Thursday, 16 October 2014
We have been asking for permission to use cannabis in New Zealand for 40 years. Cannabis law reform groups began in the 1970's in New Zealand, and if measuring how far we have come, it may take a small measure rather than- we are light years ahead of that time. In 1996 California legalised the use of medical marijuana and has never looked back. To date about half of the States in America have medical marijuana and two States have fully legalised all cannabis use. I also feel there should be no distinction between recreational use and medical use because the plant is medical. It may seem like semantics over the word drug but I would agree with both the law makers and the police that we don't need more drugs on the street. As a drug and alcohol counsellor since 2005, I have seen no real change in policing or the drug use in New Zealand. Things seem pretty consistent. I moved to Auckland after the September, Christchurch earthquake (number one) and was horrified at the rate of P use. I certainly don't have the answer! Why I want cannabis legal in answer, to we don't need more drugs in society. But we do need safe and efficient effective and low cost medicines right? One of the most effective medicines in the treatment of drug addiction, surprisingly is cannabis. Cannabis is used by meth heads in America to help the come down. Cannabis was also suggested to clients at drug treatment agencies to be safer than the synthetic cannabis products which were legal but far more potent and mentally addictive than regular cannabis. I know of health workers around the country who had to say to clients you really are safer going back to regular cannabis than using the herbal highs. Thank goodness a group of concerned mothers around the country fought for them to banned. Cannabis works in quite unusual ways compared to many other drugs. The most outstanding thing about cannabis it there is no lethal dose. There are no deaths fully attributed to cannabis globally. It works to stop pain. The easiest way to describe pain is in the brain rather than at the site of the injury. Cannabis works by releasing the chemicals in the brain that both block the pain but really it is working in the brain almost to trick it. I believe that is why is can enliven a person or sedate a person. The different strains of cannabis also can have different effects on the body. The strain Charlottes web is used to make oil that controls seizures. It is for this reason that cannabis is effective as medicine for muscle spasms like MS and Parkinsons. I am now a fully fledged supporter of Green Cross, am running Auckland Green Cross and hoping to complete a scientific study with other members. A week ago my home and place of business was raided. The Auckland Office of green Cross was also raided and a sizeable amount of cannabis was taken. This was to be the first batch of Rick Simpson oil as I have been learning how to make and understand dosage and best use of the RS oil. Green Cross was donated almost enough to make the first batch and patients were waiting. Myself included. I have a long association with cannabis and after studying to become a teacher I then retrained to become a counsellor. I went from standing for the ALCP and supporting NORML, to only wanting to represent medical users. I also had some disappointment with the Daktory. But hats off to Dakta Green, Gizi and all Daktory folk for making it happen first. Sorry tinny houses! NORML endorsed medical Marijuana in 2011 so better late than never boys. I was able to gather most of my research for my Post Graduate study on Cannabis use in New Zealand and was planning to do my thesis on Cannabis Clubs in New Zealand. I would like to remember Stephen McIntyre for his role in opening the first medical club and Green Cross in New Zealand . Sadly I believe police intimidation and using synthetics, as part of his bail conditions caused him to take his own life. I won't be following him. Nor do I want any person to claim I am a roaring lion. I am anything but. I am a trudging mammoth, I am dragging with me the weight of a decade of denial of the efficacy of the plant. But I refuse to give up. The reason I am trailblazing a path seemingly alone and outside the law is because I have been asking for permission for since 1994. I have written to the many different Ministers of Health to allow the use of medical marijuana for myself. I have written on the behalf of others and many others have written to them over the years. We as medical users have taken part in writing submission to a health commissions and Health Select Committee Inquiries and the like for nearly 20 years. The original Green Cross founder Greg Soar wrote to the Hon Peter Dunne in 2002 and detailed the condition of a patient and member of green cross who was experiencing dreadful nausea as an effect of the HIV medications he was taking. I have it in writing that Peter Dunne called medical marijuana and the request for an exemption to allow its use "Garbage". Peter Dunne has held this position for 18 years I think. He is also the person who gave us herbal highs ! Go figure his ethics. There is no way around this, other than to go outside New Zealand for help and guidance and the knowledge I have obtained has allowed me to act in this way. I have had considerable experience and two trips to America to meet and work with doctors. While the police and the law make me a criminal I feel no shame in following what has already been common place in America and it is the commonly used herb in Asia.I know it is safe as it it used most often on children. I want to enjoy my life in a pain free manner. I have a crushed hip and pelvis from a horse riding injury and crippling pain in my feet, diagnosed as plantar fascitis but I suspect it is something else as it has worsened in the two years not resolved. The doctors have prescribed me coedine panadol orthotics, sleeping pills anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication as a result of this condition. I take none of it. I find it difficult to be less mobile than I would like. especially as I have a two year old in tow. But medicine I use and have used for over 30 years is cannabis. No one can convince me it is not right when i see the positive results all around me. I see people getting to sleep after a toke on a bong instead of using alcohol or prescription drugs. Combine alcohol with prescription drugs and there is a low fatal concoction. I am going to court to prove that I am innocent of any crime. Cannabis is a medicine. I am here to help.