Embassy HEADLINES Issue 261

By Published On: July 20, 2017Categories: Cannabis

Australia’s Failed Drug Policy – Prohibition is Killing and Criminalising Our Children [Greendorphin]

We can’t possibly be happy with the results that we are achieving with our current illicit drug policy. As a Greendorphin reader, you most likely agree with the above statement, however, you might be a little surprised that these words are directly quoted from Mick Palmer, a former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

No easy answers for medicinal cannabis cropping [North Queensland Register]

Medicinal cannabis should be grown under protected cropping conditions, not open fields, according to an industry expert. Widely known hydroponic cropping figure and author, Dr Mike Nichols, spoke at the Protected Cropping Australia Conference in Adelaide last week where he gave an insight into his research into the potential of medical marijuana. While primarily giving an introduction to the various types of cannabis and examining some of its different medical properties, the New Zealand-based Dr Nichols also delivered opinions on the crop’s potential. “Many people consider outdoor production appropriate; I’m not one of them because we are dealing with a medicinal crop and we want to keep it in its highest quality from a disease, pests and those sorts of things, point of view,” Dr Nichols said.

EXCLUSIVE: Drug user arrests spiral in Australia yet dealer arrests stay the same [Independent Australia]

New data released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission shows overall drug arrests doubled in the last ten years — but the number of dealers and manufacturers caught remained unchanged. What the hell’s going on?

Australia, Marijuana, and MardiGrass: A Discovery Down Under [Marijuana]

The idea of an adventure to ‘Oz’ started as a casual conversation amongst friends about the country’s longest running cannabis law reform rally and festival, MardiGrass.

Savage Love Letter of the Day: An Australian Feels Guilty about Their Stoned Vacation in Colorado [The Stranger]

And if your parents freak out, POT, tell them legal weed isn’t killing Australians who visit the United States. Street criminals with guns are. Bored teenagers with guns are. Bad cops with guns are. Weed isn’t the problem here. Guns are.

Bitcoin Could Help Solve The Cannabis Industry’s Banking Problems [International Business Times]

Peter Klamka, CEO of Bitcoin Direct LLC in Nevada, told International Business Times cannabis entrepreneurs are flocking to his door with questions about how to incorporate bitcoin into their businesses, from edibles manufacturing to growers and dispensaries. “I could spend all day talking to marijuana guys,” Klamka said. “It [bitcoin] would solve a lot of their cash problems.” Cryptocurrency could help heavily regulated weed markets bypass the old school banks still making business decisions based on social stigmas.

Smoking Marijuana While Black [The New York Times]

New York City was scaling back its stop-and-frisk program even before a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the tactics underlying it violated the constitutional rights of minority citizens. It’s hard not to look at marijuana arrests today without thinking of that saga. Although the city has reduced the number of arrests for low-level marijuana possession, black and Latino New Yorkers are far more likely to be arrested for smoking in public than whites, who are just as likely to use marijuana.

Jeff Sessions is leading America back into Reefer Madness [The Guardian]

After making baseless statements that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin and that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” the attorney general, Jeff Sessions – who once “joked” that he thought the violent white supremacists of the KKK were “okay until I found out they smoked pot” – has established a task force to investigate the connection between marijuana and violent crime. The US attorney general is trying to undo the progress made in liberalizing marijuana consumption in the US. This will only lead to more people in jail.

States Keep Saying Yes to Marijuana Use. Now Comes the Federal No. [The New York Times]

“This is part of a larger set of issues that the country is wrestling with right now, where a very strong-willed minority is trying to impose its value system on the country as a whole,” said Roger McNamee, an industry investor.

Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens [The Washington Post]

Asset forfeiture is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of crime. There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently.

Stop Sessions from ramping up drug war forfeiture [Drug Policy Alliance]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy directing law enforcement agencies to increase the use of civil forfeiture in the name of fighting the drug war. This corrupt practice – also known as “policing for profit” – allows police to seize and keep cash, property, and other assets from people who are merely suspected of being involved in a drug law violation.

Donald Trump says Mexico border wall must be see-through to stop ‘sacks of drugs’ landing on people’s heads [Independent]

“As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them. They hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.”

GB Sciences to test cannabis-based therapies on humans, taps Worldwide Clinical Trials [Fierce Biotech]

GB Sciences has decided to focus its drug development forces on three cannabinoid therapies in its pipeline, and it has tapped Worldwide Clinical Trials to assess its intellectual property portfolio and to help with pre-IND planning. Through its subsidiary Growblox Life Sciences formed last July, the company is planning pilot human studies in Nevada for two formulations for Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain, respectively, with future IND-enabled clinical trials in other states; while another cardiovascular candidate will be directly put to FDA-registered IND after preclinical studies.

Canada should continue with separate medical stream after cannabis is legalized for recreational use [MedicalXpress]

After cannabis is legalized, Canada should continue with a separate medical cannabis stream to keep patients safe, argues a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Labour MP calls on public to ‘come to Parliament, take cannabis and break the law’ [iNews]

A Labour MP has called on the public to break the law and take cannabis outside the Houses of Parliament in a bid to change the law around the drug. Paul Flynn made the extraordinary appeal during a debate on drugs policy in the Commons on Tuesday. The MP for Newport West has long campaigned for the laws to be changed to allow people to take cannabis for medicinal purposes.

