Swallowing The Laws
Your saliva can light up the machine from a toke on a joint the night before, or the night before that. Or just hanging around a mate having a toke. Or eating hemp seed in your muesli for brekky. The police have kept hemp seed illegal because they believe it can interfere with their saliva tests. There’s absolutely no evidence of this and we are the only country on Earth not allowed to eat it.
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.
On Monday, the NSW government announced plans to triple the number of tests by 2017. The crackdown comes in response to one in ten drivers failing the roadside tests for drugs, compared to one in 300 for alcohol.
The reason this is concerning is that drug tests don’t check for drug intoxication, but for certain chemicals in saliva. In the case of NSW this is marijuana, MDMA, and amphetamines. And we only know this because NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge used freedom of information laws to obtain NSW police documents.
Medicinal marijuana: Cannabis cultivation legislation to be introduced into Victorian Parliament [ABC]
Legislation to allow medicinal cannabis to be grown and manufactured in Victoria will be introduced into State Parliament today, and children with epilepsy are expected to be given first access. The Andrews Government said during the 2014 election campaign that it wanted make cannabis legal and available to those with ill health in exceptional circumstances.
A GUIDE TO CANNABIS LAW IN AUSTRALIA [thevine]
TheVine snooped around on your behalf, with a view to determine Australia’s current cannabis laws on a state-by-state basis and look to its future legal status.
Professor Alison Ritter of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) says law enforcement has proven ineffective in reducing drug use in Australia, and that moving the majority of enforcement funding into prevention and treatment programs would be much more valuable.
“Decriminalisation has the potential to reduce the burden on police and the criminal justice system,” she said.
Medicinal cannabis company AusCann Group is set to plant a crop on Christmas Island after raising $3 million. The company, which is chaired by former federal Liberal MP Mal Washer, said it had already commenced engagement with members of the 2000-strong community on the Indian Ocean territory, which hosts immigration detention facilities.
Hemp worth millions [Herald]
KEY agriculture sector names are lining up to back industrial hemp as a food crop, but advocates say access to the billion-dollar global industry is shrouded in bureaucracy. Hemp fibre crops were legalised in NSW in 2008, but producers said the lack of legal approval for hemp seeds as food prevents the industry from gaining acceptance as a mainstream broadacre crop.
Māori innovators use hemp as sustainable building material [maoritelevision]
With only 12 weeks for Hemp to mature compared to 25 years for Pine, they see it as the way forward in New Zealand. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel.
Results from the Guttman scale indicated that alcohol represented the “gateway” drug, leading to the use of tobacco, marijuana, and other illicit substances. Moreover, students who used alcohol exhibited a significantly greater likelihood of using both licit and illicit drugs. The findings from this investigation support that alcohol should receive primary attention in school-based substance abuse prevention programming, as the use of other substances could be impacted by delaying or preventing alcohol use. Therefore, it seems prudent for school and public health officials to focus prevention efforts, policies, and monies, on addressing adolescent alcohol use.
Marijuana use does not cause brain abnormalities [beyondthc]
UCLA pulmonologist Donald Tashkin and colleagues reported in 2005 that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer. And just as Tashkin’s findings were buried by the Biomedical Establishment and corporate media, so, too, has the paper by Barbara J. Weiland and colleagues at the University of Colorado and the University of Louisville —published in January— been actively ignored.
Early results of marijuana extract treatment for children with epilepsy prove promising [washingtonpost]
For a few years now, families of children with epilepsy have been relocating to Colorado from round the world to obtain a special Cannabis extract known as “Charlotte’s Web” they heard had a magical ability to reduce seizures. In late 2013 and early 2014, as the political movement to legalize medical marijuana was heating up, many of these parents traveled to state capitals around the country to plead for help in getting access to similar treatments. More than a few legislatures, regardless of their stance on marijuana, were so moved by the stories that they acquiesced.
Cannabis Makes Recovery for Opioid Addiction Easier [cannabisnow]
Participants who smoked marijuana had less difficulty with sleep and anxiety and were more likely to remain in treatment as compared to those who were not using marijuana, regardless of whether they were taking dronabinol or placebo.
Anti-drug activists might not like to hear this, but it seems legalising marijuana for medical use is good for people’s health. Or at least, it’s having a big impact on obesity, according to Cornell University and San Diego State University researchers.
Trudeau has said that legalizing marijuana would fix a “failed system” and help remove the “criminal element” linked to the drug. He also has said Canadians would benefit from analyzing the experiences of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot.
Canada’s next big move? It may be legalizing pot. [washingtonpost]
Although the war on drugs in Canada has been nowhere near as dramatic as the ones waged in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and the United States, it has nonetheless involved violence and consumed considerable financial and human resources.
Planting, selling and transporting marijuana remains illegal in Chile and carries prison terms of 5-10 years. But Congress is expected to soon debate wider changes to Chile’s drug law.
The latter initiative, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), is similar to the Reform CA initiative, known as the Control, Regulate, and Tax Cannabis Act. Both would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public, grow marijuana at home, and possess the produce of those plants. Both assign the task of regulating commercial production and distribution to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which legislation enacted in October charges with regulating medical marijuana.
Kampia is talking about something along the lines of this year’s Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 (HR 1940), sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) so that it would not apply to persons in compliance with marijuana laws in their state.
Passage of such a bill would not make marijuana legal everywhere—that would be up to the individual states—but would end the federal government’s role in enforcing marijuana prohibition.
It’s never really been about drugs; drugs are a smokescreen. It’s always been about money and power, particularly the petrochemical industry. As long as they prohibit hemp production even from plants which contain hardly any THC at all, and certainly from high THC plants, they are protecting the petroleum industry.
Radio Vatikan reports that in a recent conversation about the Legalization of Cannabis, Colombian cardinal, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez Pimiento, says he supports using the plant for medical and therapeutic use. “Marijuana is made by God, and as such, it is a good part of creation,” he said.
GW Pharmaceuticals is having a busy month. In just a few weeks, the company has announced the initiation of study trials, received Orphan Drug Status to use Cannabidiol on “Newborn Babies” and gotten a Notice of Allowance for a Patent Application for treating epilepsy with another of its cannabis based compounds.
The Rise of the Stoner Bride [racked]
In states where weed is legal and widely socially accepted, couples have begun to incorporate cannabis into their weddings in delightful and original ways.
The issues of illicit drug use and the degradation of the Earth’s environment are global in scope and may not at first glance appear to be related. But the policies we are using to tackle the cultivation and trafficking of drugs are not only failing, they are deeply counterproductive – not least because they are accelerating our planet’s ecological crisis.