Thailand Approves Medical Marijuana

Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Panarat Thepgumpanat, writing for Reuters:

Thailand approved marijuana for medical use and research on Tuesday, the first legalization of the drug in a region with some of the world’s strictest drug laws.

The junta-appointed parliament in Thailand, a country which until the 1930s had a tradition of using marijuana to relieve pain and fatigue, voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 in an extra parliamentary session handling a rush of bills before the New Year’s holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Thais out there. What a wonderful gift.


This Week in Psychedelics - 12.21.18

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CANNABIS

  • Hemp Is Officially Legalized With President Trump’s Signature On The Farm Bill (Marijuana Moment)

  • New Zealand to hold referendum on legalising recreational cannabis (The Guardian)

  • Barbados to Legalise Medical Cannabis, Hold Referendum on Recreational Legalisation (Talking Drugs)

  • Teen Marijuana Use Remains Lower Than Pre-Legalization Levels, Federally Funded Survey Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Nebraska Petition Seeks Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure in 2020 (The New York Times)

  • Teen Marijuana Use Actually Declined In Washington State After Legalization, Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Marijuana Use Doesn’t Actually Change The Structure Of Your Brain, New Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Michigan Bill to Ban Home Cultivation Fails in Senate (NORML)

  • Deschedule Marijuana, Says Coalition Involving AARP, Labor Unions And NAACP (Marijuana Moment)

  • Cuomo Moves to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in New York Within Months (The New York Times)

  • New York City Mayor De Blasio Backs Marijuana Legalization, Days After Governor Cuomo Does So (Marijuana Moment)

  • Scientists Journey Into the Dark Side of Cannabis (WIRED)

  • More Americans Think Smoking Marijuana Is Safer Than Vaping It, Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Boulder County and City of Denver to Allow Expungement of Low-level Marijuana Convictions (NORML)

  • How Legalizing Marijuana Is Securing the Border: The Border Wall, Drug Smuggling, and Lessons for Immigration Policy (Cato Institute)

  • Hemp Hemp Hooray: What the Farm Bill Means For The Future of Hemp Science (Psychedelic Times)

  • 'Dead Skunk' Stench From Marijuana Farms Outrages Californians (The New York Times)

  • Lawmakers In Two States Pre-File Bills To Allow Medical Marijuana At Schools (Marijuana Moment)

  • Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Moves Forward with Marijuana Expungement Initiative (NORML)

  • FDA To Take Steps Toward Allowing CBD Products Following Hemp Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

  • AB InBev Enters The Cannabis Space (Forbes)

  • South Carolina Lawmakers Pre-File Four Marijuana Bills For 2019 (Marijuana Moment)

  • Higher percentage of California cannabis passing safety tests (The Press Democrat)

  • Here’s The Text Of The Marijuana Amendment Sen. Gardner Wants Attached To Criminal Justice Bill (Marijuana Moment)

  • Marijuana Tax Dollars Support Anti-Bullying Program in Colorado (NORML)

  • Federal Agency Asks Public To Send Studies On Marijuana And Alzheimer’s Disease (Marijuana Moment)

  • Pot jobs could soften the blow for Alberta's oil workers (CBC)

  • Congressional Democrats Release Report On Marijuana Legalization’s Economic Benefits (Marijuana Moment)

  • Use cash to buy legal cannabis if you're worried about privacy, watchdog says (CBC)

  • Missouri Lawmaker Moves To Block Feds From Getting Medical Marijuana Patient Info (Marijuana Moment)

  • Detecting pot use in drivers will be tricky (The Boston Globe)

  • GOP Lawmaker Calls For Marijuana Reform In Fiery Senate Floor Speech (Marijuana Moment)

  • Will Marijuana Legalization Have a ‘Gateway’ Effect? (The Crime Report)

  • Alaska Wants Input On Allowing On-Site Consumption At Marijuana Stores (Marijuana Moment)

  • Rhode Island Might Be Peer Pressured Into Legalizing Marijuana By Neighbors, Governor Hints (Marijuana Moment)

