Drug War crimes are coming to your street
Drive by law enforcement with fire power and roadside law enforcers with swab testers. Police are forgetting about evidence, impairment or justice and continuing to cause more harm than good old Cannabis.
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.
‘I’m growing something that is helping people’: Meet the man who is risking jail by supplying marijuana to the critically ill. [dailymail]
‘And mate, there are two blokes who both have daughters with childhood epilepsy and they have only good things to say about the effect it has had on their kids, so I will keep doing it.’ One of those ‘blokes’ is Peter Rule. His three-year-old daughter, Larisa, suffered brain damage at birth, leaving her partially blind and deaf, and with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
A Gold Coast family is calling for police to apologise for wrongly raiding their home in Coombabah as they were preparing to go to bed. The couple say their children have been traumatised by the case of mistaken identity. Kristy Stewart said she was winding down at around 9.30 on Friday night when a very real nightmare began. Police apologise – blame Google Maps
2016 could be the year Australia officially starts growing grass commercially – if a Parliamentary Bill is given the green light in February. The “green dollar” could start rolling in, medicinal cannabis trials could see greater avenues of domestically-supplied product, and Christmas Island could become Australia’s newest cannabis capital – according to AusCann’s Doctor Mal Washer.
Stop evidence-free roadside drug testing [Shoebridge]
The current roadside drug testing regime is arbitrary, invasive and has no relationship to the impairment of drivers on our roads. The NSW Police openly admit they are testing drivers for the mere presence of drugs and that the levels they are testing for have no connection with impairment. These tests are then used to take people’s drivers licenses for up to 12 months and to impose additional heavy fines on them.
The holiday makers were unaware of the setup, the police said in an online statement. The owner had said the room was “off-limits” due to an electricity fault, but Winkler had wondered why the lights were on at all times of the day.
Sex shops’ drug offer [yahoo7]
Sex shops want to legally sell marijuana, claiming it would help employ thousands of people, raise almost $1 billion a year in tax and cut crime rates. The Eros Association says legalising cannabis for recreational use would kill the black market for Australia’s most popular illicit drug. It has made the call in a submission to the so-called “nanny state” Senate inquiry investigating government regulation that impinges on personal freedom.
Greens NSW MP and Drugs & Harm Minimisation spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi will, in the coming days, embark on a self-funded fact-finding trip to the United States, in part to meet with leading drug law reform experts, advocates and campaigners.
Life and Death and Cannabis [alcp]
I am taking Cannabis Oil to manage my pain as my lung cancer takes over my body. It’s sort of as simple as that really. For some people talking about dying is confronting but actually talking about it allows us to think about how it happens – it is actually as much a social event as a physical one and knowing someone is comfortable, getting good treatment and pain relief is very much part of the social dimension as the physical one.
The Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist has announced one of the largest private donations to allergy research through the establishment of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford University.
There are champagne labels for wine and roquefort labels for cheese, so could there be a Humboldt Haze label for marijuana? Cannabis appellation – one of the provisions in new California regulations that went into effect this year – could ensure that certain strains – for instance, Mendo Purps, which was first cultivated in Mendocino, California – are only grown in certain regions, not simply plants of that origin cultivated elsewhere.
Shumlin outlined five key requirements of any legalization regime, saying such a system should: have protections in place to keep adolescents from buying; feature taxes modest enough to keep prices low, and hence put black-market sellers out of business; provide tax revenue to expand addiction prevention programs; strengthen existing DUI laws; and finally, ban the sale of edible marijuana products that have proven vexing in Colorado and elsewhere, at least until the state can figure out how to regulate them properly.
Law enforcement and other authorities allowed the clubs to exist presumably because the state never established a clear system for medical dispensaries. As a result, patients were stuck between growing their own cannabis or resorting to the black market. But with the Last Frontier’s legalization of recreational cannabis, things are about to change. Before long, consumption in Alaska could look a lot more like the coffeeshops of Amsterdam.
ARIZONANS BOUGHT 19 TONS OF MEDICAL POT IN 2015 [phoenixnewtimes]
Cannabis consumers purchased 19 Tons of Cannabis products last year. That’s 19 Tons of Cannabis not sold by Criminal Cartels and more than 200 millions dollars that did not find its way into the Criminal Economy, just in one state.
Drug test kits used by police are total science fraud: They produce positive results 70% of the time, no matter what is being tested [naturalnews]
In April 2012, a Kansas SWAT team raided the home of Robert and Addie Harte, their 7-year-old daughter and their 13-year-old son. The couple, both former CIA analysts, awoke to pounding at the door. When Robert Harte answered, SWAT agents flooded the home. He was told to lie on the floor. When Addie Harte came out to see what was going on, she saw her husband on his stomach as SWAT cop stood over him with a gun.