A Manchester MP has called for the legalisation of cannabis [Manchester Evening News]

Cannabis should be legalised and many other drugs decriminalised, a Manchester MP told Parliament. Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Withington, told the House of Commons he believes the legalisation of cannabis is ‘inevitable’, if only the government would ‘grasp the nettle’. He also described the war on drugs as a ‘dangerous fantasy’ which ‘diverts attention and resources from the real challenge of making drugs safer and taking back control of the drugs trade from the criminals who want to exploit vulnerable users’. Mr Smith said addicts should be treated, not vilified.

Durham Police Commissioner Ron Hogg to call for radical reform of UK drug policy [The Northern Echo]

Calls for reform of the Government’s drugs policy will be made at a conference taking place in the North-East later this week. Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg is to chair a meeting of experts at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham on Friday. Mr Hogg, who has previously advocated giving free heroin to addicts in supervised shooting galleries and the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, plans to publish a manifesto calling for reform. He said: “National drugs policy has failed. “We need a radical new approach to cut crime reduce harm and keep communities safe. I will be publishing my manifesto, ‘Towards a Safer Drugs Policy’, calling for reform to be clear and well-evidenced”.

The Alternative Drug Strategy [volteface]

“Addicts should be treated and supported into recovery, removing them as consumers. Their entrapment in criminal justice is a waste of police time, a waste of public spend, does not help them to recover, provides a continued market to dealers and dissuades addicts from revealing themselves for treatment for fear of the criminal consequences… If the aim is to stop people taking drugs, and to stop people committing crime in order to fund their habit, we must follow the evidence and support people to recover rather send them to prison.” On the same day as the Government’s new drug strategy was published – making it clear once more that “we have no intention of decriminalising drugs” – a straight-talking ex-police officer was telling a room full of prison governors, policemen, probation workers, drugs charity workers, academics, councillors, treatment organisations, bereaved parents and former drug addicts why his force has taken to doing the very opposite: introducing a de facto decriminalisation of drug use.

‘Smart’ vending machine could sell alcohol and ammunition [BBC]

A vending machine fitted with biometric security has been developed which could be used to dispense a variety of restricted goods including alcohol, ammunition and cannabis. The “secure” device attached to the machine identifies users by the veins in the fingers and verifies that they have the right to buy the products.

Medical cannabis use could be legal in Channel Islands [BBC]

Medical cannabis could be legalised in Jersey and Guernsey due to the findings of a report rejected in the UK. The islands’ governments are reviewing laws around the drug, citing a report commissioned and “ignored” by a UK parliamentary committee. Report author Professor Mike Barnes said evidence found “no reason” not to legalise cannabis for medical use, and UK laws were “behind” other countries. The Home Office said “rigorous standards” were needed.

Medicinal use of cannabis: RPS seeks pharmacists’ views [The Pharmaceutical Journal]

A new survey into pharmacists’ views on the medicinal use of cannabis has been launched by the UK Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Uruguay pharmacies start selling cannabis straight to consumers [The Guardian]

Pharmacies in Uruguay have begun selling cannabis directly to consumers, culminating a long and pioneering legalization effort that began over three years ago.

Uruguay pharmacies start selling marijuana [MedicalXpress]

The buyers who talked to AFP reporters all said they had bought 10 grams of pot, a packet of each variety on sale. The packets are being retailed at $6.60 each, according to the IRCCA. Customers are identified through a digital fingerprint reader, which allows them to buy without having to show other forms of identification in the store. Uruguay’s goal in legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use is to cut down on illegal smuggling. Camila Berro, a 24-year-old business student, walked out of a pharmacy smiling, two packets of pot in hand. “I feel very lucky to be able to get it legally,” she said. “I have friends in other countries who were imprisoned for smoking a joint.” To Ferreyra, the municipal worker, “Uruguay has taken a very big step… I hope one day they can legalize a lot more drugs.” And former President Jose Mujica, who enacted the marijuana reforms while in office from 2010 to 2015, said that while “no addiction is good,” it was “horrible to condemn a marvelous plant.” Uruguay, he added, is “trying a new path.”

Uruguay’s Marijuana Law Turns Pharmacists Into Dealers [The New York Times]

The rules are a bit of a buzzkill. Drug users must officially register with the government. Machines will scan buyers’ fingerprints at every purchase, and there are strict quotas to prevent overindulgence. But when Uruguay’s marijuana legalization law takes full effect on Wednesday, getting high will take a simple visit to the pharmacy.

Hemp Institute records first cancer healing with cannabis oil [Hanf Institut]

A 47 year old man from Wagrain in Austria has successfully beaten his prostate cancer stage 4 with cannabis oil, the Austrian Hanf-Institut (Hemp Institute) announced on Thursday. According to his latest lab tests and doctor’s letters, he has now been cancer free for more than 3 months after treating himself with massive doses of cannabis oil for 18 months while dropping all other chemical pharmaceuticals and going off chemo therapy, which he says did more bad than good. Martin Winkler is the first documented case in Austria where cannabis oil made his ‚inoperable‘ tumor vanish completely.

