Impaired Logic and Moral Ineptitude
Cannabis is uniquely fat soluble, unlike all other drugs, and stays in your system for weeks if not months. Sniffer dogs and saliva testing drivers are like shooting fish in a barrel for our police force and encourage people to use drugs which leave your system faster and avoid detection.
The HEMP 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.
HEMP To Protest Saliva Cops Next Monday Sept 28 Lismore Court House [Nimbin HEMP Embassy]
The HEMP Embassy’s Polite Service will be outside the Lismore Court House next Monday September 28th from 9.30 am doing real impairment tests like they do in other countries for testing drivers. Prepare to ‘Walk the Line’, stand on one leg while counting backwards from twenty, or attempt one of various other postural balance examinations. Protesters who take the safe road by hitchhiking to the Court House can still be tested if they choose.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions says Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy and trebling roadside drug testing as the main weapon in the NSW governments war on ice is just that. “Enough is enough and we invite everyone to join our protest outside Lismore Court House next Monday with some suggested ways of improving driver impairment testing because the current system is scarcely about that at all,” says Michael Balderstone, Embassy President. “Long term Cannabis users who have been driving safely for years are staying at home for fear of losing their licence,” he says. “Cannabis users across the state have been contacting the Embassy complaining of how ignorant it is. Why don’t they consult people who actually have some experience with drugs before making new laws is a common complaint.”
“Cannabis is uniquely fat soluble, unlike all other drugs, and stays in your system for weeks if not months. Cannabis is also unique in that it’s an unprocessed dried herb, unlike all the other refined or synthetic powders and pills, which are much harder to detect and easier to hide. Cannabis needs to be separated from the other illegal drugs but the police and politicians insist on keeping it in the same basket.”
“Sniffer dogs and now saliva testing drivers are like shooting fish trapped in a barrel for police and it’s actually doing the opposite to what was intended in that its encouraging people to use other drugs than cannabis, like ice, which is out of your system overnight.”
“Smoking a joint the night before, or even the night before that can sill deliver a positive saliva test whereas traces of ice are long gone. What were they thinking doing this? Is it a culture war in disguise, picking on Cannabis users? Because surely the police and the premier know all this by now don’t they?”
“Accidents in Colorado where Cannabis is fully legal now have actually gone down and early statistics from the twenty odd American States who have legalised medical Cannabis show around a ten percent drop in accidents (as well as alcohol use and suicides).”
Remember all the early tests that showed stoned drivers were more careful than non stoned? Then they kept doing research until they got some opposite findings. Seems you don’t get government research money unless the outcome supports government policy, of course.”
“And after testing positive once the police have your car flagged as a ‘Cannabis user’ expect to be pulled over regularly. But perhaps the biggest consequence is the country people who have lost their jobs because of losing their licence. It’s a totally disproportionate punishment compared to a caution for 15 grams!”
HEMP Party secretary and licenced hemp farmer Andrew Kavasilas will speak at the protest and says he cannot get a sane hearing or response from enquiries to Government departments who refuse to listen to logic.
The debate about the status of medicinal marijuana in WA has taken another turn – with Health Minister Kim Hames writing to a frustrated Perth mum to say it can be prescribed but the substance itself is proving inaccessible. Amalia’s 10-year-old daughter suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome and has been hospitalised since Saturday night after a seizure. She has tried 23 forms of traditional drugs without great success – and is currently on a combination of four – and Amalia was keen to trial the use of the compound cannabidiol (CBD).
DRUGLAWED is the explosive documentary exposing how New Zealand has been co-opted by the US into fighting the failed War On Drugs. Over the last 100 years the US government has forced its drug control policies on almost every country on earth. 40 years since Richard Nixon declared the War On Drugs in 1972, 22 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana. Only one country in the world has higher arrest and conviction rates: New Zealand. DRUGLAWED examines how New Zealand fell in lockstep with US policies, and shows how smaller countries can break out.
When talk turned to weed at the tail end of last night’s three-hour Republican primary debate, the candidates delivered some of the most spirited exchanges of the evening. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky who has long championed cannabis legalization, wasted no time in calling out what he described as the hypocrisy of enforcing laws against marijuana. In doing so, he also put the heat on Jeb Bush, calling out the former Florida governor on his pot-smoking days in high school. “There is at least one prominent example on the stage of someone who says they smoked pot in high school, and yet the people going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren’t,” he remarked. “I personally think that this is a crime for which the only victim is the individual.”
