Kiwi cannabis enthusiasts have hit another hurdle in their fight for legalization of the herb, as an interpretation of a law that allows patients to bring in up to a months’ worth of legally obtained medical marijuana has been challenged in court. Abe Gray is one of New Zealand’s most prolific pro-cannabis crusaders who is seeking the government to change its draconian views of the plants’ legality.

Abe Gray: The Kiwi cannabist

abe1 Abe Gray: Meet New Zealand’s Most Influential Cannabis Activist
Photo credit

Activist Abe Gray is the President of the Cannabis Party and New Zealand cannabis advocate, and explains,

It would’ve been a hell of a lot easier if we could have worked with legal American states to share and showcase the legal lifestyle.

Gray is also Vice President of NORML New Zealand and the host of Overgrown on Radio One. A botanist by trade, the cannabis activist continues to push the envelope with his pro-cannabis agenda, accompanied with a good dose of civil disobedience.

We continue to protest the prohibition of cannabis with a smoke-in at Otago University at least three times a week.

It lends enough momentum to his words to demand attention while retaining respect from officials.

New Zealand’s only cannabis museum

abe3 Abe Gray: Meet New Zealand’s Most Influential Cannabis Activist
Photo credit

Gray successfully started up The Whakamana Cannabis Museum, which houses an Airbnb inside.

The budding ganjapreneur is planning to expand his Airbnb cannabis museum to include a cafe and downstairs night club in a downtown location.

I don’t think it’s a setback because the judicial review will show its unlawful, they opened a new sore with this.

Government intervention under fire

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is currently under fire for the flip-flopping interpretations of the customs law.

In an interview with Checkpoint with John Campbell, he explained that California cannabis is non-pharmaceutical grade.

The medicine isn’t prescribed through the proper channels. All medicines under the medicines act have to go through a medical process…I can’t sign off on it, on a whim. – Peter Dunne

Sativex is the only FDA-approved cannabinoid medicine approved in New Zealand.

I am encouraging the medical profession to become more knowledgeable about the discussion. – Dunne

Fighting for legal cannabis

abe4 Abe Gray: Meet New Zealand’s Most Influential Cannabis Activist
Photo credit

The Cannabis Party of New Zealand is ruffling some feathers at the top of the country’s leadership, and they aren’t going to stop anytime soon.

At a special election held last week, the Cannabis Party offered Brandon Stronge as a candidate.

They also offered a controversial tour of California’s cannabis market in the States. It’s part of the movement’s efforts to bring attention to a recent discovery in their drug laws that allows for lawfully obtained medicine through customs.

Stronge called the tour a ‘unique opportunity’ for cannabis patients to bring their cannabis meds back into New Zealand legally.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Customs Service wasn’t as enthusiastic.

Interpretations of the law

DEA Laments That 1 Abe Gray: Meet New Zealand’s Most Influential Cannabis Activist
Photo credit

Instead, the government issued this announcement to clarify their interpretation of the law, which they aren’t in favor of,  to say the least.

A number of US states permit the medical use of cannabis. However, cannabis-based products for medical use from the United States are not considered lawfully supplied under federal law, unless the product has US Food and Drug Administration approval.

Cannabis was first prohibited in New Zealand in 1975 with the Misuse of Drug Act.

Only two years after U.S. President Nixon formed the Drug Enforcement Agency, New Zealanders found themselves in America’s drug war and the perpetuation of anti-pot propaganda.

This doesn’t change what we are doing now. We can smoke in public as an act of disobedience and its up to the polices’ discretion. – Abe Gray