Embassy Headlines, Issue 107

A wise old Hippie from Nimbin says there is no problem with the supply of Cannabis for medical purposes, only the lack of knowledge and understanding by those responsible for making a legal decision on behalf of the terminally ill and the intermittently ‘high’.

Bedrocan is flowers in a pill container that are grown in the Netherlands and nothing special at all.

The Embassy Headlines are a selection of recent articles from news services and media sources primarily concerning Cannabis issues, the consequences of prohibition and the challenges for law reform.

Here are the selected headlines for this week.


Pharmacist prescribes drug import [Northern Daily Leader]

A leading pharmacist has jumped aboard the medical marijuana bandwagon, claiming he has found a way for supporters to navigate the “legal labyrinth” surrounding the drug. Australian Custom Pharmaceuticals owner Daryll Knowles said, while previous pushes to legalise cannabis for the dying had stalled because of the “regulatory nightmare” around growing, importing and prescribing it, he had devised an iron-clad way of getting it from the farm to the pharmacy. Mr Knowles claims the drug could simply be imported from Holland and administered in a similar manner to the current methadone program. Under the proposed model, a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler would be given an import permit by the Therepeutic Goods Administration and be licensed to distribute to pharmacists. The Australian Pharmacy Guild would train pharmacists about the rules and regulations around the drug and it would be left to GPs and specialists to prescribe it to patients. Medicinal marijuana is so entrenched in Holland, horticulturalists have developed different strains to deal with different disease states. Tamworth mum Lucy Haslam, whose son Dan has been the public face of the medical marijuana campaign, said she welcomed Mr Knowles’ foray into the debate. “The issue of supply has always been the sticking point … it’s the number one issue,” Mrs Haslam said. “But if they can overcome it in other countries, then it can’t be rocket science. That’s what governments are for, aren’t they?”

Pollies in landslide of support for medical marijuana push[Northern Daily Leader]

A Tamworth family’s medical marijuana push has sparked a political landslide across the nation.In a potentially game-changing 72 hours in the debate, the Western Australian Opposition on Sunday backed the medical prescription of cannabis while the Tasmanian government announced a parliamentary inquiry into the issue on Friday. The ACT Greens are also poised to introduce a medical marijuana bill while influential federal Queensland Senator Warren Entsch has vowed to take the Haslams’ campaign all the way to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. It comes as the NSW Parliament prepares to vote on a medical marijuana private member’s bill, expected to be tabled by Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson by mid-next month. Tamworth mum Lucy Haslam, who along with son Dan has been the public face of the campaign, said it was “heartening” to see support from all corners of the country. “Uniform national laws are hugely important because terminally ill people shouldn’t be disadvantaged by where they happen to live,” Mrs Haslam said. “There’s nothing Australian about that. “People are starting to realise the value of generating public debate on this issue and it will only succeed if people keep talking to each other and lobby politicians.”

Legalise medicinal cannabis for terminal, chronic conditions: WA Opposition leader Mark McGowan [ABC]

WA Opposition leader Mark McGowan has told the Labor Party’s state conference that cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes. Mr McGowan said people with terminal or chronic illnesses should be able to access medicinal cannabis in the form of tablets or sprays to ease their pain. He said he did not support the softening of laws surrounding recreational drug use but would like to give doctors the power to prescribe cannabis when other medications had failed. “Why should anyone have to suffer in agony if there’s another way to relieve their pain?” he said. “Why should they be treated as criminals?” Mr McGowan’s call comes less than a week after Tasmania’s Legislative Council announced it would hold an inquiry into the medicinal use of cannabis.

Cannabis already in use in WA to treat medical conditions despite ban, advocacy groups say [ABC]

Families whose children have epilepsy and cancer sufferers in WA are already using the banned drug cannabis to treat symptoms, according to advocacy groups. The news follows WA Labor leader Mark McGowan’s call for cannabis to be legalised for medicinal purposes. The State Government has rejected the idea, saying the use of the drug as a medicine was, at best, experimental. But the Epilepsy Association of WA’s Suresh Rajan said there was anecdotal evidence from parents that it was working for their children. “Going back over the last few months we’ve seen quite an increase in the numbers of parents who have reported to us that they’ve been trying it on their children,” he said. “And it seems to have worked.” Mr Rajan, who has also called for local clinical trials into the use of the drug, said in some cases people had gone from a couple of hundred seizures a day down to a couple a week.

