Embassy HEADLINES Issue 267
The Canna Nanna’s Cannabis Education & Awareness Tour [Facebook]
9am Saturday 2 September, Tugun Village Community Centre, Tugun Q. Featuring cannabis medicine information, patient testimonials, demonstrations, advocacy/activities workshop, hemp food information and demonstrations, How to apply for cannabis in your state.
Australia’s Failed War on Drugs Wipes Out 29 Young Men on Cannabis Charges in a Town of 500 [Greendorphin]
This is all happening in contrast to the fact that the scientific world and all sides of politics now agree that cannabis is the safest and one of the most effective therapeutic substance. Canada will be making cannabis available to everyone over 18 from 1 July 2018, while we are busy down here packing people into prison on cannabis charges.
Access to medicinal cannabis through Tasmanian hospitals starts tomorrow [The Advocate]
The Australian Medical Association has backed the government’s restricted approach on access to medical cannabis, saying it will be available to those who need it most. Children with high-level epilepsy and some cancer patients will be able to access the drug through a controlled access scheme to be opened from Friday.
Tasmanian medicinal cannabis program opens [The Examiner]
From September 1 medical specialists will be able to prescribe medical cannabis products for patients where conventional treatments have failed. Epilepsy Tasmania chief executive Wendy Groot said the scheme would open the pathway to make new medication available. While the focus is on, but not limited to, paediatrics, Ms Groot hoped as many people as possible took advantage of the scheme.
Medicinal cannabis about to get green light in Tasmania, but concerns linger over who will qualify [ABC]
East Tamar mother Lyn Cleaver uses medicinal cannabis to treat her 26-year-old son Jeremy’s seizures. She has applied to access Tasmania’s Controlled Access Scheme but there are no guarantees and no answers about when the medication will be available. “It’s first the medication that we’ve given Jeremy that comes side-effect free, which is remarkable.”
Medicinal cannabis: Government accused of defying will of Senate over importation [ABC]
An attempt to open up access to imported medicinal cannabis for dying patients has failed, prompting accusations the executive arm of the Government is defying the will of the Parliament. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said it was reprehensive behaviour by the Government. “They’ve threatened importers that they will have their licence removed if they follow the law and make this drug available to people with a terminal illness,” he told Lateline. Senator David Leyonhjelm said the Government was being “cruel”. “Effectively, what that letter is saying is ‘We don’t care what the Senate decided. We’re telling you, you will not sell your cannabis products to Category A patients or make those products available to them’.”
Showdown On Imported Cannabis Hits Australia [CannaTech]
Right after the passage of this amendment in the Senate, the government sent a strongly worded response to these importers. Their licenses would be suspended if they followed this new mandate from the Senate. In other words, importers are not allowed to supply patients directly. Further, what the Senate does and says, is not yet recognized as “law.” It remains to be seen what will happen next.
Cannabis Access [CannabisAccess]
The CannabisAccess portal was developed to increase awareness about medicinal cannabis products, treatable conditions, and to reduce the complexity of the Australian federal and state approval processes surrounding the medicine.
Medicinal cannabis black market worries TGA [AJP]
The TGA has responded to claims made on the Lateline program that patients are turning to the black market for medicinal cannabis products because of excessive red tape, principally in seeking approvals under the Special Access Scheme Category B. “This scheme has operated for many years and the TGA provides over 20,000 approvals per year for doctors to prescribe a range of unregistered medicines,” the TGA said in a statement. “Why are prescription levels for medicinal cannabis products relatively low? The Lateline story itself provided the answer. One of the interviewees, Justin Sinclair, stated, ‘There is a great paucity of evidence in the literature, at least when it comes to human trials’.”
Not Guilty of Drug Driving Despite Cannabis in System [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]
Back in 2015, the NSW government announced it was tripling its MDT operations to 97,000 tests a year by 2017. A main focal point of this blitz has been the Northern Rivers region. The conviction rate in that area was five times the state average over the 24 month period ending in June last year.
Australian Primary Hemp will plant 300ha in Western District this year [The Weekly Times]
After several years of research and development, Australian Primary Hemp launched in 2016 with a three-pronged approach: farm hemp on a property at Derrinallum in western Victoria, as well as contracting other grain growers; establish Australia’s largest “hemp hub”, which dehulls hemp seed in its Geelong facility; and outsource value adding including oil production.
Beer, bongs and baby boomers: the unlikely tale of drug and alcohol use in the over 50s [DrinkTank]
Evidence shows we can no longer view drug and alcohol issues purely as a young person’s concern.
