Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Medical cannabis: a polling experiment

25 Responses

  • Katita,

    I listened to this interview, Otamatea Grey Power chapter wants marijuana legalised

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Norml's press release on the poll:

    “What may be surprising to some is that most people want herbal cannabis sold at health food stores for therapeutic purposes, alongside the Marjoram,” said Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML NZ Inc).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    "Treated as herbal remedies" => unethically pushed by pharmacists without the proper assessment, diagnosis and prescription process required for licensed pharmaceuticals?

    I don't think government has any business telling me what I can put in my body, but that seems to be going a bit far.

    (Mind you, I'd favour stopping pharmacists pushing 10x doses of vitamins or phials of distilled water).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    This all seems quite confused, ‘legalising medical marijuana’ contains several internal contradictions. And as for the wrinkles growing their own analgesics..we’ll get off the grass!

    I would be very interested if pharmacists came up with a reliable, cannabis based, nerve analgesic without the side effects of the crap that is currently prescribed. I was taking amytriptiline for a year until the side effects became too much. The GP then suggested I try epilepsy medication as an alternative, fuck that. I would certainly try a cannabis derivative for neuralgia but just hitting the bong isn’t good for my head or my lungs. It would have the same long term side effects as the currently available options I would rather live with the pain.

    So polling people on their opinion on a cannabis based medical analgesic is in no way the same as asking if the people can grow sticky buds to skin up their own medicine. Bit like legalising morphine manufacture from your own poppies, doable but not recommended.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to william blake,

    I would be very interested if pharmacists came up with a reliable, cannabis based, nerve analgesic without the side effects of the crap that is currently prescribed.

    I know a MS patient who says Sativex (50-50 THC-CBD) is much better for nerve pain than other things she’s used, and with fewer side-effects. It apparently has some psychoactive effect, but nothing like getting on the bong. The trial evidence isn’t super-strong, but Canada, for example, specifically approves it for use in treating neuropathic pain.

    Bad news is that (for reasons of varying merit) it’s not Pharmac-funded, so would cost up to $800 a month. Good news is that a series of applications for an equivalent and much cheaper non-pharma-grade product is about to begin. Your GP would need to apply for either, noting that other medications have been unsatisfactory. The non-pharmaceutical-grade applications need to be approved by Peter Dunne, but he’s actually very ready to do that at the moment.

    It is kind of crazy that an approved, relatively low-impact product requires ministerial approval while a specialist can prescribe valium or clonazepam or implant a baclofen pump with any such hoops to jump through.

    Also: yeah, epilepsy drugs. Many years ago, someone gave me an epilepsy tablet at a party, assuring me it’d be good – it wasn’t, it was bloody awful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Lumley,

    Younger respondents (18-29) were by far the most conservative on both questions

    I have been surprised to find this from undergraduates talking about cannabis. Interesting to see it isn't just my selection bias.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2013 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Thomas Lumley,

    I have been surprised to find this from undergraduates talking about cannabis. Interesting to see it isn’t just my selection bias.

    I don't have the reference to hand right now, but my recollection is that this isn't the first time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • paul reifel,

    In terms of demographics, it almost goes without saying that someone in their 60's now, was probably in their mid-20's in the 1970's.

    So I suspect their responses would be a lot different to our parents' or grandparents' generations!

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    One day, out of the blue, Nana asked me what it was like to smoke pot. It was the mid nineties and I was in my early twenties, and it was the weirdest conversation.

    I mean, we used to call her Mrs Bucket, and here she was asking about it in a very matter of fact way. She was in a lot of pain at the time and close friends of hers were using cannabis as pain relief so she'd worked her way past the social stigma of it all.

    My Grandfather on the other hand, was not ready for this discussion and I could feel waves of disapproval from behind the racing section of the paper.

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks Russell I will get on the Google and check with my GP.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    anacdotal - younger people I crossed a lot when active in the dance scene, a few years back now, really looked down on pot... saw it as old peoples thing

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to william blake,

    Thanks Russell I will get on the Google and check with my GP.

    Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ are level-headed and helpful on these matters. (I can make an introduction if you want to email me via the button at the bottom of the post.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bob daktari,

    saw it as old peoples thing

    Also, it messes with your ability to dance all night. It would be interesting to find out what proportion of young people are actually much into the dance scene, though. I would think that it might still be pretty popular with people who are more into the getting pissed scene than dancing specifically. That's loads of kids.

    It is interesting that the yoof's lesser interest in medicinal pot shows up in actual data, though. I wonder if the question were about recreational pot whether the position might reverse, and younger people are more in favour than older. Phrased this way, it's almost like a question about whether a new kind of drug for the treatment of Alzheimers should be allowed. Something that people probably care about in proportion to their perception of how likely it is to affect them sometime soon.

    Certainly this is the way I feel about it. It should be allowed, but I'm not that passionate about it. Probably I'll care more as a I start to personally know more and more people requiring palliative care. But it's not really a particularly interesting or socially transformative question, any more than what dosages of morphine should be allowed in pain relief. Fundamentally it's still the state legislating strong control over this substance, taking command of when it can and can't be used, and in the case of using it for fun - still streng verboten.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Speaking of polls and serious research - Chchch's own openminded investigative reporter - Mike Yardley, turns in another fully researched piece on the epidemic of drugged drivers in Canterbury.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/83659287/mike-yardley-lets-get-deadbeat-drugged-drivers-off-the-roads

    sorry that should read another load of self-opinionated self-serving tripe from Mike Yardley's paranoid universe....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    what proportion of young people are actually much into the dance scene, though

    Wellington anecdata: 300 people would be a big turnout for a dance party and a lot of the people won't be all that young - say half under 25? A lot more if it's some (overseas) commercial performer they've heard of on ZM, but I wouldn't say those people are into dance music.

    How many 18-25's in the Wellington region? 40,000? Dance parties are a minority interest.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Wellington anecdata: 300 people would be a big turnout for a dance party and a lot of the people won’t be all that young – say half under 25?

    Yeah, I can think of one or two clubs in AK that just about qualify as senior hangouts.

    A lot more if it’s some (overseas) commercial performer they’ve heard of on ZM, but I wouldn’t say those people are into dance music.

    Yeah, different thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    How many 18-25’s in the Wellington region? 40,000? Dance parties are a minority interest.

    Yup, and it's also rather hard to take dope in a private venue. I can see why it would not be popular like that. At a party at someone's house, perhaps more so. Not that I am disputing that it's fallen out of fashion. I just don't know. Gut feel is that if more different alternatives are available (and more certainly is readily available than decades ago) that the general tastes would be wider, so it's likely it would have declined as a proportion of illegal drugs taken. Rather like tastes in TV watching.

    But I'm sure there's data out there that is better than the gut feels of an old man :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yup, and it’s also rather hard to take dope in a private venue.

    That's starting to change with pocket vaporisers ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That’s starting to change with pocket vaporisers …

    I'm sure they help, but they're never going to be as discreet as popping a pill. Cool devices though, finally something functional enough to pass the KISS principle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m sure they help, but they’re never going to be as discreet as popping a pill.

    Somewhere between popping a pill and doing a line :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Something that people probably care about in proportion to their perception of how likely it is to affect them sometime soon.

    Relatedly, most of the audience at tonight's #ikatalk about assisted dying sported silver hair. Now if someone could marry both issues ..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    pocket vaporisers …

    They're that expensive?
    I'd heard drugs burnt holes in your pockets....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    They’re that expensive?

    Not really. Starting around $50. They have their place, which seems to be mostly light users concerned about the unhealthiness (and unpleasantness) of smoke who use it for themselves. Strikes me that they'd be not very convenient for group use, or heavy use, on account of needing to be refilled and recharged frequently. But for light use, particularly planned in advance, I can see why people would like them. I guess the concept is for people to have their own one, rather than sharing them around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    dance/clubbing has always been a minority interest compared to say sports but more popular and frequented than say live music.... from what I hear from DJs (I'm too old to venture out much) Auckland clubbing is as vibrant as its ever been

    huge increase in young electronic producers doing their thing largely outside of the "music scene" - a wonderful thing...

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Australopithecus, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    How about an inhaler as a delivery mechanism?

    Te Pahu • Since Apr 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

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