Embassy HEADLINES Issue 276

By Published On: November 2, 2017Categories: Cannabis

Decriminalising drugs ‘could be the answer’: former top cop [Perth Now]

Former police commissioner Karl O’Callaghan says decriminalisation of small quantities of certain illicit substances could be the answer to WA’s drug problem.

Call for better access to medicinal cannabis [ABC]

Medicinal cannabis advocates say terminally ill people are suffering unnecessarily, because of barriers in accessing the drug. The Australian government has legalised the cultivation of some approved medicinal cannabis products, and each jurisdiction also has its own regulations. Queensland passed new laws earlier this year allowing specialists to prescribe certain cannabis oil products. But advocates say it’s just token legislation and is undermined by lengthy and limited approval processes.

Getting the green light for medicinal cannabis research [CSIRO]

Earlier this year, Cann Group was issued Australia’s first Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation Licence, plus two research licenses from the Office of Drug Control. The new licence allows Cann Group to produce Australian grown cannabis that can be prescribed for patient use. We’ve teamed up with Cann Group to help them develop products that could be used to treat a range of conditions, including childhood epilepsy, chronic pain and loss of appetite in chemotherapy patients. Cann Group is cultivating different strains of cannabis for medical use. Once our dedicated lab is fitted out, we will start analysing the crop for Cann Group to get a better idea of the cannabinoids present, their biological effects and how extracts could be manufactured.

LA’s favourite health food is finally being legalised in Australia [Body and Soul]

You’d be forgiven for associating cannabis with red eyes, the munchies, lethargy – altogether a not-so-healthy image. Well, that perception is changing fast, as the potent plant’s healing powers been used in wellness foods, drinks, beauty, and beyond. In fact, the growing global industry is worth over $US570 million in the US and Canada alone. Until now, hemp, which Los Angeles locals have been having in their cereal and smoothies for years, has been illegal in Australia. But on November 12, that will all change when the Australian government legalises it’s consumption. Yep, hemp (the food ingredient) has been acknowledged by the governing body, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, as a highly nutritious food with health benefits.

Australia’s Hemp Olympix [DOPE]

Where champion athletes carry chicken shit and throw bongs.

Unlikely allies eye vote to legalize cannabis in New Zealand [Reuters]

New Zealand could become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize cannabis for personal use after an unlikely alliance of populist, centrist and leftist parties put drug policy immediately on the agenda of the incoming government. Labour’s prime minister-designate Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday she agreed with a Greens proposal for a referendum to legalize use of recreational cannabis.

In secretive marijuana industry, whispers of abuse and trafficking [Reveal News]

In the Emerald Triangle, trees are ever present. They peek over small towns and dip into valleys, sheathing this cluster of remote Northern California counties in silence. For decades, the ancient forests here have provided cover for the nation’s largest marijuana-growing industry, shielding pot farmers from convention, outsiders and law enforcement. But the forests also hide secrets, among them young women with stories of sexual abuse and exploitation. Some have spoken out; a handful have pressed charges. Most have confided only in private.

Opponents of marijuana legalization warned of pot-laced Halloween candy. It never happened. [Vox]

The fears were used as an argument against legalization. But they proved to be bogus.

You can be fired for using marijuana even when it’s legal [Quartz at Work]

Gary Ross, a systems administrator from California, suffered from debilitating back pain from injuries he sustained while serving in the military. Based on his doctor’s recommendation, Ross treated his pain with marijuana, which is legal for medical and recreational use in California. But when he applied for a job as a systems administrator at RagingWire Telecommunication, he failed the required drug test, and the CEO fired him.

Owner of Corona beer acquires stake in world’s biggest cannabis producer [Vice]

Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona beer, is acquiring a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s biggest cannabis producer. Canopy Growth confirmed in a press release Monday that the two companies will collaborate to “develop and market cannabis-based beverages”, which they hope will be able to be sold as adult-use products in markets where those products are federally legal.

Poll: 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana [The Hill]

A new Gallup poll shows growing support for marijuana legalization, with 64 percent of Americans now in favor of the measure. The number is the highest level of support in nearly half a century of surveying adults on the issue, according to Gallup. Support has steadily increased in recent years, with the latest figure up 4 percentage points over last year and up 14 points from 2011.

