Cannabis News

A fresh-faced 20-year-old is stepping up to challenge the "pale, stale and male" status quo in Auckland politics.

She is also keen to push for the legalisation of marijuana and address transport issues in East Auckland.

Olivia Montgomery is campaigning to be elected in the city's largest ward, Howick, in the upcoming local body elections.

Cooking with cannabis is set to be legalised, despite police warnings that dining on dope could trigger positive drug tests.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) yesterday gave its green light to plans to legalise foods made from ­industrial hemp seeds.

Newcastle doctor Andrew Katelaris — who was deregistered in 2005 for giving medical marijuana to sick children — yesterday welcomed the decision. He said hemp was a ­superfood and milk made from industrial hemp seeds was better for kids than cow’s milk.

Whangarei's Grey Power federation has voted to support a push by a fellow Northland federation to legalise medicinal cannabis and says it's not being naive in making the decision.

In April the Otamatea Grey Power federation put its weight behind the legalise medicinal marijuana movement, saying they want to have the choice of dying pain-free. Otamatea Grey Power president Beverley Aldridge, said she had grown tired of watching friends and family suffer serious illness, while the drugs they were given had side-effects as bad as the symptoms they were designed to treat. Medicinal marijuana, she believed, was the answer.

The move sparked a war of words between Grey Power national president Tom O'Connor and the Cannabis Party, with Mr O'Connor saying he was worried about "single issue" groups trying to capture "naive" Grey Power members to promote their cause.

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms.

The Treasury memo, released to lawyer Sue Grey under the OIA, shows that legalisation of cannabis would save the taxpayer $400m and would earn $150m in taxes annually. A total revenue of $550m.

The memo undermines the credibility of the police's drug harm index, which tries to justify prohibition by focusing on cannabis related harm to society. However, these Treasury figures prove that law enforcement is actually responsible for the vast bulk of this harm to society.

The government could generate $150 million annually by taxing cannabis, rather than spending $400m a year enforcing drug prohibition, a Treasury note says.

An Official Information Act request by Nelson lawyer Sue Grey turned up the Drug Classification note, part of an internal Treasury forum from 2013.

The previously unreleased document said studies showed alcohol and tobacco caused far more harm than cannabis; that there was no evidence it was a gateway drug, and that Māori "take the brunt of current policies" - making up 14.5 percent of the population, but receiving 43 percent of cannabis convictions.

In the latest news in the war against cannabis in New Zealand, it has been revealed the National Drug Intelligence Bureau (NDIB), a police-led agency, refused to pull a report which claimed cannabis is the “cornerstone” of drug harm in this country.

The 111 page report titled New Cannabis: The Cornerstone of Illicit Drug Harm in New Zealand, produced by analyst Les Maxwell in 2007, claims cannabis costs the country more than $30 million annually and results in more than 2,000 hospital admissions a year.

Steve Dawson, an Auckland sociologist, refused to buy the claims in the report and decided to delve deeper.

The Cannabis Party is appalled that Grey Power's national federation president is attempting to censor it's membership and override their wishes, regarding medical cannabis.

Grey Power president Tom O'Connor said he would never let his organisation be "taken over by this crap" regardless of the wishes of its members.

Mr O'Connor made unsolicited, angry phone calls to cannabis law reform organisations on Wednesday threatening to "go to war with you lot of degenerate cannabis people".

Northland MP Winston Peters has agreed to accept a petition by a Grey Power chapter to legalise cannabis.

Mr Peters spoke to Radio NZ about Otamatea Grey Power's enthusiasm for being able to have a few pot plants in their back yards.

Beverley Aldridge started the petition along with a bunch of retirees from Northland who've never taken illegal drugs in their lives.

Californians are set to decide whether to make recreational marijuana use legal.

The proposed so-called "Adult Use of Marijuana Act," which is supported by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom among others, would allow people aged 21 and older to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana for private recreational use and permit personal cultivation of as many as six marijuana plants.

"Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," initiative spokesman Jason Kinney said in a statement.

A petition supporting access to cannabis oil for Helen Kelly, has been knocked back by a Parliamentary committee.

Over 4000 people signed an online petition calling for Ms Kelly to be allowed to use cannabis oil to help control the pain and nausea her disease is causing her.

However Parliament's Health Select Committee said the Government doesn't support the use of unprocessed cannabis for medicinal purposes because the dose and potency can't be controlled, and also because of the risk of contaminants.