Embassy HEADLINES Issue 252
Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & Symposium 2017
The Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo Sydney 2017 is taking place at the award winning Rose Hill Gardens, Exhibition Centre. Held over 2 days, May 27th and 28th 2017, this event will have something for everyone. Come and look, feel, taste, and experience the excitement of a large number of exhibitors, showcasing everything from Hemp fibres, clothing, bedding, beauty and health products, medicinal hemp products, building materials, hydroponic equipment and supplies for industry and home hobbyists alike, innovative products and so much more. Gain valuable information and awareness of the amazing benefits the Hemp plant has to offer now and into the future. Learn how to grow your own produce, even where space is limited, fresh and free of chemicals. Discover new and innovative products.
Saturday 27 May – 9.00am – 6.00pm
Sunday 28 May – 9.30am – 3.30pm
HHI Expo & Medicinal Cannabis Symposium Planting seeds & growing minds!
The 25th MardiGrass Cannabis Law Reform Rally in Nimbin Australia [Greendorphin]
Everything hemp and cannabis was around throughout the weekend in a very welcoming and family friendly atmosphere. Participants included people from all walks of life, from the party seeking young adults to white collar executives and everyday families. As a conclusion, the event was fantastic, very well organised and peaceful. The cannabis and hemp education programs were full of local and international experts sharing world class, up to date information with the eager audience. The Nimbin MardiGrass is certainly a great way to protest against cannabis prohibition and to have a fun weekend full of learnings and activities with lots of great and like minded people.
Australia Celebrates MardiGrass: In A Country That Still Outlaws Cannabis A Small Town Shows Their Pride [Dope]
Nimbin MardiGrass is celebrating its 25th anniversary as Australia’s largest cannabis culture gathering with a mission to bring about change by the most entertaining means possible. In a country otherwise conservative in its approach to marijuana, the tiny town of Nimbin is an oasis. Running May 5th through the 7th, the three-day festival is a celebration but also hosts the serious business of cannabis activism at the Hemposium. By night attention turns to live music at the Growers Ball.
2017 MardiGrass Videos [Nimbin MardiGrass]
A selection of panels, workshops, talks & trippery. Thanks to Disco Sista!
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten shocks Turnbull Government by backing Greens on drug ruling [The Courier Mail]
In a drama-fuelled day, the Therapeutic Goods Administration was urgently dispatched to Parliament House to urge the crossbench to intervene to stop the move to undo tough drug regulations.
Here’s Why Everyone In Politics Is Fighting Over Cannabis Again [Huffington Post]
The Greens and Labor voted one way, while the Coalition, One Nation, the Nick Xenophon Team and independent senators Cory Bernardi and Lucy Gichuhi voted the other. The result? A 32-32 tie, which meant Di Natale’s motion to drop the barriers was defeated. Di Natale was livid at the result, especially considering One Nation has recently been spruiking its support for medical cannabis — indeed, its sole current member of Queensland parliament, Steve Dickson, defected to Pauline Hanson’s party from the Liberal Nationals due to his frustration at a lack of action on cannabis and a hope that joining with One Nation could move things along.
People Are Furious With One Nation After It Blocked Access To Medicinal Cannabis For The Terminally Ill [BuzzFeed]
Pauline Hanson’s party ran on a pro-medicinal cannabis platform during the last federal election, but last night’s decision has left supporters scratching their heads. One Nation supporters and medicinal cannabis activists are furious after Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party blocked a motion that would have allowed easier access to medicinal cannabis for the terminally ill.
‘When The Truth Won’t Do Then Something Is Wrong!’ [Australian Medical Cannabis Signpost]
The medical weed world exploded last week following a Senate Motion intended to give the terminally ill quick access to cannabis and cannabis products. As we reported last Thursday (11th May) efforts by the Greens to disallow an amendment to the Therapeutic Goods Regulations was voted on which, had the outcome been positive, would have meant doctors were free to prescribe such medicine to the nation’s most vulnerable patients – those that are critically ill. A last-minute decision by Labor to follow its conscience and vote with the Greens led individuals such as these as well as their carers and pressure groups to think they had won the day – that the Motion would indeed stand. That is until One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team shot it dead after the Government’s medical regulator the TGA intervened. The intention had been to restore the right of patients with life threatening conditions to fast-tracked access to pot under Category A of the TGA’s Special Access Scheme.
