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Medicinal Cannabis Bill set to pass Parliament; patients celebrate ambivalently

By   /  December 11, 2018  /  14 Comments

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“A lot of us also have mixed feelings at the moment. New Zealand is catching up with the rest of the world, but this new law has only delivered part of what we hoped for,”

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The Government’s Medicinal Cannabis bill is set to pass its final reading on Tuesday afternoon – a momentous and complicated day for medicinal cannabis patients.

“This is a historic day. From Helen Kelly onward, brave people coming forward and sharing their stories around medicinal cannabis have provoked a law change. Compassion is winning,” said Rebecca Reider, a medicinal cannabis patient and NORML NZ board member. “Let’s celebrate.”

“However, a lot of us also have mixed feelings at the moment. New Zealand is catching up with the rest of the world, but this new law has only delivered part of what we hoped for,” Reider said.

The new law will make prescribing cannabidiol (CBD) more straightforward, and mandates the regulations for a medicinal cannabis scheme to be set within 12 months, including access to local genetics. Until then, some patients will be given a legal defence against charges of procuring, possessing or using cannabis.
As soon as the Medicinal Cannabis Amendment Bill becomes law, dying people who use medicinal cannabis will have a defence in court. But other patients will still be subject to prosecution until the national medicinal cannabis scheme comes online – the details of which are still unclear.
“The legal defence should cover more patients, but it is good that an estimated 25,000 patients will be immediately protected,” said Chris Fowlie, president of NORML New Zealand Inc.
“Allowing varieties that are already established in New Zealand will help support a thriving Kiwi cannabis industry, with a role for genuine breeders and pioneers,” added Mr Fowlie.
One of the biggest disappointments of the Government bill, for many medicinal cannabis advocates, is the ongoing ban on home growing by patients.

“Home cultivation is legal for all medicinal cannabis patients in Canada, as well as the majority of patients in US medicinal cannabis states,” said Reider. “Why are New Zealand’s MPs being so timid? This Government is willing to let big companies grow cannabis for us, but won’t let us continue to do it for ourselves and each other. This is upsetting for many patients, as chronically ill people often don’t have spare cash to buy commercial cannabis.”

Many medicinal cannabis users will be watching the upcoming cannabis referendum process with hope. “New Zealanders on the whole have much more relaxed attitudes about cannabis than our MPs do,” Reider said. “So we hope that in the referendum our fellow citizens will grant everyone the simple right to grow and possess this helpful plant.”

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About the author

Chris Fowlie

Former editor of NORML News, Chris Fowlie is president of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, manager of The Hempstore, and court-recognised expert witness for serious cannabis charges.

14 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    If we can be more liberal and accepting of same sex marriages and peoples sexually then we need to be the same with cannabis laws instead of treating too many kiwis like criminals.

  2. RosieLee says:

    “Why are New Zealand’s MPs being so timid? This Government is willing to let big companies grow cannabis for us, but won’t let us continue to do it for ourselves and each other.”

    Exactly. They’ve caved in to Big Pharma. Just as they do to Big Everything else.

  3. SPC says:

    NZ First is the party dragging its heels … and yet the Labour Party thanked them for allowing medicinal marijuana for those in palliative care.

    The alternative was to do a deal with National.

    • phillip ure says:

      fuck new zealand first – repeat after me – fuck new zealand first…

      a party of soaks and lushes – who celebrate our number one killer-drug..

      and who have stopped real reform..

      fuck new zealand first..!

  4. countryboy says:

    ” The term anal retentive (also anally retentive), often abbreviated to anal,[1] is used to describe a person who pays such attention to detail that it becomes an obsession and may be an annoyance to others, potentially to the detriment of the anal-retentive person. The term derives from Freudian psychoanalysis.”

    That pretty much sums up Nu Zillind and Nu Zillinders as far as I’m concerned.
    While the rest of the ‘developed’ world roars on into its goodnight we cower, shiver and cringe ( How about that, for a legal firm that’s less than successful?)
    “Oh dear no! Can’t be smoking that cannabis stuff. Might inflame the loins and God forbid, we might laugh out loud too! How Godless indeed?”
    Take a look around Nu Zil? Roads? Too narrow. Bridges? Same. Tunnels? Too low and too narrow ( Lyttelton road tunnel was, in fact, built for Matchbox toys. Not many people know that.) Railway tracks? Narrower than, say in the USA. And were designed to transport agrarian goods to ports. But no. Weak kneed and narrow little things. All that effort and expense and we get railway tracks narrower than a presbyterians mind. Feeble British cars. Small, underpowered little things that had an attack of the vapours when they saw a hill. Small windows in earlier housing. High ceilings, gloomy hallways, tiny little windows with the ubiquitous obscure glass in the toilet. Can’t be seen sitting, shitting by the neighbours! Goodness me no.
    Small, half hatched, half arsed, half witted, half done, dull, boring, inane, colourless, dispassionate, can-do, make-do, struggle, suffer, go without, three feeds a day is all ya need…
    No wonder there’re so few of us. We need a committee to write up a document to present to sitting members to consider just to be allowed to shag the missus but not before a permit in duplicate, one of which must be posted on the street corner to invite public submissions… Then? You’re good to go. The problem now though is, that you died while waiting on the committee to convene and the missus has gone past her egg making days.
    Once a society becomes layered in conservatism, that conservatism becomes a mechanism for ‘control’. I always marvel at how easy it is to buy booze at supermarkets. All those lovely labels on wines. I’ve seen Nikau Palms, sandy beaches, beautiful and historic buildings, wispy fields of romantic strollings, cute animals etc but no diseased livers, beaten whanau and cowering children. No labels showing car crashes, or of unwanted pregnancies, or ethanol powered fights between old friends.
    Can I ask? Who was behind lobbying having ethanol pushed in supermarkets? Beside the cheeses and yogurts? At child eye level and in plain sight? Who was that? When did that happen? How did it happen? How did it happen, that a toxic, sugary and addictive poison finds itself in supermarkets yet harmless pot and the users of it can get arrested, imprisoned and rendered unable to travel overseas?
    Who was that? How did that happen… And why?
    I’m going to go and find out. I’ll be right back.
    Here’s a start.
    I particularly like :
    Following the last major review of alcohol laws the current Sale of Liquor Act
    (1989) was established.
    And…
    An exemption in the Act allows supply to minors ‘at a private social function’.

