Quick note re standard for saliva. As we understand it, there is a standard but no tests meet it, and there is no standard to train testers to. But yes, saliva seems promising in that it tests for recent use, thus a good proxy for impairment. It's complicated.
Illegal AF. Even under the medical cannabis law that passed last year, any protection from prosecution doesn't apply to cultivation nor to any 'green fairy.' You would have take your chances with the police using discretion (which we have seen even in some cases).
But under the proposed Bill you could grow up to 4 plants per household, and you can gift/share with your friend (you could not sell to him).
Your friend right now should talk to his doctor about getting a medical cannabis prescription (but note, anything he's prescribed will be pricey).
Also, there are many green fairies lurking on Public Address. They may reach out to you, and/or myself and Russell can make introductions.
Hi Rob. Reach out if you're keen to get a bit deeper involved. Both Make It Legal and ourselves (Drug Foundation/Health Not Handcuffs) need volunteers, with different levels of involvement (for example we're keen for people to organise online communities in their own area). Let me know how keen you are, and I can hook you up.
Hi all. For clarification (and I've just copied this from a Facebook post in response to someone who challenged the reported comments):
"Yes, it's true. The data on levels of potency of cannabis typically available on the black market is old. This report is 10 years old: http://i.stuff.co.nz/.../Cannabis-now-four-times-stronger
That shows the some cannabis was averaging about 11%. An earlier report from ESR showed averages of 6-8%.
The main point I was trying to make to the journalist was less about an absolute figure, but more about the need to understand what is currently available to cannabis consumers and making sure therefore that we try to stick to those levels.
I actually said 15% upper limit might be OK, but that it would be good to test cannabis before we make a final decision. As I read it, the 15% limit is a proposal, but the cannabis advisory committee will be asked whether this is too high or low.
We have been asking the govt to fund this testing for over a year now; we know that ESR is really keen to do this work.
Another point I made (and not everything you say to media makes it into the final story) is that we know there are increased risks with higher potency cannabis, and the NZ should try to avoid creating a market for high potency cannabis if that market doesn't yet exist. If testing shows that average black market products are 12-15 or more, then let's adjust the level.
And what is brilliant about the proposed law is that consumers will know exactly what it is they are buying, because that will be on the packet. And that the people selling cannabis can be trained up to give good advice to experienced consumers and novice consumers.
But yes, there are some cannabis consumers who prefer higher potency strains. My view is those consumers are probably well skilled cultivators, and under the Bill, will still be able to grow their own higher strength plants under the home cultivation provisions.
I'd genuinely love to know how you have determined the strength of the cannabis you consume. How do you know it's 20 or 30%? And do you know the CBD ratios too? I'm concerned that there are too many strains that are full on THC with little to no CBD to moderate it.
but their audience are wowsers.
Should read: “but their audience are voters.”
I'd love to know what the Drug Foundation said in 1994. Was the ED Ross Henderson? He would have said something sensible, I'm sure.
Thanks for your responses Joe.
There's an editorial in the NZ Medical Journal today, and it's not very good. So some questions for the researcher who wrote it (who also comments on Public Address):
1. Where, in the last few years, have we heard drug law reform advocates arguing that we need to legalise cannabis because it's safe?*
2. With the half-measure of decriminalisation, are you really happy that the supply of cannabis remains in the criminal black market? If not, you editorial doesn't address the supply issue.
3. You do realise that New Zealand could design a model of cannabis regulation very different from the more commercial models in some US states, and that we can learn from NZ's own mistakes on alcohol regulation?
[* You certainly won't hear that argument from the Drug Foundation - indeed we often reference the Christchurch study, and had the great David Fergusson speak often at our events]