Medicinal cannabis inquiry established [The Advocate]

A Tasmanian parliamentary committee inquiry into medicinal cannabis will hopefully bring some facts and evidence to the table, according to Independent MP Ruth Forrest. Ms Forrest was successful in establishing the inquiry after a meeting with her fellow MLCs in the Legislative Council on Friday. The committee inquiry will begin calling for submissions straight away after the terms of reference have been established. Ms Forrest said it was important people realised the inquiry was only to do with medicinal uses of cannabis and not for recreational use. Ms Forrest said the inquiry was being held to help bring some facts and evidence to the table to help the state government make a more informed decision on the subject. “I find it odd the government are reluctant to take a compassionate view,” she said. “The don’t have a problem with providing opiates to people.”

Tasmanian Government ministers unite in opposition to medical marijuana trials [ABC]

Key Tasmanian Government ministers are standing firm against the idea of growing and processing medical cannabis in the state. Tasman Health Cannabinoids has been lobbying the Government to consider a medical cannabis trial, to be co-run with the University of Tasmania. The company’s proposal would see the cultivation of a small crop of a medical marijuana being processed and administered to cancer sufferers to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and appetite loss. On Tuesday, Health Minister Michael Ferguson said he was unconvinced of the trail’s merit and held concerns about safety, security and the potential for social harm of promoting a cannabis medicines industry. On Wednesday, both Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and State Growth Minister Matthew Groom also expressed their disapproval. Mr Rockliff, who holds Primary Industry portfolio, said that a medical cannabis industry would pose a threat to Tasmania’s well-established poppy industry.

Poppy company says medical cannabis in Tasmania ‘makes sense’ [7 News]

Another major player in Tasmania’s poppy industry is baffled by the State Government’s decision to reject a medical cannabis trial on the grounds that it poses a threat to the poppy industry. Premier Will Hodgman said the decision was based on feedback from the Poppy Growers’ Association who “communicated their concerns publicly last week, as they did to our minister”. But the association’s Keith Rice said the body did not have a formal position when the Government raised the cannabis proposal last week. “We need some more time just to go through that and determine a full policy position in that regard,” he said. Chief executive of poppy processor TPI Enterprises, Jarrod Ritchie, was clear about his company’s support for the growing of medical cannabis. “It would make sense – Tasmania would tick all the boxes,” he said. “I don’t see any threat to the poppy industry; I see it as an opportunity for Tasmania.” He said there might “be a number of [opioid] companies who would be interested” in expanding into medical cannabis. Mr Ritchie also pointed out that the International Narcotics Control Board, which regulates poppies, also has provisions for the commercial production, manufacture and sale of medical cannabis.

Legislative Council Sessional Committee: Legalised Medicinal Cannabis [Parliament of Tasmania]

Tasmanian inquiry announced Terms of Reference: That Government Administration Committee A inquire into and report on the use of natural botanical medicinal cannabis flower and extracted cannabinoids for medical purposes, in particular:

1.The efficacy and safety of natural botanical medicinal cannabis flower and extracted cannabinoids for medical purposes;

2.If, and how, natural botanical medicinal cannabis flower and extracted cannabinoids could and/or should be supplied for medical use;

3.The legal implications and barriers to the medicinal use of natural botanical medicinal cannabis flower and extracted cannabinoids in Tasmania;

4.The legal implications and barriers to the growing and commercialisation of cannabis flower and extracted cannabinoids in Tasmania to ensure:
(a) a scientific based approach;
(b) quality control;
(c) consistency;
(d) reliability and
(e) ongoing research and development of cannabis-based medicines.

5.The potential impact on agricultural or other sectors within Tasmania.

POLL | Do you support a cannabis trial in Tasmania? [The Advocate]

Ulverstone woman Natalie Daley has been flooded with hundreds of messages of support after her decision to begin a petition to lobby the state government for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis. Mrs Daley, who is living with adrenal gland carcinoma, posted on her Facebook page,Natalie’s Journey, a request for support if she was to start a petition about the legalisation of medicinal cannabis. “I’ve just had such a response, it’s a bit overwhelming,” the mother of three said.

