AUSTRALIA & NZ
The next Nimbin medical cannabis workshop with MC Michael Balderstone is this weekend, January 20/21 2018 at the Nimbin Bush Theatre: 11am to 4.20pm both days. Entry by donation. Dr Pot has been to virtually every past MEDICAN Workshop but will not be here this time as he is in jail. However, several other doctors will be, and so will some expert medicine makers from America. Three Aussies who have spent years in California learning the art of extracting the medicinal oil from the Cannabis plant will demonstrate (with legal herbs) and talk about their experiences in the legal medical Cannabis world of North America over both days this coming weekend. Everyone who is keenly interested in this subject is urged to attend as it’s a rare opportunity for first hand conversation on a new science that is fast changing the face of health in some American states.
Victoria became the first state to legalise medicinal cannabis in 2016, and it has successfully trialled imported products on 29 children with severe epilepsy. Now the state government will fund up to 60 more treatments over the next two years, with more to come once local products become available. “These are children for whom, very sadly, the long-term prognosis is not always a positive one and simply cannot afford to wait until the Commonwealth funding arrangements catch up,” Health Minister Jill Hennessy said on Wednesday.
Medicinal cannabis to be expanded for more young Victorians suffering serious illnesses [Herald Sun]
Up to 70 sick Victorian patients have applied to the Federal Government to access medicinal cannabis. Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy revealed adult patients were rushing to access the new drug after the Turnbull Government gave medicinal cannabis the green light in January. The majority of the Victorian patients had severe epilepsy but also suffered from various cancers. Ms Hennessy encouraged more people to approach their doctor and seek approval for treatment and promised Victoria would work to minimise red tape. However, there are concerns medicinal products could be very expensive in the early years, prompting Ms Hennessy to confirm Victoria was pushing for drugs to be listed on the PBS scheme.
Medicinal Cannabis Doctor Is Being Held Behind Bars on Remand [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]
Another tireless medicinal cannabis campaigner and provider of the medicine, Dr Andrew Katelaris, finds himself detained in Parklea prison. His wife, Maria, states that “Andrew has managed to criminalise himself,” whilst trying to decriminalise the plant over a long period of time.
Hang on, hemp is on its way [Bay939]
The first legal hemp crop in Victoria for more than 60 years has been harvested in the state’s west. Many more crops are expected to be harvested across Victoria within the next fortnight. The plant is the cousin of marijuana and Indian Hemp, but the legally grown product is not capable of producing the high associated with its illicit cousin. Nonetheless the exact location of the farms are a closely guarded secret. Georgina Beasley from Geelong-based Australian Primary Hemp says the seeds are considered to be a new super food.
Olivia Newton-John‘s husband Amazon John Easterling who is co-owner of a licensed medical cannabis farm, Crystal Pharm Organics, in Oregon USA and helps with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne to Join Board of MCL – Queensland Bauxite Ltd.
The Hydroponics Company positions itself to take advantage of Australian market [Proactive Investors]
Changes to regulations in Australia have opened the door for cannabis breeders. With more than 17 years of cannabis sativa breeding, variety selection and growth management, The Hydroponics Company is actively developing plant breeding technology.
About a quarter of young men use cannabis for recreational purposes, but it will never be acceptable at work, the Employers and Manufacturers Association boss says. Kim Campbell said he expected cannabis use among young professionals to be a lot higher than Ministry of Health statistics suggest. The ministry’s data found that about one quarter of males aged between 15 and 34 used cannabis for recreational purposes last year. In every age bracket, men’s recreational use of cannabis was higher.
A new poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy found that that 49 percent of likely voters support full legalization of marijuana, while 50 percent support alternative measures such as decriminalizing possession of the drug or allowing it for medical reasons.
A huge majority of American voters oppose Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘s moves to crack down on marijuana use, according to a poll released Thursday. The Quinnipiac poll, conducted Jan. 5–9, shows 70 percent of voters oppose enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.
