Disclaimer

I was recently told that I should provide links to all the stories that I get my info from. Whilst I accept that some readers may think, “I’m just making this stuff up”. I’d like to assure folks, that I am not:

1) Much of my stuff does come from Internet news sources, but I am really only supplying the outlines & giving opinion. I welcome any/all feedback

2) Some of my info. comes from TV news items, that I watch & take notes on. So I do not have internet links

3) Some of my info. comes from stories I hear on radio or from the NZ parliament etc. which again is just ‘as I hear it’ (take notes) & also give my opinion on

This is a blog; which is really my ‘internet diary’ (Weblog) It is not intended to be, a news report; as I am just a layperson, not a journalist.
If anyone really does think I am making things up, then I can only suggest you ‘web search’ or ‘google’ & you may also find the stories.

It is really my intention to give my narrative on the events/issues I see on the Drug War (esp. as it is occurring in Aotearoa/NZ).

I thank all who have read or commented.. but I have no intention of turning this into a ‘Professional news source’, if that what folks want; there are plenty of other sites to go to !

Thanks again, to all my followers & readers; “Nga Mihinui ki a koutou” (greetings & thanks to you all, in the local lingo) 🙂

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Whose stats are correct ?

I was just watching an interview with a visiting USA ‘Drug Expert’ in Aotearoa/NZ. All the info. he was ‘supplying’ seemed counter to the generally reported, stuff coming out the USA. He stated:

1) In USA states, that have legalised/dcrim. Cannabis, used rates have increased massively

2) That road accidents had also increased, in similar numbers.. most drivers had THC in their blood (not proof they were intoxicated at the time)

3) That teenagers are starting using, in larger numbers than ever

4) That mental health problems, have also increased

5) That the gangs & black-market are still there & law reform has made little or no difference

6) That there has been higher rates of ‘addiction’ & users going onto ‘hard drugs’ (echoes of ‘Reefer Madness’)

7) The ‘WAR on drugs’ was only a war, ‘in name’ & there is really, no such thing. BUT I have seen footage of heavily armed USA cops kicking in doors in full body armour, with semi-auto weapons & seizing cannabis/other drugs. Also stories of people being shot dead, during traffic stops & the ‘big issue’ was a small amount of cannabis was found in the vehicle.. HEAVY

8) Nobody is ever jailed for possession.. or so he claimed in USA; there are stats. (from our prisons) that do not back that up here

The NZ interviewer then said he had, stats from the USA office on crime, which did not back this up. The so-called ‘expert’ then said his stats. had come straight from the ‘White House stats. division’ !! (must be correct then)
He went on to say (paraphrased) that when he started out, in this area (as a frontline cop) use rates & all the other issues, were much lower & law reform has only created more harm. He said that if Aotearoa/NZ was intending, to go down the law reform route, they should take a very close look at what has happened in USA.

I tend to take these ‘expert opinions’ with a grain of salt, especially from ex-Cops, who could be just trying to maintain prohibition/status quo, because their ‘Prohibition Industry’ jobs could suffer/be reduced ?

The other thing being, there are also stats. from other countries, like: Canada, Holland, Portugal, Uruguay etc. that also do not appear to back up his alleged ‘facts’.. most show decreases in these areas & overall crime/harm; “Believe it or NOT”

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UK Cannabis oil on sale

I read that a health shop in UK, has commenced selling cannabis products (CBD oil), it is reportedly ‘Flying off the shelves’. Here is a some info. from the news item:

‘Health food chain Holland & Barrett has become the first high street store to stock medical cannabis oil in the UK.’

‘According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of cannabidiol (CBD) users has doubled over the past year skyrocketing from 125,000 to 250,000.’

‘A natural product used by many to ease symptoms of various ailments from joint pain and multiple sclerosis to anxiety and depression, CBD oil does not produce a high as it contains less than 0.2 per cent of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol – as such, it is legal to buy and consume in the UK.’

