Ventures]
Earlier this week, Health Canada, which oversees the Canadian medical cannabis program, MMPR, reported data for the quarter ending 03/31/16. The number of patients enrolled in the program grew 35.2% from the prior quarter to 53,649. This represented growth of 190% from a year ago and an acceleration from the 29.9% sequential growth reported in the prior quarter. The quarter represented the largest single patient addition since the inception of the program on 4/1/14 and was the best sequential growth since the quarter ending 9/30/14, which was the program’s second quarter. The bottom line is that the program is seeing rapid enrollment.
In Their Own Words: The Story of the UK’s Cannabis Social Clubs [Volteface]
On the eve of the largest event in the UK cannabis calendar – Product Earth Expo, we invited Stuart Harper and the board of the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs to share their account of the organisations history, and their grassroots activism.
Nanny State? Tabloid Lies? Now, So-Called Reformers Are Doing It For Themselves [Cannabis Law Reform UK]
As we’ve fought back the systematic lies of the last 50 years a new intake of people interested in cannabis law reform has emerged. It’s respectable these days to discuss the subject and you’re not immediately dismissed as a loony pothead, which is a very good thing. A large part of this is due to the Liberal Democrats who, after fiddling with the issue for some time, now have a coherent and well thought through policy. Sadly though, many are still confused about the difference between cannabis and heroin. Bless them, they are trying but they’re making some unhelpful mistakes along the way. We must not compromise facts and evidence for the illusory belief that buying into the scare stories will somehow advance our cause. We need to push back at the scaremongering, acknowledge there are risks but that they are extremely small. This week, in a deeply damaging initiative, so-called reformers are telling us:
“Skunk is bad news. Bad for the health of some – though not all – of the people who use it. Bad for the public image of cannabis. And bad for those of us who long for a more sensible debate about drugs.”
Colombia gives first medicinal cannabis license [Costa Rica News]
Colombia granted the first license to produce derivatives of cannabis for medicinal purposes in the country to a company based in Canada, reported the Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria, on Tuesday. “The company is being granted the first license for the manufacture and production of medicinal cannabis,” said Gaviria in a press conference, detailing that the recipient company is “a Colombian-Canadian firm” called PharmaCielo. Licenses are being granted following a decree issued at the end of 2015 by the government, which regulates the cultivation, processing, import, and export of cannabis and its derivatives for therapeutic purposes, and a resolution made by the Ministry of Health in May of this year. The decree and resolution follow the adoption by Congress, last May, of a law that authorizes the cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and scientists in Colombia. However, according to the Minister, the licenses being granted now “will continue to remain valid” when regulating the new legislation, although “with some changes.”
Jamaica proposes marijuana dispensers for tourists at airports following legalisation [Independent]
Jamaica is planning to install marijuana-dispensing kiosks for tourists in order to regulate a growing drug market and to bring in more government revenue. The new Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is drawing up plans for the kiosks just two months after small amounts of the drug were finally legalized in a country where marijuana has long been part of the culture. The dispensers would be situated at airports and seaports, manned by a person with medical training. That staff member would grant tourists who have a prescription for medical marijuana from abroad to purchase a permit to use or carry up to two ounces of marijuana whilst in the country. Marijuana licenses could also bring in revenue for the government, and CLA members pointed to cannabis tax benefitting countries like Canada and US states like Colorado.
Israel Makes History With New Medical Cannabis Policy [iCan]
Israel is once again pioneering new ground in the medical cannabis sphere. Already boasting the largest number of per capita licenses for medical cannabis usage (24,000), today Israel enhanced their program by allowing wider access and more standardized procedures for both treatment and research. The much-anticipated, historic reform was passed by the the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, having been initiated by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman. The reform will institute several key changes to Israel’s medical cannabis program.
Marijuana Use Dates Back Almost 5,000 Years [Green Rush Daily]
Did you know the same people responsible for building the pyramids of Egypt were also known for their marijuana use? Even one of the greatest pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: King Ramses II’s mummy was found covered in kief particles. Another mummy was found buried with a 2-pound weed stash, apparently prepared for the afterlife. From the first Mesopotamian clay tablets to ancient Egyptian papyrus scrolls, evidence of prehistoric cannabis use can be found in the texts and burial sites of various ancient civilizations.
Marijuana Liberalization Policies: Science Doesn’t Have Your Answers Yet [Huffington Post]
Marijuana policy is a gray area, one where even the most revered researchers are hesitant to respond to simple questions. The media often needs a soundbite, but this topic deserves a textbook—and if one were written today it would conclude with, “we don’t have the answers yet.” Policies on addictive substances are complicated, and the lack of concrete answers only complicates things further. When science better understands substance use we can implement safety measures to minimize preventable death, disability and illness. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and colleagues, states concern that the normalization of cannabis is occurring with “worrisome disregard for scientific evidence, gaps in knowledge, or the possibility of unintended consequences (Volkow et al., 2016).” This is a consequence of our political system, which too often passes laws riding waves of emotion.
Federal government continues to ban valid scientific research on medicinal use of Cannabis sativa [News Medical]
In a recent paper published in Science, researchers at The University of New Mexico concluded that the federal government continues to make it extremely difficult to conduct any meaningful research on the risks and benefits of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa. “Millions of patients have been granted the authorization to use medical Cannabis and Cannabis-based products by their respective state Health Departments and four states have begun taxing and regulating Cannabis sold for ‘recreational’ purposes,” said Vigil and Stith. “However, the federal government continues to categorize Cannabis sativa as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a more restrictive categorization than that used for cocaine, methamphetamine and PCP.”
What Happens To Your Body When You Mix Weed And Tobacco? [Herb]
What happens when you smoke tobacco with weed? Quite a lot, actually. Mixing weed and tobacco creates a very unique smoking experience. Some people love it, and some people would rather just smoke pure cannabis flower. Here’s a breakdown on what you can expect when you smoke weed and tobacco together.
Why Cannabis Coconut Oil is So Effective [Weedhorn]
Some experts that work with this plant claim that weed mixed with the oil of coconut can become more bio available. That means that the absorption and utilization of the nutrients will achieve higher level by every internal system. The effectiveness in the extraction of THC is due to the abundance of saturated fat of coconut oil. Cannabinoids can be absorbed by other oils too, like butter but the absorption by coconut oil is much better.
Experts off guidance on medical marijuana for pain [Science Daily]
Marijuana often is used to self treat chronic pain and, with 24 states legalizing medical use of the herb, the American Pain Society published guidance in The Journal of Pain for physicians caring for patients who use cannabis. The paper also identified opportunities for future research required to better understand the health effects of cannabinoids. The article is a consensus report with a balanced analysis from experts with diverse opinions about the value of cannabis as a pain treatment. The authors range from legalization advocates to opponents of using cannabis, even for medical purposes.
Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells [MedicalXpress]
Salk Institute scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. While these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the laboratory, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease and could provide clues to developing novel therapeutics for the disorder. “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.
Colorado Shorts [Volteface]
What has actually happened in Colorado since it legalised cannabis? VolteFace are proud to announce a premiere screening of: ‘The Highs and Lows of the Weed Business’ This compelling six-part mini-documentary series, commissioned for Channel 4 by the award-winning Adam Gee, will have its live premiere at our Colorado Shorts event on the 6th of July in VolteFace’s HQ in Fitzrovia.