Embassy HEADLINES Issue 265
Embassy HEADLINES Issue 265

Embassy HEADLINES Issue 265

Nimbin drug arrests: 29 young men pay price for government law and order decision [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Thirty-year resident Jan Levy’s two sons were among the “Lane Boys” charged. One received a suspended sentence. The other is awaiting sentencing. “When I see the hullabaloo over the alleged drug busts in Sydney and Dubai this week, you’ve got to think Nimbin is pretty small beer,” she says. “Now I realise the authorities become annoyed at Nimbin flaunting the rules but marijuana is used by people across society … its medicinal use is what attracts many people to come and buy from the ‘Lane Boys’. It also is part of the town’s tourist attractions. Government ought to act responsibly and start collecting taxes on cannabis instead of artificially keeping the price up for people who want it for health, relaxation or enjoyment by keeping it illegal.” As Nimbin struggles to stay straight, one of America’s largest cannabis companies American Green Inc., bought the entire California desert town of Nipton this week after the owner had it up for sale for $7 million. AG Inc plans to transform the old Gold Rush town into what it calls “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.

Mullum nurse defends using cannabis as a cure [EchoNetdaily]

If it were not for The Lane Boys, it is possible I would not be alive today as my health condition had made me so depressed I was suicidal and it was impossible for me to gain weight.  The laws in our country regarding cannabis are archaic and go against all research and experience throughout the world.  It is our government’s attitude and the judicial system that needs to grow up.

Australia’s Canna Nanna’s Movement – Aussie Grandmas with Big Vision for Cannabis [greendorphin]

Four influential wise women coming together from the cannabis community with a very strong determination to end the 80 years long prohibition around cannabis and to educate elderly Australians about the health and medicinal benefits of the cannabis and hemp plant. By touring the country and holding workshops in local community centres, retirement villages, nursing homes, sporting clubs, the Canna Nanna’s are teaching the older generations of Australians how to incorporate hemp into their diet and help them to enjoy a better quality life during their senior years by the use of medicinal cannabis.

Medical cannabis licence granted to WA company AusCann [Perth Now]

Australian drug regulators have granted what is believed to be the first licence to manufacture and supply medical cannabis in WA. AusCann, whose chairman is former WA Federal Liberal MP Mal Washer, has been granted a manufacturing licence by the Office of Drug Control, paving the way for it to not only grow but also make cannabinoid medical products. In May this year the company was given approval for a secure outdoor cultivation facility in WA, with the intention of having its first locally grown product ready next year.

Anatomy of a joint: On the way to define a standard cannabis unit [volteface]

The study aimed to compare self-estimated and actual doses of cannabis and tobacco in a joint at baseline and examine the effects of cannabis and/or tobacco consumption on self-estimated and actual doses of said products.

Tiger Woods had ‘five different drugs in his system’ at time of DUI arrest [The Telegraph]

ESPN, which cited a copy of the toxicology report, said Woods had Hydrocodone, the generic form of a painkiller branded as Vicodin; Hydromorphone, a painkiller known as Dilaudid; Alprazolam, a mood and sleep drug known as Xanax; Zolpidem, a sleep drug known as Ambien; and Delta-9 carboxy THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. In a statement after his arrest, Woods apologised to fans and blamed the incident on prescription medication he was taking to manage pain from a recent back surgery.

A lawsuit to de-schedule Cannabis [crowdjustice]

We are a midtown Manhattan law firm comprised of 6 lawyers, each a fierce advocate for the legalization of cannabis, among other counter-cultural causes.  Many of our clients are investors and startups in the burgeoning cannabis industry. As discussed below, the lawsuit referenced above is brought on behalf of two sick children, two military veterans, a former NFL player and a non-profit organization, and is intended to benefit tens of millions of people throughout the United States and the world.

Legal weed: An accidental solution to the opioid crisis? [The Conversation]

It’s hard to go a day in Canada without hearing about at least one of two types of drugs – but for vastly different reasons. One class of drug — opioids — kills four people a day in British Columbia. The other — cannabis — will be legal for adult purchase and consumption by this time next year.

Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis: Forever Feared, Not Yet Found [Leafly]

This isn’t the first time Canadian authorities have sounded the alarm over fears of fentanyl-laced cannabis. “The RCMP issued a warning last fall, saying they believed marijuana contaminated with fentanyl was being sold in Masset, B.C.,” reports the London Free Press. “But the warning was based solely on concerns from community members and no fentanyl-laced pot had been seized…. both the RCMP and Canada’s health minister have said the rumours haven’t been proven.”

