Regulated use of drugs less harmful than alcohol

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  1. Zedd

     /  February 25, 2018

    The main problem with trying to get ‘Drug reform’ is the weight of decades of Prohibition: the ‘Prohibition Industry’ who rely on the status quo for their jobs; police, courts, customs, prisons. Then there is the Big pharma, alcohol & tobacco industries who also do not wish to ‘lose their market share’ (PROFITS) from other ;competitors, entering the market. Plus the Black-market/organised crime gangs who also dont want a change from the status quo.. 😦 BUT methinks the ‘Tide of change’ is slowly rising against them all.. even here in ‘Ignorant Zero-tolerance Land’

  2. Kevin

     /  February 25, 2018

    The problem with the graph as it applies to New Zealand law is that the Misuse of Drug Act classifies drugs according to the harm caused if they are misused. So if the graph was “Harm caused by the Misuse of Drugs” heroin would be right at the top in terms of harm to self (if you misuse it you basically die) with alcohol at or near the bottom (a bad hangover never killed anyone). Cannabis would be around the middle although that’s a bit hard to say as freaking out from THC is more psychological harm than anything else.

    With regards to Ecstasy (MDMA) Ecstasy is a powerful drug that will punish you severely if you misuse it. So I would put Ecstasy near the top if the graph was about harm caused by misuse. The thing is that with Ecstasy if used responsibly it’s no more harmful than alcohol, probably less so. Yet the law classifies it according to harm if misused even though the vast majority of users use it responsibly (statistically you’re much more likely to end up in ED from using cannabis than MDMA).

    And that in a nutshell is the problem with the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    One last thing about the graph. Harm to self never changes but harm to others changes according to region, ie harm to others is specific to the UK and would be different in NZ.

    • NOEL

       /  February 25, 2018

      On a job site where on one side there was an alcoholic, but never failed a test. On the other a stoner who never failed that random test.
      The alcoholic seem to fade as the day wore on but the stoner was forever visiting the medical center with minor injuries.
      The alcoholics head space appeared the safer.

    • Griff

       /  February 25, 2018

      “Harm caused by the Misuse of Drugs” heroin would be right at the top in terms of harm to self (if you misuse it you basically die) with alcohol at or near the bottom (a bad hangover never killed anyone).

      Alcohol has a ld 50 of about 14 standard doses.
      That is if you drink fourteen can of beers in an hour it can kill.

      Cannabis has an estimated ld50 of about 30,000 standard doses.
      That is if you smoked your body weight of cannabis in a session it might kill you.

      About three peploe die directly from alcohol poisoning in NZ a month .
      Number of deaths directly from cannabis poisoning globally?
      <<<>>>No confirmed case has ever been recorded.

      For an alcoholic just stopping drinking can be fatal.
      For cannabis addiction the withdrawal symptoms are a mild dose of the flu it worst.

      Most junkies don’t die of misusing heroin.
      Most junkies die of overdose because the supply on the black market is unreliable or die from related health problems like hepatitis, aids or blood poisoning due to the fringe lifestyle they lead .
      Junkies die from the effects of prohibition.

  3. Gerrit

     /  February 25, 2018

    Problem with the graph is it does not show the number of users for each drug and as such the graph is meaningless.

    No wonder magic mushrooms are at the bottom, how many consumers are there for mushrooms versus the number of consumers for alcohol?

    Presenting information to suit an agenda without having the usage numbers to corroborate the evidence. Fake news?

    • Griff

       /  February 25, 2018

      The number of users is not part of the study .
      The study is on the relative harm of drugs.
      Ie harm caused by each user of alcohol vrs each user of cannabis/ mushrooms etc .
      if we evaluated as you claim alcohol would score even worse.
      Alcohol harm is a considerable proportion of both health and justice spending.
      Ask any first responder about stoners vrs piss heads .Or ask an A&E nurse about drunks and what they deal with.

