Embassy HEADLINES Issue 270
Logan welfare drug-testing trial based on ‘flimsy statistics’ [SBS]
The proposed ‘world first’ welfare drug-testing trial will not work and is not justified, say Logan City mayor and community workers. Legislation for the $10 million trial is due to go before the Senate shortly but is opposed by Labor and the Greens, and will need crossbench support to pass. The government hopes the controversial proposal will get a very small number of unemployed drug users in Logan – located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast – into treatment and work. “It is a trial, designed to determine whether the welfare system can be effectively used to compel people into treatment,” federal social security minister Christian Porter told parliament on Monday after the legislation passed the House of Representatives.
Drug-testing welfare recipients an ‘absolute disgrace’, Australian of the Year says [The Guardian]
Leading mental health expert and Australian of the Year, Patrick McGorry, has criticised the government’s plans to drug test welfare recipients as an “absolute disgrace”. He has warned the policy fails to understand the intersection between mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. The consequence will be to drive vulnerable Australians with a mental health issue away from the welfare system, and most likely into homelessness.
Australian Horror Story: MC Policy Destroys Patients’ Lives [Australian Medical Cannabis Signpost]
Referred to, often in hushed tones, as ‘Australia’s Sweetheart’ or this country’s ‘favourite daughter’ Olivia Newton John has, over the last fortnight or so, proved herself a major and powerful if somewhat unlikely champion for medicinal cannabis at a time when – god knows – it is needed. Only this week the California-based star, whose current struggle with cancer has made TV and press headlines on almost a daily basis, called for the plant to be decriminalised and said the Government’s move to block access by the terminally ill was ‘unconscionable.’ Her use of the medicine – which she describes as ‘much maligned’ and ‘incredibly healing’ – that too has dawn huge attention and the message of how badly Government policy has miscarried is now gradually fixing itself into the media psyche and that of the public at large.
Episode 213: Doctors Said He Would Die After His Fourth Cancer But Cannabis Is Healing Him [Cannabis Health Radio]
Toney Fitzgerald of Australia was given a grim prognosis by his doctor this year after being diagnosed with his fourth cancer in five years. For the first three cancers, he underwent chemo, radiation and surgery. But he was given little hope by the medical profession when he received his fourth diagnosis of cancer this year. He took his health into his own hands, started using cannabis oil and his health has improved dramatically.
Medicinal Cannabis for the Elderly: An Interview with Canna Nanna Karen Burge [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]
A group of four grandmothers from the east coast are taking matters into their own hands. Dubbed the Canna Nannas, the group are about to tour the country to educate the elderly about the benefits of cannabis and break down some of those myths from the past. Sydney Criminal Lawyers spoke to Karen Burge, co-founder of the Canna Nannas, about the medicinal and nutritional benefits of the herb, why importing medicine isn’t the answer, and how they encourage patients to grow their own.
Hemp proposal earns praise [The West Australian]
The Pilbara could become a “hemp capital of Australia” with a proposal to start industrial production of the plant in the region currently on the table. A plan from new WA company Food Fibre and Land International to start growing hempcrops in the region for building materials and food was mentioned by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan in her opening speech at the Pilbara Economic Development Conference on Tuesday last week.
Weeded Warriors: the young veterans breaking the law to treat their PTSD [triple j HACK]
Mick found smoking cannabis helped him with his emotions and come to terms with what he’d experienced overseas. After visiting veterans groups in the US using weed to help with PTSD he decided to start a group called Weeded Warrior to help vets in Australia.
Let The People Grow (They Do Anyway) [Scoop]
Part Two in a series of opinion pieces by Shane Le Brun, Coordinator, Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand (MCANZ)
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.
People Are Dying – Cannabis Reform Must Be High Priority [Scoop]
The Opportunities Party will make cannabis reform a high priority if elected to Parliament, and calls on all other Parties to do the same. TOP’s Real Deal Cannabis Reform would allow regulated production and sale of cannabis with control over price and potency. Individuals over 20 could grow two plants for personal use and the criminal underworld would lose its lethal stranglehold on the recreational drug market.
