Te Marae Ora mainly buys therapeutic products from New Zealand and Australia.
These generally fall under three categories: medicine - including prescriptions, over-the counter medicines, and complimentary medicines, such as paracetamol.
Medical marijuana is a prescription
medicine sold in New Zealand and Australia. It includes marijuana flower and is
classified as a therapeutic product in both nations.
In the Cook Islands, anyone selling
marijuana leaves and flowers is prohibited under the Ministry of Health
Act 2013 under Part 5[Pharmacy and Therapeutics Products]Regulations 2013,# 25,
“Powers to prohibit import or supply of therapeutic products  states: “The
Minister may ,by notice delivered to any person or published by any means
determined by the Minister, prohibit the import, manufacturing, packaging, sale,
possession, supply or use of therapeutic products of any specified description ‘namely,
marijuana flowers and leaves’, either absolutely or subject to such conditions
as the Minister thinks fit.
 “If the Minister gives a notice, he or
she must, on the written request of any person, state the reasons for doing so.
 A person who fails to comply with a
notice issued under this regulation, or any condition stated in such a notice,
commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding
$10,000,or to imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both.”
When the police investigated suspects for
marijuana possession, cultivation and sale, they did not contact
Minister of Health Rose Brown and inform her that said suspects were in
violation of the Regulations #25 to prohibit the import or supply of the
therapeutic product, marijuana.
The police and Crown Law's ignorance of the
law is inexcusable. They had a duty to inform the Minister of Health they had
reasonable cause to notify her that these suspects were in violation of the Act,
and it was warranted for her to notify them by any means that they must cease
and desist all their alleged wrongdoing or be liable under conviction to a fine
or imprisonment, or both. And therefore, since they were not notified of any
wrongdoing, they have been wrongfully convicted under the Narcotics and Misuse
of Drugs Act 2004.
If anyone thinks what I'm saying is far-fetched,
consider this: "The doctrine of implied repeal is a concept in
constitutional theory which states that where an Act of Parliament conflicts
with an earlier one, the later Act takes precedence and the conflicting parts
of the earlier Act become legally inoperable." In other words, the
Narcotics and Misuse of Drugs Act 2004 has been overridden by the Ministry of
Health Act 2013, because marijuana is now a therapeutic product and falls
under the criminal jurisdiction of the Health Act.
Prime Minister Mark Brown tried to
implement this same theory of the law regarding criminal charges brought
against Deputy Prime Minister Robert Tapaitau.
It was reported in the Cook Islands Herald
on May 25th 2022 that as the Minister for Police and Crown Law, "It is a
fact the PM suggested that Tapaitau be charged under the MFEM Act and not the
Crimes Act, and tried to persuade Crown Law to revise the charges".
The PM was not successful because the MFEM
Act was written in 1995 and this older Act could not override the newer more
relevant Crimes Bill of 2017. There was no new statutory standard that could be
applied to Tapaitau.
The strength of our criminal justice system
depends on its accuracy – in other words, it's ability to convict the guilty
and clear the innocent. Now that Prime Minister Mark Brown knows our criminal
system has made wrongful convictions on all people prosecuted for marijuana
offences, I'm calling on him to exonerate everyone. Please do it before
behalf of our two SMASH netball teams and our winning mixed team who took out
Netball in Paradise 2022, we would like to thank everyone who organised this
amazing event to support our Cook Islands National Team and to support our
up-and-rising young women develop and grow. This has always been an awesome way
to give back and support our own - by supporting and bringing down teams from
overseas to play in this amazing competition.
thank you to Jacopo and Matariki from DMCK who pulled everything off
prior to our teams’ arrival and putting up with our many requests and changes
from Netball Cook Islands.
This year’s Netball in Paradise was
different to past competitions pre-Covid. However, it is all still a learning
curve for the Netball Cook Islands organisation. They may need to up their game
and correct issues regarding registration costs, umpire costs, prizegiving
costs etc. This will encourage teams from overseas to return and support the
Cook Islands National squad, and help upcoming young ladies develop in the Cook
Islands by supporting this major fundraiser for the Cook Islands.
We come away from this all bigger as a
family and we are ready to come back in the New Year to do it all over again in
Thank you Netball Cook Islands, Thank you
to our major sponsor Kiikii Inn and Suites in Tupapa, Rosie Napa, Tere Ioakimo,
Pa Napa, Tia Bergin and Rose/Pa Raveora Family. And all our families and
friends who hosted our teams in Rarotonga. And thanks of course to all our
supporters in Australia who supported us to get to Rarotonga and who continue
to support from afar.
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy