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Leading this week’s news: Bong found at rubbish tip (seriously); Aotearoa’s election period kicks off; Drugs in the countryside and in the workplace; and a roll-up of ganja-filled goodness this week on Marijuana Media on 95bFM, with hosts Jonny from bFM Drive and Chris Fowlie from NORML – thanks to The Hempstore.

 

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What’ll it be New Zealand: Glitter Turd or The Bong?

In yet another week filled with news of record drug seizures, murders, kidnappings and generally shit behaviour caused by meth, gangs and booze – by hokey, it’s nice to hear what still counts as news: finding some pot, a bong and what appeared to be a glitter-covered dog poo at the Gisborne rubbish tip.

These were “some of the more interesting items” found in an audit of waste sent to the tip, according to One News. Stuff, meanwhile, was adamant the glitter-turd trumped the bong in their rankings of the “interesting nuggets”.

This was New Zealand’s biggest cannabis news story of the week, measured by coverage.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Aotearoa’s election period kicks off

The official election campaign period has now begun. Cannabis law reform is not going away and remains unfinished business for the 49% who voted Yes in the cannabis referendum. That’s a huge voting bloc!

You can help show your support by coming to our cannabis roadside rallies in Auckland Central over the new few weeks, or organise something similar in your area.

One of the most effective things anyone can do is to just make your views known if you come across any politicians or party campaigners out on the trail.

Just say: “Cannabis law reform is important to me, and your policy will affect how I vote.”

The best of Labour/Green/Māori Party Policy, according to Martyn Bradbury writing on The Daily Blog, includes a Legalise Cannabis Market –

It would generate $1.1billion in revenue per year while taking power from organised crime while allowing ring-fenced rehabilitation programs for ALL drugs.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor spruiked government support for medicinal cannabis in his NZ Herald column, saying the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund was used to “ramp up the medicinal cannabis sector”.

NZ Herald’s Audrey Young awards ACT leader David Seymour a “brickbat” for accusing a journalist of smoking weed before an interview: “Not okay, even when joking. Set some boundaries, Seymour.”

Claire Trevett, writing the Beehive Diaries in the Herald, noted Seymour had also posted about apparently soft sentences from judges (“you’re wondering, what are these judges on?”) and asked “What is with David Seymour and his apparent belief that everyone is getting stoned?”

It followed last week’s report of ACT MP Simon Court revealing on Newstalk ZB being shot in the foot over a cannabis deal gone wrong, when he was a teenager, when Seymour fessed up that he had tried cannabis in the past but said it just made him hungry. A classic politician’s drugs admission – why can’t they ever admit to enjoying it?

The Standard thinks Simon Court may be a victim of dirty politics, asking:

What is going on here?  Has an Act MP decided to admit something that happened at least 25 years ago on a whim?  Has a member of Act that is really hot on law and order issues thought it was a good idea to admit that he probably used to smoke a bit of weed when he was a teenager and got shot in the foot during a drug deal that went wrong out west?  Less than three months out from an election and at a time that Act’s polling is really, really good?

My deep suspicion is that National’s dirty tricks department has dug up some dirt, offered it to the media and that Act in a damage minimisation response decided to front foot it. After all National has millions in the bank.  It must be using at least of this money on digging up dirt.

Cannabis use during off-hours not associated with workplace accidents

A recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health found employees who consume cannabis during their off-hours have no greater risk of occupational injurythan do those who abstain from marijuana altogether.

Rather than being the cause of accidents, an estimated one in seven Canadians use cannabis products in their off-time to recuperate from work-related injuries, according to another study published last month in the journal BMJ Open.

In related news, The Spinoff’s Sam Te Kani this week covered On the job: three people on using drugs at work. Sam notes the significant advances in our attitude, and legislation for drug use, pointing to “slight increases” in the availability of medicinal cannabis and the legalisation of drug checking services helping to keep people safe despite the ongoing criminalisation of the adult-use drug market.

Still, public misconceptions about the spectrum of drug use prevail, arguably peaking where substance use overlaps with the various performance pressures of the workplace … Not everyone who uses drugs does so to get “high”. For many, using is a way to get through another day in a stressful environment, find the confidence to face a crowd, or deal with physical pain.

