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.
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.
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.
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.