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Monica Barratt on Drugs in the Social Media

http://www.talkingdrugs.org/an-interview-with-monica-barratt

One great PhD - she nails the management of the social discourse...

although she missed the pervasive theft of the language, thus controlling the dialog esp surrounding harm minimisation, by the body politic, and missed the collisional if unquestioned relationship of police, policy makers and media in manifesting the moral panics and hobgoblins...that trolling the internet reveals.

The latest is the emerging threats and hidden scale of 'drugged driving' being a case of classically disingenuous 'we must do something' engineered sentiment to roadside test targeted groups of NZ'ers 'to prove it' without ever measuring impairment. Even Ross Bell is falling for this one....

So many conflicts it is (increasingly) hard to see which battle to fight but Monica makes it easier to see that enabled and unfettered discussion is gold standard. It is a pity she didnt get to review the Trade Me discussion groups revealing the scale, depth and voracity of 'stoner' prejudice....  /Blair

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Drug reform is not a Dunne deal

Drug reform is not a Dunne deal | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Drug laws have been liberalised from Portland to Portugal. Why is New Zealand missing the (magic) bus?
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Bell, committed as he is to Drug Policy and Policy Reform is still bound to the "Care" treatment ethos that has largely been unsuccessful. Real progress in drug policy (and what was really called 'innovative') looked just like our 'restricted substances regulations' passed into law in 2008 the day John Key became right and honourable. These are the 'rules' that Prof David Nutt said of them "I wished I had thought of them myself" and that it was 'absolutely' the right place to put cannabis.  

I didn't see Bell stepping up to the plate then.... 

Not enough treatment in the mix I suspect.... 

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I'm quoted in Rolling Stone Article "UK Bill Banning Psychoactive Drugs Could Stifle Scientific Research"

I'm quoted in Rolling Stone Article "UK Bill Banning Psychoactive Drugs Could Stifle Scientific Research" | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

“In theory, the New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 introduced this option in respect of [new psychoactive substances], provided they could be proved low risk,” Julian Buchanan, associate professor of criminology at Victoria University of Wellington tells Rolling Stone, adding that the purpose was actually to extend prohibition, not curb it. “Perhaps not surprisingly, given the main focus of the act, not a single [new psychoactive substance] has been approved for sale here in New Zealand.”

“We must end penalties for all personal possession, not extend them as we have done here in New Zealand,” Buchanan says. “We cannot construct a new model for drug regulation on the foundations of prohibition in which people are encouraged to consume state-approved products and punished for possessing unapproved products. We need to concentrate on developing strict regulation on businesses, not people, and ultimately this process should not be confined to [new psychoactive substances] but include all substances currently listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/uk-bill-banning-psychoactive-drugs-could-stifle-scientific-research-20150529#ixzz3bx3ZPMmP ;
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

> Unmasking NZ’s ‘World Leading Drug Reform’

 

this phrase was purloined by Jim Anderton when he was told it in response to his pending 'restricted substances regulations' at about the time  of the UN consultations held in conjunction  with the Ministry of Health at Te Papa. Subsequently when National Was elected (the day the above rules became law) and peter Dunne was anointed with the poisoned chalice of drug policy he was keen to look good and stop the phrase while bastardising everything that was good about Class D regulation. 

A pity the Law Commission inquiry into cannabis and other drugs was again bastardised from its original  blue skies approach to constrained to the 'art of what was politically possible' (quote from the  chair of the commission, Sir Geoff Palmer) - else Class D may have got the green light.

Unmasking NZ's drug policy requires one to have the mental aptitude to see it for what it has become, a litany of lies, half truths and convenient lapses in memory..... despite best practice this has been tolerated for political expediency. Take for example the $50,000 a year (1996 dollar) budgeted to do the 'cost benefit analysis' - dropped for reasons of, and I quote, 'legislative implications'.

That would be in excess of $million dollars today... yet an eminent and experienced Emeritus Professor of Economics gave us a quote to do it for less than $50,000 ...