“We have been surprised at the success and popularity of CBD oil since its launch,” said a spokesperson for Holland & Barrett.
“We are constantly looking to bring new and innovative products to market that help our customers.”
“It is great to see in this instance that we can help with the demand.”

BUT; there are mixed reactions:
‘While some customers refer to it as “liquid gold” adding that they “can’t rate it highly enough,” others are not convinced.’

As I’ve stated previously, Aotearoa/NZ is still dragging the chain on medicinal Cannabis/extracts/products. The NZ parliament has only recently introduced a bill to allow CBD oils to be more widely available, (removed from the prohibitive ‘Misuse of Drugs Act 1975/77’) but estimates are that it could take 1-2 years before these products are more widely available to kiwis, who could benefit from them 😦

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Food safety FEAR

I was just listening to the committee stage, in the NZ parliament of; ‘Food Safety Reform bill’. I almost could not believe my ears, on one issue that was raised by an MP on this matter; reform to allow Food in Aotearoa/NZ, containing Hemp Seeds or extracts thereof.

She said; she would agree with the passage of the bill, now that she had been assured, that the seeds were ‘Low THC’ & you could not ‘get high’ from eating food with them in. Another MP stated he believed that you, would have to eat several sacks full to get any, ‘effective high’… he went on to say you would likely get very sick from eating that much anyway. BUT it seems that they could not avoid, using the word ‘Marijuana’, which was also included in the speech. ‘Believe it or NOT’

The other matter being, that people who had eaten the seeds or food with them in, could potentially FAIL a workplace or roadside drug test ?
I thought these tests were now changed, to NOT just show the smallest presence of THC, but an amount that could have some intoxicating effect.. BUT maybe not ??

This again confirms the FEAR-mongering & eff. Zero-tolerance attitudes that some politicians in Aotearoa/NZ, seem to have on any use of CANNABIS or parts there of.

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Politicians attitude: no real change

In my last post I said that there does seem to be a mood for change to cannabis laws, here in Aotearoa/NZ, amongst the general public, but not really among the politicians, it seems.. this was clearly shown when the Green Party’s most recent medicinal reform bill, ‘crashed & burned’ at first reading; defeated about 60-40%.. with the ‘centre-right’ opposition & a coalition Govt. ‘centrists party’ both voting “NO !” unanimously. There were a few MPs in the opposition party who stated prior to the bill being introduced that they were ‘given permission’ to cross the floor & vote for law reform, but on the day.. they shied away & went with the majority !

I watched a recent TV current affairs segment on the issue. It stated 31 countries have now moved to either decriminalise or legally regulate cannabis (in some form). BUT Aotearoa/NZ still has ‘our collective Ass on the fence’.. going nowhere fast. They interviewed the head of the NZ Drug foundation, who stated that the stats. are clear that in countries that have ‘relaxed’ their cannabis/other drugs laws, that use rates have actually declined, esp. amongst youth, who are no longer driven by the ‘forbidden fruit’ hype. Meanwhile Aotearoa/NZ continually sits near the top of the use stats. in UN drug reports 😦

They then interviewed the ex-Assoc. Minister (retired) who was responsible for Drug Policy in the last Govt. (ousted in 2017), who stated.. that many NZ politicians are still ‘afraid of the change’ (paraphrased) & fear of a political backlash, even though there does seem to be a mood for such change. He went on to say that the ‘promised reeferendum’ on or before the next general election in 2020 (part of Govt. coalition agreement with the Green party) may well have put further, talk of reforms on hold until then (a stalling tactic ?). This was mentioned in the debate, during the recent Greens failed med-use bill, which at least one opposition MP said was ‘decrim. by stealth’ & was preempting the ‘upcoming reeferendum’.

The Green MP who introduced the recent bill stated “NZ is now, ready for a mature debate on this issue”.. but it seems that other MPs are not ?

