Medicinal Cannabis Bill

Green MP Julie Anne Genter’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill was drawn from the Members’ ballot today. It seems unlikely it will make it into it’s First Reading in Parliament before the election.

Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The purpose of this bill is to make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

Greens:  Medicinal cannabis finally on Parliament’s agenda

The Green Party is thrilled that Parliament will consider whether to finally legalise medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.

Green Party health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was drawn from the Member’s Ballot today. The Bill will make it legal for any New Zealander who is suffering from a terminal illness or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

“We are finally going to have the conversation about medicinal cannabis that New Zealanders have been crying out for,” said Green Party health spokesperson.

“No Kiwi should have to live in pain because of an archaic, uncompassionate law.

“Medicinal cannabis must be available by prescription at the doctor but it also must be affordable.

“The recent ‘softening’ of the law, announced by Peter Dunne, goes only part of the way to ensuring New Zealanders can get the pain relief they need. It does not guarantee medicinal cannabis products will be affordable for the average New Zealander – in fact, it relies upon the import of expensive overseas-developed medicines.

“Why should New Zealanders have to pay thousands of dollars to buy imported medicinal cannabis products when we can produce our own effective and affordable medicines here?

“My Bill will ensure that sick people and those in pain will actually be able to afford the cannabis products they need.

“The change to cannabis laws that New Zealanders have been wanting for years is now within reach. The hard work of everyone who has campaigned on this issue, including Rose Renton and the late Helen Kelly, may finally be realised.

“New Zealand can finally catch up to the much of the rest of the world on cannabis – now it’s up to my colleagues across the aisle in Parliament,” said Ms Genter.

See also from Public Address  Genter’s Bill: Starting at last on medical cannabis

Julie Anne Genter’s private members bill on medical cannabis emerged from the ballot this morning – and it raises some interesting questions.

You’ll recall me posting to the effect that the scheduled rewrite of the Misuse of Drugs Act – a process I’ve been told could begin as soon as November – makes drug policy an election issue. Even though it will presumably be subject to a conscience vote, Genter’s bill being drawn makes it even more so.

But it’s complicated, Genter’s bill is written as an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act. It’s entirely likely that the MoDA reboot and voting on the bill will aiming to amend it will overlap, and that the two could be in select committee at the same time. Genter’s bill – if it passes its first reading –  would go to the Health select committee. These things are political decisions, but consideration of new Misuse of Drugs Act might also go to Health. It will need to be managed.

It seems possible subsequent readings of the bill could be deferred until there’s a new MoDA to amend – which could be years. I guess it’s also possible the bill could give impetus to the rewrite process, or be used to expedite the relevant parts of the new MoDA. Again, all that will be political.

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1 Comment

  1. nice one.. I look forward to 1st reading 🙂

    Reply

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