Government moves to legalise growing medicinal cannabis…

…in Australia. But changes there will put further pressure on the Government in New Zealand to look at similar changes here.

Government moves to legalise growing medicinal cannabis in Australia

The Federal Government has announced it will legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Health Minister, Sussan Ley, says the Government wants to give people suffering from debilitating illnesses access to the most effective medical treatments.

Medicinal cannabis can already be provided under a special scheme, but Ms Ley says global supplies are relatively scarce and expensive.

SUSSAN LEY: I have heard stories of patients who resorted to illegal methods of obtaining cannabis and I have felt for them because with a terminal condition the most important thing is quality of life and relief of pain and we know that many people are calling out for medicinal cannabis.

It is important therefore that we recognise those calls for help, that we put in place what we know will support a safe, legal and sustainable supply of a product.

LOUISE YAXLEY: The Government intends to amend the Narcotic Drugs Act to allow cannabis to be grown for medicine or science, and that would ensure that Australia is not in breach of international drug treaties.

SUSSAN LEY: This is not a debate about legalisation of cannabis, this is not about drugs, this is not a product you smoke, this has nothing to do with that. 

Most commonly the product is an oil or a tincture that you put on your skin.

The shadow assistant Health Minister, Stephen Jones, said Labor would have a nationally consistent scheme.

STEPHEN JONES: It’s a truly national scheme to make medicinal cannabis available and it shouldn’t be a matter of whether you live in New South Wales or Victoria or somewhere else in Australia – if you are suffering from a terminal illness or if your child has drug resistant epilepsy, suffering from life threatening fits, then you should have available to you through medical advice and appropriate channels, medicinal cannabis.

Forget Dunne, I think he’s pushing as hard as he can in a difficult situation. He’s copping all the pressure, but the thing holding up faster change here is National.

Pressure John Key and target National MPs who might look favourable and compassionately on looking at better ways of alleviating the suffering of people.

Like Zoe Jeffries , a 7 year old girl with uncontrolled epilepsy, spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, microcephaly, cerebral visual impairment, is tube fed and who has had severe seizures since birth.

After two years her parents have got Ministry of Health approval to use the only available cannabis derived medicine in New Zealand, Sativex. At a cost to them of $250 per week. See Ministry of Health approves medicinal cannabis treatment.

For much to happen this term National need to change their intransigence substantially.

It would also help if the Greens and Labour pushed far more strongly and positively on this.

And public pressure needs to be strong but positive, a slanging match won’t change anything for the better.

Leave a comment


  1. Great article, Its hard for people to comprehend the concept of not attacking the Minister responsible for this portfolio. The fact that he has had several meetings with the CEO of United in Compassion suggests he is not an opponent of Medical Cannabis, just the concept of smoking raw leaf and calling it medicine. Is Cannabis a Medicine or a Herbal remedy? His “Open slather” comments are aimed directly at those who don’t really want Class B controlled medical products, but wish to continue growing (and smoking) there own more like a herbal remedy than a Class B Drug.

  2. @SLB
    Smoking ‘leaf cannabis’ is not the only way to get rapid ingestion. It can also be vaporised. Good for pain relief: ‘trust me’.. I have used it for severe back pain.

    btw; there is a distinct difference between ‘attacking’ the minister & rationally challenging the misinformation; he & this Govt. are pushing on us 😦

  3. Separately, a Chinese researcher has won, in 2015, a Nobel prize for discovering that a derivative of Sweet Wormwood is a demonstrated cure for Malaria, one of mankind’s greatest scourges. As a resident of Ohariu, for a number of years, I commend this news to my local MP, Hon Peter Dunn. Wormwood has a number of varieties and is known to have an hallucinogenic effect, quite apart from its role in Absinthe which is banned in the USA and not in Europe. Cannabis is like Wormwood and it seems to me that it should be viewed as a “herbal remedy” and receive the same scientific reviews that are being pursued for the probable cure for malaria. I do not condone or support the availability of Wormwood or Cannabis for other than demonstrated medical purposes ie for recreational use or smoking. For goodness sakes, the people who need access to these herbal medicines are sick and need treatment. Mr Dunn you are for the High Jump and fast exit. National give us a real candidate for Ohariu our MP is time expired and should be destined to the heap.


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