    And then further down…
    Drinking by young people is of particular concern. A large survey of
    secondary school students found that 61% of students are drinking and 34%
    are binge drinking.

    http://www.ahw.org.nz/Portals/5/Resources/Fact%20Sheet/Info%20sheet%20sale%20and%20supply%20of%20liquor%20final%2009.pdf

    So? Who, back in 1989 was lobbying our government to change the booze laws?
    Could it have been ron brierly of BIL? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Brierley
    Did ronnie have something to do with supermarket chains and Progressive Enterprises directly? I can’t seem to find out any involvement he may have had.
    Can someone else shed some light on ronnie and gary’s shenanigans?
    “Ron is direct – he likes to call a spade, a spade.” Blake Nixon, GPG’s managing director”

    That’s perfect then, because I think you’re an evil fucking scum bag ronnie.

    “”Ron and Gary Weiss don’t often come second when they fight, and when they do, they usually walk away with a lot of money.” – Investment banker
    And you might be wondering…? Who the fuck is Weiss?
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10656143

Booze dulls the minds of the masses. It assuages anxiety better than anything. And when you come home exhausted of an evening from working hard to keep ahead of the ever changing rules the above scum bags keep chucking at you, getting pissed on polite wines of the regions works wonders in the short term dahlings.
    But not Pot. Pot causes unstoppable bouts of thinking, of mindful exploring and of socialising. It causes in one, to put two and two together and while not all 2×2’s can equal a nice round 4, it can, never the less, promote thinking and debate. And, of course, many other things. That, by, and of itself must be a worrying annoyance to the corporate criminals who tanked NZ/AO for their sociopathic and narcissistic psychiatric aberrations to cause titillations in them by knowing they’re billionaires while those perceived lessors are losers deserving of living in the gutters so “let us put em there and keep em there.”

    Pot? Law change? Just do it for Christ’s sake. Stop fucking around. Lets get past the mealy mouthed, half-arsed Nu Zillind approach.
    In fact. All recreational drugs. Decriminalise them all. Make them a health issue and fund that by stripping out ACC’s $30 + billion to put into public health then bin ACC. It’s a big fat dead duck and dodgy as fuck.
    And please, please, please…? A royal commission of inquiry into our creepy, greedy, sneaky, freaky corporate past. Before those old Dollar-Fetish zombies die thus slip through the net.

  5. Mark says:

    So, if you have a tonne of money that can buy influence means you get to grow cannabis under some corporate logo but the disabled at the bottom who gets stepped on by society in general will continue being treated like a criminal.
    Other headlines in this country point to the under-funding of disability services, discrepancies in the ACC system and a raft of other examples of neglect towards disabled people.
    To be honest I don’t think the govt cares at all unless you’re donating to their parties….

  6. adam says:

    How nice and caring is this labour government. Just like all austerity governments, the gentle iron glove back hands the poor and disabled on the march to protect profit.

    Kindness, I’m really struggling how anyone can see kindness in this legislation. Wait, no they being nice to those who want to profit of the sick and disabled.

  7. DOC HORRORDAY says:

    They will titrate your access to comfort, even death. They will titrate and meter anything you could possibly want or need including food and water. The model is an abstraction of predation, a kind of farming, totally devoid of anything you might have once thought of as moral. All the necessities of life are therefore warehoused, and you must pay a ransom to receive a ration of life. And you will be worked to death acquiring the funds for the ransom. The question is, are we as good as dead now, or would we actually be better off dead? Your conundrum for the day.

  8. Rickoshay says:

    a very small step in the right direction and after 50 years+ of Prohibition we see exactly the thing we preached against, big business access only cause the rest of us are just criminal scum, i still say make all them politicians walk the plank into a volcano fuk im all, now for the carbon tax revolution

  9. Rosie says:

    About time this govt upheld our own sick people’s human rights to use this plant to assist the sick before they concern themselves with human rights of migrants.

    We have the same human right as Brazil in our own Bill of Rights Acr.

    Why does the HRC allow sections in MODA that are contrary to human rights now upheld by the Courts of Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

    https://www.upi.com/Brazilian-parents-get-judges-OK-to-grow-marijuana-for-sick-son/5341541532878/

  10. Janio says:

    Thank you Countryboy, it’s all horrible but you made me laugh & keep laughing, mainly at us NZers & how stupid we are letting Them get away with it, all the time, as you say so sharply.

    For Godsake, I already got approved by Peter Dunne to have medicinal cannabis for my MS. I (plus many others)didn’t take it up – it cost over $1k a month. So what is bloody changing? Is our Labour-led government supporting the bill because it’s good for business? Lots of you are saying that & we’re all right.

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