  • Cannabis A Wide-Open Space For Female Pioneers (Forbes)

  • Medical Marijuana is Florida Law (Marijuana Moment)

LSD

  • Old Etonian, 26, drowned in the ocean after downing a lethal cocktail of LSD, cocaine and ecstasy at a music festival in Croatia, inquest hears (Daily Mail)

  • What are the Differences Between Psilocybin (Magic) Mushrooms and LSD? (Explore Psychedelics)

Magic Mushrooms

  • Dinosaurs munched on ‘magic mushrooms’ that gave them the same mind-bending high as LSD, scientists reveal (The Sun)

  • Teleporting and psychedelic mushrooms: a history of St Nicholas, Santa and his helpers (The Conversation)

  • North East NHS trust conducts study into whether magic mushroom can treat depression (Chronicle Live)

  • Will Denver Decriminalize Psilocybin Mushrooms? (High Existence)

  • I Took Psychedelic Drugs On A Self-Help Retreat And This Is What I Learnt (HuffPost)

  • Psilocybin (Magic) Mushrooms and Drug Tests: How Long Does Psilocybin Stay in Your System? (Explore Psychedelics)

MDMA

  • The Dutch Green Party wants government regulation of ecstasy production (Mixmag)

  • What Our Saliva Will Tell Us About MDMA Therapy: Dr. Joe Tafur and the Modern Spirit Epigenetics Project (Psychedelic Times)

  • Why MDMA and the Holidays Could Mix Well (Playboy)

  • Pioneering UConn MDMA Research Focused on People of Color Ends Early: What Are the Next Steps for Equity in Treatment? (Psychedelic Times)

  • Open Enrollment Has Begun For MDMA Trials In 4 Different States (Your EDM)

  • Scientists Gave Octopuses Ecstasy: The Study Went Viral (WCAI)

  • Jada Pinkett Smith says she used ecstasy, weed and alcohol to cope with depression (Fox News)

  • Two friends died at Pryzm after taking Ecstasy for the first time, inquest hears (Plymouth Live)

AYAHUASCA

  • Is Ayahuasca Mainstream Now? (VICE)

  • Jung in the Jungle: Ayahuasca and the Shadow (Kahpi)

  • How a bank robber became a trailer park shaman with Kentucky ayahuasca (Courier Journal)

PEYOTE

NITROUS OXIDE

  • Sydney hospital and BOC face charges after babies given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen (ABC News)

  • Laughing gas for childbirth? More Chicago hospitals offering nitrous oxide to women in labor. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Laughing gas laws not working, says ex-chief crown prosecutor (BBC)

  • Laughing gas cannisters are 'easily available in corner shops, online or over the phone' (Manchester Evening News)

KETAMINE

  • Many Say Ketamine Eased Their Depression, But Is It Safe? (HealthDay)

PCP

  • Police: Salvation Army bell ringer assaults shopper at Germantown Walmart, was high on PCP (WJLA)

OPIATES/OPIOIDS

  • Research Shows Opioids Largely Ineffective Against Chronic Pain (Ganjapreneur)

  • New data shows that Fentanyl kills more people than heroin (Popular Science)

  • An opioid epidemic nobody talks about (The Washington Post)

  • HHS Recommends Co-Prescribing Naloxone With Opioids (Medpage Today)

  • In Pennsylvania, People Lined Up For Free Naloxone (NPR)

  • Harm Reduction Is Helping Reduce Ohio Opioid Overdose Deaths (Reason)

  • Opium Farmers in Myanmar: The Lives of Producers of Prohibited Plants (Transnational Institute)

  • FDA must act to increase naloxone availability (The Hill)

  • Punishing Patients Won’t Reduce Opioid Deaths (Reason)

  • Parents warned after student's drugs tested positive for fentanyl in Delta (CBC)

COCAINE

  • HQ Trivia Co-Founder and CEO Colin Kroll Dead at 35 of Apparent Drug Overdose (TMZ)

