AUSTRALIA & NZ
Calls for use of medicinal cannabis for pain relief amid codeine restrictions [The Canberra Times]
Doctors are concerned access to codeine – which is only available by prescription from today – has been cut off with no viable alternative. Canberra emergency doctor David Caldicott said the use of medicinal marijuana was an obvious solution for pain relief, which he believes is safer and more effective.
He says that international experience including that of the US has shown that the prescription of addictive opioids such as codeine has dramatically declined, along with the associated deaths and overdoses, in states where medicinal cannabis is readily available. “It’s time for Federal and state bureaucrats to get over their blinkered ideological opposition to medical marijuana and put the needs of chronically and terminally ill Australians first,” Senator Leyonhjelm says. “Sanctimonious ‘caution’ and bureaucratic restriction by stealth must no longer stand in the way of compassion and common human decency.”
For now, Australia’s plans for cannabis market dominance are more smoke than fire [Channel News Asia]
When Australia said this month it would allow exports of medicinal cannabis in a bid to dominate a global market set to be worth US$55 billion by 2025, investors scrambled to buy shares in marijuana companies: pushing several of them, and the sector as a whole, to record highs. But convoluted and restrictive licensing demands, substantial finance requirements and a guarded medical profession means even Australia’s largest marijuana companies are at least a year away from a commercial crop. And doubts linger about the prospects for smaller entities, belying the government’s ambitious plans to be the world’s leading exporter.
Parliament votes down Greens’ cannabis bill [Radio NZ]
Parliament has voted down the Green Party’s cannabis bill which would have allowed people to grow their own medicinal cannabis.
Political Roundup: Why Parliament is conservative on cannabis – when the rest of us aren’t [NZ Herald]
Swarbrick is being reported this morning as saying “politicians have demonstrated how out of touch they are” by voting down her medicinal marijuana bill — see Benedict Collins’ Chloe Swarbrick: MPs out of touch over medicinal marijuana.
An interesting paper was published recently in the International Journal of Drug Policy with the snappy title of ‘A “not for profit” regulatory model for legal recreational cannabis: Insights from the regulation of gaming machine gambling in New Zealand’ by Chris Wilkins. In the annoying way of these things, this excellent paper is not on open access, but you can see the abstract here.
MSNZ supports regulated cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes being made available, free and legally, to people with MS for the management of pain and spasticity, on prescription from their GP or neurologist. The Society recommends people with MS educate themselves about the benefits and potential risks of any treatment option and make decisions in consultation with their families and primary health care providers. Read the full report here:
Mum’s marijuana battle to keep Kaitlyn’s pain at bay [The Australian]
The clock is ticking because nine-year-old Kaitlyn urgently needs surgery and her mother is adamant the little girl can’t have it without the home-brewed cannabis concentrate that keeps her pain and epileptic seizures at bay. The standoff has pitched Ms Spraggon, 35, into a head-on confrontation with Queensland’s public health authorities, blowing wide open the “blind eye” that was turned previously when she brought out the cannabis while Kaitlyn was in hospital.
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
After legalization, black people are still arrested at higher rates for marijuana than white people [Vox]
Both groups saw big drops in marijuana arrests, but large racial disparities remain.
Peron, a friend of slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk, helped push through a San Francisco ordinance that allowed the use of medical marijuana. That was seen as a precursor to the statewide legalization of medical pot in 1996 with the passage of California Proposition 215.
The misdemeanor and felony marijuana convictions of thousands of people will be dismissed or reviewed after San Francisco decided Wednesday to retroactively apply California’s legalization laws to decades-old criminal cases, the district attorney said. The city had given people with criminal history the chance to have their cases expunged, or charges and sentences reduced immediately after the law legalizing recreational marijuana went into effect Jan. 1.
Thousands of Californians will have marijuana offences wiped from their records now that voters have eliminated criminal penalties, state officials have said. Prosecutors will also review nearly 5,000 felony marijuana convictions to potentially apply new sentences, District Attorney George Gascón said. “A criminal conviction can be a barrier to employment, housing and other benefits, so instead of waiting for the community to take action, we’re taking action for the community.”