America’s lucrative new weed industry should compensate the black victims of the country’s war on drugs [The Guardian]
It was state-sponsored racial terrorism, so reparations should be paid from the profits of the newly legal – and mostly white-owned – cannabis economy.
Netflix develops marijuana strains based on its original shows [The Guardian]
Streaming giant creates ‘The Netflix Collection’, a selection of cannabis varieties based on shows including Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development.
I toke thee to be my wife: inside a cannabis wedding in California [The Guardian]
It was all legal: the cannabis buds in the bouquet and floral arrangements, the goody bags with joints and cannabis vapes, the cannabis-infused munchies (“handcrafted to melt in your mind”) and the dab bar at the reception in nearby Monterey, where a pot sommelier in a three-piece suit offered guests different ways to get lightly, blissfully stoned. California voters approved recreational marijuana last November, a landmark victory in the fight for legalisation that has paved the way for the largest commercial pot market in the US.
Why the Elderly Are the Fastest-Growing Pot Demographic in the U.S. [Men’s Journal]
This free seminar is the brainchild of Stratos, a Colorado marijuana company that produces medical cannabis tablets. Since launching in 2014, the firm has found its simple and discreet product lines — which come in somber bottles with names like “Sleep,” “Relax,” and “Energy” — are a hit among one demographic in particular: seniors. “The baby boomer generation has been huge for us,” says Kate Heckman, Stratos’ sales director, who’s watching Cohen’s presentation from the side of the room.
Is Canada Ready for Legal Marijuana? [The New York Times]
The Canadian government is expected to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, in large part to put an end to the extensive and enduring black market for the drug on which people like Michael have thrived. Canadian businesses are anticipating a windfall. A 2016 Deloitte report estimated the legal Canadian marijuana market will be worth $18 billion annually.
B.C. medical marijuana firm issues recall over tainted drugs [The Globe and Mail]
A Vancouver Island medical-marijuana producer has recalled products sold last year after a spot test of its supply by Health Canada showed two pesticides present in a sample of cannabis oil.
Racism and the discrimination against Cannabis by Ayahuasca Users in Brazil [Chacruna]
“In a climate created by strong prohibitionist propaganda, the followers of the ayahuasca religions do not seek to question the basis of the restrictive legislation that they tend to generally approve. Instead, they restrict themselves to arguing, not very convincingly, that their sacrament ‘is not a drug’.”
South African Cannabis Chronicles: On the upside of moral panic [Daily Maverick]
Here’s the good news: the “Dagga Couple” trial, which has captured the public imagination since it kicked off on 31 July, has not been a complete waste of time. While the State and its co-defendants Doctors for Life have done their best to queer the pitch, all they have really achieved is an exposure of their own hypocrisies. So no, the trial will not bring an immediate answer to the question of cannabis legalisation in South Africa, but it may do something equally important – it may take the country beyond the lies of “morality” and into a truthful assessment of the plant.
French ex-drugs squad chief faces cannabis smuggling charges [The Guardian]
The former head of France’s anti-narcotics agency has been charged with complicity in drug smuggling as part of an inquiry into controversial methods used by the police to bring down drug barons, legal sources have said. François Thierry was charged on Thursday with complicity in the possession, transport and acquisition of drugs and in their export as part of an organised gang, a source close to the investigation said.
CANNABMED Recordings Now Available [ICEERS]
The video recordings of presentations from the CANNABMED conference that we held in December 2016 at the Autonomous University of Bellaterra, in Spain, are now online. The recordings (in Spanish and Catalan) feature presentations on medicinal cannabis and include the perspectives of people who use medical cannabis, their caregivers and families. CANNABMED was the beginning of an important conversation, one that remains open. Significant progress has been achieved around regulation – just this past week the Catalonian Parliament approved legislation that allows Cannabis Clubs: private, non-profit user associations.
Consuming Cannabis Could Slash Your Chances Of Blood Clots, Stroke: Study [GFarma News]
Consuming cannabis can significantly cut your chances of having a stroke, according to a new study published in the journal, ‘Neuropsychopharmacology.’
Is Cannabis a ‘Gateway Drug’? [Leafly]
The verdict: No, cannabis is not a “gateway drug.” A puff of weed will not lead directly to a needle in your arm. It may, however, lead you to eat deep-fried things you regret. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Why Marijuana Compounds Could Eventually Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds [Forbes]
Research into the potential medical uses of marijuana compounds continues apace. Among the most recent, a study delved into why marijuana is an effective stress reducer. While not conclusive on their own, the results contribute to a longer-term possibility – that marijuana compounds may turn out to be more effective and safer in alleviating anxiety than prescription anxiety meds.
