Cannabis

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a drug that comes from the Indian hemp plant, and is a depressant drug. These drugs slow down the signals between the brain and the body.

Cannabis is one of the most-used drugs in New Zealand, being used by over 55% of New Zealanders between the ages of 20 and 39.

Cannabis comes in three main forms:

  • Marijuana, made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant, is the least powerful type of cannabis;
  • Hashish, or hash, is dried cannabis resin that is sold in small blocks; and
  • Hash oil, rarely sold in New Zealand, is a thick liquid.

Marijuana is typically smoked, either in hand-rolled cigarettes (called “joints”) or in a pipe. Hashish is either smoked with tobacco or baked into food goods and eaten, while hash oil is usually spread on cigarettes and smoked.

Effects of Cannabis

While the effects of cannabis vary depending on the user, there are a number of effects which are common amongst users. In the short term, effects often include impaired coordination, increased appetite, relaxation or loss of inhibition, and affected memory.

In the longer term, cannabis can have effects including reduced motivation, respiratory illness, reduced hormone production, and poor brain function. Studies have also suggested a link between cannabis use and mental illness, a condition known as “cannabis psychosis”.

Cannabis Charges in New Zealand.

Offences involving cannabis can include Cannabis Possession, Cultivation (growing) and Supplying or Selling.  Penalties can range from a formal caution (warning) for small scale possession up to 8 years imprisonment for selling large quantities of cannabis.

Methamphetamine

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a very widely used drug in New Zealand.  Courts in New Zealand are witness to the methamphetamine epidemic everyday as people are charged with all manner of offences from Possession or Use of Methamphetamine through to Manufacture, Importation and Supply of Methamphetamine.  Methamphetamine is a Class A Controlled Drug in New Zealand.  The maximum penalty for Supplying, Manufacturing or Importing Methamphetamine is life imprisonment.

Effects of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is an addictive drug and many users find it difficult to stop using.

Methamphetamine can have significant health consequences.

My practice has strong relationships with drug rehabilitation programme providers, both publicly funded and private.  If my clients want to engage in rehabilitation I will do all that I can to help that process.  Rehabilitation is an individual choice and I respect the wishes of my clients in this respect.

Methamphetamine and the Law

Methamphetamine offending carries significant penalties and can result in long terms of imprisonment being imposed.  Child Youth and Family (CYFS) frequently become involved when methamphetamine is found in homes where children are living.

I have significant experience representing defendants in serious drug cases and have been counsel in lengthy High Court and District Court Jury Trials for Importation, Manufacture and Supply of Methamphetamine.

Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant, which increases the speed of messages traveling between the body and the brain. Originally coming from South America, cocaine use is not widespread in New Zealand, however, the combination of its cost and addictive properties can lead to financial problems for addicted users.

Forms of Cocaine

The most common form of cocaine is the white powder form, called cocaine hydrochloride. This powder can be further processed to produce cocaine base, or “crack” cocaine. Powder cocaine is commonly snorted, although it can also be injected or rubbed into the gums. “Crack” cocaine is usually smoked.

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine can have a large number of effects on users, depending on the user and the method of consumption. These can include, but are not limited to, anxiety, an increased breathing rate, physiological arousal, increased libido, paranoia, unpredictable behaviour, and reduced appetite.

Cocaine and the Law

In New Zealand, it is illegal to possess, produce or supply Cocaine.

Ecstasy

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is the street name for a variety of drugs, all of which are similar to MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Ecstasy acts as both an amphetamine, which speeds up signals between the brain and body, and a hallucinogen, which causes things to appear without existing or existing things to appear distorted.

Effects of Ecstasy

Use of ecstasy can cause confusion, depression, sleep problems, a craving for the drug, severe anxiety, and paranoia often weeks after taking ecstasy. The physical side effects of the drugs are muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movements, faintness, chills or sweating, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Ecstasy and the Law

In New Zealand, it is illegal to possess, manufacture and/or or supply/traffic Ecstasy.

Regardless of whether the offence is for Ecstasy Possession, Cultivation or Trafficking, the court takes these matters very seriously and harsh penalties are often imposed.

Ketamine

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine also known as “Special K” or “K” is a short-acting general anaesthetic that has hallucinogenic and pain killing qualities that can affect people in very different ways.

Ketamine is used in the veterinary industry as a tranquiliser and anaesthetic. Ketamine is most often used in a powder form but can also be seen in a liquid and tablets.

Effects of Ketamine

Ketamine is used because it causes powerful hallucinations and even out of body experiences, as well as physically incapacitating the user.

In the short term, ketamine may cause the user to appear spaced out, with the inability to talk properly, and a slowing down of movements, or the inability to move at all. Because of its anaesthetic qualities users can often hurt themselves and not realise until they are coming off the drug, it can also cause unconsciousness which can lead to cardiovascular failure.

Regardless of whether the offence is for Ketamine Possession, Production or Trafficking, the court takes these matters very seriously and harsh penalties are often imposed.

Ensure that you get the best outcome by engaging the best legal defence team.

Steroids

What are Steroids?

There are two types of steroids, corticosteroids are drugs typically prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as asthma and lupus.

These are not the same as the anabolic steroids that are often shown in the media when used by athletes and bodybuilders.

Effects of Steroids

Anabolic steroids can help boost the body’s ability to create muscle and prevent the breakdown of muscle using synthetic hormones. Some athletes take steroids in the hopes that they will improve their ability to perform.

Steroids are dangerous to a user’s health, especially in the long term and symptoms may not appear until years after the steroids were taken. Steroid use severely affects the reproductive system; in males it can cause impotence, a reduction in the amount of sperm produced in the testicles, and even reduce testicle size. In females it can disrupt the menstrual cycles as the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries is affected, this can then in turn lead to problems with fertility.

The use of steroids can also cause liver tumours, abnormal enlargement of the heart muscles, violent aggressive behaviour, mood swings, an increased risk of heart disease, acne, increased breast growth (especially in males), irreversible stretch marks, hair loss and male pattern baldness stunted growth in teens, and muscle aches. Women also risk facial hair growth, breast size reduction, deepening of the voice and an enlargement of the clitoris.

Steroids and the Law

In New Zealand, it is illegal to possess, manufacture and/or or supply/traffic Steroids.

Regardless of whether the offence is for Steroids Possession, Production or Supply, the court takes these matters very seriously and harsh penalties are often imposed.