Leeza Ormsby’s playbook on how to get off a drug charge lightly[Sydney Morning Herald]

Leeza Ormsby has written the playbook for Australians on how to get off a drug charge lightly in the Balinese court system. The New Zealand-born Sydneysider will, as a result of her 10-month sentence, be home by the end of the year, avoiding the decades-long nightmares faced by Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine. The first thing Ormsby did right when she was arrested onFebruary 12 was shut her mouth. She was caught about to enter a villa containing large portions of MDMA and hashish, bagged up and apparently ready to sell, as well as death penalty-worthy drug paraphernalia (digital scales). In her bag was a half-smoked hashish joint which seemed to link her to the drugs. 

Victorian of the Year: Legal cannabis, ecstasy campaigner David Penington honoured [ABC]

An octogenarian who wants cannabis and ecstasy legalised and has campaigned for safe injecting rooms has been named Victorian of the Year. Professor David Penington heads a committee advising the Victorian Government on its drug policies and was in charge of the Hawke government’s national advisory committee on AIDS, which was largely responsible for the Grim Reaper campaign. The 84-year-old also controversially proposed a system to allow Australians, aged 16 and over, access to cannabis and ecstasy provided they sign up to a national users’ register. Professor Penington said he was surprised to receive the honour of Victorian of the Year at an award ceremony in Melbourne. “At the age of 84 I was really looking forward to genteel disappearance from the scene,” he said. But he said he would use his new title to continue his push for drug reform. “The reality is that prohibition just hasn’t worked for 100 years and the problems are getting worse,” Professor Penington said.

Australia tops UN report into drug use [National Nine News]

Australia has topped the United Nation’s 2014 World Drug Report with a higher proportion of people getting high than anywhere else in the world. We had the highest recorded drug use in the world for ecstasy, second for prescribed or black market opioids such as codeine and morphine, third for methamphetamines, fourth for cocaine and seventh for cannabis use. Expert opinion points to an increase in the consumption of cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens and solvents and inhalants but a decline in the use of ecstasy,” the report states. “There is a wide range of drug analogues and new psychoactive substances currently available in the Australian illicit drug market.”

This surprising map explains how the world smokes pot[Washington Post]

Worldwide, weed news couldn’t be hotter. It’s now legal in Colorado and Washington — and Uruguay just became the first country to legalize it. The nation now has bold, new weed plans that include, among others, giving medical marijuana to prisoners in its jails. The catch: Despite Uruguay’s weed affinity, only 8.3 percent of its inhabitants actually smoke it, according to the United Nations 2014 World Drug Report. The country that, surprisingly, has the highest percentage of stoners? Iceland. That’s right, 55,000 of its residents light up — nearly one-fourth of the population — even though marijuana remains an expensive commodity, according to some. Today, its president wants the trade legalized. “If we allow the sale of alcohol,” he said, “there is no reason to ban the soft drugs any longer.” Other countries with a high percentage of potheads include the United States, New Zealand, Canada and … Nigeria. A major caveat: There are huge swath’s of the globe where there is no data, so it’s difficult to know how much weed is smoked there. For instance, in Southeast Asia, home to the happy pizza, little data is to be had. 

Medical Marijuana Farmers Market Opens to Big Crowds [NBC Los Angeles]

About 30 medical marijuana growers gathered in Boyle Heights at the first farmers market of its kind in Los Angeles Friday. Huge lines stretched outside the market, and as of Friday afternoon authorities said no problems had been reported. Mekahlo Medina reports live from Boyle Heights on the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday, July 4, 2014.

New York Becomes the 23rd Medical Marijuana State! [MPP Blog]

On Saturday, July 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law, makingNew York the 23rd state with an effective medical marijuana law. The law goes into effect immediately, although patients are not expected to have legal protections or safe access to medical marijuana until 2016. The law’s passage is the product of many years of work by legislative champions, led by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, and, more recently, Sen. Diane Savino, patients, their loved ones, and advocacy organizations, including MPP andCompassionate Care NY. Thanks to each and every one of you who made this law possible. 

America’s Pot Schizophrenia [DW]

The US is a country divided by drug laws. In Colorado, cannabis is legal and since the start of the year a florishing industry has sprung up around its recreational use. In Missouri it is a very different story. Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced to life without parole after his third majiuana offense. He’s been behind bars for 20 years. Even the state prosecutor says the punishment is unusually harsh.

