Embassy HEADLINES Issue 263

By Published On: August 3, 2017Categories: Cannabis

Sex Party leader backs Nimbin’s Lane Boys [Echo NetDaily]

Leader of the Australian Sex Party and Victorian MP Fiona Patten has condemned the jail sentences handed down to seven Nimbin locals last week for selling cannabis as a pointless, life shattering waste of resources when other jurisdictions are basking in the success of tax-and regulate models.

Mardigrass Is Always Greener [Blank Gold Coast]

“We know prohibition doesn’t work. It’s about how you change that 80 odd years of propaganda,” said Kasavalis. “Changing cannabis policy is a minefield because you’re treading on a lot of toes; the AMA, the police, lobbying companies including pharmaceutical companies, the company that supplies saliva tests to the police.” David Shoebridge threw organised crime into that mix as well “The ones who are making the money from illegal drugs desperately don’t want the laws changed.”

Australia’s First Medicinal Cannabis Leadership Program [Cann10]

The Cann10 Medicinal Cannabis Leadership Program is Australia’s first training program in the field of medicinal cannabis. The program provides a comprehensive approach to cannabis education including historical, cultural, legal/regulatory, commercial, chemical and agricultural aspects. It is delivered by an array of world-class professionals and has been designed so that participants can have personal access to their expertise. As a result, the number of participants in this program is limited. Graduates of this program will acquire an in depth knowledge of the industry as well as practical tools to help build their commercial and scientific projects.

Medicinal cannabis in Tasmania: Everything you need to know about the state’s rules [ABC]

The island state of Tasmania is considered a good place to grow medicinal cannabis. The fertile earth of Australia’s southernmost location is expected to play a big part in meeting the growing demand for the product as more states and territories allow its use. Tasmania is edging closer to allowing sick people access on September 1 – but there are several steps still to be taken.

Petition: Please help desperate terminally-ill and sick patients — medicinal cannabis is blocked [change.org]

The laws are so broken that just 18 sick patients have managed to access medicinal cannabis in NSW. I need your help now by signing my petition. I’ve spoken with NSW Health Minister personally about fixing the broken medicinal cannabis laws. But the government still hasn’t fixed these laws blocking doctors and patients from accessing medicinal cannabis, in fact it has added to them.

Petition: #HelpNotHarm: Stand against mandatory drug testing [GetUp!]

The Turnbull Government is pursuing radical changes that will endanger people trying to rebuild their lives in the face of alcohol and drug problems. Healthcare professionals are denouncing the move as seriously out of step with clinical evidence, international best practice and their commitment to do no harm. Parliament could vote on these policies as soon as next week – and with the ALP and most of the Senate crossbench yet to declare a position, there’s a very real chance they will pass. Will you join with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to call on Parliament to stop playing political games with people’s lives?

Powerful Senate Committee Ties Jeff Sessions’s Hands on Medical Marijuana [Drug Policy Alliance]

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted by voice vote to approve an amendment that would block the Department of Justice from spending any funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. The amendment – led by Senator Leahy (D-VT) – is a striking rebuke of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had personally requested that Congress eliminate the amendment and allow him to prosecute medical marijuana providers and patients. The amendment passed with strong Republican support, a sign that Sessions is isolated politically as rumors of a crackdown on marijuana businesses abound.

‘Marijuana Justice Act’ Would End Weed Prohibition Throughout The Land [Forbes]

Presented today, a new congressional bill aims to get government and cannabis on the same side of the law by ending a decades-long federal ban on the plant.

The Marijuana Justice Act Introduced In Senate [NORML]

Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) has introduced comprehensive marijuana reform legislation, the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017. The bill would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Free certification for US cannabis labs to help fight opioid epidemic [Chemistry World]

Ensuring that America’s medical marijuana is reliable and of high quality will help patients and drive down opioid use in the country, according to Americans for Safe Access. A group dedicated to improving access to and the safety of medicinal cannabis in the US is offering its certification programme free of charge to cannabis testing labs to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic. The Americans for Safe Access (ASA)’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) programme is intended to be a mark of quality for cannabis testing labs, and to help them prepare for ISO 17025 accreditation – the main international standard for demonstrating the technical competence and accuracy of testing and calibration labs, says Jahan Marcu, director of the certification programme.

Military veterans are a problem for the Trump administration’s war on marijuana [The Sydney Morning Herald]

The Trump administration’s attack on legal marijuana is increasingly confronting an even more politically potent adversary: military veterans. Frustrated by federal laws restricting their access to a drug many already rely on to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioid addiction, veterans have become an influential lobbying force in the marijuana debate after sitting on the sidelines for years.

