Photos from New Zealand’s Medicinal Marijuana March
We went to the medicinal cannabis rally in Auckland to see why people were marching and what they had to say.
Image by Danny M. Thompson
This weekend, New Zealanders took to the streets to rally and march for the rights to access medicinal cannabis. There's been a growing movement to get legal access to medical marijuana, but so far the legal situation is still at a stalemate. New Zealand is lagging now behind even conservative countries like the United States, where some states have had access now for a decade.
We sent photographers Kina Sai and Danny M Thompson to capture the action and ask the people their thoughts. Here's what they had to say.
"It shouldn't be a criminal offence to use it for medicinal purposes. I broke my collarbone about eight years ago and a lot of the nerve endings were damaged. I get chronic pain 90 percent of the time, so I'm on an industrial dose of gabapentin and it's pretty unpleasant. So it helps me to get rid of the nausea."
"I'm a nurse and I'm marching for the patients because there's people that can't take medicine, it's unsuitable. They need something like cannabis and they need to be able to take it legally without the fear and they need to have it be affordable, to be able to grow their own, so they don't have to lose out and be sick and dying without cannabis. There's people that are being treated for Parkinsons, for cancer, for epilepsy, for stroke, for IBS, for pain, for arthritis, so many different things that it helps."
"I've worked with a lot of ill patients because I do volunteer work with the cancer society, so I've seen how ill they can become and I think this is really good, just working towards legalizing this."
"I personally use it for my medical reasons. I've got anxiety. It helps more than what the doctors prescribe me."
"It's just nonsensical, the evidence is there and we should just legalise it already."
"I want to see the end of the war on drugs. There's a list of a very large number of ailments and serious illnesses that it's used for and has been used for for 3000 years. No one has ever died from marijuana that we know of. Ever. Why? Because if you take too much, you fall asleep."