J-Day more important than ever

May 11, 2018

J-Day more important than ever

Auckland Patients Group showing their support for medicinal cannabis at J Day. Photo: Supplied

The debate about medical cannabis drew a 1000 plus strong crowd to J Day after more than a chance to smoke weed in public.

Among the crowd at the annual event was a raft of medical cannabis supporters.

The first Saturday of May marks J Day, a protest against the prohibition and celebrates Kiwi cannabis culture in Auckland’s Albert Park.

Co-Leader of the Legalise Cannabis party, Maki Herbert, says the turn out this year was good, with at least 1000 people attending Auckland’s event at Albert Park.

Herbert says that the turn out reinforced the support for the decriminalisation of the drug.

“This is what you call power to the people. We are lucky that in New Zealand we have freedom of speech and can partake in world-wide events such as J Day without any police,” says Herbert.

The Bill, which is currently before parliament is awaiting a second reading and people are eager to get the bill through and decriminalised.

Currently patients who use the drug illegally source it through Green Fairies, providers who grow and distribute it to those in need.

Advocates for medicinal cannabis say that it is time for people to be educated.

One patient, Ljilijana says her life has changed since using cannabis so she can get a decent night sleep.

“For years now, I have been on large dosages of pain killers/opiates and other medication due to the extremity of pain 24/7 and severe lack of sleep.

“I never ever thought that I would have to resort to trying medical cannabis,” says Ljilijana.

Karen, who is a spokesperson for Auckland Patients Group says it’s there is a real lack of education around the complexity of this issue.

“I have had a chronic pain condition for years. I have had surgery, tried every type of pharmaceutical that would be suitable for someone with my condition - but medicinal cannabis has actually stopped the pain,” says Karen.

The first Saturday of May marks a worldwide protest against cannabis prohibition and celebration of kiwi cannabis culture, more commonly known as ‘J Day.’

The bill which is currently before parliament is awaiting a second reading and people are eager to get the bill through and decriminalised.

Pro medicinal cannabis groups say they’ve been fighting this battle for years and still don’t know when they will be heard.

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