The tide is turning on marijuana [Salt lake Tribune]

The tide is turning on marijuana. And Big Pharma has no one to blame but itself. The horrific epidemic of addiction and death linked to the profligate distribution of opioid prescription pain relievers has moved Americans of all stripes to reconsider the advantages of a substance that used to be reserved for the counterculture.

Feds Should Research Medical Marijuana For Veterans, Lawmakers Say [Forbes]

A group of 10 U.S. House members is pushing the Trump administration to begin researching medical marijuana’s potential benefits for military veterans struggling to cope with war wounds.

Uncooperative federal government has led to innovation on marijuana policy in more liberal, less religious states. [LSE US Centre]

For decades, the federal government has imposed strict regulations and sanctions on the use of marijuana. Yet, since 1996, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have acted on their own accord to develop programs that regulate the access to and sale of medical marijuana in explicit defiance of federal law (Figure 1). It is curious that a plurality of state governments and voters have created policies with disregard for federal policy. What inspires them to create policies in direct opposition to federal policy?

Halifax Councillor Shawn Cleary Says He Won’t Use The Word ‘Marijuana’ Because It’s Racist [Huffington Post]

A Halifax councillor says he will no longer use the term “marijuana” because it is racist, sparking a social media debate over the well-used synonym for cannabis. Coun. Shawn Cleary said a police officer he works with on a cannabis legalization task force recently brought it to his attention that the term has a racist history. Cleary said in the early 1900s during the criminalization of cannabis in the U.S., “marijuana” was used to demonize marginalized communities, namely Mexicans.

How Pharma Sabotaged the Drug Enforcement Agency and Caused Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths [Mercola]

In a recent episode of 60 Minutes, whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi lays the blame for the opioid crisis squarely on the shoulders of the drug industry — especially the drug distributors — and Congress. It was well-known that drug distributors were sending extraordinarily large shipments of opioids — hundreds of millions of pills — to pharmacies across the U.S., and that people were dying from their misuse; yet, rather than taking steps to stop the massacre, industry lobbyists and Congress made it virtually impossible for agents at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to take any action at all. Rannazzisi should know. He led the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, which specifically regulates and investigates the drug industry. According to Rannazzisi, “This is an industry that’s out of control. What they want to do is do what they want to do, and not worry about what the law is. And if they don’t follow the law in drug supply, people die.”

Billionaire John Kapoor of Insys Therapeutics Arrested in Phoenix on Opioid Charges [Phoenix New Times]

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of an Arizona pharmaceutical company, was arrested today in Phoenix like a drug-cartel boss and charged with illegal opioid distribution. “In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit,” said Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb of the Massachusetts district. “Today’s arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable — just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer.”

Touting medical benefits of cannabis, MDMA, iboga and magic mushrooms [Vancouver Courier]

Cannabis for cancer, MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psilocybin for depression. Theories once confined to fringe pockets of science are now the focus of a paradigm shift that medical professionals are paying infinitely more attention to. Running Nov. 4 and 5 at the University of B.C., the seventh annual Spirit Plant Medicine Conference is a reflection of that growing trend. Doctors, members of academia, Indigenous healers and scientists will convene at UBC to discuss that change in science and spirituality.

Report: European cannabis market could reach $66.8 billion [Marijuana Business Daily]

With twice as many citizens as the United State and Canada combined, Europe could become the world’s largest legal cannabis market over the next five years if every or most of the continent’s roughly 50 nations introduces legislation and regulations, according to a new report.

Marking fifty years on the frontlines of the war on drugs [Virgin]

In 1967, Mick Jagger had been arrested for possession of cannabis – an event that coincided with an increasingly hostile drug policy in the UK (and across the world).  In response, Caroline Coon and Rufus Harris decided to challenge the establishment’s view on drugs by setting up Release, an agency that provides much needed legal advice and bail services to those caught in possession of drugs. Fifty years on, Release’s work continues – and they’ve never been more needed. To mark the organisation’s half-centenary, Release is hosting the Museum of Drug Policy in London from the 3rd-5th November. With a mixture of live performances and art exhibits, The Museum of Drug Policy is a unique cultural hub that manages to convey many facets of the harmful ‘war on drugs’ and its impact on ordinary people around the world.

