Embassy HEADLINES Issue 257
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
Medicinal cannabis: Doctors to learn how to prescribe drug at Melbourne course [ABC]
Dr Lacey is one of about 50 doctors from around the country who will converge on Melbourne to attend an Australian-first training course on how to prescribe medical cannabis. So why do doctors need specific training? “If I’m prescribing something I really need to understand it and the more I learn about it, the less I know,” Dr Lacey said. “It’s quite a complex drug or herb and it’s got a lot of nuances in to how to prescribe it.
Police blitz cannabis crop houses, admit Melbourne is Australia’s pot capital [The Age]
Victorian detectives have launched an unprecedented blitz against sophisticated marijuana syndicates with senior police admitting, “Melbourne is the engine room of the country’s cannabis industry.” As part of Operation Chronos, police are using search and destroy tactics, raiding hydroponic crops hidden in rented houses, dis-used factories and country properties.
Craiglist ads: drug dealers openly peddle ice, cannabis and cocaine [Leader]
Drug dealers are openly using online classifieds to peddle ice, cannabis and cocaine across Melbourne. Online sellers are disguising drugs as everyday household items on popular classifieds site Craigslist. “Drugs are a mouse click away and that’s dangerous for everyone.”
New Medical Cannabis Joint Venture: LeafCann and iCAN: Israel-Cannabis Form iCAN:Australia [PR Newswire]
iCAN: Israel-Cannabis (iCAN), a leading Israeli developer of medical cannabis formulations, clinical trials and cannabis testing, has formed a joint venture with LeafCann Research and Advisory, a leader in the development of cannabis medications, clinical research and education, based in Melbourne, Australia. The new venture, iCAN: Australia, will collaborate on a range of initiatives including medicinal cannabis research, education, acceleration, and innovation.
Perth a hub for medical cannabis trade [The West Australian]
Perth has emerged as a hub for medical marijuana. About half the country’s major Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies in the field are based in WA. A new peak industry body, the Medical Cannabis Council, launches today with the goal of turning Australia into a world leader in the field. The east coast-based council comprises health experts, researchers, producers and manufacturers, and will develop best-practice standards for producing, supplying and distributing cannabis products. The first WA company with approval to cultivate the drug, Auscann, believes Australia can surpass the Netherlands and Canada to become a leader in the supply of cannabis medicines. Auscann managing director Elaine Darby said WA was poised to be a corporate headquarters for any new players. “The State Government is receptive to assisting where possible,” Ms Darby said.
Queensland’s prison policy is ‘stupid’, says former chief as he calls for drugs rethink [The Guardian]
Queensland’s “stupid” rate of incarceration should push the state government towards legalising recreational drug supply, a former state jails boss has said. Keith Hamburger also hopes the Palaszczuk government will embrace proposals for Aboriginal-owned “rehabilitation healing” centres for Indigenous offenders, of whom there are “probably 1,000” now in jail who “don’t need to be in there”. Legalising and regulating recreational drug supply, along with “real rehabilitation” and community strengthening programs, would lead to a reduction in prison numbers “instead of this 90% growth every 10 years”, Hamburger said.
Sydneysiders flock to Nimbin in search of more affordable, alternative lifestyle [Domain]
It was once best known as the drug capital of Australia but today Sydneysiders are flocking to buy land and homes in the NSW Northern Rivers village of Nimbin as it phoenixes from dippy hippy to hippy chic.
How legalising cannabis can help society [MedicalXpress]
Leading drug researcher Associate Professor Chris Wilkins from Massey University’s SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre is calling for the adoption of a not-for-profit public health model for recreational cannabis. It would allow regulated cannabis products to be sold by philanthropic societies, in an approach similar to the Class 4 gambling regime which was introduced in 2003 to regulate “pokie” trusts in New Zealand.
Kiwi family hoping medical marijuana can help daughter with rare genetic disorder who suffers from violent seizures [TV NZ]
The Emery family is hopeful that breakthroughs in medical marijuana can help their daughter, Amaria with the condition by controlling her violent seizures. The medicinal cannabis bill is set to be debated in Parliament this year after being pulled from the ballot box. The bill would make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or chronic illness to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner. The developments are something the Emery family and the five other New Zealand families who are affected by CDKL5 will be keeping a close eye on.
A billion-dollar industry, a racist legacy: being black and growing pot in America [The Guardian]
What does it take to succeed as a young black entrepreneur in a sector largely dominated by white men seen as daring trailblazers?
Heavyweight champion charged with marijuana possession in Alabama [Independent]
Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder has been charged with marijuana possession. Police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama said in a statement that they arrested Wilder on Wednesday after they found marijuana in his Cadillac Escalade. They say they stopped Wilder for a window tint violation. Wilder, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, is the WBC’s world heavyweight champion.