      I would guess you drink?
      Just maybe your inability to respond rationally to negative information about your drug of choice is related to the well documented mental effects of alcohol consumption.

      Fake news is usually spurted by peploe introduced to facts they refuse to accept .

      • Gerrit

         /  February 25, 2018

        So the fact that far fewer people partake in mushrooms and thus the lower “harm” count for mushrooms is not significant?

        Fake News is if you cannot accept the fact that the graph, without number of users per drug as a cross reference, is totally useless.

        Fake News is when a one dimensional graph is published for rapid drug users (who cant copy and paste a commenters name correctly) to spout crap about.

        Alcohol is not my drug of choice ( I don’t have one except adrenaline and tea). So I don’t have an inability to rationalise negative information.

        Curious, your paranoia to denigrate alcohol. Your drug of choice is?

        Wonder if delusional paranoia, by drug takers, is covered by self harm or harm to other people.

        • Griff

           /  February 25, 2018

          Fake News is if you cannot accept the fact that the graph, without number of users per drug as a cross reference, is totally useless.

          hello RWNJ’s
          I know its hard
          The graph has nothing to do with number of users at all .
          It is what happens to an individual user and the society around them
          If we had 95% or the population using pot and only a few hundred drinking it would not change the fact that drinking alcohol does more harm to society and users themselves than cannabis use does..
          The relative harm of drugs.
          What would change is the overall harm of drug use because pot is less harmful to users and society than alcohol.
          Your lack of understanding about the study informs me you have not even read it.

          We should base our laws on minimizing harm using rational examination of risks not alcohol is ok because we have always used it and pot is bad because we don’t as at present .

          Fake News
          yip fake news is a study in the lancet that you don’t like because it does not confirm to your world view.
          as I said fake news is just waffle from idiots who don’t like the information they are seeing..

          Oh and
          rapid (sic)
          I read that as you meant rabid.
          Gee sonny when you correct someones spelling or grammar you better make sure you are perfect or you just come across as a jerk .

          • Gerrit

             /  February 25, 2018



            (of an action or movement) performed or occurring during a short interval of time; quick: a rapid transformation. 2. characterized by high speed: rapid movement. 3. acting or moving quickly; fast: a rapid worker.

            Most drug users look for a rapid reaction.

            Your interpretation, like the graph, is biased to suit your thinking.

            if rabid drug use does that to your thinking, stick with it son, your reality will fit your preconceptions.

            Still totally fake news to suit the narrative.

            • Griff

               /  February 25, 2018

              You still don’t get it .
              Relative harm
              Multiply the harm by number of users to get what you claim they miss.
              Gee is that so hard .

              2205 and 2512 cannabis-related admissions to publicly-funded hospitals between 2001 and 2005.
              Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the country, with 373,310 users
              About 400 admissions per year of any kind for about 400,000 users.
              400,000/400 =1000.
              One user of cannabis in a thousand gets hospitalized by cannabis every year.

              One in four hospital ED admissions related to alcohol
              Over one million ED events were attended by almost 700,000 patients in 2014/15.
              That is 175,000 alcohol induced visits to just emergency departments a year.
              80% of kiwis drink so 3,600,000 users.
              One in twenty alcohol users gets hospitalized every year…
              Relative harm indeed…..

            • phantom snowflake

               /  February 25, 2018

              Griff: You have the patience of a saint!
              Incidentally, poor reporting in the Herald article you cited blurs the fact that the report: New Cannabis: The Cornerstone of Illicit Drug Harm in New Zealand is actually claiming in excess of 2000 hospital admissions caused by cannabis for each year of the period from 2001 to 2005. I know the NZ Police are heavily invested in the War On Drugs, but I’m amazed that they would consider the public to be stupid enough to accept these incredible figures.
              Anyway, here’s the story about how the figures claimed in the report were thoroughly discredited:

            • Griff

               /  February 25, 2018

              just over 200 people a year are admitted to hospital because of cannabis. Police had exaggerated the numbers ten-fold.
              Opps I had it wrong .
              Pot is less than 1/100 as harmful…………….

