Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Is the Ministry of Health acting outside the law on medical cannabis?

22 Responses

  • Ross Bell,

    A good reason why govt officials should not sit on the EACD, as per recommendation of the Law Commission - they're too focused on the politics not the science. That's why BZP was scheduled: all because one scientist was away the day the cmte gave advice to Minister Anderson to ban it. MOH official always sits as the cmte's chair. There's a funny story about a new minister attending an EACD meeting when the scientists were keen to decrease the classification of LSD.... needless to say, officials ensured that never became official advice.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ross Bell,

    A good reason why govt officials should not sit on the EACD, as per recommendation of the Law Commission - they're too focused on the politics not the science.

    Which I guess was also the case regarding the EACD's advice to Pharmac that Sativex was "desirable and divertible" and thus ought not be funded. Advice that was very much out of step with similar bodies overseas.

    The MoH submission to the April meeting also advised that CBD could be converted to THC by boiling it in hydrochloric acid. And then admitted that no one ever, anywhere had done this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel Carr,

    A year 12 chemistry student could tell you that CBD is not an isomer of THC. That's not something you need affidavits for.

    They may as well claim that the Earth is flat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol#Isomerism

    Melbourne • Since Jun 2015 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Hazel Heal,

    Wonderful, wonderful wonderful. I will keep that letter of Sue Grey's by me for the rest of my time at law school. 9.B and 15 summarise. Getting qualified asap to contribute to this.

    Dunedin NZ • Since Dec 2016 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Slight correction: the FSANZ “final assessment” quoted above isn’t the last word.

    The current state of play is outlined here. Ministers asked FSANZ to report on issues with marketing and whether it could cause problems with roadside drug testing. They’ll consider that at a meeting in April.

    The authority notes that:

    Ministers were concerned that the availability of hemp seed foods may send a confused message to consumers about the acceptability and safety of illicit cannabis and pose problems for drug enforcement agencies.

    The second “concern” there (false positives in testing) is a complete non-issue as far as I can tell – and the first is just stupid. Never mind the actual science or our trade obligations: what about the “message”?

    Message to who, exactly? The only people who ever say this are politicians.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Shane Le Brun,

    Ties in nicely with our push for a certain Canadian product that is effectively pure CBD for use at Starship in lieu of Sativex.
    MCANZ will be chipping in what we can spare for Sue's time.

    Since Mar 2015 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • billtaylor,

    I believe that CBD vaporizes at a different temperature than THC and that you can use commercial vaporizers to get just CBD and not THC. Can anyone help me with this?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2017 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Shane Le Brun, in reply to billtaylor,

    The vaping temps are only 10 degrees apart, most vaporizers aren't accurate enough to do that (even digital ones), besides, good luck finding high CBD cannabis at your local.....

    Since Mar 2015 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • billtaylor,

    Do you know the respective vaping temperatures? I mean, you've got to try!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2017 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Shane Le Brun, in reply to billtaylor,

    unfortunately THC evaporates at a lower temp than CBD, to seperate them you need some fancy chemistry kit,

    Since Mar 2015 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a secret scientist, whose identity and qualifications they have redacted.

    I'd like to see whoever authorised that action named and shamed, after the case is through.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ross Bell,

    There's a funny story about a new minister attending an EACD meeting when the scientists were keen to decrease the classification of LSD.... needless to say, officials ensured that never became official advice.

    "And that, boys and girls, is how the system encourages the use of the demonstrably far more dangerous 25i-NBOMe in the place of LSD. Yes, grown-ups can be very silly sometimes, can't they?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    I'd like to see whoever authorised that action named and shamed, after the case is through.

    We might be able to start here:
    https://fyi.org.nz/select_authority

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    Wikipedia says that "Cannabidiol is not scheduled by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances" so it's pretty hard to see why NZ's legislation should include it either - given NZ's legislation was meant to action that convention (and the other UN drug convention).

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Blair Anderson, in reply to mpledger,

    I have long been involved with a wide range of matters related to the process leading up to the formation of the EACD (supposedly a safe pair of hands) and observed the various directives as to prioritising resolution surrounding cannabis. (ie second health select cmte inquiry, cannabis and the law, ‘as a matter of priority’)

    Certainly, the weakness of the EACD’s functional role surely must be the bulk of its membership are turkeys being asked to vote for Christmas. Justice, Corrections, Police, BorderControl and the Treatment Industry, along with some seriously token maorism. (what percentage of EACD meetings did msrs Warbrick attend?).


    My second crucial objection is the narrow scope applied in drug policy, treating the issue on a drug by drug basis. (inconsistent with National Drug Policy)


    My third is the lack of transparency, my fourth, the functionally corrupt practice of not consulting with, nor weighting, the consumer – for if this 'vexing matter' is, and surely it is agreed, ‘a health issue’ then why is policy inconsistent with our disability law. ie: “no decision about us, without us”.

    We need consumer representation. Now.

    A good government would ensure any EACD function was tested at the table….. A bad government would structure it to serve the government view.

    Now let’s not start on the Interagency Cmte or the Ministerial Cmte, or even the role State Services and Ministry of Internal Affairs play in ensuring the Law Commission’s brief was constrained to ’being informed by the International Obligations” rather than evidence informing our membership/signatory status to those conventions.

    Your mileage may vary…..

    Christchurch, New Zealand… • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Blair Anderson,

    and surely it is agreed, ‘a health issue’ then why is policy inconsistent with our disability law. ie: “no decision about us, without us”.

    Whoa there, mate!

    The Misery of Health Disability Support Services does do the whole 'nothing about us without us' thing, waves around the NZ Disability Strategy and perhaps even the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability and it does have a Consumer Consortium so the actual consumer is 'consulted'.

    It helps enormously if the members of the Consumer Consortium are all from DPOs which are dependant on Miserly of Health funding to stay operational.

    The payer of the piper always calls the tune.

    But....there is no law that says they have to listen, nor even pretend to tailor services according to the expressed requirements....because they can stand on their fallback postion of telling us that there is no actual entitlement to any services, at all.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Fairfax story on this.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Frank Christian, in reply to Daniel Carr,

    That link actually tells us, that THC and CBD are isomers, with the chemical description of C5H11

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isomer

    Wanganui • Since Dec 2017 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Frank Christian,

    and…?
    Compounds that are identical in chemical composition often have very different biochemistry – because they differ in shape and in charge distribution, which are more important than chemical identity as far as cell receptors are concerned.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

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