Club boss JAILED

I read that the founder of a Cannabis Club in Northern NZ, has received 4 years & 9 months in Jail, for cultivation & supply. I read the following comments:

‘The founder of the Daktory Cannabis Club has been jailed for four year and nine months.’

‘In October (name removed), 61, was found guilty by a jury on two charges of cultivating cannabis, one of supplying cannabis and a charge of permitting premises to be used for cultivating cannabis.’

“Clearly there must be an uplift for your continued offending and deliberate breaking of the law,” Judge said.

‘Among other charges (the defendant) had 25 previous cannabis offences, including eight for cultivation.’

“Other convictions and not just regarding cannabis suggest you have no respect for the law.” (Judge said)

‘His counsel (name removed) argued that (the defendant) saw himself as a political activist against cannabis laws he did not agree with at a time when it was a ‘live’ political issue.’

‘She said (the defendant) had not been motivated by profit and that the club situation meant only those over the age of 18 were supplied and he had been selective in the people he had involved in the cultivation, making it “different to a regular tinny house”.

‘She said his behaviour was one of civil disobedience aimed at bringing change.’

‘Judge (name removed) didn’t accept (the defendant) did not profit from the club noting he was selling cannabis to the club at $300 an ounce.’

‘(Judge) said (the defendant) had openly flouted the law in attempt to get the police to do something about it… “you used the trial as a protest“.

“I can’t accept this was a political process, but accept you saw it as such,”

“Whatever your belief you are still obliged to obey the law.” (Judge) said.

*Again; it is fact, that the Police & Judges are ‘just doing their jobs’ BUT there is increasingly a public perception that, Cannabis activists are being targeted & being given heavy prison sentences. A suggestion that this is about getting them out-of-the-way, to minimise their activity, when the tide of change is rising in Aotearoa/NZ !?

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Joint Action

I read that a couple of reform groups have organised a ‘Joint Action’ in Auckland (biggest city) & Wellington (capital) tomorrow 11/11/17. These are the agenda items:

• Ninety years of cannabis prohibition – it’s time for change!

• Celebrate the new direction for drug policy with the new Government!

• Support our call for a moratorium on cannabis arrests until the referendum

• Free the Green Fairies (medicinal cannabis growers); several high profile arrests recently, in the news

‘Saturday 11th November 2017 marks ninety years of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand, with the passage of the Dangerous Drugs Act on that day in 1927.’

‘That law was designed to stamp out access to medical cannabis as well as hemp and all adult use. It was the start of our War on Drugs. Since then hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested and imprisoned for cannabis charges in New Zealand. We have one of the highest arrest rates in the world.’

‘The new Labour-led Government will introduce legislation by February 2018 to legalise medical cannabis, and will hold a referendum to legalise personal use, at or by the next election in 2020.’

‘But Police are still prosecuting several ‘Green Fairies’, accused of providing medical cannabis to patients who need it.’

‘They are continuing to prosecute even after learning the compassionate medical circumstances, and despite the Law Commission calling for the police to have a compassionate scheme and exercise their discretion for medical cannabis.’

I would like to attend, but I don’t live in these cities. Our group talked about arranging a similar action, but we didn’t find out until recently & too short a time to organise it !

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Parliament Speech

Today I watched the opening of the 52nd Parliament of Aotearoa/NZ. It started with all the ‘pomp & ceremony’ but concluded with the ‘Speech from the Throne’ delivered by the Governor-General (Queen’s (Head of State) Rep in NZ). She outlined the New incoming Government’s plans, for this coming Parliamentary term, which included 3 points, relating to Drug Law: (paraphrased)

1) Matters around Alcohol & Drugs are to be dealt with as Health issues, as opposed to the previous ‘criminal justice’ focus

2) The Medicinal use of Cannabis is to be further reformed, esp. for patients with a Terminal illness

3) there is to be a nation-wide Referendum on Personal use of Cannabis either prior to, or by the next General Election in 2020

I was so glad to hear these issues included in the speech, which confirms the talk raised after the recent Election. Whilst this will not mean the Drug War in Aotearoa/NZ (spec. Cannabis) is over.. it does mean that there is a ‘light at the end of this LONG tunnel’ now visible. 🙂

At the close of the speech, the Gov-Gen returned the speech to the Speaker of the House, who then tabled it in the Parliament; ready for parliamentary debate on the issues to begin. I await the matter arising from this….

