Embassy Headlines, Issue 31

Still in denial of the efficacy of Cannabis, the DEA say no way, evidence incomplete, so the US Federal Court rejects the appeal for medicine. Meanwhile a Queensland Mother claims that ‘marijuana is a gift from God’. Interpreting legal conundrums ad nauseum is a growth industry. What would Jesus do?

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.

HEMP HEADLINES

Qld: ‘Marijuana’s a gift from God’ – court defence

Mapleton resident, Pieta Morgan, set the stage yesterday for a heated debate over whether marijuana is a gift from God that should not be illegal.


NSW: Police encouraged by behaviour of concert goers who ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ at Big Day Out

Three arrests out of a crowd of 55,000. The pleasure police are obviously not needed at festivals. What a waste of public money. Can’t festival security deal with three troublesome people out of 55,000?


NSW: Police seize cannabis worth $5.8 million during Cannabis Eradication Program

During the past week, Strike Force Hyperion officers targeted numerous cannabis crop sites throughout the Mid North Coast Local Area Command, including in the Bowraville, Wauchope, Port Macquarie and Kendall areas.


Keep On Pushin’: Writing to Politicians

Great advice from Leah McLeod — a former president of NSW Users and AIDS Association, Inc. — on how to keep trying to influence.


The prohibition of illicit drugs in Australia

Report of a high level roundtable held at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 31st January 2012 on the topic “What are the likely costs and benefits of a change in Australia’s current policy on illicit drugs?”


Beer with a better attitude

After experiencing a lively, yet incident-free New Years celebration in Germany, Mike Stuchbery wonders what it is that makes Australian drinking culture so violent.


USA: How Much Caffeine Before I End Up in hospital?

In 2005, fewer than 2,000 trips to hospital emergency departments involved energy drinks. By 2011, that number was over 20,000. If energy drinks are safe, why are they sending us to the hospital?


USA: Legalization’s Biggest Enemies

But before marijuana legalization spreads from Washington and Colorado to other states, it will have to get past a group of hardened drug warriors, many of whom have developed a personal interest in maintaining prohibition. While most of these ideologues lack the authority to actually change laws, their larger purpose is to maintain the marijuana propaganda machine and push back against pro-legalization rhetoric. 


USA: Marijuana Class I Appeal Rejected By Federal Court, Still Dangerous With No Accepted Medical Use

A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected a petition to reclassify marijuana from its current federal status as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use. The appeals court panel denied the bid from three medical marijuana groups, including Americans for Safe Access, and several individuals. In 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration had rejected a petition by medical marijuana advocates to change the classification.


USA: Senate Judiciary Chair Declares Defeat In War On Drugs

The Senate’s most senior member lamented the utter failure of the so-called “War on Drugs” and other draconian criminal justice policies Wednesday morning. During an address on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 2013 agenda, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressed alarm over high rates of imprisonment, harsh mandatory minimum sentences and federal crackdowns of marijuana laws legal under state law. “We have imprisoned people who should not be there and we have wasted money that should be spent on other things,” he said.


More and more Americans want pot legal

The overwhelmingly positive comments posted on CNN.com, especially from those who don’t use marijuana, show that more mainstream Americans are willing to voice their pro-legalization opinions. Informed adults are challenging old dogmas, and they worry less about the folly of “Reefer Madness” than refined sugar’s role in shortening their children’s lives.


In California, It’s U.S. vs. State Over Marijuana

This is as much a legal clash as a cultural clash. Recreational marijuana use is common across the state of California, and without the legal stigma attached to it in much of the country. The federal government is viewed as a distant force.


High Times’ Cannabis Cup to be held in U.S. for first time

High Times is bringing its Cannabis Cup competition for recreational marijuana to Denver April 20-21, the first time the event has been held in the United States. For the past 25 years, it’s taken place in pot-friendly Amsterdam, where coffee shop owners and seed manufacturers compete for the title of Best Bud in The Netherlands. But Colorado is now more liberal about marijuana than even Amsterdam — where it’s illegal to grow pot in the Netherlands, it’s a constitutional right in Colorado. With the passage of Amendment 64 in November, adults 21 and older can possess up to an ounce of pot, grow a limited number of plants and smoke weed with virtual impunity, as long as it’s in private.


USA: Hemp legalization effort gathers steam

While the United States ranks as the world’s leading consumer of hemp products — with total sales of food and body-care products exceeding $43 million in 2011 — it is the only major industrialized country that bans growing it, even though 11 states have passed measures removing barriers to hemp production and research. Ninety percent of the U.S. supply comes from Canada.


USA: New Site Satirizes Anti-Legalization Group Project SAM

Monday morning at 6am I launched  SmartApproaches.com, a page-for-page satire of the Web site  LearnAboutSAM.com, which was recently mentioned in various news media as the front page for Project SAM. My site uses actual policy positions and rhetorical claims from Project SAM and peppers them with copious amounts of snark, studies, sarcasm, and science. And fake evil-Spock goatees.


Giving up the Green Bitch: Reflections on Cannabis, Ayahuasca and the mystery of plant teachers

Author, Graham Hancock, shares some personal thoughts with complete openness in this article, in the hope that his experiences will prove helpful to some, thought-provoking to others, and might stir up discussion around issues of consciousness and cognitive liberty that are often neglected in our society.


Support Guatemalan president’s call for drug legalization

Online petition to be delivered to: Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, Vice-President, Guatemala, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President, Mexico, Juan Manuel Santos, President, Colombia, Ricardo Martinelli, President, Panama, Porfirio Lobo, President, Honduras, Mauricio Funes, President, El Salvador, Laura Chinchilla, President, Costa Rica, Daniel Ortega, President, Nicaragua, and President Barack Obama.


Coca and Snus: Sweden’s Self-defeating Hypocrisy on Drugs

Tradition is disposable. Evidence is marginal. Economic arguments are not important. This, in a nutshell, is what Sweden said to the UN to oppose traditional uses of coca in Bolivia. It is opposite of what it says to the EU to defend the use and sales of snus at home. 


Hawaii: Bill to legalize marijuana introduced in legislature

Hawaii could join Colorado and Washington as states that have legalized the use of marijuana by adults, under a measure introduced Friday by state House Speaker Joe Souki.


British Medical Association calls for a new drug policy

A report from the British Medical Association is calling for drug addiction to be treated like any other illness.


North Korea Smokes Weed Every Day, Explaining a Lot

North Korea, the most tight-lipped, conservative, and controlling country in the world is also a weed-smoker’s paradise. Despite the government’s deadly serious stance on the use and distribution of hard drugs like crystal meth (which has a notorious legacy in the country), marijuana is reportedly not considered a drug. As a result, it’s the discerning North Korean gentleman’s roll-up of choice, suggesting that, for weed smokers at least, North Korea might just be paradise after all.


Marijuana, Assassin of Youth originally published in The American Magazine volume 124 number 1 (July 1937) 

The menace of marijuana addiction is comparatively new to America. In 1931, the marijuana file of the United States Narcotic Bureau was less than two inches thick, while today the reports crowd many large cabinets. Almost everyone who has spent much time in rural communities has seen it, for it is cultivated in practically every state. Growing plants by the thousands were destroyed by law-enforcement officers last year in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, and the attack on the weed is only beginning.


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