Embassy HEADLINES Issue 258
Medical cannabis workshop: ‘incredibly cumbersome’ to get drugs to patients [The Guardian]
Australia’s first doctors’ workshop on the medical uses of cannabis has heard about the complex situation around its legality. The Melbourne conference was held with the hope of improving the medical profession’s awareness about the issue.
Medicinal cannabis: Doctors, nurses and Nimbin ‘elders’ trade marijuana tips [ABC]
The ANU Medical School’s Dr David Caldicott began his one-day crash course in medicinal cannabis by asking for a show of hands: how many people in the room had had a meaningful education on the medicinal uses of cannabis in medical school?
Medical cannabis industry gets peak body [News]
A new industry body has been formed to position Australia as a leader in the production of medical cannabis. The Medical Cannabis Council, launching in Melbourne on Thursday, will be the unifying voice for the industry to engage with governments on all matters concerning medical cannabis.
Make It Medicine [The Greens]
There is strong community and political support to reform our approach to medicinal cannabis and make this medication available to those who need it. There is already overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for conditions such as intractable nausea and muscle spasms. This issue is not about politics, it’s about getting medicine to people who need it, relieving their pain and suffering.
Growing Demand Drives Flurry of Aussie–Israeli Cannabis Partnerships [Leafly]
An Israeli company will partner with an Australian one to help boost clinical education opportunities around medical cannabis. The two companies, iCAN: Israel-Cannabis and Melbourne-based LeafCann have announced a joint-venture to collaborate on a range of initiatives including medicinal cannabis research, product development, and education.
Users of medicinal cannabis would be banned from driving while on drug in SA [The Advertiser]
Users of medicinal cannabis will not be allowed to drive with the drug in their system, even if it is made legal in South Australia, Police Minister Peter Malinauskas has confirmed.
Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol and it’s failing for marijuana [The Guardian]
Decriminalising marijuana would be a small step and free up resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. So where’s the push for legalisation?
‘War On Drugs’: Is there a better way? [ABC]
Mick Palmer AO APM is a 33 years career police officer and barrister at law, who had service as Commissioner of the AFP and of the NT Police.
Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2015–16 [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare]
In 2015–16, about 796 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 206,600 treatment episodes to an estimated 134,000 clients. The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of treatment episodes), cannabis (23%), amphetamines (23%), and heroin (6%). The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to rise over the 5 years to 2015–16, from 12% of treatment episodes in 2011–12 to 23% in 2015–16. The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is rising, from 31 in 2006–07 to 33 in 2015–16.
UN admits drug market thriving, for first time does not condemn cannabis legalisation [Transform]
Today the UN World Drug Report 2017 acknowledges that under the current drug war approach, the promised drug-free world is further away than ever, with the illegal drug market “thriving and diversifying”. However, for the first time it not only acknowledges that cannabis is being legalised and regulated in a growing number of places, it does not condemn this approach – a sharp change from previous statements by UN drugs bodies.
Legalized marijuana is making it harder for police to search your car [The Washington Post]
Drug policy experts often say that the health risks of marijuana use are relatively minor compared to the steep costs of marijuana enforcement: expensive policing, disrupted lives, violence and even death.
Medical marijuana wooing four-legged fans in the US [Taipei Times]
She said owners of animals — from dogs, cats, lizards, turtles, alpacas and horses to farm animals — are increasingly turning to cannabis to help treat ailments ranging from cancer and heart murmurs to arthritis and ear infections.
Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana [Bloomberg]
The finance minister of Canada’s most-populous province, Ontario, said a supply crunch was discussed during a meeting with provincial and federal counterparts this week. Canada is aiming to legalize recreational pot in the next 12 months, the first major economy to do so. One analyst said he’s concerned the government could use a supply shortage as an excuse to delay rolling out the program.
British Sugar cannabis farm ‘weed’ smell investigated [BBC]
A sugar producer is investigating whether its cannabis farm is responsible for a smell which has been baffling Norfolk residents for a week.
Poland Votes To Legalise Medical Cannabis [volteface]
Polish lawmakers have this week voted to legalise medical cannabis. The EU member voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move – only 2 politicians out of 443 voting against the bill. Pending approval from the senate, the legislation will make Poland the latest country to embrace medicinal cannabis, joining the likes of the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain.
Cannabis Experts Produce “High”-way Code of 10 Tips to Help Reduce Health Risks [Independent]
A new review conducted by some of the world’s leading experts on cannabis provides 10 tips on how to reduce the potential harm of using cannabis.
Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use [EurekAlert!]
Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks. The guidelines, based on a scientific review by an international team of experts, are published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The Terpene Revolution [PROHBTD]
In August 2011, Dr. Ethan B. Russo, the foremost researcher on therapeutic cannabis, published “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” This study led to the first serious examination of terpenes’ medicinal effects in combination with the popular cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In just five months, countless cannabis companies began selective breeding to ensure higher CBD and terpene yields, and cannabis-culture columns began espousing the potentials of CBD and terpenes in conjunction with THC—partially due to new computer analysis programs that can decode the full content profile of cannabis plants. Today, many dispensaries will display both the THC and CBD content, while some particularly well-off clubs might even give accurate terpene profiles. This falls in line with what Dr. Russo called for in a sativa vs. indica interview: “It is essential that future commerce allows complete and accurate cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles to be available.”
Cannabis drug cuts seizures in childhood epilepsy [The Pharmaceutical Journal]
Cannabidiol shows promise in reducing the frequency of convulsive seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy.
The proposed changes to disability support pension are dangerous and unfair [The Guardian]
The Turnbull government plans to prevent some people with severe drug and alcohol dependence to get support. This fails the most basic logic test.
Young Liberals launch fresh assault on NSW government over ‘nanny state’ lockout laws [The Sydney Morning Herald]
The influential youth wing of the Liberal Party has launched a fresh assault on the federal government over NSW’s lockout laws, sensing an opportunity in premier Gladys Berejiklian to have the “nanny state” provisions overturned.
Drug-Taking is Inevitable at Festivals, So We Must Focus On Keeping People Safe [volteface]
Last year I shadowed The Loop as they offered their pioneering front-of-house drug testing programme in Manchester at one of The Warehouse Project’s club nights.
What Are Cannabis Sugars? [Marijuana Doctors]
Cannabis-infused sugar crystals are a new trend on the medical marijuana scene, expanding the options available with edible cannabis goods. While previous edibles used butter and oils made from cannabis, cannabis sugars provide another, sweeter option.
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!!