AUSTRALIA & NZ
There have been over 25,000 recorded criminal incidents involving cannabis possession in NSW in the last two years, and Greens MLC David Shoebridge says these convictions create an unjust stigma.
ACT minister who brought in cannabis notices says they should be axed [The Sydney Morning Herald]
A former politician who helped to decriminalise cannabis in the ACT says the fine scheme he helped to introduce should go, and he would have legalised the drug nearly 30 years ago if he could have.
Mildura set for $130 million cannabis greenhouse [Sunraysia Daily]
A state-of-the-art $130 million greenhouse will be built in Sunraysia to cultivate up to 50,000 kilograms of medical cannabis per year.
A pioneering clinical trial investigating medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment for people living with severe Tourette syndrome will be conducted by Wesley Medical Research, in Brisbane in Australia, with cannabis supply facilitated by Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at University of Sydney.
Weeks after multiple NSW music festivals were cancelled, citing the prohibitive costs of additional police services, SBS News can reveal the revenue received by NSW Police Force for “user pays” policing has increased significantly over the past decade.
The ‘war on drugs’ failed so where to now? Time to have your say [EchoNet Daily]
The impact of the drug ‘ice’ on local communities has been significant with the police, communities and the health services looking for ways to combat the impact of the drug. Recognising the seriousness of the effects of the drugs across the community a Special Commission of Inquiry into the drug ‘ice’ and other amphetamine stimulants such as MDMA is starting today. Submissions are open until Tuesday May 7, 2019. For more information, to access the issues papers and to view the first directions hearing of the Commission today via webcast.
Gambling transformed reservations 40 years ago, but often only enriched a few. Could the legal marijuana business prove more broadly beneficial?
People are lining up to grow marijuana for research. Trump’s Justice Department won’t let them [Vox]
The Trump administration has resisted Obama-era reforms to allow more marijuana growing for research.
There are literally hundreds of applications for cannabis cultivation licenses awaiting approval from Health Canada. And if they all get put through, it would mean way more weed than Canada would ever need.
The investment will span five years and will cover applications for basic science, clinical, health services, and policy cannabis research.
All 25 Ontario pot shops won’t be ready to open April 1 [The Growth Op]
Ontario’s first cannabis retail shops are set to open their doors next week, but some of the 25 licence holders are still wading through the lengthy approval process and might not be ready for business.
Canadian Government Proposes THC-Based Tax Rate for Edibles [Ganjapreneur]
The proposal could result in reduced tax rates for low-THC and/or hemp-derived products.
Even by the superhyped standard of internet cures, the marijuana and hemp extract cannabidiol is unique, touted as everything from a hair conditioner to a sleep aid and a way to help manage diabetes and fight cancer.
There’s an old saying in Canada: “as oil goes, so goes the economy.” With the downturn in the oil industry and the surge in marijuana, could that saying be changing to “as marijuana goes, so goes Canada’s economy”?
As it becomes increasingly clear that marijuana legalization is not a strictly partisan issue, with surveys showing growing, bipartisan support for reform from across the political spectrum, questions remain as to what factors shape momentum toward enacting state cannabis laws. A study recently published in the journal Contemporary Drug Problems offers some answers. Researchers looked at each state’s marijuana laws and analyzed their political, demographic, economic and social characteristics to identify various trends associated with legalization.
Illinois Likely to Make Their Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Permanent [The Marijuana Times]
There have been a lot of changes in the state of Illinois since they first introduced their medical marijuana pilot program in 2013. In 2016, just three years after the program began, there were only about 6,000 registered patients due to the extremely restrictive list of qualifying conditions. Currently, there are roughly 58,000 patients that benefit from the program, which is enough for some lawmakers to want to make the program permanent.
West Virginia law clears path for medical marijuana banking [Marijuana Business Daily]
West Virginia’s governor signed a medical cannabis banking bill into law that will allow financial institutions in the state to bid on providing banking services for MMJ businesses, clearing an obstacle to the rollout of the state’s program.
