Medicinal cannabis oil available in NZ

There is improved availability of medicinal cannabis oil in New Zealand, with it now being available for GPs to prescribe. It is a cheaper option but could still be prohibitively expensive.

RNZ: Medicinal cannabis oil arrives in NZ

The arrival of a new, cheaper medicinal cannabis product in New Zealand is good news for patients but will still be prohibitively expensive for many, advocates say.

The cannabis oil, produced by Canadian company Tilray, was first granted an export licence to New Zealand in February, but until now has only been shipped to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

However, the first shipment that will be made available for GPs to prescribe has now arrived in the country.

It contains cannabidiol (CBD) – a cannabinoid that has been shown to have therapeutic properties, but is considered a class B drug under New Zealand law so cannot be advertised or promoted by the company.

Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand coordinator Shane Le Brun said the product had arrived “in the last week or so”.

“It is now available for GPs to prescribe… [but] as an unregistered medicine they can’t make therapeutic claims and as a controlled drug they can’t advertise … so it’s kind of snuck in under the radar.”

Since September, doctors have been able to prescribe CBD products without needing approval from the Health Minister.

The often unfairly maligned ex-MP Peter Dunne deserves some credit for this.

Trials are underway to test Tilray products’ effectiveness for treating childhood epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients.

Paediatric doctors here did not want to over-sell the benefits of the oil, “but certainly it does play a role for some of the severe [epilepsy] patients”, Mr Le Brun said.

“Without there being substantial evidence, they still think it’s worth a shot.”

Because it’s one of the few options that offer hope of improvement. But it is still very expensive.

The wholesale cost of a single bottle of the oil was about $600 – about half the cost of the only other widely available medicinal cannabis product in New Zealand, Mr Le Brun said. However, he expected the retail mark-up would probably put the price to patients at between $900 and $1000 a bottle.

Because Tilray was not a registered medicine, it was ineligible for Pharmac funding.

“Depending on the weight of a child for epilepsy, that bottle might only last three or four days, so without a political solution on the cost it still doesn’t change anything for the patients who are most in need.”

Most parents will not be able to afford that.

A much larger evidence base would be needed to get the product registered as a medicine and seek Pharmac subsidies, he said.

Labour has made medicinal cannabis one of it’s first 100 days priorities:

  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain

As well as this commitment they have the legacy of Helen Kelly to honour – Kelly openly talked about using cannabis products to ease her suffering as she died of cancer.

The Greens should also support it. They have an agreement with Labour to take cannabis law further, but later – “and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election”.

However Parliament needs a majority. Labour are committed, as are the Greens, but either NZ First or National (unlikely given their past lack of fortitude on medicinal cannabis) to get it passed into law.

New Zealand remains reliant to a large extent on progress in research of medicinal cannabis internationally.

A major anomaly remains – it is legal to drown your sorrows and self medicate with alcohol, but puffing away your pains is policed and punishable.

63 Comments

  1. Gerrit

     /  December 9, 2017

    Cannabis is really easy to procure, and its personal use virtually not policed or punished. Why buy expensive oil when substitutes are available.

    One does not need to smoke it to get relieve.

    Legalisation for therapeutic cannabis has not much to do with the homeopathic use the homegrown plant for private medicinal use allows, more to do with the control of cannabis derived Pharmac listed medicines that will be for drug companies benefits only.

    A total wrought. $1000 retail charge for a bottle (what size?) off cannabis oil!!

    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2017

      * rort

      • Gerrit

         /  December 9, 2017

        You are right, english as a second language has many traps, just getting my head around the difference between then and than, never mind wrought and rort.

        Though the urban dictionary has defined wrought as “When an individual takes complete advantage in a way of a system or procedure that is not completely ethically or morally sound.”

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wrought

        • Gezza

           /  December 9, 2017

          Yes but you have to remember the Urban Dictionary generally takes the piss & is not the best guide to the true meaning of either slang or English words.

    • “Why buy expensive oil when substitutes are available.”

      Because they are quite different types of product. The oils extract medicinal components and leave out the high inducing components to varying degrees.