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kiwi attitudes seem to change

I was listening briefly, to radio talkback last evening.. the topic was ‘Medicinal marijuana/cannabis’. In the past few years, the callers seem to have been split.. with many from both extremes of the issue, BUT the segment I heard, last evening.. I don’t think there was one, who was staunchly opposed to the idea of some level of law reform ! 🙂

There were people ringing up saying that they were currently ‘illegally’ using the drug for pain relieve & as a relaxant to help them sleep etc. One man even said he was current grower & was now, providing more to people looking for medicinal use, rather than other personal use. Perhaps with the recent passage of one Govt. bill (to select committee) & with a few ‘famous kiwis’ having come out about their use, the attitude is finally changing. The one negative point was made by one ‘radio host’ who asked the ‘resident expert’ about the ‘strains that cause psychosis’ (as was often claimed), to which the reply was (paraphrased); ‘There is NO such thing, there are people who suffer negative side-effects.. esp. those who may have an underlying mental issue/condition.. BUT there is no clear evidence, that cannabis causes psychosis or other mental illness.’.
This was backed up by few callers, responses. eg “I’ve used the drug, for decades & never had such issues” OR “I used it & did not like it, so stopped using” etc.

There were a couple of people who stated that they had ‘become addicted’ to the drug in their youth, but found it was not too hard to give up. Again; Cannabis does NOT seem to cause an addiction, in the same way that Tobacco, Alcohol & Opiates can.. its more a dependence, that seems much easier to quit.

There was one caller who stated he was opposed to ‘recreational use’ but said that IF the drug, does have genuine medicinal properties, then the law should not stand in the way, of allowing doctors to prescribe it.

The ‘resident expert’ host stated that ‘there has been a misconception, that prohibition has been the way to prevent use’ BUT he went on to say, that recent evidence, has clearly shown this to be untrue & in fact has had the opposite effect, with use rates in countries that have eff. zero-tolerance (like Aotearoa/NZ) often higher or at least similar to levels in countries/states that now regulate the drug.

Yahoo.. perhaps the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is finally becoming clearer.. in this little back-water, at the bottom of the world !

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Israel halt export plans

I read that due to ‘pressure’ from USA, Israel have put a halt to their medicinal cannabis export plans:

‘Israel has halted a plan to export medical marijuana for fear of upsetting US President (name removed), a media report said, even as two senior ministers publicly toured a leading Israeli cannabis farm and valued the export market at more than US $1 billion annually.’

‘Prime Minister (name removed) ordered the plan to be frozen early this week despite support from the Health, Agriculture, and Finance ministries, Hadashot news reported Wednesday.’

‘(Israel PM) told the heads of the ministries he ordered the freeze after receiving a call about the issue of exporting marijuana from (POTUS), who is against its legalization. The prime minister made it clear that he did not want Israel to be a pioneer in the export of medical marijuana in order not to anger the US president, according to the report. Canada is the only country that has approved the export of medical marijuana.’

‘In a sign that not everyone was on board with his decision, Justice Minister (name removed) accompanied Agriculture Minister (name removed) on a visit Thursday to the Seàch medical cannabis farm in the north of the country’

“I was impressed by how important medical cannabis is to so many patients,” the minister wrote in a tweet. “Israel can become an exporter of medical cannabis with an income worth NIS 4 billion a year ($1.14 billion). We must not miss the train. Today we are the locomotive; if we hesitate, we will become the trailers.”

followed by this comment of ‘potential criminal involvement’ (fear-mongering) :

“The fear of leaks to crime organizations doesn’t fit with the fact that until now zero indictments were filed for theft and trade in the cannabis,” she wrote. “There are ways to secure the growing area as is done today. As long as we do this in a controlled and monitored manner there is no problem with it.”

‘An estimated 50 Israeli medical marijuana companies work in cultivating plants or producing delivery devices for the drug, according to Reuters.’

‘Israeli kibbutzes see the export of medical marijuana as a way to revitalize their communities.’

* Again USA are trying to ‘control’ the global ‘drug trade’ (medicinal use) ! 😦

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