Embassy Headlines, Issue 40

If you were the parent of a child suffering with epilepsy, what would you do? Where do you draw the line between compassion and crime? Is stopping people from getting ‘high’ really more important than treating disease?

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 40

Scrap ecstasy charges, says ex-minister

Ecstasy users should not be charged by police, former federal health minister Neal Blewett says. The former Labor MP also says cannabis laws around the country are “chaotic” and need reform. Dr Blewett made his assertions in a keynote address to a police drug and alcohol forum in Australasia on Tuesday.


Suspended sentence for pot believer

Michael Bede Dooley, 59, was given a six-month fully suspended jail sentence in the Northern Territory Supreme Court for cultivating 81 cannabis plants. The Batchelor service station owner had been growing the crops for up to seven months when police raided his property in May last year. The court was told that Dooley was growing the plants because he believed cannabinoids were beneficial to the human immune system and could cure his sick mother. Justice Peter Barr was told his belief stemmed from the loss of his wife, grandmother and friend who were all undergoing radiation or chemotherapy when they died. 


Medical Cannabis Australia on Today Tonight

Mullaway, medical cannabis and treating epilepsy on mainstream TV.


UK Crime fighting charity release Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Cannabis Cards

Crimestoppers, an organization that encourages busy-bodies [surely ‘do-gooders’? – ed.] to anonymously grass-up suspected crims (or possibly neighbors they don’t like?), has launched a Scratch ‘n’ Sniff card to help would-be drug enforcers recognize the tell-tale smell of a cannabis farm. 


Pot growers gear up for billion-dollar ‘green rush’

The pot industry in Colorado, USA, is undergoing a massive makeover as it prepares to begin selling marijuana legally for recreational use under state law. Businesses are ramping up production, and trade associations are cleaning up their image, anticipating what could be a billion-dollar industry. But the entrepreneurs who are hoping to cash in on the “green rush” starting next year are struggling with the unique challenges of conducting a business that the federal government considers a crime. Even after Coloradans voted in November to legalise marijuana, would-be pot producers and retailers have trouble securing business financing because banks won’t give them loans – and most of the time, not even an account.

Wall Street sees opportunity in marijuana

“The stodgier Wall Street types are starting to realize there’s money to be made here,” said Peterson, who worked in wealth management at Wachovia Securities and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.


So You Smoke Cannabis (And Why That’s Okay)

So, you smoke cannabis. Welcome to the club. This of course is a non-exclusive club, and consists of over 15 million Americans who have consumed in the past month, and roughly 100 million who have smoked at least once in their lives.


USA: New Hampshire House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill With Record 81% Support!

In a huge victory for patients, the New Hampshire House overwhelmingly approved the medical marijuana bill today by a record 286-64 margin. Similar bills in 2009, 2011, and 2012 also received more than two-thirds support from the House, but today’s vote of more than 81% in favor of HB 573 shows that the House is moving closer to achieving consensus on the issue!


Not That High

Marijuana is much stronger than it used to be. Lots of the strains for sale at medical marijuana dispensaries in the USA are approaching 25 percent THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in the plant known for getting you wicked high. 


The characteristics of cannabis in Australia

Researchers at UNSW are currently sampling pot from NSW as well as soil samples from crops, to line up THC / CBD ratios to plant genetics and soil type / fertiliser used. They’ve found the trend towards higher THC / lower CBD in Aussie pot. 


New York Republican Who Voted Against Medical Marijuana Busted For Pot

Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican who voted no last year on a bill to legalize medical marijuana, had been traveling 80 mph on I-87 through Coeymans, N.Y., where the speed limit is 65 mph, state police said. During the speeding stop, police said a trooper noted the odor of marijuana and found Mr. Katz in possession of a small bag.


Sharia law enforcer crashed car while ‘high’

The head of Indonesia’s hardline Islamic police group has been accused of being high on marijuana when he crashed his car.


Uruguay to Begin Debate on Legal Marijuana Sales

Last fall, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica proposed legalizing marijuana commerce and cultivation (marijuana possession has never been a crime there), but shortly thereafter postponed action on the proposed legislation in the face of public opposition. Now he’s ready for the country to have a discussion about it.


 

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