As marijuana legalization gains momentum in the United States, researchers worry about keeping the public safe, particularly on the roads. Recent studies have identified new biomarkers that can be used to estimate a person’s recent cannabinoid intake. But, using those markers to judge cognitive and behavioral impairment is complex, say toxicologists.
UK & EUROPE
Study drawing on data from the Netherlands is the first to show how admissions to treatment centres rise and fall in line with cannabis strength.
Why we need to legalise cannabis for medical use in the UK [The Pharmaceutical Journal]
As the Welsh Assembly votes in favour of asking the UK Government to reschedule medical cannabis to allow it to be prescribed and legally supplied, a long-standing member explains why redefining the drug as ‘therapeutic’ would decriminalise patients seeking pain relief.
The imprisonment of a severely ill man for self-medicating with cannabis in Malta has ignited controversy in the country, where the regulation of medical cannabis has recently risen into national debate.
Cambridge is teaching the world’s first business case study on weed [Quartz at Work]
The ever-expanding cannabis industry has reached new heights—so to speak—as it is now being used as a financial case study for some of the world’s most elite business school students. Collaborating with cannabis operator and investor White Sheep Corp, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School is teaching the first-ever “seed to sale” accounting case to students, it announced this week.
At 10, ‘Stephen’ was taken from Hanoi to London and then spent four years tending plants for a brutal drug gang. Now awaiting news of an appeal against deportation, he recalls his horrific experience – and his lucky escape.
The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the agency that oversees the major international treaties on drug control, is considering how to properly categorize cannabidiol (CBD), a medically promising and non-intoxicating cannabinoid. And the UN wants to hear from you about it. Soon.
The 2018 Cannabis Price Index, compiled by Seedo, an automatic cultivator device company based in Tel Aviv, claims to give the going rate for cannabis in 120 cities, ranging from £22.86 (US £32.66) per gram in Tokyo to less than £1 ($1.34) in Quito.
THC Makes Cannabis Ideal for Treating Asthma, Study Shows [The Essence of Life]
A new clinical study reports that cannabis acts as a bronchodilator, meaning that it dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, increasing airflow to the lungs. This peer-reviewed study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. It claims that cannabinoids protect the lungs from constriction and can be quite helpful for asthma patients.
Cannabis oil treating Epilepsy, 173 years ago [Jeff Ditchfield]
In 1840, Victorian Doctors were treating people with extracts of cannabis for many illnesses, including tinctures for treating children with epilepsy. One of my favourite pioneers was Dr William Brooke O’Shaughnessy MD, an irish physician, surgeon, Professor of chemistry, scientist and innovator, he was a pioneer of ‘intravenous therapy’ and he is the man credited with introducing cannabis to Western medicine.
As marijuana arrests disproportionately affect minorities, controversy grows over a term prohibitionists hoped would appeal to xenophobia.
Drug dealers use celebrity app to target youngsters [Daily Mail]
A trendy selling app popular with teenagers, models and celebrities is peddling bundles of drugs to children as young as 13. Depop, a mobile app used to buy and sell clothing, mobile phones, jewellery, art and music, is now openly advertising cannabis and drug paraphernalia.
Stoned Ape Theory [Asahota.com]
Terrance McKenna was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He was nothing short of a remarkable mind and his philosophies, ideas and understanding is something we all can learn from. Along with many other ideologies and theories, Terrance came up with the Stoned Ape Theory. The Stoned Ape Theory states that we as humans became intelligent life-forms because of the introduction of psilocybin mushrooms in our diet centuries ago. The mushrooms gave us the ability to form organized societies, think deeper about existence, increase our survival capabilities and engage in creative activities such as singing, dancing and art.
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.
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
20 April at 14:00–18:00 The River Torrens Rotunda South Australia: Far too many of our alternative healers are being persecuted and held back from doing what they do best. This year we show our support for them and their magnificent work for the community at large, and of course to show our authoritarians how displeased we are with their perpetuation of a harmful law.
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.