on the frontline

I see these recent news items.. on the frontlines of the Drug war in Aotearoa/NZ;

1) ‘Police say the cannabis supply in west Auckland has been significantly disrupted after information from the public led to the discovery of a large-scale commercial operation. More than $100,000 in cash and 160 mature cannabis plants, some harvested and ready for sale, were seized after warrants were executed at four addresses. Police believe the seizure of the cannabis plants has prevented estimated street sales of about $3 million.’
‘Two men were charged with cultivating cannabis and appeared in Waitakere District Court.’

2) ‘Eight hundred cannabis plants have been seized in a raid on a sophisticated growing operation in Canterbury, police say. Two kilograms of harvested cannabis head were also found at the property in King Street in Temuka, Detective Senior Sergeant (name removed) said.’
‘As part of the same operation, 40 cannabis plants were also found in a shipping container at another property outside Temuka.’
‘Police have charged a Temuka man with cultivating and possessing cannabis for supply.’
“This was a very good operation, and I would expect this seizure to put a significant dent in the local cannabis market,” Det Sen Sgt (name removed) said.’

3) ‘Associate Health Minister (name removed) has written to medical and pharmaceutical groups to tell them to have an “open mind” about prescribing cannabis products for patients.’

‘(Assoc. Minister) said he had now written to organisations which represent doctors and pharmacies after earlier criticising medical practitioners for an overly cautious approach to prescribing cannabis products, saying many avoided it because of “downright prejudice” and to avoid being labelled “Doctor Dope.” ‘
‘His letter included a list of available cannabis-based products which were appropriate for use as well as a warning that his “ongoing expectation is that medical professionals consider the prescribing of cannabis-based products with an open mind.” ‘

‘(Assoc. Minister) said good new products were coming onto the market such as Tilray in Canada but the list of cannabis-based products was short because of product availability and export restrictions on products from the United States.’

“Unfortunately, Sativex, the one pharmaceutical-grade product that is available in New Zealand continues to be extortionately priced as big pharma continues to ignore the building resentment, both local and global, to the attitude these companies take to the sick and vulnerable.”

‘He expected to make further steps on the issue of cannabis-based products soon. That would include a response to the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs’ advice on the legal status of cannabidiol, an issue it was currently considering.’

‘Sativex is available in New Zealand but other products need to be imported.’

‘All are non-approved medicines and require Ministry of Health approval to prescribe.’

* So on one hand, the cops are still going all-out, to ‘seek & destroy’ every cannabis plant they find.. whilst the minister (resp. NZ Drug policy) claims he is moving forward on medicinal use (NOT) !

I’m guessing the ‘reality’ is in there.. somewhere.. 😦

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