The response from a 'fiscally responsible' National government is best described as the  "fuck you" agenda.   


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, June 2, 7:47 PM

If you want to understand further what's been happening in New Zealand with respect of the legal high ban see my blog

Unmasking NZ’s ‘World Leading Drug Reform’


https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/lessons-from-the-world-leading-kiwi-drug-reform-magic-trick/

 

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Synthetic high hospitalises Lancaster University students - BBC News

Synthetic high hospitalises Lancaster University students - BBC News | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Five Lancaster University students are in hospital, two of them in a critical condition, after taking a synthetic cannabis substitute.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

"with a suspicion that they had taken the drug" (what drug? ) they have no idea. and then the crucial question is 'why do we not know' ?  Wouldn't be the implication 'its the rules stooped' by any chance, after all it did occur on prohibitions watch.

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#Cannabis #Science - #Cannabinoid #Compounds - #Marijuana #Documentary

#Cannabis #Science - #Cannabinoid #Compounds - #Marijuana #Documentary | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
his is definitely the best Marijuana / Marihuana / Weed Documentar you will ever watch in your life!. ENJOY! =)CannabisFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis...
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Prohibition is the antithesis of Informed Consent.

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Venture capitalists back more and more cannabis companies—good news for the growing industry

Venture capitalists back more and more cannabis companies—good news for the growing industry | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
All great entrepreneurs know that appealing outcomes are achieved by even greater strategized investments. In many cases, the more risk, the more enticing the payout. In the case of cannabis, ,News
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

The social dividend is 'capital' gained by investing nothing but a better idea.

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Beta-Caryophyllene: The Dietary Cannabinoid That Could Make Synthetics Irrelevant

Beta-Caryophyllene: The Dietary Cannabinoid That Could Make Synthetics Irrelevant | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Scientists believe a compound found in a variety of plants, including cannabis, could replace the need for synthetic cannabinoids
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Flavinoids.... emerging science of what we could know if we hadn't stymied the cannabinoid research. 

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Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications. - PubMed - NCBI

Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications. - PubMed - NCBI | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Oncotarget. 2014 Aug 15;5(15):5852-72. Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Homeostasis, mediator of. End of.

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Global Cannabis March 2015 Copenhagen 02-05-2015

Global Cannabis March 2015 / Copenhagen 02-05-2015 Global march for Legalization of mother nature / Cannabis. Look your city up ! Maybe there's one near ...
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Another push towards reason....

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Cannabidiol supplements aim to give higher quality of life to pets - The Daily Texan

Cannabidiol supplements aim to give higher quality of life to pets - The Daily Texan | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
As the Texas Legislature continues to debate legalizing medical marijuana for humans, people do have the option of purchasing related products for members of their households — specifically, their pets.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

And why not ?

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High Times Launches Petition to Free Prisoners Convicted of Non-Violent Cannabis Crimes

High Times Launches Petition to Free Prisoners Convicted of Non-Violent Cannabis Crimes | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
In the spirit of today’s holiday, High Times has launched a petition on Change.org to encourage the freeing of prisoners serving time for non-violent cannabis crimes.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

And fines remitted with interest following a declarative phrase "Sorry!" 

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Flaw and Disorder Committee "on drugs" petition response.

Flaw and Disorder Committee "on drugs" petition response. | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

The Chair persons petition response is in conflict with 

(a) all known science 
(b) Ottawa charter 
(c) Human and Disability rights 
(d) our own National 'all drug' Policy 
(e) and the will of the people. 

We, the entire population of this country are being chronically and systematically fucked over.

That said we are maintaining a collective silence that closely approximates insanity.

We had the solution 'in our hands' with Helen Clark's crucial, if last thing she did as Prime Minister, caucus driven amendment to the principle act (MoD1975); Jim Anderton's "restricted substances regulations". I think many, on reading its concise and erudite 'reality based' solution were in disbelief. Not one political pundit, sitting member, religious council, treatment advocate or enforcement naysayer to be found in five years it was 'law'. Described by Professor Nutt as 'the worlds best drug laws' and that he had wished 'he had thought of them himself' it can only remain to be said.... silly buggers us!