        • Gerrit

           /  February 25, 2018

          What you don’t get volume usage. By volume it is not just the amount of substance consumed but also the volume of people using the substance..

          Still, roll around laughing, you are the one in delusion.

          Your own figures back up what I say.

          3.5 million alcohol users.
          300,000 cannabis users.

          Roughly a variable in the multitude of 10.

          Naturally one would expect alcohol to be to be 10x as harmful to the general populace compared to cannabis. But the graph figures show alcohol (at 70% out of 100%) to be only 3.5x as harmful as cannabis at 20% (out of 100%).

          Your addled brain needs a clear think. You do know what addled means?

          See, without volume figures the graphs are meaningless. As is your hospitalisation data. For it does not take into account the non hospitalisation for minor harm done.

          Yet the graphs do take into account ALL harm. Where do they get the figures from?

          • Griff

             /  February 25, 2018

            still laughing at you
            waky waky .
            The Nutt graph is not harm in a population it is harm by each user.
            Multiply the number of users by the harm to find the total harm in a pollution
            as I roughly did for nz hospital rates .

            In NZ.
            One user of cannabis in a thousand gets admitted to hospital because of cannabis use every year.
            One in twenty alcohol users gets hospitalized by alcohol in A&E every year…

            Those numbers are an underestimation for alcohol.
            The pot numbers are for any reason. mental health, lung problems,addiction, accidents whatever.
            Alcohol is only A&E admissions only and does not include health issues from fetal alcohol syndrome to Cancer.
            Alcohol is 50 times more harmful to its users and me as I pay tax to cover those costs .
            If we had the numbers you would get a far worse result for crime
            Drunks are responsible for a large percentage of crime from assault to rape
            Pot smokers are responsible for eating the fridges contents and sitting around talking garbage .

            We ban safer alternatives to alcohol use for no rational reasons .
            We give alcohol sellers knighthoods pot sellers get locked up
            Despite the fact alcohol causes far more harm per user.

      • david in aus

         /  February 25, 2018

        Have you read the study?

        The ratings are a composite score from expert opinions. It is mostly a reflection of the prevalence of the drug and its harms to the individual and society.

        Drug-specific mortality scores taking into account societal use, in descending order with highest mortality: heroin, tobacco, crack cocaine, alcohol…..

        The reason alcohol has the highest harm is due to its prevalence; tobacco also ranks highly for the same reason.

        The study was imploring that alcohol should be taken more seriously not that other drugs deregulated.

        An example of drug-advocates misrepresenting data to further their agenda.

        • Griff

           /  February 25, 2018


          Drug misuse and abuse are major health problems. Harmful drugs are regulated according to classification systems that purport to relate to the harms and risks of each drug. However, the methodology and processes underlying classification systems are generally neither specified nor transparent, which reduces confidence in their accuracy and undermines health education messages. We developed and explored the feasibility of the use of a nine-category matrix of harm, with an expert delphic procedure, to assess the harms of a range of illicit drugs in an evidence-based fashion. We also included five legal drugs of misuse (alcohol, khat, solvents, alkyl nitrites, and tobacco) and one that has since been classified (ketamine) for reference. The process proved practicable, and yielded roughly similar scores and rankings of drug harm when used by two separate groups of experts. The ranking of drugs produced by our assessment of harm differed from those used by current regulatory systems. Our methodology offers a systematic framework and process that could be used by national and international regulatory bodies to assess the harm of current and future drugs of abuse.

          Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse
          Prof David Nutt,
          , Leslie A King, PhD
          , William Saulsbury, MA
          , Prof Colin Blakemore, FRS
          Published: 24 March 2007

          • Griff

             /  February 26, 2018

            A new approach to formulating and appraising drug policy: A multi-criterion decision analysis applied to alcohol and cannabis regulation
            Ole Rogeberg’
            , Daniel Bergsvik
            , Lawrence D. Phillips
            , Jan van Amsterdam
            , Niamh Eastwood
            , Graeme Henderson
            , Micheal Lynskey
            , Fiona Measham
            , Rhys Ponton
            , Steve Rolle
            , Anne Katrin Schlag
            , Polly Taylor
            , David Nutt
            Open Access
            PlumX Metrics


            We convened a decision conference over two one-and-a-half day sessions, where a group of experts on the harms of drugs, addiction, criminology and drug policy were led through a facilitated multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) of drug policy in a Western context. This is a process designed to help groups pool knowledge, deconstruct complex issues into simpler judgments, and reconstruct overall judgments in a way that promotes consistency, full consideration of all concerns and alternatives, and a rigorous treatment of trade-offs.

            The participants generated a list of 27 criteria for assessing drug policies, identifying a comprehensive set of ethical concerns held by the group and familiar from broader drug policy debates. Using these, the group defined four regulatory regimes – full prohibition, decriminalisation, state control and free markets – and evaluated these four regimes on the 27 criteria for alcohol and cannabis separately. By normalising the 27 criterion-scales to a common scale, the “good” and “bad” aspects of the different policies could be compared and summed, leading to an overall judgment that in both cases favoured state control. This involved a departure from common policies implemented today: for alcohol, the participant group preferred a stricter regulatory regime with more regulation and government control than most countries have today. For cannabis, however, a similarly strict regulatory regime involves a less restrictive policy than the decriminalisation and strict prohibition approaches that are currently in place.


            • david in aus

               /  February 26, 2018

              Do you still not understand the study and graph? Copy and pasting a summary doesn’t mean you can interpret a study
              @Giff “The Nutt graph is not harm in a population it is harm by each user.”
              The composite score is the harm to the individual AND the population. The availability of drugs and its use in the population reflects the level of harm.
              If we were to do a similar study in NZ, heroin would rank much lower, as heroin is not as available in NZ as compared to the UK. Prescription opiate misuse in America will rank similarly to alcohol in a similar graph.

              If laws were changed to increase accessibility of certain drugs, the harm of that drug will increase; just like lowering the alcohol availability to 18 did.

            • david in aus

               /  February 26, 2018

              The last phrase should have been: lowering the legal age for alcohol- caused more harm.

            • david in aus

               /  February 26, 2018

              Increasing the availability of synthetic cannabis resulted in the following headlines: Harder than Meth: The drug that’s killing Kiwis at an alarming rate.

              Is this a surprise? So many deniers out there.

            • Griff

               /  February 26, 2018

              No one is discussing synthetic cannabis .
              You are squirrel hunting as usual for a RWNJ found to be living in a dream world.
              As above using official figures for NZ hospital admissions alcohol is more than 100 times more damaging according to your method.
              The same result would be found doing the same thing with uk hospital admissions. Crime statics would be even more horrifying for alcohol.
              The reason why the Nutt papers do not find alcohol 100 times more damaging is it is relative harm not absolute harm as you and other RWNJ’s keep trying to maintain .

            • Kevin

               /  February 26, 2018


              “Increasing the availability of synthetic cannabis resulted in the following headlines: Harder than Meth: The drug that’s killing Kiwis at an alarming rate.”

              Actually, no. It was the banning of synthetic cannabis which led to dangerous synthetic cannabis hitting the market. If you read the article it makes it quite clear.

  4. david in aus

     /  February 25, 2018

    Because heroin results in fewer deaths than alcohol in NZ, it does not mean it’s safer. Harm reflects accessibility and its inherent nature.
    Alcohol’s harm is in part due to its availability.
    The whole debate is upside down, increasing accessibility of drugs will not reduce harm, it will do the opposite.

    • david in aus

       /  February 25, 2018

      The above graph should be an exhibit on the misuse of statistics. Statistics are only as good as the people interpreting them.

    • david in aus

       /  February 25, 2018

      Based on statistics like one above, you can make the case that dogs are more dangerous than lions. That’s because no lions roam free in NZ. Therefore people might advocate lion as pets because statistically, lions are safer than dogs.

