Moves to make it easier for patients to get cannabis-based medication
for pain relief or symptom control have been welcomed by Northland's
medical marijuana campaigners.
However, some say the change doesn't go far enough or do anything to
help patients to pay for medical cannabis.
Last week Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced that people
who wanted to use non-pharmaceutical cannabis products, which are made
from cannabis but with less rigorous standards than those applied to
pharmaceuticals, no longer need to get approval from the Minister of
[continues 598 words]
Studies show older generation are more likely to drink too much and smoke
Given more than half of US states allow medical marijuana use, some
seniors may be turning to it to treat the ailments of old age.
Fewer teens are using drugs or alcohol than at any point in the past few
Indeed, while anti-drug campaigns still encourage parents to talk to their
teens about drugs before someone else does, two recent US studies suggest
there's another high-risk population we should be worried about: our kids'
[continues 903 words]
The outgoing boss of the New Zealand Police Association says a tour
of cannabis-friendly countries was an eye-opener, but hasn't
convinced him New Zealand should follow suit.
Greg O'Connor spent time travelling through Portugal, Spain, the
Netherlands and Colorado, in the United States, seeing firsthand the
effects of both decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis.
He says while it has not inspired him to change his stance, it has
given him a much greater understanding of the issues.
[continues 204 words]
Nearly 30 years ago my then 40- year-old husband was diagnosed with
cancer. Two years later and after several operations, the cancer
returned and nothing more could be done. His life over, his last
couple of years consisted of radiotherapy, operations and daily doses
of morphine. We were told that even with the cancer he had, he would
never have to be in pain, due to the morphine. What we weren't told
was the side effects of the morphine - nightmares, hallucinations and
not being able to eat. We ended up taking turns to sit with him
during the night to talk him through the hallucinations. He tried
halving the morphine dose but was then in a lot of pain.
[continues 88 words]
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research - a group better known
for its views on inflation targeting and GDP growth - says New
Zealand should move "sooner rather than later" to legalise marijuana
which would generate a net gain of $300 million to the government accounts.
Drawing on Treasury research which found that legalising could reap
$150m in new government revenue and reduce spending on drug
enforcement by around $180m, NZIER principal economist Peter Wilson
concludes that legalisation, combined with heavy taxation, regulation
and education would be a better way of reducing social harm from the drug.
[continues 205 words]
It's interesting being a criminal. I spent the past 30 years being a
relatively model citizen. Then I got diagnosed with terminal cancer
in multiple sites. I have turned into a criminal to survive, thrive
and stay alive.
And indeed thanks to medical marijuana, I am surviving, I am thriving
and I am alive to parent. I am alive to be with friends, to be
political, to make plans, to get fit, to read, to continue learning,
to love, to laugh and sometimes to cry.
[continues 90 words]
If a referendum was held on legalising cannabis for personal use,
would you support it? You'd have to be off your scone. The New
Zealand Drug Foundation (NZDF) has been crowing about the results of
its self-selecting poll, indicating broad public support for
decriminalising cannabis for personal use. Rebecca Reider made
history over the weekend by bringing the first legal raw cannabis
flower into New Zealand, campaigners say.
The NZDF has steadily become a strident proponent for law reform, to
the point that they now sound more like glorified pushers,
campaigning for "the removal of criminal penalties for drug use,
possession and social supply."
[continues 544 words]
Imagine a natural product with medicinal benefits that human beings
have used for centuries. A product so popular that its sale has
funded the activities of certain enterprises for generations. A
product used by people young and old, well and unwell, rich and poor.
One would assume that the tax revenue from this product would be
significant. That its popularity would demand responsible regulation
to protect both the industry and consumers. That its widely reported
pain-relieving qualities would be utilised to provide relief to
sufferers of chronic pain. That gangs would be the last "businesses"
we'd want to be responsible for its sale. It would seem like a no-
brainer. Unless that product is cannabis. We've been waging war on
drug users for close to 20 years, since the UN's General Assembly
Special Session on Drug Control in 1998. The goal of that session was
to eradicate illicit drug-use by 2008. It was a mission that failed
[continues 693 words]
My generation has a lot to answer for. Recreational drugs, for
example or as former Wellington coroner Garry Evans preferred to call
them, "wreckreational drugs".
Mine was the generation that rebelled against the values of its parents.
We were smug and spoilt, with plenty of time on our hands to reflect
on how wrong our elders were about everything.