We went from leading the world to anal retentive with the passing of the buck (poisoned chalice) to Peter Dunne, a sitting member elected on less votes than the unfunded and media ostracised Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Post Northland/Peters by-election, Dunne's one United Future vote holds sway over the entire politcal machine. 

Powers to which he is not entitled.

Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him?

Big ups to all the petitioners, hero's every one.

http://prd-lgnz-nlb.prd.pco.net.nz/.../latest/whole.html

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Parkinson's Patients Report Subjective Relief From Cannabis - The Daily Chronic

Parkinson's Patients Report Subjective Relief From Cannabis - The Daily Chronic | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Patients with Parkinson's self-report cannabis to be a highly efficacious alternative medicine in the treatment of the disease, according to survey data published online ahead of print in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative...
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Cannabis has a role to play in all ageing related inflammatory  and neurodegenerative diseases.  The epidemiology is self evident.

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'Conservative warlord' Barry O'Sullivan backs medical cannabis

'Conservative warlord' Barry O'Sullivan backs medical cannabis | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Self-described "conservative warlord" and Coalition Senator Barry O'Sullivan has thrown his support behind a push to legalise medical cannabis.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

There is nothing 'conservative' about prohibition.

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Why Addiction Is Not a Disease: Marc Lewis PhD:

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

~ Marc Lewis PhD (author) More about this product
List Price: $26.99
Price: $14.13
You Save: $12.86 (48%)

“Neuroscientist Lewis (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain) presents a strong argument against the disease model of addiction, which is currently predominant in medicine and popular culture alike, and bolsters it with informative and engaging narratives of addicts’ lives... Even when presenting more technical information, Lewis shows a keen ability to put a human face on the most groundbreaking research into addiction. Likewise, he manages to make complex findings and theories both comprehensible and interesting… [T]his book, written with hopeful sincerity, will intrigue both those who accept its thesis and those who do not.” —Publishers Weekly


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Aways thought it a strange disease insofar as it takes money to catch it and morality to cure it, quite the reverse sequence of  bio indicators than is traditional precursor theory to disease, cure and the American way.

 

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New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how?

New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how? | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

 

 


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Pity they dumped the best *rules in the world for this half baked pandering to fears bullshit.  

Google "restricted substances regulations" 2008  for concise, erudite functional best practice drug policy so boring no one noticed! 

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, July 14, 2013 6:48 PM

Is this a sensible and long overdue move towards drug regulation or is just a clever pragmatic way to end the legalhighs cat and mouse game by prohibiting all unapproved legal highs in one single legislative move?

Does promoting & taxing government approved drugs while policing and punishing government unapproved drugs - sound a familiar model to you? Is that what you'd call regulation? It seems worryingly similar to the present divide between alcohol and cannabis.

This NZ model of 'regulation' was passed with overwhelming support 119 votes to 1. This must reflect a progressive and forward thinking country? I'm afraid not, it reflects a messy Act that has become a bit of a 'pig in a poke'. Prohibitionists supported the Act believing they were banning drugs and keeping nasty legalhighs away from young people while drug reformers thought they were moving forward with regulation. Hear Peter Dunne the Health Minister explain the rationale for Act http://sco.lt/8iv5AP

 

Here is the small print identifying worrying clauses in the NZ Psychoactive Substance Bill that despite a number of protestations (including my written https://www.academia.edu/3487019/Submission_to_Health_Select_Committee_on_NZ_Psychoactive_Substances_Bill_Regulating_Legal_Highs_ and oral submission) were kept in the Act:

Clause 62
Supply of unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max of 2 years prison

Clause 63
Personal possession of any unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max. penalty of $500

Clause 69
Empowers the police or appointed 'Enforcement Officers' to enter premises without a warrant on suspicion of possess with intent to supply an unapproved substances

Clause 11
The Advisory Committee to oversee new approved and unapproved 'legalhighs' specifies only medical personnel 'pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience & medicine' not mention of drug workers, drug user, sociologist, criminologist etc.