Medical students need training to prescribe medical marijuana [MedicalXpress]
Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, few medical students are being trained how to prescribe the drug. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis surveyed medical school deans, residents and fellows, and examined a curriculum database maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), learning that medical marijuana is not being addressed in medical education.
Pot shampoo to cannabis sommeliers: Inside one of America’s biggest marijuana business conventions [Independent]
Entrepreneurs looking to cash in on California’s new marijuana gold rush flocked to Los Angeles this week for the city’s Fourth Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, taking in advice and pitches from venture capitalists to a marijuana “sommelier”. Workshops were conducted, business cards were swapped with more than 200 bustling booths – exhibiting everything from pot paper, to shampoo and even suppositories – at the LA Convention Centre. It was a spirited free-for-all that anticipated one thing: 1 January 2018 – a date that puts dollar signs in many a Californian’s eyes.
San Diego legalizes marijuana cultivation, manufacturing [The 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. The council also agreed earlier this year to allow legally approved medical marijuana dispensaries to expand their sales to recreational customers. The city has approved 17 such businesses and 11 have begun operating.
There Are Nearly 150,000 Full-Time Marijuana Jobs in the U.S., a 22% Increase from Last Year [The JointBlog]
There are 149,304 full-time marijuana-related jobs throughout the United States, according to an estimate calculated by Leafly. This numbers marks a 22% increase from last year, when Leafly found that 122,814 jobs relied on the legal status of cannabis in America. In just 12 months, the legal cannabis industry has added 26,490 jobs to the nation’s workforce.
Within days, this Austin company hopes to start legally growing marijuana [The Texas Tribune]
If everything goes according to plan, scientists and manufacturers working out of Compassionate Cultivation will soon begin selling cannabis oil to patients with intractable epilepsy.
Orrin Hatch Hails the Benefits Of Medical Marijuana [Huffington Post]
When an 83-year-old conservative from Utah is ready for more weed use, you know the tides are changing.
California’s farmland too dirty for legal cannabis [Greenstate]
Rampant pesticide use across California’s farmlands, combined with the state’s de facto organic standards for legal cannabis could mean the best place for pot farmers is the wildlands where they started. “We won’t be able to grow cannabis next to traditional, full-scale agriculture. It just won’t be practical,” said Hezekiah Allen, the Executive Director of the California Growers Association. “I live in Yolo County. I see the crop dusters. It’s not going to work.”
New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Takes Effect [Forbes]
New Hampshire just became the 22nd state in the U.S. to eliminate the possibility of spending time behind bars for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Gov. Brown signs bill making it illegal to use pot while driving, riding inside cars [Fox KTVU]
Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that makes it illegal to smoke or consume marijuana while driving or riding inside a vehicle. The move is in anticipation of state-licensed marijuana sales for recreational use.
Legalizing Weed Has Done What $1,000,000,000,000 and a 40 Year Drug War Couldn’t [Underground Journalist]
“The economics of the cannabis industry show us that with healthy competition in the market, prices drop, quality rises, violence diminishes, and peaceful transactions increase. As constant new research emerges detailing the plant’s benefits, the negative stigma of using cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, is diminishing, raising the demand for high quality product.
Wisconsin Moves To Be First State Ever To Nullify Federal Cannabis Prohibition Through Legislation [Truth Theory]
Yet another state is moving towards legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use. However, Wisconsin is going about it in a most Constitutional way. The state of Wisconsin introduced a bill last week that would effectively nullify the federal prohibition of marijuana in the state.