  • Why Colombia is losing the cocaine war (Vox)

  • Kid Cudi Used One Final Cocaine Binge to Help Himself Go to Rehab (XXL)

ABSINTHE

  • Former SoBou Bartender is Opening an Absinthe Lounge in the French Quarter (Eater)

KRATOM

  • Despite Government Crackdown, Kratom Scientists Awarded $3.5M for Research (Inverse)

  • FDA Fails to Provide Credible Data and Science to Justify Scheduling Kratom as Schedule I Substance (PR Newswire)

  • Kratom Causes Concerns in Carbondale (WNEP)

  • Kratom Ban Controversies, Attempts & Warnings Continues (Kratom Guides)

KAVA

  • The first kava company to list on any global exchange just hit the boards of the ASX (Stockhead)

  • Kava kava: Benefits and safety concerns (Medical News Today)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Creating The Ideal Psychedelic Retreat (The Third Wave)

  • How to Safely Access Psychiatric Support in Times of Psychedelic Crisis (Chacruna)

  • Welcome to the Church of Safe Injection (STAT)

  • Russia’s Putin Thinks Censoring Rap Will Curb Drug Use In the Country (Marijuana Moment)

  • Theresa May's local force go soft on hard drugs: Thames Valley Police will not punish those caught with heroin, cocaine and ecstasy under controversial new scheme (Daily Mail)

  • DanceSafe Announces Return To Michigan (DanceSafe)

  • Syracuse cops push St. Joe’s to probe man’s rectum for drugs; ‘What country are we living in?’ (Syracuse.com)

  • The First Step Act Is Not Sweeping Criminal Justice Reform — and the Risk Is That It Becomes the Only Step (The Intercept)

  • The Electric Forest Acid Testers (Pacific Standard)

  • Psychedelic Science, Ontological Mystery, and Political Ideology: A Conversation with Emma Stamm (Psychedelic Times)

  • How Republicans pivoted from the war on drugs to cutting prison sentences (The Washington Post)

  • Women, Spirituality, and Plant-Based Medicines (Chacruna)

  • Only White People Can Get Away With the Microdosing Trend (Tonic)

  • DPA’s Leader Shares Her Roots, Health Challenge and All-Drug Decrim Agenda (Filter)

  • Grays Harbor’s Involvement With Needle Exchange To End In 2019 (KXRO)

  • Psychedelic Technology, Blockchain Woes and Meta Set and Setting: Interview with Emma Stamm (Psychedelic Times)

  • Politicians should stop hiding behind the police over drugs reform and show some leadership (inews.co.uk)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Syracuse Cops Push St. Joe’s to Probe Man’s Rectum for Drugs

Douglass Dowty, writing for Syracuse.com:

Syracuse police, a city court judge and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center worked together last year to conduct a highly unusual drug search.

They collaborated to sedate a suspect and thread an 8-inch flexible tube into his rectum in a search for illegal drugs. The suspect, who police said had taunted them that he’d hidden drugs there, refused consent for the procedure.

At least two doctors resisted the police request. An X-ray already had indicated no drugs. They saw no medical need to perform an invasive procedure on someone against his will. […]

The hospital’s top lawyer got pulled in. He talked by with the judge who signed the search warrant, which was written by police and signed at the judge’s home.

When they were done, the hospital lawyer overruled the doctors. The lawyer told his doctors that a search warrant required the doctors to use “any means” to retrieve the drugs, records show.

So St. Joe’s medical staff knocked out the suspect and performed the sigmoidoscopy, in search of evidence of a misdemeanor or low-level felony charge, records show.

Shit like this really pisses me off. But just when you thought that ignoring X-ray evidence and invading a man’s butt against his will was bad enough, the story gets even worse.

So, was it worth the risk? The X-ray was right. The scope found no drugs.

And when they were done, St. Joe’s sent the suspect a bill for $4,595.12.