      • Griff

         /  February 26, 2018

        Actually David you almost had it.
        There are far more dogs than lions or weasels around so more peploe get harmed by dogs.

        The Nutt study is not on how many get harmed by lions, weasels or dogs.
        it is a study on which animal is more potently harmful lion, weasel or dog if you do encounter one.

        The idea is then we protect peploe from lions as they are potential lethal on all occasions dogs need to be under control as the are still a risk but it can be managed and weasels are much more likely to run away if encountered so we don’t need to do anything about weasels,

        With drugs alcohol is the most potentially harmful so we should place heavy restrictions on its use cannabis is moderately harmful so we should manage access, mushrooms have little potential for harm so we dont need to restrict them at all.

        • david in aus

           /  February 26, 2018

          Giff and Kevin, there is now some data available the effects of legalization of cannabis in America.
          “Colorado Cannabis Legalization and Its Effect on Emergency Care. Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Jul; 68(1): 71–75.
          “prevalence of hospitalizations for marijuana exposure in patients aged 9 years and older doubled after the legalization of medical marijuana”
          “In a retrospective chart review of ED visits at a tertiary children’s hospital in Colorado, unintentional marijuana exposures in children younger than 12 years increased significantly after the legalization of medical marijuana in 2009”
          “In contrast to adult patients, pediatric patients typically present with central nervous system depression,20,21 potentially causing airway compromise or risk of aspiration. We recommend that pediatric patients younger than 6 years and presenting with central nervous system depression be observed until symptoms resolve either in the ED or in an inpatient setting”

          Other headlines:
          “The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, federal and state data show.”

          Saying that association is not causation, but it is concerning. The evidence those that increased cannabis consumption are binge alcohol drinkers anyway and use other drugs as well. Those not predisposed to drug taking haven’t shown an increase in use.

          Another side of the coin: “In Colorado, opioids deaths fall following marijuana legalizations” it is long-bow to draw the conclusion that they are related.

          “Is Colorado’s homeless surge tied to marijuana legalization?” Guardian
          Another dubious association

          Also increases in taxes from cannabis legalization- definitely lucrative for the state.

          The above statistics suggest legalizations will increase harms but the argument should do the benefits outweigh the harms. That is a value judgment but there is no doubt harms will increase with medicinal cannabis and legalization.

          • Griff

             /  February 27, 2018

            Overdose on cannibals is an irrational fear.
            A days sleep and the kids will show no negative effects
            Read your paper
            Basically nursy gives you a pat on the head and tells you to sleep it off.

            Traffic accidents.
            Objectives. To evaluate motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the first 2 states with recreational marijuana legalization and compare them with motor vehicle crash fatality rates in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.

            Methods. We used the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System to determine the annual numbers of motor vehicle crash fatalities between 2009 and 2015 in Washington, Colorado, and 8 control states. We compared year-over-year changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates (per billion vehicle miles traveled) before and after recreational marijuana legalization with a difference-in-differences approach that controlled for underlying time trends and state-specific population, economic, and traffic characteristics.

            Results. Pre–recreational marijuana legalization annual changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were similar to those for the control states. Post–recreational marijuana legalization changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado also did not significantly differ from those for the control states (adjusted difference-in-differences coefficient = +0.2 fatalities/billion vehicle miles traveled; 95% confidence interval = −0.4, +0.9).

            Conclusions. Three years after recreational marijuana legalization, changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization. Future studies over a longer time remain warranted.

            Having cannabis in your blood is not evidence for being intoxicated.
            Any measurable intoxication effect wears on in about 3 hours. A blood test can show positive for a month or more. A study attempting to use blood tests to link car accidents to cannabis is studying correlation not causation.

