Helen Kelly is the next to call out Peter Dunne’s bullshit

It is a red-letter day when Helen Kelly and I are on the same side.

Former CTU head Helen Kelly has labelled Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne’s speech on drug reform “dishonest”.

Her battle to access medicinal cannabis for her terminal lung cancer has unfolded publicly.

She’s currently taking cannabis products she sources illegally to relieve her pain.

Ms Kelly says the product she took last night made her violently ill, and she and other sufferers need a product that’s specialist-approved.

“I’m dying, and it’s considered not good enough for me because somehow it’s going to harm me, it’s ludicrous.”    Read more »

Community minded cops lighten the mood in Turangi

The cops in Turangi are really good with their community involvement sharing their weed with the community.

Grocery shoppers in Turangi on Friday could have been forgiven for thinking they were extras in a Cheech and Chong movie production.

Billowing clouds of marijuana-scented smoke were wafting across from the town’s police station, over the road and into the car park outside the New World supermarket.

Police bosses have apologised to the townsfolk for the accidental inundation of dope-laden vapours, which were emanating from a furnace at the police station where a recently-acquired haul of the illegal harvest was being incinerated.

However their fuming faux pas won’t be forgotten for a while, thanks to video footage shot by a bemused passer-by.

New Plymouth man Adam Green posted a video on Instagram and Facebook of the cannabis clouds drifting past him.    Read more »


Peter Dunne should not be the person who makes medical decisions

In refusing to act on legalisation and putting in place a regime for synthetic cannabis but not including organic cannabis under that same regime Peter Dunne isn’t really the best person to be making decisions on medicinal cannabis on a case by case.

A cannabis-based product has been approved for a patient with severe Tourette’s Syndrome by the Associate Health Minister.

Peter Dunne has approved the use of the non-pharmaceutical grade product Aceso Calm Spray following an application from the person’s treating consultant.

It was chosen based on its low THC content.

Mr Dunne says the product was chosen over Sativex, a product shown to be effective in treating the condition, because of the reduced psychoactive side-effects.

“The application was comprehensive, innovative and considered.”    Read more »

Photo Of The Day


High Times

 The Sisters of Cannabis

Self-proclaimed Nuns Fervently Fight for their Right to Grow Cannabis

The Sisters of the Valley’s “abbey” is a modest three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, in a cul-de-sac next to the railroad tracks. (Sister Kate calls the frequent noise from passing trains “part of our penance”.) When visitors come to the door, Sister Kate asks them to wait outside until she can “sage” them with the smoke from a piece of wood from a Russian tree given to her by a shaman.

Sister Kate lives here with her “second sister”, Sister Darcy, and her youngest son.

But these aren’t your average nuns. The women grow marijuana in the garage, produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves in crockpots in the kitchen, and sell the merchandise through an Etsy store. (Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active ingredients in marijuana that is prized for medicinal qualities and is not psychoactive.) The women perform their tasks wearing long denim skirts, white collared shirts and nun’s habits. And while their “order” is small – last week they ordained their third member, a marijuana grower in Mendocino County known as Sister Rose – they share the same dream as many California startup founders: scaling.

The sisters say they are in touch with women in New Jersey and Washington state who may be interested in joining up. “They’re out buying jean skirts and white blouses,” said Sister Kate. “We want there to be women in every city selling medicine.”

Read more »

Why decriminalisation without regulation is stupid

Finally we are getting some sensible discussion around the decriminalisation of cannabis.

It is going to happen, and inside 10 years…maybe sooner, so it is incumbent on people to pull their heads out of the sand and to start looking at a sensible decriminalisation regime.

Radio NZ has put together an analysis and it is very good.

New Zealand has a number of models to examine if the government seriously considers decriminalising marijuana.

There’s been an explosion in the number of countries and states liberalising its use over the past two decades – some have legalised it entirely, while others have decriminalised it only for medicinal use.

Amsterdam has its infamous coffee shops, which take advantage of a policy of tolerance, Portugal has changed possession to an administrative as opposed to a criminal offence, and in the US four states – Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska – have legalised cannabis, but certain restrictions remain in place.

But what model works best, what impact has decriminalisation had elsewhere, and what would work here?

The question became prominent this week after Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said he was not sure New Zealand’s law was efficient, and he was considering a more tolerant approach.

Police Association president Greg O’Connor then came out and described the US state of Colorado as a ‘model’ given it had tackled both use and supply. He distinguished this from the Netherlands which he said had done nothing to regulate drug dealers.

Mr O’Connor wouldn’t say whether or not he supported the adoption of a Colorado-style approach in New Zealand.

Read more »

Legalising cannabis in UK ‘would raise £1billion a year in taxes’

The Telegraph reports:

Legalising the sale of cannabis in specialist shops could raise £1billion in tax revenues while reducing the harm done to users, a new study has found.

