Embassy HEADLINES Issue 269
Embassy HEADLINES Issue 269

Embassy HEADLINES Issue 269

Medical cannabis supplier Jenny Hallam says the prosecution against her is ‘disgusting’ and a ‘waste of time’ [The Advertiser]

She said that until quality cannabis oil was freely available to people with chronic painful conditions, there should be an amnesty for suppliers like herself who were meeting a legitimate need. “I’m just asking for an amnesty until that legal source is in place — then the amnesty is gone and you have to use the legal one, fair enough,” she said. “The State Government can do that, just until people can access it.”

Petition: Grant Clemency to Jenny Hallam [change.org]

We, the undersigned, request that amnesty is given to Ms Jenny Hallam, of Hillier, South Australia, relating to the supply of medical cannabis; and she be given exemption from prosecution so she can continue to provide her patients with medicine until the government can guarantee the supply of an affordable product that is deemed fit and proper by the people of Australia.

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.

Make medicinal cannabis accessible [The Greens]

Against the will of the Senate, the government continues to block terminally ill patients from accessing the medicinal cannabis they have been legally prescribed by their doctor. It’s underhanded. Frankly, it’s outrageous. That’s why I’ve introduced a bill to remove these unnecessary barriers and allow patients faster access to medicine. We’ve fought for years to get fairer access to medical cannabis through the Senate. Now this cruel government wants to use dirty tricks to deny people dying from cancer or brain tumours access to drugs which alleviate their suffering. We need your help to get this through the Parliament. Share my message to show your support.

Patients to get easier access to medicinal cannabis under Greens bill [The Guardian]

The Greens leader, Richard di Natale, has accused the federal government of “ignoring the will of parliament” on the importation of medicinal cannabis as doctors complain that the current system has “multiple obstacles” that prevent terminally ill patients from obtaining the drug.

The Government Is Stopping Terminally Ill Patients From Accessing Medicinal Cannabis [BuzzFeed]

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has accused the government of “defying the will of the Senate” by blocking terminally ill patients from accessing medicinal cannabis imported into Australia. He told BuzzFeed News the Turnbull government is letting its “ignorance and conservative ideology” get in the way of patient care.

Medicinal cannabis ‘red-tape’ pushing doctors and patients back to illegal products [ABC]

A mountain of red tape for legal medicinal cannabis is forcing the families of seriously ill patients back into the black market, according to doctors and advocates.

Olivia Newton-John reveals marijuana’s role in her battle against cancer [International Business Times]

Newton-John also revealed that one of the remedies she has turned is medical cannabis. The Australian actress and singer said that she has been using the drug along with other remedies, since it helps her manage pain and is completely legal in her home state of California.

Olivia’s husband grows her medical marijuana [Yahoo!7]

Now Olivia Newton-John has revealed that her husband, John Easterling, is assiting in her therapy in a very special and unique way: He’s growing the medical marijuana she’s been using as part of her treatment.

Olivia Newton-John meets with Tamworth medicinal cannabis advocate Lucy Haslam [The Inverell Times]

It’s hoped the backing of a high-profile singer will help grease the wheels of medicinal cannabis access in Australia.

Debunking myths around medicinal cannabis [NSW Nurses & Midwives Association]

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) is today [8/9] hosting an education forum for mental health and drug and alcohol nurses to discuss the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis. Presenting speakers include Lucy Haslam, director of United in Compassion; Pharmacognosist Justin Sinclair; Suzanne Peirce from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation; Senior Professor of Health Economics, Simon Eckermann; and palliative care advocate, Dr Yvonne McMaster. General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said the forum was an important opportunity for nurses working in the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors to be informed about medicinal cannabis as a treatment and discuss the topic with colleagues.

Prescribing medicinal cannabis for rural patients [Katherine Times]

Prescribing medicinal cannabis for rural patients is a key topic at peak rural doctors’ conference next week. Medicinal cannabis remains outlawed in the NT but has opened up for prescription in other states. The use of medicinal cannabis for rural patients, and its implications for their doctors and rural medical practices, will be a key topic at this year’s Rural Medicine Australia conference in Melbourne.

