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The Legalise Cannabis Party makes an impact, plus other cannabis-based election news, and a round-up of worldwide weed on Marijuana Media with Chris Fowlie from NORML and Jonny and Corey from bFM Drive – thanks to The Hempstore!

 

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With just days out from the general election, Corey announced that he already voted – and ticked the leaf!

I was stoked to open my Easy Vote pack this week to see the ALCP’s cannabis leaf logo, which I designed on Corel Draw way back in 1996 when the party was founded, revealed right there on the fold.

It’s the first thing 4 million voters will see as they open their pack.

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Should all parties stick with their 90’s logos? It’s that sort of tenacity that defines the Legalise Cannabis Party, which has contested all ten MMP elections with a laser-like focus on reforming our cannabis laws.

The Cannabis Party has been making quite an impact this election, with candidates at local meetings, and regularly featuring around 1 per cent in polls including this week’s 1News/Verian poll (although, ironically abbreviated to ALC)

Party vote for the 1News Verian poll on October 4 (Source: 1News)

Minor parties make their pitch

David Fisher in the Herald talked to all the minor parties, including Maki Herbert of the Legalise Cannabis Party:

They say: Northlander Herbert, 64, proudly points to what she considers the result of the party’s 27-year involvement in politics: medicinal cannabis on prescription, a booming hemp industry and last election’s referendum on the legalisation of cannabis. It might not have won a seat, she says, but look how much it has helped shift the dial through its single-issue focus on the law around a plant used at one stage or another by 80 per cent of New Zealanders. The party wants cannabis legalised, with controls around availability and sale. “Nobody should go to jail for smoking cannabis.” Last election’s close-run referendum failed by only a few per cent and still stings, she says, and she’s critical of high-profile politicians such as Jacinda Ardern who didn’t come out publicly to swing support. “She let us down.” The party has 14 electorate candidates and two on the list. “If you don’t stand up, you’ll never be heard.” While seeking to change and influence the system, Herbert also just gets on with it as a “green fairy” who sells therapeutic cannabis products in markets across Northland.

Quoted: Herbert – “I’ve been smoking weed since I was 15 and I’m still functioning.”

Photo: NZ Herald

Northland cannabis candidate the star of the show

Radio New Zealand covered the Northland and Te Tai Tokerau candidate’s meeting held at Ōtiria marae.

The unexpected star of the night was Jeffrey Lye of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, who, no matter what the question was, managed to make cannabis the answer.

Despite a serious message about harm caused by New Zealand’s drug laws, Lye was responsible for much of the evening’s laughter.

“We believe the local law creates the problem. You get five bros together drinking alcohol, they’ll start a fight. You get five bros together smoking cannabis, they’ll start a band and play music,” he said.

Photo: RNZ / Peter de Graaf

Fellow ALCP candidate Maki Herbert and Northland Party founder Mike Finlayson also took part. Mike was a former president of NORML NZ and along with me and a dozen others, a co-founder of the ALCP.

Full respect to everyone who’s running in the elections. I’ve done it myself, it’s bloody hard and often not much fun.

Commitments and refusals

With advance voting now open, and the new bipartisan agreement cannabis is safer than alcohol, Radio New Zealand summed up the “new commitments and refusals to rule out” from last week’s Newshub leaders debate:

Cannabis decriminalisation: Hipkins said he would not rule out further changes towards decriminalisation of cannabis in future, but wants to approach it on a bipartisan basis.

It’s a departure from his position last week, when he told reporters the party would not do it in the coming Parliamentary term.

Luxon, despite earlier having said he supported treating drugs as a health issue, not a criminal issue, refused to commit to a bipartisan effort on it however, saying “I’m quite happy with the settings that we’ve got today”.

Other election news:

Cannabis candidate stars in Border Patrol

If you watched Border Patrol, New Zealand’s most popular tv show, this week you would have seen the Cannabis Party candidate for Auckland Central, “dressed for the high life” in his canna-leaf suit, coming through customs with his prescribed medicinal cannabis.

