Embassy Headlines, Issue 86

Hippies know that Police make careers out of arresting people for growing their favourite weed. Police do a great job in maintaining the high price obtained for just a few plants.

Your tax money has paid for the 30 year police operation in NSW. Where would your money go if there was no crime in Cannabis?

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.


Police reveal hippie communes are using proceeds from plantations to fund their lifestyle [Daily Telegraph]

A monster 4m high marijuana plant was among thousands being grown by hippy communes in the state’s national parks to fund their lifestyles. 

A New South Wales police operation begins to keep the cannabis market in check[ABC]

The New South Wales drug squad has just started its annual operation to rip out valuable cannabis plantations from national parks.

What we must learn from Corby [ABC The Drum]

Schapelle Corby, the Bali Nine, the young man cruelly hanged by the Singaporean government in 2005, Van Nguyen: These Australians represent the millions of individuals who have been trapped by the failed policies of drug prohibition.

 [Sex Party]

The Australian Sex Party has called on the Prime Minister to legalise marijuana in Australia as the most effective and immediate way of lessening alcohol-fuelled violence in Australia and redefining Australian late night street culture.

Trends in Drug Use and Related Harms in Australia, 2001 to 2013 [UNSW]

The purpose of this resource document is to collate various data sources that document trends in alcohol and other drug use and harms in Australia. We hope that it will be a useful resource document. We have provided data on the following drug classes: Alcohol, Cannabis, Ecstasy, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, and Pharmaceutical opioids.

Hemp offers hope for struggling farmers [ABC]

And at the Jackey’s Marsh Forest Festival in northern Tasmania, talk of hemp’s potential for profitable and sustainable farming pulls an attentive crowd. “If you look at Canada, they’re producing hemp pastas, hemp milk, hemp cake mixes, hemp breads, and it is known to be incredibly nutritious,” Klara Marosszeky says. Klara is a hemp advocate who is based in the NSW Northern Rivers region and led a hemp masonry building workshop at the 2014 forest festival.

Obama signs farm bill, legalizing hemp cultivation in some US states [All Voices]

What kind of a country would prohibit cultivation of one of the most useful plants on the planet?

‘This Week’: Marijuana Legalization [ABC News USA via YouTube]

Dr. Richard Besser, Pierre Thomas, Alison Holcomb, and Ricardo Baca on the impact of marijuana becoming legal.

Get Paid to Smoke Weed in Denver [High Times]

O.pen Vape, a Denver-based vaporizer company, recently posted a job listing on their Facebook page announcing their vigorous search for a “Cannabis Quality Control Specialist,” or in laymen’s terms, some lucky stoner to sit in a back room all day and chief out on free weed. According to the job listing, the company is essentially scouring the ranks of high society for a professional pothead capable of sampling and evaluating the company’s cannabis products and then report to management with the documented details of their discoveries.

Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules [NPR]

Where there’s pot, there’s pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?

Pot buyers add more than $1M to Colorado tax coffers [Today]

In the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, retailers who shared their proprietary data with NBC News say they have collected $1.24 million in tax revenue. Half of the state’s 35 licensed recreational retailers participated in the NBC News survey. The 18 retailers shared the first 27 days of their tax data because they say they believe it will help their image.

A new Rocky Mountain high: Colorado open for cannabis tourism [Washington Post]

A long black van with no telling markings slips through the snow-encrusted streets of Denver. If you could peek through the tinted windows, you’d see Timothy Vee standing at the front of the vehicle, addressing a group lounging on an S-curve of cushioned seats. And if you could press your ear against the closed door, you’d hear the Colorado Highlife Tours owner informing his fellow pot smokers, “It’s time to get stoned now!”

Media and Politicians Call Out Obama Over Marijuana Rescheduling [Stop the Drug War]

In his now famous interview with Jake Tapper last week, President Obama, while expressing sympathy for some marijuana reforms, told Tapper that the White House can’t move marijuana to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to allow medical use, only Congress could.

Liberals and Republicans signal huge shift in attitude to US drug laws [Observer]

Never did I think I would find myself agreeing with Texas governor Rick Perry on drug policy. But when the darling of Tea Party Republicans argued in favour of reducing prison populations and against federal obstruction of Washington and Colorado’s alternative marijuana policies, I found myself applauding the three-term governor.

From Dry to High: Your Guide to State Pot Laws [Daily Beast]

After Colorado and Washington went all in on marijuana legalization, activists are working hard to get their states to follow. Here’s who’s likely to go next.

Is marijuana less dangerous than alcohol, as Barack Obama claims? [ABC Fact Check]

There is not enough evidence to assess whether marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol for users. Mr Obama’s comparison between the health effects of alcohol and marijuana is unsubstantiated.

Ask The Late Philip Seymour Hoffman If Pot Is As Dangerous As Heroin [Huffington Post]

“It is ludicrous, absurd, crazy to have marijuana in the same level as heroin,” Cohen said. “Ask the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, if you could. Nobody dies from marijuana. People die from heroin.”

Deputy drug czar reluctantly admits marijuana is less deadly than alcohol [Raw Story]

The deputy director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy admitted Tuesday that marijuana was less deadly than alcohol, but insisted that pot was not a benign drug.

UK Deputy PM urges new drugs approach during visit to Colombia [BBC]

The UK should abandon its current drugs policy because the war on drugs is not being won, Nick Clegg has said.

Why Dutch mayors want to cultivate cannabis [The Independent]

In a manifesto signed last week, the mayors of cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht argue that the current laws allowing the sale but banning the cultivation of marijuana mean the nation’s cannabis cafés have to turn to illegal gangs for their supply, encouraging organised crime and wasting valuable police time dismantling unlawful plantations.Now, 35 mayors are urging the government to take it a step further and let them grow cannabis too, as a global shift in favour of legalisation is leaving the once forward-thinking Netherlands lagging behind.

A New Study Says Medical Marijuana Reduces Suicide [New Republic]

While lawmakers and politicians have been coming out in droves to endorse the legalization of medical and even recreational marijuana, the medical establishment hasn’t been as supportive. But the tide could be turning: The American Journal of Public Health has just published a study suggesting that states that legalize medical marijuana can expect a reduction in suicide rates.

New Study: Cannabis May Offer Alternative To Electromagnetic Therapy For Chronic Stress [Joint Blog]

new study examining the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or electromagnetic therapy, has revealed that cannabis may provide an alternative treatment option for those suffering chronic unpredictable mild stress.

100 Americans die of drug overdoses each day. How do we stop that? [Washington Post]

The rise of fatal overdoses over the last 15 years is startling. In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 38,329 fatal drug overdoses in the United States, more than double the 16,849 fatal overdoses observed in 1999. Overdosing  is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than traffic fatalities or gun homicides and suicides. Fatal overdoses from opiate medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone have quadrupled since 1999, accounting for an estimated 16,651 deaths in 2010.

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