Dopeless in Seattle: legalised cannabis prompts pot shortage[Telegraph UK]

A broad smile spreads across the face of shopkeeper James Lathrop as he surveys his shiny new store, for he knows he’s about to become the most popular man in Seattle. On Tuesday the state of Washington will become only the second in the US, after Colorado, to allow the sale of cannabis for recreational use. And for the 635,000 residents of its biggest city there will be only one place to buy it. That’s Mr Lathrop’s 620 sq ft outlet “Cannabis City,” which is expected to be swamped. Mr Lathrop, 44, a former Army nurse, who served in Desert Storm, is the only cannabis entrepreneur in the home of grunge who managed to negotiate a labyrinthine licensing system in time for the big day. “It is exciting to be the only one, but also overwhelming,” he said. “There’s going to be a big line outside. We’re going to have to try to make this like McDonald’s, as efficient as possible, so people are in and out, boom, boom, boom.

Marc Emery: His Final Blog from U.S. Federal Prison [Cannabis Culture]

This is my last blog from the terminals of the US Bureau of Prisons. My sentence was for five years (1,825 days), and I earned all 235 days of my eligible good conduct credit, so my sentence officially ends at 1,590 days, which is Wednesday, July 9th. On Thursday, July 10th, US Immigration picks me up and takes me to the private, for-profit GEO Group LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana, where I will be processed for deportation back to Canada.

Colorado has proved that legalising cannabis works, so it’s about time we let the UK get high [The Independent]

Six months ago the state of Colorado legalised marijuana. Now the THC dust has begun to settle on this landmark decision, it’s time to analyse the results and see what we can take home from them. To the surprise of no drug reform activists anywhere, the consequences of Colorado’s decision have been overwhelmingly positive. The state’s governor, John Hickenlooper, predicts that sales of the drug will reach $1bn in the next fiscal year, raising almost $134m in tax revenue. Arrests for drug-related crimes and the murder rate have also halved, and tens of thousands of people have found work in the state’s burgeoning cannabis market. Astute politicians will be quick to point out that the UK is not Colorado (as they have similarly done with Portugal and the Czech Republic), and that what works over there may not work for us. But with an estimated 2.3 million adults in the UK reporting that they’ve used cannabis, it’s about time we started to think about what it could look like. Fortunately, it doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination to see how these policies could translate, as there’s a wealth of reputable studies that highlight the benefits. In September the Institute for Social and Economic Research released a report estimating that licensing the sale of cannabis could reduce the government deficit by between £0.5bn and £1.25bn pounds. Another report, published by the London School of Economics and backed by Nick Clegg, stated that our strategy for dealing with drugs “can no longer be justified”.

Medicinal cannabis to be made available by prescription for MS sufferers [Irish Mirror]

Cannabis is to be provided under prescription for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis, under a new revision to current laws making the drug illegal. The CEO of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Pat O’Mahony confirmed today that the Department of Health was working on legislation to allow medicinal cannabis to be made available for patients. Speaking on RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show this morning, Mr O’Mahony said cannabis was prescribed in many European countries and was very helpful for the muscle spasms that MS patients suffer. And he described the move as a “very important step forward”. He said: “This has been proposed now for about four years.

Mayors continue assault on cannabis policy [Netherlands Times]

Dozens of mayors in The Netherlands have come together to plead for a regulation of marijuana cultivation. They want to permit sale of the soft drug in coffeeshops, as well as the cultivation. In an interview with de Volkskrant, mayor Paul Depla of Heerlen outs hard criticism on the current cannabis policy in The Cabinet. “The threshold to enter cannabis criminality has never been this low. You just need an attic and you can get going”, Depla tells the paper. “We have created a criminal monster that keeps spreading its tentacles further in town quarters and villages.” Some of the advantages of having government-regulated cannabis cultivation is health and quality. The government can control the quality, and monitor the levels of THC in the drug. Too much of the substance can lead to psychosis. For this reason, Depla criticizes the State Secretary of Public Health Martin van Rijn for not being visible in the discussion. “Cannabis policy is about public health, just like alcohol policy. Van Rijn, let yourself be heard. Regulated marijuana cultivation is better for public health”, Depla tells the paper. The mayor thinks it us unacceptable that there are no quality controls performed on the marijuana that is sold in coffeeshops. State Secretary Van Rijn is saying that he is working together with Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice on a maximum THC content in cannabis.

