Labour will legalise medical cannabis

In a Q&A with Tracy Watkins at Stuff today Andrew Little said that Labour would legalise medical cannabis “pretty quickly” after taking office.

We would legalise medicinal cannabis – Labour leader

Labour will legislate for medicinal cannabis “pretty quickly” after taking office, leader Andrew Little has confirmed.

Little said cannabis products should be available to anyone suffering chronic pain or a terminal condition if their GP signed off on it.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor has drafted a bill for Parliament that would shift the onus of decision making on medicinal cannabis away from the minister to GPs and medical professionals.

Little said Labour would pass O’Connor’s law “pretty quickly” after the next election, should it win.

Good news, but it’s not his top priority: “When I’m Prime Minister what I’ll do first? Change a law or something. Ram healthy homes bill through without any further consultation.”

However the wider issue of \recreational cannabis looks to be way down the priority list.

But on the wider issue of decriminalising cannabis, he wanted to see more evidence.

“I don’t have a moral thing about recreational drugs…my own experience of dealing with it as an issue was when I was a union lawyer, when employers started to do drug and alcohol testing and I did a lot of work on that.

“The medical evidence that came back to me overwhelmingly was that a lot of the cannabis available in New Zealand had very high THC (mind altering substance tetrahydrocannabinol) levels. For brains that are still developing in their late teens and early 20s cannabis use even to a modest degree can still cause long term brain damage. So I’d want to know we are addressing that real risk to that issue.”

At least dealing with medical cannabis will be a good start.

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36 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  18th May 2016

    Ok, he’s got one on the scoreboard with me for medicinal cannabis.

    Reply
  2. Hall

     /  18th May 2016

    John Key on Q&A with Tracy Watkins. Tracy asked Key about legalising cannabis and his answer is mysteriously muted out, go to 18:50 to see what I mean. Very dodgy.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/79583457/Replay-Video-chat-with-New-Zealand-Prime-Minister-John-Key

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  18th May 2016

      Yeah, whats going on with the audio??? Hmmmm….

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th May 2016

        Now that you mention it Hall & pp … that ,is worth someone following up with the interviewer …

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  18th May 2016

          It would be tempting to say the audio was cut because he gave the wrong answer 😉 but I easily identified the sound of a cable being accidentally disconnected.

          Besides, if anyone was going to edit out embarrassing answers it would have been the next one, where he was asked what he would like to do to improve New Zealand and he couldn’t think of anything to say.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th May 2016

            I went back and watched it again, Jamie.

            You mean where he was asked what would he change to improve NZ – and he thought for a few seconds and said, the flag, with a wee laugh; change the parliamentary term to a four year one (good idea); and that he’s tried to make New Zealand more confident because it’s an amazing country, so he hoped he could get people to realise how successful we are, and can become; also hoping to do something to change the terrible level of family violence in NZ; and being able to do something about our dreadful youth suicide rates?

            (If she watches this, I don’t think Bronagh will like Tracy taking off her glasses towards the end and batting her eyelashes at him like crazy for the rest of the interview though.)

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  19th May 2016

              I mean where he stared blankly and said nothing at all, as if the very idea that he might be in a position to affect meaningful change was something that hadn’t occurred to him before.

              And then he scoffingly played along with a joke about flags, as if he just remembered that he had been pretending for two years that it was most important thing in the world.

              And then his serious answer, changing the parliamentary term from 3 to 4 years. Something he really believes in, something that directly affects his own work as a political campaigner.

              Gosh, what a vision.

            • jamie

               /  19th May 2016

              And don’t worry about Bronagh. John said she gets a man in.

            • Gezza

               /  19th May 2016

              I mean where he stared blankly and said nothing at all, as if the very idea that he might be in a position to affect meaningful change was something that hadn’t occurred to him before.

              Oh, sorry. I thought you meant where he paused to have a think about how there wasn’t just one thing, and injected a bit of relaxed humour into it first with the flag, acknowledging wryly that he’d taken a pounding on that one. I wasn’t worried about Bronagh, or John, he just played it straight. I was really more surprised about blatant Tracy, maybe she didn’t realise what she was doing, but any woman & quite a few blokes watching that know what that’s all about – even if she wasn’t doing it intentionally. ❤

            • jamie

               /  19th May 2016

              Very charitable slant on Key’s behaviour, Gezza. Unfortunately I’ve been observing human nature a bit too long to go along with it. He wears his heart on his sleeve, especially when he tries not to.

