Dunne on cannabis products

Peter Dunne has given a summary of the slow progress on medicinal cannabis, saying that there has been a lack of proven products available but hopes that will change next year as New Zealand benefits from what is happening in Australia.

Stuff’s Prime Minister Bill English needs a ‘clear stamp’ on his leadership.

With his health hat on Dunne says not a lot of medicinal cannabis products have come onto the market this year, which makes progress more difficult.

“I think the reality is between the wishful thinking and the actuality there is quite a gap. The fundamental problem remains a lack of reputable product.”

“The problem with trials in New Zealand is the perception from the pharmaceutical companies that the market isn’t big enough.”

New Zealand would be a good trial market for new products but the lack of Government will to lead on this probably rules us out as much as market size.

Dunne is working closely with the Australian Health Minister and hopes they’ll approve a couple of new products next year that Kiwis can piggy-back off.

That sounds like slow progress at best.

So far it’s been done on a case-by-case basis, which will continue, and while the “numbers are not large, everyone that has come through has been approved,” he said.

You still have to find a medical specialist who will make your case to the Ministry or Health.

While recreational cannabis remains a “political no-no”, he says, the “willingness to keep looking at medicinal cannabis” won’t stop under English.

“Political no-no” means that National won’t consider going there, and Dunne can’t do anything about that except cop the flak. A convenient cop out for National.

I haven’t seen Peter Dunne state whether he will stand again or not but he implies that he will contest Ohariu again next year:

…he’s well aware that he’s got to win his Ohariu seat to survive next year’s election.

If he survives, and if National stays in government, and if he is appointed Associate Minister of Health (with responsibility for diverting attention from National’s intransigence on cannabis law reform, then progress on medicinal cannabis is likely to remain slow.

If Labour lead the next Government then Dunne is unlikely to be in the mix, so it will be up to Labour and Greens and possibly NZ First to push things along, but cannabis is unlikely to be a priority.

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  1. patupaiarehe

     /  26th December 2016

    “I think the reality is between the wishful thinking and the actuality there is quite a gap. The fundamental problem remains a lack of reputable product.”

    Oh please Mr Dunne. I could grow a ‘reputable product’ in my vege garden, that has been proven to provide pain relief, over several centuries. It is well known that the late Queen Victoria was rather fond of a spliff, at a ‘certain time of the month, to ‘deal with the pain of being a woman’.
    If Mr Dunne is prepared to sit on his hands, and let the Nats continue to blame him for NZ’s 19th century drug policy, IMHO he deserves all the shit that gets thrown at him, because he is nothing more than a political slut.

    • Dunne appears to be pushing things as far as he can, encouraging applications for medicinal use with is all that’s possible under the current laws. That’s more so than a National Minister would be likely to do.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  26th December 2016

        He is about as useful as a snatch full of snow, IMHO. As are the Nats on this particular issue. Why is it that the poor unfortunate individuals, who actually need the stuff, have to jump thru all these hoops? And why is it, that the final decision on whether they get it or not, rests with someone who has no medical training whatsoever?
        I enjoyed a really nice spliff with a friend a few nights back. I don’t indulge in it too often nowadays, so when I do, I enjoy it even more than I used to. The potential legal consequences didn’t even cross my mind. Why would they? ‘Wet bus tickets’ are the norm in court, if you’re white & haven’t hurt anyone…
        But I don’t NEED it!!! I suspect a majority of Kiwi’s can see what is wrong with this picture…

        • I don’t think you’ve ever said what you think Dunne could do differently, you’ve just complained that the law is wrong. Law changes require the whole Government to agree to put legislation forward.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  26th December 2016

            Put an amendment to the ‘misuse of drugs act’ in the ballot, that removes cannabis from it. I’m pretty sure I’ve suggested it before Pete.

            • I don’t think a minister can put a bill in the ballot.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  26th December 2016

              Really? I thought any MP could. This whole problem could be solved very quickly, if someone did. According to several tourists I met in my youth (I used to live next door to a ‘Backpackers’), we grow the best pot in the world here. You do realize that the ‘synthetics’ were originally developed so that researchers could study the effects of cannabinoids on animals legally. And up until very recently, these ‘analogues’ were being ‘tested’ on Kiwis who wanted to get stoned, without breaking the law… And what a complete fuck-up that experiment was, record numbers of teenagers ending up in already stretched emergency departments, with psychotic symptoms that they never would have experienced, had they just stuck to the real ‘green stuff’.

            • “This whole problem could be solved very quickly, if someone did. ”

              Well, why doesn’t a Labour or Green MP put a bill in the ballot? And then hope that NZ First will support it as well, and Dunne or the Maori Party or Seymour.

              It would take a lot of luck and I doubt it would be easy from there.

            • “Most bills considered by the House of Representatives are Government bills. However, members who are not Ministers can introduce their own bills, which are called members’ bills.”


            • patupaiarehe

               /  26th December 2016

              Well, why doesn’t a Labour or Green MP put a bill in the ballot? And then hope that NZ First will support it as well, and Dunne or the Maori Party or Seymour.

              A very good question Pete. Personally, I would like to see Seymour introduce it. My understanding of ACT policy, is that they want less government, & more personal responsibility. What a great opportunity for him to prove it.

            • Kevin

               /  27th December 2016

              Temperate use of cannabis is less dangerous and less harmful than even temperate use of alcohol so it makes absolutely no sense than cannabis should be illegal.

              As for the Misuse of Drugs Act as well as removing cannabis from the schedule of class C drugs we should also change it so that the people who decide the scheduling of drugs should also include people who don’t just deal with drug abusers. Alternatively at the very least there should be a defence of “fair use” with regards to at least class C drugs (possibly also class B) – that is if the cops can see you’re not abusing or you can show you’re not abusing then you shouldn’t be arrested.

  2. Zedd

     /  27th December 2016

    as long as usa/dea have cannabis as ‘schedule 1’ at federal level, dunne has his excuse to maintain zero tolerance to the ‘raw herb’ in aotearoa.. he said “big pharma. products only”

    why is this really so ?

    BUT dunne is not really to blame.. hes just a puppet to the ‘govt. machine’ 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th December 2016

      Dunne carries more than enough blame himself for blocking RMA reform.


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