Cannabis Company Designs Pain Patch For Fibromyalgia And Nerve Pain [Newz Magazine]
The new release states: … patch provides controlled release drug delivery to a patient, typically by any porous membrane that covers the drug reservoir or body heat through the thin layers of fusion drug incorporated In the adhesive will contain the high potency of cannabinoids (CBD) which is slowly extracted into the blood stream and then enter the central nervous system.
Indigenous stories lead scientist to discover plants can hear [CBC Radio]
Do you talk to your plants? Well, science suggests they might be able to hear you. An Australian scientist was inspired by stories from Indigenous people around the world about how they communicate with plants.
Smoke and mirrors? Experts divide over Australia’s e-cigarettes ban [The Guardian]
Feelings are running high over the value of vaping, which is being examined by a parliamentary inquiry. Does it really have health benefits or is it just another way for big tobacco to keep its profits up?
Inside Queensland’s sly grogging industry [The Age]
Burying alcohol in holes, distracting police and driving without headlights are just some of the methods used by people smuggling banned alcohol into restricted communities, research has found. The alcohol, bought in large quantities long distances from restricted communities, was resold for up to 11 times the original retail price, researchers from James Cook University found.
How the war on drugs fueled the fentanyl crisis [The Guardian]
A staggering 59,000 people died of drug overdose in 2016 according to a recent New York Times analysis. Annual overdose deaths in the US have already surpassed those inflicted by Aids at its peak. Sparked by big pharma’s criminal mismarketing of opioid painkillers, the overdose epidemic rages to new heights with the increasing street presence of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a fully synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than heroin. Without an immediate massive investment in harm reduction and treatment, this toll will only worsen, even if the specter of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid 100 times more powerful than fentanyl, is held at bay.
Fatal fentanyl overdoses rise as Australians turn to more potent painkillers [The Guardian]
Unless the national approach to drug addiction changes to a health issue rather than a supply problem, more lives will be lost, warned John Ryan, chief executive officer at the Penington Institute.
Duterte’s war on drugs leaves tragic legacy for Filipino families – in pictures [The Guardian]
[And these pictures show that this is also a war on people living in shocking poverty (Ed.)]
Ecstasy could be ‘breakthrough’ therapy for soldiers, others suffering from PTSD [The Washington Post]
Inside that pill was the compound MDMA, better known by dealers and partygoers as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool in years for the military’s escalating PTSD epidemic.
A ‘party drug’ just crossed a major hurdle on the path to being legally prescribed as medicine [Business Insider UK]
Several scientists have turned a hopeful eye in recent years toward psychedelics, drugs that have been around for decades but have never been explored — at least legally — for medical use. One of those drugs is MDMA, or ecstasy. The group leading the charge to get MDMA approved for medical use passed a major hurdle after the US Food and Drug Administration granted it a special designation that could fast-track its approval to treat PTSD.
Will California Become The First State To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms? [Huffington Post]
Last week, the longtime medical marijuana advocate and dark horse mayoral candidate turned that position into a statewide campaign, submitting a ballot initiative on Friday that would decriminalize the use, possession, sale, transport and cultivation of the mushrooms for adults over 21. He’ll need to collect at least 365,880 valid voter signatures within 180 days of filing to qualify for next year’s ballot, where it would require a majority vote to pass.
Family Friendly Fun Day For Paul Lawrence & family [MCUA]
10am 8 October, Fairy Meadow Bowls & Rec Club, Fairy Meadow NSW. This event is to raise funds to assist Paul and his family. This epic journey Paul has undertaken with his health has drained the family and taken a toll financially and emotionally on them all. Paul has remained stanch and independent in this battle and has been a strong voice as a cannabis advocate. The MCUA has made this event on Paul’s behalf so we can get the word out on social media to all who know and love him and invite them to attend. The day will commence at 10am with Barefoot Bowls til 12md. There are activities planned throughout the afternoon including Raffles & Silent Auction & Games during the afternoon. Paul assures me Club Bistro serves a nice lunch and says he will be there from 12.30 till as long as he can last..
Petition: Let NSW patients grow their own medical cannabis [change.org]
Please show compassion and allow nsw adults to grow and consume their own cannabis with the option of purchasing from dispensaries or direct from the grower/producer.
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
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
Medical Cannabis Meetup Brisbane [Budding Tech]
On September 4th, BuddingTech will be hosting its first Brisbane based meetup. We invite all to join BuddingTech and the Medical Cannabis Council Ltd. for a Q&A with industry experts and guests from the medical community.
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.