              Not the slightest bit interested in Watkins. She’s a private citizen and can bat her eyes at anyone she likes.

            • Gezza

               /  19th May 2016

              Missing my point a little jamie, or perhaps I’ve allowed myself to be diverted a little from it, my point is, while you are saying Key “stared blankly and said nothing at all, as if the very idea that he might be in a position to affect meaningful change was something that hadn’t occurred to him before”. I have gone back to see what happened and what you saw didn’t happen – Key gave a flawless interview, whereas his principal opponent was an interview flop.

              This is hugely important if Labour want to have any chance at forming some sort of government. They cannot afford to have Andrew Little faffing about the way he does, and unfortunately it seems to be congenital.

  3. patupaiarehe

     /  18th May 2016

    For brains that are still developing in their late teens and early 20s cannabis use even to a modest degree can still cause long term brain damage. So I’d want to know we are addressing that real risk to that issue.

    Looks like someone needs to remove his head from his arse. The way to address it, would be to stop making it profitable for gangs to sell it to anyone who has cash. Liquor wholesalers already do a pretty good job of enforcing the age restriction on booze…..

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th May 2016

      That does nothing to stop those of age buying alcohol for those who are younger though pp … which is how most of the under-aged seem to get tanked.

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  18th May 2016

        You are quite correct G. The point I was trying to make is that if under 18’s want to buy pot atm, they don’t need a ‘middleman’. They just need to rock up to a tinny house with $20

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  18th May 2016

          Ah … ae, see your point & quite right patupaiarehe.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  18th May 2016

            I’m getting REALLY tired of this ‘only for medicinal use’ thing. If I wanted to indulge in a spliff right now (I don’t BTW 🙂 ), I could do so within ten minutes, and it would cost me a lot less than a visit to my doctor. Politicians aren’t supposed to tell us what to do, isn’t it meant to be the other way around???

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  18th May 2016

              Politicians aren’t supposed to tell us what to do, isn’t it meant to be the other way around???

              Only in theory, pp e hoa. I’m not sure it has ever really worked that way. Not as long as we’ve had party politics anyway. The old party political system was that each party produced a party manifesto before each election & we punters looked through that, in theory, and voted for the set of dictators who’d implement those policies over the next 3 years. All we ever had was a chance to take a punt on which set of dictators we got for the next term.

              MMP has made that whole process a lot muddier now. The idea that we tell the pollies what to do these days is true only to the extent that they are prepared to watch and respond to polls, petitions (falls off chair laughing), referenda (bumps into door frame rolling around still laughing) and sufficiently large protest actions.

            • jamie

               /  18th May 2016

              I totally agree patupaiarehe, the medicinal argument misses the fundamental point which is that an adult in their own free time ought to be able to decide to use marijuana simply to get high if that’s what they want to do.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  18th May 2016

              @G
              That would be funny if it wasn’t so close to the truth.
              There is something seriously wrong with this country, when people who are in genuine need have to go begging to politicians, and those who just want to get ‘blazed’ for fun keep doing exactly that, and laugh at the law.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  19th May 2016

              Sorry in advance to anyone who watches this 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th May 2016

      Socialism causes long term brain damage judging by most of its adherents.

      Reply
  4. Brown

     /  18th May 2016

    To legalise anything they need to be in govt. Do I look forward to this in 50 years?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th May 2016

      By then I expect you will still be at the gates arguing with St Peter over alleged breaches of the 8th Brown.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  19th May 2016

        You can do better Gezza because its pretty simple. I’m not arguing with anyone at the gates. I’ll be in or out and will accept that whatever I get is just as will everyone else. Christ is sufficient for all but not efficient for all.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th May 2016

          I’ll be inside, pleading your case, Brown. I’ll be saying, father forgive him, he only ever read his own highlighted verses of the Bible that agreed with what he already thought was tickety-boo for him, and not the other bits that didn’t, but at least he read them every day.

          Reply
  5. Good post PG 🙂

    Reply
  6. His bill doesn’t go far enough, its a baby step in the right direction though.

    Reply

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