Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This is your government on drugs

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  • Rosemary McDonald,

    To drag this conversation back on the track of Russell's post...

    The Speech from the Throne recently confirmed that in the first 100 days of Jacinda Ardern’s government: ”Medicinal cannabis will be made available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain.”

    I’ve been able to glean something of what that statement will actually mean in practice, and I can tell you now that many advocates will be disappointed.

    And I suspect, as someone who has experienced the beneficence of a donation from a 'green fairy', that that final statement will be correct.

    What will happen is that yes, medical cannabis be will 'legalised', but it will be restricted and regulated and forced into complying with standards set by evidenced based science that the product will be out of the financial reach of most.

    In the meantime...the evidence of harm caused by prescription painkillers is overwhelming....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I can't disagree with you on any of that, Rosemary, and I've no doubt that Sue Grey is an effective campaigner for medicinal cannabis reform.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    The Green Fairies make their mission statement...

    There’s growing scientific evidence that cannabinoids do have measurable positive effects. In double-blind trials (the gold standard of clinical trials), cannabis products decreased or prevented chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients.

    Cannabis products with a high cannabidiol (CBD) content can be used without the psychoactive effects normally associated with marijuanaCannabis products with a high cannabidiol (CBD) content can be used without the psychoactive effects normally associated with marijuana Photo: RNZ / Kate Newton
    There’s good evidence it helps with multiple sclerosis symptoms, its pain relief effects have been backed up by several studies, while other double-blind trials have concluded that childhood epilepsy and seizures also seem to respond to CBD.

    Animal trials - which are not necessarily any indication that the results will be repeated for humans - found that some cannabinoids had anti-tumour properties.

    The research is helpful, Paul says. It converts sceptical patients and doctors. It makes it more palatable to the public.

    But for him, the evidence that matters is what he sees.

    “Of course, a lot of nay-sayers will say it’s just anecdotal. I say - f*** you, it’s not. This is proof that it’s working.”

    They had hoped for a swift law change from the new government but know now that won’t happen in time for Cowie.

    Not that the law matters, Wood says.

    “Whether the local stuff becomes legal or not, we’re going to continue to do what we do.”

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Yes that's more or less been my impression. I've been following the 1080 stuff for some time now, and while I fully appreciate the right to have concerns and discuss them, it's been depressing watching some of the most conspiracy-driven elements of that movement enter the Brook Valley Community Group. (A brodi drop is not a 1080 drop but the helicopter thing means it activates similar crowds.) With the BVCG Sue Grey hasn't so much just been a lawyer acting for the group as being a lawyer acting like the group, bringing masses of insane and trivial stuff and non-expert witnesses (described as experts) into the court-room. All this time she's in social media implying to everyone that their chances of success are really good despite virtually all court documentation saying the opposite for reasons that must have been clear to any competent lawyer before anything began.

    I was going to write a much lengthier comment, but Dave Hansford really summarised this circus between the court rooms and social media quite well: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/96558044/zealots-ransack-vision-for-the-brook-sanctuary

    I hope, at least, that the medicinal cannabis stuff goes well with her involvement, but I also hope the legal work she's been doing for it is more robust and integrous than for the Brook Valley Community Group.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I’d assume the Green fairys can produce evidence that they where supplying pharmaceuticals, not just garden grade weed. If not, they don't have much of a defence case. Just a mitigating argument for the sentencing.

    Regarding cellphone radiation. It kills cancer :-)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to izogi,

    That's a great summary from Dave Hansford. Thank you.
    Did you read this more recent piece in the Spinoff? I thought it was quite bleak - he describes the problem very clearly but he seems pretty stumped about solutions.

    And Steven - you might be thinking of ionising radiation..

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    And Steven – you might be thinking of ionising radiation

    I was just kidding:-)

    I do know though, that the question about mabe scary affects of cellphone radiation on humans, has massive imperial data to help dispel fear, due to phone companies records.

    Another question about cellphones, now that they have turned into smartphones, is do they make people depressed? And that’s not easily figured out with numbers.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    I am assuming that the Government has spoken with medical professionals regarding proposed legislation to give access to cannabis based medicines.

    GPs have been surveyed to ascertain the extent of usage of 'unregulated' products, their efficacy and safety?

    And I would imagine that many GPs, if they were consulted on the issue, would also tell the government that the proposed legislation will not, in any way, provide greater (legal) access to patients to such products unless they are available at much reduced prices.

    You'd hope also, that medical professionals are keeping some sort of (hopefully anonymised) records of use, efficacy and safety of unregulated products that their patients have admitted using.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    You’d hope also, that medical professionals are keeping some sort of (hopefully anonymised) records of use, efficacy and safety of unregulated products that their patients have admitted using.

    Well, a diligent doctor would enter into patient records; the use of recreational drugs, alcohol and/or cigarettes. And, if the patient uses “alternative” medicines. If I noticed my doctor not doing that, I would seriously think about getting a better one.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill


    If I'm reading this right...this may actually be a step in the right direction...

    Having said that...there will be bogies...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

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