GOP War On Drugs Waning? Republicans Debate Marijuana Legalization [International Business Times]
The GOP was once known for its unforgiving approach to locking people up for drug offenses, but Wednesday’s debate suggests this may no longer be the case. Several of the 11 top presidential candidates indicated they would rather reform the criminal justice system than see it continue on the path that has led to more than 1.5 million Americans in jail. The shift signals that Republican candidates might be overhauling their stances on mass incarceration to reflect the views of Americans, who increasingly support the legalization of drugs such as marijuana. “There is at least one prominent example on the stage of someone who says they smoked pot in high school,” U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Wednesday during the CNN-hosted debate, referencing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who openly admitted to smoking marijuana in his youth. “And yet the people going to jail for this are poor people — often African-Americans and often Hispanics — and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren’t.”
Politics of pot: how the US cannabis industry plans to spend big in the 2016 election [The Telegraph UK]
After handing over their campaign donation cheques, the smartly dressed business people took their seats at a large horseshoe table inside the Colorado convention centre. The room was drab and grey and the gathering looked no different from any of the other daily fundraising events that are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2016 presidential campaign. But the business executives being courted by Rand Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican senator, were not lawyers or bankers or oil men. They were the leaders of America’s rapidly growing cannabis industry, men and women becoming rich selling a product that is technically just as illegal as heroin or LSD. “It was a historic moment,” said Tripp Keber, head of Dixie Brands, a company that sells cannabis-infused fizzy drinks and other marijuana products. “This is the first time a presidential candidate has openly dealt with an industry still considered illegal at the federal level.” As marijuana becomes big business in America, its political clout is also growing. Politicians are no longer embarrassed to be seen in public with so-called “pot barons” and the cannabis industry is gearing up to be a significant player in next year’s presidential election. Just as coal companies and Wall Street banks use campaign dollars to get politicians’ attention, the makers of pot brownies and cannabis tea are prepared to spend big to get their message across. There is even talk of a marijuana super-PAC which could run television ads in support of cannabis-friendly candidates.
SJC bans police stops solely for suspected marijuana [Boston Globe]
In a decision hailed by civil rights advocates and supporters of marijuana legalization, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that police cannot stop motorists solely because they suspect the vehicle’s occupants are in possession of the drug. The Supreme Judicial Court based its 5-2 ruling largely on a measure that voters approved in 2008 that reduced possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation punishable by a fine. “Permitting police to stop a vehicle based on reasonable suspicion that an occupant possesses marijuana does not serve [the] objectives” of the law change, Justice Margot Botsford wrote for the majority. Botsford wrote that allowing such stops “does not refocus police efforts on pursuing more serious crime,” another goal of changing the law.
Just two months after Minnesota launched its medical marijuana programme, some patients turned off by high costs say they are back to buying the drug illegally – because it’s the only way they can afford it. State officials and the companies hired to make marijuana products trumpeted the programme’s medical approach of pills and oils and no leaf products when it launched in July. But some patients say the highly restricted and regulated system is costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month, none of it covered by insurance. Company executives defend their prices: a small vial of marijuana extract can run nearly $130 in Minnesota, more than double the cost of a similar product in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal and such companies have sold it medically for more than a decade and say costs will fall over time. They are also taking steps to help some buyers, including raising money to cut the price for lower-income patients. According to state data, nearly one in five of the 491 registered patients had not returned to buy more medication in the last month, though state officials stressed there are many possible explanations.
Legal marijuana tax revenues have been breaking records in Colorado this summer, nearly doubling monthly numbers from last year and on pace to exceed projections of legal sales that bring revenue back to the state. Through the first seven months of this year, Colorado has brought in nearly $73.5m, putting the state on pace to collect over $125m for the year. In 2014, experts predicted legal cannabis would bring in upwards of $70m to the state’s tax coffers. In reality, the state collected just $44m in marijuana taxes. Sales totals fell short of projections in 2014, the first year of legalized recreational sales in the state (and the nation) But this year, tax revenue from marijuana sales is exceeding initial projections of $70m. Many in the marijuana industry attribute the sales boom to a tipping point in social acceptance. “I attribute it to … more and more people … comfortable with the legalization of marijuana,” said Tyler Henson, president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. “They don’t see it as something that’s bad for them.”
Entertainment icon Snoop Dogg and media entrepreneur Ted Chung have launched what they say is a marijuana-based media company. The co-founders presented Merry Jane, a “premier media platform at the intersection of cannabis and pop culture” at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on Monday. Merry Jane plans to publish information on every facet of cannabis, including a video interview series called Deflowered that will profile innovators in the industry, cultural and lifestyle features and the latest news on cannabis policy, business and economics. Information about marijuana products and a location mapping service for dispensaries will also be made available. “After watching where the cannabis industry is headed, I wanted to create a platform that will take this movement further by creating a destination where people could find fresh content,” Snoop Dogg said. “Merry Jane is a game-changing platform for pop culture. It’s a new frontier y’all!”
