A Kiwi film director who helped Rose Renton in her fight for medicinal cannabis has escaped a criminal conviction just days after the self-described "green fairy" celebrated the same outcome.

The two cases, which both ended in a discharge without conviction, are what the documentary creator says are signs of "an unstoppable trend" towards legalising cannabis ahead of the recreational cannabis referendum at 2020 election.

The Herald first reported filmmaker Arik Reiss' charges of possession of a pipe to consume cannabis and possession of a cannabis plant in 2017. The charges came shortly after Renton was also charged with cannabis-related offences in Nelson.


But at his sentencing in the Auckland District Court last Friday, Reiss was discharged without conviction.

He called it a "small victory for reason and progress" in the drug reform debate.

"Alongside other victories, like Rose Renton's recent case, we are seeing an unstoppable trend towards the re-legalisation of cannabis," Reiss said, who celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday.

Costs and destruction orders for the pipe were made.

A week ago Renton also celebrated her lack of conviction.

She was discharged last November on charges of processing cannabis products and possessing cannabis for supply. The decision, however, was suppressed until last week when she appeared in the Nelson District Court on a third charge of cultivating high cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis plants.

According to court documents she was accused of having in her possession cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis balm and cannabis brownies for the purpose of supply.

Renton spoke at a screening of Reiss' film Druglawed in 2015, and was interviewed for Reiss' sequel to the documentary.

Rose Renton, a campaigner for medicinal cannabis after her son used it before he died, also faced cannabis-related charges. Photo / Mike Scott
Rose Renton, a campaigner for medicinal cannabis after her son used it before he died, also faced cannabis-related charges. Photo / Mike Scott

She has campaigned for the use of medicinal cannabis since 2015 after fighting for her son Alex Renton to be treated with its medicinal form.

The 19-year-old, who suffered from prolonged seizures, died in July 2015 after he become the first person in New Zealand to be treated with medicinal cannabis in hospital.

Then Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne had approved a petition to the Government from the Renton family to allow the teen to be treated with a medicinal cannabidiol oil.

Renton was also found guilty of offensive behaviour last year after she rubbed rat poison on then Minister for the Environment Nick Smith.

Reiss' films debate the drug and its law reform argument in New Zealand, while also exploring how the US war on drugs has affected countries like New Zealand.

He told the Herald he hopes his documentaries "find a wide audience in the run-up to the referendum".

Not adverse to controversy, Reiss also posted photos online in 2016 with Golden Bay woman Rebecca Reider as she held a jar of cannabis at Auckland Airport.

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

New Zealand law allows an exemption for people who are prescribed a controlled drug as a medicine overseas to bring one month's supply into the country for treatment.

A huge victory for patients (and progress as a whole for NZ)! Rebecca Redwood Reider breezes through Auckland Airport...

Posted by Druglawed on Friday, 19 August 2016