We rejected their dreary, conformist moral values.
"If it feels good, do it" became the catch-cry of a generation.
And it did feel good for a while. But then the casualties began to pile up.
[continues 661 words]
Both National and Labour have distanced themselves from a survey
reported in the Herald that a majority of New Zealanders want the
laws relating to cannabis to change.
The Prime Minister explained that supporting a change in our drug
laws would send the wrong message to our youth.
Key is correct to be concerned.
Cannabis is increasing in potency.
It can cause psychosis in some people and be a gateway drug in some instances.
If a person becomes addicted, it has the capacity to diminish their
life over the long term. Although cannabis does not cause as much
damage as legal drugs like alcohol or tobacco or illegal drugs like
methamphetamine, it still comes with clear risks.
[continues 659 words]
John Key's response to the survey showing 80 per cent of us want
medical marijuana legalised and 64 per cent would like ordinary
marijuana legalised or at least decriminalised was very interesting.
While saying that "would send the wrong message to our young people",
he added that he understood the police were already "turning a blind
eye" in many cases. If this is true, it reveals a disturbing attitude
to the law among both those who make these laws and those who enforce
them. It may be time to remember the old saying, "Never make a law
you can't enforce" for ignoring or defying one law tends to reduce
respect for all.
Jeanette Grant, Mt Eden.
To use the term marijuana as in being legalised, is deceptive and
dangerous. One's use of medicinal marijuana to relieve pain is fully
justifiable. The smoking of marijuana as a weed sold on the street is
not. The latter, even with small usage, kills brain cells, is linked
to deaths on the road, long term damage to the lungs and it
accentuates depression from those already suffering from it. Any
literature being promoted by the press needs to make a very clear
distinction between the two.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
NEW Zealand Prime Minister John Key says decriminalising cannabis
would send the wrong message to young people.
A new poll shows almost 65% of New Zealanders want personal
possession of cannabis decriminalised or made legal and only 16%
believe use of cannabis for pain relief should be illegal.
Even among voters who support the more conservative ruling National
party there is majority support for the law on personal possession to
But Mr Key told radio station Newstalk ZB yesterday that he did not
think changing the law would be a wise move.
[continues 112 words]
Almost 65 per cent of New Zealanders are in favour of legalising or
decriminalising cannabis, according to a new survey.
The NZ Drug Foundation poll found 64 per cent of respondents think
possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use should be
either legal (33 per cent) or decriminalised (31 per cent).
However, 34 per cent of the 15,000 Kiwis surveyed were in favour of
possession of the class C drug remaining illegal.
NZ Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said it was the first
time such a strong majority had been in favour of reforming the drug
laws relating to cannabis.
[continues 296 words]
Prime Minister John Key says decriminalising cannabis would send the
wrong message to young people - and he isn't keen on holding a
referendum on the issue.
A new poll shows almost 65 per cent of New Zealanders want personal
possession of cannabis decriminalised or made legal.
Even more support letting people use cannabis for pain relief - only
16 per cent want that to be criminal.
Key said yesterday that in his view changing the law would send the
wrong message to younger people.
[continues 184 words]
Now that it is blindingly obvious how harmful and expensive the
prohibition of cannabis is, the new question is "Why?" Why are Nick
Smith and Peter Dunne so determined to keep their heads buried deep
in the sand on the realities of the cannabis issue? The recent
Treasury information pried from government files by our astute local
lawyer Sue Grey and the use of the OIA, supplies truckloads of valid
observations as to the fiscal disaster The War on Drugs is creating,
in addition to the acknowledged harm to society.
[continues 97 words]
Treasury ' Brainstorming' Paper Shows Government Up $ 500m With Legalisation
Long Bay High School principal Russell Brooke has urged parents not
to smoke cannabis in front of their children.
The advocates of decriminalising cannabis now have an economic case
to press. A Treasury official, in a document prepared for a
brainstorming session, suggested the Government could save more than
$ 500 million a year legalising the popular drug.
The report, intended for internal use but seemingly based on robust
calculations, suggested tax from a legal cannabis industry could be
worth $ 150m, with annual savings of $ 400m from lower policing costs.
[continues 528 words]
Decriminalising cannabis would generate money for the Government and
ease pressure on New Zealand's courts according to an informal Treasury report.