Hawaii Says It’s 1st State to Go Cashless for Cannabis Sales [Leafly]
Hawaii said Tuesday that it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries. Medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1 and will require people to use a debit payment app instead. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
Legal weed: What your kids really need to know [The Conversation]
Weed, pot, grass, marijuana — or cannabis to use the proper terminology — will be legal in Canada from July 1, 2018. Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to walk into a store and buy up to 30 grams of regulated product. While most Canadians approve of this new policy, many also believe the law will fail to stop more children using the drug. So how should we talk to kids and teenagers about this new legal drug? What can parents do with legalization just months away?
Ontario & the Dispensary Hydra [volteface]
The clock is ticking. Canadian provinces have less than a year in which to decide how, where and by whom cannabis will be sold. Canada’s most populace state, Ontario, has kicked things off with a plan which proposes to limit retail to online sales and 150 liquor control board operated stores. Existing black market dispensaries, of which there are a great many, have been put told to consider themselves “on notice” by the attorney general.
The Ontario Pot Plan Looks Bad, But It Isn’t Mad [volteface]
Given the competing agendas that this policy embodies – economic opportunity, public health, crime reduction, personal liberty – no model is going to satisfy everyone. However, the Ontario plan and the reaction to it is also an insight into the political and policy challenge that Ottawa’s cannabis legalisation presents for provincial governments.
Pot by Province [Vice News Canada]
VICE News has put together a running guide for legalization nationwide, with everything you need to know about how the provinces are tackling the thorny issue.
‘Impossible’: Senior police officials tell MPs they won’t be ready for legal cannabis [CBC]
Senior Canadian police officials told MPs studying the government’s marijuana legalization legislation that police won’t be ready to enforce new laws by next summer, and they are now asking the government for more time. The government has vowed to legalize the drug by July 1, 2018, and introduced a bill in the House of Commons last spring to do just that. “If legislation is ready to go July 2018, policing will not be ready to go Aug. 1. It’s impossible,” said Rick Barnum, deputy commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. “I think we are very close. I agree that something had to change. This is a great step …, but we’ve got to do it right and do it slowly and properly,” said Barnum.
Prince William asks if drugs should be legalised [Independent]
The Duke of Cambridge’s unexpected intervention in the drugs debate came during a visit to the east London-based Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), which provides services for alcohol and drug addicts and supports them in trying to get clean. The first recovering addict to answer told him she supported the legalisation of drugs.
British Survey Reveals 98% of Public Want Cannabis Legal [seedsman]
Some startling survey results have revealed that 98% of Briton’s want cannabis legal either medically or recreationally, indicating a turning of opinion in one of the most conservative countries regarding ‘weed‘ in the Western world. The survey, which was conducted by Scottish newspaper The Evening Express, asked respondents whether they believe cannabis should be legalized in the United Kingdom. An incredible 98.5% of responses answered that cannabis should be made legal in some form.
Sri Lanka to export cannabis from first plantation [Colombo Gazette]
Sri Lanka is to launch its first official cannabis plantation to supply the traditional medicine market and export to the United States, the Health Minister said. Rajitha Senaratne said the 100-acre (40-hectare) cannabis farm, which could produce more than 25 tonnes a year and would be under military protection, would ensure a regular high quality supply. “Many ayurvedic doctors have complained that they don’t get good quality cannabis for their preparations,” Senaratne told reporters. “Good cannabis is a vital ingredient in the preparation of traditional medicine.” He said the traditional herbal medicine market currently depends on handouts from courts which seize illegally grown or smuggled drugs. “By the time our native doctors get this cannabis, it is about four to five years old and it has lost its effectiveness,” Senaratne said.
Medical marijuana to be licensed in South Africa by end 2017 [The South African]
Some big steps are being taken towards the regulation of medical marijuana in South Africa.
SA company cleared to grow cannabis for use in Lesotho [African Independent]
The granting of a licence to a South African company to begin the cultivation of cannabis for medical use in Lesotho may bode well for its availability – and legalisation – in South Africa. South African company Verve Dynamics – which describes itself as a “vegan-friendly manufacturer of highly purified botanical extracts” – became the first company in Africa to have been granted regulatory approval to begin the process of “growing and producing high-quality cannabis extracts commercially”.
