EMBASSY Headlines Issue 227

By Published On: November 24, 2016Categories: Cannabis

Petition: Give Dying Patients Back Their Right to Access Cannabis [Change.org]

“I can’t express how disappointed I am with the Federal Government in their treatment of patients who use medicinal cannabis for control of serious and debilitating health conditions. The Federal Legislation passed in February 2016 was hollow victory indeed and Dan would certainly turn in his grave. His legacy appears now to be a sham. Sussan Ley you told me that you understood how I felt as a mother watching my son battle cancer….clearly you do not. You have turned your back on the people you should feel privileged to serve. I implore you and your Government to stop putting up road blocks to sick people who are fighting for their lives…..Please reverse this disastrous decision immediately and put patients first.” Lucy Haslam

Medicinal cannabis stocks to list on ASX [The Australian]

Medicinal cannabis is generating a buzz in Australia’s investment circles with two new “pot stocks” set to hit the local bourse but the market is still undecided if this is the next bubble. Zelda Therapeutics, a biotech developing medical cannabis therapies, is set to relist on the local market tomorrow. The company, which is doing a backdoor listing through junior miner Gleneagle Gold, raised $4 million for its listing, with the funds to be used for preclinical and clinical trials. Zelda is developing medical cannabis therapies for a range of issues, including sleep disorders, dermatology conditions and cancer.

As More States Legalize Marijuana, Investors And Marketers Line Up [Southern California Public Radio]

The smell of money is in the air. “Support for legal cannabis was one of the few mandates voters in both red and blue states delivered” Nov. 8, said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of the marijuana-focused private equity firm Privateer Holdings. Since the passage of the eight ballot measures, he says there’s been a surge of interest from investors “who recognize that the end of cannabis prohibition is inevitable.”

Why You Can’t Legally Call Organic Weed ‘Organic’ [Motherboard]

Whether it’s figuring out dosing standards or banking solutions, there’s a lot to be discussed when you’re trying to move a product from the black market into the light. Of particular concern is regulating pesticide use for cultivators, a task that is generally handled by federal agencies such as the US Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency for all agricultural products except cannabis.

Why is it so hard to make a sobriety test for marijuana? [The Guardian]

Unlike alcohol, the amount of pot in someone’s blood doesn’t necessarily correlate with the ability to drive safely. We must learn how to assess the risk.

ATF doubles down on marijuana gun ban, adds more explicit warning to firearm purchase form [The Cannabist]

The federal government just doubled down on its efforts to keep guns away from cannabis patients and legal adult-use marijuana consumers. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has long had an existing ban on gun sales to anyone who uses marijuana. The ban was upheld in a controversial 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in August; a medical marijuana patient in Nevada said the ban violated the Second Amendment, but the 9th Circuit unanimously agreed that pot and other drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

Governor Christie Blocks New Jersey’s Bridge to Legalization [NORML]

The Governor proudly proclaimed that the only thing preventing the end of marijuana prohibition in NJ is Christie himself. Conveniently for the residents of New Jersey, the Governor is term-limited out and the next election is November 7th, 2017.

Where Marijuana Is the Doctor’s Orders, Will Insurers Pay? [The New York Times]

Early this year, a disabled former automobile body worker named Greg Vialpando explained to lawmakers in New Mexico how medical marijuana helped his chronic back pain. State legislators were considering a bill backed by workers’ compensation insurers that would have exempted them from paying for medical marijuana. But Mr. Vialpando and another patient described how smoking the drug let them escape years of stupor caused by powerful prescription narcotic drugs known as opioids. The lawmakers ended up dropping the bill, and Mr. Vialpando’s expenses for buying marijuana are covered by insurance.

Why legal pot is suddenly in big danger [The Washington Post]

Attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is a fervent foe of marijuana legalization. But if he were confirmed as President-elect Trump’s top law enforcement official, would he really have any power to put his anti-pot views into practice?

Medical Marijuana Is Legal in California. Except When It’s Not. [The New York Times]

CannaCraft produces medical marijuana products, which have been legal in the state for two decades, but operated in a kind of Wild West, unregulated market. In June, the company’s newly opened headquarters was raided by federal and local law enforcement officers, who said the process it used to make marijuana products was dangerous and illegal. The agents seized $5 million in equipment, inventory and cash. This year, company drivers have twice been stopped by the California Highway Patrol, and, in one case, 1,600 pounds of marijuana was seized.

Marijuana market now almost as big as spirits in Washington state [Independent]

Sales of legal marijuana have almost overtaken hard liquor in Washington, which was one of the first US states to legalise cannabis for recreational use. The second quarter of 2016 was the most profitable so far for the Evergreen State’s legal weed industry, with residents and visitors for the first time spending more than $200m on marijuana and marijuana products.

Smoke’s negative effects should guide marijuana and tobacco policy [Policy Options]

Canada is in the process of introducing increasingly stringent measures to discourage use of tobacco, while simultaneously moving forward with a plan that, regardless of its intentions, tacitly legitimizes the recreational use of marijuana through its legalization. These two very different approaches to smokable leaf products fail to give due attention to a crucial similarity between smoking tobacco and smoking marijuana: the smoke.

