Renewed calls to end cannabis ban
Campaigners took up camp on Trafalgar St on Saturday morning, calling for an end to the 90-year prohibition of cannabis.
Campaign leader Kelly Patchett said November 11 marked 90 years since the Dangerous Drugs Act was passed, making the use of cannabis illegal in New Zealand.
Patchett, along with a woman dressed as a green fairy, was handing out leaflets and booklets with information about the medicinal uses for cannabis.
It follows the recent pros- ecution of Rose Renton, who is known as a ‘‘green fairy’’, a term used to describe cannabis growers and suppliers who help patients on compassionate grounds.
Patchett said people like Renton ‘‘risked their lives’’ and freedom, and it was time for the government to move quickly as 90 years’ prohibition was enough.
‘‘We know the government is willing to make changes, it’s just not making them fast enough,’’ she said.
The new government has sig- nalled it will hold a referendum on the issue. Patchett said the referendum couldn’t come soon enough for those with chronic pain.
‘‘Many of the patients who use cannabis have been through the pharmaceuticals process, so they’re not just saying ‘I don’t want to use them, I want to use this’,’’ she said.
Patchett had previously been on a large amount of strong opiates, using ‘‘uppers and downers’’ for chronic pain related to fibromyalgia. She said they didn’t ‘‘touch the sides’’ of her pain and kept her as a ‘‘zombie’’.
She hoped by holding an awareness-raising event she could talk to people about why they made a big ‘‘hoo-ha’’ about it.
Unless people had lived with chronic pain, it was hard for them to understand.
‘‘You talk to any patients, or any fairies, and it’s a really emotional situation because they think we’re just talking about a plant, but we’re actually talking about people’s lives.’’