The inconvenient truth about US Marijuana legalisations


November 2012 voters in the states of Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives that legalized marijuana for recreational use. Two years later, Alaska and Oregon followed suit. As many as 11 other states may consider similar measures in November 2016, through either ballot initiative or legislative action. Read more »

Dopeheads not welcome in Marijuana debate

Marijuana plants grow under artificial sunlight in one of the many climate-controlled rooms at Tweed Marijuana in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Tweed is one of about 20 companies that are licensed to grow medical marijuana in Canada. Credit Dave Chan for The New York Times

Marijuana plants grow under artificial sunlight in one of the many climate-controlled rooms at Tweed Marijuana in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Tweed is one of about 20 companies that are licensed to grow medical marijuana in Canada. Credit Dave Chan for The New York Times


Nichola Smith is a nurse from the ‘Naki who loves animals and looks for everyday blessings.

Kat Le Brun, by her own admission, is a “grumpy” Christian student teacher from Nelson, and Jacinta, a tiger mother with a quickfire voice.

What do they have in common? Pain. Not bang-your-thumb-with-a-hammer pain, but the sort of pain that lasts as long as you do.

Chronic pain. The sort of pain that you have to accommodate.

Like a bad marriage choice in a country without divorce. It’s there last thing at night and when you wake up in the morning.

They don’t much like it. They don’t believe it should be used recreationally.

They don’t want it universally legalised. God forbid.

If they had the choice they would never smoke it themselves. No way. What would they say at prayer meetings or the PTA. They could be the most unlikely bunch of cannabis campaigners ever. Read more »

The government should replace tobacco tax with cannabis tax

The case is building for the legalisation of cannabis.

Of course, once things are legal you can tax them, and as NZ has a dwindling supply of readily addicted tobacco users to pay wads of tax they should look at the potential for revenue from a cannabis tax.

Is marijuana the new sin-tax gusher for the states? It sure looks that way.

In November, voters in five US states will decide on whether to allow recreational use of the drug, while citizens in four other states have the option of legalising medical marijuana.

Unlike the fierce battles of the past over decriminalisation, resistance by governors, law-enforcement groups and state medical associations is down (though not entirely gone). The ability to collect mountains of new taxes could be a reason, judging from the experience of Colorado, where voters approved medical marijuana in 2000 and legalised its recreational use in 2012.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, Colorado collected $157 million in marijuana taxes, licenses and fees, up 53 percent from a year earlier and almost four times what it has collected in alcohol excise taxes this year. Thanks to marijuana smokers, Colorado’s public schools will receive $42 million, and local governments will get $10 million of the amount collected.   Read more »

Which one is the most harmful, tobacco, marijuana or alcohol?


We asked Whaleoil readers whether tobacco, marijuana or alcohol was the most harmful to society overall. Alcohol was the hands down winner at 73%

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 4.09.00 PM

Read more »

Legalisation of Marijuana for RECREATIONAL use: Whaleoil survey results

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 6.55.57 AM

It was close but the majority of our readership do not want marijuana to be legalised for recreational use.

Those against legalisation expressed concerns about associated health issues or social costs such as people driving under the influence and teenagers getting easier access to it. Some wanted it decriminalised but did not want to go as far as legalisation. One person believed that by legalising marijuana the government would be normalising it.

Those for legalisation said that it would save on  enforcement costs and could be regulated and taxed just like tobacco. Many felt that it is up to individuals to manage their own behaviour. Age restrictions were suggested. The lowest age suggested was 18 and the highest was 25+.One person suggested alcohol-type controls on purchasing and a good legal test to manage driving under the influence. An obviously libertarian writer commented that as long as they’re not harming anyone else, what people do is their own business.




Tell me again why this drug is illegal

Cannabis is an amazing natural substance. Forget the traditional psychoactive effects of the drug and look at the increasing findings of beneficial use of the drug.

It has now been discovered that cannabis is beneficial for halting the march of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory loss, decline in brain function and communication skills are all clear indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. But the brain’s chemistry begins to change long before these telltale signs appear through the accumulation of what are known as amyloid beta proteins. These proteins go on to form brain plaques that correspond with the neurodegenerative disease, but what if it were possible to intervene somehow? Scientists are reporting that exposure to certain compounds in marijuana can cleanse the brain of harmful amyloid beta cells, offering up new clues as to how we might stop the disease in its early stages.

While we are learning more about Alzheimer’s everyday, with new insights into its destructive forces, the development of potential blood tests and treatments to reverse its symptoms being just a few recent breakthroughs in the area, there’s a whole lot we still don’t know.

How exactly the amyloid beta proteins give rise to plaques and in turn wreak havoc on the brain isn’t entirely clear, but that hasn’t stopped researchers working to avert the process altogether. The development of natural molecules, debris-clearing proteins and drugs inspired by snake venom have all shown promise as tools to stop or slow the buildup of plaques.   Read more »

Legalisation does NOT lead to an increase in young people smoking weed

The Washington Post reports:

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows.

In 2015, 21 percent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 percent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalization. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.

“The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally,” the Colorado health department said in a news release.

Read more »

What do you think the biggest health risk is from consuming cannabis?

Do this poll before clicking through to find out the answer:

Read more »

Peter Dunne refuses to consider medicinal cannabis reform

It is time. Peter Dunne has served his purpose, which we have all forgotten what it was, but he’s served it nonetheless.

Time the electoral bus ran him over.

There won’t be any major changes to the current process for approving the use of medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand, following consultation with medical experts.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne asked officials in March to look at whether the current guidelines for assessing applications to prescribe cannabis-based products, including the need for ministerial sign-off, were still fit for purpose.

“The feedback received was unanimously supportive that the guidelines and process are sound,” said Mr Dunne on Thursday.

“The consistent feedback from experts in their field was that cannabis-based products should be treated no differently to other medicines — evidence-based principles should and will continue to be followed.”    Read more »

Colorado Marijuana reform wins over its most vocal opponent

As our politicians suddenly discover their voices on cannabis reform it might do well to note what Colorado’s governor has to say on the issue.

When Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana four years ago, one of the move’s chief critics was Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The moderate Democrat said that if he could “wave a magic wand” to reverse the decision, he would. Then he called voters “reckless” for approving it in the first place, a remark he later downgraded to “risky.”

“Colorado is known for many great things,” Hickenlooper said. “Marijuana should not be one of them.”

But the governor’s views have softened. During a recent panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, he said that despite opposing the legalization of pot, his job was to “deliver on the will of the people of Colorado.”

“If I had that magic wand now, I don’t know if I would wave it,” he said. “It’s beginning to look like it might work.”

It was the latest in a series of comments Hickenlooper has made signaling what looks like an evolution of his views on marijuana. In April last year, during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Hickenlooper said legal weed was “not as vexing as we thought it was going to be.”

And during an appearance on “60 Minutes,” he predicted that Colorado might “actually create a system that could work” in successfully regulating marijuana.

Read more »