Reining it in [Vice]

The Canadian government is slashing the limit on how much veterans can be prescribed under federal rules, from 10 grams per day to just three, and putting a hard cap on how much marijuana should cost, at $8.50 a gram. That brings the rules in line with Health Canada recommendations, and may help curb runaway costs for the Veterans Affairs Canada drug insurance program.

Leading Neurologist Calls On UK Medics To Recognise Cannabis As Medicine [Cannabis Law Reform]

In support of a cross-party group of MPs, Professor Mike Barnes, scientific and medical advisor to CLEAR, has called for the Royal Colleges of medicine to introduce guidelines for the use of cannabis as medicine. In a new initiative, Professor Barnes has written to the presidents of several Royal Colleges proposing the development of guidelines around the use of cannabis as medicine.

Why Britain Isn’t Going to Legalise Cannabis Any Time Soon [Vice]

It’s been almost 20 years since things looked like they were going to change. Rewind to 1997. Tony Blair’s just been elected Prime Minister; the Union Jack is trendy and the phrase “Cool Britannia” isn’t just something you’d see on a shit mug marketed at Spanish tourists. It’s September and the Independent on Sunday has just launched a six-month campaign to get people talking about legalising cannabis in the UK. In March of 1998, an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 people light up in Hyde Park for a pro-legalisation rally that makes its way to Trafalgar Square. Within years, the campaign and protest are basically all but forgotten, and every attempt since to bring lawmakers around is essentially shut down in its infancy, despite the rational points being made.

Cannabis legalisation ‘could raise £1bn a year for UK’ [BBC]

Legalising cannabis could net the Treasury £1bn a year in tax revenue, a report backed by some MPs has claimed. The Adam Smith Institute, a free-market think tank, said the UK’s policies had failed to stop the production and use of cannabis or the associated crime. Its report said the UK should follow the lead of the US, where four further states legalised marijuana in this month’s elections. The Home Office said it had no plans to legalise the “harmful drug”. Former Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg and former health minister Norman Lamb are among a cross-party group of MPs that have backed the report.

Legalisation of cannabis ‘only solution to crime and addiction problems’ [The Guardian]

The government must recognise that legalising the Class B drug is the “only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction in the UK and modernise and legalise”, the report says. Politicians and the public should recognised the UK’s drug strategy “has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world”.

Irresponsible Response from UK Government To Parliamentary Report On Medicinal Cannabis [Cannabis Law Reform]

Unsurprisingly perhaps, the response to the recent call from MPs and peers to legalise cannabis for medicinal use has come straight from the top.  Theresa May’s longstanding reputation as a denier of science and evidence on drugs policy is reinforced by her peremptory dismissal of the expert report.  It seems that, at least in the short term, the UK government is sticking by a policy that is discredited, ridiculous and deeply cruel.

Largest Dutch Political Party Wants to Overhaul Cannabis Laws [Leafly]

Marking another milestone on the road to ending cannabis prohibition in the Netherlands, a sizeable majority of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD party have voted to support what they’re calling “smart regulation” of cannabis. Following a vote at a Nov. 19 party converence in Noordwijkerhout, the VVD’s platform going into the general elections next spring will now include the intention “to redesign the entire domain surrounding soft drugs.”

Can Pot-Related Drugs Wean Substance Abusers Off the Hard Stuff? [Scientific American]

Could the chemistry of marijuana lead to drugs that reduce cravings for cocaine or that serve as opioid alternatives? Maybe. But finding out for sure may require loosening up research restrictions.

Global Drug Survey 2017: What Do Cannabis Users Want? [volteface]

Last week saw the results of the 2016 Global Drug Survey released. In the first of two blogs for VolteFace, Adam Winstock, founder of the GDS, shares his plans for next year’s survey of cannabis use.

Cannabis as Medicine Survey 2016 [The University of Sydney]

Have you used cannabis for medical purposes in the last 12 months? Do you currently live in Australia? Are over the age of 18? If so, you are eligible to participate. Sharing your experiences will help give a better understanding of how cannabis is used for medical purposes and help develop better cannabis based medicines. Your information will be anonymous.

Why does drug policy expert Alison Ritter have UNSOMNIA? [UNSW]

Join UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs and 12 UNSW experts as they share what keeps them up at night. UNSOMNIA – Thursday December 1st, Leighton Hall UNSW. TICKETS AND INFO: http://www.unsomnia.unsw.edu.au/

Baked episode 7 Cannabis Short Soup [Nick the Hippy]

Another fabulous canna cooking episode with Nimbin’s Nick the Hippy.

Can Ayahuasca, the ‘sacred plant’ of the Amazon, help addiction and depression? [The Conversation]

Does the science support the hype? As part of a small cohort of Brazilian scientists undertaking the world’s first clinical trials on ayahuasca and treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, I’m here to say: maybe, but it’s too soon to tell.