The article, produced with support from The Level, includes some harm reduction advice for workers.

The responsible use of cannabis should never cost you your job – and urine screens for past cannabis exposure are invasive, ineffective, and discriminatory.

They can only ever detect past use, while failing to identify workers under the influence, so they do not make workplaces any safer.

NORML has long campaigned against the use of pre-employment and employment drug detection tests and instead called for greater use of performance testing technology such as DRUID and AlertMeter.

These use handheld devices like our phones to test and measure performance on tasks that are relevant to the workplace such as response times, balance and coordination. The tech is more accurate at identifying current impairment that traditional methods such as collecting bodily fluids or walking-the-line and touching your nose.

Even trained police officers are frequently unable to accurately determine THC-induced impairment via Field Sobriety Tests, according to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Almost half the subjects on placebo were wrongly judged by cops as being under the influence based upon their FST performance.

News roll-up

Far North meth: Tem Morrison and Robyn Malcolm star in TV3’s dramatised story of $500 million meth shipment – then NZ’s biggest, but since eclipsed by even bigger seizures. Tem Morrison talked about it on NewstalkZB.

No rehab for rural drug users: The Spinoff reports on drug use in the countryside and the barriers to seeking help experienced by users in isolated communities.

Isolation, poverty and a lack of care services mean users who run into trouble often struggle to find help… The drug of choice is different too: small rural towns like Ōpōtiki and Wairoa have the highest rate of methamphetamine use per person in the country, up to double the national average.  

Indonesia burns 20-tons of cannabis after huge plantation found by drones.

Irish singer Feargal Sharkey says ‘The war on drugs has failed so it’s time to look at legalisation according to a report in the Belfast Telegraph. A good heart is hard to find, and so are drug checking services in the UK, said the Undertones singer. Last year, the UK home office effectively banned festival drug checking services.

US music superstars keep coming out endorsing psychedelics. Wiz Khalifa’s opened the MLB season with a pitch tripping on magic mushrooms.

 

Now twice Grammy award-winner Kid Cudi is talking life after rehab, his relationship with psychedelics and re-encountering his creativity.

Read the report in the Evening Standard.

Radio veteran Dom Harvey recounted in New Zealand Woman’s Weekly being helped by the local “medicinal aids” on a recent trip supporting his 72-year-old mum to run the Boston Marathon:

“On our first day there, we were walking down the street and saw a cannabis dispensary, because it’s legal over there. I got myself some gummies and popped one every time Mum said something inappropriate,”

Congratulations to Whakamana Cannabis Museum

Their gala fundraising opening last weekend went very well. Hopetoun Alpha was filled with vendor booths and displays, hot food & non-alcoholic drinks, an onsite doctor prescribing medicinal cannabis, pharmacy dispensary, and consumption areas.

It was a pleasure to speak on a panel with these gents, and to be part of a historic occasion for the cannabis culture in Aotearoa New Zealand. It proved the model is viable and lawful. Well done, Abe and the Whakamana team.

KP of Sunshine Sound System reminded me of a NORML march down Queen St around 1995, led by myself and Nandor Tanczos, when we approached an intersection and debated whether to follow the traffic light signals. I was for marching on through, but Nandor said we break only one law – and we obey red lights.

Coming up:

  • Substance Testing @ The Hemp Store every First Thursday, thanks to the NZ Drug Foundation. Dancesafe reagent kits available here. Our next hosted clinic is Thurs 7 September, or find one here.
  • NORML’s Cannabis Roadside Rallies in Auckland: High Noon on Ponsonby Road Sat 9 Sept & Sat 23 Sept, Grey Lynn shops Sat 7 Oct. Details on facebook or norml.
  • CannaPosium 7-8 October at the Surrey Hotel, Grey Lynn, Auckland. Tickets here.
  • Auckland J Day Saturday 2nd December in Albert Park (postponed from May – details here).

 

Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at 95bFM.com (or via iTunes / RSS feed). Thanks to The Hemp Store! Photos: @potgeek

 




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