Montel Williams shares his new line of cannabis products and why he’s not afraid of Trump [The Cannifornian]

Eighteen years ago, television celebrity Montel Williams couldn’t have imagined he’d one day be standing in a sleek Santa Ana dispensary chatting with fans about his new line of cannabis products. In 2001, a doctor quietly recommended that Williams try medical marijuana to ease the chronic nerve pain and muscle spasms that accompany his incurable autoimmune disease. Williams says he found immediate relief, and he’s taken cannabis products almost daily since. He’s also become one of the most high-profile proponents of medical marijuana, supporting legalization initiatives throughout the country even as threats of a crackdown by the Trump administration loom. “I feel no one has a right to get into the middle of a conversation between a doctor and a patient,” he said. “If a doctor recommends cannabis, then everyone else needs to shut up and get out of that conversation.”

‘Marijuana moms’ say smoking pot makes them better parents [Today]

Bawdon, 30, and her friends believe marijuana helps treat pain and depression and also helps them relax and boosts their productivity. Recreational pot use is legal in California. “I can smoke it and go clean my whole house and do all my laundry and just get everything done,” Elizabeth Orduno told Shriver. “I feel like I am actually more focused and attentive while I am medicated, it kind of gives me that spruce of energy that I don’t have,” another mom, Saydee Perkins, added. Bawdon, who started a blog called “The Cannavist Mom,” suffers from migraines and says prescription pills left her feeling foggy and disconnected.

Forget pot producers – here’s a better way for investors to cash in on cannabis legalization [The Globe and Mail]

There is only one minor sticking point not mentioned to the more than 200 investors and industry participants eager to make connections at a recent cannabis investment forum in Toronto. Independent retail stores are illicit everywhere in Canada. And it might remain that way even after Ottawa legalizes recreational marijuana next July. Each province will determine how and where the stuff can be sold.

Thames Water Tried to Blame Wastage on Cannabis Farms [Vice]

England is the only country in the world to have fully privatised its water and sewerage system. Almost 30 years on, it’s not totally clear what we’ve gained: researchers say privatisation actually costs us £2.3 billion a year, summer brings water shortages to the south and east, and we still lose 20 percent of our water through leaks (by contrast, Phnom Penh in Cambodia loses 6.5 percent). Fixing leaky infrastructure is the obvious way for companies to avoid a slap on the wrist and a fine from water regulator Ofwat. Unfortunately, this is also expensive, so last year one company decided to pursue an unlikely scapegoat: cannabis farms. Thames Water attempted to obtain the address of every known cannabis farm in London from police, in a bid to calculate the amount of water lost to illicit consumption.

Indian Minister Calls for Medical Cannabis Legalisation: Could It Help Reduce the Heroin Crisis? [Talking Drugs]

Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, declared that “marijuana should be legalised for medical purposes, especially as it serves a purpose in [treating] cancer”. Gandhi was speaking during a ministerial discussion on India’s National Drug Demand Reduction Policy – a regularly-revised government document which aims to reduce demand for both illegal and pharmaceutical drugs.

Poland President Signs MMJ Legalization Measure [Ganjapreneur]

Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed legislation legalizing medical cannabis use in the nation, allowing patients to register with pharmacies who will dispense medical cannabis products, according to a 112 International report. Initially, the measure would have allowed patients to grow their own cannabis; however, amendments to the bill removed that provision, allowing instead for pharmacies to prepare drugs from raw materials that will be imported into Poland. The program will allow patients with severe illnesses, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, treatment resistant epilepsy, and nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, to access medical cannabis therapies if approved by a physician, but there is not presently a set qualifying condition list for program access. The rules will allow patients to access raw cannabis, extracts, and tinctures. A cannabis institute will be created to educate pharmacists, physicians, and the public on the next steps.

Cyprus Follows in the Footsteps of Greece and Approves Medical Cannabis Bill [Greek Reporter]

The Cyprus government on Wednesday approved a bill allowing the cultivation and provision of medical cannabis, Health Minister Giorgos Pamborides said. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Pamborides said that the aim of the bill was to get international investors to express interest in the two licenses that will be granted for the cultivation of medical cannabis in Cyprus, attracting capital and boosting the field of research and development in the pharmaceutical sector and industry.

Could a legal quirk bring cannabis tourism to Switzerland? [The Telegraph]

A Swiss supermarket has become the first major chain in the world to start selling cannabis cigarettes. Coop Cooperative shoppers can now grab a pack of the cigarettes along with their artisan chocolate and Gruyère cheese. Cannabis with less than 1 per cent THC is legal in the country – that’s higher than the 0.2 per cent legal limit in most other European countries. The cigarettes also contain a high level of the other component found in hemp and marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD). These CBD-rich cigarettes have a mellow effect and are thought to be useful in treating pain and panic attacks. Coop introduced the cannabis cigarettes in a handful of its stores earlier this month, and have already sold out. It is now extending the sales to its 700 stores across Switzerland.

Your stoner friend really is a lot more relaxed than you, scientists confirm [The Age]

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in eight American states plus the District of Columbia, giving US health researchers more leeway than ever to investigate some of the foundational underpinnings of cannabis culture: How much weed is in a joint? What happens to your brain when you get high?And now: Are chronic marijuana users really more relaxed than everyone else?