            Please note
            I use both cannabis and alcohol.
            Responsibly and when appropriate.
            I know from personal experience that using cannabis has fewer negative effects than drinking does.
            Cannabis use is not totally safe .
            It is safer than using alcohol.
            The goal should be a rational drug policy were we rate drugs on potential for harm.
            Having a regime were you potentially get sent to prison for cannabis possession yet alcohol is legal and readily available in your local dairy or supermarket is not rational.

    • Kevin

       /  February 26, 2018

      And the graph reflects that. It shows that the harm to the user caused from heroin is more than harm to user caused by alcohol. That’s what you and others don’t seem to be getting. It’s only when considering harm to others that the number of users is actually relevant.

      Imagine if you were running a direct marketing campaign with a response rate of 1%. It doesn’t make a difference if you mailed to 100 customers or 1 million. Your response rate would still be 1%. On the graph, that’s what’s meant by “harm to users”.

      But if you mailed to 1 million customers instead of 100 then the number of response would increase from 1 to 10,000. That’s the “harm to others” number on the graph.

      All this is of course irrelevant to NZ law as drugs here are classified according to harm caused if misused.

      • David in Aus

         /  February 26, 2018

        The numbers are also relevant if you look at harm to users, as well. The user-harm statistic is a combination of drug toxicity for an individual and it also incorporates health statistics on outcomes such as lung cancer, emphysema etc, therefore numbers are still relevant. That is why tobacco has high rates of user harm although it is a relatively non-toxic drug per use.

        The limitation of this study is that some drugs are well classified and others are not. Alcohol, smoking and heroin-related harms are well known but harm from long-term cannabis use hasn’t been as well studied nor its effects on society.

        I am agnostic on drug deregulation but I would like the debate to be evidence-based with local conditions acknowledged. People deliberately misinterpreting data or making tenuous conclusions annoy me.

        • Kevin

           /  February 26, 2018

          “The user-harm statistic is a combination of drug toxicity for an individual and it also incorporates health statistics on outcomes such as lung cancer, emphysema etc, therefore numbers are still relevant. That is why tobacco has high rates of user harm although it is a relatively non-toxic drug per use.”

          Sorry, don’t get your argument. Please explain why an increase in the number of people using tobacco results in an increase in harm per user of tobacco.

          • David in aus

             /  February 26, 2018

            Because it is not harm per person but harm to society.
            If a drug prevalence increases with availability, the graph would change. It is a UK snapshot.

    • Kevin

       /  February 26, 2018

      Yet the evidence disagrees with you. No where where cannabis has been legalised has there been a significant increase in consumption.

      • David in Aus

         /  February 26, 2018

        I do not think the evidence is out there currently. The decriminalization of cannabis in the US is going to be a great place for study.
        I am making inferences from experience.

        We know that synthetic cannabis being available at the local dairy increased its use.
        We know that selling alcohol in the local supermarket increases consumption.
        We know that price of drugs can affect the level of consumption.
        We know that the legal status of drugs affects levels of consumption, via price signals and legal sanctions.

        Based on what we know, legalizing or decriminalizing drugs will likely lead to increased consumption.

        • David in Aus

           /  February 26, 2018

          Like the misuse of medicinal opioids and tobacco the evidence of harm from decriminalising cannabis will likely not be available for decades. The harm is from chronic use and not acute intoxication. Harms to look out for would be: rates of unemployment, child neglect, dementia, cancers, mental health disorders etc

        • Griff

           /  February 26, 2018

          Cannabis is readily available now.
          It has been easy to find for at lest the last fifty years
          All you need to do is drive down the roads and ask a youth were is the tiny house?
          Most adults have a contact they can purchases from .
          You can even use a service when you TXT and they deliver to your door.
          Making it legal does not change usage rates significantly most who would smoke already do.
          There is no hidden downside not yet effecting society.
          Reefer madness nonsense is so last century.

  5. PartisanZ

     /  February 25, 2018

    Article in the NZHerald this morning –

    ‘Harder than meth: The drug that’s killing Kiwis at an alarming rate’ – Synthetics or Zombie Drug.

