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Speaker's Science Forum 2020

View topics of the research presentations of the Speaker's Science Forum in 2020.

Research presentations are organised for Members of Parliament, in collaboration with the Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament.

The topics are selected in collaboration with Forum partners Science New Zealand, Universities New Zealand and the Independent Research Association of New Zealand.

Cannabis and health - 11 March 2020

Cannabis is a psychoactive plant whose use generates significant debate and conflict. At this Speaker’s science forum, you will hear about the current research on the positive and negative health impacts of cannabis and cannabinoids. Our two speakers are:

The good, the bad and the ugly – Associate Professor Giles Newton-Howes (Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago)

Giles Newton Howes

Giles will highlight the research evidence of why some think cannabis is a ‘magic cure’ for multiple problems, while others consider it the root cause of the very same issues. This discussion will inform the current debate in New Zealand from a health perspective.

Giles trained in psychiatry at Imperial College in London, and gained five years clinical experience in the Hawkes Bay, before accepting the role in the Department of Physiological Medicine. He specialises in substance misuse psychiatry and is a member of the Medical Cannabis Research Collaborative.

Medicinal Cannabis – Prescription Pot Luck – Dr Helen Poulsen (Forensic Toxicologist, Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited)

Helen Poulsen Paiges edits v2

Helen will give an overview of the changing social and legislative context for cannabis in New Zealand, and the analytical challenges associated with medical cannabis.

Helen has 37 years of experience in analysis of drugs, including cannabis and cannabis products. She is an expert on how drugs may contribute to driving impairment and the use of drugs by drivers killed on New Zealand roads.