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New Zealand

Tue
30
Jun

Reforming cannabis laws is a complex challenge, but New Zealand’s history of drug reform holds important lessons

In less than three months, New Zealanders will vote in the world’s first national referendum on a comprehensive proposal to legalise the recreational use of cannabis.

Tue
30
Jun

Marijuana use increased during COVID-19 lockdown, survey shows

The coronavirus pandemic led to a decrease in the use of party drugs like MDMA and cocaine, but also to an increase in pot use, according to Global Drug Survey.

Forty thousand people from 12 countries participated in the online survey that looked at changes in alcohol and drug-related habits during the global health crisis. The 12 countries included in the study were Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Brazil, and Switzerland. 

Based on the data, nearly a fifth of people reported that they used less cocaine during lockdown, while 29% said they used less MDMA, popularly known as ecstasy or molly. 

Fri
26
Jun

New Zealand: Time to harness economic benefits of medicinal cannabis

Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we’ve heard a lot about resetting the economy and the need to focus on sunrise, not sunset, industries. At the same time, during the Alert Level 4 lockdown in April, the Ministry of Health pushed play on New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

The regulations are now in effect, enabling local commercial cultivation of cannabis and the manufacturing of THC and CBD products. New Zealand GPs can now apply their professional discretion to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Tue
16
Jun

NZ scientists excited by the promise of hemp crops

We soon got used to cooking and eating exotic proteins and grains like chickpeas, couscous and quinoa. Now, attention has turned to hemp in the search for other productive, environmentally friendly food crops.

Hemp has had a slightly shady image, which is undeserved. It’s a type of cannabis plant but "industrial" hemp has miniscule levels of the psychoactive THC component – officially less than 0.35 per cent.

The legal impediment to growing hemp for food has largely been removed, though to the annoyance of growers, they still have to apply for a licence to cultivate it.

Hemp’s small oily seeds are high in protein and the fibre from its stalks can be used for an astonishing range of goods from concrete to clothing.

Mon
08
Jun

Illegal status of cannabis 'a barrier to people getting support'

Research Professor Richie Poulton is the director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has gathered information over the past 45 years about the lives of 1037 people born in 1972 and 1973.

Based on data from the Dunedin Study and the similar Christchurch Study, Mr Poulton has co-written a report called Patterns of recreational cannabis use in Aotearoa-New Zealand and their consequences: evidence to inform voters in the 2020 referendum.

In September, New Zealanders will vote on whether to endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which would make cannabis possession legal for people aged 20 and older within their own homes and on licensed premises.

Wed
03
Jun

New Zealand to Consider Referendum on Legal Cannabis

As per a 2017 agreement to revisit legal cannabis later on, a referendum on legalizing cannabis will be held during the 2020 elections in New Zealand this September.  

Mon
01
Jun

Let the People Choose: Will Kiwis Vote to Legalize Recreational Cannabis?

New Zealand has an interesting election coming up this September. Sure, they’ll vote for who they want in government, but they’ll also vote on the 2020 New Zealand Cannabis Referendum for whether they want to legalize recreational cannabis.

In early December, 2019, a Cannabis Legislation and Control draft bill was released. Earlier this month, an outline came out for the public describing what recreational cannabis legalization in New Zealand might look like as per that bill. Here are some of the proposed provisions that New Zealanders will be considering when voting September 19th:

Wed
27
May

Views Of 40 Year Old Kiwis On Legalising Recreational Cannabis

While support for medical cannabis still remains very strong in New Zealand, the issue of legalising recreational cannabis is a different story – particularly among 40 year-olds.

Researchers at the University of Otago carried out a survey of 899 40-year-old participants in the Christchurch Health and Development Study*. Their findings  indicated 82.8% of the cohort expressed support for medicinal cannabis; while 47.8% supported decriminalisation and only 26.8% expressed support for legalisation for recreational use.

In terms of medical cannabis, just 6.2% disagreed or strongly disagreed doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis based products for medicinal purposes such as to relieve chronic pain without restriction. 10.1% were neutral on the issue.

Fri
22
May

New Zealanders reluctant to talk to their doctor about medicinal cannabis, study finds

Half of New Zealanders using medicinal cannabis have never discussed it with their doctor out of fear of being judged, and very few use prescribed products.

That was just one of the findings from new research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) today.

It comes before New Zealanders will have their final say on September 19 on whether cannabis should be legalised to use or grow for recreational purposes.

Data was collected via an anonymous online survey promoted on Facebook between May to August 2019, which questioned 3,634 last-year Kiwi medicinal users of cannabis.

Tue
12
May

New Zealand Cannabis legislation: Good, but room for improvement

OPINION: Even as most New Zealanders focus hopefully on coronavirus restrictions loosening, some are undoubtedly looking ahead to September's cannabis referendum.

 

As a Canadian business professor who has studied my country's legalisation efforts, I see many similarities in the plan the New Zealand Government proposed two weeks ago.

But I also see room for improvement.

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