Embassy Headlines, Issue 34

The reputation of the sporting elite, their position as role models for our youth and the sponsorship revenue they attract are tarnished by their act of betrayal in using prohibited drugs. Cheating at sport and using Cannabis are very different. Cannabis enhances the performance of the chronically ill, sufferers of pain and those who benefit from the herb for relaxation. The large profits in supplying prohibited drugs are the big attraction.

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.

Embassy Headlines 34

Drugs, crime and ball games: how Aussie sport got crooked

The Australian Crime Commission report, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, has come as a hammer blow to Australian sport. According to a review of cycling released only last month, Australia is supposed to have a reputation of being “clean” on these matters. Just weeks later, that has all been swept away.

Note to Mrs. Obama: Try Hemp in the White House Garden

Marijuana’s non-narcotic cousin is economic, ecological and downright patriotic.

USA: Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions

The story of Richard Fee, an athletic, personable college class president and aspiring medical student, highlights widespread failings in the system through which five million Americans take medication for A.D.H.D. 

USA: Effective Addiction Treatment

Of the 23.5 million teenagers and adults addicted to alcohol or drugs, only about 1 in 10 gets treatment, which too often fails to keep them drug-free. Many of these programs fail to use proven methods to deal with the factors that underlie addiction and set off relapse.

USA: Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy

This report is a summary of the history and facts surrounding marijuana, its use and regulation, as well as a plan for a common sense path forward. The goal is to minimize conflict and deal with the  inevitable transition of marijuana policy – a transition already well under way.

USA: Making Sure the End of Cannabis Prohibition Benefits the Small Farmer

Why are many black-market cannabis farmers dreading the legalization of their crop?

How Ending the War on Drugs Could Curb Gun Violence

When we talk about gun violence, we talk about mental health and high-capacity magazines because we want to stop the rare but attention-grabbing mass shootings in middle-class suburbs. We talk less about the gun violence that claims young people in our impoverished inner cities as a matter of routine.

Drug Testing Robs Workforce of Talent and Creativity

First of all, drug testing has never been scientifically shown to be safe or effective at improving workplace safety or productivity, and studies indicate that the great majority of drug-positive workers are just as reliable as others. Medically, the consensus of expert opinion is that drug tests are an inherently unreliable indicator of drug impairment. Dr. George Lundberg of the American Medical Association has called them “Chemical McCarthyism.” Second, by pre-screening away marijuana smokers, we’re weeding out (so to speak) some of our most creative and, I would argue, productive employees. If you doubt that marijuana smokers have contributed to our society, seeVeryImportantPotheads.com. In the case of someone using marijuana for medical purposes, it’s downright discrimination to deny them employment for using what a doctor has legally recommended under state law.

UK: Do anti-drugs adverts work?

Drugs education has come a long way since Nancy Reagan – and, in the UK. the cast of Grange Hill – urged teenagers to Just Say No to drugs, a campaign which many experts now believe was counterproductive.

Wasting billions on drug law enforcement

Whilst accurate figures are hard to come by, global spending on drug law enforcement certainly exceeds $100 billion each year. Given current economic conditions it is more important than ever that spending is effective and not a waste of taxpayer money.


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