Tom Brokaw: “I Just Want to Stay Vertical” — Politics Keep My Mind Off Cancer, And Medical Marijuana Helps Too [Survivor Net]
SurvivorNet went to see the long time NBC News journalist to talk about his experience with cancer and how he’s learned to live with it in the years since his diagnosis. Brokaw is currently being treated for a blood cancer called multiple myeloma.
On 24 January 2019, the Director General of the World Health Organization sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations recommending, among other things, that cannabis and associated substances be rescheduled in the international drug control framework. The changes are reported to facilitate the trade of these substances for medicinal and scientific purposes.
UN Cannabis Vote Expected March 2020 As Agency Hints At Soft Stance [Cannabis Law Report]
A key international vote on cannabis rescheduling may not be held until March 2020, as governments continue to push for more time to decide on downgrading marijuana to a less harmful category.
The UN Chief Executives Board unanimously endorses decriminalisation of people who use drugs [Transform]
A new position statement on drug policy from the the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB), chaired by the UN Secretary General and representing 31 UN agencies, has expressed strong and unanimous support for the decriminalisation of possession and use of drugs. The statement calls on member states to “promote alternatives to conviction and punishment in appropriate cases, including the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use.”
Zimbabwe authorizes licence to first medical cannabis company, but drug remains controversial [The Growth Op]
Although cannabis continues to be referred to as a “dangerous drug” in Zimbabwe legislation, it is estimated that the cannabis market could be worth over USD$7 billion by 2023.
Caribbean Region Emerges as Next Big Cannabis Marketplace [Cannabis Now]
As a commercial cannabis industry is established in Jamaica, more Caribbean nations are moving toward decriminalization and establishing medical marijuana programs.
In Moroccan cannabis fields, illumination of Jewish role in country’s hash trade [The Times of Israel]
A tour of illicit marijuana plantations leads a writer to ancient religious texts, and a very special couscous recipe highlights the plant’s historic role in Jewish life.
Israel’s prime minister contemplates adult-use marijuana legalization [Marijuana Business Daily]
Three weeks before the country goes to the polls, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would weigh legalizing cannabis if his party wins another term, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Parliament’s human rights committee develops bill on legalizing medical cannabis [Ukraine News Agency]
The human rights committee of the Verkhovna Rada together with social organizations has developed a draft law on legalizing cannabis for medical and scientific purposes, representative of the Ukrainian Association of Medical Cannabis Hennadiy Shabas said at a press conference in Kyiv.
Guam’s Senate approves legal foundation for adult-use cannabis industry [Marijuana Business Daily]
The Western Pacific island of Guam is set to become the second American territory to create a recreational marijuana industry, pending only the approval of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. The neighboring Northern Mariana Islands approved creation of an adult-use cannabis market last year.
Support Jersey’s GPs to prescribe medical cannabis [The Pharmaceutical Journal]
Speaking to the Jersey Evening Post on 18 March 2019, Rowland Huelin, deputy for the Parish of St Peter, Jersey, said the government should work with doctors to “hopefully, accelerate its usage” after all doctors on the island were given permission to prescribe medical cannabis. The law came into effect on 28 February 2019, but on 1 March 2019, Nigel Minihane, chair of the Jersey Primary Care Body, which represents Jersey GPs, told Channel 103, a local radio station, that GPs had been asked not to prescribe the drugs.
BUSINESS & POLICY
Molson Coors: Cannabis consumption may hit company’s bottom line [Marijuana Business Daily]
The second-largest beer maker in North America is once again warning its shareholders that the rising tide of legal marijuana could take a bite out of its profits.
U.S. bill that aims to open financial system to cannabis companies could be bad news for Canada’s pot sector [Financial Post]
Canada’s cannabis industry could see its first-mover advantage cut short if a piece of legislation that would open the U.S. banking sector to cannabis companies is eventually passed, some industry watchers say.
Mapping pot legalization politics: Not just red vs. blue [The Growth Op]
To anyone who figured the path of legalizing recreational marijuana use ran along blue state-red state lines, a sudden setback for pot advocates in New Jersey may show the issue isn’t so black-and-white.