Hemp seed is used for many purposes [Newcastle Herald]

Hemp seeds were in the news this week. In case you didn’t hear, University of Newcastle researcher Dr Brett Turner discovered that hemp seed powder can be used to remove firefighting contaminants from water. Given this, the researchers plan to conduct a trial at Williamtown to see if the seeds can stop this ghastly pollution from leaching off the RAAF base. That’s some brilliant work from our uni.

Hemp homes built at Shepherds Ground [Maitland Mercury]

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you mentioned your joint was made of hemp, you’d have the police scrambling. But things are clearly changing. The house could be mistaken for stone, or even an elaborate paint job, but it has, in fact, been made out of industrial hemp. And the advantages are numerous. It only took a week to build the walls once the timber frame and roof were constructed.

‘Avenue for creating income for whanau’ – East Cape Maori harvest trial hemp crop [TV NZ]

An iwi-led organisation is hoping to boost the regional economy and create jobs for the Gisborne community as they begin to harvest hemp.

Do We Really Need “Pharma Grade” Medical Cannabis? [Scoop]

There is strong public support for significant reform of Medical Cannabis (MC) regulation. The system currently in place, which focuses wholly on pharmaceutically trialed cannabis-based medicines, removes patient and prescriber choice, and costs are prohibitive. New Zealand may have the highest priced MC in the western world – a side-effect of our remote location and small market.

Inside the hazy business of marketing marijuana [The Drum]

With legislation complicating the way medical and recreational marijuana can be marketed, and Facebook and Google’s bans on cannabis businesses promoting posts through their networks, the world of marijuana marketing is hazy. The Drum speaks to brands and agencies using creativity to convey messages that move beyond stoner stereotypes and reach mainstream audiences.

Cannabis not to be delivered by drone or self-driving car, California rules [E&T]

The state regulator for cannabis in California has released guidelines which explicitly forbid the delivery of medical or recreational cannabis using anything other than commercial vehicles or trailers.

Las Vegas airport BANS marijuana possession and advertizing to fall in line with FAA rules despite the drug being legal in Nevada [Daily Mail]

An airport in Las Vegas banned marijuana possession and advertising on Tuesday, although recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada.

Teen marijuana use falls to 20-year low defying legalisation opponents’ predictions [Independent]

In 2016, rates of marijuana use among the nation’s 12- to 17-year-olds dropped to their lowest level in more than two decades, according to federal survey data released this week. Last year, 6.5 per cent of adolescents used marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014, when the nation’s first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado. The last time monthly teen marijuana use was this low was 1994, according to the survey.

Here’s one marijuana trend you should actually be worried about [The Washington Post]

The latest federal survey data shows that while teen marijuana use continues to decline in the era of legal pot, adult use is rising. The percent of people over the age of 18 who smoke it in a given year has risen from 10.4 percent in 2002 to 14.1 percent in 2016. In other words, 46 million people got high last year.

Medical Marijuana for Vets [The New York Times]

Thomas James Brennan makes a powerful case that military veterans deserve access to medical marijuana, which can help alleviate physical and mental war wounds (“Why Pot, Not Pills, Works for My T.B.I.,” Op-Ed, Sept. 1).

House Committee Blocks Medical Marijuana Protections [Leafly]

In a significant blow to medical marijuana advocates, patients, and cannabis companies around the nation, the House Rules Committee has blocked protections for MMJ patients and banks that want to serve state-legal cannabis businesses.

Congress Extends Federal Medical Marijuana Protections [The Joint Blog]

Despite an attempt by House Republicans to block a vote, Congress has extended an amendment that protects state medical marijuana laws. The amendment – which will be extended to December 8th – prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment, without an extension, was set to expire at the end of the month.

