Embassy Headlines, Issue 81

Would you stand in snow at 6.30am waiting for your local marijuana shop to open for their first day of legal sales? The cold wind in Denver is easier to endure without the paranoia of 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.


It’s cruel to deny cannabis to the terminally ill [Guardian]

Last year, NSW’s minister for health rejected recommendations that cannabis should be decriminalised for those in pain at the end of their lives. But the fight isn’t over yet.

Marijuana laws the real ‘crime’ [West Australian]

Australia needs to chill out about marijuana and take its cue from US states Colorado and Washington by legalising the drug, the HEMP Party says.

Debate over drugs is healthy [Herald Sun]

While opposed to the use of marijuana or ecstasy, the Herald Sun believes community debate on social issues is necessary although often put in the too-hard basket by politicians. Same-sex marriage is another issue that has needed overseas example to prompt discussion. It’s more than time we started to think for ourselves. 

Peter Ryan dashes hopes over legal marijuana sales in Victoria [Herald Sun]

POT users’ hopes of legal marijuana sales in Victoria have gone up in smoke. Despite calls from the Greens and experts, the drug won’t be sold over the counter any time soon. The Victorian Government kiboshed the idea as Colorado became the first US state to allow shops to sell the drug on New Year’s Day.

NZ Cannabis Party calls for product approval law change [Voxy]

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is calling on the Government to change the law to allow cannabis to be included in the Psychoactive Substances Act. Herbal cannabis should be given immediate interim product approval under the Psychoactive Substances Act, said Dr Richard Goode, Vice President of the ALCP. His call follows the Ministry of Health’s admission that finalising the safety rules for the legal highs market was “taking longer than expected.

America’s first recreational marijuana stores open [SMH]

America’s first retail stores selling marijuana have opened for business in Colorado, putting the state in the vanguard of the country’s evolving attitudes on legalising the drug. The state has issued 348 retail marijuana licences – including for small shops – that allow for the sale of up to 28 grams of marijuana to people aged 21 or older from January 1.

America’s First Legal Recreational Cannabis Sales Since Prohibition Begins In Colorado [Joint Blog]

As of January 1st, the portion of Amendment 64 which allows for recreational retail outlets to distribute cannabis takes effect, with dozens of outlets – most of which are in Denver – having already received their official business licenses. In total, 348 businesses have been approved to sell, cultivate or manufacture recreational cannabis or cannabis products in Colorado. Most of these locations are expected to be open by the summer.

Iraq War vet makes Colorado’s first pot purchase [USA Today]

The first sale, orchestrated as a news media photo opportunity, was made to Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran who has lobbied publicly for legalization and says pot helps mitigate problems stemming from his post-traumatic stress syndrome. Azzariti, who served six years in the Marine Corps and two tours in Iraq, spent about $60 at 3D Cannabis Center for an eighth of an ounce of “Bubba Kush” and a pot-laden truffle.

Recreational pot’s smooth launch [Cannabist]

Some public officials predicted unruly customers would fight over scarce supplies when recreational marijuana went live in Colorado. Others feared images of public toking would be beamed around the world. Instead, a peaceful, respectful and mellow crowd greeted the advent of recreational marijuana sales on New Year’s Day.

Sights from Colorado’s first day of legal marijuana sales [News]

AMERICA’S first recreational pot industry opened in Colorado on Wednesday, kicking off a marijuana experiment that will be watched closely around the world. Already, it is attracting people from across the country.

Colorado’s new pot buyers are curious, but some worry about stigma [Denver Post]

The rapid changes in Colorado’s marijuana laws have caused many people across the state to re-evaluate their relationship with cannabis.

The Great Marijuana Experiment: A Tale of Two Drug Wars [Rollingstone]

As Washington and Colorado create rules and regulations for selling legal marijuana, in many other cities across the USA pot arrests are near record highs.

A New Year’s Message to All My Friends at NORML [NORML Blog]

The gravesite closest to President John Kennedy in Arlington belongs to a courageous, but assassinated congressman from Long Island, Allard Lowenstein, who fought many years to bring an end to the Vietnam War. His tombstone reads: “If a man stands his ground and there abides, the whole world will come round to him.” As the four decade long war against cannabis consumers comes to a crashing halt in America, I think of those words today.

New York Governor To Legalize Medical Marijuana Through Executive Action[WeedBlog]

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has plans this week to announce an executive action that would legalize medical marijuana. Governor Cuomo’s plan is a strict one, but would be a step in the right direction. According to media reports out of New York the executive action would allow 20 hospitals across New York to prescribe marijuana to people with cancer, glaucoma and/or other conditions that meet standards to eventually be set by the New York State Department of Health.No other state medical marijuana program was created by an executive action.

E-cigarettes packed with marijuana oil set to boom in Colorado [NY Daily News]

The Evergreen Apothecary in Denver has been doing a brisk business in recreational marijuana since sales started on Jan 1. Many of those sales have been for O-pen Vape vaporizers and marijuana oil cartridges.

How Much Money Could America Make Off Of Legal Marijuana? Check This Map[Policy Mic]

Keeping marijuana illegal is possibly keeping billions of dollars out of the economies in the most rural parts of the United States, preventing these regions from banking on America’s “biggest” cash crop.

What to Watch in Drug Policy in 2014 [Huffington Post]

2014 heralds implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which calls on states to treat addiction as a chronic health issue (PDF)rather than a crime. It will take some years for that profound shift to truly take hold. But when it does, we’ll remember 2014 as the year we finally started making real progress toward drug policies based in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Molecule discovered that protects the brain from cannabis intoxication [EurekAlert]

Two INSERM research teams led by Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Giovanni Marsicano (INSERM Unit 862 “Neurocentre Magendie” in Bordeaux) recently discovered that pregnenolone, a molecule produced by the brain, acts as a natural defence mechanism against the harmful effects of cannabis in animals. Pregnenolone prevents THC, the main active principle in cannabis, from fully activating its brain receptor, the CB1 receptor, that when overstimulated by THC causes the intoxicating effects of cannabis. By identifying this mechanism, the INSERM teams are already developing new approaches for the treatment of cannabis addiction.

Grape Ape Cannabis Strain Review And Pics [WeedBlog]

Wide purple leaves cover the Grape Ape marijuana plant, surrounding some of the world’s most unique buds. The leaves, stems, stalks and buds are coated with a thick layer of THC crystals and these lovely ladies give off a strong smell of grape. You’ll also notice some very nice undertones of skunkiness. The nuggets, when cared for properly, are tight and dense. They are super sticky and make you feel guilty for placing your fat little fingers on them directly.

MardiGrass II (2014) Film by Antohnia Lyovtzsis [YouTube]

Here it is finally the one “MardiGrass II”. Big thanks to each and every one of you who helped and contributed to this film, and you for watching. Hope you enjoy?

Crispy Seared Cannabis Chicken Recipe [WeedBlog]

My favorite Portland, Oregon restaurant inspires this chicken dish. The bird is as it should be, crisp skin, moist and tender inside. It can be prepared with all breasts or all thighs. The pool of sauce on the plate is a perfect bread dipping opportunity; you don’t want to miss a drop.

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