Christopher Coker had travelled to and from Australia and was merrily waved through with his buds (S13E10). This was great educational viewing for TV One’s audience.

Lorde loves cannabis

The Herald and Stuff reported this week on a post by Lorde (who voted Yes) reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of her breakthrough album Pure Heroine and the inspiration she got from using cannabis. From the Herald:

Going on to discuss her decision to start using cannabis, she explained to her fans how the drug was a huge help in her creative process. She said it “gave me a deeper understanding of sensory pleasure, and allowed me to start to see my world as a possible work of art.

Two new medicinal cannabis flowers

Two new medicinal cannabis flowers have been approved for prescription. These are available now from your doctor or you can see a cannabis specialist.

Medleaf ® LL Kush is 23% THC, in 30-gram bags, approved as a tea. This is presumably “Lemon Larry Kush”, a strain from California but this is grown Canada. Leafly says LL Kush is an indica cross between OG Kush and SFV OG, with “a potent yet easy body buzz that will allow you to relax while getting things done.”

Helius® DK Dusk THC25 is 25% THC in 10-gram packs, approved for vaping. It’s the first flower from Helius Therapeutics. They have a huge Auckland facility, but this is imported from Denmark. The cultivar is “Frosted Lemon Angel”, an indica hybrid high in beta-Caryophyllene, Myrcene and Limonene terps so expect peppery, earthy citrus notes.

Thailand to ‘rectify’ law on cannabis

Newshub reported this week “Newly appointed Thailand Prime Minister hints at changing cannabis law”.

Over the past 12 months Thailand has seen a green rush, with cannabis dispensaries cropping up in cities and towns across the kingdom.

But all that could soon be about to change.

Newly appointed Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told Bloomberg TV in a recent interview that his government would seek to “rectify” the law on cannabis within the next six months, suggesting that the plant would remain legal only for medical use.

The Newshub report, sourced from CNN, was especially thorough and evidence based.

Experts said pushing cannabis businesses back underground, making it harder to police, would likely result in more people getting into trouble with the law – as well as returning the trade from tax-paying businesses to the kind of organized crime cartels that flood Thailand and neighboring countries with huge amounts of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

This is great viewing if you’d like to brush up on your reasoning for cannabis law reform for this election period. It’s like an instructional guide on all the best arguments.

Cook Islands medicinal cannabis announcement

The Cook Islands is about to say “Kia Orana” to medicinal cannabis. The Cook Island News reports the Prime Minister’s Office says a “statement expected next week on medicinal cannabis”. Chief of staff Ben Ponia said the final draft report and a plan for a medicinal cannabis regime has been completed by Cannabis Referendum Committee members who participated in a study tour to New Zealand.

It is now with the committee members for consideration and feedback and the committee chair, Tingika Elikana, is expected to issue a media statement, possibly this week.

The committee includes Health Secretary Bob Williams, Marie Francis and pharmacist Andrew Orange and Solicitor-General Lauaki Jason Annandale.

The report is expected to be based on the findings from the study visit, and consultations that were undertaken in New Zealand and Australia where Francis and pharmacist Orange were fact finding.

The committee had earlier said that the priority is a medicinal cannabis regime, and the challenge is not to simply transpose the New Zealand or Australia formulae onto the Cook Islands, but to select those components that are applicable so that “we can enable a regime that fits our aspirations”.

I met with Marie and Andrew when they visited Aotearoa. This is sounding like a hybrid approach, with imported products meeting NZ- and Australian standards so people can travel with their cannabis meds between the three countries, and non-profit patient cooperatives growing affordable herbal meds for local patients. I’m looking forward to the wellness resorts!

Coming up:

  • Substance Testing at The Hempstore First Thursday of every month thanks to the NZ Drug Foundation, so that was Thurs 5th October, with the next on Thurs 2ndNovember, or find a clinic here.
  • Cannabis Roadside Rallyin Auckland: High Noon Sat 7th October at Grey Lynn shops. See 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 (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!

 


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