Public help sought for cannabis bill

The Government promised legislation on medicinal cannabis but watered it down substantially, and have virtually said that the best real chance of real change is the Member’s Bill on Medicinal Cannabis being driven by new Green MP Chloe Swarbrick, who took the responsibility over from Julie Anne Genter when Genter became a Minister.

The bill is due for it’s first reading next month. It will be a conscience vote, so it is worth lobbying individual MPs.

Swarbrick is seeking public support for her bill.

1 News: ‘I could really use your help’ – Chloe Swarbrick pleads for public support on medicinal cannabis bill

First-term Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has taken to Facebook to ask for the public’s help in getting her party’s new medicinal cannabis bill passed.

Video of Ms Swarbrick explaining the ins and outs of the medicinal cannabis legislation proposed by her party was posted to Facebook today, where it has quickly sparked a flurry of comments, some of which the Green MP has taken the time to reply to.

At the end of the video Ms Swarbrick makes a plea to the public to try and help sway the opinion of MPs who may be undecided in which way they will vote on the matter.

“I could really use your help, contact your local MP, or any MP that you feel represents you by sending them an email, a Facebook message, dropping by their office or giving them a call.

“Ask them to support this bill at its first reading,” she says.

I hope she gets plenty of support. This bill should at least get past it’s first reading next month.



  1. Id predict 75% support in Labour, maybe 50% in NZ First, so we need 10-15 National MPs…..

    • Zedd

       /  January 24, 2018


      considering Natl voted “NO” in a block in 2009 (Met’s Bill) I would not hold your breath they will support this one either BUT fingers crossed eh ?

      It seems that the public are really behind Medicinal use reform (>80% in polls) so IF this bill fails, it could see a public backlash against those parties that vote NO ??

      I thought that the ‘Govt. bill’ would be better but has reportedly been ‘watered down’ to get NZF support for even a small amount of further reform; FEAR-mongering still at the front of many minds in Aotearoa/NZ 😦

    • The Kaye, Bishop bloc will vote for a first reading no doubts. Medicinal Cannabis is a bit of a no brainer really

      If Chloe had more experience she would be lobbying other MP’s direct and not going straight to the public – relationships across the floor are important for Members bills to advance… S

      • Zedd

         /  January 24, 2018

        This bill was taken over from JA Genter (when she became a minister) I heard Julie Anne was already going around lobbying all parties/MPs to support her bill to 1st reading.. this time. Im sure Chloe is still doing so ?! 🙂

      • Anyone else in that bloc @dave?

        • I don’t follow that closely to be honest Shane – but look through the Nat MP list and id the non Church goers and the under 45’s and you will find your supporters for medical cannabis

  2. PartisanZ

     /  January 24, 2018

    I’ll support it and email MPs despite the fact I strongly disagree with the separation of medical and recreational … IMHO this has become a delaying tactic …

    With a bit of discretionary ‘leeway’ from the Police – who will otherwise be running around checking medical certificates … “Oh I left mine at home!” – this legislation as proposed could cover a lot of people who use cannabis to alleviate emotional, psychological, mental and existential pain as well as physical … In other words many so-called ‘recreational’ users …

    By-the-bye I asked Chloe please not to make jokes about Aotearoa New Zealand being “pretty progressive” … *sarc* …

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 24, 2018

      There may also be questions about the burden on doctors of diagnosing ‘pain’ and issuing medical certificates?

      How much room is there for the possible misuse of this system from several angles … ?

  3. Gezza

     /  January 24, 2018

    It’s actually a very well-made, informative video. Good on her.

  4. Kevin

     /  January 24, 2018

    My email to Chloe:

    Hi Chloe,

    A bit of background: I believe all recreational drugs should be legalised but regulated. That includes methamphetamine, MDMA, heroin and of course cannabis. Prohibition does not decrease problematic drug use, nor does legalisation increase problematic use. What we know is that what increases drug use is advertising and promotion as shown by the opioid crisis in the United States.

    Unsurprisingly I mostly support your bill. The part I don’t support is allowing personal cultivation. I believe this should only be allowed by licensed growers. These growers would be required to state the approximate levels of THC/CBD and would subject to regular inspection under the Psychoactive Substances Act. Persons wanting “medical” cannabis would obtain from these growers cannabis with levels of THC/CBD that match their personal requirements.

    Anyway, I hope that cannabis law reform is just the beginning.

    For example a large percentage of what is sold as MDMA is not MDMA and most fake MDMA is actually bath salts. Even more dangerous is PMA sold as MDMA. PMA is up to 10 times more potent than MDMA and takes longer to take effect making overdosing much more likely. There is no reason that I can see why testing of MDMA shouldn’t be allowed in places where it is commonly consumed such as music festivals and also why it shouldn’t be allowed to be legally sold by licensed sellers at such places.

    Another example is heroin. The harm to society from the misuse of heroin isn’t people overdosing – it’s the spread of Hep C. By allowing such things as heroin clinics where people could take pharmaceutical pure heroin under the supervision of medical staff not only would this greatly reduce the risk of overdosing but would also greatly reduce the spread of Hep C.

    That’s just two examples and what I mean by legalising and regulating recreational drugs.

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 26, 2018

      So Kevin, where do you stand on home cultivation for recreational cannabis use?

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 26, 2018

        I don’t see how home cultivation can be ruled out of medicinal and allowed for recreational?

        The distinctions are almost meaningless anyhow, but regardless of that, you’d surely be committing recreational users to only using cannabis supplied by licensed growers?

        For many, there goes the recreation …

        • Kevin

           /  January 27, 2018

          Yes, I’d be commiting recreational users to only using cannabis supplied by license growers.

          But personally I wouldn’t put a cap on the amount of THC allowed except for in defining what constitutes “medical cannabis”. But I would require that sellers state the name of the strain if appropriate and the approximate amount of THC/CBD. And then it’s up to the buyer to choose the product with the THC/CBD that best matches what they want.

      • Kevin

         /  January 27, 2018

        I’m against it. The reason is because home cultivation would be very difficult to regulate. With commercial cultivation you have licensed growers and can regulate the amount of THC allowed for example.

  5. Zedd

     /  January 24, 2018

    btw: I read that the largest ‘anti-cannabis’ country in EU (France) are now also looking at reform, in light of Mr Macron saying during their election it was now on the agenda.
    Interestingly I hear that France has been following a similar line to Aotearoa/NZ (at the back of the pack on reform/prohibitionists)
    BUT they also apparently share another statistic: Highest level of use per capita in EU.. proving that Prohibition not only, does not work, but it seems to drive higher use, due to more users, being attracted by the ‘illegality’/breaking the law ‘thrill’ that it seems to create in many countries that continue down this extreme Zero-tolerance path !!

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