Medicinal marijuana hotline for doctors [The Courier Mail]
A medicinal marijuana hotline will be set up to help doctors who feel pressured to dispense the drug as patients demand easier access. As patient groups mount political campaigns for easier prescriptions, the Therapeutic Goods Administration will hold meetings in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia in the next few weeks to give doctors and patients a better understanding of when it should be prescribed. It will also run the 1800 phone line for medicos and patients. The move comes as One Nation leader Pauline Hanson aims to meet Health Minister Greg Hunt this week to demand a public list of doctors willing to prescribe medicinal marijuana.
Nimbin man who posted Facebook cannabis video says he’s ‘going blind’ [Echo Netdaily]
Mr Till previously told the court if he didn’t smoke cannabis he would go blind, and claimed to have a letter from his doctor stating this.
Scott Morrison’s plan to test sewage for drug use ‘might misfire’, say experts [The Guardian]
Scott Morrison’s plan to test wastewater to identify welfare recipients on drugs will only highlight the high levels of drug use among professionals working in “the finer leafy suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney”, an expert on the Victorian government’s ice action taskforce, John Ryan, has said. Ryan, who is also chief executive of the not-for-profit drug research organisation the Penington Institute, also accused the treasurer of implementing “a new regime of big brother”.
Man walks free from court after making cannabis medical tincture in Gold Coast hinterland [Gold Coast Bulletin]
In the eyes of the law, Bradley Sanderson, 49, is a convicted drug producer. But to the 30 people he made medical tincture – also known as green dragon – for over several years, he is the man who changed their lives.
Need for seed: Hemp food legal to sell and eat in Australia [The Land]
After 15 years’ backing from food regulators, government has finally legalised the sale and consumption of hemp food in Australia and New Zealand – opening a new path for farmers to tap the billion-dollar global industry. Key NSW growers say they expect to see local hemp production quadruple, as well as hemp seeds, protein oil and flour integrated by Australian restaurants and many manufacturers into their recipes. This afternoon’s decision from the Forum of Food Regulation in Adelaide frees up farmers to get full value from planting and harvesting hemp as a crop – having previously only been allowed to sell hemp fibre, not seeds. The change should come into effect in about six months.
Up in smoke? Cannabis Corp boss quits, company faces closure [In Daily]
The controversial Adelaide-based Australian Cannabis Corporation is in crisis, with its sole director resigning amid an apparent rift with its major financial backer, outspoken entrepreneur Shane Yeend. In March, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute pulled out of a deal to partner with the Cannabis Corp to “provide the evidence base for the use and commercialisation of medicinal cannabis”, after a series of attacks on the Government by Yeend. Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said in a statement that the standoff was “a matter for Australian Cannabis Corporation”. “The State Government will continue to work constructively with businesses interested in setting up medicinal cannabis industries in South Australia,” he said.
AusCann raises $10m to support expansion [The West]
High-flying medical cannabis company AusCann is raising $10 million of new equity to support its Australian expansion plans. The company has been buoyed by Federal Government approval for a secure outdoor cultivation facility to be established in WA by AusCann. The licence, granted two weeks ago by the Office of Drug Control, makes AusCann one of only a few companies to be given approval in Australia. Until its cultivation facility produces its first crop, the company will import medical cannabis from Chile in partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation, one of Canada’s biggest medicinal cannabis companies. According to the term sheet, the new funds will support the “manufacture (of) cannabis medicines in Australia for Australian patients under the new partnership with TasAlk, the leading manufacturer of opiate ingredients for pain medicines worldwide”.
Cannabis now being used to treat severe drug addiction [International Business Times]
Numerous countries are slowly embracing the idea of harm reduction. Policies are being designed to help people live a better and healthier life. Addiction specialists are also taking up this program and working towards this end. Program director and founder of Los-Angeles based High Sobriety, Joe Schrank, uses medical marijuana as detox and maintenance protocol for people with severe addictions.