The documents obtained under the Official Information Act by Nelson
lawyer Sue Grey came from an internal Treasury forum "to test policy
thinking on a range of issues in the public domain," Finance Minister
Bill English said.
The documents reveal Government spends about $400 million annually
enforcing prohibition whereas decriminalisation would generate about
$150m in revenue from taxing cannabis.
[continues 427 words]
There are urgent calls from many sectors of our society for our
government to end the ineffective, expensive and irrational war on
drugs. Police advise that they spend $230m a year on cannabis
"crime". Beverley Aldridge, president of the Otamatea Grey Power
branch, said that the branch voted unanimously to create a petition
to re-legalise cannabis. Her petition acknowledges the fact that
cannabis has been used legally for centuries before the demonisation
and subsequent prohibition of this useful plant in 1961.
[continues 117 words]
Cannabis decriminalisation could happen through a citizen-initiated
referendum, says reform advocate Helen Kelly.
At a public meeting at Auckland's Town Hall last night on the effects
of cannabis law, Ms Kelly said she hoped a referendum could be pushed
through by a dedicated team of volunteers.
About 60 people were at the launch of the "Let's Start The
Conversation" campaign, which also featured AUT professor and
cannabis legalisation advocate Max Abbott, and Warren Young of the
New Zealand Law Commission.
[continues 112 words]
It seems Peter Dunne (June 13) is as misinformed about me, as much as
he is about medicinal cannabis.
I have not been part of Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party for four years.
Peter Dunne is more interested in vilifying me, rather than proving
my comments false. Because he cannot.
When he claims my ignorance about his stance on medicinal cannabis,
does he mean I'm unaware of his introduced bill, to test harm in
drugs, that banned cannabis from being tested.
[continues 134 words]
"Nanogirl" Michelle Dickinson's article on the dangers of cannabis to
teens isn't bad, but coming from someone who says she "is passionate
about getting Kiwis hooked on science" it doesn't do very well on
She mentions a US state of Washington study by the AAA which reports
fatal car accidents involving drivers who recently used marijuana has
more than doubled since legalisation, which is fine - but she brings
this up as an example of how cannabis can negatively affect road
safety, and the AAA study shows nothing of the kind. In fact, fatal
accidents have dropped in Washington state as well as other states
where cannabis has been legalised - a decrease of up to 11 per cent
in the first year after legalisation.
[continues 97 words]
People in Over- 55 Age Group Are NZ's Most Prolific Users
Cannabis is one of the most widely available illicit drugs in New
Zealand - but what impact is it having on our wellbeing?
Research from the 2015 New Zealand Health Survey shows that 11 per
cent of people aged over 15 have used cannabis in the past 12 months,
with one third of this group using it at least weekly.
The survey shows it is most widely used by people aged 15 to 24, with
23 per cent of this group having used it in the past year - but when
it comes to regularity of use, the over- 55s are the most prolific users.
[continues 458 words]
The seizure of industrial quantities of methamphetamine near Ahipara
this week should spark a bit of stocktaking. The drug bust will be
remembered for the sheer quantity of the attempted importation and
the comic incompetence of the criminals. (It's interesting the drug
runners' ineptitude has been the object of more scathing comment than
the importation itself.)
The police appear to have been completely unaware of the audacious if
bungled operation until locals twigged to something unusual going on.
If the police were genuinely taken by surprise, the war on drugs is
surely in a parlous state. Not that the authorities have ever looked
like winning the war which has been an abject failure around the world.
[continues 729 words]
Once again we see another suffering New Zealander on TV news who is
having great difficulties getting the only medicine that really helps
him, medicinal cannabis.
The caregiver of this poor man said that once he started taking
Sativex [pharmaceutical cannabis product from overseas], he enjoyed
his first good nights of sleep, a reduction in symptoms, had a
welcome, healthy appetite and actually "felt good". Sativex costs
Peter Dunne is insisting that these victims of serious health
problems must pay heavily and jump through many hoops in order to get
access to a cannabis product.
[continues 115 words]
Medicinal cannabis advocates in Nelson are among those wanting
international input after a "disappointing" review of guidelines for the drug.
A Government review of the guidelines released last month said five
medical professionals who had made at least one application to
prescribe approved medicinal cannabis product Sativex unanimously
supported the current rules, suggesting only minor changes.
Requirements that all other treatment options should be exhausted to
gain approval for Sativex and to be hospitalised if taking
unapproved, cannabis-based medicine were removed but several
advocates said the review didn't go far enough.