So after being treated horribly at the hospital, the “suspect” (who was treated more like a victim) was asked to pick up the tab. Being told to pay more than $4.5k for having a surveillance tube shoved up your ass—against your will, no less—sounds like a raw deal to me.


Go Take the 2019 Global Drug Survey

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The Global Drug Survey has been collecting useful and enlightening drug usage data at the end of each and every year since 2014. And it’s already that time again—the 2019 survey launched just last month.

From the organization’s About Us page:

"GDS is an independent research company based in London. We produce reports for global media, public health and corporate organisations. GDS use its data and expertise to create digital health applications delivering screening and brief interventions for drugs and alcohol. We create free online harm reduction resources and anonymous, confidential self-assessment tools. GDS also produces a range of drug education materials for health and legal professionals, the entertainment industry and the general public.

GDS aims to make drug use safer, regardless of the legal status of the drug, by sharing information with individuals, communities, health and policy organisations.

Using anonymous online research methods Global Drug Survey runs an annual survey in 10 languages, which is hosted by partners in over 20 countries. We work with global media giants around the world who act as hubs to promote our survey and our findings, ensuring that the first people to see the results are the general public.

Survey findings are frank, honest, and revealing. GDS explores the positives and negatives of drug use and detects new drugs trends as soon as they appear. GDS has a unique insight into personal decision-making about drug use . Our international networks of researchers and specialists have extensive experience in data analysis and report writing."

I submitted my survey over the weekend and would love it if you do the same by clicking here. It will take about 15 or 20 minutes for the average person to fill out, but if you’re an experienced psychonaut like me it may take you closer to an hour (or two) to finish, because you’ll likely need to answer additional questions.

Fortunately there is a “Save and Continue” option that you can use if you are partway through and find yourself needing to take a break. I can vouch that this feature works properly, as I had to use it a couple times myself!

The survey period will remain open until the end of the year, so make sure you finish filling yours out before then! And stay tuned—results will be published May 16, 2019.

Image by JuralMin, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

This Week in Psychedelics - 12.14.18

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Cannabis

  • Congress Lifts Longstanding Ban on Hemp Production (NORML)

  • WHO postpones recommendation for rescheduling cannabis at UN summit (Marijuana Business Daily)

  • Smoking Marijuana Actually Improves Working Memory, Study Indicates (Marijuana Moment)

  • There’s a Movement to Legalize Weed Extracts for Kids With Autism (Tonic)

  • UK Lawmakers Reject Marijuana Legalization In House Of Commons Vote (Marijuana Moment)

  • Recreational marijuana could come to New York State in 2019 (NBC News)

  • New Zealand Government Tells Police Not To Prosecute People For Drug Possession (Marijuana Moment)

  • Big Tobacco Is Getting into Cannabis in a Major Way (The Stranger)

  • Nebraska Lawmakers Form Committee To Put Legal Marijuana Before Voters In 2020 (Marijuana Moment)

  • Cannabis is now getting the Instagram museum treatment (Vox)

  • GOP Congressman Wants Marijuana Consumers To Be Able To Legally Purchase Guns (Marijuana Moment)

  • Shoppers Drug Mart granted licence to sell medical marijuana online (CTV News)

  • Former DNC And RNC Chairs Join One Of The World’s Largest Marijuana Companies (Marijuana Moment)

  • Editorial: Medical marijuana is legal in Missouri. So don't punish its legal users. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  • Chicago Mayor Wants Legal Marijuana Revenue To Fund Pensions (Marijuana Moment)

  • Cigarette Giant Altria Makes Major Investment in Canadian Cannabis Company (Willamette Week)

  • GOP Senator Seeks To Attach Marijuana Reform To Criminal Justice Bill (Marijuana Moment)

  • Why are so many countries now saying cannabis is OK? (BBC)

Magic Mushrooms

  • A Playlist for Psilocybin by Kelan Thomas (Chacruna)

  • Trip of a Lifetime? | The Rise of Magic Mushroom Wellness Retreats (Amuse)

