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1 New Zealand: Medical Cannabis Change Welcomed By NorthlandSun, 12 Feb 2017
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Graaf, Peter De Area:New Zealand Lines:107 Added:02/16/2017

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 Heath.

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2 New Zealand: Aging Baby Boomers Increasingly Embrace MarijuanaMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:125 Added:12/27/2016

Studies show older generation are more likely to drink too much and smoke marijuana.

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 decades.

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' grandparents.

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3 New Zealand: O'Connor Remains Cannabis AgnosticMon, 29 Aug 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:50 Added:08/29/2016

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.

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4 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Marijuana HelpedSat, 27 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Field, Linda Area:New Zealand Lines:35 Added:08/27/2016

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.

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5 New Zealand: $300m Gain If Pot Legalised - NZIERThu, 25 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Dann, Liam Area:New Zealand Lines:51 Added:08/24/2016

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.

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6 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Marijuana ReliefWed, 24 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Kupa, Rochelle Area:New Zealand Lines:34 Added:08/24/2016

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.

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7 New Zealand: Column: Legalising Cannabis Is Not in theTue, 23 Aug 2016
Source:Press, The (New Zealand) Author:Yardley, Mike Area:New Zealand Lines:103 Added:08/22/2016

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."

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8 New Zealand: Column: Prohibition - It Should Be BannedSat, 20 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Marvelly, Lizzie Area:New Zealand Lines:106 Added:08/20/2016

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 spectacularly.

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9 New Zealand: Column: Decriminalisation Sends a DangerousFri, 19 Aug 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Fresne, Karl Du Area:New Zealand Lines:127 Added:08/19/2016

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.

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10 New Zealand: OPED: Cannabis Here to Stay - It's Law That HasFri, 19 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Gillespie, Alexander Area:New Zealand Lines:107 Added:08/19/2016

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.

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11 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Double Standard On MarijuanaTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Grant, Jeanette Area:New Zealand Lines:25 Added:08/16/2016

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.

[end]

12 New Zealand: LTE: Non-Medical MarijuanaTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Hollis, Gary Area:New Zealand Lines:23 Added:08/16/2016

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.

[end]

13 New Zealand: PM Stands In Way Of NZ Pot ReformTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:Morning Bulletin, The (Australia)          Area:New Zealand Lines:42 Added:08/16/2016

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 be reformed.

But Mr Key told radio station Newstalk ZB yesterday that he did not think changing the law would be a wise move.

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14 New Zealand: Two-Thirds Of Kiwis Favour Drug ReformTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:69 Added:08/16/2016

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.

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15 New Zealand: Key Says He's Against Drug ChangeTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Jones, Nicholas Area:New Zealand Lines:49 Added:08/16/2016

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.

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16 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Defying LogicSat, 30 Jul 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Davis, Victoria Area:New Zealand Lines:35 Added:07/30/2016

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.

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17 New Zealand: Editorial: Numbers on Cannabis Speak forSat, 23 Jul 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:91 Added:07/23/2016

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.

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18 New Zealand: Cannabis Reform Savings 'Millions'Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Moir, Jo Area:New Zealand Lines:81 Added:07/21/2016

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.

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19 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Cannabis ChangeSat, 16 Jul 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Davis, Victoria Area:New Zealand Lines:38 Added:07/18/2016

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.

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20 New Zealand: Kelly Pushes For Dope VoteTue, 28 Jun 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Nichol, Tess Area:New Zealand Lines:40 Added:06/28/2016

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.

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21 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Minister MisinformedTue, 28 Jun 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Wilkinson, Steven Area:New Zealand Lines:47 Added:06/28/2016

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.

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22 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Driving StonedMon, 20 Jun 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Sosnoski, Dennis Area:New Zealand Lines:40 Added:06/20/2016

"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 scientific accuracy.

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.

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23 New Zealand: Column: Study Reveals Bad News for Toking TeensSat, 18 Jun 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Dickinson, Michelle Area:New Zealand Lines:82 Added:06/18/2016

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.

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24 New Zealand: Column: Drugs Can Be Made SaferSat, 18 Jun 2016
Source:Manawatu Standard (New Zealand) Author:Beynen, Martin Van Area:New Zealand Lines:105 Added:06/17/2016

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.

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25 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Cannabis Industry?Fri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Davis, Victoria Area:New Zealand Lines:45 Added:06/10/2016

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 over $1,000/month.

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.

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26 New Zealand: Medicinal Cannabis Review 'Ignorant'Tue, 07 Jun 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Redmond, Adele Area:New Zealand Lines:87 Added:06/07/2016

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.