    The government’s Misuse of Drugs (Medical Cannabis) Bill is also at Select Committee and open to Submissions until 21 March –

    If ever a piece of legislation needed broadening in scope it’s this one! It just needs to cover chronic pain (with Doctor’s Certificate) as well as terminal-illness and allow a conservative ‘home grow’ tolerance – say 3 – 5 plants – and have the police ease up on home gardeners and Green Fairies – and much of the cannabis problem, almost entirely the result of criminalization, would vanish virtually overnight …

    This would undoubtedly alleviate the Synthetics and Meth problems too.

    Make way for a controlled and regulated cannabis market … with legalization of so-called recreational cannabis in the short- rather than long-term future …

    David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is open to Submissions until 6 March.

    My feeling is we’re not gonna get another chance at these for quite a long time, ie 2020 for cannabis and “who knows when” for End of Life Choice … ?

    • PartisanZ

       /  February 25, 2018

      Let your democratic voice be heard …. make a submission … even as brief as “I support …” or “I oppose …” and email your MP to let them know how you want them to vote.

    • Kevin

       /  February 26, 2018

      I’ve started on my submission and trust me, it’s brutal. I pull no punches.

      • PartisanZ

         /  February 26, 2018

        Good man Kevin, that’s what they need to hear, the brutal reality of the situation the EXISTING LAW has created … on so many levels … I am doing the same …

        • PartisanZ

           /  February 26, 2018

          For those contemplating submitting to Select Committee, today I realized the additional exemption from prosecution also needs to cover CHRONIC ILLNESS as well as Chronic Pain …

          Folks probably knew this already … I’m just catching up on the legalese …

    • Kevin

       /  February 26, 2018

      The irony is that under a properly regulated synthetic cannabis market there would be no room for dangerous synthetic cannabis. Also the person in the article at 13 years old would never have been allowed to smoke synthetic cannabis as there would be strict laws around selling to minors.

  6. Zedd

     /  February 26, 2018

    The thing I still find totally unbelievable; they temporarily legalised the MORE Harmful ‘Synthetic cannabis’ thinking that it may reduce demand for the real thing.. NOW they realise it does not, they went back to Zero-tolerance & still wont allow the natural herb.. (as is now happening in most other OECD countries, at least at state level etc.) perhaps after a ‘Reeferendum’ in 2020, but Im not holding my breath on that either.. call me a cynic again, if you must ! “Follow the MONEY…” 😦

    • Kevin

       /  February 26, 2018

      If you look at the States in nearly every case where there has been significant cannabis law reform it was because of a referendum not politicians. Don’t expect politicians to willingly change the law. They must be forced to through a binding referendum.

    • PartisanZ

       /  February 26, 2018

      Zedd … I know it’s disheartening … Living in this ‘conservative’ country where there’s so much potential for and history of social progressiveness is fucken disheartening at times …

      Can you get beyond that and put your truth before the Select Committee?

      Maybe try to get the Amendment Bill extended … They only need to add these two words CHRONIC PAIN – in addition to ‘Terminally ill’ – and make the required adjustments … (Clause 4) …

      Plus a provision for ‘HOME GROWN’ … (New Clause [I think?]) …

      There’s considerable weight swinging behind these changes coming from supporters of Chloe Swarbrick’s excellent Cannabis Reform Bill …

      You probably already have submitted, but if you haven’t done so already, get on that website and write your submission … There’s still a chance …

      • Zedd

         /  February 26, 2018


        I have sent a submission to the Govt. bill (I mentioned it a few days ago).. but when I saw that all NZF & 8 Lab. MPs, voted “NO !!” to the Grns bill, I dont hold out much hope of any real significant change, during this term.. BUT ‘fingers crossed’ with a good pile of submissions, from the public calling for it, may just be surprised.

        btw: i was actually surprised that the Govt. bill passed with ALL MPs voting ‘Yes’ & hey.. a reeferendum is apparently coming too… WOW 🙂


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