Cannabis progress in North & South America


While the New Zealand government continues to do virtually nothing about addressing cannabis law (apart from allowing limited use of medicinal cannabis extracts) the rest of the world moves on with reforms.

CNBC: Canada to legalize Cannabis from next year: report

Canadians will be free to smoke and grow their own cannabis from next July under new laws which legalize the possession of marijuana for personal consumption, according to reports from Canadian national broadcaster CBC News.

The new freedoms, which were presented to the Liberal government over the weekend by MP Bill Blair, will be announced during the week of April 10 before being written into law in time for Canada Day on July 1, 2018, according to reports from Canadian national broadcaster CBC News.

Under the new law, the Federal government in Ottawa will set a minimum purchasing age of 18 and will be in charge of licensing producers, however, provincial government will have the authority to manage distribution and pricing. It will also be entitled to raise the minimum purchase age. Canadians will also be free to grow up to four marijuana plants per household.

And (ODT): Argentina approves medicinal cannabis

Argentina has given final legislative approval to a bill legalising cannabis oil for medicinal use and permitting the federal government to grow marijuana for research and therapeutic purposes.

The measure will become law once it is signed by President Mauricio Macri, whose Cambiemos party sponsored the bill.

“Thirty percent of epileptics do not respond to traditional medicine,” medical doctor Ana María García Nicora, who heads the Medical Cannabis Argentina group, told local television after the Senate’s final vote on the measure.

“My daughter has had epilepsy for 24 years and this is an option for her,” she said.

And not just in Argentina:

Chile and Colombia have adopted similar laws and neighboring Uruguay has gone as far as to legalize smoking marijuana, seeking to wrest the business from criminals in the small South American nation.

A bill approving the use of cannabis oil is pending in Peru’s Congress.

In January, healthcare regulators in Brazil issued the country’s first license for sale of an oral spray derived from marijuana used to treat multiple sclerosis.

There has also been a lot of changes to cannabis laws in many states in the US.

Meantime here in New Zealand we continue to suffer the consequences of outdated and ineffective drug laws.

Leave a comment


  1. I hate to say it, but even in the form of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia, ultra-regressive though they were, New ZealLand somehow “led the world” …

    Our subsequent (and now long-lived) retreat from addressing the very real social issues caused by ‘reform’ and pseudo-deregulation, along with the glaring inconsistencies illuminated by them, is a source of great embarrasment and shame IMHO – e.g. the blatant lack of “freedom of choice” where there is no victim, resulting in the maintenance of patently unjust criminal cannabis law … housing … poverty … inequality … education … health … biculturalism … truth & reconciliation … a Constitution …

    We’ve become a timid, frightened, lag-behind, ‘con-serve-ative’ nation … obsessed with ‘survival & gratification’ … scared of anything that might cost any more “other people’s money” … the big vote loser (along with capital gains) … bizarrely, except for “more police, more [private] prisons” … even if cannabis law reform could make the government – or in other words ‘the people’ – a shitload of money as well as reconcile their freedoms … and vastly reduce crime …

    Instead a Richard Seddon, a Micky Savage or a Norman Kirk … we get a Helen Clark, a John Key and a Bill English … with a Peter Dunne in charge of unjust cannabis law …

    • Conspiratoor

       /  31st March 2017

      parti, one might argue their legacy lingers on through decades of entrenched welfarism. What further relevance would a savage, seddon or kirk be to 21st century nz?

      • Not meant to be taken quite that literally C …

        I’m talking about a calibre of politician … a quality of leadership …

        I guess you can’t wait for all education, health and public infrastructure to be privatised eh?

        You think beggars on the city streets are bad now …?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  31st March 2017

          You guess wrong parti but hey if it fits the narrative why not.
          Seddon and Micky were before my time so can’t comment on their calibre but big norm seemed like a harmless fish
          And breaking news, beggars here in godzone don’t beg to feed, clothe and put a roof over their heads. Kiwi battlers like you and I do this for them. Cheers,c

  2. Kevin

     /  31st March 2017

    The easiest place the govt can start is by legalising cannabis products that have low levels of THC. But for idiots like Peter Dunne even that’s too difficult. Much better to just legalise leafy substances soaked in research chemicals, eh Dunne?