[continues 459 words]
Gum disease is one of the few physical health problems associated
with cannabis use, according to new research on more than 1000 New Zealanders.
As the most widely used illegal drug in the world, understanding the
long-term effects of cannabis is a global priority. However, lead
author Madeline Meier cautioned recreational users.
"We don't want people to think: Hey, marijuana can't hurt me; because
other studies on this same sample of New Zealanders have shown that
marijuana use is associated with increased risk of psychotic illness,
IQ decline and downward socioeconomic mobility."
[continues 359 words]
I am dumbfounded at the results of the recent medicinal marijuana review.
These politicians should witness first hand-the way this drug can
ease the pain and suffering of sick people. Whose many uses, only now
the drug has been legalised in Colorado, can finally be studied. The
list is seemingly endless. From seizures to skin cancer. No wonder
the pharmaceutical companies are scared. To use this natural herb for
relief is only possible with political intervention, but addictive
opiates and other heavy drugs, which often need further drugs to
counteract the effects of the first, can be easily prescribed. In the
US, veterans are committing suicide, often on the opiates they are
prescribed which arrive without any counselling. Parents have to move
country or state to relieve the suffering of their children or loved
ones. Where is the reasoning? It has been used medicinally
cross-culturally for 5000 years. How much more pain and suffering do
people have to endure?
How long would you wait if it was your loved one?
Takaka, June 2
Terminally ill Helen Kelly says the Government has made her a criminal
after a review of medicinal cannabis guidelines has resulted in little
More than a year ago the former Council of Trade Unions president was
diagnosed with lung cancer and after trying a variety of different
medications she resorted to cannabis for pain relief.
Kelly is illegally sourcing her own drugs after her bid for medicinal
cannabis was withdrawn - the result of a ''complicated'' application
process that required information that was ''impossible to access''.
[continues 388 words]
I am disturbed that the Nelson Mail now appears to be publishing
mostly material supporting pot smoking.
Surely there could be a better balance of views.
I doubt young people at risk read the newspapers these days, but
cannabis, however used, is a drug, and there is plenty of evidence it
leads on to harder drugs.
The word recreational should never be applied to it, it is neither a
sport nor a harmless hobby.
Cannabis is not a suitable medical response to any self-diagnosed
medical problem, and the medical profession should be more forthright
In any case, those who would like to think of themselves as adult,
and publicly support cannabis use, should take a good look at themselves.
Young people are watching.
On May 2, TV3's Story ran a poll asking "should medicinal cannabis be
legal in NZ?" , which returned a 97 per cent "yes" response. So
what's the hold up? California has had medicinal cannabis for 20
years, without any negative outcomes. Twenty-four out of 52 states
have legalised medicinal cannabis, and considering that the US was
the sole driver in prohibiting cannabis. Quality isn't the problem,
because as soon as you regulate the market (taking it away from
gangs) you have quality product. Overdosing isn't an issue, as no one
in the history of cannabis use has ever died from it.Our style of
governance is a democracy, which means the will of the people is
taken into account. But is it? When politicians were asked about law
change, most responded with their own personal belief. Cannabis has
so many benefits that it shouldn't be left as a "last resort"
medicine. More than just the terminally ill can benefit from this
amazing plant. Please push for the model currently used in America.
Takaka, May 2
Tax the Stuff, Build More Schools and Watch Crime Go Down
For many in New Zealand it's easier to get hold of marijuana than
alcohol. And yet it's still super illegal. It seems strange a
conservative country like the United States has states legalising
cannabis when here in New Zealand - one of the biggest consumers of
weed per capita - we're not even close.
Obviously Kiwis are divided on the issue. On one side it seems harsh
that people should go to jail for simple horticulture. On the other
side, weed makes boring things less boring, causing teens to waste
their lives doing pointless stuff. Equally, surely people should be
allowed to choose what they put inside their own bodies? Even then,
pro-weed people might not like the taxation that comes with legalisation.
[continues 574 words]
Try to imagine the future and you'll inevitably find it has bypassed
you entirely, bringing a new present instead, part tragedy and part
farce. Cannabis is a fine example. I well remember when it came into
our lives, bringing new heights of paranoia with it.
It was a time of student rebellion.
It was a time of love-ins. It was a time of young blokes you knew
wearing beads and growing wispy beards. We read Blake.
We discovered Robert Crumb and listened to John Coltrane.
