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Q&As

Election 2017 – SMC science Q&A with political parties

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 24th, 2017.

The Science Media Centre put questions on key science-related issues to the political parties ahead of the General Election scheduled to be held on September 23. This is the fourth time the SMC has canvassed political parties on their science-related policies; you can access previous election Q&As on our website – 2008, 2011, 2014. Click […]

Synthetic Cannabis Deaths — In The News

Tessa Evans posted in on July 25th, 2017.

On Friday, the Chief Coroner and NZ Police issued a warning about synthetic cannabis which has been linked to at least seven recent deaths in Auckland. The seven dead are believed to have used synthetic cannabis recently or were found with it on them. Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department has seen 31 people suspected of taking synthetic […]

What if cannabis was legal? – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 10th, 2017.

With Green MP Julie Anne Genter’s medicinal cannabis bill due to be debated in Parliament, the issue of legalisation is a hot topic this election year. Stuff.co.nz tackled the subject with a week-long series: What if it was legal? Fairfax reporters talked to a range of experts, from economics, political and medical backgrounds to discuss what the […]

Drug survey reveals rise of internet dealers – In the News

John Kerr posted in on April 21st, 2016.

An annual survey of frequent drug users has revealed that the internet is becoming an increasingly common tool for sourcing drugs. The latest results from the Massey University Illicit Drug Monitoring System (IDMS) study show 72 per cent of frequent drug users report increased buying and selling of drugs via social media and encrypted websites. […]

SMC BRIEFING: Medical cannabis products

John Kerr posted in on April 20th, 2016.

Medical cannabis products such as Sativex and Epidolex have been in the headlines for months, with many patients pushing for greater access. But what exactly are these products and do they even work? The Science Media Centre held an online briefing with researchers and journalists to find out more about the current state of research […]

Victoria set to legalise medical marijuana – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on October 8th, 2015.

In an Australian first, the Victorian Government announced yesterday it would legalise marijuana for the treatment of medical conditions including cancer, chronic pain and epilepsy. The decision is based upon a report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission which recommended licensing cultivators and manufacturers to develop a range of products, including oils and sprays, to […]

Pot-smoking teens less likely to finish high school

Laura Goodall posted in on September 11th, 2014.

Frequent teenage cannabis use is linked with less educational achievement and other problems later in life, according to New Zealand and Australian research. Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared with those who have never used the drug, new research published […]

Teen cannabis use and poor life outcomes – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on September 10th, 2014.

Frequent teenage cannabis use is linked with less educational achievement and other problems later in life, according to new New Zealand and Australian research. Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared with those who have never used the drug, new […]

Medicinal cannabis debated

John Kerr posted in on May 13th, 2014.

TVNZ’s Sunday programme explored the issue of medicinal marijuana this weekend, interviewing Kiwi parents who believe medicinal cannabis is the most effective treatment for severe epilepsy caused by Dravet Syndrome. You can watch the full segment here. The story comes after a a Health Select Committee report on medical cannabis, published last week, recommended no […]

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Cannabis and IQ debate in the media

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2013.

A Norwegian economist has questioned the findings of a highly publicised New Zealand study which found a causal link between heavy adolescent cannabis use and a decrease in IQ. However, the authors of the original research have backed their conclusions in the ensuing media coverage. Research published last year, based on data from the Dunedin […]

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