The Evidence Is Overwhelming: Cannabis Is an Exit Drug for Major Addictions, Not a Gateway to New Ones [Alternet]
People dependent on cocaine, opioids and other prescription drugs could ease out of their addictions with cannabis.
Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy [Epilepsy Foundation USA]
Learn more about the Epilepsy Foundation’s state and federal advocacy efforts on removing barriers to cannabis research and supporting access to medical cannabis (marijuana) in consultation with the treating physician.
New York State Adds PTSD To Medical Marijuana Program, Will Menstrual Cramps Be Next? [Forbes]
New York State has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country, but it may be starting to loosen up. A bi-partisan bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition passed the Senate Health Committee and now waits on Senate approval.
Sessions: Rescind Your Draconian Memo [Drug Policy Alliance]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions just issued a memo calling on prosecutors to pursue harsh sentences for people charged with nonviolent drug offenses. We can’t let this escalation of the drug war stand.
Increases in Illicit Drugs, Including Cocaine, Drive Workforce Drug Positivity to Highest Rate in 12 Years [Quest Diagnostics]
Cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine use up broadly among United States workforce across multiple specimen types and testing populations. Marijuana positivity increases significantly in three years. Drug use in the American workforce, fueled by illicit drugs, reached the highest positivity rate in 12 years, according to an analysis of more than ten million workforce drug test results.
Trying new marijuana products and edibles is associated with unexpected highs [Science Daily]
Unexpected highs are a consequence of using new marijuana products and edibles, products that have flooded the marijuana market since legalization of recreational marijuana use.
Senators from both parties try to ease banking for marijuana businesses [Reuters]
Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana-based businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal, undeterred by signals from the Trump administration about maintaining tough marijuana restrictions nationally. The eight senators, who spanned the political spectrum from libertarian-leaning Republican Rand Paul to liberal Democrat Cory Booker, introduced the bill to block federal banking regulators from somehow pushing a financial institution to stop serving a state-sanctioned marijuana business or the businesses’ landlords or lawyers. The government would also not be allowed to give banks incentives to cut off the businesses.
A third of high school students ride with drivers who have been drinking [Science Daily]
One in three high school students reports riding with a driver who has been drinking, while nearly one in five was in a car where the driver had consumed marijuana, according to a new study.
Cannabis may help wean people off crack, study finds [The Globe and Mail]
Cannabis has been identified as a potential substitute for users of legal or illicit opioids, but a new Vancouver-based study shows the drug may also help reduce people’s cravings for another highly addictive substance: crack cocaine.
The Public Health Benefits of Alcohol Regulation [University of Victoria, Canada]
With alcohol consumption in BC rising as government liberalizes alcohol policies, and decisions around legal cannabis distribution models falling to provincial governments, a recent collaboration between researchers at the University of Victoria and the Swedish government could contain valuable lessons around the importance of applying evidence-based policy to the regulation of alcohol and other legal drugs.
Why These People Stopped Drinking and Starting Consuming Cannabis [volteface]
Last week was ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ in the UK, and while mental health awareness is for many an all-year-round concern, the initiative has succeeded in sparking interest and debate on a subject of vital importance.
Man charged with drone drug-drop into Birmingham prison [BBC]
A man has been charged with using drones to smuggle cannabis, steroids and mobile phones into prison.
British prison is first to use ‘disruptor’ to create drone-proof ‘shield’ around jail [The Telegraph]
A British prison has become the world’s first to use a new system designed to stop drones flying over perimeter walls to drop contraband into jails. The device creates a 2,000ft (600m) shield around and above a prison that will detect and deflect the remote-controlled devices.
One million hours of police time a year ‘wasted enforcing cannabis prohibition’ [Independent]
One million hours of police time are being wasted each year on policing the ban on smoking cannabis, the UK Liberal Democrats say. The party says the drug is already “freely available and widely used” and that regulation rather than prohibition makes sense. The Lib Dems announced on Friday that their manifesto would include a pledge to legalise cannabis and create a regulated market in the drug – a policy similar to those implemented in some US states.
Mice benefit from research into cannabis. Why not us? [The Guardian]
Instead of forging ahead with research on the benefits of cannabis, the UK criminalises millions.