Note From the Editor: The Canadian Cannabis Scene [Cannabis Digest]

Well, here’s my advice to premiers, albeit unsolicited. If you are a premier, do this. Take your favourite cabinet ministers, and go visit four places that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Study the retail plans. Pick the one you like best, and copy it. Just do it. It will not be perfect, but it will be a start, and it can be perfected over time. As to the dangers, discuss these matters with your legalizing colleagues in other parts of the world. Not everyone is as negative in outlook as Trudeau and his task force.

How each province and territory (except B.C.) is preparing for cannabis legalization [Straight]

When it comes to cannabis legalization and things like age limit, distribution, and taxation, British Columbians are still hearing crickets from our provincial government. While some provinces have reached out to citizens through online surveys, others have shown interest in providing incentives to small businesses, while others still are hoping for a regional distribution plan. A provincial-territorial working group on cannabis legalization was established at a recent meeting between premiers in Edmonton, and the group is expected to report back to premiers by November 1, with information about common considerations and best practices for legalization and regulation. (Premier Horgan was not at that meeting.)

Medical cannabis giants eye UK for next ‘green rush’ ahead of the industry’s first conference in London [The Telegraph]

In October the UK will host what is believed to be its first medical cannabis conference, an international jamboree of weed-based therapies in London. It may seem like an eccentric choice, given cannabis is illegal in Britain. But Saul Kaye, the Israeli entrepreneur behind the event, is confident the country is on the cusp of decriminalising marijuana and ushering in a “green rush” of investment. It is a phenomenon that has already gripped his homeland, creating a multibillion-dollar industry and around 500 companies. It is also one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, where medical marijuana is legal in some states. Internationally the industry is worth around $20bn (£15.5bn) and is forecast to reach $100bn by 2020. The UK is a long way behind.

Would Legalising Cannabis Be Great For The Economy? [LADbible]

Recently, the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) have been putting forward a market-driven argument for the legalisation of recreational cannabis and they’re hoping to change the discourse around the issue. As one of the UK’s leading right-wing think tanks, credited with having influenced a number of Conservative government policies since the 1980s, the institute’s ideology might seem a weird bedfellow for that of your stoner mate, Steve. But like him, they want to see an end to weed prohibition. So LADbible spoke to the the executive director of the ASI, Sam Bowman, who makes an argument for legalisation draped in true-blue economics, rather than the red, gold and green sported by Howard Marks fans the world over.

Cannabis Was Just Legalised in South Africa For Personal Use [South African Cannabis News & Culture]

All three judges of the Cape Town High Court unanimously declared the laws regarding Cannabis to be unconstitutional and ruled that the South African government had 24 months to amend these laws in favour of legalisation. The court ordered that all cultivation, possession and personal use on private property be immediately permitted. You can read the full 66 page ruling here.

Saudi singer arrested for dabbing [BBC]

A popular singer has been arrested for “dabbing” during a concert in south-west Saudi Arabia. Abdallah Al Shahani, a TV host, actor, and Saudi national, was performing the dance move, which involves a person tucking their head into the crook of their arm, at a music festival in the city of Taif at the weekend. The Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Commission for Combating Drugs recently banned the move because they consider it to refer to marijuana use. A poster published by the ministry depicting dabbing warns “people about the dangers of this [move] on the youth and society, and is warning against imitating it”.

How To Flush Marijuana Out Of Your System [Herb]

Sometimes it can be good to detox a bit and flush marijuana out of your system, and sometimes you have no choice because you really want that job you applied for and you know you’re going to be drug tested. Life’s rough, man. But although THC only stays in your system for a week, seven days exactly, passing a drug test can be more of a challenge for heavier smokers. However, there are ways to help you clean out your system, and it’s a good idea to brush up on the best ways to rid yourself of THC metabolites.

[Smoked] Marijuana use increases risk of death from high blood pressure, study finds [Independent]

Smoking marijuana increases the risk of death from high blood pressure, a new study has found. A survey published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology calculated the risk of death resulting from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular causes. In the years 2005-2006 a total of 1,213 participants were asked if they smoked marijuana.

Does cannabis influence depression? [The Mental Elf]

While cannabis continues to be the most popular illicit drug in many countries, its impact on mental health is still poorly understood. So when cannabis and depression collide, understanding the potential impact is important.

Evidence on cannabis for chronic pain and PTSD [EurekAlert!]

