There's a rally in Auckland on Saturday to call for better access to natural affordable cannabis.
Organisers NORML and Auckland Patients Group say they're against synthetic products. There were as many as 10 deaths linked to synthetic cannabis in Auckland in the month of July.
The rally from midday in Queen Street, opposite Aotea Square, will focus on the issue of access to medicinal cannabis. The group organised a similar rally a month ago and plans another in September.
Cannabis oil will no longer be treated as a controlled drug in New Zealand after Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne in July moved to lift restrictions, but the rally organisers say the changes don't go far enough.
"The Government's piecemeal changes do not change much for patients, who are still needlessly suffering," says Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for NORML.
"We are calling for patients and their caregivers to be allowed to grow and use cannabis for health purposes."
"We want the New Zealand Police to declare a moratorium on arresting or prosecuting anyone for medical use/cultivation/supply while this important debate is occurring."
- Pharma cannabis meds to be more available, and affordable.
- Approvals for products and patients to be fast-tracked.
- More funding to be put into researching medicinal uses of cannabis in New Zealand.
- Domestic industry producing the world's best cannabis meds.
A new hope
NORML says it's pushing for a Labour-led Government after this year's election.
"It's Jacinda over Bill," Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for NORML and co-organiser of the rally, said on Thursday.
"The Government's piecemeal changes do not change much for patients, who are still needlessly suffering. We are calling for patients and their caregivers to be allowed to grow and use cannabis for health purposes."
NZN / Newshub.