Embassy HEADLINES Issue 311
AUSTRALIA & NZ
Survey shows Australian GPs cautiously supportive of medicinal cannabis access [EurekAlert!]
A majority of Australian GPs support medicinal cannabis being available on prescription, with their preferred “access model” involving trained GPs prescribing independently of specialists, a 2017 national survey of 640 GPs published in today’s British Medical Journal Open reveals.
Australian study finds no strong evidence that cannabis use reduces pain or opioid use in people living with chronic non-cancer pain [NDARC]
Results of a four-year study, by researchers at UNSW Sydney of over 1,500 Australians prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, suggest that there is a need for caution in the use of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain.
More study needed on medical cannabis [The Age]
Given some promising results in studies of the drug’s effectiveness at salving a number of ailments, it had been hoped it might prove a potent pain reliever – and a much safer one than synthetic opioids, which have been a leading cause of preventable death. But one of the most comprehensive studies yet done on the pot’s potential found it does not cut pain and seems to increase the overall anxiety levels of patients.
Most Australians support decriminalising cannabis, but our laws lag behind [The Conversation]
A poll conducted by the Greens this week found that the majority of Tasmanians support the decriminalisation of recreational use of cannabis in the state. This is in line with the findings of the latest 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSH Survey) showing Australians largely support the decriminalisation of cannabis and the use of medicinal cannabis, and a growing number support full legislation of cannabis. A recent study also found more than half of surveyed Australian GPs are in favour of prescribing medicinal cannabis.
SA Government to quadruple cannabis possession fines, introduce prison sentences [ABC]
Cannabis possession has been decriminalised in South Australia since 1987, and the most common penalty for possessing less than 25 grams is a $125 fine. Quadrupling cannabis possession fines was a Liberal election promise as part of a “war on drugs” slogan. Other measures included allowing drug-sniffing dogs into schools.
South Australia’s cannabis crackdown based on ‘nonsense’, experts warn [The Guardian]
The South Australian government’s plan to introduce harsher penalties for cannabis possession is based on “nonsense” reasoning and flies in the face of a global move towards decriminalisation of the drug, harm minimisation experts have warned.
South Australia’s ‘counter-productive’ cannabis crackdown likely to be defeated [The Guardian]
The South Australian government’s plan to introduce jail sentences for people caught in possession of cannabis faces defeat in the state’s parliament after Labor and upper house crossbenchers signalled their opposition to the bill.
The green house next door [ABC]
It’s impossible to know just how many hydroponic cannabis grow houses there are in Australia. What is clear, according to senior police in multiple states, is the majority of cannabis sold in Australia is grown this way. Given 2.1 million Australians reported using cannabis in the past 12 months, that’s a lot of houses.
Cann Group Ltd (CAN) To Deploy Australia’s Largest Pot Operation At Melbourne Airport [Raskmedia]
In an announcement to the ASX today, Cann Group said it has signed a Heads of Agreement with Australia Pacific Airports (Melbourne) Pty Ltd (APAM) for a cultivation and manufacturing facility. The increased facility will be located within the 2,500 hectare Melbourne Airport precinct.
The FDA Just Outlawed CBDs and Hemp Oil Extracts by Claiming all Plant Molecules Now Belong Exclusively to Big Pharma [Health Updates]
The FDA just criminalized one of the most miraculous healing medicines in the world by handing it over to Big Pharma. In other words, the FDA just handed Big Pharma an absolute monopoly over CBDs (hemp oil extract) by ridiculously claiming such natural products are “adulterated” with molecules (CBDs) that the FDA says might one day become a drug.
Colorado survey suggests legal marijuana is attracting homeless people [CNN]
A new survey in Colorado suggests that more than one-third of homeless jail inmates who have come to the state since 2012 have come, at least in part, because of legal marijuana. But the survey, commissioned by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, is getting mixed reviews: from a sheriff who says the results are no surprise, to a marijuana lobbyist who called it “irrelevant.” The survey of 507 mostly homeless inmates housed in seven city and county jails was aiming to shed light on the claim made largely by law enforcement: that legal marijuana is attracting transient homeless people to Colorado.