    • Kevin

       /  1st April 2017

      Update: On the 27 April 216 the EACD were asked to consider making an exemption for low levels of THC:

      “To address the issue around THC content in CBD medicines, it was suggested that a THC content threshold be set, similar to the allowable threshold of THC in hemp. It was discussed if the limit should be two percent, in line with Australia, or 0.35 percent in line with the threshold for THC in hemp.

      The Committee queried whether there was enough evidence presented to make a recommendation for an allowable THC threshold in CBD preparations. They were particularly interested in the processes that led to the 0.35 percent threshold of THC allowed in hemp in NZ and the two percent threshold of other cannabinoids allowed in CBD medicines in Australia. The question was also raised of what the THC content of cannabis generally is.

      Outcome: The Committee deferred the decision to the next meeting as more information is needed regarding the process that lead to the 0.35 percent of THC content threshold being allowed in hemp and the two percent threshold of other cannabinoids allowed in CBD medicines in Australia. Research around the effects of consumption of two percent of additional cannabinoids in a CBD product also needs to be looked at by the Secretariat and brought to the Committee.”

      So a tiny bit progress on the part of the EACD but we have to wait.

  3. grantaviuskennarius

     /  31st March 2017

    You quote the NZ Drug Foundation as saying that 50% of the prison population are property and drug offending. What is property offending? Theft?

    • Ive heard that about 30% of inmates are in prison for ‘drug related’ offences & less than 10% for properties crime (B&E robbery etc.).

      I still ask “who really the VICTIM of a cannabis possession ‘offence’ ?”
      that is often mentioned by Govt. MPs (that they seize the ‘proceeds of crime’ to compensate the ‘victims’ of said crime !)

  4. Zedd

     /  31st March 2017

    why is NZ now at the back of the (western) pack on this issue ?

    I still remember what a Dutch police chief said (in a TV interview) about: ‘countries putting high priority on drugs prohibition, is often signs of corruption/black-market (bribery) involvement’ by those claiming to be clamping down hardest !

    I still hear total B-S in NZ, about ‘marijuana’ being a MAJOR cause of insanity/mental illness & the gateway to HARD DRUGS, when these claims were discredited in much of the world in 1950-70s. There is some minor evidence, but only a small portion of the total population.

    The NZ ‘power brokers’ still support effective ZERO-TOLERANCE on cultivation & widespread use of the drug.. whilst most of the OECD is moving forward, we are stuck in 1975. 😦

    • not good enuf.. people; APATHY rules NOT OK, in aotearoa !

      • Orhhh mate … Apathy has increasingly ruled here since we gave up the fight against Rogernomics …

        Had more enlightened ideologies prevailed, we wouldn’t even be discussing ‘dope’ …

        We’d be discussing whether to have a three-and-a-half day working week instead of our four day one …

    • Griff

       /  31st March 2017

      The major drug that causes harm is alcohol.

      Alcohol fulls our police cells, our courts, our jails, , our hospitals,

      Between 18% and 35% of injury-based emergency
      department presentations are estimated to be
      alcohol-related, rising to between 60% and 70%
      during the weekend
      approximately one-third of all Police apprehensions
      involve alcohol

      half of serious violent crimes are related
      to alcohol

      over 300 alcohol-related offences are committed
      every day

      each day, 52 individuals or groups of people are
      either driven home or detained in police custody
      because of intoxication.

      Click to access Alcohol%20Quickfact%20Facts_0.pdf

      Yet safer alliterative are illegal.

      Cannabis is not good for teenagers.
      So R18 dedicated retail just like we do for alcohol.
      Tax it ….

      • Gezza

         /  31st March 2017

        I’m definitely in favour of safer alliteratives.

        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2017

          This one could be quite unsafe in the wrong situation, for example:
          Betty Botter bought bitter butter that made her batter bitter, but a bit of better butter made her batter better

      • Kevin

         /  1st April 2017

        The problem with that graph is that it doesn’t take into account how dangerous a particular drug is.

        If the graph was about rating drugs according to how dangerous a particular drug is then heroin would be way at the top, MDMA and alcohol would be equal last at the bottom, and cannabis would be just above alcohol and MDMA.


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