One of the most exciting parts of applying for a license and getting your facility up and running is designing your cultivation. Remember how you spent all that time putting together the perfect plan for a facility in the application? Do you look back on the application with pride because it’s still the perfect plan? No? That’s normal. One part of being in such a fast-growing industry is that improvements are made constantly, and innovation is a double-edged sword. Before you even get the license you will likely decide that you want to change some things around. This may not seem like a big deal to others on your team, but if you’re the person in charge of making the tangram work, you know that moving the location of something as simple as a janitor’s closet can very well affect the layout of the entire facility. Designing layouts in diverse spaces is like tangram squares: fitting similar pieces into wildly different shapes.
Big smoke: cannabis film festival heading to New York [The Guardian]
The first New York City cannabis film festival, celebrating the influence of marijuana on cinema, is to take place on 26 September. The Brooklyn-based event aims to elevate “cannabis culture by building a bridge between the film-making community and a new class of leaders and entrepreneurs”. Screenings of cannabis-related films will include shorts and a feature-length documentary. “We want to celebrate the creativity of the cannabis community and invite those outside the community to learn more about this wonderful plant and people who are inspired by it,” Michael Zaytsev, one of the organisers, told the New York Daily News. “We want to challenge the stigma of the lazy stoner.” Tim Mattson, another organiser, claimed that the goal of the festival is to “educate the attendees” and “inspire them to take action in the movement to end cannabis prohibition”. The documentary being shown at the festival profiles Dr Raphael Mechoulam and discusses the drug as a powerful and effective medicine.
National Cancer Institute – Finally Admits THC Causes 45% Remission in Bladder, Breast, and Liver Cancer [National Marijuana News]
The National Cancer Institute recently released its report on medical marijuana. The overview of their conclusion is, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) caused a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer, remission in breast and liver cancer and more. The National Cancer Institute recently released its report on medical marijuana. The overview of their conclusion is, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) caused a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer, remission in breast and liver cancer and more. They have determined that there is no lethal dose of marijuana. And addictive potential is considerably lower than any other medicine available. Among their findings, they have found that cannabis is not associated with adverse pulmonary function and does not cause lung cancer or any aerodigestive tract cancers. Cannabis does not cause other types of cancer either. They found cannabis has great anti-tumoral activity. Through their testing they have determined that cannabis is more effective than conventional antiemetics (drugs that ease nausea). And inhaled marijuana was more effective in chemo-induced nausea than any other currently available treatment. Some of their other findings are: Cannabis appetite increase at 75 percent compared to the most effective medicine that has a 49 percent increase; weight increase at 11 percent compared to the most effective current medicine that has a 3 percent increase. In opiate resistant cancer pain, marijuana had significant pain intensity relief, substantial analgesic effects, antiemetic effects and appetite simulation.
In 2012 Coloradans approved Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana for recreational use, by a vote of 55 percent to 45 percent. Last February a Quinnipiac University pollfound that 58 percent of Colorado voters supported that decision, while 38 percent opposed it and the rest weren’t sure. For prohibitionists determined to portray marijuana legalization in Colorado as a disaster, those poll results are inconvenient, since they indicate that public support for Amendment 64 was higher after more than a year of legal recreational sales and more than two years of legal possession and home cultivation than it was in 2012. Honest drug warriors would acknowledge the Quinnipiac numbers and perhaps try to balance them with other poll results. Dishonest drug warriors would do what the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) does in its new report on marijuana legalization: change the numbers.
Vermont Attorney General Predicts Marijuana Made Legal in 2016 [Marijuana Policy Project]
While many states will be considering making marijuana legal in 2016, Vermont may be the first to do so through its legislature. MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon is so optimistic that he is moving to the state from nearby New Hampshire in order to spend more time working with lawmakers there. Now, the state’s attorney general has predicted that Vermont will make history next year. Attorney General Bill] Sorrell said in an interview Tuesday that while he doesn’t have any “insider information,” it’s his belief that the General Assembly will pass, and the governor will sign, legislation to legalize and regulate the recreational use and sale of marijuana during the upcoming legislative session.
