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Dunedin Overgrown By Cannabis Truth

Welcome To Dunsterdam : Dunedin Overgrown By Cannabis Truth

Otago University NORML Cannabis Awareness Week Saturday April 25 – Saturday May 3

The long-smouldering debate over cannabis law reform will be reignited when Dunedin activists host a series of public events designed to inform and educate the community about the cannabis plant. The Otago University branch of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), with support from the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA), is preparing to kick off Cannabis Awareness Week on the Otago University Campus in Dunedin.

Cannabis sativa, while being one of mankind’s longest cultivated crops, has only in recent times become a source of great controversy. Sadly, this controversy is generally framed in divisive rhetoric based on unexamined premises, and is rarely thoroughly discussed.

Cannabis Awareness Week kicks off with the arrival of Mary Jane the CannaBus in Dunedin, the final destination NORML New Zealand’s six-week tour of the country, raising awareness and encouraging law reform in this election year 2008. From Monday to Friday, NORML will present daily workshops on the University Union Lawn at noon, open lectures in St David’s Lecture Theatre every evening at 7.00pm, and late night classics from the stoner movie canon at 9.00pm in Mojo’s Hall to finish off.

In the Archway 4 lecture theatre on Tuesday April 29, University of Otago PhD candidate Geoff Noller will present the results of his thesis Cannabis In New Zealand: Perceptions of Use, Users and Policy.

The feature event, on Thursday May 1st, will see high-profile speakers from across the spectrum participate in a round-table discussion on current laws surrounding cannabis and alcohol, in light of the relative harms posed by the two substances. Speakers include the Hon. Jim Anderton (Progressive MP and Associate Minister of Health), Nandor Tanczos (Green MP) and Pauline Gardiner (former National/United MP and Founder of WellTrust).

This week of education and information concludes with the Dunedin contribution to the Worldwide Marijuana March (J Day), the biggest global day of action in the marijuana law reform movement. Activists will protest prohibition in style with bands and DJs playing from High Noon to 4.20pm in the Octagon. Past J Days in Dunedin have seen activists take over the Dunedin Police Station and smoke cannabis in the main foyer.

Full programme details are attached, and are available at www.otagonorml.com.

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