Petition Peter Dunne to show some sense and some compassion

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 16th, 2016 - 30 comments
Categories: death with dignity, drugs, peter dunne - Tags:

Helen Kelly foxy

Picture courtesy of Foxy.

Helen Kelly is not in great health.  I am expecting her a la Matt McCarten to eventually completely vanquish the cancer she is suffering from but so far she is battling.  She is still going strong and pumping out social media messages that are full of compassion and justice and biting analysis but she has reached the stage where she believes she needs help to cope with the pain caused by her cancer.

There are two options, submit to opiate derivatives and scatter your brain or try an alternative.

I have seen what opiates do.  It is not good.  It is basically signing in to accelerate what may be inevitable and to do it with a reduced quality of life and dumbed down brain function.  Helen would hate it.

So she wants to try an alternative.  Clearly she knows what the effects of cannabis are.  She wants to use a commercially provided variant that has a consistent composition.

But Peter Dunne has refused to grant Helen’s application for ministerial approval.  His Ministry has put in place an approval system that is incredibly hard to succeed at and has not approved Helen’s application because she needs to show that other drugs have been tried and the symptoms are still poorly controlled.

I don’t know why the Minister and the Ministry are bothering with this opposition.  Perhaps they think that there will be a rush of people dying of cancer trying the dreaded weed and that this will present such a terrifying threat to the social order that it needs to be avoided at all costs.

After all according to some the dreaded weed is a gateway drug to heroin and then after that there are all sorts of calamities including an early death to worry about.  We should not allow cancer sufferers to use cannabis because it may shorten the length of their natural lives.  Yep that is as ridiculous as it reads.

Helen’s request is that she be able to use a drug that is illegal although not as illegal as the drug the health system wants her to use, unless it is prescribed.  But somehow the more dangerous drug is easier to prescribe.  Opiates yes, cannabinoids not unless you jump through many, many hoops.

Russell Brown has been following the issue and in his typical fashion has presented a devastating critique of the hoops that Helen is being made to jump through.  Amongst other things according to the Ministry’s criteria she has to provide “evidence that all reasonably applicable conventional treatments have been trialled and the symptoms are still poorly controlled”.  She may not have the time to try all reasonably applicable conventional treatments.

Brown summaries the situation really well:

This issue isn’t going to go away and I think the ministry needs to do a much better job than is suggested by these swiftly-drafted criteria, which look in some respects as if they’re designed to make the problem go away.

In particular, there should be some better thinking around palliative care. It doesn’t make sense to treat every application to improve the quality of life of a dying person the same as a bid to give a sick child an experimental treatment. The criteria are ostensibly specifically dedicated to cannabis products, but they’re actually entirely general. We need this to be done better and more transparently.

As I’ve noted before, the use of cannabis in palliative care represents a particular ethical case. If a patient testifies that the treatment does in fact improve their quality of life and ease suffering in a way that approved pharmaceutical products have not, that should count for a great deal. The case for preventing access becomes much, much harder to make.

So what is the social threat in allowing an intelligent woman to use a drug that is regularly used by many New Zealanders mostly without an adverse response?

There is some politics.  National is vehemently anti drug reform.  Dunne is a very minority minister whose existence depends of National’s generosity.  But in a world where liberalisation of cannabis laws is becoming increasingly common Dunne’s reticence seems anachronistic.

If you feel aggrieved after learning about this, and I certainly do, then you should sign the petition that the talented Foxy is running asking Dunne to grant Helen Kelly permission to use medical cannabis oil.

30 comments on “Petition Peter Dunne to show some sense and some compassion”

  1. BLiP 1

    I can’t believe we have to petition parliament in order to plead for common sense and compassion from those who represent us all.

  2. Sabine 2

    we have to petition peter fucking dunne to show some compassion and human decency.

    While all of our political parties have neither got the guts nor the fucking testicular fortitude to simply just introduce legislation to make marijuana legal. How shameful. How incredibly shameful.
    We’d rather spend money on prisons and on drugs that diminish the quality of life of our loved ones for not other reason then some trumped up ‘facts about the evil weed’ dating back to the 20’s of the last century, and won’t nobody think of ze children.

    Fuck we are a pathetic specimen.