      • Gerrit

         /  December 9, 2017

        Which leads to $1000 bottles of cannabis oil that are not affordable and will drive people back to self grown options.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  December 9, 2017

        Hand full of or correctly weighed out bud,
        infuse in a carrier oil of almond or wheatgerm oil for 3-6 weeks.
        Add MC drops to coconut oil, for strength of analgesic.
        This balm is topical and rubbed on (no need for deep massage) to the area where the pain is, it will bring instant relief.
        It is the whole plant and not the extracted ones pharma will do. The plant cannabis is renowned for being one of the best analgesic medicines in the world.
        Cannabis is a weed and grows like one, some say. To procure this medicine for the arthritis gout all bone aching pains would cost the home grower just the price of oil.
        To suggest to sane thinking people that to regulate this herb and only allow pharma to produce,because only they know best, at prices that will cut out the nani koro whanau whanaunga, is it wrong. It goes against the kaupapa of wai262

        “The Tohunga Suppression Act 1907 was intended to stop people using traditional Māori healing practices which had a supernatural or spiritual element. It was not very effective – only nine convictions were made under the act.”

        Our right to heal ourselves as a different culture was then criminalised.
        Was the Act effective? what did it achieve?
        When will they come for our orange juice and vit C.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 9, 2017

          But was cannabis around then ?

          Nobody will come for vitamin C, but anyone who advertises it with claims that it is healthy and prevents colds etc would be using false advertising as the body can’t store it. It goes in one end, out the other and is usless as a medicine.

          • Pickled Possum

             /  December 9, 2017

            do you really think that cannabis is a relatively new herb, if so … go have a lie down.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 9, 2017

              I didn’t say that, nor do I think it. Don’t do a Blazer and put words into people’s mouths !

  2. wackAmole

     /  December 9, 2017

    “A major anomaly remains – it is legal to drown your sorrows and self medicate with alcohol, but puffing away your pains is policed and punishable.”

    Weed and alcohol are not the same thing.

    People can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Wine has a rich history and culture.

    Weed is about getting high like cocaine or methamphetamine. Druggie culture is degenerate.

    If cannabis can be used in a strictly pharmaceutical form, no worries. But reforms around it are being driven by pro druggie liberal forces who are using the medical argument as the thin end of the wedge.

    • “Weed and alcohol are not the same thing”

      Correct. Alcohol causes far more problems with addiction, violence, productivity, health and crime.

      “But reforms around it are being driven by pro druggie liberal forces who are using the medical argument as the thin end of the wedge.”

      That’s unfair on people making very strong medical arguments. See https://yournz.org/2017/12/09/the-people-pushing-medical-cannabis/

      And it’s inaccurate. “Pro druggie liberal forces” largely campaign for recreational use.

      • wackAmole

         /  December 9, 2017

        ““Pro druggie liberal forces” largely campaign for recreational use.”

        Yes, by spring boarding off the medical cannabis issue and public sympathy around it. I’ve also pointed out that strict medical usage – as in doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals for severe pain – is ok.

        “Correct. Alcohol causes far more problems with addiction, violence, productivity, health and crime.”

        This is the first talking point every pro druggie culture advocate produces.

        It is disingenuous. Everyone knows full well that alcohol use is vastly more wide spread – lots of people enjoy a glass or two of a Pinot Noir with the roast lamb dish they ordered. So of course its going to be there in the stats.

        The reality is many many more people enjoy a glass of wine without becoming alcoholics.

        Whereas cannabis use and the degenerate cultural around it is all about getting high as a kite.

        Its exactly your position Pete, appearing to be concerned merely with pain management for patients, but pushing pro druggie talking points, which has me wondering what the real agenda is.

        • “This is the first talking point every pro druggie culture advocate produces.”

          It’s reality.

          And I’m not a pro druggie culture advocate, far from it. I’ve never used cannabis not any other recreational drug except alcohol, and have first hand knowledge of how damaging the effects of booze can be.

