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Medicinal cannabis has been gaining plenty of headlines this year.

High-profile users such as Helen Kelly and sporting greats like Martin Crowe who have spoken out.

There have been the lobbyists who are trying to work their way around loopholes to bring medicinal cannabis into the country.

You know her as Nicky Watson - socialite and celebrity party girl who was married to millionaire businessman Eric Watson.

A lot has changed since then for Nicola Robinson, as she's now known. 

She's been hiding from the limelight in Australia, but now she's stepping back into the public eye - and this time, it's for a deeply personal reason.

Nicola's father has Alzheimer's and she has been fighting to get him medicinal cannabis.

AUT academic Huhana Hickey has been prescribed medicinal cannabis since February, but she said the long-term cost was unsustainable.

Sativex is approved to be prescribed for use for multiple-sclerosis patients only.

Until today it was the only medicinal cannabis product legally available for use in New Zealand. All other cannabis products require ministerial approval.

Helen Kelly, who died on Friday, never stopped fighting - and in her final year she lent her voice to the cause of medicinal cannabis.

She used the illegal drug to treat pain brought on by terminal cancer - and when she couldn't get what she wanted in New Zealand, she even took her search all the way to Cuba.

Not just looking to help herself, Ms Kelly was looking for help for others too.

Rose Renton spoke of her kind, gentle, considerate and generous son as she addressed supporters of her petition to legalise medicinal cannabis.

Alex Renton died last year after suffering mysterious seizures, during which time his mother secretly treated him with cannabis oil before its use was approved by Government.

Today Rose presented a petition to Parliament with 17,000 signatures calling for law reform to allow doctors to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is again considering a proposal to allow the sale of foods containing hemp seeds.

This means the Minister of of Food Safety will likely need to decide whether food in New Zealand should be allowed to contain hemp.

National Party MP for Rakaia, Jo Goodhew​, says she supports the sale of low THC hemp seed food.

The president of the Cannabis Party, Abe Gray, is standing for Mayor of the Dunedin City Council.

Mr Gray, a prominent cannabis reform campaigner, said he would meet the sobering challenges head on by abstaining from smoking cannabis during work hours.

"I've volunteered over 40 hours a week for more than the last decade for community organisations such as Whakamana, the Cannabis Museum of Aotearoa," he said.

"I'm disgusted by the lack of backbone shown by the Labour Party and the Green Party on the cannabis issue."

This column is written by a frontline police officer. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

Burglaries, firearms, drugs... Not a day goes by without there being some form of news report on one of these subjects. More recently, cannabis seems to be on everyone’s lips, so to speak.

With high-profile New Zealanders being revealed as users of medicinal cannabis as part of palliative care, it has certainly brought the topic to the forefront of my mind. I have dealt with drugs on an almost daily basis in the course of the job, whether it’s seizing them or dealing with the aftereffects on users. But I often question why we prosecute people who have small quantities of cannabis on them (or other drugs, for that matter).

My view of cannabis, in particular, has changed dramatically over the years. Initially, I had a zero tolerance approach.

Natiowide protests will erupt accross New Zealand on September 17th to highlight unjust cannabis laws.

Thriteen towns and cities around the country will hold protest rallies calling for a moratorium of cannabis realted arrests.

Protest organiser Rose Renton said the protests will target police stations.

Cannabis testing is keeping skilled New Zealanders out of the workplace even if the cannabis is used in their own private time or for medical reasons.

New Zealand must rely on foreign workers because too many locals are on drugs prime minister John Key said.

Defending the nation’s record migrant intake, Mr Key said New Zealand needed to import workers - even for low-skilled jobs - because not all locals were suitable.

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