A panel of experts including scientists, academics and police bosses have concluded that the UK should follow some US states in allowing over 18s to purchase cannabis in licensed stores.

Cannabis could also be home-cultivated for personal use and small-scale licensed cannabis social clubs under the proposals.

Just like you can grow tobacco for personal consumption here.

Advertising or branding of cannabis products would be banned and the pricing and packaging of cannabis would be controlled by the Government.

A new regulator would also be created to oversee the industry.

Read more »

And why wouldn’t he? I would

If you are dying from cancer why wouldn’t you use cannabis to ease the suffering?

You’d be dead before it ever made it to court anyway.

The late broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes turned to marijuana before his death, his widow has revealed.

Lady Deborah Holmes said her husband was not a drug user but “in the final weeks it was the one thing that could give him peace and comfort”.

Sir Paul died age 62 in February 2013 after battling heart problems and the return of prostate cancer.

His wife told Herald columnist Brian Rudman that he was allergic to morphine and the alternative concoction of drugs “sent him off to la la land”.   Read more »

Medical marijuana: no longer if, but when

Someone is feeling a bit of pressure:

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 11.11.45 PM

Explaining is losing Peter.

Peter Dunne help provide a legal framework around synthetic cannabis, but seems recalcitrant when it comes to natural cannabis.

There are renewed calls to push through the legalisation of medical cannabis in New Zealand after it was revealed Martin Crowe was self-medicating with liquid marijuana.

The detail around the cricket legend’s use of medicinal marijuana was revealed in a British newspaper.

Crowe fought lymphoma for four years, facing his battle against the illness with as much dignity and grace as he’d shown at the crease.

But since his death it’s been revealed he was forced to use illegal drugs to help manage his pain.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Company members pose on top of a shipment of marijuana. (Photo: Courtesy of Gary Kidd)

Company members pose on top of a shipment of marijuana. (Photo: Courtesy of Gary Kidd)

Surfers, Drug Smuggling and Running from the Law in ‘Coronado High’

So did you hear the one about the group of high school students from a Californian beach town that became the West Coast’s largest drug smuggling operation in the 1970s with the help of their high school Spanish teacher?

Perhaps not. It’s the dirty little secret of an idyllic sun-drenched islet out in San Diego Bay. Coronado in the late 1960s was an easygoing beach town, ‘where everyone who was hip on the island knew everybody on the island who was hip’.

Lou Villar was a young, handsome and charming Spanish teacher at Coronado High, who was known as the cool bohemian teacher amongst students, driving into the parking lot with his red corvette and RayBan shades. He also coached swimming, basketball and water polo at Coronado High, which enrolled a lot kids from strict military families in the navy.

By 1969, on the eve of Woodstock, where Lou had once been a counselor for anti-drug projects at the high school, he now became the teacher with whom it was rumoured you could try your first joint. He brought turntables to class and played records by The Doors, whose frontman Jim Morrison was a native of Coronado. The same year he quit teaching, took up surfing, traded in his corvette for a VW van and was no longer part of ‘the establishment’.

That same summer, marijuana was in such high demand in the United States that the country experienced its first great supply shortage. Just a few miles south of Coronado was Tijuana. With a bit of creativity, a few surf-loving stoners began to see an opportunity…

The sleepy beach town of Coronado in San Diego County is the last place you might imagine to be the birthplace of an international drug ring, but that’s exactly what it turned into during the summer of 1969.

Dubbed the Coronado Company, a drug ring made up of pot-smoking surfers and former high school Spanish teacher, Lou Villar, as the mastermind, they  smuggled bundles of marijuana over the border in Tijuana. Within 10 years, the operation became a $100 million empire, making it the largest pot smuggling ring on the West Coast.

Before anyone had heard of the Mexican Cartels and the Colombian Kingpins, there was a group of Cali surfers, friends who discovered weed in the ’60s and—in a fit of stoner inspiration—figured out how to smuggle in the best, most potent stuff on earth. Over a decade, they built an empire that made hundreds of millions, while laughing at the war on drugs.

Read more »

Martin Crowe eased his pain with cannabis

Martin was self medicating his final months with cannabis, another high profile person dealing with pain and suffering outside of our heartless and archaic laws.

And why wouldn’t you…when you have a death sentence you wouldn’t really care about any legal consequences.

Martin Crowe was self-medicating with liquid marijuana in the final months of his life, according to his close friend, former English international Mike Selvey.

In a tribute piece written for the Guardian, Selvey says the former New Zealand cricket captain was sleeping 15 hours a day and using cannabis oil rather than undergoing more chemotherapy.

Selvey wrote that Crowe had told him this when the pair caught up in Auckland during last year’s Cricket World Cup.   Read more »