          Just like (alcohol) prohibition didn’t work, it aided criminals and otherwise created a mess. Like cannabis. It just doesn’t make sense to prosecute people genuinely using cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering while gangs make millions off recreational users. It’s nuts.

          • wackAmole

             /  December 9, 2017

            “I’ve never used cannabis not any other recreational drug”

            So you admit you don’t have a clue about the druggie culture and lifestyle.

            Your understanding is probably limited to cultural Hollywood style portrayals of it being just a bit of harmless fun by the kids when the parents aren’t around, or as sexy and hipster.

            Drug policy formed around that misconception would be incredibly harmful to society. Unfortunately more and more people have been manipulated into accepting such a misconception as reality.

            “and have first hand knowledge of how damaging the effects of booze can be.”

            Do we really want to go there?

            • “So you admit you don’t have a clue about the druggie culture and lifestyle.”

              I didn’t do that at all.

              You seem to have a very simplistic view of a very complex mix of cultures and lifestyles.

              “Your understanding is probably limited to cultural Hollywood style portrayals of it being just a bit of harmless fun by the kids when the parents aren’t around, or as sexy and hipster.”

              Is that supposed to be joke? It’s as pathetic as it’s inaccurate.

              I’ve lived in New Zealand for quite a while (al my life) so have seen many aspects of alcohol and cannabis and drug use, like everyone else.

              I’ll give you a couple of example of my experiences. One of my nephews died from an accidental but toxic mix of cannabis, alcohol and prescription drugs, none of which on their own were lethal amounts. I was with my sister when she was told the news of her son’s death, we were at the funeral directors arranging for the funeral of our mother. That was a fraught time. I was the primary caregiver of my father as he died slowly of the ill effects of another widely used and abused substance, tobacco. So don’t throw trite Hollywood shit at me.

            • wackAmole

               /  December 9, 2017

              “so have seen many aspects of alcohol and cannabis and drug use, like everyone else.”

              Then stop pretending that weed isn’t any different from alcohol, or the even more extremist position that alcohol is worse than weed. There is no way anyone who has observed weed users and the culture they immerse themselves, can honestly claim weed is no different from alcohol.

              “One of my nephews died from an accidental but toxic mix of cannabis, alcohol and prescription drugs”

              Well, I asked if you really wanted to go there. But seeing as you think it was to your advantage to do so, I’m not going to pull any punches either:

              “Accidental”? Mixing a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, there is nothing accidental about that in my estimation…there can’t be single person on this planet who isnt aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol with drugs.

              What kind of values was he raised with to be taking a concoction of recreational and pharmaceutical drugs?

              Our youth are cluster bombed with music, film/tv and literature spinning a narrative of how drugs are sexy and cool thanks to Hollywood swamp creatures like Sweinstein. Even movies/tv about celebrity “tragic” drug deaths are still embedded in a narrative of fame, glamour and melodrama.

              You make think you are not influenced by the self appointed cultural brokers like Swinstein churning out the liberal/progressive pro druggie lifestyle agitprop for consumption by our children. But the sad reality is, that you have been heavily influenced by it, along with your sister and nephew, with genuinely tragic consequences.

              Only a degenerate culture can cherish the idea that drugs should be readily accessible and consequence free for consumption by teenagers.

              LIke I said before, pharmaceutical use for severe pain where nothing else practical works, ok.

              But as long as druggies are constantly looking over their shoulder in fear of the law, that is a good thing.

              And for kids being relentlessly bombarded with pro drug propaganda and pornographic images on public TV and online while their liberal/progressive parents stand by and do nothing ( too busy smoking weed or fapping to pornhub maybe? ), then at least our society via law can give those kids a moral beacon of light in the cultural darkness they may eventually use to guide them out of danger.

        • “Whereas cannabis use and the degenerate cultural around it is all about getting high as a kite.”

          That’s as selective as your downplaying of the widespread damage cause by over indulgence in alcohol.

          Of course many people use alcohol moderately, safely and reasonably.

          But the ill effects of legal use of alcohol are far greater than the ill effects of cannabis use (some of which are significant).

