Embassy Headlines, Issue 85

The risk of sudden cardiac death has no place on the list of sensible reasons to avoid or cut down Cannabis use. As with Cannabis, there is a long list of reasons someone might want to avoid or cut down on visits to McDonalds for example, but a single freak fatality caused by such a visit is not one of 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-85

Marijuana grower says medical trial is needed [Bendigo Advertiser]

A man who grows medicinal marijuana says he may end up back in prison unless a medical cannabis trial is approved.


Meet The American Children Who Rely On Marijuana To Survive [Huffington Post]

More than 180 Colorado children are currently being treated with a special strain of medical cannabis that’s helping to combat their extreme seizures and other debilitating conditions. The strain, known as “Charlotte’s Web,” was developed by a group of brothers who run the Realm of Caring Foundation in Colorado Springs. It is named for 7-year-old Charlotte Figi, whose successful treatment was featured in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary “Weed” last year. 


Major Scientific Publication Calls on U.S. to Open Doors to LSD, MDMA, Pot Research[AlterNet]

Scientific American: “The U.S. government should move these drugs to the less strict Schedule II classification.”


Pro-marijuana group sets up billboards at Super Bowl pushing NFL to allow pot[Seattle Pi]

No matter who wins this Sunday — marijuana-friendly Denver or cannabis-savvy Seattle — the NFL and Super Bowl XLVIII will forever be tied to marijuana and its legalization. And just to up the ante, the pro-legalizaton group Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has put up five pro-pot billboards around the New Jersey stadium where the game will be played arguing that the NFL should allow its players to use the drug.


Biggest Overhaul in USA Federal Drug Sentencing in Decades Clears Major Hurdle[Drug Policy Alliance]

Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan sentencing reform legislation that reduces the federal prison population, decreases racial disparities, saves taxpayer money, and reunites nonviolent drug law offenders with their families sooner. The legislation is opposed by some U.S. prosecutors who continue to defend a harsh, racially unjust system that has led to a greater percentage of black men being locked up in the U.S. than in South Africa at the height of Apartheid.


Man serving jail time for pot allowed to smoke it every month [AOL]

A weed activist, who calls himself ‘the weed man’ is also a cancer patient,’ ‘Fox & Friends’ reports. ‘But the judge who jailed him in New Jersey legally allows him to leave to fly to California to get medical marijuana.’


Lawmaker Dreams of Transforming Hawaii Into Marijuana Production Hub[Reason]

Hawaii House Majority Leader Rida Cabanilla thinks that legalizing the production and exporting of pot would be the golden opportunity for Hawaii to tackle its $25 billion debt.


US House of Representatives Approves Hemp Research Provisions [NORML Blog]

Congressional lawmakers last week approved language authorizing state universities and agriculture departments to move forward with programs to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. The provisions allow for the cultivation industrial hemp in agricultural pilot programs in states that already permit the growth and cultivation of the plant. Ten states — California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia — have enacted legislation reclassifying hemp as an agricultural commodity under state law.


British woman did NOT die from marijuana poisoning [Toke of the Town]

Despite the completely false claims by British newspapers today, a British woman was not poisoned by the marijuana she smoked. 


Death by cannabis? [Prof David Nutt, ISCD]

Ms Moss had suffered with depression, which itself increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. It is quite plausible that the additional small stress caused by that cannabis joint triggered a one-in-a-million cardiac event, just as has been more frequently recorded from sportsexsaunas and even straining on the toilet.


Police ordered to stop and search 15 a month – or face disciplinary action [Mirror UK]

Officers in Britain’s biggest police force face disciplinary action unless they stop and search at least 15 people a month, it has been claimed. The Met also orders officers to arrest eight people a month, which has raised fears some officers may let other “things go” in pursuit of hitting their targets. Yesterday one police source said: “If the public knew the police service had to arrest by numbers rather than crimes there would be a national outcry.”


Bulgaria Follows Hungary With Harsher Drug Use Penalties [Wall Street Journal]

A controversial new Criminal Code bill in Bulgaria is set to criminalize users of even the smallest amounts of illicit drugs in an effort to improve public health and fight crime. The bill in Bulgaria’s parliament, if approved, would replace fines for minor possession with jail time and largely do away with the option of treatment and rehabilitation for drug users. The move is similar to a recent push in Hungary.


The real danger of Uruguay’s pot legalization [Al Jazeera]

The push to decriminalize marijuana at home and abroad could help combat drug-war profiteering.


Legally high: Cannabis courses open in Uruguay to control marijuana consumption[RT News]

Uruguay’s National Cannabis Federation has launched special training courses on cultivation of the popular plant, local media reported. Some aficionados get involved for fun, while others enroll for purely medical reasons.


Breathe Easier: Study Reveals Why Marijuana Smoke Opens Airways [SF Weekly]

Pot’s bad rap persists despite research done at UCLA and elsewhere that debunked any link between cannabis use and lung cancer or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Add to that a new study released this week in the British Journal of Pharmacology, which reveals that marijuana smoke actually opens airways, known as bronchodilation — and also reveals why.


What Are Feminized Marijuana Seeds? [The Weed Blog]

Feminized marijuana seeds are seeds that only produce female marijuana plants. But there are some misconceptions about marijuana, feminized marijuana seeds and hermaphrodites (plants that display intersexuality) which should be addressed. Unlike more complex organisms, marijuana is not firmly one sex or the other. It’s a very unusual plant in that it’s an annual plant that is also dioeciously (producing separate male and female flowers on different plants), but every marijuana plant has the ability to produce flowers of the opposite sex under certain circumstances.


Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 1—Myths and Lies [Psychedelic Frontier]

PF has already examined the psychology of Prohibition and our neurotic desire for control. In this six-part series, I focus on the skewed language and unquestioned assumptions that taint the Prohibition debate.


Police wasting time on ‘alternative’ shops [Daily Mercury]

Rockhampton Queensland retailer Ann Healy says police should stop wasting time and resources targeting alternative lifestyle shops when it comes to synthetic drugs. The Enchantments owner’s comments come after Happy High Herbs in Mackay won a legal battle for the return of more than $50,000 worth of stock seized in a police raid on June 3 last year. Magistrate Damien Dwyer handed down his ruling in favour of the natural herbs store in a Mackay court yesterday, ordering police to pay more than $8000 in legal costs.


How not to make a bed – synthetic drugs in Australia [Open Forum]

Sophisticated synthetic drugs are flooding the Australian market, and for every drug banned there are five others lurking in the wings. Emergency consultant and illicit drug expert Dr. David Caldicott says a temporary ban on these products is just a starting point to buy us some time.


The World Ayahuasca Conference 2014 [ICEERS Foundation]

In the last decade, the interest and use of ayahuasca has expanded exponentially. This phenomenon has both activated the advancement of scientific research into its effects, risks and therapeutic potential, as well as serious legal, ethical and sustainability challenges. The World Ayahuasca Conference 2014, organized by the ICEERS Foundation, aims to be a multidisciplinary event that brings together leading scientists, legal experts, practitioners. environmentalists and other experts involved in the ayahuasca field, facilitating the interchange of experience and knowledge, and the birth of new synergies and collaborations through the formal presentations and round tables, workshops and debates, as well as the informal events of the conference.

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