Marijuana Protest Raves May Actually Help Change Georgia Drug Policy [Vice]

The area outside the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia is typically a concrete desert on a weekday evening, home to a few pigeons and the odd security guard. But on a recent Mondaynight, the square was crowded with more than 1,000 people, moving in time to music, a cloud of white smoke rising above them. “What better time and place to have a party!” a young man shouts as he grins and lights up. Behind him, other people jump up and down and hold signs: “Stop sending people to jail for smoking weed. Vol. 2.” This was the second phase — Volume 2 — of a series of impromptu protest raves that started when 400 people marched along Rustaveli Avenue in the capital city of Tbilisi before stopping amid an outburst of electronic noise outside the city’s Old Parliament building. Volume 3 was already being planned. The protest raves began because of a 27-year-old Georgian NGO worker and musician named Beqa. In June 2013, police stopped him in the middle of the day as he walked to the train station on his way to work. Police found 7 grams of marijuana on him and another 62 grams when they then searched his home. As a result, Beqa is facing a possible prison sentence of seven years. Random drug searches and long prison sentences for drug possession are common in Georgia. “A lot of people are in prison for doing drugs,” says Giorgi, a 32-year-old graphic designer standing at the edge of the mass of Rustaveli square dancers. “But this guy Beqa turned out to have a lot of friends — the right kind of friends.”


Today, the patient association KOPAC begins its activities with the aim to defend the rights of all patients for whom medical cannabis is indicated. Despite legislative changes in the Czech Republic regarding the prescription of therapeutic cannabis more than a year ago, medical cannabis for patients is still legally completely inaccessible. The Patient Association for the Cannabis Treatment – KOPAC – is a voluntary, independent, community organization. It brings together patients who want to treat themselves with cannabis (indicated for the treatment of various types of illness and / or cannabis) and their supporters.


Marijuana has long been used to effectively treat symptoms associated with HIV, such as chronic pain and weight loss. But a growing body of research suggests the plant may be able to stop the spread of the disease itself. Adding to these findings is a Louisiana State University study published last week in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. For 17 months, scientists administered a daily dose of THC, an active ingredient in cannabis, to monkeys infected with an animal form of the virus. Over the course of that period, scientists found that damage to immune tissue in the primates’ stomachs, one of the most common areas in the body for HIV infection to spread, decreased.

How the Drug Trade Criminalizes Women Disproportionately[NACLA]

The vast majority of incarcerated women are there for drug-related offenses, which, in the case of Argentina, make up more than 60% of the cases of female imprisonment, according to a 2011 report compiled by Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS). Buenos Aires legal researcher Alejandro Corda argues that the increase is directly related to the 1989 drug law that substantially increased penalties. In Chile, 68% of women’s imprisonment is linked to drugs, compared with 26% of men’s. According to a 2011 report published by Brazil’s National Penitentiary Department (DEPEN), in Brazil’s northwestern, sparsely populated state of Roraima, bordering Guyana and Venezuela, women accused of drug trafficking make up more than 90% of those in jail.

Cannabis: A new job frontier for women? [CBS]

Interesting coincidence. The White House Summit on Working Families last weekissued some statistics that underscored continuing challenges of gender inequality in the workplace. At around the same time, at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver, a group of female business executives pointed to some of the new opportunities available for women entering the burgeoning marijuana industry. These women, many of whom have been working in the legal side of the cannabis business for years, have been making names for themselves not only as pioneers in a fast-evolving industry, but also as the vanguard for a rising female representation in the cultivation, testing, marketing and sales of marijuana. “It’s a brand new industry, and I feel like we have a great opportunity to strive and to reach out to women for opportunities they maybe they didn’t think of, because it is marijuana,” said Genifer Murray, CEO of Cannlabs (SDSPD), a full-service marijuana testing lab. 

1947 – EPILEPSY STUDY [Antique Cannabis Book]

Anti-Epileptic Action Of Marijuana-Active Substances BY JEAN P. DAVIS, M.D., and H.H. RAMSEY, M.D. [2] 

The demonstration of anticonvulsant activity of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) congeners by laboratory tests (Loewe and Goodman, Federation Proc. 6:352, 1947 ) prompted clinical trial in five institutionalized epileptic children. 