          • wackAmole

             /  December 9, 2017

            “your downplaying of the widespread damage cause by over indulgence in alcohol.”

            I haven’t downplayed a single thing.

            Pro drug advocates are the ones who “sex up” drug culture for youth consumption – “weed is just like alcohol, you can just enjoy it on the side like wine with your medium rare stake, pan fried potato with sun dried tomato and basil garnish.”

            “But the ill effects of legal use of alcohol are far greater than the ill effects of cannabis use (some of which are significant).”

            No they aren’t. Cannabis addict has got a way worse problem, they are going to crash and burn way faster and dramatically than someone who develops alcohol dependency.

        • Griff

           /  December 9, 2017

          A study of relative drug harm in the lancet.
          https://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/drugs_cause_most_harm

          Alcohol is responsible for over half of all A&E admissions in the week ends.
          Half of all violent crime. Between 600 and 800 people in New Zealand are estimated to die each year from alcohol-related causes
          Alcohol is a lethal poison with the LD50 about 14 standards drinks. Cannabis has no known LD50 estimated at about 50,000 Standard Doses.
          The risk of having an accident while high is around double for alcohol intoxication 14 times.

          Cannabis culture is no different to the use of alchol.
          You can claim to only drink wine for the taste
          You drink it for the buzz. You have been sold an idea that small differences in taste are worth the extra cost.
          Unlike alchol where you may as well drink Lab grade ethyl alcohol, there are a range of cultivars that differ in the ratio of active substances not just the taste .

          • wackAmole

             /  December 9, 2017

            Just as I said, the whole cannabis medical use brings out the pro druggies wanting to spring board into laissez faire druggie culture “reforms” so they don’t have to keep looking over their shoulder and can buy heaps more drugs due to the anticipated price drop and risk free access following liberalisation.

            • Wackamole, I haven’t the time to read all of the comments, but I want it medicalised only for my wife, and I would quite happily burn the recreational movement to the ground in exchange for legal access for the 50,000 or so High to medium need MC patients. Despite this I am trending towards sick people growing their own. Its only due to costs and no hope of pharmac funding that has driven me there. In Canada it is been recognized that growing your own medicine is a basic human right…..
              If you want to discuss the motivations of myself and others, drop me a call, my numbers on our website.

              Regarding addiction harms, Alcohol withdrawals can kill…. Yet despite being in contact with hundred of chronic cannabis users, (for chronic conditions) I know of perhaps 1 person with a severe reaction to Chronic Cannabis consumption, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, of which more people are falsely diagnosed with it than actually have it, its a dumping ground diagnosis for ED doctors to get patients back out the revolving door.

              Regards

              Shane

            • Zedd

               /  December 9, 2017

              @SLB
              ‘and I would quite happily burn the recreational movement to the ground in exchange for legal access for the 50,000 or so High to medium need MC patients’

              There was a time when i may have strongly disagreed with this, but as time has moved on; I now tend to be more in agreement.. Medicinal use certainly does need to be the priority in this ongoing debate.. that has continued ad nauseum (40+ years & counting), since MODA 1975 was introduced, with eff. ZERO-tolerance, to all uses of cannabis

              BUT as Ive stated before; the WAR on Drugs (esp. Cannabis) is actually causing more harm to society, than allowing adults to use the herb responsibly, for their own personal/’recreational’ use !

          • PDB

             /  December 9, 2017

            Though alcohol can be extremely harmful your conclusions are flawed as it doesn’t take into account the number of users of each substance where alcohol is streets ahead of the others hence a major factor why it also causes the most issues.

            Your graph only shows expert ‘subjective’ opinion as to damage caused in society – of course alcohol would come out on top as it has by far the most everyday use & reach. The fact is if you asked a health professional what is more dangerous – taking a hit of meth or having a glass of beer then the answer is obvious.

            It’s like the myth that woman drivers are better than men because they have less road accidents without actually comparing the amount of hours spent on the road for both sexes where men currently spend 1.5 times more time on the road.