If Canada’s new government decides to legalize cannabis, public health must be the top priority to prevent commercialization and promotion by “Big Cannabis” and subsequent possible harms, argues an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). “If Canadian policy-makers decide to create a legal, regulatory framework for cannabis, it is critical that public health objectives be the foundation of changes,” writes Dr. Sheryl Spithoff, Department of Family Medicine, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, with coauthors. “Otherwise, Canada may experience the same health and social harms that resulted from the commercialization of alcohol and tobacco.” In the lead up to Canada’s federal election in October, cannabis policy may be an issue. Two of the three major national parties support decriminalization or legalization, whereas the governing party favours the status quo.
Matt Gray, chief executive of US website The Stoner’s Cookbook, has been quoted as predicting the legal marijuana industry to be worth $10.2bn within five years, and edible marijuana accounting for as much as 40 per cent of that. This is no niche market: research shows that 111 million Americans have used cannabis. Most of those, of course, will have indulged in it illegally, and marketers are aware that they may have an image problem to contend with. “Who will become the Starbucks of pot?” asked the US business magazine Adweek. “We want to show the world that normal, professional, successful people consume cannabis,” Olivia Mannix, co-founder of US-based marijuana marketing agency Cannabrand told the magazine for its recent feature about emerging cannabis brands.
Sliced thin with flecks of dill peeking out, the salmon looks like any other of gravlax you would have for brunch. But put it on a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese, and you will get pretty stoned eating this delicacy. The mastermind behind the THC-infused salmon – cured in salt, dill, lemon, sugar and a weed tincture – is Josh Pollack, owner of Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen in Denver. “I love bagels and lox, and I love cannabis,” Pollack said.
Hitler’s all-conquering stormtroopers ‘felt invincible because of crystal meth-style drug Pervitin’ [The Independent]
Hitler’s armies carried out their “Blitzkrieg” invasions of Poland and France while high on a version of crystal meth which kept them wide awake, feeling euphoric and invincible, says a new book about the Nazis’ use of drugs during the Second World War. In Der Totale Rausch – (Total Rush), which was published in Germany last week, Norman Ohler reveals the key strategic role of the methamphetamine-based drug, manufactured from 1937 onwards by the Nazis under the brand name of “Pervitin” and distributed among the armed forces. The drug was marketed as a pick-up pill which was designed to combat stress and tiredness and created feelings of euphoria. “In the beginning the army didn’t realise Pervitin was a drug: soldiers thought it was just like drinking coffee,” explained Mr Ohler. But the Nazi leadership was well aware of Pervitin’s value as stimulant during combat. After having tried it in 1939 during the German invasion of Poland, the German army subsequently ordered 35 million tablets of Pervitin for soldiers before advancing on France in the spring of 1940.
Mushrooms are medicine [920 Coalition]
The 920 Coalition organizes events around the world on 9/20 focusing on research on the role of psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms in our society and health care system. 2015 was our first year and we had more than 30 wonderful events in Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, UK, Australia, and the United States. We are a collaboration of non-profit organizations and individuals. We hope you’ll join us! Our community is growing incredibly quickly. Join our email list.
Psychedelics Could Trigger A ‘Paradigm Shift’ In Mental Health Care [Huffington Post]
Is American medicine on the brink of a psychedelic revolution? It’s seeming more and more likely. A scientific review of the existing research into the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, published last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, highlights the enormous potential of substances like LSD, psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms) and MDMA (the active ingredient in Ecstasy) for treating a host of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, anxiety associated with terminal illness and depression. While the research is still young, the small, preliminary studies highlighted in the review have shown that positive results can come from short courses — or even single sessions — of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. “The studies are showing big effects,” Dr. Matthew Johnson, a behavioral pharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University and one of the study’s authors, told The Huffington Post. “The exciting thing isn’t just that these drugs work for something that we already have treatment for. It’s that they’re getting big effects on disorders for which we have very poor treatment.”
Cannabis as Medicine – Fact or Fallacy: A Talk by Dr Andrew Katelaris
West End, Brisbane – Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary Street, 12-2pm Sat Oct 17
Gold Coast – Nerang Community Centre, 833 Southport-Nerang Road, 10am–2.30pm Sun Oct 18
Josh N Lauren from Brisbane will be at this Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in the US and has announced he will be working for Dutch Master. Josh will be talking about his trip and the business opportunities he discovered at the Medicinal Cannabis Workshop being presented by MCUAA on the Gold Coast on the 18th October next month – Nerang Community Centre, 833 Southport-Nerang Road, 10am–2.30pm.
Dr Andrew Katelaris in Nimbin, The Medical Cannabis Workshop, I.part
Dr Andrew Katelaris in Nimbin, The Medical Cannabis Workshop, II.part