Dream Market, today’s top dark web marketplace, announced plans to shut down on April 30, next month. The announcement came on the same day Europol, FBI, and DEA officials announced tens of arrests and a massive crackdown on dark web drug trafficking. The timing of the four announcements immediately sent most of Dream Market’s users and dark web threat intel analysts into a frenzy of theories that law enforcement might have already seized the site and are now running a honeypot operation.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Impact of legalizing cannabis on the opioid crisis [News Medical]
Although opioids exhibit impressive analgesic effects against both chronic and acute pain, the increased prescription rate of this class of drugs has been accompanied by an increase in opioid-related mortality. Legislators believe that the passage of cannabis access laws will play a significant role in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis, which claimed 70,000 deaths in the United States in 2017.
Pain, when used as an umbrella term, is more vast than the Pacific Ocean. Using CBD to treat pain can be effective only under the pretense that the type of pain is well-understood and properly diagnosed.
Science: Why more marijuana may equal fewer migraines [The Growth Op]
One of the most ancient medical uses of cannabis was headache relief and migraines. But support from modern science has been thin—until this year.
There’s new evidence that marijuana might help women have better orgasms [Business Insider]
When you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, or racing thoughts, sex can be hard to prioritise. Adding unexpected elements in the bedroom could make the experience worth looking forward to. A new study even suggests marijuana could help women have better sex and more satisfying orgasms.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Ever Wondered What’s In a Pre-Roll? [Weed News]
Even if it’s not everyone’s favorite way to use cannabis, most people can appreciate the convenience of a well-rolled joint. Back when cannabis culture was still in its infancy the joint was the go-to method of consumption, and to this day it holds a special place in people’s hearts. It’s cheap, easy to use and even easier to dispose of. It’s perfect for a smoking circle with your friends as it’s not as bulky as a bong and doesn’t need to get repacked every few hits like a pipe. And unlike an edible, it won’t ask for your commitment to stay high for half a day or longer.
Can LSD and magic mushrooms help win wars? This Marine officer says ‘yes’ [Military Culture]
Recent scientific studies approved by the Food and Drug Administration have yielded positive cognitive results when administering “microdoses” of the drugs lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, and psilocybin, the alkaloid in hallucinogenic mushrooms. But could this new wave of unorthodox treatment ever find its way into the ranks of the military? According to an article by Marine Maj. Emre Albayrak that was published in the February issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, it certainly should.
FUNDRAISERS ~ CAMPAIGNS ~ PETITIONS ~ SURVEYS
Gateway to Good Health [Weed Billboards]
The war on drugs and in particular cannabis is well past its use by date in Australia and in an effort to keep the issue on the agenda we have started a weed billboards campaign. Excited that our first billboard is up just north of Grafton in NSW.
It costs $5K for a year, and we’d like to grow weed billboards all around the country. We’d love your help to spread the weed, so there is a gofundme site where you can donate.
Please send in billboard suggestions! We’d like this campaign to support messages from various cannabis and drug law reform groups around Australia, so it would be great to pool resources to create more and more new billboards. We are open to all creative ideas, and any size donations.
We just want an end to being criminals for using one of nature’s absolute gifts.
E-Petition: Legalise cannabis for recreational use [Parliament of Victoria]
Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]
Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
Just Reform It! Let’s Get Real about Drugs [The Greens]
Survey: What’s the link between cannabis use and psychotic experiences? [The University of Queensland]
Harvest Festival & Cannabis Cup [New Zealand]
20-21 April 2019, Dunedin NZ
27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]
3-5 May 2019, Nimbin NSW
Garden States – A forum for cultivating ethnobotanical plants & knowledge [Entheogenesis Australis]
12 May 2019, Melbourne VIC
18-19 May 2019, Rosehill Racecourse, Rosehill, Sydney NSW
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ [Radio Documentary]
View five new EGA video presentations on ethnobotanical plants and psychedelics [Entheogenesis Australis]
To mark the anniversary of our special gathering and end the year on a high note, we’ve released five new videos of talks from the Psychedelic Symposium that are now available to watch online and can also be found below in this email.