            • Griff

               /  December 9, 2017

              PDB
              You should examine information before going off half cocked
              The graph above separates harm to self from harm to others.
              It does not evaluate the number of users it is a study on the relative harm for users.
              For meth it says using is extremely harmful to the person but not as harmful to society as using alcohol.
              Not only is meth in a discussion about alchol vrs pot a straw man argument you were wrong to boot and had failed to actually read the graph. t

              WackAmole
              If i called you a slobbering drunk would it negate your arguments?
              Why do you think calling pro cannabis peploe druggies enhances yours ?

              An alcoholic is a druggie a causal user of cannabis is not .
              As cannabis is known to be less addictive than ethyl alcohol a greater percentage of drinkers end up addicted than pot heads do.
              Withdrawal from cannabis is a minor inconvenience .
              Withdrawal from alcohol is potentially fatal and should be done under medical supervision.

              Alcohol is extremely harmful to users and society.
              Alcohol intake guidelines
              https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/addictions/alcohol-and-drug-abuse/alcohol
              The following guidelines can help you determine if your alcohol intake is harmful.
              Adult men and women
              Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

              2 standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week
              3 standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week

              and at least 2 alcohol-free days every week.

              Do you exceed these guidelines?

            • PDB

               /  December 9, 2017

              Griff: Your graph was only part of your flawed argument. It is your statements like the one’s below where it is important to take the number of people drinking some form of alcohol into account as in isolation they mean nothing.

              “Alcohol is responsible for over half of all A&E admissions in the week ends. Half of all violent crime. Between 600 and 800 people in New Zealand are estimated to die each year from alcohol-related causes”.

              Griff “Alcohol is responsible for over half of all A&E admissions in the week ends”.

              Sounds rather selective in specifically mentioning ‘weekends’;

              Stuff 2016: “A survey by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine of alcohol-related presentations to emergency departments in New Zealand and Australia has revealed that one out of four patients were there as a result of the harmful use of alcohol.

              RNZ 2015: “Research has revealed that one in eight people presenting at emergency departments during peak times are there for alcohol-related reasons.
              In the largest study of alcohol harm in hospital emergency departments (EDs), the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, monitored eight hospitals across Australia and New Zealand over one week in December 2014, with over 9,600 people screened.
              The study found that overall one in 12 – or 8.3 percent – of all presentations were alcohol related.”

              Again what you are actually talking about is ‘excessive alcohol use’ not general ‘alcohol use’.

            • Griff

               /  December 9, 2017

              Why weekends?
              It is when peploe go out and drink to “socialize”.
              That’s when drunken idiots go out and bash each other, fall over, set fire to the house , Crash cars, smash the Mrs, Fall in the water, Walk into inanimate objects, Blow up the BBQ, etc etc etc
              En masse.

              Pot heads are really dangerous.
              To whatever is in your fridge.

              The point of the compassion is the present regime for medical cannabis is even more absurd than the present prohibition of cannabis for recreational use.

              Allowing the pharmaceutical company to separate out the active ingredients and produce a medically certified product adds excessive costs.
              The side effects of taking the herb is no worse than having a few drinks every day.
              Perhaps safer.

              If it helps peploe deal with pain, sleep soundly or lessens symptoms for them.. Why not?

    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2017

      Jesus Christ! Weed doesn’t get you high like cocaine or meth.

      • wackAmole

         /  December 9, 2017

        Alcohol doesn’t get you high like weed. Yet pro druggie culture advocates are always comparing the two like they are the same.

        • No, if you have too much alcohol it gets you drunk, and more likely to self harm or harm others or commit crimes or throw sickies…

        • Gezza

           /  December 9, 2017

          Weed doesn’t get you drunk & incapable like alcohol. Wander downtown or into a pub anywhere on a Friday or Saturday night & look at the trashed patrons. The only reason there are fewer of them available to provide entertainment and a haven for STDs is they don’t dare drive nowadays so more of them have to home semi-sober & get blotto at home.

