I just watched a discussion on a TV current affairs show ‘Q+A’ (NZ) The following issues were raised:
1) Cannabis based drugs will be available, ‘based on evidence’. BUT the minister still refuses to allow clinical trials in NZ !
2) He says he is watching the situation overseas, BUT still sounds like he wants to ‘reinvent the wheel’ for NZ conditions.
3) They also had the CEO of a lobby group ‘United in Compassion’ who sounded very knowledgable. Her daughter has severe Epilepsy & stated she had been getting cannabis drugs to treat it, but it has lost its effectiveness.
4) The minister stated that the whole issue of recreational use is ‘muddying the waters’ & that many people who say they support medicinal use are just using it as an excuse to ‘get a foot in the door’. I think that the minister is just using this as an excuse to put up more blocks on the whole debate. He said that the two uses need to be ‘unlocked’ from each other..BUT to me it sounded like ‘Divide & Conquer !’ 😦
5) The minister stated that Sativex, is being approved in NZ by the Dept. of health, without his final approval. This is not what has been often reported in the media. He went on to say that any other cannabis drugs DO need his final approval.
6) It was highlighted that most doctors in NZ are ‘schooled in western medicine’ & most are ignorant of the issues around medicinal cannabis. There was even a hint that some are opposed, based on prejudice & misinformation.
7) The interviewer kept using the word : ‘Marijuana’, this is often seen as a way to ‘muddy the debate’ by using this slang word to infer ‘illegal drugs’
After this discussion, they had a ‘panel of experts’ discussion.. they all seemed to agree that it is time that cannabis drugs were more widely available, but there was disagreement on whether it should be a parliamentary debate or just amongst the medical profession & ‘other experts’ in the field.
After this, they interviewed the outgoing Police Union boss, who made a very telling statement; that he had been to Holland & Colorado & seen it first hand. He said that the debate needs to be purely from a health perspective (not law & order, which surprised me) & that there needed to be a balance between the ‘harm of the drugs’ Vs the ‘harm to society’ of PROHIBITION (Gangs & black-markets etc.) For once.. I agree with him.