I read that the NZ lawyer, who pointed out the ‘loophole’ in MODA (Misuse of Drugs act 1975), that saw a few kiwis bring medicinal cannabis ‘raw herb’ into the country; one months prescription from USA.. until the minister ‘slammed the door’ & said “state laws in USA are not valid here. in this case” (paraphrased), is now talking about a legal challenge on the status of CBDs (Cannabidiols) in this law; that apparently, effectively bans the cannabis plant & all its parts/components ?
I got this from another source:
1. CBD is not explicitly scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
2. CBD does not meet the statutory criteria under Section 3A for scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Act as there is no evidence that it poses a very high, high or moderate risk of harm to individuals or to society.
3. Information obtained under the Official Information Act and from the Ministry of Health website identify a significant disagreement within the New Zealand government officials over the status of CBD under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Some from the Ministry of Health claim CBD is indirectly covered by Schedule 2(1)(2)2 as a Class B drug based on their assessment that it is “an isomer of tetrahydrocannabinols” (THC). In contrast, the government’s leading expert analytical chemist, (name removed) and his expert team at Crown Research Institute Environmental Science and Research, “ESR”, have published a paper explaining why THC is not within this definition, because CBD has a different chemical formula, structure and function to THC and accordingly it is not caught within the definition of “an isomer within the same chemical designation”
4. Dr (name removed) expert view has been made clear to the Ministry of Health and to his colleagues on the government’s Expert Advisory Drug Committee (“the EADC”). The minutes of the EADC’s April 2016 identify no scientific or legal reason why Dr (name removed) view is wrong. It appears the different views relate solely to policy consideration and perhaps vested interests, although it remains unclear to me why some members of the committee would prefer to continue to treat CBD as if it is illegal. Clearly government policy cannot override the law that was written by Parliament, and in particular s3A of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The lawyer also points out:
* Medicines containing CBD are (in my view unlawfully) treated as if Ministerial approval is required under Regulation 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, resulting in considerable bureaucratic hoops and hurdles, delay in access and unnecessary cost for patients who are typically already very ill, and their families who are typically already very stressed.
* The complex situation is compounded by the apparent policy of Medsafe (disclosed in documents obtained under the Official Information Act) to attempt to prohibit foods or other products which contain CBD from being sold as foods or dietary supplements, apparently because CBD is also scheduled under the Medicines Regulations. I can find no lawful basis for this policy and do not understand how Medsafe can reconcile this with the law or with the FSANZ proposal to approve the sale of hemp seed foods for human use.
* I understand from other Official Information Act responses and from recent coverage on TV3’s Story (on the use of CBD as a supplement for managing Alzheimers by (name removed) and other documentation that I have been shown, that NZ Customs have been instructed to seize products that contain CBD at the NZ border. This is despite the expert advice to the Ministry of Health that CBD has no known harmful effects to individuals or society and it is outside the scope of the Misuse of Drugs Act schedules.
* The current policy of Ministry of Health, and adopted by NZ Customs to treat CBD as if it is covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act to try to justify the seizure of products which contain CBD, is in my view unlawful, unreasonable and unjustified as CBD is not covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The lawyer is calling for the courts to make determinations on these matters. I will keep an eye out for updates. Meanwhile people are suffering, because of this legal B-S.
I noticed in the comments section.. several people on both sides, BUT there is still a few who take the view that ‘Its just another excuse to legalise Marijuana‘ (to which I had to say “what a load of B-S.. you should do some research, before you write such nonsense”)
I tend to agree with one of the points above; there are vested interests, who are intent on maintaining the status quo in Aotearoa/NZ (eff. zero-tolerance) BUT the mounting evidence in other similar jurisdictions, is clearly building to disprove, that this is still a valid view.