[continues 612 words]
Why do some political leaders change their tune on drugs once they're
no longer actively involved in politics? Last week the first United
Nations general assembly special session (UNgass) on drugs for 18
years endorsed the prohibitionist approach that has cost so much and
achieved so little.
It was criticised by perhaps the most high-powered advisory body in
international affairs. The Global Commission on Drug Policy's (GCDP)
22 members include eight former presidents or prime ministers and a
former US Secretary of State, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and
[continues 622 words]
Nelsonians wanting a medicinal cannabis prescription are struggling
to gain approval because of the lack of appropriate pain specialists
in the region.
Medicinal Cannabis Awareness New Zealand trustee Shane Le Brun said
no Nelson doctor has prescribed medicinal cannabis spray Sativex as
yet, despite a number of chronic pain sufferers and their families
clamouring for access.
The greatest barrier was the lack of a pain clinic in the Nelson
region, he said.
"No one even has a show of getting it in Nelson at the moment. It's
such a rigmarole patients are a bit hesitant to go shopping [around] for it.
[continues 376 words]
Cannabis conversations are smoking in Nelson.
In just one hour, more than 250 signatures of support were collected
at a medicinal cannabis rally at the Church Steps.
The gathering on Saturday saw people from all walks of life attend -
families with children, the elderly and business people.
They were there to support legal medicinal cannabis use, or listen to
what has become one of New Zealand's greatest debates since passing
the law on gay marriage.
In a push to decriminalise the use of medicinal cannabis, Rose Renton
- - mother of teenager Alex Renton, who was prescribed medicinal
cannabis use of the drug shortly before his death last year -
addressed the scattered crowd who wore green in support of the
petition she promoted. She pleaded with everyone there to keep the
[continues 431 words]
MINISTRY of Health officials tried to get an intelligence report on
cannabis harm recalled because of "significant concerns" about its
quality but police refused.
The report, New Cannabis: The Cornerstone of Illicit Drug Harm in New
Zealand, said cannabis was getting stronger and putting more than
2000 people a year in hospital.
It was produced by analyst Les Maxwell of the National Drug
Intelligence Bureau, a police-led agency also involving Customs and Health.
Senior police lauded the work as the first real assessment of
cannabis harm, but sources say controversy around the way it was
released led to a major review of the governance of the NDIB.
[continues 488 words]
Professor Doug Sellman is wrong to believe "the days of cannabis
prohibition in New Zealand appear to be coming to an end." New
Zealanders need to be aware of a smokescreen around this issue.
Politicians need to reject knee-jerk law changes and understand the
real agenda behind liberalising drug laws and also the potential
abuse of medicinal marijuana.
The Government is right to be cautious around this issue, but there
must also be a compassionate response to those in real need.
[continues 559 words]
A "change in direction" for New Zealand's drug policy is not a move
towards cannabis decriminalisation, Associate Health Minister Peter
Dunne says. Dunne is in New York for a special UN session on drug
policy, and told TVNZ that the Government would push for a more
"health-centred" approach. However, that did not mean
decriminalisation, he said. "There's no majority in Parliament for
doing that, so that's not going to happen, and people who think that
that day's just around the corner are sadly forlorn."
New Zealand's first medicinal cannabis charity is fundraising to
provide patients with the unfunded drugs.
Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand (MCANZ) became a registered
charity on Friday.
Co-ordinator Shane Le Brun said it had launched a fundraising
campaign, initially to fund Sativex for 10 patients.
Sativex is the only approved cannabis-derived pharmaceutical
available in New Zealand. The orally administered spray requires
ministerial approval before it can be prescribed.
"Approximately 30 Kiwis now have active prescriptions for Sativex but
MCANZ believes many more New Zealanders could benefit from this
medication," Le Brun said.
[continues 452 words]
Money From the Sale of Cannabis Plants and Resin Would Have a Huge
Economic Impact on Society. Richard Meadows Reports.
Auckland's Hemp Store is looking flash. It's added a little cafe
during its move to the gentrifying K Road area, on the hill above the
CBD. Inside, manager Chris Fowlie is spinning discs and making
coffees. All manner of balms, bongs and books line the shelves.
Tables are set up at the perfect rolling height. Fowlie knows which
way the smoke is blowing. He was in Colorado the day cannabis became
legal. Three other states have followed suit, and about 20 more plan
to put it to the vote this year. Canada has promised to legalise pot.
