Cannabis News

This column is written by a frontline police officer. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

Burglaries, firearms, drugs... Not a day goes by without there being some form of news report on one of these subjects. More recently, cannabis seems to be on everyone’s lips, so to speak.

With high-profile New Zealanders being revealed as users of medicinal cannabis as part of palliative care, it has certainly brought the topic to the forefront of my mind. I have dealt with drugs on an almost daily basis in the course of the job, whether it’s seizing them or dealing with the aftereffects on users. But I often question why we prosecute people who have small quantities of cannabis on them (or other drugs, for that matter).

My view of cannabis, in particular, has changed dramatically over the years. Initially, I had a zero tolerance approach.

Natiowide protests will erupt accross New Zealand on September 17th to highlight unjust cannabis laws.

Thriteen towns and cities around the country will hold protest rallies calling for a moratorium of cannabis realted arrests.

Protest organiser Rose Renton said the protests will target police stations.

Cannabis testing is keeping skilled New Zealanders out of the workplace even if the cannabis is used in their own private time or for medical reasons.

New Zealand must rely on foreign workers because too many locals are on drugs prime minister John Key said.

Defending the nation’s record migrant intake, Mr Key said New Zealand needed to import workers - even for low-skilled jobs - because not all locals were suitable.

New Zealand First have voted to support low-THC medicines like Charlottes Web while another remit to maintain cannabis prohibition was defeated at their annual conference in Dunedin.

Party leader Winston Peters has also committed to honouring the result of a cannabis referendum if one is organised by another party.

NZ First representative Curwen Rolinson said a remit from the Whanganui branch supported the provision of “low THC medicinal marijuana” and in particular, the Charlotte’s Web strain, which is used to treat seizures.

Political commentator Jane Clifton says The Cannabis Party could force the government to legalise cannabis.

"Governments could be held to ransom by a marijuana party" Clifton told Radio NZ.

Party leader Julian Crawford confirmed that The Cannabis Party would "hold the government to ransom" if elected to parliament.

A new UMR poll confirms increased support for medicinal cannabis law reform.

Hot on the heels of the NZ Drug Foundation cannabis poll, a new poll by UMR shows increased support for medicinal cannabis law reform, including strong support for treating it as a herbal remedy.

Conducted for Start The Conversation, the poll will help the group decide whether to organise a referendum at the general election next year.

An economic think tank is the latest to say cannabis needs to be legalised.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research says criminalisation of marijuana is costing the country more than 300 million each year.

It has found legalising the class-C drug would bring in about $150 million in tax, and would cut the country's drug enforcement bill by 40 percent - a saving of $180 million.

A "loophole" in the Misuse of Drugs act is making a mockery of cannabis laws according to TV3's Duncan Garner. 

New Zealanders who cannot afford to travel overseas are missing out on legal medical cannabis while those that have an overseas prescription and can afford to travel can import, possess and use it legally.

TV3's Story programme documented Rebecca Reider's return trip to Hawaii. She became the first person to openly declare cannabis to New Zealand Customs and was then allowed to bring it into the country.

A medical cannabis patient from Golden Bay has become the first person to openly bring raw cannabis and concentrates into New Zealand.

Rebecca Reider was discharged without conviction for importing cannabis laced chocolates earlier in the year after her lawyer Sue Grey discovered a "loophole" in the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Now Reider has used the same "loophole" to bring several ounces of medicinal cannabis and concentrates into the country, which were prescribed to her in Hawaii.

A new poll shows more than eighty per cent of people want cannabis legalised or decriminalised for terminal pain relief.

The poll of a thousand New Zealanders backs the policy stance of The Cannabis Party.

Prime Minister John Key said despite the poll, he's not a personal fan of changing the cannabis law. He says if Parliament were to decriminalise cannabis use, that would appaear to condone increased drug use.