Reefer Madness 3.0 Is Here And It’s Being Promoted By Cannabis Law Reformers. [CLEAR]

Reefer Madness 3.0 is its latest incarnation but this time it’s promoted by reform groups Transform, which has been around as long as CLEAR and Volteface, which is a new group funded by Paul Birch’s personal fortune.  (Birch was also the founder of the now defunct Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol (CISTA) political party.)  Despite the overwhelming body of scientific evidence and the facts of healthcare records which show that cannabis is an insignificant health problem, both Transform and Volteface argue that ‘cannabis is dangerous so it must be regulated’. This is nonsense.  Cannabis is not dangerous, in fact for most people it’s beneficial.  It’s prohibition and enforcement of the law against cannabis that are dangerous.  Prohibition has caused far more harm than cannabis ever has or ever could.  Cannabis needs to be regulated because prohibition is dangerous.

Call for police to allow north Wales medicinal cannabis café [BBC]

A cannabis campaigner has said he wants to reopen a cafe for the plant’s medicinal use in north Wales. Jeff Ditchfield was prosecuted twice when he ran the Beggar’s Belief cafe in Rhyl for five years until 2007. But with MPs about to debate a Bill to legalise cannabis as a medicine, he is calling on police to allow a premises where people in pain can use it freely.

Cwmbran pensioner takes cannabis fight to the Senedd [South Wales Argus]

A pensioner from Cwmbran living with multiple sclerosis (MS) has taken her fight to allow cannabis to be used for medical reasons to the Senedd. Sue Cox, who describes herself as ‘the poster pensioner for pot’, spoke at a meeting yesterday, Wednesday, where people living with MS and other conditions, campaigners and AMs discussed the use of the drug. The 64-year-old ex-police officer, who was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2014 and uses cannabis to relieve her pain, said she saw little reason why the drug could not be approved for conditions such as hers.

Cancer patients ‘had Brixham cannabis plantation for pain relief’ [BBC]

A group of cancer patients set up a cannabis plantation to help with pain relief, a court has heard.

German Parties Consider Sale Of Marijuana In Pharmacies Or Dispensaries [Forbes]

Cannabis reform may be coming to the European Union’s most populous country as German conservatives, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party continue their talks on forming a coalition government. Part of their discussions include an agreement on fully legalizing marijuana and selling the drug through pharmacies or licensed dispensaries.

What Is Going On With Germany’s Cannabis Bid? [Cannabis Industry Journal]

Germany is proceeding down the path to officially grow its own medical cannabis crops. Medical use became legal this year, along with a federal mandate for cheap access. That means that public health insurance companies, which cover 90% of Germans, are now firmly on the hook if not front line of the cannabis efficacy issue. As such, Germany’s medical market is potentially one of the most lucrative cannabis markets in the world, with a total dollar amount to at least challenge, if not rival, even California’s recreational market. Some say Canada’s too.

‘Won’t help your schoolwork’: Emmanuel Macron sniffs marijuana on French Guiana trip [The Guardian]

French president Emmanuel Macron played it cool when he caught a whiff of marijuana during his visit to French Guiana, warning youngsters it won’t “help with your schoolwork”.

Danish companies queue to grow cannabis [BBC]

Companies have begun applying to Denmark’s medicines regulator to grow cannabis plants ahead of the drug becoming legalised for medicinal purposes next year, it’s reported. Some 13 companies have already submitted applications for growing cannabis plants to the Laegemiddelstyrelsen, so that they can help treat Danes suffering from painful illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. From January 2018, the drug becomes legalised as part of a four-year trial and patients in the country can obtain cannabis on prescription, the Copenhagen Post reports.

This scientist wants to turn Ireland into ‘a central hub’ for medical cannabis [The Journal Ireland]

A pharmaceutical startup that specialises in medicinal cannabis research is planning to open a new facility in Donegal. James Linden, founder of Dublin-headquartered Greenlight Medicines, says the firm is looking to roll out a new hub in the north-west in 2018. “We’ll have a cultivation site for growing the material for our clinical trials and we will have another facility that will be used for extracting compounds from the raw material,” he tells Fora.

Medical marijuana legal in Poland but still rare [MedicalXpress]

A new law came into force on Tuesday allowing Poles to use stronger medicinal marijuana than the kind authorised so far—but critics say few may see the benefits of it.

Anti Drug Alliance becomes The Clear Option on cannabis [IOL]

Over the past 10 years, the Anti Drug Alliance has built a solid name for itself in South Africa. We have been involved in many projects, helped many thousands of people with questions about drugs and addiction, treated many thousands for addiction, spoken at hundreds of schools, and worked with many companies – from small businesses to listed concerns. Our dedication to ensuring the public knows the truth about drugs and addiction has taken us on an amazing journey into dialogue and action towards regulation and legalisation of drugs in our country.

