I just watched a TV discussion on Maori TV, current affairs program. The topic was the recent issues, around medicinal cannabis & then the wider issues around law reform. They firstly showed some footage of 4 recent cases: the teenagers who was prescribed Elixinol (but passed away), the Cancer patient who admitted using ‘illegal cannabis oil’ (still in treatment) & the cricketer & TV personality who, reportedly both used illegal cannabis prior to recent deaths.
The discussion group, two hosts & three guests:
1) A current Sativex patient (M-S sufferer), who said whilst her prescribed drug is legal, it is not a ‘one-size fits all’ (as it has been portrayed as) & it is very expensive (ranging from $1200-1500/month depending on the pharmaceutical source). She said this was mainly due to the processing costs of Big-pharma. She went on to say, that she had been using it for several months, but could not afford to continue indefinitely.. not funded by Govt. funding body.
2) The head of NZ NORML, who said it was time the current law was thrown out & replaced with a more up-to-date & fit for purpose act. He also said that the current law was often ‘used by Police’ to intimidate specifically Maori youth. He also mentioned the changes occurring overseas & Aotearoa/NZ should look at these as examples of possibilities for reforms here. The hosts asked him what was the main thing blocking reform in NZ.. he stated clearly “POLITICIANS !!”
3) A Maori priest, who seemed opposed to law reform; saying it was just a ‘symptom’ of much wider injustice occurring & would not solve the problems. He then said he & other Maori elders do not support law reform because it will increase use & make the situation worse. This was rebutted by The NORML guy & one of the hosts; saying that cannabis was already widely used & law reform evidence overseas did not back it up.
** It was good to see this debate. Hopefully ‘the ball will continue rolling on’ with open, rational discussion !