Embassy Headlines, Issue 62

The HEMP Party knows that many Police are frustrated with the war on Cannabis. Most Police understand that they have been hurting Cannabis users rather than protecting them.

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 62

HEMP Party Campaign Launch outside Police Commissioner’s Office [HEMP Party]

The Help End Marijuana Party (HEMP) Party is launching its National Election Campaign in Sydney on Monday at 1pm outside NSW Police Commissioner Scipione’s Office at 201 Elizabeth St. HEMP President Michael Balderstone believes the Police Commissioners office is a perfect location for a HEMP Party launch. “The Police are always seen as the experts when it comes to Cannabis in Australia, they get the final say. If the Police don’t approve of a change you can bet it won’t happen when it comes to drug laws. They even blocked hemp seed becoming legal in Australia despite everyone else saying lets do it.”


Marco Renda: HEMP Ambassador [HEMP Embassy]

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy in Australia recognises the outstanding achievements and contributions that Marco Renda (Treating Yourself magazine) makes in his support of Medical Cannabis and Hemp. In recognition we award the highest diplomatic title to Marco as our resident North American representative, HEMP Ambassador.


Drug deals can go wrong, investors told [The Age]

Con artists are taking advantage of the legalisation of medical marijuana to lure investors into buying stock in weed-related companies, US regulators say. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) said there had been a rise in potential marijuana stock scams over the past few months and warned small investors to be wary of companies whose executives have been jailed.


Capitalizing On Cannabis: A Review Of Publicly-Traded Marijuana Stocks [Seeking Alpha]

After intensive study, it’s clear to me that the move towards legalized recreational and medical marijuana is likely to be a persistent and powerful investment theme over the next several years, and I am launching a series of articles intended to help investors navigate the space of the publicly-traded stocks. My goal is to help investors uncover opportunities but also, perhaps more importantly, to identify risks. I hope to balance my own perspective as a non-using financial analyst with input from experts. I have had many conversations with dispensary owners and others involved in the field and, in fact, am currently working on an interview that I intend to publish in the next week.


New Zealand Launches Stoned Driving Campaign With Funny Ad [Truth on Pot]

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) launched a new campaign last week targeted at marijuana users, warning them to think twice before driving under the influence.


US Air Force Bans Greek Yogurt With Hemp Seeds [Military Times]

The US Air Force warned personnel over the weekend to steer clear of a specific flavor of Chobani Greek yogurt that includes hemp seeds. Hemp contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient also found in marijuana, classified alongside heroin and LSD as a Schedule I drug under federal law. The Air Force, as part of its anti-drug policy, added hemp seed oil products and hemp seed to a list of forbidden substances in 1999, over concerns that they could confuse the results of drug tests regularly given to service members. Chobani’s Blueberry Power Flip is the latest victim of that prohibition.


US Congress to Hold Hearing on Country’s Clashing Marijuana Laws [Salem News]

Today US Senator Patrick Leahy (D – VT) invited Attorney General Eric Holder to a September 10 hearing to clarify the federal response to states that have passed marijuana laws in conflict with federal policy. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington last year became the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana for personal use. In the meantime, the federal government has continued to crack down on medical marijuana providers, leaving states and local communities unsure how best to proceed.


US Police Not Required To Protect And Serve When Small Amount Of Marijuana Is Present [Ladybud]

When our safety is threatened, many people still think to call the police first. After all, they are there to “protect and serve” right? In 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled that police do not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, not even when there is a court-issued protective order. In the face of this ruling, we must ask ourselves, if the police aren’t concerned or even obligated to protect us, who will? Are we prepared to bear the brunt of self defense, and how must we act to ensure we canprotect ourselves if thrust into the face of danger?


It’s just like “Breaking Bad” — not easy dealing pot legally in Orange County California [Salon]

Racer X’s closest call happened in a parking lot when he made the mistake of getting out of his car to hand an envelope to a customer in return for a wad of cash. An alert security guard saw the exchange and pulled up to ask what was going on. “I told him it was a medical-supply delivery,” Racer X says. “He couldn’t see what was in the envelopes and didn’t really know what was going on, so he didn’t call the cops.”


Sanjay Gupta Is Decades Too Late on Marijuana [Huffington Post]

Sanjay Gupta recently changed his position on marijuana by admitting that it indeed has beneficial medical properties and isn’t as bad as he previously thought. Gupta is the resident doctor at the much respected 24-hour news network, CNN, which recently had breaking coverage of a wood door for a pointless child birth from the royal family. Also, basically everything else CNN has reported on has been a joke recently. At least Fox New is self-aware at how insane they are, and MSNBC doesn’t even watch itself. CNN, when explaining the Hyperloop idea literally had a contributor zoom a toy plane around at the news desk making plane sounds. 


End the Drug War; Make Next Drug Czar a Doctor [Time]

Obama’s drug czar—an ex-cop, naturally—is stepping aside. Obama should replace him with a medical professional “qualified to effectively address drug abuse and addiction for what they are—not criminal problems, but health problems,” writes Sheff. This person could usher in harm reduction measures addressing addiction as the disease it is. “The new drug czar must be devoted to ending the failed war on drugs and declaring a new one. America’s war on cancer has lowered deaths from the disease every year.” 


Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits [Whiteout Press]

In July 2013, the US Supreme Court made a ruling on lawsuits against drug companies for fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death. From now on, 80 percent of all drugs are exempt from legal liability.


Police chiefs suggest tickets for pot possession instead of criminal charges [The Globe and Mail]

Canada’s police chiefs say they want to end the practice of criminally charging every person found with small amounts of marijuana, voting to give officers the option of issuing tickets akin to the ones people receive for driving infractions or jaywalking.


England and county players undergo hair tests for recreational drugs [Guardian]

Every professional cricketer in the country, including England’s players, will be tested for recreational drugs this month as part of a pilot scheme that was launched with fresh urgency after the death of the gifted Surrey batsman Tom Maynard last summer.


Drug dealing gang who used carrier pigeons to distribute cannabis across Argentina are arrested [Daily Mail UK]

Drug dealers who used carrier pigeons to distribute marijuana across Argentina have been arrested. Prosecutors say the dealers made up to 20 deliveries a day to a distributor in Lomas de Zamora, who would collect the drug from pouches on the birds’ legs. Police began to investigate after finding one of the pigeons lost and disorientated with drugs strapped to its leg.


At 82, he’s the world’s most eminent pot scientist [Inside Bay Area]

An award-winning professor of medicinal chemistry and natural products at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel, Raphael Mechoulam is a trim gentleman who wears tweed jackets and silk scarves. He is no slacker. At 82, he still works full-time. In 1964, Mechoulam was the first person to synthesize THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal active ingredient in weed. That leap is what has enabled the scientific study of cannabis. Before him it was all myths and smoke.


Hungary to Police Schools in Drugs Crackdown [Wall Street Journal]

Interior minister Sandor Pinter said last week that police officers–known officially as crime prevention advisors–would work on the premises of “endangered” schools when the new term starts in September to promote drug prevention and internet safety. The move follows a widespread public debate that drew a mixed reaction from parents, teachers’ groups, the cabinet and civil organizations. Mr. Pinter said the officers will aim to get to know students’ habits and to find out who supplies drugs to their schools.


Cosmeceutical cannabis range to be developed following skin cancer in mice study [Cosmetics Design]

U.S. biotech company ‘X-Change’ is set to develop a line of cosmeceutical products based on synthetic cannabinoids after Japanese scientists recently found the ingredient to display potent anti-inflammatory activity and reduce skin cancer by 90 percent in mice.


Silk Road manager says Bitcoin let it win the War on Drugs [The Verge]

Online drug bazaar Silk Road was made possible by Tor’s anonymity software, but the site’s head — known as the Dread Pirate Roberts — says it was Bitcoin that let it grow. “We’ve won the State’s War on Drugs because of Bitcoin,” he tells Forbes for an interview and profile. But even as new competitor Atlantis promises “dank buds” in a blunt, now-deleted YouTube ad, Roberts describes his site as an ideological blow against regulation and surveillance. And the anonymity he values extends far beyond obscuring his real name: like his namesake in The Princess Bride, he says he’s not the first Dread Pirate Roberts, and it’s possible he won’t be the last.


The Deep Web’s Newest Drug Mecca Is the Facebook of Virtual Black Markets [Vice]

The under-net’s latest entrant is Atlantis, a black marketplace for drugs which could soon be Silk Road’s most formidable competitor. Whereas Silk Road has been quiet and hard to find (to a degree), Atlantis’s founders are pursuing a rather unusual publicity campaign. There is an Atlantis Facebook pageTwitter account, and, naturally, asubreddit. Also part of the campaign is one of the most absurdly funny videos of the year—one that looks as if it could have been crafted by an advertising agency. 


Explainer: what is NBOMe? [The Conversation]

The first NBOMe extension of the 2C family was synthesised at the start of the 21st century. Since then several NBOMe drugs have been developed and investigated by David Nichols and his team at Purdue University in the United States. Their research aims to increase our understanding of the serotonergic system of the brain (associated with mood regulation), which could lead to new and more effective psychiatric drugs. In 2010, the first anecdotal evidence of human use of NBOMe drugs began to emerge aspeople on online drug discussion boards started posting their experiences of taking the drug. The effects have been reported by users to be more similar to LSD than MDMA and active at very low doses. A dose of MDMA, for example is 125mg, whereas people reported that some of the NBOMes were active at 0.05mg. This high potency increases the likelihood of individuals overdosing on NBOMe drugs.


Book Review: Meet the Outlaw Capitalists of America’s Underground Weed Trade [Alternet]

Nicholas Schou’s new book documents the schizophrenic relationship between medical marijuana and the law, as the pot industry attempts to shift from underground to mainstream.


Toke TV, Episode 5 [Toke Signals]

The fifth episode of Toke Signals TV takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the past week. You can subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube.


Calling for Participants: Health outcomes associated with long-term cannabis use [University of Sydney] 

Have you been smoking cannabis for at least 10 years? If so, we’d like to hear from you! Researchers from the University of Sydney, together with clinicians from Northern NSW Local Health District, are undertaking a study to explore health outcomes associated with long-term cannabis use. Participation in this study involves assessment of physical and mental health, cognitive functioning and quality of sleep. Participants will be reimbursed for their time. For more information please call Dr Jennifer Johnston on1800 115 763. All calls are treated in confidence.


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