Medical Cannabis March – the election special!


NORML and Auckland Patients Group are holding their 5th Medical Cannabis Rally this Saturday 2nd September, and this time – since it’s the election – we are marching down Queen Street too.

Come along and show your support with other patients, caregivers and supporters of safe legal access to natural affordable cannabis.

The Government’s recently announced changes for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, will take effect the following Thursday 7th September.

The good news is that doctors will no longer require special permission to prescribe cannabidiol products, and they will allow up to 2% content of other cannabinoids which means botanically-derived cannabidiol products will (in theory) be allowed. Up until now, only synthetic lab-made cannabidiol products were allowed as all natural sources would contain some trace amount of THC or other cannabinoids.

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The bad news is there are no authorised cannabidiol products for doctors to prescribe, and patients will not be able to import their own even if they have a prescription. It’s possible that imported products may become available here or that products could eventually be made here, but that won’t happen overnight.

One in twenty New Zealanders uses cannabis medicinally. These changes do not go far enough, and criminalisation remains an issue.

Patients need easy, safe and affordable access to natural medical cannabis. These are steps in the right direction, but we are talking about a herb anyone could grow at home. It doesn’t need to be replicated with expensive pharmaceutical alternatives that are unobtainable or unaffordable for most patients. 

Confirmed speakers for the Medical Cannabis March this Saturday include:

  • Pearl Schomburg – Auckland Patients Group
  • Chris Fowlie – President,NORMLNew Zealand Inc
  • Khylee Quince -Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice, Director of Maori and Pacific Advancement, AUT School of Law
  • Prof. Max Abbott – Dean, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Nth Shore), Co-Director National Institute for Public Health & Mental Health Research, Professor Psychology and Public Health
  • Dr Graham Gulbransen – GP & Addiction Specialist
  • Tadhg Stopford – Cannabis Educator
  • Arik Reis – Director of DrugLawed
  • Chris Woodney – Govt relations, NZ Hemp Industries Association
  • Martyn Bradbury – editor, The Daily Blog
  • Cinnamon Whitlock – Maori Party candidate for Kelston
  • Tracey Martin – NZ First MP and spokesperson for Education, Women, Broadcasting and IT
  • Julie Anne Genter – Green Party MP and spokesperson for Health, ACC, Sport & Recreation, Transport, Auckland Issues, Youth and Assoc. Finance.
  • Ricardo Mendénez – Green Party candidate for Mt Roskill
  • Mika Haka – TOP candidate for Auckland Central
  • Vinny Shiriwastow – ALCP candidate for Papakura
  • Maki Herbert – co-leader ALCP
  • Fats White – Musician performing his song ‘Mary Jane’

The wonderful leader of Auckland Patients Group, Pearl Schomburg, will use the rally and march this Saturday to call again on the Police Commissioner, Mr Mike Bush, for a moratorium on medicinal cannabis patients and their supporters “until the unjust laws upholding cannabis prohibition are altered to reflect good science, medical studies and the will of the people as shown by numerous current polls.”

Opinion polls show increasing support for cannabis law reform, and all of our major parties except National now support some form of law change. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern recently said “young people in particular” shouldn’t be doing time for possession, however National Party leader Bill English recently said cannabis should remain illegal.

If this is an important issue for you (as it should be!), then you know how to vote on September 23rd. Only a change of government will see a change in our cannabis laws.

Presented by NORML NZ and Auckland Patient’s Group, this rally is part of our series of monthly rallies intended to raise awareness of medical cannabis, the plight of patients, and options for law reform. Previous rallies were held on 22 April, 1 July and 5 August 2017. 

  • Saturday 2nd September – rally at Noon, march at 2pm
  • Queen Street, opposite Aotea Square

For more information see
Auckland Patients Group Facebook page (
NORML NZ website (


  1. Medicinal cannabis should have been introduced here years ago.
    Decriminalization shouldn’t be far behind for adults. Alcohol has been a big killer/problem with too many social issues costing us millions but has been normalized. And tobacco another big killer. Now we have sugar, some poor food standards with shonky food and poorly manufactured products entering our markets.

    • Me too. I’ve never voted Labour in my life but it was the first time I heard a party leader talk sense. I thought all politicians were just sadistic bastards.

  2. As someone involved with trying to import a medicinal cannabis product at the moment that is freely available in health food stores or online in Europe I can confirm that the current loosening of cannabis regulations is effectively a scam. All CBD products need to go through the same approval process for all other pharmaceuticals via Medsafe which requires a minimum payment of $88,000 just to cover their processing costs with no guarantee of success. The CBD product will have had to have the same testing process carried out on it as ordinary new pharmaceuticals to produce the research material which Medsafe will use to assess it. Obviously this is a huge expense just to do this research all with no guarantee that Medsafe will approve it anyway. Without Medsafe approval it will not be possible to advertise a CBD product to anyone. This is on top of Ministry of Health requirements for licensing requirements to import, store and distribute CBD products on the same basis as pharmaceuticals. And the CBD product can only be gained via a prescription from a Doctor even if these hurdles were overcome. I believe this process is a scam designed to make it look like the government is doing something while knowing full well the regulatory bar is so high no naturally derived Cannabis CBD products will actually make it through to the patients that actually need it. In other words a National political scam that makes sure nothing happens while trying to appear that they are doing something. All the while more and more countries around the world are legalising medicinal cannabis and making CBD freely available even through health food stores or online. Unless Labour gets specific I think they will probably do the same scam as National and promise something which is ultimately designed to fail to get through to patients let alone the general public.

  3. Great to see such a diverse range of political forces coming together to support legal medicinal herb. Great work NORML, APG, and the rest of the coalition who made this protest happen, and I hope it went well.

    I’ve been staying with whānau in a small North Canterbury town and I saw a National hoarding on the side of Highway 1 on which someone had spraypainted a stencil, “no dope, no vote”. I hate people calling ganja “dope”, but that stencil really sums up how much the worm has turned on this issue. My nearly retired mother, who has never used an illegal drug in her life, now supports legalization and regulation of *all* drugs! I look forward to seeing a new government begin the process of drug law reform after the election, and not a moment too soon 🙂

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