Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rick Simpson Exiled

Hemp Medicine´s Emperor´s Political Exile in Europe
- a message from Rick Simpson

On November 25th, 2009, one day before I was crowned the Freedom Fighter of the Year 2009 at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, I received a word that I have been raided again by the RCMP. I contacted Tim Hunter at the Amherst attachment and asked I was being charged. Of course, he refused to give me straight answer. All he would say was that the RCMP wanted to talk to me.

After openly growing hemp in my backyard this past summer and announcing this fact to the public on tom Young´s open line talk show in June, how could the RCMP not be aware of my activities? The truth is they knew exactly what I was doing. RCMP officers were even sending people that needed help to me. I can only surmise that the purpose of this raid was to keep me from returning to Canada.
full story here

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cannabis 'easier to buy than pizza'

Cannabis is easier to buy than pizza, one drug expert claims, calling for it to be legalised and taxed to benefit all Australians

Dr Alex Wodak, director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, says cannabis will soon be Australia's smoke of choice.

"Experts are calling for the legalisation and taxation of cannabis"

"In a few years time, we'll have more Australians smoking cannabis than we have smoking tobacco and by default that market is largely taken over by criminals," Dr Wodak said.

"Having a black market of that size is not good for anybody and inevitably big black markets can only survive if there's significant police corruption."

Dr Wodak delivered the keynote address at the Australian Drug Law and a Civil Society symposium at the Lismore campus of Southern Cross University on Thursday.

He also heads the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.

Drug trade run by criminals

"At the moment, we have no control over cannabis at all because the trade is run by criminals," he said from Lismore.

"By taxing and regulating it, we would start to have some influence over the way people use cannabis.

"Overall, the aim should be to try and reduce the harm."

Cannabis prohibition was expensive and ineffective, Dr Wodak said, with surveys showing up to 2.5 million Australians will smoke cannabis in 2010.

"It's easier for most Australians to purchase cannabis than to buy a pizza - it's a readily available substance," he said.

Dr Wodak said legalising cannabis and regulating it could be carried out similar to what happens in the alcohol and tobacco industries.

Warning labels, age restrictions

"We could have warning labels on packets, we could have age restrictions - we could also have help-seeking information if you're trying to cut down or stop," he said.

Dr Wodak said research had shown punishing people for possessing cannabis does not inhibit their desire to keep using the drug.

"We've proved that we've stimulated a huge black market for cannabis in Australia by prohibition," he said.

He quoted polls in the United States showing support for legalising cannabis had climbed from 12 per cent in 1969 to 44 per cent in 2009.

"I think the minute that politicians start to see that 51 per cent of the population is supporting the taxation and regulation of cannabis, they'll take 10 seconds to work out that's what they want too," Dr Wodak said.

He also expects a legal international trade in cannabis to develop one day, but acknowledged making cannabis a legal drug in Australia and overseas will happen incrementally.

Cannabis will stay on banned list

WORLD Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey says he resents the use of the term "recreational drug" and has defended his body's stance on cannabis.

Fahey claims it violates at least two of the three requirements to be a banned substance.

In response to calls from leading trans-Tasman drug experts for WADA to review its policy on recreational drug use following the lifetime ban given to a rugby league player on the Gold Coast, Fahey gave no indication the policy on cannabis would be altered.

Writing in The Australian today, Australian Drug Foundation CEO John Rogerson, Australian National Council on Drugs executive director Gino Vumbaca and New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell claimed WADA's stance on cannabis has the potential to ruin careers and inexorably alter lives.

The trio also suggest the policy is too repressive. Only last month, player unions representing footballers and cricketers in England also called for recreational drugs to be removed from WADA's prohibited list. Fahey, however, was unmoved by the calls for change.

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"I resent the word recreational drug," Fahey said. "Nobody can say marijuana is a recreational drug. The cemetery is full of people who started on marijuana. It's illegal. They may be what society is using, but that doesn't make it legal.

"To try to say recreational drug, to me is a misnomer. There are only two types of drugs -- the legal drugs that we get under prescription or otherwise . . . and illegal drugs.

"The prohibited list contains a combination of both. In my view, the only recreational drugs that I would concede are entitled to that description are alcohol and tobacco.

"The rest are illegal drugs -- they breach the criminal code and let's call them just that. For me, it tries to dilute the message of the seriousness of drugs that are outside the law.

"To me, I think that's most unfortunate that people describe them as recreational drugs. They are illegal drugs."

Cannabis has been on WADA's list of banned substances since 2004.

In September, the agency's executive committee approved a new version of the list for next year, still banning cannabis.

Fahey stressed marijuana met two of the three arms of the WADA code, in it was a risk to the health of an athlete and contravened the spirit of sport. The code describes the spirit of sport as a celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is characterised by values including health, respect for rules and laws, and respect for self and other participants.

"The second condition is that the use of the substance represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete," Fahey said.

"Nobody could argue that particular condition hasn't been met. If anyone wants to argue marijuana is not a potential risk to the athlete's health, I would doubt they would get many supporters.

"The third arm is if the use of the substance violates the spirit of sport. Nobody could argue against that one. The two (requirements) are there."