          • Gezza

             /  December 9, 2017

            * go home semi-sober …

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2017

              No hangover or memory blanks or hearing wtf you got up to last nite from others after a splif the nite before, like there often is with the plonk fans, either.

            • wackAmole

               /  December 9, 2017

              You are missing the point. The vast majority of people who drink don’t do anything like what you are describing.

              I sat on the veranda had 3 glasses of wine over a 2 hour period and chatted with friends, put the unfinished bottle back in the fridge.

              But on weed you are high and stupid from get go.

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2017

              And I think you well know your last sentence is not true & I have finished wasting time with you.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 9, 2017

              “But on weed you are high and stupid from get go.”
              Wine drinking can encourage thoughtful, reflective, worthwhile thinking but in wackAmole’s case, it’s wasted.

    • Gerrit

       /  December 9, 2017

      Any and ALL mind altering substance when used to excess is degenerative. Alcohol is no different.

      Cannabis also has a long history, and has been enjoyed as a relaxation enhancer way before alcohol.

      “The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. ”

      https://www.deamuseum.org/ccp/cannabis/history.html

      If you follow that linked page down you will find a chart on the numerous mind altering drugs and the affect they have on the user, though they left alcohol of that list.

      • wackAmole

         /  December 9, 2017

        “Cannabis also has a long history, and has been enjoyed as a relaxation enhancer way before alcohol.”

        Don’t even pretend that “burning one down” over a caesar salad at lunchtime is no different from a half glass of pinot gris.

        See, when ever the medical use of cannabis pops up, all the druggies come out of the wood work with boiler plate talking points about how harmless and wonderful their druggie lifestyle is.

        I take great satisfaction that druggies are always looking over their shoulders, the drug induced paranoia would only be adding to that angst I’m sure!

        • Gerrit

           /  December 9, 2017

          As a non recreational drug user (not even alcohol) it is a huge assumption on your part to pigeon hole anyone that take an alternative view to yours as a “druggies”.

          Taking ANY drug in excess, to induce a mind altering state, is not harmless and it is not wonderful.

          Even that glass of pino over lunch is a mind altering drug that will have some effect. Don’t be delusional about that.

          Question is has it a worse effect than a toke on a joint?

          Is your self righteous satisfaction that “druggies” need to look over their shoulders at all times, fueled by your alcohol induced paranoia?

        • robertguyton

           /  December 9, 2017

          [Deleted speculation about someone and attacking the person.]

        • robertguyton

           /  December 9, 2017

          If wackAmole’s opinions are representative of alcohol drinkers in general, the drug is FAR WORSE THAN FIRST THOUGHT !!!

          • “If wackAmole’s opinions are representative of alcohol drinkers in general,”

            That’s as silly as wackAmole’s generalisations.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 9, 2017

              It’s a joke, Pete, lighten up! A glass of red, perhaps, or a toke on your favourite weed?

    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2017

      People can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Wine has a rich history and culture.
      So does getting trashed on the stuff & getting into all sorts of strife because of it.

      • wackAmole

         /  December 9, 2017

        But the huge majority of people don’t. Where as cannabis, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine are all about that escapist high and have a sick culture formed around that.

        • There’s also some very negative aspects of alcohol use.

          And there’s also a largely benign recreational aspect of cannabis use (much like moderate alcohol use) that is adversely affected by ineffective and unfair laws.

          • wackAmole

             /  December 9, 2017

            “There’s also some very negative aspects of alcohol use.”

            Only if it is abused. Otherwise it is a positive thing – especially a solid red wine to wash down the feta cheese, bread, olive oil, pesto and sun dried tomatoes.

            Weed, not so much.

        • Gezza

           /  December 9, 2017

          The huge majority of people who enjoy the occasional, or even a daily, toke on a joint don’t take heroin, cocaine or other hard-out hallucinogetic or personality-altering drugs, & in NZ one of the notable things about those who do is that they are usually among the multitude of abusers of alcohol, particularly the younger set, as well. This contry is infamous for its booze culture.

          • wackAmole

             /  December 9, 2017

            Nonsense, weed users are part of drug culture. Someone having a glass of wine with their fish and chips with salt and vinegar is not.