The scientific evidence is too limited to make firm conclusions about the effectiveness and safety of cannabis and cannabinoid products in treating chronic pain or post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The results of two systematic evidence reviews from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Brain study connects cannabis, oxygen changes [MedicalXpress]

New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas reveals that levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that leaves a euphoric feeling, directly correlate to changes in how the brain utilizes oxygen.

Harnessing the body’s own cannabis in the fight against cancer [The Conversation]

The drugs used to treat cancer after surgery can help to slow disease progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, nor do they help with pain associated with some cancers such as sarcomas (rare bone cancers). There is a drug, however, that potentially does both of these things: cannabis.

Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Trauma Patients [NORML]

Trauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

Why People Smoke Weed to Treat Depression [Vice]

Smoking weed to feel less depressed is a well-known phenomenon—but does it actually work?

There’s no known cure for arthritis, but marijuana works wonders [NY Daily News]

It’s no surprise that cannabis could offer arthritis sufferers relief. After all, cannabis is known to be as much as 20 times more effective than aspirin at reducing inflammation and can be an effective sleep aid. Some research certainly supports those decisions. An Israeli study found that 90 percent of medical marijuana patients stayed on their medicine regimen and most reported reduced pain and function. Researchers at the University of Nottingham noted that targeting cannabinoid receptors with medical marijuana products may help bring pain relief to knee joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.

4 Reasons Weed Is Medically Awesome For People Over 45 [The Alternative Daily]

“The prevalence of cannabis use has increased significantly in recent years among U.S. adults aged … [over] 50 years,” the researchers concluded. Specifically, the study found marijuana use among people aged 50 to 65 has increased nearly 60 percent over the past decade, while usage among those aged 65-plus is up a whopping 250 percent. While the research clearly shows cannabis users are far more diverse than the stereotypical college stoner, it also poses an interesting question of its own: why do middle aged and senior Americans love weed so much?

Can Topical Cannabis Heal Wounds? [High Times]

With vaping and edibles getting so much attention these days, let us not forget about the value and benefits of topical cannabis, like balms, lotions, oils and salves, that are showing remarkable results in healing skin wounds and abrasions, as well as easing muscular pain.

5 Diseases That THC Can Treat Really Well [Cannabis.net]

THC may be the superstar cannabinoid because it’s responsible for getting you high. But there’s much more to THC than meets the eye: this valuable cannabinoid also has important and even life-saving health benefits. While many research studies tend to veer toward CBD as a focus for the cannabis plant’s therapeutic benefits, THC has tricks up its sleeve too. This is great news for patients who are willing to medicate and don’t mind the buzz, since CBD is often preferred by patients who need the healing properties of cannabis but don’t want to get high. But despite the fact that THC is a reason why many doctors still don’t want to prescribe cannabis to patients, these studies show that THC address several medical conditions.

Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium 8th – 10th of December [EGA]

It is our absolute pleasure to share with you Entheogenesis Australis (EGA’s) greatly-anticipated second program announcement – containing the full and 100 percent confirmed – Psychedelic Symposium lecture program. Bringing together a formidable panel of experts in the area of psychedelic studies from Australia and around the world, the lecture program forms the backbone of what will be THE most comprehensive and exciting conference of its kind in Australasia. Tickets to the 2017 Psychedelic Symposium are strictly limited to 500 and are available as pre-sale only. With less than 200 tickets remaining, please secure your ticket soon, as tickets will sell out. We hope very much to see you in December for this unique conference gathering. Buy your ticket now – www.entheogenesis.org/tickets

Sydney crime arrests: the inside story of corruption in Australian Border Force [Sydney Morning Herald]

Two members of a cell of allegedly corrupt Australian Border Force officers have been arrested as part of the wave of organised crime arrests that swept Sydney and Dubai this week and netted some of NSW’s alleged crime bosses. Leaked confidential government documents and briefings from senior officials suggest the pair who were arrested – one a current officer, Craig Eakin, and one a former officer, Johayna Merhi – were just the latest of several alleged corrupt insiders in Border Force and Customs who have allegedly compromised Sydney Airport or Port Botany since as early as 2003.

Drug-testing welfare recipients won’t stop addiction, psychiatrists warn [The Guardian]

Australia’s peak body for psychiatrists has warned drug-testing welfare recipients will not address drug or alcohol addiction and is at odds with 50 years of evidence about behavioural change. The criticisms of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists add to a growing weight of concern from physicians, drug policy researchers, frontline support workers and welfare advocacy groups about the Coalition government’s plan. President of the college, Kym Jenkins, said the evidence generally suggested punitive approaches to drug addiction were ineffective. She said the college was opposed to the measure, which was a “very simplistic approach” to a complex problem.

Neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt on Alcohol, LSD, and Getting Sacked for His Findings [reason.com]

The British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt had reached arguably the pinnacle of his field as chairman of the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Then in 2009 he was summarily dismissed from his position. In May, Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Nutt to discuss his sacking, and what he’s learned from the psychedelic research he continues to do at Imperial College London.

Trump Misdiagnoses the Opioid Crisis [The New Yorker]

Trump, however, gave no sign of rethinking his approach to funding these public-health initiatives. Instead, before he upended the briefing with his threat to consume North Korea with “fire and fury,” he had focussed his remarks on finger-pointing and punitive measures. The opioid crisis, he said, is the fault of the Mexicans and the Chinese, who allow drugs to be sent from their nations to ours. The metric that he offered for success in handling the problem domestically was the number of federal drug prosecutions brought and the average length of prison terms they produced. Both have dropped since 2011, which the President sees as evidence not of a bipartisan consensus on the need for sentencing reform but as proof of the laxity and the bad faith of members of the Obama Administration, who, he said, had “looked at this scourge, and they let it go by.”

Doctors at heart of US opioid crisis [MedicalXpress]

“Doctors bear enormous responsibility for the opioid crisis,” said David Clark, a professor of anesthesiology at Stanford University who worked on a government-sponsored panel that studied the crisis, and recommended new training and guidelines for health care providers and regulators. “We didn’t have (a crisis) until doctors became enamored with what they imagined to be the potential for opioids in controlling chronic pain,” Clark told AFP.

More soldiers failing drug tests on foreign deployments [BBC]

The equivalent of a battalion of soldiers failed drug tests on a foreign deployment during the past five years. The number failing had risen from 80 in 2012-13 to 110 in 2016-17, a BBC freedom of information request found. Experts say high frequencies of deployments to countries where drugs are more easily accessible to soldiers could explain some of the rise.

Drunk air passenger arrests up 50% [BBC]

Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year, a BBC Panorama investigation suggests. A total of 387 people were arrested between February 2016 and February 2017 – up from 255 the previous year. Meanwhile, more than half of cabin crew who responded to a survey said they had witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports. The Home Office is “considering” calls for tougher rules on alcohol.

Magic mushrooms and the roots of witchcraft [The Spectator]

Hutton’s are lo-fat weight-watchers, vanilla witches sans drugs, sans magic, sans pagan rituals, the sort you might meet at a Full Moon party in Ibiza, offering Bodyshop essential-oil rubs for 20 euros a pop. Hutton is in denial: the witches were whacked out of their gourds on a whole Glastonbury of hallucinogenics: they knew about poisons and how to administer them; they provided love philtres and abortifacients. They were, in fact, curanderas, ‘wise women’ deeply versed in the herbal lore their ancestors had learnt from ancient Iberian-British aboriginals, a.k.a. the elves.

Poverty causes violence. So forget this obsession with stop and search [The Guardian]

Theresa May knows it. My research proves it. This tactic is ineffective in cutting crime, and shreds black and minority confidence in the law. Why is it on the rise?

Know your poison: the festival chemical safety net [educationinchemistry]

Andy Extance explains how volunteers are using analytical chemistry to help keep festival-goers safe.

New Druglawed film released! [Druglawed]

“Druglawed: Spokeswoman” has just been released. The production crew wants to thank all the fine Australians who supported this production! Special thanks go out to the good folk of Nimbin and the Nimbin Hemp Embassy. “Spokeswoman” is filmed on location in Sydney, Melbourne and Nimbin, featuring outspoken Member of Parliament Fiona Patten, the firebrand civil libertarian who is campaigning for an end to the War on Drugs. Also featured are Law Enforcement Against Prohibition campaigner Greg Denham, high-profile medical cannabis patient Ben Oakley, and the provider of his life-saving cannabinoid medicine, Jenny Hallam. Andrew Kavasilas, pioneering Nimbin hemp researcher, co-stars in the film, which showcases some of the celebratory scenes at Nimbin MardiGrass 2017. “Spokeswoman” can be downloaded for $4.20, all proceeds go towards funding post production of the final chapter of Druglawed Series 2, which was filmed in Uruguay. Click this link to download the film: https://druglawed.vhx.tv/buy/druglawed-2-episode-3-spokeswoman

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.

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.

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.

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