Whoopi Goldberg Says Jeff Sessions Is Putting Cannabis Patients ‘At Risk’ [Civilized]

Whoopi Goldberg is urging Americans to fight back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ efforts to squash the country’s medical marijuana programs.

San Diego legalizes marijuana cultivation, manufacturing [San Diego Union Tribune]

San Diego will have a fully legal and regulated marijuana industry including pot farms, factories making edibles and retail storefronts selling the drug to both medical and recreational customers. The City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to legalize local cultivation, manufacturing and testing of marijuana when new state laws take effect in January.

How to get medical marijuana in Maryland, and other FAQs [The Washington Post]

Maryland’s first legal medical marijuana crop is finally growing after years of delays. Industry officials estimate the drug will be available for purchase by early 2018. Here’s what you need to know.

Major roadblock to medical marijuana in Ohio solved? College steps up to test cannabis [Cincinnati News]

Without a public college or university to test medical marijuana, no one would be purchasing the drug anytime soon. Other states allow private laboratories to test marijuana’s properties before it is sold, but Ohio’s law put a one-year moratorium on private testers in favor of colleges. Many public universities worried they would lose money from a federal government that still labels marijuana as among the most dangerous, illegal drugs. But one college announced Tuesday it is up to the task: Hocking College in southeast Ohio.

Medical Marijuana Physicians Cropping Up in Arkansas [NPR]

Inside Dr. Tammy Post’s medical clinic lobby on Willow Springs Road in Johnson, a silvery wall fountain trickles; beyond the water feature is a spacious suite of examination rooms. Post, a board certified family and osteopathic medical practitioner says she’s interested in alternative medicine but never imagined she would become an advocate for medical marijuana.

Colorado town approves marijuana sales, inspired by neighbor’s tax revenue [The Cannabist]

Milliken officials point to Garden City, a Weld County town that credits marijuana for half its annual revenue — $1.3 million last year — as a model for the community, particularly when it comes to getting town projects complete.

Californians can now get a prescription for cannabis-laced SODA [Daily Mail]

Cannabis-infused beverages are now available for marijuana users who do not like inhaling smoke or consuming the calories that come with edibles.

America’s Marijuana Evolution [Third Way]

When President Barack Obama was sworn into office, only 13 states had legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and none allowed its recreational use. By the time Donald Trump was inaugurated, those numbers had grown to 28 states (plus Washington, D.C.) where medical marijuana is legal and eight states (and D.C.) where recreational use is permitted. And in the months since, another state—West Virginia—passed a law legalizing medical use, Vermont’s state legislature became the first in the nation to pass a recreational legalization bill (though it was vetoed by the Governor and sent back for changes), and several other states have begun to consider their own legalization proposals. Though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level for any purpose, attitudes towards its legalization at all levels are changing, and changing quickly. In recent years, we’ve seen ballooning support in public opinion polls, substantial policy shifts in the White House, a willingness to address the issue in Congress, and state policymakers taking it up in growing numbers. As more states enact and implement legal marijuana programs, there is a growing urgency for federal policy change to ensure that states regulate as responsibly and safely as possible.

Ontario’s Plans For Selling Weed Are Strict As Hell [Vice]

No consumption in public, no dispensaries, and youth can be charged with a provincial offense.

Canada’s Ontario province to sell marijuana for recreational use in 150 government-run shops [Telegraph]

Canada’s largest province has unveiled plans for up to 150 government run shops selling marijuana for recreational use. Pot will first be sold through an online distribution service starting next July, to coincide with the federal legalisation of cannabis. The minimum age to use, purchase and possess recreational cannabis in Ontario will be 19, the same minimum age to consume alcohol and tobacco in the province.

Pot activist Jodie Emery slams Ontario’s ‘insane’ monopoly plan [CTV News]

Pot activist Jodie Emery is slamming the Ontario government’s decision to sell recreational marijuana solely through a provincial control board. “They’re going to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars setting up a massive bureaucracy to try and reinvent a wheel that’s already rolling and spinning quite fine,” Emery told CTV Power Play on Friday. “It’s insane.” Emery was referring to the storefront marijuana dispensaries that have been popping up across the country. Ontario’s plan seeks to aggressively shutter such businesses.