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another negative report

I heard a brief TV news item this morning, that another ‘research report’ states, people who drink alcohol to excess, but specifically.. ‘smoke Marijuana on a regular basis’; especially young men, tend to be: lower achievers, under educated, less likely to marry or be in long term, stable relationships or have & retain long term employment/careers etc. This smacks of all the typical stereotypes, that have been around since the days of ‘Reefer Madness’. I give these responses. People who use Cannabis, are often:

1) treated as outsiders & often marginalised by those in ‘the mainstream’

2) have to hide ‘in dark corners’ or deny their ‘illegal use’

3) are often subjected to ‘Workplace drug tests’ (esp. in recent years), even being denied unemployment benefits for failing tests

4) tend to often mix/socialise with people of ‘like mind’

5) when socialising with ‘non-smokers’ often avoid the subject or decline to admit their use; “I tried it, but didn’t inhale !”

6) some use the drug to relieve the pain/anguish of other mental issues, so they often do not get treatment; for the underlying issues or are said to have these mental issue due to their cannabis use

7) those of us who have a conviction for; possession, cultivation etc. are subjected to being labeled ‘CRIMINAL’ & this can often prevent access to employment, education & overseas travel etc. This often inhibits life/life-style choices

* Whilst it is true that the matters in this report, may have some basis in their findings.. often these other issues are not even considered as part of the main reasons ?!
It was interesting that the journo. who announced this, used the dreaded ‘M-J’ word instead of cannabis; again adding a negative slant to the story ? 😦

btw: I do remember hearing a report some time ago, that many of the wealthy folks in the I.T. industry, are said to be ‘regular pot-smokers’ Go figure..

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Classic misinformation

As a follow-up to my post about ‘meet the pubic day’.. I thought I’d highlight a few examples of ‘classic misinformation‘ from my conversations with the public :

1) an elderly gent (60+ ?) told me he was ‘totally against DRUGS’, so I asked him why this was. He replied he had seen & heard all the negative stuff (Horror stories) esp. about MARIJUANA. So I first corrected him & told him its proper name is cannabis & explained that ‘Marijuana’ is a slang name that has been used as the target for all the fear-mongering & negative stereotypes. I then asked if he had ever personally tried the drug, to which he replied “NO !! & never want to” He then went on to tell me about two young lads he knew of, who had both had negative mental issues from using it. I asked ‘How old were they when they started using ?’ he replied early teens. I told him that this is one of the direct results of Prohibition, a totally unregulated market, run by gangs & black-market.. who will sell it to anyone with money, including Children. I advised him that our preferred model was Adults only & a focus on education for youth to teach them about the reality of Drug use. I also told him that we wanted to see Cannabis on a similar regulation to Alcohol; R18 & limits on supply etc.
At this point he actually stopped trying to argue & seemed to start listening. I gave him a leaflet, which he folded & put in his pocket. He assured me he would read it. His whole attitude did seemed to have changed.. fingers crossed. I then advised him that my personal focus is actually on Medicinal use. as I am in my 50s, I suffer back pain & I told him it was much more effective than aspirin !

2) A young man came & asked what I knew about medicinal use. He had a medical pain condition. I explained that I used it for back pain (he saw my walking stick). He then asked what I thought was the best way to take cannabis, for pain. I told him about Sativex (legal in NZ) but said it was more expensive than illegal black-market herb & many patients have resorted to this cheaper option.
He asked me how I use it for my issue. I told him that IF I can afford it & can get it, I tend to smoke it. He stopped me & said ‘surely this is not good for your health‘ I agreed, but said it was the most rapid way to get relief & IF it was available I would prefer to use a vapouriser. I told him that I have heard of some using home-made cannabis extract oil, but it can take 30 minutes to an hour before the effects are felt. Smoking/vaping is almost instantaneous. He left with a smile & said I had definitely given him things to think about. I then added that within a year, the new Govt. could have passed the Green Party’s medicinal bill through parliament & other legal options may be available soon ?