Falling Marijuana Prices in Colorado: A Lesson in Economics [The Marijuana Times]
Relatively speaking, when supply increases in comparison to demand, prices drop, as they are in places like Colorado. Where a price of a pound of marijuana flower fetched about $2,000 in 2015, the price is now roughly $850 (retail adult use sales began in CO in January 2014).
The US Stopped Other Countries from Legalizing Weed for Generations [Vice]
Not anymore. With its decision to legalize weed starting on October 17, Canada has effectively signed a death warrant for pot prohibition worldwide. The United States has long been the world’s drug cop, but now that it has abandoned the beat by allowing nine states to legalize weed, international laws preventing countries from setting their own policies on marijuana are basically unenforceable. Canada’s move could make that situation permanent.
Recreational Marijuana is Now Legal in Vermont [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Legislation passed by the Vermont Legislature in January took effect this weekend, meaning adults can now legally possess limited amounts of marijuana and grow a select number of plants for personal use.
The East Coast Gets Ready for Legal Weed [Bloomberg]
Cannabis becomes legal to sell to those 21 and over at licensed retail stores on July 1 across Massachusetts, the seventh state to create a legal recreational market for a drug still seen as illegal by the federal government. It’s expected to be big business in the state that is home to the Red Sox and Fenway’s famous green wall — not to mention legions of college students at Harvard and elsewhere.
Nearly 7 of 10 Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A new nationwide poll shows that 68 percent of voters in the United States support legalizing adult use marijuana. The new data collected by public policy research and advocacy organization Center for American Progress (CAP) and research firm GBA Strategies reveals nationwide support for marijuana to now be at an all-time high.
GA Teen Returns Home After Being Separated from His Parents for Treating His Epilepsy with Marijuana [The Marijuana Times]
About a month and a half ago another family was torn apart because of the parents’ choice to treat their child’s severe epilepsy with marijuana. Where other medications, and even hemp oil products, that would have been legal under Georgia state law had failed, a few puffs of medical grade marijuana smoked through a pipe was able to do the help.
Up in smoke: new California law could send $350m worth of cannabis to incinerator [The Guardian]
About $350m worth of cannabis products could be destroyed as new regulations take effect on Sunday in California. New rules stipulate that all cannabis products must be sold in child-resistant packaging, and must be lab-tested for potency and a variety of contaminants. Additionally, edibles will be limited to 100mg of THC per package, divided into 10mg servings. The long-anticipated switch has prompted California dispensaries to sell non-compliant products at steep discounts. Amid the buyers’ market, dispensaries that overstocked the items are feeling the brunt of the rule change.
U.S. Senate Overwhelmingly Votes to Legalize Hemp [Medical Marijuana Inc]
The United States Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity. The wide-ranging, omnibus legislation known as the Farm Bill contains the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and legalizes the crop under federal law.
U.S. Senate Endorses Medical Cannabis for Military Veterans, Sends Bill to House [Merry Jane]
Legislators have wavered on whether to allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana for years, but a new bill could be a major breakthrough.
Senator Schumer Finally Introduces Marijuana Decriminalization Bill [The Marijuana Times]
After two months of hype, the much-ballyhooed cannabis law reform bill from New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) has finally been introduced. Last week The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act was unveiled and, among other things, it would decriminalize cannabis on the federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.
The Complications with Legalising Cannabis in the Arctic Circle [Talking Drugs]
On June 13, Nunavut – Canada’s northernmost territory, which makes up over a fifth of the country’s land mass – became the last of the country’s 13 provinces and territories to pass legislation to legalise the drug. Each of the country’s sub-national governments legislated their own territorial policy for recreational cannabis after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the nationwide legalisation of the drug last year.
UK & EUROPE
Criminalising people for possessing small amounts of cannabis ‘not a particularly good idea’, says Corbyn [Independent]
“Cannabis oil use is clearly beneficial to people and that should be decriminalised and made readily available as quickly as possible.”
The risk of underestimating the UK cannabis market [The Guardian]
The Institute of Economic Affairs has seriously underestimated the size of the UK cannabis market in their paper on tax revenues in a regulated market (Legalising cannabis could be ‘win-win-win’ for UK, says thinktank, 29 June). This underestimation carries the risk that when post-regulation sales reach our estimates it will be condemned as a big increase in usage rather than recognised as unveiling the true level. The evidence from abroad suggests increases in post-legalisation usage tend to occur among older age groups, remaining stable or even declining among teenagers and young adults.
