Medicinal Cannabis one step closer to being on the NZ market

The Ministry of Health now has the ability to provide medicinal cannabis for people with terminal or life threatening illness; but the process may not be any easier than it previously was.

Until now, the final decision over medicinal cannabis usage has rested with the Minister. Medical specialists will now be able to apply to the Ministry of Health on behalf of their patients.

But there is no confirmation that the process will be any less regulated than it has been before, even without the Minister being involved. Dunne’s announcement doesn’t clarify if medicinal cannabis will be available to everyone, nor does it speculate the price of the medicinal products.

Clearly, Dunne’s announcement is a direct answer to the promises that the Labour Party made earlier in the week. During a Facebook Live interview, Labour leader Andrew Little said that medicinal cannabis would be made legal “pretty quickly” in New Zealand if his party was elected this year.

In December last year, the Green Party said that it would legalise all cannabis for personal use. Today, the Green Party labelled Dunne’s announcement as “a step in the right direction”, while an Otago University professor warned the Ministry of Health to take a cautious approach.

Some argue that medicinal cannabis’ ability to relief pain isn’t convincing enough for a roll out, calling it an “emerging form of medicine”. For people with terminal illness, the benefits of medicinal cannabis are many, but there is a different discussion to be had for those who don’t fall under that category.

 

Illegal drug use amongst disabled people is happening

People with muscle conditions need to exercise caution when it comes to the recreational use of marijuana.

(Photo credit: Tumblr via Google Images)

The illegal use of recreational marijuana amongst the disabled community is on the rise, and in some cases, is being provided to disabled people free of charge by friends who source from dealers.

Users in Hamilton and the Auckland area have come forward and admitted doing marijuana recreationally. Those users said they chose to do the drug despite knowing how detrimental it could be to their health.

Some disabled users say that recreational use of marijuana, or weed, is beneficial to their health battle.

However, prior to legalisation, it is still criminal activity, but the effects on a disabled person could be far greater than the law.

Recreational use of marijuana can hardly be justified in the case of a person living with a physical disability.

The THC is what gets the user high, recreational users are chasing the high, not the unproven health benefits it supposedly gives.

Not in all cases, but recreational use of marijuana is usually where the user takes the drug for the ‘high’ effect. Recreational marijuana, or weed, has a higher THC rate than its medicinal counterpart, and the side effects play directly into some of the traps that have claimed the lives of a lot of physically disabled people in New Zealand and around the world.

This includes people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Phenomena and heart attacks have been two of the big symptoms that Duchenne sufferers have passed away from.
The higher THC rate, coupled with the proven effects of weakening motor functions, increasing heart rate, and an aider for depression, users who smoke marijuana recreationally are, while it is their choice, chasing a ‘high’ that is potentially life-threatening.

No death due to marijuana use has been proven, regardless of any disability.

Julian Crawford: Total legalisation of cannabis would be benifical to New Zealand

In New Zealand, one person is arrested every 25 minutes for Cannabis possession, dealing, or holding. According to Julian Crawford and his Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, this just isn’t good for the country.

Cannabis leaf

Crawford and his party want total legalisation of cannabis in New Zealand, allowing people to use the drug for recreational, spiritual, medicinal, and industrial purposes. They propose home growing also, which would see people being able to grow cannabis in their own home and not be criminalised for it.

Julian Crawford said “we want the legalise cannabis issue on the political agenda”.

According to Crawford, an ounce of cannabis (28g) can cost anywhere between $300 and $500. For smaller amounts, $20 is the price for a single gram. The average purchase, which is said to last the user anywhere between four days to a week, costs $50 for 3 grams.

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The party is also keen on bringing in Cannabis Cafes, where people would be able to go in and smoke or purchase cannabis much like at a restaurant.

“There would be dispensaries where you would be able to buy cannabis and sit down with other people to socialize and consume that cannabis. We are going to have look at what smoke free regulations are in terms of having some outside areas. We will also look at using vaporizers as a safer form of using cannabis.”

Licenses would be issued to Cannabis Cafes through an application to the government.

Crawford also wants to see cannabis legalised for medicinal purposes.

“It is a high priority that cannabis gets legalised for medicinal purposes especially, people who need it urgently with conditions like epilepsy, and we have seen a large reduction in seizures.”

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party states that the revenue to the New Zealand Economy through legalising cannabis would be at around the $1billion mark, but only a quarter of that would come from recreational use, and another quarter would come from freeing up the money currently spent on forcing prohibition.

A big focus in the policy that the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has put forward is that under their control, young children and anybody under the age of 18 could not use cannabis by law.

But how is this regulated and controlled?

With home growing being legal under their policy, it would be a push to assume that children in the house wouldn’t either have access to cannabis, or be given it by other people. Crawford argues that the situation is no different than alcohol, where parents would have to be responsible and not expose their young to cannabis.

“We can’t know for certain but we would still make it an offense for an adult to supply cannabis to a child.”

Under the current law, many are already growing cannabis illegally in New Zealand, and young people are already using.

Some could see Julian Crawford and his party as potentially making a growing problem worse rather than rectifying it.

Despite the lack of attention that the party receives from the major oppositions in parliament, Crawford and his Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party remain committed to lobbying government. In their minds, legalising cannabis could change New Zealand for the better, but some of their policies particularly around the claims that cannabis would not be accessible to young children need to be seriously looked at.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is aware of the risks its policies have, but feels the upside of cannabis being legal in New Zealand is fruitful, not only for users, but for everyone.