‘Doomed to fail’: Toronto pot industry reacts to government’s new framework [CBC]

Local advocates and owners of marijuana stores are wasting no time decrying the Ontario government’s announcement of a framework to manage the sale and use of marijuana. The framework includes an online ordering service and roughly 150 stand-alone stores to be opened across the province by 2020. The province has also proposed a minimum age of 19 to use, purchase and possess recreational cannabis.

Canada’s top marijuana producer to double production [Reuters]

Canada’s biggest licensed producer of medical marijuana has bought land next to its greenhouse production site that will allow it to more than double the total volume of cannabis it can grow, its chief executive said on Thursday. Canopy Growth Corp’s (WEED.TO) Tweed Farms Inc subsidiary expects to spend at least C$25 million ($21 million) to upgrade the property, a flower farm it purchased for about C$9 million in cash and equity, with work including the installation of security cameras and fences due to start in October.

How Are Canadian Patients Using Medical Cannabis? [Leafly]

It seems like every day brings a new study about the ways medical cannabis can be used in healthcare. But how are patients already accessing medical cannabis, and in what form? And more importantly, how is it impacting their quality of life? A new study led by Philippe Lucas, Vice-President of Patient Research & Access for Tilray, and Leafly’s own Nick Jikomes, PhD, provides some of the first answers to these questions.

Tilray to Invest Massively in European Facility [volteface]

Tilray, a global pioneer in medical cannabis research, recently announced plans to invest up to €20 million (£18 million) in a European Union Campus (EU Campus) after receiving licences from the Government of Portugal to import cannabis genetics and to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes.

Children forced to work at cannabis factories as slaves, warns charity [Independent]

Children are being forced to tend cannabis factories and commit street crimes, a leading charity has warned as it raised the alarm over the hidden toll of child slavery in the UK.

Trafficked to grow cannabis: Vietnamese migrants are being exploited in Britain [The Conversation]

But the distinction between trafficking and illegal migration is a complex and political one – and some people who the UK defines as victims of human trafficking, don’t see it that way. Another man who I interviewed, who had also returned to Vietnam after being smuggled to the UK to work at a cannabis plantation, told me he had been “very happy and would very much like to go back”.

Family to move to Netherlands so son, 5, can get cannabis treatment for epilepsy [Metro]

A boy who can have hundreds of seizures a day because of his rare form of epilepsy is moving to the Netherlands for cannabis treatment.

How the Booming Israeli Weed Industry Is Changing American Pot [Rolling Stone]

U.S. medical marijuana companies are setting up shop in Israel, where fewer roadblocks mean better research – and faster results.

Medical Marijuana Helps Kids With Cerebral Palsy, Israeli Study Finds [Haaretz]

Medical marijuana significantly improved the condition of children suffering from cerebral palsy, a study by Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv has found. According to the interim findings, treatment with cannabis oil reduced the disorder’s symptoms and improved the children’s motor skills. It also improved the kids’ sleep quality, bowel movements and general mood.

Poll: 57.5% of Those in Germany Support Legalizing Marijuana [The JointBlog]

A new poll conducted by Mafo, a research firm, and commissioned by Playboy Deutschland, has found that a strong majority of German adults support the idea of legalizing marijuana. According to the poll, 57.5% of German residents support the legalization of marijuana for adults, including allowing them to purchase the plant from retail outlets. 90.5% of the poll’s respondents stated that they believe the country’s current laws don’t work at preventing cannabis from being consumed.

Paolo Duterte – Philippine president’s son grilled over alleged drug links [DW]

President Rodrigo Duterte’s son, Paolo Duterte, faces the Senate and denies allegations that he is involved in drug smuggling. The case captivates the nation in the midst of a brutal war on drugs.

