Medicinal cannabis samples were being handed out left, right, and centre below Nelson’s Cathedral on Saturday.
Edibles, balms, capsules, and chocolates were all on offer for the people who wafted through Trafalgar Street’s 1903 Square during a rally to support making the drug legal for medicinal purposes.
Campaigner Karen Sim says the aim of the rally was to get a few people talking and thinking and to educate people on medicinal cannabis. “From the time we got here we’ve had people come up, ask questions and say, ‘good on you’ and that’s what we want, for people to openly talk about it, to take away the mystique so its not something that’s hidden away.”
The rally was held in conjunction with a pro-medicinal cannabis march along Auckland’s Queen St and left organisers hoping that with a nationwide change of attitude and voting, medicinal cannabis could become legal for those who need it.
A local woman fighting cancer, who did not wish to be named in the newspaper, says it works for her. “I’m off all my pharmaceuticals and I swear by it [medicinal cannabis].”
Local man Lucas Benfell, who makes cannabis capsules, says hearing people’s stories is why he does it. “Hearing how well people are doing with their health is a huge reward, to know that I can do something to make them more comfortable is everything.”
Lucas says he makes low, mid, and strong dosage capsules which can be as much as 40 per cent cannabis, but also tailors the dosage to the individuals.
Lucas says he has made capsules for people battling cancer, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and autism, to name a few.
“We are taking a risk and technically it’s illegal, but it’s an unjust law and we have to fight it.
“This is about helping people and giving people access to medicine that does so much, but we’re being blocked and that’s a breach of our human rights, it’s ridiculous.”
Lucas himself suffers from chronic regional pain syndrome and a 20 year tension migraine.
“I am in constant pain every day and [medicinal cannabis] works a hell of a lot better than any of the crap they feed us.”
Nelson Labour candidate Rachel Boyack also made an appearance at the rally, saying it was time to make the decision surrounding medicinal cannabis a medical, not political, one.