New Zealand might be world-renowned as a producer of high-quality reggae, but cannabis — the plant so hallowed in the musical genre’s sub-culture — remains tightly controlled in the country.
Cannabis is defined as an illegal substance under New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs Act and cultivating or supplying the drug can land you as many as 14 years in prison – and even possession could get you three months.
Even in the medicinal market, the usually-progressive Kiwis maintain a reasonably hardline stance. Just one cannabis-based medicine — multiple sclerosis treatment Sativex — has been approved for doctors to prescribe to patients in New Zealand. All other medicinal cannabis products need ministerial approval before they can be prescribed.