Liberal Democrats: we would raise £1bn in tax by legalising cannabis [The Guardian]
Legalising cannabis would raise £1bn in tax revenues, according to the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which backs a regulated market for the drug. The document calls the war on drugs “a catastrophic failure” in which billions were flowing into organised crime rather than the Treasury’s coffers.
Reality Check: Could legalising cannabis raise £1bn? [BBC]
The claim: The Liberal Democrat manifesto says that legalising cannabis would raise £1bn for the Exchequer.
Reality Check verdict: £1bn seems like a reasonable estimate, although most of the figures used to make it are based on uncertain figures about currently illegal activities.
Legal approaches to drugs and driving [European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction]
Drug use can reduce the ability to drive a motor vehicle safely on the public road. European countries have developed various legal mechanisms to address this issue, using laws on road traffic or on drug control. This topic overview briefly describes the national laws in EU Member States and Norway, along with EU legislation, on drugs and driving. Here you can find out for each country whether the legal provisions exist in drug control laws or road traffic laws, the substances addressed, the levels of penalties, any blood-drug or impairment levels established, and whether drivers can be stopped and tested at any time or if the police require some form of suspicion beforehand.
Rodrigo Duterte accepts he could face International Criminal Court over drug killings: ‘This is a democracy’ [Independent]
Controversial President does not object to politician Gary Alejano’s impeachment complaint against him over extrajudicial war on narcotics traffickers saying: ‘He’s free to do it’
Designers on acid: the tripping Californians who paved the way to our touchscreen world [The Guardian]
Ever wondered why email, trash cans, Google Docs and desktops look the way they do? The answer lies in 1960s hippie culture and LSD-taking creatives.
These Women Are Fighting Sexism in Psychedelic Research [Vice]
The movement has always been mostly white and male, but ‘psychedelic feminists’ are making sure the so-called renaissance doesn’t repeat mistakes of the past.
Even small quantities of opioids prescribed for minor injuries increase risk of long-term use [MedicalXpress]
Overprescribing of opioid medications for pain has contributed to a record-high number of drug-related deaths in the United States in recent years. A significant part of the issue, experts say, is the vast amount of variation in opioid prescribing habits for minor injuries such as ankle sprains – which don’t require treatment with such risky drugs in the first place.
MDMA could help treat veterans with PTSD, scientists say [ABC]
Scientists believe the illegal drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy, has an untapped potential to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But they say plans to test the drug on war veterans in Australia are being stifled by “academic conservatism”.
Operation Safenight is going to do more harm than good [The Age]
From now until August, sniffer dogs, uniformed police officers and undercovers will patrol the partying scene in Melbourne as a part of Operation Safenight, a harm reduction approach to recreational drug use. I support harm reduction all the way. There is nothing more tragic than hearing about someone losing their life over a dodgy pill they took or because their friend failed to call the ambulance. But police trawling the streets, entering nightclub bathrooms, questioning people who are lining up outside venues with sniffer dogs who may or may not have drugs on them is not the most pragmatic way to avoid harm in our community.
The 1st Australian Medicinal Cannabis Course [Australian Medical Cannabis Observatory]
A 1 Day Course on 22 June to be offered as a Workshop on behalf of The UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium 2017 – Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course, designed for health care practitioners, by health care practitioners.
2017 UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]
23, 24, 25 JUNE 2017 • MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: The program will cover how clinicians can develop a Cannabis treatment plan, clinical applications and other considerations, application in Palliative care and rehabilitation, The ECS, Debunking myths, PTSD, Cancer, Epilepsy and also will tackle the complex social and ethical issues relating to poor patient access. We will also provide opportunity around the establishment of an Australian Chapter of Cannabis Clinicians and an Australian Cannabis Industry Association. Tickets on sale now through www.uic.org.au
Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium 8th – 10th of December [EGA]
EGA’s 2017 Psychedelic Symposium will be a botanical, academic and lifestyle conference – with a pinch of psychedelic energy. The program will span three days and three nights, featuring more than 50 lectures from diverse fields covering the botanical, academic, and philosophical, to arts and drug law reform. Accompanying the main program will be workshops, panel discussions, a marketplace, and much more!!