Embassy Headlines, Issue 61

There is so much money in drugs and so little respect left for the laws, corruption and horse trading is a natural outcome. Cannabis prohibition has failed to consider your health, failed to prevent illegal supply and failed as a ‘drug’ policy. A vote for the HEMP Party is a protest vote on prohibition.

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 61 

Why the asylum problem is like the drug problem [The Conversation]

What does Australia’s handling of asylum seekers have in common with our approach to illicit drugs? Quite a lot, writes Desmond Manderson. In this 10,000 word essay, he argues we should abandon the zero tolerance approach and focus on harm reduction. This piece was first published in the Griffith Review.


Vic grandma grew drugs to protect sons [Yahoo! News]

A Melbourne grandmother who grew marijuana for her children to stop them getting drugs from elsewhere has been spared jail.


Are American opinions on marijuana reaching tipping point? [CNN]

“I’m surprised by the long-term increase in support for marijuana legalization in the last six or seven years. It’s unprecedented. It doesn’t look like a blip,” said Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland public policy professor with 30 years experience researching drug policy.


Judge Rejects New York’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy [New York Times]

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that the Police Department resorted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” as it increased the number of stops in minority communities. That has led to officers’ routinely stopping “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.”


How prisons profit off the ‘war on drugs’ [MSNBC]

Corrections Corporation of America has told investors that its business may be hurt if new policies advance “leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices.” And in a 2010 report, CCA declared that “any changes” to harsh drug sentences could stem the flow of new prisoners in the U.S., reducing “demand for correctional facilities to house them.” Many criminal justice experts say that a business built on incarceration can’t help but support incarceration.


Liu calls for legalized pot in NYC [Charlotte Observer]

New York City Comptroller John Liu is proposing a historic overhaul of the city’s marijuana laws, believing that legalizing medical marijuana and allowing adults to possess an ounce of pot for recreational use would pump more than $400 million into the city’s coffers. 


Starting a Marijuana Business in Colorado Will Cost a Small Fortune [Atlantic Cities]

Considering that the Amendment 64 campaign for legal pot in Colorado was based on “regulating marijuana like alcohol,” it’s somewhat ironic that the fees for recreational marijuana businesses will be larger than those for liquor stores, who pay a state application fee of $1,025, a city application fee of $1,000, and combined annual licensing fees of less than $500. 


2.2 Million Medical Marijuana Patients in U.S. [Smell the Truth]

Marijuana remains a federally illegal “schedule 1” drug considered more dangerous than heroin or cocaine. America’s 2.2 million medical cannabis patients face ongoing discrimination at their places of education, or employment as well as on the road, and in the courts. 


Science for stoners: Here’s how pot works [Salon]

Last week, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta grabbed headlines for coming out in support of the validity of the medical use of marijuana, something he had opposed in the past. What changed his mind? Science Just as there was a time when we didn’t know we had immune systems or hormonal systems, until 1988 we didn’t know that we had cannabinoid systems.


Seattle cops to deal Doritos at Hempfest [Seattle Times]

They called it “Operation Orange Fingers.” Really. Seattle police handed out bags of Doritos and information at Seattle’s Hempfest last Saturday.


Scuba diver busted after trying to swim marijuana to U.S. [CBC Canada]

A Canadian scuba diver has been arrested by U.S. authorities after swimming across the St. Clair River with about 3.6 kilograms of marijuana stuffed in a waterproofed piece of pipe.


Canada Marijuana Laws: Criminal Charges For Small Amounts Not Worth It, Police Chiefs Say [Huffington Post]

Canada’s top cops say handing out tickets for illegal possession of small amounts of marijuana could be more efficient than laying criminal charges.


Uruguay Marijuana Bill Portends New Era in Drug Policy [World Politics Review]

The rationale behind Uruguay’s bill is that by pushing drug traffickers out of the business of marijuana sales, the measure will prevent increasing violence over turf and trafficking routes. At the same time, by providing products of greater quality as well as better access to medical care, the government will decrease the danger to the health of users and addicts.


How New Cannabis Prohibition Laws Created Crime in Holland [WeAreChange]

Members of local government in Holland decided to implement stricter marijuana laws which then gave more power to violent street dealers that began to take over the market. When the governments realized this was happening, they eased up on some of the laws again. When the coffeshops were allowed to sell cannabis to tourists again, members of these gangs threatened coffeshop owners because their business was being taken away from them, This video shows footage of one of the street dealers threatening a coffeshop owner and the experience of the person who was filming the confrontation.


BMW’s New Electric Car Sheds Weight With Hemp [Truth on Pot]

Like many BMWs before it, the i3 features door panels made of hemp. Mixed together with plastic, hemp helps lower the weight of each panel by approximately 10%. But that’s not all. The hemp fibers – which are left exposed – also offer a design element, reports Bloomberg. According to Benoit Jacob, the i3′s designer, the use of natural materials like hemp and kenaf (a plant in the hibiscus family) makes the i3′s interior feel like “a small loft on wheels.”


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