  3. Neil 3

    Dunne will never allow Helen permission to use cannabis for pain relief from her cancer, because Dunne, Key, the national party & their supporters want to see & make Helen suffer in pain right till her last breath.

    • Roflcopter 3.1

      Really? Really?

      What a totally fucked up view you have there.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        It’s sad, isn’t it.

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          Personally I believe all drug use should be decriminalised but at the very least medical cannabis oil should be in use right now and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only centre-right voter that thinks like that

    • greywarshark 3.2

      Neil you have the wrong slant. Helen is one of the people, one who identifies herself as an ordinary citizen doing good moral work. The politicians don’t care about ordinary citizens wants and needs. They have to slide the proposal for action before a voteometer which registers with a yes or no whether the action will be useful in gaining voting advantage in their target group. They know that the soporific mass of NZs can’t stir their brains enough to nut out the advantage of this medication, from personal, from effective, from scientific, from medical considerations.

      So no need to be precipitate in making a decision. She isn’t the relation of anybody important to the Gnats. So no need to hurry.or worry. There is no vindictive emotion here, just no emotion at all.

      • Anne 3.2.1

        Well summed up. Thanks greywarshark.

      • emergency mike 3.2.2

        +1

        This issue shows up the fact that our elected ‘representatives’ are not working in our best interests as sharply as any.

        • emergency mike 3.2.2.1

          Even though recent polls consistently support cannabis law reform by clear margins, politicians have their own electoral ‘brand’ to think of. Suffering of human beings in pain, dying, or in jail, not so much.

    • Naki man 3.3

      ” Dunne, Key, the national party & their supporters want to see & make Helen suffer in pain right till her last breath.”

      You really are one sick puppy. There is a bed waiting for you in the psych ward.

  4. Sabine 4

    If any of the highly paid public representatives read this thread, get to work.
    NZ First, Labour Party NZ, The Greens go to work, and get that women the medication that works for her.

    Just for once all of you sanctimonious pricks in Parliament work for the people that fucking pay your wages.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    I don’t know why the Minister and the Ministry are bothering with this opposition.

    They haven’t figured out how they can totally control it and thus make huge profits from it. What they have is potentially massive competition and little to no profit.

  6. Anno1701 7

    F*#k the law, someone provide this woman with the medicine she needs !!

    its not like this country isnt up to it eyeballs in ganja allready

    some of the highest rates of cannabis use IN THE WORLD with 1 in 3 ( !!!!) admitting regular use (more than 100 times a year )

    We puff more than the Jamaicans….

    • Sabine 7.1

      that might be true,

      but it would also be true that Helen Kelly, her grower, and her supplier would all be breaking the law.
      And i can see some Law and Order fuckwit get a hard on just by the thought of getting to arrest that Union Chick and her suppliers just for the fucking sake of it.

      IF our opposition parties had some guts and fortitude they would make this case with the help of Helen Kelly a case for medicinal marijuana and a case for decriminalization of the use of marijuana.
      But sadly, it seems that they are all to afraid to do what is right, so busy appealing to the boozer crowd and the prescription drug crowd.
      Last but least, if we have private for profit prisons we need to fill those beds, cause profit. So no nothing is gonna happen in Aotearoa the country where everyone has lost courage and human decency.

      • Anno1701 7.1.1

        “but it would also be true that Helen Kelly, her grower, and her supplier would all be breaking the law.”

        i would be willing to take that risk if i was in position to do so TBH

        Id feel morally obliged to provide relief for someone who is suffering, BS laws are supposed to be broken/resisted IMO , but im a “direct action” kinda guy and i appreciate not every one is

        and to be fair , anybody growing or suppling or even consuming is breaking the law already

        • Sabine 7.1.1.1

          You might be willing the risk, but would Helen Kelly be willing to risk you running the risk.

          But then i understand that she already has help in that regards, but would rather do it legitimately so as to prevent people from coming into trouble with the law.

  7. grumpystilskin 8

    When my time comes (cancer is predicted to reach 1 in 2 in the next 50 years)
    I know I won’t bother to petition Mr Dunne , I’ll be growing and making my own RSO.

    What would you rather, die or break a stupid outdated law ?

    • Rosie 8.1

      Helen Kelly has stated she wants to live, doesn’t want to die (Checkpoint with John Campbell) and is already breaking a stupid outdated law to help herself.

