Deregistered charity ‘Family First’ confused on Cannabis – Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ


As usual one of the strongest voices against patient’s interests is ‘Family First’ the host of the website with a catchy name “Say nope to dope” and the most prominent charity to be stripped of its charitable status as it no longer serves the greater public good.

Family First is consistently against broadening access to Medical Cannabis, despite having a policy supporting pharmaceutical development, they do not grasp the implications of that stance or the key issues with incrementalism.

Says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun:
“The problem with the pharmaceutical model is the cost it forces upon patients and health insurers, Sativex, at $1200 dollars, has about $150 dollars of Cannabis at street prices. Patients who are often on benefits simply cannot afford that, and it would be abhorrent to expect our welfare system to line the pockets of a foreign firm to such an extent.”

“if people think Sativex is pricey, wait until Epidiolex arrives, its likely to cost upwards of 50k per year, and potentially in the 6 figure range for some epileptic children”

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“Canada’s compromise of products halfway between food and pharmaceutical grade is a good compromise on costs, but it should be noted in Canada, the ability to grow ones own medicine is a basic human right forced on the government from the highest courts.”

“For every study Family First cherry picks and cites as justification for his opinion, there is plenty more in support for certain conditions, the National Academy of sciences released a lengthy tome early last year that found significant evidence for chronic pain, which is a leading condition for adult use, and its efficacy is the reason I started MCANZ in the first place.”

“MCANZ has never been for recreational Cannabis, despite the assertions of Family First that all advocates have a secret agenda. We have a razor sharp focus on the best outcomes for patients, it should be noted that several children we have advocated for have died waiting while we tread the legal pathway. The Government’s bill does not improve their chances, which is why we call for broader support of a more aggressive bill.”

“For thousands of patients, Chloe’s bill sanctions what is already happening.” “Is it really in the public interest to be raiding and/or prosecuting amputees, quadriplegics, MS sufferers, those with chronic pain from Trigeminal Neuralgia, Complex regional pain syndrome, failed spine surgeries and the like, I would argue no.”

“We don’t expect Chloe’s Medical Cannabis bill to go unchanged, but with the governments bill all but predetermined, the patients deserve an opportunity to have a robust discussion on the issue.”