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Posted by Philip on 22 April 2016, 5:39 pm in , , , , ,

Are we ready to lighten up on lighting up?

Celebrities Roseanne Barr and Whoopi Goldberg are, among others, about to start up businesses making the most of marijuana legalisation in the US. According to iReadCulture.com, Barr will open "Roseanne's Joint" in Santa Ana, California with partner Aaron Herzberg and Goldberg "has partnered with Maya Elisabeth to form Whoopi & Maya, a line of cannabis products that provide menstrual relief."

Both women experience conditions for which they have found medicinal cannabis useful. Goldberg has chronic dysmenhorrhea — painful menstrual cramps — from which nine of 10 women also suffer. Barr has been vocal about the healing properties of cannabis for glaucoma and macular degeneration.

The women see marijuana less as a drug to get high from than medicine for natural healing. “For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high, high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort,” Goldberg told Vanity Fair. “Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work. This, you can put it in your purse [and apply as cream or drink as tea].”

Herzberg says of Barr, “She’s very spiritual, she’s very holistic, she’s extremely into natural remedies, and I can tell you that she believes very strongly that marijuana is medicine,” He said "Roseanne's Joint" is a continuation of her passionate activism.

I've used cannabis recreationally as well as medicinally for back pain. I stopped smoking a few years ago when I had aggressive neighbours and it made me anxious. I was also regularly calling police and didn't want to risk prosecution.

I've been involved with people trying to change the law in NZ and, to be honest, I wish we'd had a referendum on cannabis law reform rather than a flag change.

Recent years have shown us many cases of people benefiting from medical marijuana, notably NZCTU legend Helen Kelly. Peter Dunne, who may have tarnished his reputation over legal highs, has been quoted as saying, "The war on drugs has been an abject failure," and, "Responsible regulation is the key to reducing drug-related harm," in his speech to the UN General Assembly, endorsed by the NZ Drug Foundation.

Our outdated laws prevent people benefitting from the medicinal properties of a plant, create an underground market that costs an estimated $200m/year in criminal interventions and stifle an estimated annual market of $1b, including $68.3m in GST and $145.8m in company tax. With that amount of money entering the economy, it would seem that, even if conservative worries of increased addiction treatment were needed, it should be well-funded.

NZ has led the world in so many social changes. Why are we lagging on this one? It's time to lighten up.

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