      It’s our government that needs to change to accommodate the needs of people with terminal illness, patients shouldn’t be left unsupported and left to their own devices.

      I don’t think it will be easy to sway Dunne but signing a petition is also an act of solidarity. He also can’t be left unchallenged. That would be wrong.

  8. savenz 9

    Dunn needs to grow a brain and get rid of the copious paperwork. The woman is dying.
    Give her the pain meds now, she wants!!!

    It sounds like the terminally ill cancer sufferers on benefits who have to keep applying. Yes still dying. Yes more paperwork for doctors and everyone else. Yes more stress for victim…

    (In) Efficiency government style.

  9. Anno1701 10

    “When my time comes ”

    why wait ? , i started medicating 25 years ago 🙂

  10. Rosie 11

    I have singed the petition BUT I have little faith that such a public plea will sway Dunne. He has a very singular way of looking at things and which issues to get behind – I honestly believe that he feels little compassion for those who are suffering unless they fit his definition of the “deserving” who he can help and get some political leverage out of at the same time.

    During PPO’s anti Dunne campaign in 2014 we heard back from constituents who had been really let down by him, when they went to him, as their local MP for advocacy,not just let down, but insulted as well. (I’m not going to go into individual examples out of respect for those that spoke to us in what they probably assumed would be confidence).

    In the meantime keep your head up high Helen. Your strength and tenacity continues to be an inspiration. I really hope you get through to the end of the hoops despite the clumsy and unnecessary obstacles in your way.

    Kia Kaha.

  11. Shell 12

    It is about time that we had the law changes needed for medical cannabis and legalisation, the boom for tourism would make our heads spin and allow us to clean up our waterways and provide Green jobs. Time for the Nats to be sacked!

  12. How can we petition a man such as Mr. 0.22% ?

    This guy does not have a mandate to be in Parliament.
    It comes about because of the National Party desire to stay in power by any means.
    How is this democratic ?

    Please don’t give Dunne any more sense of importance.
    He is useless dildo dunne

  13. greywarshark 14

    I don’t know if someone has already said this but I think that picture image of Helen Kelly is really terrific. Thanks Foxy for your great art contribution to the post.

  14. emergency mike 15

    “I don’t know why the Minister and the Ministry are bothering with this opposition.”

    There are a number of interesting theories around about that. Peter Dunne is well known to cannabis law reformers for his regular anti-pot outbursts. Here’s last weeks: Here’s how deluded you become when you live by the weed. Crazy, crazy people indeed!!! This in response to the Cannabis Party calling for an investigation of dodgy use of taxpayer money. When many on twitter pointed out that whatever the merits of he Cannabis Party’s claims, Dunne’s response amounts to nothing more than a good ol’ reefer madness ad hom, he predictably had no rational reply other than a ‘can’t be bothered figure it out yourself’ line.

    The maker of ‘Druglawed’, a film I believe every New Zealander should watch, (9.8 rating on imdb), has promised to answer this very question regarding Dunne in the currently under production sequel.

    In ‘On Drugs’ David Lenson argues that the cannabis high itself is antithetical to the consumerist/capitalist culture. The high concentrates our attention on the present moment, the present focus of our attention – thoughts of a future task, goal, or desire cease. Also, it reverses the fundamental nature of a transaction. Instead of advertising and marketing creating a state of mind in the consumer, (the desire to buy), to be converted into a desired commodity to be owned, the consumer converts a commodity into a desired state of mind and the commodity itself is burned to ash. In these ways cannabis is subversive to the dominant culture. Speculative theorizing of course, but interesting.

    • emergency mike 15.1

      The consumer converts a commodity into a desired state of mind of their own choosing.

  15. Chris 16

    I think it is time that New Zealand had a sensible discussion around cannabis. It is a natural occurring plant (in some parts of the world), where other drugs are man made and we have no idea what is put into them.

    I don’t understand why something that has minimal effects is illegal, where the legal alternative has all sorts of side effects.

    Not withstanding the above, sometimes to change a silly law like this, is to have the law in forced. If a large enough group of users were to stage a protest in parliament grounds, by smoking up, there is no way the police could arrest everybody, or the courts could process them all. Some times civil disobedience is a good thin

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    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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