Embassy Headlines, Issue 41

Cannabis counterculture is flourishing thanks to Hollywood and the bright young stars who openly admit to enjoying the herb. ‘Pot Pop’ continues to redefine society’s attitude for ‘marijuana users’ and draw out more celebrities from the canna-closet.

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 41

THE NORTHERN Rivers has lost the mantle as the cannabis growing capital of NSW

That is according to police interpretation of results from NSW Police annual cannabis eradication program. In total the program found almost 13,000 cannabis plants estimated to be worth more than $25 million which were destroyed by police. The cannabis capital crown for 2013 according to police seizures was the New England Local Area command.
Despite the cooler conditions on the tablelands, 3540 cannabis plants with an estimated value of $6.9 million were destroyed.
The plants were discovered at Diehard, Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Carrai and Glen Elgin. This was followed by the Mid North coast Local Area Command where 2914 plants estimated to be worth $5.8 million were found at Bowraville, Wauchope, Port Macquarie and Kendall. In the Richmond Local Area command 2099 cannabis plants with an estimated value of $4.2 million were seized from areas including Boorabee, Gradys Creek, Nimbin, Rapville and Tabulam.

Two men arrested in Katherine cannabis bust

Northern Territory Police say they have cracked a drug operation that saw commercial amounts of cannabis carted from South Australia to be sold on the streets of Katherine. Two men, aged 51 and 46, were arrested yesterday during what police described as a “drop-off” in the Territory town, about 320 kilometres south of Darwin. Detective Sergeant Ken Bradshaw said a three-month investigation had showed the men, one from Katherine and one from Adelaide, had established a criminal enterprise.

NSW police destroy cannabis crops collected during raids

4th Apr 2013 – POLICE will mark the end of cannabis harvesting season by torching the latest crop discovered during a series of stings which have stripped North Coast drug growers of about $25million in sales. Since November last year thousands of plants have been discovered in bushland between the Mid North Coast and the Queensland border. The cannabis eradication program kicked off this season with raids near Tenterfield where crops worth almost $7million were destroyed. In the following months police ripped up crops worth $4million near Dorrigo, $3.6million in the Tweed/Byron area and $4.2million around Nimbin valley.

Florida State Attorney Drops Charges Against Medical Marijuana Activists Bob and Cathy Jordan

Last month, State Senator Jeff Clemens in Tampa announced that he was introducing a medical marijuana bill in Florida, which would allow for the establishment of dispensaries in our state. The bill was named the ‘Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act’, in honor of a woman who has beenopenly using cannabis as medicine for over a quarter century, championing our cause from her wheelchair while living with an incurable condition- ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Search for Funding Cuts in USA may lead to legalization

The federal government alone has spent $1.3 trillion on the War on Drugs since its inception, which is $500 billion more than the current cost of the Iraq War. In a climate where Congress is looking to cut as much money as possible from the federal budget, it’s no surprise that a number of fiscally-oriented Republicans have backed marijuana legalization . 
What this means is that a perfect storm is developing when it comes to a potential end for the War on Drugs. Americans like marijuana. States are interested in legalizing it. Law enforcement is upset with the failure of the current drug policy. The federal government is listening to the marijuana lobby. The past three U.S. presidents admitted to smoking marijuana. The momentum has shifted, and legalization advocates think that the referendums in November were the tipping point. Observers believe that it’s likely several states will legalize marijuana soon. At this rate, the war may end soon, and prohibition of marijuana could cease much faster than anyone expected.

Marijuana’s celebrity stigma goes up in smoke

Marijuana has moved from the Hollywood counterculture to the mainstream. Fueling the shift: the growing legalization movement. RIhanna, Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart have been candid about their use. The trend emboldens the cannabis community, troubles the anti-drug camp. The toke torch is being passed in Tinseltown. It used to be that Hollywood potheads were grizzled and off-the-mainstream grid — think Cheech & Chong and Willie Nelson. Then edgy rappers like Snoop Dogg and Cypress Hill became the famous faces of marijuana, with a couple of mischievous Texans thrown in: Woody Harrelson and a naked-and-bong-playing Matthew McConaughey. Today’s stars caught with cannabis? Meet the mostly twenty-something toke turks: They’re the antithesis of counterculture, including heartthrobs like Justin Bieber, Chace Crawford, Michael Phelps and Armie Hammer. And then there’s Rihanna, who readily flaunts her affection for the illegal flora, posting pictures of her Valentine’s present (a bouquet of weed), 25th birthday cake (adorned with a gilded marijuana leaf) and Christmastime tush tattoo (yep, another leaf of weed).

Poll says Most Americans Not Buying Feds’ Drug War Propaganda

As Washington and Colorado prepare to implement the legal, regulated sale of marijuana to adults, new polling data from the Pew Research Center reveals that a federal policy following the will of the people would loosen up pot laws all over the country. According to Pew, Americans not only want pot legal, but believe marijuana is more medically beneficial, and less potentially dangerous or morally wrong, than the federal government suggests. According to the Pew Research Center’s data, a historic number of Americans — a majority of 52% — now support marijuana legalization, and even more — 60% of Americans — say the federal government should not intervene in state-sanctioned marijuana laws. While younger Americans (65% of Millenials and 54% of Generation Xers) are the most likely to support marijuana legalization, Baby Boomers (50%) and the older Silent Generation (32%) are increasingly favoring marijuana legalization, too.


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