It’s common knowledge that Big Tobacco wants cannabis out of their way. But, as discovered documents reveal, Jeff Sessions has been in their pocket as a “tool” for a long time.
House Democrats introduce a bill to legalise marijuana and provide ‘restorative justice’ to communities impacted by the war on drugs [Business Insider Australia]
A group of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to legalise marijuana at the federal level and expunge the federal arrest records of those incarcerated for marijuana use and possession. Beyond removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, the bill goes a step further to provide “restorative justice,” to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and create an “inclusive industry from the ground up,” Lee said in a Wednesday afternoon call with reporters.
Changing political climate threatens US cannabis research [Chemistry World]
The current uncertainty plaguing US cannabis policy could deter companies across the country from pursuing R&D or teaming up with academia to develop cannabis-based medicines, research industry advocates are warning.
When his medical cannabis operation was raided in 2008, Virgil Grant wound up in prison. Now he’s back in business, and determined to make space for people of color in an industry that’s fast being whitewashed.
The legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes has led to a significant reduction in violent crime in several US states bordering Mexico, according to new research. The study, published in The Economic Journal, found that the rate of violent crime – including robberies, murders and aggravated assaults – fell by 12.5 per cent in counties close to the border after the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs). “MMLs allow people to grow and cultivate marijuana plants legally within the US,” Professor Evelina Gavrilova, one of the study’s authors, told The Independent. “This means that people don’t need to buy illegal marijuana anymore so drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) have far fewer customers.”
What Jeff Sessions doesn’t understand about medical marijuana [The Conversation]
Legal recreational marijuana comes with potential benefits and drawbacks to society, and I’m not sure yet that we know what the impact will be over the long term. But the research on medical marijuana is clear: Marijuana has legitimate medical uses. It should not be a Schedule I drug and should not be denied to patients. There’s virtually no upside to banning a potentially effective therapy for patients with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
VA clears the air on talking to patients about marijuana use [MedicalXpress]
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is how many veterans have approached health care conversations about marijuana use with the doctors they see from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Worried that owning up to using the drug could jeopardize their VA benefits—even if they’re participating in a medical marijuana program approved by their state—veterans have often kept mum. That may be changing under a new directive from the Veterans Health Administration urging vets and their physicians to open up on the subject.
Republican politician Steve Alford claims black people’s ‘genetics’ make them more susceptible to marijuana [Independent]
A white Republican politician has resigned from two legislative committees after suggesting black people were more susceptible to drugs because of ”their character make-up” and “genetics”. Steve Alford apologised for comments made during a town hall meeting but defied calls to step down completely from the Kansas House of Representatives.
Endangered birds are being exposed to rodent-killing chemicals in California, likely as a result of illegal cannabis farms. Sampling of endangered owls from north-west California revealed the majority tested positive for rat poison. Researchers studying the owls suggest illegal cannabis cultivation is to blame for the increased presence of anticoagulant rodenticides in the natural environment. These results add to concerns about the environmental impact of toxic chemicals used in the cultivation of illegal cannabis.
UK & EUROPE
A mother-of-two from Pembroke Dock wants to see cannabis legalised to help ease symptoms like hers.
Cannabis should be available on prescription to stop people who use it to ease pain being criminalised, AMs argued in a Senedd debate on Wednesday. In a vote a majority of assembly members backed calls for cannabis for medicinal uses to be legalised. AMs were concerned that some living with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) using cannabis are putting them at risk of prosecution. But the UK government said it had no plans to legalise the Class B drug.
The Home Office has been accused of cruelty over a decision to send a child victim of trafficking, who spent years in enforced slavery cultivating cannabis plants in England, back to Vietnam, where he has no family.
Cannabis In The UK — A Call For Partner Support [volteface]
Our intention is to have Cannabis in the UK become a catalyst for multiple conversations in different places and a convenor of debates between diverse groups. We initially plan to establish and support six separate groups, each will operate semi-autonomously and will be able to nominate a representative to a Strategic Partners Board we will establish later this year.
