Tuesday 3 August 2010

Medical marijuana

On some dimensions, NZ is more liberal than the US. But not drug policy.

The NZ Law Commission's recent review strongly recommended at least allowing medical marijuana, which we currently don't allow. They'd likely have gone further in recommending liberalization, but I think didn't want to poison the chances for medical marijuana given the current state of Justice and Corrections.

Meanwhile, Colorado has had medical marijuana for a decade; one of the local papers has hired a reviewer to evaluate the quality of product from the different dispensaries.
Breathes has been smoking marijuana for 15 years to ease chronic stomach pains. Now his medicine is paying his mortgage.
"Load up a little bit and taste it," he said as he tested a joint he bought at a local dispensary. "Try and taste the smoke as it comes out. It has a really woody finish, almost like a mesquite finish to it. After a few hits, try to see what kind of buzz it is."
I look forward to the language of the oenophiles moving over to marijuana.

While the Law Commission wrings its hands about whether liberalization here would run counter to our international commitments, California moves towards a referendum on marijuana legalization; InTrade says there's a 35% chance of the initiative's passing. Portugal decriminalized a decade ago without obvious international opprobrium. New Zealand isn't exactly averse to taking bold international stands in other areas. I wonder why the international agreements here are seen as being so binding.


  1. As much as it saddens me I don't think there is much likelihood of moves to soften any drug laws in NZ occurring for some time. Not while the great unwashed are baying for blood and asking for drink-driving laws to be toughened.

  2. Incidentally, I don't know if you've ever been to Amsterdam or not, but in some of the coffee shops there is very much an oenophilic vibe to much of the language surrounding different strains on offer, etc. It was refreshingly strange to an impressionable young kiwi lad on his big OE.