Uruguay setting up dedicated cannabis dispensaries after banks scare off pharmacies [the Cannabist]
Uruguay’s government announced Wednesday that it is changing its retail system for legalized marijuana because banks are making it difficult for pharmacies to sell cannabis as planned. Banks are refusing to deal with companies linked to cannabis in order to follow international financial laws that ban receiving money tied to the drug, pharmacists and officials said. To avoid the problems faced by pharmacies, Uruguay will set up shops to sell marijuana for cash, said government official Juan Andres Roballo.
Why Israel Seems More Cannabis-Forward Abroad than At Home [Jane Street]
Among the global cannabis community, Israel is celebrated for leading the world in medical marijuana research — and rightfully so. In 1963, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, was discovered by the studious, soft-spoken Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, who emigrated from Bulgaria just after the Holocaust. Since the 60s, while America has waged a losing war on drugs, Israel has pioneered groundbreaking research into the cannabis plant, paving the way for states like California and Colorado to later develop state-sanctioned medical marijuana industries based on science and data, to buttress anecdotal evidence from the black market.
These Hemp Products Are Changing Our World [Nerdcore Movement]
Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops in human history. In addition to its valuable hemp oil extract that produces CBD Oil, the plant has been used for thousands of years it’s been used to make things like textiles, paper and other materials. In today’s society, industrial hemp is grown as a renewable resource for raw materials that has been show to make thousands upon thousands of different products! Below we explore some of the most popular hemp products along with some you may have never considered.
Is there need to reform international drug treaties? [UQ News]
The future of international drug control treaties is in question because of recent treaty-violating decisions to legalise non-medical cannabis use in Canada, the United States and Uruguay.
The future of the international drug control system and national drug prohibitions [Addiction]
A major impediment to any nation abandoning the policy of drug prohibition has been the fact that international drug treaties to which the majority of United Nations (UN) member states are signatory prohibit the non-medical use of amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin. The future of these treaties is now uncertain because of decisions by Uruguay, eight US states and Canada to legalize cannabis use. This paper: (1) provides a brief account of the international drug control treaties; (2) outlines the major criticisms of the treaties; (3) analyses critically proposals for treaty reform; and (4) provides a personal view on policies that nation states could adopt to minimize the harms from the use of cannabis, party drugs and hallucinogens, opioids, stimulants and new psychoactive substances.
Future of legalized cannabis focus of expert panel discussion in cannabis journal [EurekAlert!]
In the roundtable entitled “Expert Panel on Understanding Cannabis: Medicine, Society, Government,” the panelists shared their views on topics ranging from what actions U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions might take, the business of growing and selling cannabis, risk of addiction, and whether patients should use cannabis to alleviate cancer pain. The expert Roundtable is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research website.
Daily Dose of THC Can Reverse Aging of Brain [Zenpype]
We’ve heard of the benefits of micro-dosing, but new research suggests even better findings. A daily dose of THC can make your brain younger. It’s fair to say that U.S. culture obsesses over youthfulness. But it’s certainly not the only one. Dreams of immortality and everlasting youth have been a part of the popular imagination for millennia, and the quest continues today. Yet while most anti-aging products out there target the signs of aging that affect your body, a new cannabis study suggests a daily dose of THC can actually reverse the aging of the brain.
Study: Cannabis Exposure Associated With Improved Immunity In HIV Patients [NORML]
They concluded: “This preliminary study shows THC positive patients having better HIV-related immune levels than their negative counterparts, despite not being statistically different on various demographic HIV-related covariates. … The current findings suggest a potentially beneficial role to marijuana, additional to symptom palliation.”
Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Does Not Increase Birth Risk, Study Finds [International Business Times]
Researchers found that smoking marijuana during pregnancy doesn’t increase the risk of adverse birth outcomes like preterm birth or the birth of a baby with low weight. However, the findings do not encourage or condone marijuana use when pregnant. The review published Thursday in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal analyzed data from 31 studies comprising a total of 7,800 women who used marijuana during pregnancy and over 124,000 women who did not use marijuana during pregnancy.
