New Zealand

Mon
01
May

Medical Marijuana - Life in the Waiting Room - NZ

Sometimes when Cara* is waiting for her carer to return from the tinny house, her mind begins to wander.

What's happened to them? Why are they taking longer then usual? Are they banged up, frightened, at the local cop shop?

She worries that this time their luck has run out, as they delve inexpertly into the world of drugs and gangs to get her medicine: cannabis.

Cara suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus and complications from a stroke.

She gets around in an electric wheelchair, which she manoeuvres with her shaky, twisted and swollen hands. The cannabis, which she takes as a capsule of oil or baked into cookies, steadies them and her nerves and frees her from pain.

Mon
03
Apr

New Zealand Doesn't Want 'Marijuana Industry'

The vast majority of viewers tuning into The AM Show on Monday support medicinal cannabis.

A (non-scientific) poll on the Newshub website found 94 percent of respondents backing its legalisation.

It comes after oncologists claimed at the weekend half their patients are using cannabis to ease their suffering.But don't expect the Government to ease up the rules anytime soon.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Prime Minister Bill English said there's already a "compassionate" and legal route for patients to get cannabis products - if they need them.

Fri
31
Mar

New Zealand: Cannabis Over Cows? Richard Branson Tells Farmers to Grow Weed

Virgin Group founder and billionaire Sir Richard Branson thinks that instead of raising cows, farmers in New Zealand should grow cannabis, he said in a recent interview with Newshub.

During a visit to the country to speak at a charity fundraiser, Branson said he predicts that within the next 10 years, marijuana use will be just as acceptable as drinking wine, he told Newshub. In New Zealand, it is currently illegal to grow, possess or use cannabis.

Tue
28
Mar

Sir Richard Branson: New Zealand Farmers Should Swap Cows for Cannabis

Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson told Newshub New Zealand farmers should grow cannabis instead of expanding dairy operations.

He also called US President Donald Trump an "embarrassment", before considering a future job opportunity for former Prime Minister John Key.

The entrepreneur jetted in and out of the country over the weekend to speak at a charity fundraiser.

A ticket to the gala dinner would set you back $1000 but for that price, guests heard the entrepreneur's views on subjects such as marijuana, which he predicts will be as acceptable as wine in 10 years.

He also weighed in on the war on drugs.

Tue
28
Feb

Labour Wants Medicinal Cannabis Grown in New Zealand

Labour is calling for the raw product for medicinal cannabis to be grown in New Zealand.

Labour MP Damien O'Connor says New Zealand lost out to Australia on a similar economic opportunity years ago and he doesn't want to see it happen again.

Tasmanian poppy farmers supply nearly half of the world's legal opiates that are used to make powerful painkillers like morphine and codeine.

The industry's one of the state's biggest employers and is estimated to be worth $100 million dollars a year.

"In the '70s NZ had the opportunity to grow poppies for medicinal purposes. We turned our back on that; Tasmania has been the beneficiary of that," Mr O'Connor says.

Wed
15
Feb

Medicinal Cannabis to Be Exported to New Zealand

A Canadian company will begin exporting medicinal cannabis to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital from later this month.

Tilray has been granted approvals to export oils containing THC and cannabidoil to New Zealand.

It comes days after Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who had been responsible for approving almost all medicinal cannabis prescriptions, downgraded requirements.

Patients now only need authorisation from the Ministry of Health for prescriptions for medicinal cannabis products.

Tilray is expected to be an alternative to Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray used to help multiple sclerosis patients with pain, which costs $1200 a month.

Wed
08
Feb

New Zealand Govt Loosens Restrictions on Medicinal Cannabis

Approval for cannabis-based products for medicinal use will no longer require ministerial sign-off, under changes announced by the government.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has delegated decision-making for the prescribing of all cannabis-based products to the Ministry of Health.

"When applications first began to be received it was my view that the final decision appropriately lay at ministerial level, rather than exposing officials to risk, given the complicated and contentious nature of the issue - that is to say the buck stopped with me", said Mr Dunne in a statement.

"I have approved every application that has come before me with a positive recommendation - within a matter of minutes once the application came across my desk."

Tue
07
Feb

New Zealand Govt to Ease Medical Cannabis Laws?

The government is considering making it easier for people to access medicinal cannabis.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says he will make an announcement tomorrow, but will not comment ahead of it.

Cannabis-based products are Class B1 controlled drugs. Ministerial approval is required before they can be prescribed, supplied or administered.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said that process was too bureaucratic.

"It's a pretty wide-ranging issue. There's a process which [associate Health Minister] Peter Dunne is looking at in terms of making it easier for people to access cannabis-based medicines, so at the moment they need to be signed off in this case by the associate Minister of Health.

Mon
06
Feb

Taxing Marijuana: An Infographic

Taxes on marijuana? There is a lot of money being made in this world already on the taxation of cannabis. There are nations like Uruguay and Israel taking a new approach on the substance and bucking the status quo on marijuana policy in their country. Many states have legalized medical marijuana in America, and many more will follow in the coming months and years.

This interesting graphic from Turbotax shows just how prevalent the cash is from taxes. In the end, the US spends 12 billion prosecuting marijuana crimes, which is a real shame. Hopefully the feds will move, but with the new administration, we aren’t holding our breath.

Thu
22
Dec

New Zealand Doctors Should Lead Medicinal Cannabis Debate: Experts

Kiwi doctors need to be at the forefront of the debate around medicinal cannabis, two Wellington experts say.

Until now the push has been largely consumer driven while doctors have remained largely silent, according to Giles Newton-Howes and Sam McBride in an article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Currently doctors are able to prescribe cannabis-based products to patients in New Zealand, but require ministerial sign-off to do so.

Dr Newton-Howes, who works at the University of Otago's psychological medicine department, says there are issues accepting cannabis as a medication for a variety of purposes.

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