            Can’t BS me, Gezza, I know what you weed heads are all about.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 9, 2017

              I used to smoke dope and didn’t go the way that users of hard drugs go.

              Alcohol can kill the drinker if they drink enough of it. I remember when a shy young man at a party in my flat was found to have drunk a vast amount of vodka (I think it was vodka, and it probably was) and we all thought that he was going to die. I can’t remember what happened after he was taken to hospital, it was years ago, but I would say that he was suffering alcohol poisoning. But most people don’t use alcohol in this way.

              There must be some sort of control over a prescribed or commercial product. People buy a bottle of wine without even considering that it has some sort of poisonous alcohol in it, and if they buy cannabis for medicine, they must be able to know that the maker knows what they are doing, surely.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 9, 2017

              The Lancet study can be misinterpreted. It would need as many people to be using all of those drugs for the figures to give a true picture of the damage done. Alcohol drinkers would far outnumber other drug users so there will be many more hospital admissions etc.

              If anyone could do a per capita table, it would give a more realistic picture. My guess is that heroin and P users have a higher risk of damage per capita than drinkers. Many (most ?) drinkers drink moderately, but I would bet that most hard drug users don’t use drugs in this way.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 9, 2017

              Weed heads, hop heads, [Deleted]

            • robertguyton

               /  December 9, 2017

              Pete – calm yourself!

            • It’s you who needs to calm down. Personal attacks and sniping and provocation (whether you think it’s provoking or not) have long been discouraged here. Stick to arguing issues and you’ll be fine, but if you keep trying to stir people up don’t be surprised if you get edited or deleted.

  3. Zedd

     /  December 9, 2017

    Im waiting to see what happens with JA Genters Med-use bill (due for 1sr reading).
    The main issue is still cost; its still cheaper to buy ‘illegal weed’ on the black-market, than pay the excessive current (unfunded by Pharmac) prescription price (>$1000/month for Sativex etc.)

    btw; I hear a Hemp farm in NZ is currently applying for approval to extract CBDs from their crop, but not THC. There is still FEAR-mongering about allowing ‘Medical Marijuana’ (Cannabis with THC) to be grown & produced in this country.. Why is this so ?

    NZ has fallen to the back of the pack (OECD) on this issue, mostly driven by an irrational fear of the possible outcomes.. that have not occurred in countries like Canada, USA, Aust. & much of EU

    Also there is still this nonsense, being pushed; ‘There is really no med-use.. it just an excuse to legalise recreational use’.. Misinfo.-PLUS 😦

    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2017

      Methinks a certain new entrant to the YNZ pool might just be stirring the pot for the hell of, tbh, Zedd.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 9, 2017

        People seem to forget that subsidised things are paid for by everyone else; there is a limited amount of money raised from taxes. If one thing is subbed, others can’t be.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 9, 2017

          Why not do the obvious thing, decriminalise marijuana for personal use ?

          • Zedd

             /  December 10, 2017

            @kck

            In case you havent heard.. a referendum scheduled before 2020 (general election). Hopefully the issue will finally be taken out of the ‘too-hard basket’ & actually resolved ? :/

  4. Pickled Possum

     /  December 10, 2017

    “Opioid painkiller prescriptions have jumped 300 percent in the last decade, and they are now the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market. They are also the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the market, and often lose effectiveness with long-term use.

    Now a new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the ability to use cannabis and significant reductions in opioid use.

    There is an abundance of evidence that the suppression of medical cannabis is one of the greatest failures of a free society, journalistic and scientific integrity as well as our fundamental values. There is no plant on Earth more condemned than cannabis, yet it has the potential to heal dozens of diseases and curb our rampant use of prescription opioids. Some studies have suggested that cannabis may even have a place in curbing the opioid epidemic.”

    Read this an weep all you nay Sayers of Medical Cannabis
    https://wakeup-world.com/2017/12/10/how-cannabis-can-end-the-use-of-dangerous-prescription-pain-killers/