3) A lady came up & briefly discussed/told me she was currently using cannabis for pain relief, but followed by saying that ‘You will never convince many in the older generation‘ who grew up hearing about the ‘Evils of Marijuana’ etc. I agreed, but said we are at least trying to, discuss & educate folks on it. She said we were doing a good job to get out & about & do so.

* Our focus (as I said to many) is not to promote Cannabis/Drug use, but to discuss & hopefully educate people on the issues & attempt to cut through all the negative stuff, that 40+ years of Prohibition has smashed into the public Psyche in Aotearoa/NZ, about this Drug & its potential uses, beyond the WAR on DRUGS.

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Medicinal supplier busted

I read in a press release that all the talk by NZ Police of not targeting Medicinal cannabis users is total misinformation/B-S, thanks to the NZPO. Extracts from a recent press release, shows the opposite:

‘Hundreds of patients are searching for a new source of medicine after NZ Post reported their dealer to police.’

‘Medicinal cannabis patients are running low on supplies after a prominent dealer was arrested for sending drugs through the post.’

‘His arrest has left terminally ill Kiwis scrambling to find new sources for the plant product they say helps relieve their pain and make life bearable.’

‘NZ Post said it had “a zero tolerance policy for illegal items being sent through our network”.

‘The 55-year-old West Coast grower was arrested in October after posties noticed the smell of cannabis coming from parcels and reported him to police.’

‘He has since appeared at the (local) District Court on a range of charges, including cultivating cannabis, selling/supplying cannabis oil, producing/manufacturing/distributing cannabis, procuring/possessing cannabis plants, and possession of cannabis oil for supply.’

‘(name removed), founder of Auckland Patients Group, which supports those using medicinal cannabis, said the man’s arrest had left hundreds of users in the lurch.’

“This is a man who took a risk planting and growing these plants when no-one else was interested.”

‘The 64-year-old great-grandmother, who suffers from chronic pain due to RSI and rheumatoid arthritis, added she had found the man’s arrest particularly stressful as one of the packages intercepted by NZ Post had been addressed to her.’

“Police say they won’t target patients, but I’m sitting here trying not to worry about that knock on the door.”

‘(name removed), coordinator of the charity Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ, said arresting medicinal suppliers was counterproductive.’

‘(the coordinator) says patients will continue to illegally use medicinal cannabis, and the law needs to change.’

“These people will be seen as martyrs and heroes to the patient community, and unfortunately it reflects poorly on the police,” he said.

“If a (NZ Post Office)staff member believes that a mail item contains an illegal or dangerous substance we encourage them to notify their manager, who will often seek guidance from our security team.”

‘The medicinal cannabis community is planning a rally in Auckland on Saturday, 11 November, to show support for growers and users who have been targeted by police.’

‘The new government has promised a referendum on cannabis use by 2020.’ (there is also a Green party, parliamentary bill on med-use, due for 1st reading)

* I think this just demonstrates the disgraceful approach that the NZ police are taking on medicinal use. Whilst they are ‘just doing their jobs’.. There have been statements made by their hierarchy that medicinal users are a low-priority & would NOT be targeted, BUT their suppliers, obviously are still being targeted !
IF the NZ Govt. pharmaceutical funding agency was funding legal cannabis drugs, this issue would not have occurred. As I said several times in other posts; Sativex is the only currently available cannabis drug & costs >$1000/month, well beyond the reach of most patients. They therefore turn to the illegal black-market for cheaper alternatives (Illegal Herb) to relieve their pain & suffering.

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Poland moves on Med-use

I read that another country in Europe; Poland, is set to allow broader cannabis based medicines. This further bolsters the evidence that this plant does have genuine medicinal/therapeutic value.. contrary to the USA Federal Schedule #1 claim.
I read the following issues:

‘Under the new regulations, cannabis from imported plants can be used to make prescription drugs at Polish pharmacies. This kind of medicine will, however, have to be first registered with the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products.’

“It is estimated that up to 300,000 patients could qualify for medical (cannabis) treatment,” the chamber said. Conditions eligible for treatment include chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms and drug-resistant epilepsy.’

I was disappointed to read that the writer of this piece also use the term ‘Medical Marijuana’ on a few occasions.. BUT it was great to read that Poland is now moving forward on this issue. Hopefully Aotearoa/NZ will do likewise in this coming year (2018) ?

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