Embassy Headlines, Issue 5

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy is always trying to get the good news out there. Michael Balderstone is going to provide his pick of news stories relating to the War on Drugs and Cannabis law reform issues, every week with the HEMP Embassy Headlines.


More Reefer Madness Propaganda


The headline for this story largely contradicts itself in the closing paragraphs which reveal that studies in the USA, with bigger population sizes, did not come to the same conclusion.

UK: Female Vicar joins Televised Drug Taking


A female vicar will join ‘Trainspotting’ actor, award-winning author Lionel Shriver, a former MP and an ex-SAS soldier to take 83mg of MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, on ‘Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial’, a controversial new Channel 4 programme about drugs. A show source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “We’ve got a real mix of people taking drugs from all walks of life, it’s going to be like a drugs version of ‘Big Brother’ and will be must-see TV. The two part show will also feature a live studio debate on the experiments and has reportedly already filmed scenes at London’s Imperial College. Channel 4 Senior Commissioning Editor, David Glover, said: “The use of controlled drugs, including ecstasy, is a hugely important issue and Britain has been called the ‘drug-taking capital of Europe’. “But too often the facts – and particularly the science – can become lost in the heat of the argument. “These programmes will feature a scientific study that aims to demonstrate the effects of using ecstasy on the brain and behaviour alongside a grown-up debate about the issues raised featuring a wide range of views. “This is a programme that only Channel 4 would be brave enough to commission.”

UK Study: Cannabis Extracts Mitigate Muscle Stiffness In Multiple Sclerosis Patients


The oral administration of cannabis extracts significantly reduces muscle stiffness in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to just published clinical trial data published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.  Investigators at the University of Plymouth, Clinical Neurology Research Group, in the United Kingdom assessed the use of cannabinoids versus placebo in 279 subjects with MS over a twelve-week period. Cannabis extracts in the study contained standardized doses of THC and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive constituent in cannabis, contained in a soft, gelatin capsule.

USA: The Drug War Finds New Ways To Fail


There has been talk of drug legalization in war-weary Latin America but not in the Obama administration. Instead of noticing that cocaine use has become passé and prescription painkiller and stimulant abuse is the new rage—according to the Times, there are 7 million prescription-drug abusers versus the 1.5 million cocaine users and 20,044 annual prescription-drug overdose deaths out of 36,450 total, more than all illegal drugs combined—some parts of the U.S. government, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), continue their emphasis on interdiction and securing the borders against the entry of illegal drugs. Of course, the niggling problem is that the prescription drugs are already within the borders. That has not deterred the DEA, which has moved to create new “tactical diversion squads” to do prescription drug investigations.

USA: Truth In Trials Act, Medical Marijuana Protection Bill, Proposed By Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers


A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill this week designed to create enhanced legal protections for valid medical marijuana patients prosecuted due to conflicting state and federal laws regarding the legality of the substance. Under the Truth In Trials Act, sponsored by California Democratic Rep. Sam Farr and co-sponsored by other representatives such as Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), state-licensed medical marijuana users would be given the right to provide an “affirmative defense” in the case of a federal prosecution. This effectively allows them to prove that their actions, while illegal at the federal level, were in fact protected under state law.

Cannabinoids, like those found in marijuana, occur naturally in human breast milk


Woven into the fabric of the human body is an intricate system of proteins known as cannabinoid receptors that are specifically designed to process cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary active components of marijuana. And it turns out, based on the findings of several major scientific studies, that human breast milk naturally contains many of the same cannabinoids found in marijuana, which are actually extremely vital for proper human development.

Good news and bad news for drug policy reform


Uruguay & Guatemala push on with legalization. The US escalates crackdown. Oregon MJ qualifies for November ballot. Drug abuse down 50% in post-decriminalization Portugal.

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