Why medicinal cannabis patients are desperate for a yes vote in the referendum

Opinion: Why medicinal cannabis patients are desperate for a yes vote in the referendum

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It seems that as soon as anyone makes an intelligent argument for legalising cannabis, someone angry jumps out of the shadows to complain.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that the Drug Foundation’s new ad promoting a ‘yes’ vote in the cannabis referendum has now attracted over 50 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

However, the ad’s most controversial claim was absolutely correct.

The video advert shows a bunch of respectable-looking New Zealanders who favour legalising cannabis. The ad’s subjects sit on a tasteful grey couch, making eye contact with the camera as they list their reasons for a yes vote.

“Better access for medicinal treatment,” says a grey-haired man.

This is the claim that has drawn the most fire, with Kate Baddock of the New Zealand Medical Association appearing on the news last week to slam the Drug Foundation, snapping and using words like “rubbish” and “misleading”.

As we watched one of the country’s most vocal doctors rant against the Drug Foundation, medicinal cannabis users groaned in frustration. In reality, the ad attracting the complaints was one of the truest public voices to speak up for us in a long time.

In reality, New Zealand medicinal cannabis patients, including myself, have been set up for limited and expensive legal access to the simple herb that brings so many of us relief. Therefore, most patients are now pinning our hopes on the referendum.

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