 

It is worth understanding the context of this drug policy to understand how it might be interpreted and delivered. This model of 'regulation' sits alongside New Zealand's 'progressive and forward thinking harm reduction drug policy' that:

a) Has rolled out drug testing people on benefits and will stop the benefit of those who repeatedly test positive

b) Will not prescribe injectable substitute drugs,

c) Has no naloxone distribution

d) Has no drug consumption rooms

e) Promotes employer drug testing

f)  Has just invested $2m on US styled Drug Abstinence Courts.

g) Refuses to allow self medication with raw cannabis and only support pharmaceutical cannabis spray in exceptional cases for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

 

h) Increased arrests for cannabis supply by 75% between 2011 to 2012

Faced with frustration and cost over endlessly adding new legal highs to the New Zealand Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 has the government pulled off a prohibitionist master stroke and prohibited all legal highs in one move placing the onus (and cost) on the industry?

Of course the government may actually approve and tax some low risk substances which then allows them to sit alongside other government approved drugs (alcohol and tobacco), but this 'regulation' model perpetuates the current failed model - in that possession of anything not approved by the state is prohibited and will be policed and punished.

 

Regulating drugs is much needed and welcomed but policing and punishing people for using substances that are not approved by the State is a retrograde and worrying move. Imagine if the logic was extended to alcohol, food, vitamins and minerals? It should be a human right for people to consume what they want without getting busted by the police.

We need to decouple personal drug use from law enforcement agencies, we need drug regulation but this is not the sort of regulation I welcome nor one to shout about or adopt elsewhere.

Julian Buchanan

 

Link to the Act itself:
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0053/latest/DLM5043005.html

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THC Improves Surival Rate From Traumatic Brain Injuries

THC Improves Surival Rate From Traumatic Brain Injuries | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
A recent study found that patients who had levels of THC in their bodies were less likely to die as a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

So I have a serious brain injury and my prognosis is shite.... 

Wouldn't be nice if there was a benign  intermediary that arrested apoptosis, opened blood vessels (vasodilation) and left not a mark!

Would be a miracle in another time and another place!

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Meet flakka, the drug police say is making people run around nude and have sex with trees (USA)

But how dangerous is it, really?

Via ReGenUC
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Flakka!, if these so called informed enough to have an opinion folk were to be honest with themselves and the wider public they would have to admit, its prevalence and harms are consequence of, a thus a direct product of prohibition.

It's the rules, stooped! 

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ReGenUC's curator insight, May 19, 10:04 PM

A great piece by German Lopez on the power of sensationalist media coverage to distort community perceptions of drug related harm (particularly in relation to emerging drug types) and create public pressure for non-evidence based drug policy.

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As Barcelona Attempts Crackdown, New Report Underscores Benefits of Catalonia’s Cannabis Clubs

As Barcelona Attempts Crackdown, New Report Underscores Benefits of Catalonia’s Cannabis Clubs | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
On the eve of municipal elections Barcelona’s mayor has threatened to close nearly 90 percent of the city’s cannabis social clubs (CSCs), a myopic proposal that ignore
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Meanwhile NZ puts its citizens in jail for such creative initiatives.

consider:  

The paper, Innovation Born of Necessity: Pioneering Drug Policy in Catalonia, provides a comprehensive overview of the region’s approach to harm reduction and the evolution CSCs in Catalonia. As the report outlines, among the considerable societal benefits that CSCs offer are:   (see http://www.talkingdrugs.org/barcelona-crackdown-cannabis-clubs-open-society-report-drug-policy ;)

  

Providing a space that previously did not exist for consumption in private, decreasing visibility and the volume of buying and selling in public.The fact that membership to a club can typically only be gained by invitation, ensuring that cannabis use is not promoted among new consumers.Strict controls on the age of people who can access clubs (normally setting the minimum at 18 or 21 years) to ensure use isn't promoted among young people.Diverting users away from, and thus helping to diminish, the potentially far more dangerous black market.   

