Embassy Headlines, Issue 28

Exercising your constitutional rights together, is the new ‘thing’ in Colorado. Industrial areas just out of town are becoming more attractive for socialising pot-heads who puff and pass without paranoia.

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.


OZ: Magnet for sex, drugs and rock & roll

Australian police made 69,500 illicit drug busts in the year to June 30, 2012, the highest in a decade, and have made record arrests in the first six months of this financial year. In recent months, police have intercepted drugs hidden in a 20-tonne steamroller and heavy machinery, in a large wooden altar, and they have broken up a drug ring involving smugglers in Australia, Japan and Vietnam. One of the biggest smuggling operations was a failed bid to bring in more than 200 kilograms of cocaine across the Pacific Ocean from Ecuador on a 13-metre yacht, found grounded on a small atoll in Tonga with a dead crewman aboard.

VIC: Marijuana crop costs man his home and $400,000 in bills

It is a case that has been likened to the Australian film The Castle and cost Victorian taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. But after a four-year legal stoush between self-confessed ”pot head” Robert Moloney and the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), a man is homeless and the state government has a property it cannot sell.

Kronic ‘king’ on bail after facing drug charges in Australia

New Zealand’s “king” of legal cannabis faces trafficking charges in Australia after allegedly being found with a “commercial quantity” of drugs.

USA: Medical marijuana dispensary prepares to open in D.C.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs gave Capital City Care approval in December to open once it receives a final inspection from the Department of Health. In the coming weeks, another four dispensaries are expected to receive certificates of occupancy. They will be supplied by cultivation centers that can grow up to 95 marijuana plants at a time. So far, the city has selected four cultivation centers. One of them, Holistic Remedies on Fenwick Street Northeast, also received its certificate of occupancy in December. It can plant its first crop after it receives a final inspection from health officials. The pending openings mark the end of a laborious political and planning process that stretches back more than a decade. At the same time, the dispensaries and cultivation centers will test current and future federal administrations’ tolerance for the sale of medical pot in the District.

USA: Recreational marijuana clubs open in Colorado 

Recreational marijuana clubs opened Monday in Colorado, less than a month after the state governor signed into law a constitutional amendment allowing recreational pot use. With a reggae soundtrack and flashing disco-style lights, Club 64 in an industrial area just north of downtown Denver opened Monday afternoon, with some 200 people signed up. The opening came less than 24 hours after club organizers announced they would charge a $29.99 admission price for the bring-your-own pot club.

USA: Medical marijuana – A few high-volume doctors approve most patients

The Oregon Health Authority says 37 doctors have exceeded the 450-patient threshold since 2005. These doctors signed statements asserting “primary responsibility for the care and treatment” of as many as 5,400 medical marijuana patients each. 

USA: Medical Marijuana To Manage Autism In Children

When it comes to children using medical cannabis, the media and conservatives come out in a huge panic. For some reason they don’t understand that there are more ways to consume cannabis than smoking it. This link shows a segment from the Australian Sunrise program about an American parent using cannabis to treat symptoms of autism.

USA: 2012 – Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

NORML’s year in review.

USA: Want Cannabis Reform? Be Vocal

One thing that’s easily noticed when working in the cannabis reform movement is that there’s an embedded fear in many individuals when it comes to standing up for supporting legalization, and working publicly to get it done. On one hand, it’s hard to blame these people: Cannabis prohibition is a very real, very dangerous beast. The government has spent a lot of time, and resources, to put this fear into the public.

USA: The Year in Synthetic Drugs

This is the year of the knockoff. A witch’s brew of new synthetic drugs, most of them stimulants, peddled as either bath salts or “spice” concoctions, has offered users new forms of Russian Roulette, and has irrevocably changed the face of international drug dealing. 2012 was also the year hysteria took over. Myths began to accumulate, and everywhere you looked, somebody was supposedly doing something psychotic due to the new synthetics. Who can forget Rudy Eugene, Florida’s Causeway Cannibal, the bizarre face-eating man on bath salts? The attack left law enforcement officials wondering how a drug could drive Eugene to strip off his clothes, attack a homeless man, and chew pieces of flesh from the man’s face. Well, it wasn’t bath salts, as it turned out. But never mind.

USA: Maternity Wards Are Testing New Moms & Babies for Marijuana Use

Make sure you don’t toke up if you’re about to go into labor. At least if you’re planning on going to a public hospital in New York City. Because if you test positive for marijuana after the delivery, you’re likely to have a child protective services investigation before you even get the baby home. More than a dozen city maternity wards routinely test new moms for marijuana usage and turn the results over to city agencies.

Sweden: Indigenous Healer Faces Prison After Receiving Cactus in Mail

After six years in the Amazon, Jungle Svonni returned to Sweden only to face charges for possession of a plant that is legal in his country. This case is also part of a broader worldwide movement to suppress plant medicines and traditional healing techniques. Some people believe these techniques often perform better than the products of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry, which spends millions donating to political election campaigns across the globe.

UK: Marijuana Pain Relief Varies Among Users

For some patients with chronic pain, cannabis or cannabis-based medications remain effective when other drugs have failed to control pain, while others report very little effect of the drug on their pain but experience side effects.

German Medical Marijuana Patients Allowed To Grow Their Own

A court in Germany has ruled that seriously ill patients may grow their own cannabis for medicinal uses. However, the strict stipulations in the ruling could still prevent cultivation by some patients.

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