  • The Lemon Tek Method for Faster Psilocybin (Magic) Mushroom Trips (Explore Psychedelics)

  • Editorial: Ballot measure on mushrooms seems premature (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

MDMA

  • Ecstasy found in kid's food wrapper leads to three arrests at Sonic Drive-In in Taylor (KFDM)

  • Colorado man may have been killed by fentanyl in what he thought was 'MDMA,' family members suspect (Rooster Magazine)

  • Revealed: Plaster and brown sugar being sold as MDMA to festival-goers drug users (Chronicle Live)

  • Treating Veterans with Ecstasy (Military.com)

  • Benzino Could Go To Prison For 15 Years Over MDMA Pills And THC Gummies (AllHipHop)

Ayahuasca

  • Amazon Ayahuasca Sustainability Study Conducted by Medicine Hunter, First of its Kind, Answers Questions, Dispels Erroneous Claims (PRWeb)

  • Ayahuasca for Addiction? That's a Trip (Psychology Today)

Iboga

Synthetic Cannabinoids

  • BBC South East uncovers black market in banned 'legal highs' (BBC)

  • William and Kate told of Spice devastation (BBC)

KETAMINE

PCP

Opiates/Opioids

  • Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl Doubled Every Year From 2013 to 2016 (TIME)

  • Google Searches Could Predict Heroin Overdoses (Scientific American)

  • The Strongest Evidence Yet for a Highly Controversial Addiction Treatment (The Atlantic)

  • Fentanyl-related stocks rebound after China-US agreement to strengthen drug management (Global Times)

  • What I Found When I Applied Hundreds of Fentanyl Tests to Philly’s Street Drugs (Filter)

  • Naloxone-Carrying Nurse Says Her Life Insurance Was Denied. She's Not An Opioid Addict (The Daily Caller)

  • America's Top State for Drug Overdoses Is Handing Out Free Naloxone (U.S. News & World Report)

  • ‘Heroin Was My Life Preserver’ (Medium)

  • Afghanistan Hopeful About Replacing Opium Crops With Saffron (Gandhara)

  • Fentanyl: Deadly in Delaware, tops heroin for America's deadliest drug (The News Journal)

Cocaine

Kratom

  • Thailand To Review Medical Marijuana, Kratom Legalization Proposal (The Fix)

  • Fears About Kratom Use During Pregnancy Are Overblown (Filter)

Khat

  • Ethiopia: Khat farming threatens food security, biodiversity, women, and agroforestry (Mongabay)

Miscellaneous

  • Testing drugs at festivals is ‘a lifesaver’, study finds (The Guardian)

  • Let’s Talk About Psychedelic-Induced Psychosis (Psymposia)

  • Where Trump’s Pick For Attorney General Stands On Drug Policy (Marijuana Moment)

  • Surge in young people going into private addiction clinics as poorer addicts 'pushed into gangs' (The Independent)

  • DEA Agent Arrested For Participating In Decade-Long Narcotics Conspiracy And Providing Firearms To Drug Trafficking Organization (U.S. Department of Justice)

  • Russia Is Punishing People for Helping Drug Users (VICE)

  • The Little-Known Way Pharma Companies Hook People On Their Costly Drugs (TIME)

  • One Part of Australia’s Economy Is Booming: Illegal Drugs (Bloomberg)

  • Seven Ways (Just for a Start) the War on Drugs Violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Filter)

  • Does the Law Require the Drug Czar To Lie About Legalization? (Reason)

  • Ambassadors to Hidden Territories: Set and Setting in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy (Chacruna)

  • Politicians and police are killing young Australians (Crikey)

  • One dead and three critical after suspected drug overdoses at Sydney dance party (The Guardian)

  • A doctor wants to know which drugs you'd like to trip on (Rooster Magazine)

  • Why professionals are taking psychedelic drugs in the workplace (Financial Review)

  • A Guide to Dream Market (Dark Net Market/DNM) (Explore Psychedelics)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.