Cannabis (drug)

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 »

Government asleep at the medical marijuana wheel

Has Labour finally managed to pick a winner?

Labour will legislate for medicinal cannabis “pretty quickly” after taking office, leader Andrew Little has confirmed.

Little said cannabis products should be available to anyone suffering chronic pain or a terminal condition if their GP signed off on it.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor has drafted a bill for Parliament that would shift the onus of decision making on medicinal cannabis away from the minister to GPs and medical professionals.

Currently individual applications must first get ministerial approval for medicinal cannabis. The first Kiwi to do so was teenager Alex Renton who died shortly after approval was given.    Read more »

If this doesn’t make the government act, nothing will

The government has been caught napping on medicinal cannabis.

A legal expert reckons you can now head off to Australia, get a prescription and bring the magic weed back with you.

I’m not sure I want to be the first one to try it though.

A law change in Australia means New Zealanders can now legally be prescribed a month’s medicinal cannabis there and bring it back to this country, a legal commentator says.

A Golden Bay woman has escaped a lengthy jail term for importing cannabis products after a judge discharged her without conviction, because it was prescribed overseas.

Rebecca Reider – who has complex chronic pain syndrome – was facing charges for possession and importing of cannabis oil and other products after she was discovered posting chocolate bars with edible cannabis to herself.

Her lawyer, Sue Grey argued because Ms Reider was lawfully prescribed drugs while visiting overseas and the quantity was no more than one month’s supply to treat a medical condition, it should have been legal.   Read more »

Medical marijuana approved for one case. If it can be approved for one, why not all?

There is good news and bad news on the medicinal cannabis front.

The good news is that one woman has approval from Pharmac for funding to use Sativex in an attempt to help her; the bad news is that no one else has.

A woman who may have otherwise died from her regular severe seizures has been granted approval for medical marijuana funding.

Alisha Butt, 20, has the mentality of a toddler and is unable to speak.

Her seizures had presented a huge problem for specialists who were unable to adequately treat her, leading to the possibility she could end up in a coma from one and die.

But thanks to medicinal marijuana extract Sativex, Alisha is able to live a more comfortable life.

“Since being on Sativex for over 4 months, she has shown a great improvement,” mum Sushila Butt said.   Read more »

Dunne on Kelly: the government will not be swayed by “emotional nonsense”

The pontificating ponce, Peter Dunne, and the happy hand-clapper child-smacker, Bob McCoskrie, have as good as told New Zealand that they’d prefer cancer sufferers to hurt real bad.

They have come out against legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

Family First fears a push to make medical cannabis more easily obtainable will lead to decriminalising marijuana in New Zealand.

Former union boss Helen Kelly has written poignantly about the battle she and others face to obtain medical cannabis and is calling for a referendum on the issue at the next election.

Family First says groups who want dope legalised are promoting medicinal marijuana, which manipulates society’s compassion for people with serious pain and health concerns.

“But marijuana will then be diverted from medical programs to recreational purposes,” says Bob McCoskrie, the conservative lobby group’s national director.

Read more »

Peter ‘The Jandal’ Dunne flip flops on Cannabis

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Peter Dunne just over a week ago was ridiculing changing the law regarding cannabis, his rationale was there was no market for it.

This week, after sniffing the changing winds on cannabis reform he is now a staunch advocate for changes.

Trials for medical marijuana should be encouraged despite “prejudice” from the medical profession, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says.

The debate over medical marijuana has sparked up after the Australian government announced a licensing scheme to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medical trial purposes this month.

And Mr Dunne says New Zealand was “highly likely” to follow suit if the trial products were approved.   Read more »

Fuddy duddy Nats need to get with the program

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National are dragging the chain on medicinal cannabis…they are showing their fuddy duddy approach to politics.

All over the world liberalisation of cannabis laws are happening but here John Key would rather change the flag than help the sick and the dying.

Story reports:

Medical marijuana used to be seen as a fringe option, a mad alternative to conventional drugs, but not anymore.

These days in many countries it has already been approved to treat a number of conditions.

But that is not happening in New Zealand. It has been heart-breaking for the sick people and their families who believe it can help them.

One of those people is the President of the Council of Trade Unions and cancer patient, Helen Kelly.

Ms Kelly wants an exemption from the Government to use medicinal cannabis oil.

Read more »

Weed can help mend broken bones

Israeli scientists have made an interesting discovery…cannabis can aid in healing broken bones.

Fracture a joint? Smoke a joint. Or at least that’s what researchers from Tel Aviv University have suggested after studying the effects of marijuana on broken bones.

A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research last week says that a component of marijuana known as cannabidiol (CBD) “significantly helps heal bone fractures” by speeding up the process. It also strengthens bones, protecting them against future injuries.    Read more »

Canada legalises Medical Marijuana

Canada’s Supreme Court has legalised medical marijuana in all forms.

Medical marijuana patients will now be able to consume marijuana — and not just smoke it — as well as use other extracts and derivatives, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today.

The unanimous ruling against the federal government expands the definition of medical marijuana beyond the “dried” form.

The country’s highest court found the current restriction to dried marijuana violates the right to liberty and security “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Restricting medical access to marijuana to a dried form has now been declared “null and void” — Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, which prohibits possession and trafficking of non-dried forms of cannabis, will no longer be in effect.

The respondent in this case, Owen Smith, called it “a very emotional day.”   Read more »