Medical cannabis Bill scrapped in Ireland [The Christian Institute]

A Bill which would have legalised cannabis for medical use has been dropped in the Republic of Ireland. The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 would have allowed the drug, a Class B controlled substance in the UK, to be permitted for patients with epilepsy, intractable nausea and other illnesses.

What is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Cannabis Use? [Greendorphin]

We hear the terms ‘recreational marijuana’ or ‘recreational Cannabis’ just as much these days as we do ‘medical marijuana’ and ‘medical Cannabis’. This makes many people wonder what the difference is between the two. Are they different strains or how exactly recreational Cannabis’ is different to medical Cannabis? Fortunately, there is a very easy answer to that question. There is absolutely no difference between the two. As Cannabis is becoming more accepted around the world, as part of the developing culture, the terminology is developing along with it. Recreational Cannabis is a term that does not sit well with most Cannabis activist and for good reasons.

Why is Australia’s most progressive Premier blocking an injection room trial? [ABC]

The paramedics who treat overdosed heroin addicts want a safe injecting room trial. The Richmond traders and locals who deal with users and their needles want a trial. The local government backs it. Health experts across the fields demand it. And Victoria’s coroner has twice recommended the state trial a medically supervised injecting room. So what is stopping Australia’s most progressive political leader, Premier Daniel Andrews, from trialling, yes trialling, an injecting room in Melbourne’s heroin hotspot in North Richmond? Introducing safe injecting rooms is gold material for an Opposition already hell bent on making law and order the number one issue at the 2018 state election. Sensitive to suggestions he’s soft on crime, Mr Andrews rarely says no to requests from the police. At this point, their endorsement of a trial is perhaps the only thing that could change the Premier’s mind.

Calls for drug policy rethink as hospitals ration ‘critical’ painkiller fentanyl [The Age]

Australian hospitals are being forced to ration a painkiller used in millions of operations each year because a major supplier cannot keep up with demand. The shortage of the powerful painkiller fentanyl could potentially endanger patients, experts say, and is one of a growing number of critical shortages being reported across the nation, including for first-line antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs. The problem has prompted calls for an overhaul of the way drugs are supplied to Australia, to prevent single pharmaceutical companies holding near monopolies over important products.

Nearly half of WA sporting teams have at least one ‘unhealthy’ sponsor [The Age]

A new study reveals almost half of WA sporting teams have at least one “unhealthy” sponsor supporting them, with Aussie Rules footy the biggest culprit. Experts say children as young as five are associating team sports with the products and messages certain clubs promote through sponsorship. Alcohol was the most common unhealthy sponsor identified followed by food and drink sponsors and gambling groups.

Catholic Church Gives Out Heroin Antidote Narcan at Family Festival [People]

An Ohio church hosting a family festival added a new element to the festivities this year: handing out Narcan, the nasal spray used as an antidote for people overdosing on heroin and other opioids.

Philip Morris waging global effort to hobble anti-smoking treaty, files show [The Guardian]

Philip Morris, the multinational company best known for Marlboro cigarettes, has developed a corporate strategy to undermine a global treaty and fight tobacco regulation around the world, leaked documents reveal.

‘Co-founder’ of AlphaBay dark web for drugs and weapons found dead in cell [Independent]

26-year-old Canadian Alexandre Cazes, believed to be behind dark net marketplace AlphaBay, has been found dead in a Bangkok jail cell. He was a computer expert involved with Bitcoin transactions.

New Druglawed film released today! [Druglawed]

We released the latest chapter in the international Druglawed saga today, download it in HD for only $4.20 at this link: https://druglawed.vhx.tv/buy/druglawed-2-specialis…

Next Nimbin Medican Workshop 5 August 2017 [Hemp Embassy]

Next Medican Workshop Saturday August 5 at the Bush Theatre in Nimbin. 11 am – 4.20pm. Speakers include Carol Ireland (CEO Epilepsy Australia) and a panel of parents of epileptic children; Dr Deb Waldren on healing with Cannabis; Michael Stoopman and CBD Luke; Zane Archer on nutrition also; Andrew Kavasilas on the latest from the govt’s dilemma; Toney Fitzgerald on treating his cancer; Weeded Warriors on PTSD; Radic Al on how to make it; MC Michael Balderstone. Free entry. If you wish to talk and share your experience please contact the HEMP Embassy….ph 0266891842 email head@hempembassy.net

Drugs, driving and policing: Byron Community Forum [Greens]

15 September 6 – 8pm @ Byron Community Centre, 69 Jonson Street Byron Bay NSW. Free Admission. Come along to hear Greens MP David Shoebridge talking about the evidence-free roadside testing regime. We will also hear from locals and experts about broader concerns about policing and drugs, particularly as they apply in Byron and surrounds. Come with a comment, a question or just to learn about what’s going on! Limited number of tickets available.

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!!