Great-grandmother among speakers at pro-medicinal cannabis march

Medicinal cannabis protesters march along Auckland's Queen St on Saturday afternoon.
CRAIG HOYLE/FAIRFAX NZ

Medicinal cannabis protesters march along Auckland's Queen St on Saturday afternoon.

About 200 protesters turned out in Auckland on Saturday for a rally in favour of medicinal cannabis.

They gathered in Aotea Square in the CBD at midday before marching down Queen St at 1pm.

Organisers want safe, legal and affordable access to cannabis, and invited others around the country to organise coinciding marches.

Around 200 protesters gathered in Auckland to call for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.
CRAIG HOYLE/FAIRFAX NZ

Around 200 protesters gathered in Auckland to call for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

Chris Fowlie, president of campaign group NORML (National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said the rally was intended to make a statement to parliament.

READ MORE:
Legal cannabis in NZ? Green Party offers green light to pot smokers
Grow up and legalise cannabis, New Zealand
Great-grandmother battles Ministry of Health over medicinal cannabis products
Mother in panic over tetraplegic son's missing carers

"Throughout history whenever there's been social change, people had to march," he said. "They had to get out on the streets and make their views known."
It is currently illegal to grow, sell or use cannabis in New Zealand, for either recreational or medical reasons.
GRANT MATTHEW/FAIRFAX NZ

It is currently illegal to grow, sell or use cannabis in New Zealand, for either recreational or medical reasons.

Fowlie said the government's response to the issue had been inadequate.

"We know the only way to change the law is to change the government," he said.

Prime Minister Bill English recently told Newshub's The AM Show he was opposed to legalisation of the drug.

Rally organiser Chris Fowlie urged supporters to join the protest and send a strong message to the government.
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Rally organiser Chris Fowlie urged supporters to join the protest and send a strong message to the government.

"We just think the long-term damage of large-scale use of marijuana is pretty bad," he said.

Ad Feedback

That's disputed by the Green Party, which has made full legalisation one of its policy platforms for this year's election.

Greens health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter was among those who spoke at Saturday's rally.

Green MP Julie Anne Genter believes cannabis should be treated as a health issue rather than a legal issue.
SUPPLIED

Green MP Julie Anne Genter believes cannabis should be treated as a health issue rather than a legal issue.

She said cannabis should be treated as a health issue rather than a legal issue, and called for urgent action from politicians.

"The rest of the world is making it easier to access medicinal cannabis, and New Zealand is falling behind," she said.

Genter said current cannabis extract treatments such as Sativex were out of reach for most Kiwis.

Auckland great-grandmother Pearl Schomburg uses medicinal cannabis, and says she won't be bullied by police.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

Auckland great-grandmother Pearl Schomburg uses medicinal cannabis, and says she won't be bullied by police.

"Why should we pay thousands of dollars a month when people can just grow a few plants and receive the same benefits? That's a compassionate approach, and there's no way it would lead to any further harm in society," she said.

Auckland great-grandmother Pearl Schomburg also spoke at Saturday's rally.

Tetraplegic Ben Clifford used medicinal cannabis until his supply of the drug was seized in a police raid.
SIMON MAUDE/FAIRFAX NZ

Tetraplegic Ben Clifford used medicinal cannabis until his supply of the drug was seized in a police raid.

Schomburg uses medicinal cannabis illegally, and said she was determined not to live in fear of being raided by police.

"I will not be bullied or terrorised by this bad law," she said. "It's a cruel law, and I will stand up to it until my last days."

Schomburg said the case of tetraplegic Ben Clifford showed police were not exercising discretion in their targeting of suspected drug offenders.

Clifford broke his neck two years ago while pool diving, and used cannabis to calm his muscles so that he could have as normal a life as possible.

Police raided his home in March and confiscated his supply of the drug.

His mother Kellie Aitchison said she was "in shock" over the way events had unfolded.

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

More HIV diagnoses than ever

New Zealand AIDS Foundation executive director Dr Jason Myers said condoms were "still the best way" to prevent HIV ...