The US weed rush and white-collar cannabis CEOs [MedicalXpress]
They are bankers, accountants and computer engineers—mainstream in every way but for one respect: their love of cannabis and the desire to make megabucks in a growing US industry. This week in New York, around 120 people took part in workshops on where and how to invest in cannabis, currently an estimated $7 billion industry, on the sidelines of the fourth annual World Cannabis Congress.
Jeff Sessions personally asked Congress to let him prosecute medical-marijuana providers [The Washington Post]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking congressional leaders to undo federal medical-marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014, according to a May letter that became public Monday. The protections, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibit the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent certain states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” In his letter, first obtained by Tom Angell of Massroots.com and verified independently by The Washington Post, Sessions argued that the amendment would “inhibit [the Justice Department’s] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.”
Jeff Sessions is wrong about the War on Drugs [ACLU Action]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is spouting rhetoric and promoting policies that we’ve been working hard to put in the past. With near-consensus that the War on Drugs was a failure on all levels, the country is ready to move to smart and commonsense reforms to our broken criminal justice system. Except for one man: our top law enforcement official, Jeff Sessions.
End the War on Medical Marijuana [Drug Policy Alliance]
The CARERS Act will end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, let states set their own polices, and protect patients and providers from federal prosecution. It will protect them from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ escalation of the war on marijuana.
The Former Army Captain Who Built An Online Marijuana Marketplace [volteface]
“Cannabis provides me with a sense of wellbeing and balance that I can’t find anywhere else,” Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO of Jane Technologies Inc., said in a press release for the cannabis-first startup’s just-launched online marketplace, Jane. “And we created Jane to ensure that others like me can find exactly what they need without any confusion or uncertainty.”
New CCSA-Led Study Estimates Cost of Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in Canada to be $1 Billion [CCSA, Canada]
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is pleased to announce today the release of “Estimating the Harms and Costs of Cannabis-Attributable Collisions in the Canadian Provinces,” the first study of its kind to estimate the social and economic costs associated with driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) in Canadian provinces.
Bill to legalise cannabis for medical use being stalled, claims TD [Irish Times]
An opposition Bill which would legalise cannabis for medical use is being “run into the ground” by Government, the TD behind it has warned. Gino Kenny, of the Solidarity-People Before Profit Alliance, said it was now “urgent” that his Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 – which passed first and second stages in the Dáil in December – progress to committee stage.
But what of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party? It’s at least conceivable that – after their shock gains on June 8th – they could find themselves forming a government in the near future. During the election and before, there seemed to be a considerable amount of optimism amongst Labour-voting activists that Corbyn could be convinced of the need for significant change, and particularly that his party might bring about the end of cannabis prohibition.
Rotterdam mayor wants to sell cannabis cafe licences to highest bidder [Dutch News]
Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Abouteleb is considering selling new licences to run cannabis cafes to the highest bidder, the NRC said at the weekend. After years of not granting new licences, the mayor is now looking into the option of an auction after pressure from city councillors to expand the number of coffee shops where users can buy small quantities of cannabis for their own use. Since 1999, the number of coffee shops in the city has shrunk from 65 to 37 but Aboutaleb has now told councillors he is prepared to allow two or three new ones to open. And a majority of the city council approve of his idea to auction the licences to the highest bidder. Such an auction would allow the city to ‘earn something’ from the cannabis cafes, he said. A licence currently costs between €500 and €600.
Cayman Islands Hospitals Begin Dispensing Medical Cannabis Oil to Patients [Tap News]
Grand Cayman’s CTMH Doctors Hospital and Cayman Pharmacy Group has started dispensing cannabis oil to patients with a valid medical documentation. To meet expected demand, CTMH purchased nearly 13 liters of cannabis oil from Canadian-based CanniMed® Oils. Doctors at the hospital can now prescribe it to selected patients who reside in the Cayman Islands.
Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana [Leafly]
A decree issued by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today confirmed that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use after overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress. Peña Nieto was once a vehement opponent of cannabis legalization, but has since called for a re-examination of global drug policy after a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. “So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” Peña Nieto told the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions in April 2016. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”
Who Is Cannabis? [Chacruna.net]
Cannabis has been a character in this same human drama for at least the past ten thousand years, and very likely much longer. She, the genus Cannabis, has been seen and felt as a being, or a deity, in multiple cultures. I say she, because both historically and right now in Western culture, that is the gender that so many of us experience when we engage with Cannabis.