Greece set to allow medical cannabis use [MedicalXpress]
Greece’s parliament is expected to approve the medical use of cannabis in the coming weeks, a deputy minister said Sunday, adding that the change would attract investment to the country. “In a few weeks’ time, an amendment will be brought to parliament to define the legislative framework for the cultivation and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products based on medical cannabis, which will open the way for Greek and foreign investments,” deputy agricultural development minister Yannis Tsironis told AFP.
Portugal’s influential Doctors’ Association called for the legalization of marijuana-based medicines on Thursday, the same day parliament started to debate a draft bill that goes even further in seeking to allow patients to grow pot at home.
What’s the evidence behind medical cannabis? While many attest to its healing powers, research into the full potential has long been legally restricted.
Why the world needs hemp plastic [Cannabis Tech]
Hemp plastic is increasingly becoming a viable option as an eco-friendly alternative to carbon-based plastic. Not only is this bioplastic sourced from safe and sustainable hemp plants, but it is also typically both biodegradable and recyclable.
Plotting Change: A Volteface Journal [volteface]
The reports examine contemporary global drug policy innovation, the impact of drugs on prison life, the consequences of the rise in cannabis potency, the potential for creating legal online cannabis markets and the effectiveness of current drug treatment services.
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [GoFundMe]
Dr Andrew Katelaris is currently incarcerated facing severe penalties for prescribing and providing Whole Plant Cannabis to children with a condition formerly known as “Intractable Epilepsy.” Because of Andrew and others research he can confidently say that before “whole plant cannabis” there was no successful treatment for the hundreds of children with this supposedly untreatable condition.
We are hoping to be an example to show the Australian government that our laws need to change. If you want medical cannabis legalised we’re asking you to please donate to help us fight this battle.
CANBERRA CANNABIS PROTEST FIRST DAY OF PARLIAMENT [Hemp Embassy]
Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy is once again sending its giant inflatable mascots, the Big Joint and the LGTB (Lovely Giant Tincture Bottle), to Canberra for the first day of parliament, Monday February 5th.
“We welcome anyone who is sick and tired of the ridiculous restrictions on Cannabis use to join us,” says president Michael Balderstone. “We’ve been saying for decades this is a miracle medicine, and now the evidence is in, but we are hunted the same as ever. Something has to change, and soon.”
“Our Health Minister Hunt keeps saying it’s legal but the truth is that only applies to people on their death bed – if they’re lucky! How about we try using cannabis before that point? Why don’t we take notice of California and what’s happened there over the last 20 years?”
“We will not let up on this serious injustice that is based on lies and misinformation which the powers that be NOW KNOW! The results from legalising cannabis in some American states cannot be ignored forever and in every case they point to a win win for everyone. Except the pharmaceutical industry!”
For more information contact the HEMP Embassy 02 66 891842 or Michael 0472760236
Hemp Farming: Growing Renewable Economies OPEN EDUCATION DAY [Industrial Medical Food [IMF]
When: Friday 9th February 11 am to 4pm.
Where: 87/89 Cecil St Nimbin
Cost $20 includes Hemp Tea and delicious legal Hemp Foods
Why: To educate and promote Hemp farming for:
Industrial: Building products, super strong plastics 3D printing.
Medical: Treating cancer, epilepsy, pain relief, etc etc etc !
Food: Twice the protein of meat. Omega 3, 6 & 9. Super Food!
Products made from Mining & Fossil Fuels can be made From HEMP grown by family Farmers
Tulum, Mexico; 3rd – 3rd, February 2018. The CryptoPsychedelic Summit will bring together leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science to discuss new possibilities in research, innovation, and community building.
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Thanks to Disco Sista for documenting the many medican workshops that the Embassy has hosted in Nimbin over the past 3 years. If you’ve missed these amazing gatherings, then you can still watch the speakers online.