Study shows muted stress response linked to long-term cannabis use [MedicalXpress]

A new study by Washington State University psychology researchers reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users.

MS charity says cannabis should be legalised for medicinal use [The Pharmaceutical Journal]

UK should follow the lead of Germany and Canada and legalise the drug for people with multiple sclerosis, a condition that already has a licensed cannabis-derived treatment, says MS Society.

Cannabis for Inflammation, Why Does Is Work So Well? [Cannabis Health Radio]

Inflammation is the root cause of dozens of chronic illnesses that plague us today. Inflammation occurs when the immune system is compromised, and leads to organ, joint, and tissue damage in many parts of the body. Read more here.

Latest GW Pharma Limited Patents [JUSTIA Patents]

This invention relates to the use of one or more cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy and more particularly to the use of one or a combination of cannabinoids in the treatment of generalized or partial seizure. In one embodiment it relates to the use of the cannabinoid THCV, as a pure or isolated compound, or as a plant extract in which significant amounts of any THC naturally present has been selectively removed. In another embodiment the phytocannabinoid is CBD.

Trump urged to declare national emergency over opioid crisis [BBC]

President Donald Trump’s commission to tackle opioid drug abuse is urging him to declare a national emergency. In a draft report, the cross-party group of lawmakers argue that doing so would force officials to prioritise attention and funding to the issue. “With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks”, the authors write. One third of Americans were prescribed opioids in 2015, the group found.

The Dangers of a Blanket Ban on Synthetic Drugs [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]

It seems rather counterintuitive that the Andrews government is proposing a blanket ban on what it has termed “psychoactive substances,” or what are more commonly known as legal synthetic drugs. However, that’s exactly what the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2017 will do if it is passed by the upper house of parliament. The bill will amend the Victorian Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. Amongst other things, it will add to the list of “drugs of dependency” and prohibit the production, sale and promotion of psychoactive substances, as well as increasing police powers pertaining to them.

We are a long way from an informed debate on drugs [Independent]

The key to policy should be harm reduction. Drug abuse – just like alcohol abuse and, indeed tobacco use of any kind – is primarily a medical and health issue rather than a criminal one.

Iran plans to decriminalise drug use allowing government to give diluted drugs to addicts [Independent]

Iran could be on the verge of decriminalising some forms of drug use to allow the government to distribute drugs to addicts. By allowing the government to give out diluted rugs to addicts, the proposal aims to cut the relationship between drug addicts and drug traffickers. “The plan to distribute [low-grade] drugs is similar to what used to be implemented before the [1979 Iran’s Islamic] Revolution,” said Hassan Norouzi, the spokesperson for the Parliament’s Judicial and Legal Commission, according to IFPNews.

The Weird Stuff Discovered in the Drugs at Secret Garden Party [Vice]

“Interestingly, 46 percent had already tried the drug before dropping them off for testing,” says Fiona, “so rather than looking for validation or confirmation of drugs that they’re planning to take, they had already taken them and were concerned, tense and were coming to see us. People think that we just test the drugs before people take them, but [we’re also there to provide] drug information after people have taken them, if it’s a substance of concern that they want to find more information about. So that was heartening for us.”

How on-site drug testing at festivals can help save lives [Fact]

This year, between six and 10 UK festivals are hoping to provide drug testing on site following the recent increase in drug-related deaths. As the UK appears to be slowly catching up with the rest of Europe in terms of attitudes to harm reduction, April Clare Welsh explores whether this controversial practice can help save the lives of recreational drug users.

Dark web markets boom after AlphaBay and Hansa busts [BBC]

Trade on several of the dark web’s illegal markets has boomed since two major players were shut by the authorities last month, according to research carried out for the BBC. The US and Dutch authorities forced AlphaBay and Hansa offline to prevent the sale of drugs, weapons and malware. But over the last week of July, other sites saw their number of listings rise by as much as 28%, the study indicates.

Philippines mayor accused by Duterte of drugs trade links shot dead [BBC]

A Philippine mayor accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of having links with the illegal drugs trade has been shot dead in a police raid. Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of the city of Ozamiz on Mindanao island, was killed with his wife and 10 others at his home as police served a warrant. Officers were fired on by the mayor’s security guards, officials said. More than 7,000 people are said to have been killed since Mr Duterte launched a war on the drugs trade in July 2016.

Why You Should Drink Ayahuasca Alone [Julian Palmer]

In most countries outside of South America, if you want to drink Ayahuasca, you must pay quite a lot of money to a facilitator/curandero, and then drink in potentially a troublesome group, squished in with a lot of random people. And that is not to say that this experience may not be very well worth the money, it is just that many people may want to go deeper themselves, without the potential distractions and costs.

New Druglawed film released! [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…

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!!