Cannabis is beneficial for some conditions, Chief Medical Officer concludes [The Telegraph]
Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said it was now difficult to defend the retention of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug – meaning it was considered to have little or no therapeutic potential – on scientific grounds. Her decision is the first part of a review commissioned last month by Home Secretary Sajid Javid into the medicinal use of cannabis.
Decision on medical cannabis within weeks [BBC]
The government says it will reach a decision within the next few weeks on whether laws around medical cannabis will be changed. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is now assessing the “balance of harms and public health needs” in terms of rescheduling treatments. It comes after high profile cases involving children with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil.
A Quick, Easy Guide to The New UK Arrangements For Access To Cannabis As Medicine [clear]
There’s already an awful lot of misunderstanding over the arrangements just introduced for medicinal cannabis and there’s no need for it because, to be fair, the government has been very clear.
Cannabis for Medical Use And How The Royal College Of GPs Is Letting Us All Down [clear]
The Royal College of GPs was supposed to have issued guidelines to all GPs by the end of 2017 but evidently politics have interfered. It seems that either there has been external pressure from government to hold back or there’s been internal wrangling with some senior doctors opposed to any information being released.
I Had to Fight the British Government to Get Medical Cannabis for My Son [Vice]
Charlotte Caldwell tells the story of how she took on the Home Office to save her son’s life.
The case for cannabis oil must be based on science, not emotion [The European]
What happens when medical evidence clashes with a mother’s love for her child? Charlotte Caldwell’s son, 12-year-old boy Billy, has severe autism and epilepsy. She claims that the cannabis oil she procured from a doctor in Canada is the only medication that stops his seizures. She has been campaigning for the government to legalise this oil, and – largely as a result of media coverage of her case – ministers are under growing pressure to review the evidence on medical cannabis, with a view to providing it on the NHS.
Police ‘stopped’ targeting cannabis users in Durham – but three years on, what has changed? [Chronicle Live]
Cannabis smokers in County Durham STILL face arrest – three years after a ‘softer’ stance on dope smokers was announced. Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg sparked controversy in 2015 by declaring the force should stop actively pursuing small-scale users. However exclusive ChronicleLive figures reveal cannabis users are still being prosecuted – and criminalised – for blazing up. Over 40 people have been either charged or summonsed to court by the force so far in 2018 alone for cannabis possession. The figure is only slightly down from the same period in 2013, two years before Mr Hogg’s declaration.
Russia rips Canada’s ‘high-handedness’ in legalizing recreational marijuana [Global News]
Moscow issued a stern warning to Ottawa over the impending cannabis legalization on Oct. 17, saying Canada “deliberately decided to breach” international law.
Special Issue: Illicit cannabis cultivation in a time of policy change [Emerald Insight]
Free access articles: Illicit cannabis cultivation in a time of policy change.
Cannabis to be allowed to grown, exported in Sri Lanka for medical purposes [Daily News]
Since United Kingdom and Canada has lifted the ban imposed for Cannabis, Sri Lanka will also be allowed to grow cannabis for medical purposes, export the production, paving the way to earn millions of dollars, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He added that growing Cannabis in cold countries is not effective. Addressing a media during a press conference held in Colombo today he said that a cabinet paper had been presented to cultivate cannabis with the assistance of armed forces.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
A painful lesson: are we repeating previous mistakes in pain management? [The Lancet]
The idea that cannabis could be an alternative to opioids in the treatment of pain is attractive and gaining attention. Unless we learn from the history of opioids and their use, we run the risk of replicating a non-evidence based approach to pain management, which will ultimately let down patients in need.
Cannabis Consumers Opting for Edibles Rather than Smokable Products, Report Suggests [Medical Marijuana Inc]
New data indicates that cannabis consumers are more health conscious and now selecting more lung-friendly products. Smoking marijuana is a dying trend, according to the findings in a new report from Deloitte. The analysis of Canadian cannabis consumers indicates that more are opting for non-smokable products like cannabis-infused foods and beverages.