Government to decriminalise cannabis possession for small amounts [Nation News]

The new Progressive Labour Party (PLP) government in Bermuda says it will introduce legislation to decriminalise cannabis possession if the amount is under seven grams, Governor John Rankin announced Friday.

Do we need to reform international drug treaties as more countries legalize cannabis? [EurekAlert!]

The future of international drug control treaties is in doubt because of recent treaty-violating decisions to legalize cannabis use in Canada, the United States and Uruguay. Professor Wayne Hall, whose 2014 review of 20 years of cannabis research made world headlines, thinks so. If decriminalization is the way of the future, Hall advocates a cautious approach to policy reform that would involve trialling and evaluating the effects of incrementally more liberal drug policies. His suggestions, outlined below, are published online today by the scientific journal Addiction.

Medical Marijuana: A Beginner’s Guide [Rolling Stone]

Considering the information available online about medical pot is all over the place, here’s a sort of cheat sheet for anyone trying to navigate conversations with reluctant parents, relatives and friends – regardless of access to a legal dispensary. Perhaps after listening to your grandmother ramble on in too much detail about her psoriasis, you’ll feel emboldened to take her aside and suggest a calming cannabis cream. Maybe you’ll talk to your insomniac uncle about acquiring a vape pen. It may sound difficult at first, but remember: taking a few minutes to have this conversation could vastly improve someone’s quality of life.

Reversing the negative effects of adolescent marijuana use [Science Daily]

Researchers have identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the negative mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. By demonstrating that adolescent THC exposure modulates the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, they were also able to identify a mechanism to reverse those risks.

According to Science, Weed Gives You a Pep in Your Step — Literally [Jane Street]

Have you ever noticed that stoners have a particular kind of strut? You’re not just imagining that — they actually do. According to a new study, cannabis really can give you a conspicuous pep in your step.

Does marijuana affect your sleep? [The Conversation]

I am a sleep psychologist who has treated hundreds of patients with insomnia, and it seems to me the success of cannabis as a sleep aid is highly individual. What makes cannabis effective for one person’s sleep and not another’s?

Study finds legal cannabis may reduce use of dangerous prescription drugs [MedicalXpress]

Reeve observed a number of his patients coming back to see him, not only less frequently after enrolling in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program (MCP), but anecdotally, they would often claim that they were not only reducing their pain medications, but other types of prescription medications as well.

Consuming Cannabis Could Slash Your Chances Of Blood Clots, Stroke: Study [Civilized]

Consuming cannabis can significantly cut your chances of having a stroke, according to a new study published in the journal, ‘Neuropsychopharmacology.’

Drinking Yagé to Resist Capitalist Violence [Chacruna.net]

Ethnic groups in southern Colombia, such as the Siona, are using yagé (a local name for ayahuasca) to do politics in a context of capitalist violence, updating through new ways ancient political traditions, that have been used for hundreds of years to contest and resist imperial and colonial violence.1 Recently, I have been living among the Siona and have seen how they are able to resist and contest, relying on collective yagé encounters, the plans of an multinational oil company that intended to pursue oil exploration in their territories. As we shall show here, the ability to “see” and “heal” associated with yagé is not only used to help individuals, but also to benefit groups, organizations, and territories.

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

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.

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..

Seedlings 2017: Medical Cannabis Event [BuddingTech]

Mon. 16 October 2017 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Tank Stream Labs Level 4 17-19 Bridge Street Sydney – We are proud to announce that we will be hosting our second Seedlings event on the 16th of October. Last year, Seedlings was launched and was noted as a resounding success highlighting the key challenges and opportunities that exist in the medical cannabis industry. This year we are putting together a smaller, more intimate event. We invite you to spend the evening with us learning about innovation and the latest advancements in the medical cannabis industry. Please note there are only 100 tickets available. This event will also include food and drinks. Book now before tickets are sold out.

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

Sacred Plants in the Americas Conference [Drogas, Política y Cultura]

Invitation to the Congress Sacred Plants in the Americas that will take place on February 23 and 24th, 2018 in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

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