All of them had severe symptomatic grand ma1 epilepsy with mental retardation; three had cerebral palsy in addition. Electroencephalographic tracings were grossly abnormal in the entire group; three had focal seizure activity. Their attacks had been inadequately controlled on 0.13 gm. Of phenobarbital daily, combined with 0.3 gm. of Dilantin per day in two of the patients, and in a third, with 0.2 gm. Of Mesantoin daily. Two isomeric 3 (1,2-dimethyl heptyl) homologs of THC were tested, Numbers 122 and 125A, with ataxia potencies fifty and eight times, respectively, that of natural marijuana principles. Number 122 was given to two patients for three weeks and to three patients for seven weeks. Three responded at least as well as to previous therapy; the fourth became almost completely and the fifth entirely seizure free. One patient, transferred to 125A after three weeks, had prompt exacerbation of seizures during the ensuing four weeks, despite dosages up to 4 mg. daily. The second patient transferred to 125A was adequately controlled on this dosage, except for a brief period of paranoid behavior three and a half weeks later; similar episodes had occurred prior to cannabinol therapy. Other psychic disturbances or toxic reactions were not manifested during the periods of treatment. Blood counts were normal. 

The cannabinols herein reported deserve further trial in non-institutionalized epileptics. Reprinted from Federation Proceedings, Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology, vol. 8, lY49, p. 284. 
Source: Anti-Epileptic Action Of Marijuana-Active Substances 

Bringing It Home A New Documentary About Industrial Hemp[Inspire Amaze]

Hemp is a misunderstood plant with compelling benefits for healthy homes, food, farmers, job creation and our environment. Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive and grown in thirty other nations but currently U.S. farmers are prohibited from this economic opportunity. In the new documentary BRINGING IT HOME, filmmakers Linda Booker and Blaire Johnson animate hemp’s history and introduce us to business owners using industrial hemp for construction, textiles, nutrition, and body care products in the United States and around the globe. BRINGING IT HOME explores “Why aren’t we growing it here?” and the latest effort by advocates to legalize hemp farming in America. Learn more, support, sign up for news at bringingithomemovie.com

Stephen F. Gaskin, founder of the Farm commune in Tennessee, dies at 79 [Washington Post]

Stephen F. Gaskin, a professed “hippie priest and freelance rebel rouser” who assembled, preached to and presided over “The Farm,” one of the largest and longest-lasting communes born of the counterculture era, died July 1 at his home near the settlement in Summertown, Tenn. He was 79. Douglas Stevenson, who described himself as an unofficial spokesman for the still-extant Farm community, confirmed the death and said he did not know the cause. In his day, Mr. Gaskin was a countercultural celebrity, the figure­head of a commune that seemed to have achieved the critical mass, wherewithal and collective commitment needed to make such a society work when so many others had petered out.

In 2000, Mr. Gaskin sought the Green Party nomination for president. Weeks before the convention, he had amassed a war chest of $400, the Associated Press reported. His campaign platform included peace and the legalization of marijuana. Asked by a reporter if he had inhaled — a reference to future President Bill Clinton’s assertion that he had not — Mr. Gaskin replied: “I didn’t exhale.” 

The Conservative Case For Ending Drug Prohibition [Inside the Mind of Tim]

A conservative seeks to be grounded in reality… the drug laws aren’t working and more damage net is being done by their continuation on the books than would be done by withdrawing them from the books”.  – William F. Buckley

With yesterday’s news that Australia is leading the world in illicit drug consumption, every conservative should heed these words of conservative icon William F. Buckely and admit the stark fact that the war on drugs is over, and drugs won. Despite a bipartisan consensus costing billions of taxpayer dollars a year, illicit drugs remain easily available, cheap, and potent. Meanwhile,100,000 people are arrested each year and 40% of Australians are de facto criminals. Conservatives frequently attack the left for not taking into account the opportunity cost of their actions –  for not “thinking beyond stage one” – yet the drug war is a prime example of this. Even those unswayed  by classical-liberal arguments for individual choice must come to accept that prohibition has not only failed, but has leveled a terrible toll not just on the economy but on society. It was estimated that in 2008 Australian governments spent a staggering $4.7 billion on the war on drugs , which this week’s figures show has resulted in little more than clogging up courts and prisons. At a time of both Federal and State budget emergencies, this is a vanity we just can’t afford. With 87% of Cannabis arrest targeting mere consumers , and with over 10% of sentenced prisoners incarcerated for drug related offences, prohibition redirects limited police resources away from real crime.

Survey: Public Perception & Endorsement of a New Australian Industry [Southern Cross University]

This survey is designed to collect information about the attitudes towards an alternative Australian industry. The Australian economy is quite a hot topic at the moment. To build an economically strong nation, it is necessary to have strong industry. This research is designed to identify some aspects of the public’s perception of, and endorsement for, the building a new Australian processing and manufacturing industry. The survey consists of 25 questions and takes about 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Your answers will remain completely anonymous.

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