Victoria has just become the first Australian state to give medicinal
use the green light. "That makes it unstoppable here, and I think the
Government recognises that," says Fowlie.
[continues 1254 words]
An international conference at the United Nations headquarters in New
York this week is expected to agree that the UN's "war on drugs" is
over, and it has failed. In its place, delegates will probably agree,
certain drugs should be decriminalised and treated as a health
problem. Most people will probably agree, particularly where cannabis
is concerned. Smoking the leaf of a plant that is fairly easily
cultivated has proved impossible to stamp out, and a charge of
possession of cannabis has long ranked as one of the most common and
least serious of criminal offences in countries such as ours.
[continues 437 words]
Chris Fowlie started fighting for cannabis law reform in his
university days. Twenty-four years later, the National Organisation
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml) president believes the tide
of public opinion is changing.
Fowlie wants a moratorium on arrests for cannabis possession, saying
it's impossible to have a fair discussion when one side is deemed criminal.
A regulated cannabis market could generate half a billion dollars,
investigations show, but the Government is still saying 'nope' to legal dope.
[continues 343 words]
An Unemployed West Auckland Man Has Proven That Police Claims About
Cannabis Hospital Admissions Were False. Tony Wall Reports.
The headline figures from a police intelligence report caught Steve
Dawson's attention. Cannabis was causing 2000 hospital admissions a
year costing more than $30 million, and was the "cornerstone" of drug
harm in this country.
"I'd never met any of the 2000 a year who were clogging up the
hospitals - you know, the stoned wandering the streets and A&Es
saying 'help me!' - so I thought I'd look into it," he says.
[continues 1416 words]
As Drugs, Cash, Guns, Houses, Vehicles Seized, Police Ask Community
To Make A Stand Against 'insidious' Drug And Say They Can't Do It Alone.
POLICE were appalled during the latest big drug operation here to see
children in homes where "P" was being dealt and the officer in charge
of the raids says the community "must stand against this insidious drug".
In the past 10 days the operation has resulted in 41 arrests around
Gisborne and court orders that restrain property worth $3.8 million
owned by some of the arrested people.
[continues 381 words]
It does not make sense that a country like New Zealand, which is at
the leading edge of everything from rocket launches to mountain
climbing, should be so woefully behind when it comes to cannabis realities.
With the "war on drugs" being called a total failure by the most
prominent global experts, we are starting to look suspiciously
resistant to dumping the expensive, ineffective prohibition of cannabis.
Are we happy to support overseas drug companies that sell cannabis
pharmaceuticals for outrageous prices? Are we happy to deny suffering
Kiwis the right to choose a drug that can give them relief? How cruel is that?
[continues 102 words]
I was astonished to read the ignorant statements about cannabis made
by Minister of Health, Jonathan Coleman.
With widespread media attention on medicinal cannabis, you would
think he would have availed himself to accurate information.
The cannabis plant and tinctures have been used for centuries, until
the strange "War on Drugs" launched from America.
Subsequent drug prohibition resulted in the same disaster that
alcohol prohibition created, it did not diminish use, it simply went
underground, ultimately causing more harm.
Recent global medical and economic experts have declared the "War on
Drugs" a total failure. There is no argument. The misguided war has
caused more harm than it has prevented. Every state and country that
has initiated decriminalization of drugs has proven the scaremongers
to be completely wrong, there was no chaos as a result. There can be
no excuse for continuing the expensive, ineffective, harmful and
heartless war on drugs. We could benefit greatly by changing our
$200,000,000 drug prohibition industry of policing, prosecuting and
incarceration, into a New Zealand medicinal cannabis industry. Why
should we pay ridiculous prices for imported pharmaceutical cannabis
products? Our politicians seem to need help relinquishing their
cruel, punitive and misinformed attitudes towards cannabis.
The excited front-page report on medicinal cannabis ( Weekend Herald
April 2) made no attempt to discuss how medicinal cannabis is best
administered. This is a crucial aspect on which to inform the public
about any medicine. Readers might assume you are promoting its
administration via smoking.
Smoking is the least appropriate way to take it for medical use
because there is no control over dosage or purity, and the tar in
cannabis smoke is just as dangerous to lung health as the tar in tobacco smoke.
We should not confuse the debate about legalising cannabis for
medical use with the debate about legalising it for recreational smoking.
Bill Keir, Hokianga.