THC News December 2016 - Page 16

Metiria Turei

Metiria Turei, who previously stood for the McGillicuddy Serious Party, was ranked fourth on the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party list in 1996.

Raised in a working class Māori family in Palmerston North, she became a solo-mother at age 22. She studied law at Auckland University and worked for Simpson Grierson after graduating.

Turei entered Parliament in 2002 as a Green List MP, becoming the second member of Parliament previously from the Cannabis Party. Turei also publicly admitted to using cannabis but was less controversial than Tanczos, because she claimed to have given up the herb.

In 2009, she became the female co-leader for the Greens. In the same year her Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot. The Bill would have allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis for a range of medical conditions, but it had to be obtain from cannabis seized by police.

The Bill received a conscience vote at its first reading in Parliament and was defeated 84–34.

However, the National Party whipped its vote, causing some of its MP to complain about not being able to support the bill.

Metiria continues to lead the Green party but has said in recent years that the Greens policy to decriminalise cannabis would not be a bottom-line issue in post-election negotiations.

Chris Fowlie

Chris Fowlie was ranked ninth on the Aotearoa legalise Cannabis Party list in 1996.

Chris is the co-founder of the Hempstore Aotearoa along with Nandor Tanczos.

He helped established Norml New Zealand, an incorporated society which lobbies for cannabis law reform. He was an active member of the Auckland University 420 protest in the 1990s.

He was the editor for Norml News magazine for a number of years, up until the magazine closed in 2012. He has also done a number of media appearances promoting cannabis including on 60 Minutes, 20/20, the BBC.

Chris also as an expert witness in cannabis related court cases and has successfully defended himself on a cannabis charges in the past.

“I have closely studied the cannabis plant and its associated culture since 1992,” he said.

“I have given evidence in the District and High Courts on matters relating the identification of cannabis, evidence-based estimates of crop yield, potency, sophistication of the operation, cultivation techniques, supply vs personal use, and current market values.”

These days Chris continues to run the Hempstore and is the current president of Norml NZ.

Tim Shadbolt

Tim Shadbolt was ranked eighth on the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party's list in 1996.

Shadbolt was born in Remuera, Auckland in 1947. He became a radical activist in the 1960s and 1970s and was arrested 33 times at political protests.

Most famously, he was arrested for using the word 'bullshit' in public. This incidence was the inspiration for his book 'Bullshit and jellybeans'.

In 1983 he became mayor of Waitemata City. He celebrated by towing his concrete mixer behind the mayoral vehicle.

In 1993 he became the mayor of Invercargill for one term. He stood for the New Zealand First Party in the 1994 Selwyn By-election coming fourth. He then joined the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, much to the disappointment of his partner Asha Dutt.

Shadbolt reportedly smoked his first joint with the daughter of poet James K. Baxter.

He lost the 1995 mayoral campaign while protesting nuclear weapons in France.

In 1998 he was re-elected Mayor of Invercargill and has held the position ever since. He is the longest serving Mayor in the country.

In 2012, Shadbolt set the Guinness World Record for the longest television interview. He was interviewed for 26 consecutive hours on Southland TV by Tom Conroy.