POLICY & BUSINESS
The Origins of Cannabis Legalization [Points Blog]
Today’s post comes from Dr. Chris Elcock, an adjunct professor at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in Lyon, France. His dissertation on the history of LSD in New York City is currently being expanded into a monograph. Here, his post deals with the early days of cannabis activism in the 1960s, and expands on the work he presented at the Cannabis: Global Histories conference held from April 19-20, 2018, at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
No eggs in a frying pan: Pot messaging needs to be honest and credible, expert says [National Post]
In one iconic (and, many critics say, moronic) TV spot, an actor stands in a kitchen, arms crossed, and asks, “Is there anyone out there who still isn’t clear about what doing drugs does?” He cracks an egg into a sizzling cast iron frying pan (it reportedly took several dozen eggs before actor John Roselius landed one in the middle without splitting the yolk). “This is your brain on drugs,” he said. Hammond, a professor in the school of public health at the University of Waterloo, is among those who say the egg metaphor didn’t quite go over as planned. In addition to being mercilessly parodied, “it wasn’t really successful in discouraging young people in using the way it was intended.”
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
21 June Breaking news! Tony has been released on bail. Tony of Mullaway’s Medical Cannabis has once again been arrested for growing his cannabis medicine! Tony makes cannabis tincture for children with epilepsy and countless others with cancer, chronic pain, ms and the list goes on. Tony Bower has dedicated his life to helping others and now needs your help. All Donations would be greatly appreciated.
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]
Andrew is behind bars again and may be there until the trial starts in November unless a Supreme Court appeal passes. Funds to date have gone to a legal team plus barrister. More recently a lawyer has been engaged to appear in court RE the current matter. 3 lawyers will now have visited Andrew in jail since the beginning of his first in Parklea and now in the Hunter Valley.
LEGALISING CANNABIS [The Greens]
Let’s get real about cannabis. The “war on drugs” has been lost. These days, millions of Australians choose to use cannabis and countries all around the world are changing their laws after realising prohibition does more harm than good. It’s high time we joined them and legalised it. That’s why I’m proud to announce today that the Greens are launching our national plan to legalise cannabis for adult use.
MEDICAN WEEKENDS at the BUSH THEATRE, Nimbin [Hemp Embassy]
The next Medican Workshops will be on the weekend of October 20/21 and then January 19/20, 2019. Entry by donation, beside the river at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre. Starting at 11 am and aiming to finish by 420! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine!
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Speaker presentations from the Nimbin Medican Workshop, last weekend 23-24 June 2018, are now online. Big 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: Click on this link to head to Disco Sista’s Nimbin Medican YouTube Channel.
MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Speaker presentations from the Nimbin MardiGrass Hemposium, 4-6 May 2018, are now online. Also check out previous years’ Hemposium speakers as well as our Medican Workshops.
BuddingTech is partnered with the world’s premier medical cannabis conference! Save the date 29-30th October 2018 Sydney.
DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]
IF YOU WANT IT: When Phil Bromley moved from Sydney to one of Australia’s most famous and surprisingly largest tourism destinations, Nimbin he felt like he’d found home. Six years on, after observing and experiencing the relentless police harassment and mainstream media victimization of his new hometown, Phil felt it was time to let the town tell their story in their own words. ‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ is an eight part radio documentary series that looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world. Broadcast around Australia on the Community Radio Network, from the 18th April and podcast at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/exposing-the-war-on-drugs . With the spotlight on Nimbin, Australia’s most famous “alternative” town, the team from NIM FM, (Nimbin’s local community radio station), explore drug prohibition, medicinal cannabis, addiction and Nimbin itself; and offer some solutions to the costly drug war that has raged since the early 1930s.
Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]
Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) would like to thank the psychedelic community for it’s ongoing support and attendance at our recent Psychedelic Symposium. Since the event we’ve had a lot of inquiries about obtaining copies of the new EGA Journal 4 and other special merchandise. To browse, please feel free to head to the EGA Shop online or click on the items below. This is also your chance to pick up classic and new T-shirt designs. Please keep in mind much of the stock is very limited so don’t delay!