A Kiwi film director who has helped Rose Renton in her fight for drug reform and medicinal cannabis use is also facing drug charges, the Herald can reveal.

Arik Reiss, 43, who lives in the Auckland suburb of Parnell, is charged with possession of a pipe to consume cannabis and possession of a cannabis plant.

The cannabis campaigner directed the 2015 documentary Druglawed, a film about the use of the drug and its law reform debate in New Zealand.

The film also focuses on how the US war on drugs has affected countries like New Zealand.


Last August Reiss posted photos online with Golden Bay woman Rebecca Reider holding a jar of cannabis at Auckland Airport.

He captioned the images as a "huge victory" for patients in New Zealand and reported Reider had "breezed through" Customs with several ounces of medicinal cannabis and concentrates, which were prescribed to her in Hawaii.

New Zealand law allows people who are prescribed a medicine overseas to bring one month's supply into the country for their own use.

Reiss has been associated with Renton, who yesterday appeared in the Nelson District Court to also face cannabis-related charges.

She spoke at a screening of Druglawed in 2015, and was interviewed for Reiss' sequel to the documentary, Fairfax Media reported at the time.

Rose Renton is also facing cannabis-related charges. Photo / Mike Scott
Rose Renton is also facing cannabis-related charges. Photo / Mike Scott

Renton has campaigned for the use of medicinal cannabis since 2015 when she fought for her son Alex Renton to be treated with its medicinal form.

The 19-year-old, who suffered from prolonged seizures, died on July 1 of that year after he become the first person in New Zealand to be treated with medicinal cannabis in hospital.

Reiss was charged earlier this year, but appeared in the Auckland District Court last Wednesday.


The court heard that police will determine whether to continue with the prosecution against the film director at his next appearance in December.

Renton faces charges of cultivating high cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis plants, processing cannabis products and possessing cannabis for supply and will appear in court again next month.

According to court documents she is alleged to have had in her possession cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis balm and cannabis brownies for the purpose of supply.