Quick Hits: Australia to Legalize Hemp Seed for Food


CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian Government has moved one step closer to approving the legalization of hemp seed as a food product. Low-THC industrial hemp seeds are a staple of diets around the world, even in countries that have prohibited psychoactive cannabis. But on Thursday, Food Standards Australia New Zealand signaled the Australian government of its approval to legalize the hemp seed as food. At issue were concerns over the effect of help seed ingestion on roadside drug testing and the worry that legalizing hemp seed would be seen as approval of cannabis in general.

PORTLAND, Oregon – A nineteen-year-old Native American man is facing one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for possessing a gram of marijuana in a state where an ounce is legal. Devontre Thomas is set for federal trial over the gram that was found in another student’s backpack at the Chemawa Indian School. That student claims Thomas sold the marijuana to him. This is the first time in three years that an Oregon US Attorney has pursued pot possession charges. The school Thomas attended is managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which only recognizes federal marijuana law, not state-level legalization. Thomas has pleaded not guilty to the charge and will face trial in September.

DALLAS, Texas – A new study from the American Heart Association reveals concerns about the effects of secondhand cannabis smoke on the cardiovascular system. The blood vessels of rats in the study took at least three times longer to recover function after only a minute of breathing secondhand marijuana smoke, compared to recovery after a minute of breathing secondhand tobacco smoke. Blood vessel function was examined in rats before and after exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke at levels similar to real-world secondhand tobacco smoke. Researchers also found the mere burning of the plant material appears responsible for the impaired blood vessels, not chemicals like nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, nor rolling paper.

COTTONWOOD, Arizona – An Arizona mom is behind bars after authorities allege she gave her 11- and 12-year-old children marijuana-infused gummi candies. Jessica Barrett, age 34, was arrested and police seized multiple forms of marijuana candies she was given by a friend, Anthea Sanderson Jones, age 35, as payment for babysitting. Jones has a valid medical marijuana card in Arizona; news reports are unclear on Barrett’s status. The two children told their father the candy made them “act crazy”. Barrett is facing two counts of child abuse and two counts of possession of marijuana. Jones was also arrested and charged with illegal transfer of marijuana.

Russ Belville

"Radical" Russ Belville is a blogger, podcaster, and host of The Russ Belville Show, a daily two-hour talk radio show focused on the evolution of the legal marijuana industry in the United States. The program is airing live at 3pm Pacific Time from Portland, Oregon, on CannabisRadio.com, with podcast available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Russ began his marijuana activism in 2005 with Oregon NORML, then in 2009 went on to work for National NORML, and found and direct Portland NORML.in 2015.