Category: Drug Offences

‘Game Changing’ Medicinal Cannabis Laws: An Interview with Labor MLC Adam Searle


An Australian politician has finally drafted a law which seeks to provide access to medicinal cannabis and is broad enough to get real product into the hands of patients who desperately need it. Leader of the NSW Opposition in the Legislative Council Adam Searle introduced the Medicinal Cannabis (Compassionate Access) Bill 2018 into the state’s upper ...

Professor Sacked after Reporting that Alcohol is the Most Harmful Drug


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim On October 29 2009, professor David Nutt was the chair of the UK government’s Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs. However, on the following day, he was promptly sacked after publishing a paper that assessed and compared the harms associated with legal and illegal drugs. In the Estimating Drug ...

Women – the Invisible Drug War Casualties: An Interview With IAWUD’s Freedom Vivian


The war on drugs has been waged for close to fifty years now. In 1971, the Nixon administration heralded in this intensification of drug law enforcement, which has resulted in the mass incarceration of people who use drugs, and military interventions in nations of the global south. The backdrop to the war is the international system ...

Making GPs Medical Cannabis-Wise: An Interview with Dr David Caldicott


In the mid-90s, Israeli medicinal chemistry professor Raphael Mechoulam discovered the endocannabinoid system. The professor’s earlier research had already led to the 1964 discovery of THC: the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a set of cell receptors, chemical molecules and enzymes that regulate the human body. This system is crucial in maintaining balance. ...

12 Reasons to Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers


Being charged with a criminal offence can be nerve-wracking. You may be unfamiliar with the process, unsure of the best way forward and concerned about the outcome. But whether you are charged with a less-serious matter such as drug possession, drink driving or common assault, or accused of something as serious as commercial drug supply, complex ...

Facing Prison for Providing Free Cannabis Medicine: An Interview with Jenny Hallam


The benefits of medicinal cannabis have been rediscovered over recent years. Clinical trials and research papers have documented evidence that shows cannabis medicines can treat conditions, such as  chronic pain, seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and multiple sclerosis. In the US, medical marijuana is legal  in 29 states. While the Australian federal government passed legislation in ...

Medical Marijuana Innovation: An Interview With Andrew Kavasilas


In late 1930s Australia, dozens of cannabis-based medicines were widely available, either by prescription or over-the-counter. One of the most popular was Dr J Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne, which was a preparation made from Nepalese cannabis resin. When a Victorian MP suggested that over-the-counter sales of Chlorodyne be stopped, country parliamentarians flew into a rage. The ...

Pill Testing Is Long Overdue: An Interview with Victorian MP Colleen Hartland


The current campaign to trial a pill testing service at an Australian music festival began in February 2016. The push was led by prominent harm reduction advocates Dr Alex Wodak, Dr David Caldicott, and Will Tregoning. The impetus behind the renewed calls to implement this harm minimisation approach were the six drug-related deaths that occurred at ...

The History of Recreational Cannabis in Australia


The recreational use of cannabis in Australia sowed its seeds in Kings Cross in the mid to late 1960s, even though the plant had been outlawed decades earlier. It was introduced into Sydney’s bohemian hub by US servicemen, who were on respite from the Vietnam War. Over the next decade, the use of the drug spread ...

2017 Drug Law Reform in Australia: An Interview with Harm Reduction Advocate Nick Wallis


Australia 21 released its report into illicit substances in March this year. Within it the independent public policy think tank made thirteen recommendations aiming to decriminalise illegal drugs, and to minimise the harms associated with their use. Among its recommendations, the report proposes that law enforcement should be focused on criminal activities associated with illegal drugs, and ...