Biologist Explains How Cannabis Causes Tumor Cells To Commit Suicide [Cannabis Health Radio]
The therapeutic potential of cannabis appears limitless, extending far beyond just relieving nausea or pain in the terminally ill. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist from Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, has been studying the molecular activity of cannabinoids for more than 10 years, and during this time she and her colleagues have learned that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, induces tumor cell “suicide” while leaving healthy cells alone. Read more here.
Could weed be used to treat period pain? [The Guardian]
According to reports this week, marijuana is about to be approved to treat period pains by legislators in New York. Cannabis is already allowed for medicinal use in 29 American states for a variety of conditions such as cancer, HIV or Aids, severe nausea, seizures and persistent muscle spasms (for example with people who have multiple sclerosis). Could period pains really be joining that list, and is there any evidence that it works?
Cannabis users are more successful and satisfied, finds new study [Independent]
Debunking myths of low motivation and under-achievement, in California it was found that 20 percent of consumers had graduated with a master’s degree while the figure was 12 percent for those who wouldn’t consider trying cannabis. In terms of household income, the figure was $93,800 (£73,470) for consumers, significantly higher than the $70,000 (£54811) average for abstainers.
Teenagers should stop rolling their cannabis joints with tobacco if they don’t want cancer, researcher warns [Daily Mail]
Teenagers should stop rolling their cannabis joints with tobacco if they don’t want cancer, an expert has warned. Ian Hamilton, a weed researcher based at York University, suggested youngsters should instead smoke the drug on its own if they want to get high. Tobacco is linked to 17 types of cancer, including lung, throat and bladder – and is deemed to be the most preventable form of the disease.
Smoking Out Sleep Problems: Pot May Fight Restless Legs Syndrome [Live Science]
Although the new report suggests that marijuana helped relieve the symptoms of the disorder in six people, more research is needed to examine marijuana’s efficacy and safety for reducing symptoms of restless legs syndrome, said Dr. Imad Ghorayeb, a sleep medicine expert at the Bordeaux Hospital University Center in France. Ghorayeb treated the people in the study and co-authored the case report.
Marijuana legalization raises the need for more research [MedicalXpress]
Now that recreational, in addition to medical, marijuana is legal in California – thanks to the resounding approval in November of Proposition 64’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act – there is renewed urgency about seeking more information on the drug’s health effects, both positive and negative. UCSF scientists recognize marijuana’s contradictory status: the drug has significant proven and potential therapeutic uses, but it can also lead to tremendous public health problems. Everyone agrees that a stronger evidence base is key. Is second-hand marijuana smoke as dangerous as tobacco smoke? What are the possibilities for its clinical use, and why is it so hard to study them? As new laws create a new industry, are we forgetting the hard-won public health lessons from battling Big Tobacco?
Researchers figured out the amount of marijuana that helps people relax — and how much is too much [Business Insider UK]
Knowing how much is too much can be hard, and a new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows just how easy it is to overshoot the target. The study investigates the amount of cannabis that can push someone from relaxed to anxious, and suggests that the quantity that helps people relax is actually pretty small.
How To Keep Your Endocannabinoid System Healthy [Cannabis.net]
More people are taking cannabis as a form of prevention against disease and to keep the endocannabinoid system. By consuming cannabis regularly and following these tips, you can ensure that your endocannabinoid system is in top shape – and reduce your risk for disease.
Why Does Cannabis Give You Cottonmouth? [Zenpype]
Cottonmouth is one of the most famous side effects of cannabis consumption. A grainy tongue and difficulty swallowing isn’t fun for anyone, especially when you’re about to dive into some delicious carby munchies after a few puffs of some pungent flower. But, why does cannabis give you cottonmouth? Surprisingly, the answer is more straightforward than it might seem.
Locking People Up For Drugs Has No Effect On Public Safety Or Substance Use, Study Finds [Huffington Post]
As President Donald Trump’s administration appears poised to ramp up its punitive response to drugs, a study released this week finds that imprisoning people for drug offenses has no measurable effect on a number of the most pressing problems associated with these illicit substances. In a letter Monday addressed to New Jersey Gov. Christie (R), whom Trump tapped earlier this year to lead his task force on the opioid epidemic, Adam Gelb of the Pew Charitable Trusts lays out state-by-state data on drug imprisonment, overdose deaths, drug arrests and self-reported drug use, not including marijuana. His conclusion: There is “no statistically significant relationship” between those numbers.
8 Times America’s War on Drugs Was Stranger Than Fiction [History Lists]
When the United States first launched the “War on Drugs” nearly five decades ago, not even the cleverest conspiracy theorists could have imagined the far-reaching consequences the campaign would have around the world. From the CIA allowing drug traffickers to flourish in exchange for their assistance in toppling leftist leaders abroad to the deal made with an infamous Nazi, check out eight things you probably don’t about the “War on Drugs.”
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!!