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Christchurch 420

Christchurch 420

What does ‘420’ mean?

420 has symbolic meaning to cannabis culture, and it refers to the 20th of April, written in the American style of writing the month before the day.  In cannabis culture, 420 is an annual holiday in which cannabis consumers and enthusiasts all around the world come together in celebration of the popular substance and related products. The day holds large celebrations and it is marked by many different events including picnics, peaceful protests and rallies. In countries and communities where the substance is legal, celebrations are marked by the consumption of cannabis in large groups alongside side attractions including food, drink and entertainment.

Is there a Cannabis Community in Christchurch?

Given the current legal status of cannabis in New Zealand, there are only a few organisations that are vocal in their desire to see the substance made legal and the public educated on its benefits. The most vocal of these organisations is the National Organisation for the Reform of Cannabis Laws (NORML) NORML was founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980. The organisation’s primary objective is to sufficiently sway public opinion to legalise the responsible use of marijuana amongst adults. NORML is of invaluable benefit to New Zealanders – both residents and citizens – who are seeking to expand their knowledge base on cannabis. The organisation offers resources to educate any interested people about numerous cannabis related subject fields including;

  • Medical benefits
  • Recreational benefits
  • Effects of cannabis use
  • Knowledge of cannabis culture
  • Research based articles on laws inhibiting cannabis consumption, amongst others.

The NORML hosts a more political version of the 420 holidays and this is referred to as J-Day. J-Day is an annual celebration – just like 420 – with the primary objective of protesting against prohibition while uplifting Kiwi cannabis culture. This year’s J-Day (The 28th of its kind) was held on the 1st   Saturday of May.

J-Day Poster by NORML

The official J-Day Poster by NORML for J-Day 2019. J-Day is an annual political holiday upheld by NORML in a bid to sway the public perception on cannabis. src

Cannabis consumers who prefer to expand their knowledge base on the subject in the absence of a physical community can look to the internet for valuable information. The internet is a treasure trove of knowledge where both would-be and current cannabis enthusiasts can learn numerous details and facts about the substance and its use. The internet can aid individuals in forming opinions on various aspects of cannabis culture.

Are Some Ways to Consume Cannabis Safer Than Others?

There are numerous methods in which cannabis can be consumed and some of these methods are healthier than the others. Although there are many options for cannabis consumption, each method can be classified under four broad categories. These methods are;

  • Inhalation
  • Oral consumption
  • Sublingual consumption
  • Topical application. 

The most popular method of consuming cannabis is inhalation; through smoking or vaping. However, this is also the most dangerous.

In order to inhale the vapours produced by cannabis, heat must be applied to the substance. When heat — especially fire — is applied, it releases harmful chemicals into the smoke which is inhaled by the cannabis consumer.

Some studies have proven that the chemicals released by cannabis when smoked or vaped are carcinogenic, just like cigarettes.

The healthiest methods of cannabis consumption are oral and sublingual consumption. When cannabis is used as oil or infused directly into food, it cannot undergo chemical reactions which make it harmful to the human body. This makes these methods healthier than inhalation.

Can New Zealanders Expect a Change in the Current Cannabis Laws in the Near Future?

New Zealand may be well on its way to legalising cannabis for recreational use amongst adults. The government has announced a referendum which will allow New Zealanders to decide on the legal status of cannabis within the country.

As announced by Chief Minister Andrew Little, the referendum will take the form of a simple yes or no questionnaire. The questionnaire is expected to tackle subject matters including sale and distribution of the substance.

Should the residents of New Zealand vote positively on the referendum, the country would be on a fast track to making cannabis products available and socially acceptable within Kiwi communities.