Embassy Headlines, Issue 48

Thanks to News Limited for their recent article on Nimbin where, as reported, you can score a half-ounce bag of marijuana for as little as $140. There was a jetstar ad on the same page for the compulsive who could see the bargain price offer for an adventure.

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 48

Stonewalling on cannabis doesn’t help

Gaps in recent recommendations by a NSW Upper House committee to legalise marijuana for terminally ill patients make it almost impossible for the State Government to channel them into law, says a Southern Cross University academic. SCU’s Dr Graham Irvine said the failure to tackle the “issue of supply” would inevitably hamper the recommendations making their way into legislation.

Legalising medicinal cannabis is a leap forward for compassion

The regulation of medicinal cannabis is a very different issue from the prohibition of the drug’s recreational use. Doctors in Australia prescribe morphine, cocaine and amphetamine for medicinal purposes even though the recreational use of the same drugs is banned. It’s time to treat the issue of medicinal cannabis on its merits. It is not a panacea but it is a useful drug. We should not allow our obsession with the prohibition of recreational use of the drug to get in the way of allowing compassionate use of cannabis to reduce suffering for people with serious medical conditions.

Legalising cannabis for recreation is the obvious next step

There have been a few cases in local courts recently where defendants on cannabis charges have argued their medical need for the drug, and if medicinal marijuana is allowed in NSW it probably won’t be long before the Queensland government is asked to consider the same issue. The question is, if medicinal cannabis was ever allowed in Australia, would general decriminalisation of the drug follow? 

Police struggling to smash Nimbin’s street trade

A rock-wall known as ‘the boulder’ is where a lot of deals are negotiated. A lane boy offers a passing tourist a half-ounce for $140. [Ed. Nice of the journo to advertise the very good deals in Nimbin. Better than prices on offer in the cities].

Western leaders study ‘gamechanging’ report on global drugs trade

European governments and the Obama administration are this weekend studying a “gamechanging” report on global drugs policy that is being seen in some quarters as the beginning of the end for blanket prohibition. Publication of the Organisation of American States (OAS) review, commissioned at last year’s Cartagena Summit of the Americas attended by Barack Obama, reflects growing dissatisfaction among Latin American countries with the current global policy on illicit drugs.  The report represents the first time any significant multilateral agency has outlined serious alternatives to prohibition, including legal market regulation or reform of the UN drug conventions.

San Diego Mayor Urges Jurors to Ignore Federal Law

The Mayor of San Diego is encouraging jurors of an upcoming medical marijuana case to reject the prosecution’s argument, which rests on the fact that marijuana is banned at the federal level. The feds arrested Ronnie Chang of San Marcos in 2009 for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. He is just one of the many Californians who have faced legal consequences for their state-sanctioned efforts to bring relief to patients. Mayor Bob Filner is outraged at Chang’s situation. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana,” he told reporters.

First major hemp crop in 60 years is planted in southeast Colorado

Springfield farmer Ryan Loflin on Monday planted the nation’s first industrial hemp crop in almost 60 years. Its cultivation in small test plots became legal last year under a Colorado law. The passage of Amendment 64 in November allowed commercial growing, even though hemp, like marijuana, is illegal under federal law. Loflin is planting 60 acres on acreage previously used to grow alfalfa. He and business partner Chris Thompson also are installing a seed press to produce hemp oil.

Cannabis linked to prevention of diabetes

Smoking cannabis may prevent the development of diabetes, one of the most rapidly rising chronic disorders in the world. Researchers have found that regular users of the drug had lower levels of the hormone insulin after fasting – a signal that they are protected against diabetes. They also had reduced  insulin resistance.

NIH-Funded Study Shows Cannabinoids Effective for Treating PTSD

Patients’ gravitation towards marijuana inspired researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center to examine the brain’s response to cannabinoid (CB1) receptors, a first-of-its-kind study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They found that when an individual consumes some of the cannabinoids found in marijuana, CB1 receptors are activated in the brain, impairing memory and reducing anxiety, a blessing for those scarred by past events. 

World Anti-Doping Agency Proposes Easing Marijuana Restrictions for Athletes

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) raised the threshold for a positive test for marijuana from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 nanograms per milliliter, significantly reducing the likelihood of detection for athletes who use the drug. “We wanted to focus on the athletes that abuse the substance in competition,” said Julie Masse, WADA’s director of communications. “This should exclude cases where marijuana is not used in competition.”

Synthetic Marijuana Turns People Into Zombies, Says Atrocious US Govt Anti-Drug Propaganda

The District of Columbia’s Department of Health seems to have a taken a page directly from  Reefer Madness for its  new advertising campaign, suggesting a synthetic form of marijuana known as “K2” or ”Spice” will turn people who use it into “zombies.” The ads recently made their debut on the DC Metro, and are wacky enough to look like a parody. Teenagers – presumably under the influence and grotesquely made up to look like “Walking Dead” extras – pose in various stages of decay with captions like “No One Wants to Take a Zombie to the Prom.” Seriously?

Marijuana opponents’ new plan: Kill US First Amendment

After failing to stop Colorado from legalizing it, pot foes now want to criminalize drug images and media content.

Thinking of buying weed?

Instead of paying top dollar for a tiny bag of what could be growing in your backyard, you could donate your money to the HEMP Party and help end marijuana prohibition. A vote for HEMP is a vote to re-legalise and regulate Cannabis for personal, medical and industrial use in Australia. Visit the website at australianHEMPparty.com


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