Recent Posts

Draft submission on the Māori Electoral Option bill

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I have prepared the following (draft) submission on the Electoral (Māori Electoral Option) Legislation Bill, which you all have until Saturday to submit on. Happy to consider comments, or to fix typos: have I used the word whakapapa incorrectly, etc?…

60

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Tomorrow, I will be 60 years old. It’s the impossibly distant age at which people used to retire with a pension and a mortgage-free house. It's okay. I've been thinking of myself as basically there for a while now – and…

Closing off a complaint

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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You might recall that on April 19 and 20 this year, RNZ published and broadcast a series of reports – beginning with this one – that claimed the government had not followed Ministry of Health advice to end the MIQ system in…

Me and my disabled body

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Access by Shel Walmsley
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This Disability Pride Month I am reflecting on the complicated identity of disability for those of us with physical disabilities. I am often “reminded” by those inside and outside the disability community that having a disability is only made difficult…

The local bill to remove equal suffrage

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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There are four types of bills that Parliament considers: most bills are government bills, but there are also members bills, private bills and local bills. Members bills are relatively well know (some important ones have passed over the last few…

New Drug Harm Index, new problems

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The New Zealand Drug Harm Index 2020 just made it into 2021: it was quietly posted on the Ministry of Health website before Christmas. And it contains some startling claims. Not the least of them, that cannabis is New Zealand's…

A submission on the repeal of the three strikes sentencing law

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Just sent the following submission in on the law repealing the three strikes sentencing regime. You have until midnight tonight if you want your say. == The Justice Committee Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill Submission of Graeme Edgeler Introduction This…

Medicinal cannabis: 2022 will be a better year

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The year we are about to depart has been a frustrating one for the New Zealand medicinal cannabis community. A cluster of companies established to produce and distrubute legal cannabis products ran up against a regulatory scheme that sometimes seemed…

Public Address Word of the Year 2021: Covidiot

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The Public Address Word of the Year for 2021 is "Covidiot" – a word which seems to sum up a particular kind of frustration in 2021,  but which, oddly enough, is a word coined in 2020 – as a Professor of Linguistics…

Public Address Word of the Year 2021: The Vote!

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Hard News by Russell Brown

Welcome to to the voting stage of the Public Address Word of the Year 2021. Over the past week's korero phase, readers have been discussing and proposing words and phrases to sum up the year. I've made up a long…

More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription.…

Pearl, prescriptions and patient experts

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As I've noted here before, for various reasons, the clinical evidence for cannabis as a teatment for pain and other conditions is not yet compelling. This doesn't mean it won't be, but as the International Association for the Study of…

The New New Prohibition

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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In the decades leading up to the 18th Amendment, the case for the prohibition of alcohol was made repeatedly. The harms of alcohol were substantial, and the US experience was worse than most. The victims made the case, and campaigners…

Steelmanning hate speech reform

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I am generally sceptical of laws regulating speech, especially those that impose criminal penalties, the consequences can be perverse, and can sometimes even make things worse for those whom they seek to protect. But I try not to allow my…

Testing the fairies

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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A new paper by ESR scientists, published in the Australian Journal of Chemistry, has confirmed what close observers of the local cannabis community already knew, or at least suspected: the cannabinoid contents of local "green fairy" products vary widely, ratios…