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27 New Zealand: Cannabis Harm 'Non-Physical'Sat, 04 Jun 2016
Source:Manawatu Standard (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:72 Added:06/05/2016

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."

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28 New Zealand: Cannabis Harm 'Non-Physical'Sat, 04 Jun 2016
Source:Timaru Herald (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:72 Added:06/05/2016

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."

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29 New Zealand: Cannabis Harm 'Non-Physical'Sat, 04 Jun 2016
Source:Taranaki Daily News (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:72 Added:06/04/2016

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."

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30 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Medicinal MarijuanaFri, 03 Jun 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Jones, Sian Area:New Zealand Lines:35 Added:06/04/2016

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?

Sian Jones

Takaka, June 2

[end]

31 New Zealand: Cannabis Rules 'Made Me A Crim'Fri, 20 May 2016
Source:Dominion Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Moir, Jo Area:New Zealand Lines:79 Added:05/25/2016

Terminally ill Helen Kelly says the Government has made her a criminal after a review of medicinal cannabis guidelines has resulted in little change.

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''.

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32 New Zealand: LTE: Cannabis BalanceSat, 07 May 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Timings, Pat Area:New Zealand Lines:37 Added:05/08/2016

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 about this.

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.

Pat Timings

Golden Bay

[end]

33 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Growing SupportFri, 06 May 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Wilkinson, Steven Area:New Zealand Lines:32 Added:05/06/2016

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.

Steven Wilkinson

Takaka, May 2

[end]

34 New Zealand: Column: Legalising Pot Could Do Us All a World ofMon, 02 May 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Heath, Matt Area:New Zealand Lines:84 Added:05/02/2016

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.

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35 New Zealand: Column: Unacceptable Drug Might BeFri, 29 Apr 2016
Source:Marlborough Express (New Zealand) Author:McLeod, Rosemary Area:New Zealand Lines:112 Added:04/29/2016

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.

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36 New Zealand: Column: Leaving Politics a Cure for Militancy onFri, 29 Apr 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Thomas, Paul Area:New Zealand Lines:91 Added:04/28/2016

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 UN SecretaryGeneral.

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37 New Zealand: Pain Over Nelson's Cannabis Red TapeTue, 26 Apr 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Redmond, Adele Area:New Zealand Lines:74 Added:04/26/2016

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.

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38 New Zealand: NZ 'Needs' Medicinal CannabisMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Long, Jessica Area:New Zealand Lines:96 Added:04/25/2016

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 conversation going.

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39 New Zealand: Police Rejected Warnings on Discredited CannabisSun, 24 Apr 2016
Source:Sunday News (New Zealand) Author:Wall, Tony Area:New Zealand Lines:105 Added:04/24/2016

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.

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40 New Zealand: OPED: Legalising Grass Won't Make Things GreenerTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:McCoskrie, Bob Area:New Zealand Lines:88 Added:04/20/2016

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.

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41 New Zealand: Dunne Shuts Down Talk of Decriminalising CannabisMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Dominion Post, The (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:20 Added:04/19/2016

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."

[end]

42 New Zealand: Charity to Raise Funds to Provide Medical CannabisMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Marlborough Express (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:91 Added:04/19/2016

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.

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43 New Zealand: Cashing In On Legal CannabisSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand) Author:Meadows, Richard Area:New Zealand Lines:190 Added:04/17/2016

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]

44 New Zealand: Editorial: Cannabis Law Ought to Take Wide ViewMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:66 Added:04/17/2016

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]

45 New Zealand: War on Drugs an 'Abject Failure' Yet LegalSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand) Author:Meadows, Richard Area:New Zealand Lines:77 Added:04/17/2016

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]

46 New Zealand: Dope Claims SmokedSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand) Author:Wall, Tony Area:New Zealand Lines:218 Added:04/17/2016

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]

47 New Zealand: Kids At Risk In 'P' HomesWed, 13 Apr 2016
Source:Gisborne Herald (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:83 Added:04/13/2016

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]

48 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Cannabis Ban Illogical And CruelMon, 11 Apr 2016
Source:Dominion Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Davis, Victoria Area:New Zealand Lines:43 Added:04/12/2016

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]

49 New Zealand: PUB LTE: MisinformedWed, 06 Apr 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Davis, Victoria Area:New Zealand Lines:42 Added:04/07/2016

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.

Victoria Davis

Golden Bay

[end]

50 New Zealand: LTE: Medicinal CannabisMon, 04 Apr 2016
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Keir, Bill Area:New Zealand Lines:27 Added:04/05/2016

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.

[end]


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