This pregnant ganjapreneur gets why stressed-out moms may seek weed relief [the Cannabist]
The founder and CEO of Garden Society – a cannabis edibles company out of Sonoma County, CA whose chief demographic is women and often mothers – is three weeks away from welcoming her first child into the world. While she’s curbed her cannabis use while pregnant, there’s no doubt in her mind that cannabis will once again play a prominent role in her life once she’s finished breastfeeding.
Professional Dominatrix Makes a Splash In Cannabis Lube Market [Out]
Matisse had tried other people’s efforts to make homemade cannabis infused lube, they could have a skunky smell or an oily consistency that she was not a fan of. When approached by a local cannabis community member about developing a new product, Matisse knew exactly what she wanted, a silky, water based material without the weedy smell with both active THC and CBD in it for the user’s enjoyment. That is exactly what she and her team developed.
10 Medical Cannabis Myths Busted [Hemp Gazette]
As with industrial hemp, many myths surround medicinal cannabis. This misinformation presents a hurdle to it being more broadly accepted and hinders awareness of the many benefits of cannabis medicines. Let’s take a crack at busting a few of these myths.
The drugs people want to quit – and the ones they want to keep taking [Metro]
Almost everyone who takes crack cocaine wants to quit – but less than 30% of cannabis users do.
Could The Dark Net Pave The Way Towards A Less Harmful Illicit Drug Trade? [Huffington Post]
For example, we know that cannabis is the most common dark net drug in Australia, accounting for a quarter of all sales, followed by prescription drugs (20 percent) and ecstasy (16 percent). Methamphetamines such as ‘ice’ account for 12 percent of Australia’s online drug trades, while heroin makes up just three percent. Illicit drugs are paid for using bitcoin or another encrypted currency, and mailed through the post. But despite this accessibility, law enforcement agencies have found it extremely difficult to crack down on the online trade.
Google Play: Remove Games Glorifying the Deadly Drug War in the Philippines [Drug Policy Alliance]
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is leading a deadly drug war and more than 12,000 people suspected of using or selling drugs have been murdered in the last year. Meanwhile, games glorifying Duterte’s horrific drug war are being hosted by Google Play which seem to clearly violate its “Sensitive events” policy. Killing people in the name of the drug war is an unconscionable atrocity that must be condemned, not capitalized on. Sign our petition demanding that Google Play remove these apps from their store immediately in recognition of the ongoing atrocity happening in the Philippines.
Trump Blackmailing Colombia under Guise of Drug War, Bolivian President Claims [Talking Drugs]
President Trump has threatened to sanction Colombia for failing to prevent cocaine trafficking, but Bolivian leader Evo Morales claims it is a covert move to subvert the new Colombian peace agreement.
In search of the Sixties: Was the decade really as good as we think it was? [Independent]
When asked what the Sixties were all about, most people reply: peace, love, happiness. Andy Martin begs to differ, arguing that the decade represented a whole lot more than just sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and that no one has escaped its force and impact – even today.
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.
EGA 2017 third program announcement plus the infamous raffle now up and running [Entheogenesis Australis]
Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium, 8th – 10th of December, Eildon Victoria It is our absolute pleasure to share with you Entheogenesis Australis (EGA’s) greatly anticipated third program announcement. We are also letting you know that the infamous EGA technicolour raffle is now open. EGA’s psychedelic symposium brings 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. There will also be a broad range of lectures, panels, a market space and an arts program to give balance to the content-heavy lecture and workshop programs. The third program announcement listed below has information about workshops, group-based healing modalities, PRISM research track and the bonus Monday programming at the EGA campground. To see the outstanding full list of more than 50 EGA lectures – Click Here – Tickets to the 2017 Psychedelic Symposium are strictly limited to 500 and are available as pre-sale only. With less than 150 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