Fatal attraction to synthetic cannabis is an unnatural high

Let's face it, we all like to get high, whether it be booze or bungee jumping; bongs or bongo playing; amphetamines or an adrenaline rush – everyone likes a diversion from the daily grind (unless it is a double shot latte accompanied by an Italian digestive biscuit).

Sadly this correspondent's greatest thrill these days comes from watching Hawthorn premiership DVDs while wearing a pair of Junior Rioli's discarded game-day socks.

So if someone came along with cannabis-like product that mimicked pot, was borderline legal, and wouldn't be detected on drug tests it would be too good to be true.


Menace to medicine – revisiting cannabis

The medicinal use of cannabis is a complex issue not just in Australia but around the world. In the past year media coverage has exploded in Australia.

This has been stoked largely by a public campaign by Lucy and Lou Haslam, parents of 24-year-old Daniel Haslam, a patient terminal cancer from Tamworth, NSW and the political and media support for their predicament. Now barely a week passes without an emotive anecdotal success story, an outspoken medical practitioner supporting or decrying its use, or governments announcing trials, investigations or priority for the issue.


Public Health Association backs medicinal cannabis

Doctors should manage a tightly regulated, compassionate regime for the use of medicinal cannabis in Australia, a leading public health organisation has told an ACT inquiry. 

The Public Health Association has labelled state and territory governments, including the ACT, "out of step with the attitudes and behaviour of much of the general public and professional opinion" on the use of cannabis to treat some illness. 

A position statement incorporated into the organisation's submission to the Legislative Assembly inquiry considering the use of cannabis for medical purposes says the fact the drug is already widely used illegally means a regulated system is unlikely to lead to more illicit drug taking in the community. 


King of cannabis Nevil Schoenmakers stages a quiet comeback

In the hazy halls of marijuana folklore, one name reigns supreme: Nevil Schoenmakers.

The reclusive Australian/Dutch dual national's work breeding and improving the genetics of plants made him a legend among cannabis users in the 1980s, as his potent and hardy varieties become the basis for most of the strains widely used around the world today.

But after fleeing United States government attempts to extradite him from Australia to face a raft of drug-related charges, Schoenmakers vanished - until now.


The boss of medical marijuana company Phytotech whose shares soared on debut has suddenly quit

The CEO of PhytoTech Medical, the first ASX listed medical marijuana company, has resigned.

Ross Smith’s departure comes less than two weeks since the company made its ASX debut, after which the share price soared.

However the share price has fallen back since. Phytotech shares were trading down 8.42% to $0.435 today.

His departure comes after a series of other company appointments, but also following some posts to his Facebook page.


Cannabis beats prescription drugs for chronic pain - research

Cannabis might provide more relief from chronic pain than prescription drugs, new research suggests.

The large Australian study found that use of the illegal drug for pain relief is common among people with chronic pain, such as low back pain, neck pain and migraines.

The study also found that cannabis users report greater pain relief in combination with prescription opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, than when opioids are used alone, the researchers said.

The study of 1500 Australians, led by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW, is expected to intensify the debate about allowing cannabis use for medical purposes.


Does Cannabis Ease Chronic Pain Better Than Opioids?

Cannabis can ease chronic pain more effectively than conventional medicines, according to a new study likely to flame the debate on the medical use of marijuana.

Researchers from the Australian National Drug and Alcohol centre found that patients with chronic pain who used the drug said it eased their symptoms better opioid medications, which are highly addictive and can cause accidental overdoses. 

The study analysed 1,500 patients, aged in their late 40s and early 50s, who suffered from conditions including back pain, migraines and arthritis, and were being prescribed with heavy-duty opioid medications, such as morphine and oxycodone. 


Thousands rally after father arrested for giving dying daughter cannabis oil

Thousands are rallying to support an Australian man arrested for giving his dying daughter cannabis oil to relieve her harsh symptoms.

Adam Koessler, whose daughter, Rumer Rose, is suffering from late-stage cancer, is barred from seeing the 2-year-old because of bail conditions, the Mirror reported.

He has said the oil led to a “miraculous” improvement for the deteriorating girl, who is now in intensive care.


Intervene on behalf of Adam Koessler, arrested on 2nd January 2015

Adam Koessler is a loving father who was arrested on 2nd January 2015 for allegedly administering medicinal cannabis oil to his 2 year old daughter, after she was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma.  
Adams bails conditions were amended in the Brisbane Magistrates court on 16th January, to allow him to see his daughter, who is receiving treatment in the Lady Cilento Children's hospital - South Brisbane. 
His visitation with his child has been restricted by the hospital who have defaulted to existing court orders, issued by the family court in 2013. 
He is not kept informed of her treatment, her progress and not informed when she is having surgery or of significant information relating to her care and treatment.


Occasional marijuana use 'boosts lungs'

Marijuana plant. Picture: AP Source: AP

PEOPLE who occasionally smoke marijuana do not suffer long-term lung damage the way cigarette smokers do and may actually experience a slight improvement, according to a US study published today.

Since the research includes more than 5000 people over 20 years, the authors say it should help clear up some of the confusion about the risks of marijuana smoking, which is increasingly common in the US.

However, they warned that the risks of heavy marijuana use were difficult to assess and cautioned against regular or frequent smoking.


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