"There's no reason why it won't keep on increasing if we don't improve prevention," researcher says.

Judge: Council wrong over cycle trail

Ken Rintoul says he's happy with a court decision, after a judge found Far North District Council breached its own processes.

In fracas over cycle trail construction, a judge says council could not unilaterally exclude a local contractor.

Poetry event to connect youth

Albany Senior High School students and Upper Harbour Local Board Youth Caucus members, chairperson Amy Irvine and deputy ...

Upper Harbour's Hearing Everyday Youth celebrate Youth Week.

Silverdale cheerleaders victorious video

All Star Infinity Cheerleaders were celebrating victory in Hawaii last week.

After months of intense training, Prodigy and Odyssey surprised the crowd with their energetic performance.

Wellington

When brain tumours glow fluoro video

Brain tumour surgery has become easier for neurosurgeons thanks to a new drug called Gliolan - which highlights the ...

Alice Chambers' life should be longer, thanks to a drug that made her brain tumour glow.

Uni hall booze ban video

Uni

Night of drunken destruction trashes Victoria University hall in The Terrace.

New arena for Wellington

An enthusiastic crowd rocks to The Pixies performing at Vector Arena (now the Spark Arena) in Auckland. Wellington is in ...

A 10,000-seater arena for concerts and events looks set to get the green light.

No ticket to ride

The future of public transport is coming, and it is a future in which you will be able ride a bus with just your bank card.

A bank card may soon be all you need to use public transport across NZ - unless you're in Auckland.

Canterbury

Battle to save historic house

A century-old home burnt down near Little River in Canterbury on Monday morning.

A human chain of firefighters and farm workers dragged furniture out of a beloved Banks Peninsula house before it was engulfed by flames.

Food factory on fire

The cause of a fire at a food dehydration processing factory near Ashburton is not yet known (file photo).

Fire at food factory near Ashburton under control, but cause not yet known.

Refund for dodgy car

Harry and Heather Rae Ngarae have handed back the keys to their Subary Legacy after a dodgy deal at a Christchurch car ...

Elderly couple will get money back after salesman lumped them with a broken car.

From hospital to heart attack

Craig Caddy suffered a heart attack just after visiting Burwood Hospital with chest pains, but he insisted on driving ...

Man collapsed just minutes after complaining of chest pains at a Christchurch hospital. He died days later in intensive care.

Waikato

Bomb claims Kiwi's pen pal video

A triptych of Skye's best friend, Georgina Callander, including the centre shot of Georgina posing with American popstar ...

Best friends spoke that morning but Manchester explosion left 'horrible gut feeling'.

Priest's new victims

Mark Mannix Brown, 74, after appearing in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday.

Mark Mannix Brown, 74, was jailed in the 1990s for similar offending.

Couple claim $27m Lotto prize

The winning lotto was brought from Thames Four Square owned by Sukhpal Singh.

A Thames couple have come forward with the golden Lotto ticket.

Ham East rejuvenation starts

The new playground in Steele Park, as shown in the concept design for the Hamilton East Neighbourhood Plan.

But one councillor says Hamilton East is already thriving and will continue to do so if council keeps its sticky fingers out of it.

Taranaki

'Business as usual' at Coastal

Principal of Coastal Taranaki school in Okato, Janelle McKenzie, has resigned after just over a year in the job.

Board of trustee members had a catch-up with staff in the wake of principal's departure but it was "business as usual".

Woken by stalker

Hanz  Browne was jailed for two years when he appeared in the Hawera District Court on Tuesday. (file photo)

She screamed after waking up to find a stalker staring at her from the foot of her bed.

'High risk' pregnancy appeal

Virginia Rose James, 33, had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of forgery and one representative charge of obtaining ...

She was jailed for stealing $705,000 but wants out, saying her pregnancy is "high risk".

TV games show needs families

Family Feud auditions are being held in New Plymouth on June 24.

Family feud fans rejoice, the game show needs more Taranaki families to feud.

Manawatu

Euthanasia a 'good death'

Professor Jan Bernheim founded palliative care group Not Necessarily Terminal.

