Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: An unhelpful column about cannabis

42 Responses

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  • linger, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Depends what you mean by "colleagues" I guess.
    Reading the article back, WA's comment is not an attack on Dr Craig's reputation: rather, it is a suggestion that the organisation Green Doctors might no longer be operating entirely within regulations without the in-house expertise Dr Craig had provided (unless there are have been other hires that are not yet reflected in their published staff list).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Can’t disagree with any of that!

    Must be losing my touch.

    Since Nov 2016 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to linger,

    On reflection, the worst I can find in a sentence that begins with “I will leave it to you” is an unbecoming tone – hardly an example of unethical conduct.

    What I find odd, is that the faith I had in the New Zealand medical community which led me to consider voting NO on one referendum has just now been eroded by reading their 'knee jerk' position on the other referendum.

    It is a touch ironic that the medical profession and their failure to successfully adopt cannabis for health purposes is the primary reason I will likely be switching my vote to YES for more cannabis law reform and find myself even more out of my depth on the subject of end of life issues.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Waseem Alzaher,

    Dr Waseem here from Cannabis Clinic. I just wanted to clarify an error in your article. Dr Craig works solely for Cannabis Clinic and not Green Doctors. She has requested her name be removed for 2 months now.

    Thank you Dr Waseem. I'll update the post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • chris fowlie,

    Thanks for your work on this Russell. In response to some comments I'd just note that being a qualified medical doctor and being a GP are not the same thing. Yes Dr Hotu is qualified, but no, he does not appear to hold a current certificate to be a GP. That makes it doubly-weird he would poke his head up claiming to be the "only" medicinal cannabis clinic, while running it apparently without the specialist needed.


    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Mordaunt,

    Hi all,

    NZMA does not represent the entire community of medical practitioners in NZ. This is a recurrent issue with the organisation recurrently misrepresenting it's membership. To quote a colleague recently:

    "My understanding is that up to 3000 NZMA members are students as they get free membership when they join the NZMSA which about 70-90% of students do for the full 5 years. If this is true that’s half the NZMA membership hence the view that they are ‘representative’ of the medical profession is grossly misleading. This is especially true when most of us preferentially belong to our RACP and Society speciality groups."

    This means NZMA's views on Cannibals, EOLC, TOP, are NOT representative of the community. Similarly, NZMJ is part of NZMA.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to Dylan Mordaunt,

    Hi Dylan that is good to hear. Am also very glad we are not having a cannibal referendum this year :)

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Lord knows which way that would go.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    Alimentary, my dear Sacha.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I suppose the number of people reading the Berl report - even a summary - will be dwarfed by the number seeing the utterly misleading Newshub twist on it tonight, selling it as "They Didn't Want You To Know". Along with the ridiculous vox pops.

    Any hope that we really were going to make an informed choice has pretty much died. I want to weep.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1329 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Mordaunt, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Lol, not sure how to edit- wrote on my phone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dylan Mordaunt,

    During the edit window (15 minutes, I think), point anywhere in your comment and the Edit link appears near the Reply one at the bottom right corner.

    Not that there’s anyting wrong with typoes..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha, there is no point (and click) on mobile only touch so it may not be possible to edit posts on this site with a phone.

    (Edit) I spoke too soon, edited from my phone.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Some thoughts on mental health and drugs and alcohol.

    - having mental health and addiction lumped together as one service makes no sense and is counter productive. There is some overlap - dual diagnosis - but they are quite different specialties. It’s a bit like having a Diabetes and Asthma Service.

    - there is still no well established process for detox from severe meth binges. CMDHB has some dedicated facilities but that’s a rarity. Detoxing from meth often poses major risks to others which health services have not provided resources to deal with safely.

    - there’s a huge issue with people who have addiction issues and who for various reasons will not engage with agencies such as CADS and continue to destroy their lives and often the lives of those around them. Parents and friends are increasingly approaching mental health services wanting services to require their loved ones to undergo treatment only to be informed that there is very little option for mental health services to intervene in some ones life if they do not agree to it. The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment Act) is very difficult to action and there is only one secure facility available. It is also taken pretty much word for word from the Mental Health Act - which the government wants to replace with a competency based formulation which will make treating people against their will even harder. That change will inevitably flow on to the SAC act . It’s a conversation about risk vs rights that the government is not involving the broader public in - rather they are listening to small, vocal lobby groups.

    Since Nov 2016 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    Is drug abuse the same as addiction? Synthetic weed didn’t seem that addictive but caused a shed load of mental health issues within my family.

    I often wonder what would have happened back in the day if the government had gone with legal pot instead of synths as our countries first experiments with commercialising recreational drug use.


    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Dr Waseem Alzaher has written an op-ed: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cannabis-referendum/122728636/cannabis-referendum-the-real-cost-of-medicinal-cannabis--separating-fact-from-fiction

    To think that New Zealand currently has readily available and affordable medicinal cannabis products is untrue and misleading. Medicinal cannabis products are not easily accessible and they are also unaffordable for those who need it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

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