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Saatchi & Saatchi defends $500000 'Stoner Sloth' anti-marijuana campaign

The advertising agency behind the controversial "Stoner Sloth" anti-marijuana videos, which cost taxpayers half a million dollars, has hit back at criticism, saying the campaign's message is completely lost on adults.

After a week of relentless ridicule, Saatchi & Saatchi (S&S) has stepped out in defence of the NSW government's latest anti-drugs initiative, which it created.

The "Stoner Sloth" campaign has attracted attention around the world.

The "Stoner Sloth" campaign has attracted attention around the world. Photo: stonersloth.com.au


What’s at Stake at UNGASS 2016

In April 2016, the United Nations will have a chance to forge a smarter way forward for global drug policy.

In this video, George Soros, Bryan Stevenson, Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, and a number of drug policy experts and advocates discuss why the time for reform is now. 




Australian anti-marijuana campaign provokes giggles


SYDNEY: An anti-marijuana campaign in Australia featuring a human-sized lumbering stoned sloth acting foolishly has backfired and become the brunt of jokes on social media.

Launched this week using the slogan “You’re worse on weed”, it attempts to warn teenagers of the dangers of sustained cannabis use by depicting those who smoke it as grumbling, oversized “stoner sloths”.

But it has been widely mocked as “ridiculously funny” with thousands of comments on its Facebook page, which has attracted more than 16,000 likes.

“Smoke weed, become one of the most adorable animals in the world. Where do I get some weed?” wrote Andrew Watton-Davies while Scott Hobson noted that: “I literally can’t tell if it’s satire or legit.”


The torture of Stiff Person Syndrome

BEN OAKLEY is a young Aussie who unapologetically breaks the law twice a day to fight an illness so fearsome that it almost destroyed him.

At 17, he fell victim to a one-­in-­a-­million disease that strikes the nervous system, known as Stiff Person Syndrome.

It relentlessly shocks the body with “Taser-­like” pain and progressively stiffens the muscles in the spine and legs.

Oakley, from Wollongong south of Sydney, had just finished year 10 at a Catholic high school when his life’s trajectory was thrown violently off course. Up until then the go-­getter teen thought nothing of running half­ marathons or taking part in charity bike rides.


Hemp could be the crop of the future for Taranaki

Hemp could be the crop of the future for Taranaki according to a study at Massey University. 

Results of a one-year study on the benefits of growing industrial hemp in the region were released at a presentation at the TSB Showplace in New Plymouth on December 11.

One aspect of the study focused on whether hemp would be a suitable crop to grow on landfarmed soil, while another study looked at the economic benefits and logistics of growing hemp in Taranaki. 


Mum treats boy, 6, with cannabis oil for ADHD despite authorities threatening

A MOTHER who legally treats her daughter’s seizures with cannabis oil has admitted she is also using the drug to treat her six-year-old son’s ADHD.

Cherie and Trevor Dell had already been using medicinal cannabis oil to help treat their three-year-old daughter Abbey, who suffers a rare genetic disorder known as CDKL5, which ­results in constant violent ­seizures.

But their decision to also use it on their son Wyatt, 6, could see them fall foul of the authorities.

Wyatt has both autism and attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, which has left him prone to violence.

He has thrown tables around his grade one classroom and made life a misery for his five brothers and sisters.


Medical cannabis can help with nausea and vomiting

IF you're expecting medical marijuana to be a panacea you may be disappointed.

But a review of nearly 80 clinical trials found there was some evidence cannabinoids, one of the active constituents of cannabis, can help patients deal with nausea and vomiting.

The drug can also help in the reduction of pain.

Some patients reported increased adverse affects including dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, somnolence, euphoria, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of balance, and hallucination.


MP wants electorate to be cannabis capital of Queensland, Australia

A Queensland MP wants part of his far north electorate to become the state's cannabis capital.

Shane Knuth, MP of Dalrymple, thinks the fertile soil and annual rainfalls of the Atherton Tablelands, near Cairns, would be perfect for growing medicinal marijuana.

Knuth, from the Katter's Australia Party, says farmers in his electorate would be enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow the crops.

"I have been approached by farmers in my electorate who ... would embrace the opportunity to work with the government as growers of this new emerging medical crop," he said in a statement on Thursday.

Knuth has been Dalrymple MP since 2009.


New Zealand: Substance abuse amongst youth in Southland dropping

Southland youth substance abuse problem is on par with the rest of the country but figures are trending down, a New Zealand Drug Foundation expert says.

National Youth Services advisor Ben Birks Ang, of Auckland, was in Invercargill on Monday running a seminar at the Lindisfarne Methodist Community Centre about how to reduce substance abuse in young people.

"Southland is similar to the rest of the country. Substance abuse is trending down," he said.

"But we need to work as a community to make changes."

The most common substances used were alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana, while less than 3 per cent of young people uwere sing harder substances, he said.


How Your Genes Influence Your Weed Habits

We're still just beginning to understand why some people become dependent on marijuana but others don't. Your genes could have a lot to do with it, a new study suggests.

For the first part of the study, published online today in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, researchers looked at genetic data from 1,558 Australians who reported both marijuana use and childhood sexual abuse. 


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