On 11 August 2003, Greg Soar, Coordinator of the GreenCross Medicinal Cannabis Support Group, sent a letter to United Future MP Judy Turner.
He cc:ed his letter to United Future MPs Peter Dunne, Paul Adams, Gordon Copeland, Marc Alexander, Bernie Ogilvy, Murray Smith and Larry Baldock.
From: gc soar [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, 11 August 2003 10:13 a.m.
To: Judy Turner
Cc: Peter Dunne; Paul Adams; Judy Turner; Gordon Copeland; Marc Alexander; Bernie Ogilvy; Murray Smith; Larry Baldock
Subject: Medicinal Cannabis – from a dying person
GreenCross Medicinal Cannabis Support Group of NZ Inc.
P O Box 27 209
11th Aug 2003
United Future Health Spokesperson
Dear Ms Turner,
GreenCross has been in contact with UF regarding medicinal cannabis since late 2002. We met with Paul Adams in March 2003 to provide evidence from our doctors and other sources attesting that cannabis is helping our health problems. Mr. Adams chose to insist cannabis once damaged someone and would never change his mind about cannabis / medicine. He was so emphatic about not changing his mind he repeated himself three times during the conversation. This is very far from taking the time to examine proper evidence. When I pointed out people were suffering and dying Mr. Adams stated ” don’t be so dramatic there are other things you can use”.
My dear friend Evan Clive Shephard lived with HIV. He was so sick when he took his medications. Severe nausea to the point he couldn’t eat. His life was one long nausea session. More than once I was with him in public when he suffered severe diahorrea resulting in extreme embarrassment. Evan smoked cannabis when he could obtain some. It stopped his severe nausea dead in its tracks. No prescribed medications were able to do this. Unfortunately for Evan he could not afford cannabis so mostly went without. The medications were so nasty he chose a better life not taking the meds realising his time would be shorter but at least more enjoyable. Evans immune system depleted so badly due to his inability to stomach HIV medications he began to have lesions form in his brain. Toxoplasmosis is a nasty virus. My dear friend Evan lost his ability to talk, then his ability to walk and finall
I myself have the same nasty effects and currently my HIV medications are failing due to inability to stomach them. My cd 4 count is down to 54 and my viral load sits at 4.2 . I am afraid to say that I am losing the battle for the reasons stated. I would be willing to try Marinol at this point but my own specialist told me that at a conference he recently attended that to many people report an acute high. My specialists name is Dr Rick Franklin of the Auckland Sexual Health clinic and you may indeed check with him as to what I have said regarding Marinol.
If United Future and / or Paul adams are aware of these ” other drugs” we can use then why have we not been told what they are? GreenCross made several phone calls to Mr. Adams offices over the six months since the meeting only to never be given the courtesy of a response let alone an answer. Our members are upset Mr. Adams knows of medication better than cannabis yet makes us suffer by not informing us of what they are. We can only conclude one of the following.
1. Paul Adams / United Future does not want to help us. 2. Paul adams / United Future was wrong about the other drugs and should therefore reconsider the statement and opinions on medicinal cannabis.
Could United Future please supply us the names of these drugs or apologise to our members. We wish to work with United Future on this issue and an apology or drug naming would serve to placate some of our members who suffer daily.
During the meeting with Paul Adams I felt he was genuinely surprised when told that the sick are not medicating but actually going without. Too many people especially MP s seem to be of the impression we can have cannabis already albeit illegally. This is not true due to the cost. The sick are often on benefits and cannot afford $150.00 per week to medicate with. The prohibition of medicinal cannabis really does cause suffering.
As you are aware the Health Select Committee into cannabis recommends the use of medicinal cannabis. Again I have been receiving a flood of calls from our members [ membership means a registered medical practitioner has signed forms attesting the benefits of cannabis]. All of them have been in regard to your press statements along the lines of those mostly wanting medicinal cannabis are the social pro legalisers. This is offensive to those of us who face death and depleted quality of life from severe illness and who have doctors backing medicinal cannabis use but are left to go without the product for lack of ability to afford black market prices. Will you please inform our members as to how you arrived at such a conclusion.
We are all decent members of this society and deserve to be heard. In a press statement dated Aug 5 2003 you asserted cannabis use leads to methamphetimine use. This is not true and there are both international and local studies debunking the long held gateway theory. We feel that you have deliberately mislead the house.
GreenCross Medicinal Cannabis Support Group formally ask that you honour your role as an MP and apologise immediately for your attempt to mislead the house and members of New Zealand society. Education and advancement in social / medical policy can only be based upon truths. Anything less is indeed a crime.
Finally could United Future give their response to the fact doctors are signing forms attesting to the benefit of cannabis for their patient. Put this in context with your comments about the proponents of medicinal cannabis being pro legalisers and I am sure even you must admit why we feel so offended and utterly devalued of any worth.
I repeat that GreenCross Medicinal Cannabis support group wish to work with United Future on the issue and look forward to open and honest dialogue. Our members will not however sit quietly by when contemporary propaganda is exercised.
On 22 August 2003, Greg Soar received a one line reply from Peter Dunne.
This garbage is not worth replying to
Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu Belmont
Leader, United Future
UNITED FUTURE – FOCUSING ON FAMILIES
More information at www.unitedfuture.org.nz