To assess the impacts marijuana has on biking abilities, researchers conducted “repetitive practical cycling tests” on 14 test subjects before and after they inhaled a maximum of three joints “with body weight-adapted THC content.”
Researchers reported that “only a few driving faults were observed even under the influence of very high THC concentrations.”
Assessing marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of U.S. adults, age 18 to 59, they maintained, “The pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”
According to results, those who had used cannabis 50 times had the same results as those who had never used it for both IQ and educational performance. Scientists now say there is a link between smoking cigarettes and lower achievement in education – even when cannabis is excluded. Incredibly, evidence suggested that cigarette smoking dropped IQ and educational performance in those who had never even tried cannabis.
Big Pharma Not Happy: 80% of Cannabis Users Give Up Prescription Drugs [deafsocialnetwork]
With legalization, more and more people are discovering how this plant can provide a safe alternative to the dangerous effects of prescription pills. The survey of 473 adult therapeutic cannabis users found that 87% of respondents gave up prescription medications, alcohol, or other drugs in favor of cannabis. Adults under 40 were likely to give up all three of these for medical cannabis. The most startling revelation, and one that will have Big Pharma running to their crony lawmakers, is that 80% of respondents reported substituting cannabis for prescription drugs.
UN Treaties Can’t Stop Legalization In Canada [civilized]
Legalization has always been framed as a domestic issue. That changed Jan. 5 when the Canadian Press obtained a briefing note prepared for the prime minister. The note warned that Trudeau must prepare to explain to the world how he will legalize cannabis while also conforming to the nation’s obligations to international drug treaties, which restrict access to cannabis in Canada to medical use and scientific research.
Canada Needs Permission From International Treaties to Legalize Marijuana, Says New PM Justin Trudeau [reason]
The treaties—the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and (because, hey, what’s in a name, two more), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances—date back to the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Canada made a reservation to the second treaty, about permitting the use of peyote for magical or religious rites by “small, clearly determined groups,” mimicking a U.S. one.
Ex-colleague will lobby MP Bill Blair to restrict field of pot growers [theglobeandmail]
Kim Derry, a deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service under Mr. Blair, is a promoter of marijuana facility THC Meds Ontario Inc., along with George Smitherman, a former Ontario Liberal deputy premier. Mr. Blair, put in charge of the marijuana file last week, will play a key role in determining who gets to grow the product once it is legalized. While some growers want loosely regulated production across the country, the operators of companies such as THC Meds say production licences should be limited to professional operations. In an interview, Mr. Derry said the government should aim to “get rid of the goons” who are currently in the marijuana business, calling for tight regulations on who can grow and sell the product. “If there isn’t, it will be the wild west,” Mr. Derry said. “If you just open it up and allow everybody to grow this stuff and distribute it however they want, it will be an absolute mess.”
“The new bill emphasizes reimbursing patients for their costs. This is not allowed for U.S. patients using state-legal medical cannabis as cannabis is still federally prohibited.” “As of October 1 2015, 527 patients had a limited permit from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to obtain imported cannabis at their own expense (on average, 18 euros a gram). Germany imported 32 kilograms of cannabis in 2013, and 48 kilograms in 2014.”
Germany releases medicinal cannabis bill [sensiseeds]
On January 8 2016, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health released a bill that could change the country’s controlled substances legislation and grant patients access to cannabis.
“After adjustment to account for these group differences, cannabis use by the age of 15 did not predict either lower teenage IQ scores or poorer educational performance,” the researchers explained. “These findings therefore suggest that cannabis use at the modest levels used by this sample of teenagers is not by itself causally related to cognitive impairment. Instead, our findings imply that previously reported associations between adolescent cannabis use and poorer intellectual and educational outcomes may be confounded to a significant degree by related factors.”
Reefer madness debunked as major UK study finds marijuana does not reduce IQ in teens [rawstory]
The public debate regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has ended and the law is expected to be approved by the parliament, by the end of February. This way, Macedonia is set to become the 14th country in Europe that uses it for medical treatment to people suffering from serious illnesses.
Cannabis Facts, Not Fiction [hempedification]
Some of the claims and counter-claims on a slew of topics related to Cannabis use and regulation, for example, “Cannabis is as addictive as heroin”, “Cannabis causes schizophrenia”, and one of the latest in a long line of headlines that should be called imaginative journalism at best, “Cannabis regulation leads to increased traffic fatalities”, are just some that pop up, again and again, in news articles and online.
The UN meeting on global drug policy, was due to be held in 2019 (it’s held every 10 years) but due to considerable pressure, mainly from a number of South American nations, there will be an early “Session” this year as those nations most deeply affected by the drug war seek solutions to the overwhelming violence that the drug war has burdened them with.