Today a brave woman, of a slightly conservative background, a Christian Farmer and wife from the ‘Naki made the Taranaki daily paper putting her hand up as a user of Cannabis for pain relief. She suffers from a condition called Fibromyalgia, which causes sore muscles, general stiffness and fatigue, and tender painful points over the much of the body. In and of itself it isn’t the worst chronic pain condition to have, but it is not a “pissing contest” on who suffers the most, the secondary effects from Chronic Pain on mood, sleep, family life and love life are all the same.
In response to this the minister of Justice, Amy Adams responded
I have seen no evidence that supports the benefits for decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis, for medicinal purposes or otherwise, outweighing the harm it causes to society.
“The potential harms from smoking cannabis are well documented and I have no plans to soften the Government’s stance on what is commonly considered a gateway drug to more harmful substances such as P.
I am writing a letter to her in response, but I think some of this nonsense needs to be cleared up publicly.
The first benefit of Legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes, is in the overdose rates from Opiates (morphine class of drugs) In the USA, overdose rates are huge due to the way the doctors are lobbied by the pharmaceutical companies, in every state that enabled Medicnal Marijauna law (MMJ), the rate of death from overdose dropped, this effect occurred over many states at many points in time as the dominoes fell, and is hard to refute. In NZ I have an OIA request in to get some hard numbers on how many die, and how many nearly die from the use of Opiates in a clinical setting. Would a reduction in deaths from Opiates of 1/3rd not be enough to justify the Medicinal Cannabis, or would saving lives not be in the public interest. Is it worth while and in the public interest to deny chronic pain sufferers a safer alternative, out of fear that the likes of Dakta Green might acquire some medical product? News flash minister, they already have it!
In the public benefit, there are thousands of New Zealanders suffering from chronic pain, and there is strong evidence for the use of Cannabis in treating that pain. A German compilation of high quality studies conducted found of 26 good studies, 23 had favorable results in treating Chronic Pain. Again, would a Politician deny the improved quality of life of thousands, for fear of recreational users? this stinks of either ignorance, or a lack of moral courage to do the right thing by the people.
The one thing I agree with that Amy Adams said is that smoking cannabis is harmful, which is why we have had an explosion of vaporizer devices, which coincided with the explosion in medical use in the USA, the quality vaporizers can remove 90-95% of the harmful byproduct that would otherwise be inhaled. In fact New York is implementing a no Smoking MMJ policy.
I look forward to the Minister trying to conjure up evidence supporting her stance from within recent history, her stance is a copy paste description that every National MP replies with, and is a Tory hangover from the Reefer madness years. I have only attacked her stance from the Chronic Pain angle, as that is the one I am most familiar with, but others with more experience in the treatment of Nausea from Cancer and HIV treatments, or the Epilepsy and Tourretes side of the equation could certainly add even more “public interest” to alleviating suffering.