FDA warns companies marketing unproven products, derived from marijuana, that claim to treat or cure cancer [US Food & Drug Administration]

The FDA issued warning letters to four companies – Greenroads Health, Natural Alchemist, That’s Natural! Marketing and Consulting, and Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC – citing unsubstantiated claims related to more than 25 different products spanning multiple product webpages, online stores and social media websites. The companies used these online platforms to make unfounded claims about their products’ ability to limit, treat or cure cancer and other serious diseases.

Cannabis Cod Science – Enough is Enough. [UKCIA News Blog]

When it comes to studying prohibited drugs like cannabis and understanding their effect on people we have a blindingly obvious problem in that because it’s all illegal, you can’t  employ any form of direct measurement or use any of the normal, accepted sampling methods for collecting your data. As a result, a lot of the supposedly scientific studies we see are frankly little more than cod science.

Cannabis users have more sex, scientists find, and drug may increase arousal  [The Telegraph]

A study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that despite concerns that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, the opposite it actually more likely.

Review study finds limited data on medical cannabis use in children [EurekAlert!]

A systematic review of published studies on the use of medical cannabis in children and adolescents finds a notable lack of studies and a minimal number of the randomized, controlled trials needed to confirm the effectiveness of a treatment. In their paper published in the journal Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators Shane Shucheng Wong, MD, and Timothy Wilens, MD – both of the MGH Department of Psychiatry – report that their review suggests only two pediatric uses of medical cannabis – to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and to reduce seizures – are supported by existing studies.

Cannabis Kills All Known Germs..Dead..Including MRSA Superbug [Medical Marijuana 411]

The increase in MRSA infection in UK hospitals is a growing concern for both doctors and patients alike, but according to an American based company an effective, cannabis-based disinfectant is available to fight the super-bug.

Cannabis & Sleep Disturbances [Project CBD]

Quality sleep is critical to human emotional, mental and physical health, yet it eludes between 50-70 million Americans. In this report, we will explore why sleep matters, the role of the endocannabinoid system in sleep, and how cannabis and its components—in particular, CBD and THC—may benefit those with sleep issues.

More Cancer Patients Using Marijuana for Physical, Psychiatric Therapy [Laboratory Equipment]

Up to one-fifth of cancer patients use marijuana to mitigate the symptoms of battling their disease, according to a new survey and study of a cancer center in Seattle. The numbers may show that marijuana usage to comfort cancer patients is on the rise in the 29 states that have medicinal cannabis laws on the books, the authors conclude in their study in the Wiley journal Cancer. But the actual benefits have yet to be truly studied and proven, they add.

Basic Cannabis Growing Setups for Cultivators With Tight Budgets [Leafly]

Cannabis requires sunlight, nutrients, water, and air to grow. These four essentials are readily available for free or at relatively low costs. Climate control equipment, lights, and electricity make indoor growing vastly more expensive than growing outdoors, where cannabis can grow freely under the sun. However, because not everyone can grow cannabis outdoors for legal or climate reasons, we’ll share budget-friendly tips for both indoor and outdoor setups.

LSD and a terrifying fling with ‘ego death’ nearly ruined a Sydney teen’s life [The Sydney Morning Herald]

For one 17-year-old who experimented with a double dose of LSD, the experience was so bad it nearly shattered his life.

Next Nimbin Medical Cannabis Workshop Saturday November 11 2017 [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

Another big crowd is expected for the Nimbin HEMP Embassy’s next MEDICAN Workshop on Saturday November 11, from 11 am by the river at the Bush Theatre in the old Nimbin butter factory. “These gatherings are important and mostly about education”, says Embassy president Michael Balderstone.  “The workshop is a good opportunity to ask questions and meet people who have been involved with Mediweed for decades.”

Australia’s largest hemp & cannabis event heads to Melbourne [Hydroponics]

2-3 December, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre: The Hemp Health & Innovation (HHI) Expo & Symposium is everything hemp and cannabis. With a bigger venue and hemp foods officially legal for sale and consumption in Australia from Nov 12, HHI Melbourne will be Australia’s first large scale opportunity to sample, purchase and taste hemp foods.

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

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.