 

and... "Though the cannabis social clubs have no profit motive, they generate significant economic activity ... For example, a cannabis social club with 600 members requires roughly 10 employees to manage operations. If a million and a half people (a little more than 60 percent of daily users and frequent consumers (OEDT, 2011) purchased their cannabis from a cannabis social club, some 25,000 jobs would be generated."
 

In such a scenario, Spain's government could collect an estimated €411 million annually in direct revenue and potentially save €250 million per year in unemployment benefits thanks to the creation of 25,000 new jobs by CSCs.

And we punish such innovation..... pretty dumb policy!
Free the Daktavists Now!  

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Withdrawal drug could help cannabis addicts kick the habit - New Scientist

Withdrawal drug could help cannabis addicts kick the habit - New Scientist | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
An extract of cannabis itself could be the perfect drug to treat the growing numbers of people who want to kick their habit but suffer withdrawal symptoms
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Damn!  Cannabis cures Cannabis!
 

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New research reveals how cannabis compound could slow tumour growth - Press Release Archive - UEA

New research reveals how cannabis compound could slow tumour growth - Press Release Archive - UEA | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumour growth in cancer patients.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
I know there are many folk who think that espousing the apparent miracle cures of cannabis is a ticket for its redemption, and others who argue that its blatent prohibition and the attendant consequences reason enough, but it is delightful to report where science is taking us. It is entirely understandable that there is a dividend that accrues from the enablement of this research knowing how THC and the other cannabinoids interact in our homeostasis. More crucially however will be the enablement of the epidemiology - where we can actually research this within the population dynamic, unfettered by prohibition and its baggage. / Blair
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News Report: NYC Cannabis March 05.02.15

Coverage of legalization advocacy march and rally in New York City May 2, 2015.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Apparently launched round the world at High Noon in Christchurch Cathedral Sq. NZ!  /[;-)

 

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Cannabinoid Deficiency May Explain Your Health Problems

Cannabinoid Deficiency May Explain Your Health Problems | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Researchers propose that cannabinoid deficiency could be the underlying cause of many ailments ranging from inflammation to age-related illness.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

When the truth of the deception is known, only then can restorative justice and good health and wellbeing be accounted. Anything else is a pretence.

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The Drug War, Not Terrorism, Brought Us Mass Surveillance

The Drug War, Not Terrorism, Brought Us Mass Surveillance | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

I have reasonable cause to believe Well, here's a corker: Federal officials from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are actually the source of our current domestic mass metadata collection madness, not the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA got the idea from them. It turns out the DEA had been engaged in mass metadata collection of all phone calls originating from the United States to many foreign countries all the way back in the 1990s, a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Of course, the reason back then was to fight the unwinnable drug wars. The DEA needed to know about your call to your aunt who lives in Italy in order to track down international drug cartels, obviously.


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

I have reasonable cause to believe that the DEA may well have been tracking emails on drug policy and my movements.  In fact I would be damn well disappointed if they weren't.

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, April 7, 10:57 PM

The drug war - coming to a school, workplace or home near you?
Watch this space!
 

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Endocannabinoid Deficiency Could Be To Blame For Your Chronic Health Conditions, Study Finds - Daily Health Post

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Could Be To Blame For Your Chronic Health Conditions, Study Finds - Daily Health Post | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
The body produces these on its own.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Not to forget its role in reducing anxiety, stress and tension associated with stressors in contemporaneous society, the set and setting effects. How useful that a biomedical resource exists within the spectrum of common available plants to supplement our dietary needs. 

 

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Two to appear on cannabis charges - Otago Daily Times

Two to appear on cannabis charges - Otago Daily Times | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
[image]A Wanaka man and a Kingston man will appear in the Queenstown District Court on cannabis cultivation charges on April 13 after a series of search warrant operations on Monday and Tuesday.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

I doubt these plants would produce an oz. or two between them.  'A serious question needs to be asked - was this effective use of Police resources?'

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