Professor Jan Bernheim says that if euthanasia is to be made legal in NZ, it should not be made too complicated.

Liquor shop opposed

Palmerston North's first Black Bull is soon to open unopposed in Rangitikei St. A second in the new Milson shopping ...

A church and a retirement village sit next to the proposed Black Bull branch.

Typhoid tests carried out

Palmerston North Hospital has tested 11 children for typhoid.

28 people have been tested for typhoid, including 11 children under 5.

No guarantees for democracy

Gerald Ford didn't need any votes to become Unites States President.

OPINION: Some things are more important than the right to vote.

Nelson

Quit smoking incentive to help unborn children

Stacey Russell, second from right is on the Pepi First programme which is run and supported by Sonia Hepi-Treanor, left, ...

An incentivised programme has helped Motueka woman Stacey Russell to quit smoking. 

Drunk driver in dock

A photo of the crash scene on Whakatu Dr taken from a passing vehicle and posted on Facebook.

A drink driver in Nelson damaged four vehicles and seriously injured a woman.

Iwi challenges water bottling

Te Waikoropupu Springs is considered sacred to local iwi.

A plan to bottle thousands of cubic metres of water from a Tasman spring has been dealt a blow after a local iwi appeal.

Poverty hitting region's youngest

Kay Guyton runs Angel in My Street and works to support Stoke families and children in poverty.

The report has found more than 1400 children in Nelson and Tasman live below the poverty line. 

Marlborough

Hundreds farewell Bevan Moody video

Waitohi rugby player Bevan Moody collapsed on the field earlier this month.

Street closed for emotional haka after funeral of rugby player who died on the field.

Tatts, shoes for drugs

Tinnies of cannabis normally sell for about $20, a police summary of facts says. (File photo)

A cannabis dealer caught with a wallet full of $20 notes wasn't all about the money.

School track causes bike boom video

The new cycle track at Mayfield School has been a huge hit with pupils, from left, Vee-jay Koroheke, Payton ...

Cycle track around the school has pupils clocking up the kilometres without realising.

Beer burglar jailed

Walter Narayan was told about the outdoor fridge as a place where he could get beer, his lawyer said. (File photo)

He went back to the well one too many times. The well being someone else's outdoor fridge.

South Canterbury

'It's not an easy subject' video

Ryan Weaver-Cogger's mother Michelle Cogger hopes mental health educator Mike King will encourage young people and the ...

Bereaved mothers bringing mental health educator Mike King to South Canterbury to help lift the taboo around suicide.

$700,000 upgrade

Smithfield Plant manager Nigel Cuthill has sent out a letter to residents informing them of the $700,000 to the plant- ...

Alliance will spend $700k to upgrade plant following odour complaints.

Brekkie for a good cause

Pink Ribbon Breakfast at the Arowhenua Marae in Temuka. Pictured are Wendy Moore (left) and Shirley McPherson (right).

The Arowhenua Marae was transformed into a sea of pink to support a good cause.

Ara concerns voiced

Ara Institute of Canterbury's Timaru campus.

Ara criticised for a lack of communication with South Canterbury stakeholders.

Southland

Bluff oyster numbers decline

Bluff Oyster Festival Chairman John Edminstin in front of the crowd at the Bluff Oyster Festival.

The results of a recent NIWA survey has shown replenishment rates in the Foveaux strait Oyster fishery have lowered since 2012.

Aurora on show

Te Anau resident Chris Watson captured this stunning panorama from the Ivon Wilson Park on the outskirts of the town.

Photographers were out in force on Sunday capturing the dazzling Southern Lights.

Barclay supporting centre

Lumsden Maternity's contract with the Southern District Health Board expires on July 31.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay says he will not let the Lumsden Maternity Centre close.

Sea lions could scupper fishery

A juvenile sea lion in Port Pegasus in January 2016. In New Zealand sea lions are ranked as "nationally critical" on the ...

Would a new aquaculture project on Stewart Island affect the sea lion colony?

Ad Feedback