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Ian Goldsmith: Marijuana Activism

Ian Goldsmith: Marijuana Activism

Parliament will be discussing the pros and cons of marijuana soon. It has become topical once more to look at the issues. At Otago University we are seeing an extraordinary event. Regular gatherings are taking place every Friday from 4:20pm, and members of the student body are openly flouting the law and smoking marijuana in public, and offering a sense of calm and quiet conviction that the law needs to change for recreational users of marijuana in New Zealand, and that the time has come to address the issues once more. They all gather as regular as clockwork, and now the mainstream media is giving voice to their concerns.

There are different angles and different lines with regards to marijuana usage in New Zealand.

Those gathered offer literature on marijuana that also addresses the issues of Medical Marijuana and have been stressing the importance of Recreational Marijuana usage. A recent magazine by pro-marijuana lobby organisation NORML, highlights medical marijuana as key, but many students who are actively vocal now are saying that it is recreational marijuana usage that is also important to them as an issue for society to be discussing. Recreational Marijuana and Medical Marijuana are two topics for society at this time

A lot of people are becoming vocal now and saying openly that they do not agree with the law and that we need change.

The issue to be addressed before Parliament shortly is Medical Marijuana usage, which centers on pain relief issues for those who are suffering.

The issues for a lot of students is that marijuana is a tonic to stress and something that calms the nerves and helps them get through there studies successfully, and that isn't at all the problem or the scourge of society that some may lead us to believe, and that a more common sense view is one where the issues are addressed sensibly.

We are needing to seriously as a society to discuss medical marijuana as an issue, as is important now that Parliament is about to have it on the agenda, but others are saying that recreational use of marijuana is also important.

The photograph of the Otago University activists below was taken recently by David Large of the Otago University Student Magazine Critic, and if it is used by others then acknowledgement of that should be made.

Further Information:

  • 1. NORML News Autumn 2007 Edition. [ Main feature article on Medical Marijuana. Available from the organisation NORML ]

  • 2.New Zealand Listener. June 7-13 2003. [ Front Cover: 'Dope Test. How Politics And Prejudice Are Blocking Medical Marijuana' pp 18-23 Article called 'Dope Test' by Alistair Bone ]


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