Embassy Headlines, Issue 14

 

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy believes the war on drugs needs urgent re-evaluation. The Embassy Headlines are a selection of recent articles from news services and media sources concerning Cannabis issues, the consequences of prohibition and the challenges of law reform.

Here are the selected headlines for this week.

 

 


U.S.-led “war on drugs” questioned at U.N. as Drug legalization debate intensifies in Latin America

The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of anti-narcotics laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led “war on drugs.” Latin America has been (and still is) the hardest-hit region by the War on Drugs. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is the part of the world with the most vigorous debate about drug policy reform as governments look for alternatives to the failed policies of the War on Drugs. The debate is hampered by the long-entrenched prohibitionist credo and extreme pressure from the big Northern neighbor. According to Mexican president Felipe Calderon though, there was only one consensus at the April 15th Summit of the Americas: that the drug policy debate needs to be open to all alternatives.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/26/us-un-assembly-mexico-drugs-idUSBRE88P1Q520120926

http://www.world-war-d.com/2012/09/21/drug-legalization-debate-intensifies-in-latin-america/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/22/relaxation-cannabis-laws-war-on-drugs

http://signon.org/sign/support-guatemalan-president

http://www.world-war-d.com/2012/06/22/petition-in-support-of-the-controlled-legalization-of-marijuana-in-uruguay/


USA: State could be test case in marijuana legalization

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019235344_marijuana23m.html

How would the federal government respond if Washington voters pass Initiative 502 and legalize recreational marijuana sales. Arrests of state-licensed marijuana growers? A big legal fight in federal court? Or would the feds leave the state alone?


USA: Bid to overturn L.A. pot shop ban qualifies for ballot

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pot-ban-20120918,0,4041164.story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/medical-marijuana-la-feds_n_1916191.html

Activists seeking to strike down a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles saw their challenge qualify for the ballot Monday, dealing a setback to the city’s latest attempt at a crackdown. Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries needed 27,425 valid signatures to force a referendum on a law that prohibits the sale of cannabis but allows groups of three people or fewer to cultivate and share the drug. City Clerk June Lagmay said a statistical sampling of the signatures submitted showed that activists had turned in 110% of the amount needed to qualify for the ballot. That announcement leaves the City Council, which has been confounded by the issue of pot shops for years, with three choices. The council can repeal the ordinance, which was passed two months ago, and possibly replace it with a modified version; call a special election to consider the pot measure; or place the measure on the ballot in the March 5 election, when voters will choose a mayor, city controller, city attorney and eight council members.South Australia: New drugs trigger death, overdoses

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-drugs-trigger-death-overdoses/story-e6frf7kf-1226472717626

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/new-hallucinogenic-drug-25b-nbome-and-25i-nbome-led-to-south-australian-mans-bizarre-death/story-fndo2izk-1226472672220

A death and two overdoses have been linked to two new illicit drugs which have similar effects to LSD including bizarre behaviour, paranoia and seizures.


USA: Yale study – Alcohol’s gateway effect much larger than marijuana’s

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/22/yale-study-alcohols-gateway-effect-much-larger-than-marijuanas/

A Yale study published Tuesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that people who used alcohol or tobacco in their youth are almost twice as likely to abuse prescription opiate drugs than those who only used marijuana.

 


USA: Bid to overturn L.A. pot shop ban qualifies for ballot

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pot-ban-20120918,0,4041164.story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/medical-marijuana-la-feds_n_1916191.html

Activists seeking to strike down a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles saw their challenge qualify for the ballot Monday, dealing a setback to the city’s latest attempt at a crackdown. Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries needed 27,425 valid signatures to force a referendum on a law that prohibits the sale of cannabis but allows groups of three people or fewer to cultivate and share the drug. City Clerk June Lagmay said a statistical sampling of the signatures submitted showed that activists had turned in 110% of the amount needed to qualify for the ballot. That announcement leaves the City Council, which has been confounded by the issue of pot shops for years, with three choices. The council can repeal the ordinance, which was passed two months ago, and possibly replace it with a modified version; call a special election to consider the pot measure; or place the measure on the ballot in the March 5 election, when voters will choose a mayor, city controller, city attorney and eight council members.


Europe-wide rise in ecstasy quality triggers surge in demand

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/europe-wide-rise-in-ecstasy-quality-triggers-surge-in-demand-207373.html

There has been a “huge increase” in demand for ecstasy this year on the back of a surge in the production of high-quality MDMA in Europe.  After many years of a drop-off in the manufacture of MDMA, producers have again been able to access the chemicals, known as precursors, needed to make the drug. MDMA is the chemical name for pure ecstasy.


USA & Spain: Marijuana And Cancer – Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/marijuana-and-cancer_n_1898208.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/06/marijuana-fights-cancer-and-helps-manage-side-effects-researchers-find.html

Mounting evidence shows ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects.


Canada: The Cannabis-Psychosis Link

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/schizophrenia/content/article/10168/2017327

[As this article notes, one of the authors has received grant support from and acted as consultant to BigPharma] As mental health practitioners, it is our duty to educate our patients about the potential harms and consequences of cannabis use. This important task is complicated by the disagreement and uncertainty surrounding the nature of the interaction between cannabis and psychotic disorders. More than 16 million Americans use cannabis on a regular basis, typically beginning in adolescence. Notably, it is estimated that approximately 4% of the population have a diagnosis of either cannabis abuse or dependence.1 A history of cannabis misuse is even more common in patients who are schizophrenic than in the general population; 25% of patients with schizophrenia have a comorbid cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorders are especially common in younger and first-episode patient samples and in samples with high proportions of males


The Innovation Myth And A Challenge To Pharma

http://www.pharmalot.com/2012/09/the-innovation-myth-and-a-challenge-to-pharma/

This is an interesting article about how expensive it really is to develop TGA-approved medicines, challenging BigPharma’s argument that we must pay a lot for their products so they can afford to develop new ones.


Hemp Can Repair DNA!

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/09/06/hemp-can-repair-dna/

Did you know that DNA can be damaged…and repaired? Hempseed and hempseed oil have been found to be a factor in DNA repair. Hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) needed by the human body. One ‘job’ of Omega 3 is cellular repair. Hemp is 65% protein, 35% of which is globulin edestin protein. It is the protein that is closest to human globulin, and is very easily digestible by the body.


What’s the first rule of Weed Club?  Don’t talk about Weed Club

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/7-steps-smoke-pot-and-never-get-caught

How to smoke pot and never get caught: Be white, middle-aged, look square, be aware, don’t smoke in your car, and only break one law at a time.


South Australia: New drugs trigger death, overdoses

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-drugs-trigger-death-overdoses/story-e6frf7kf-1226472717626

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/new-hallucinogenic-drug-25b-nbome-and-25i-nbome-led-to-south-australian-mans-bizarre-death/story-fndo2izk-1226472672220

A death and two overdoses have been linked to two new illicit drugs which have similar effects to LSD including bizarre behaviour, paranoia and seizures.


Film Review: Lynching Charlie Lynch

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2012/sep/19/chronicle_film_review_lynching_c

Charlie Lynch’s sad saga begins back when George W. Bush was still president, but his tale is all too familiar by now. In his powerfully rendered Lynching Charlie Lynch, award-winning filmmaker, writer, and producer Rick Ray manages to illuminate the human reality (and the inhuman idiocy) of the war on medical marijuana distributors. As many Chronicle readers no doubt recall, Lynch operated the Central Coast Compassion Center in Morro Bay, California, until he was raided, arrested, and convicted on federal marijuana trafficking charges in federal court.

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