Medical cannabis bill passes third reading

The medical cannabis has passed it’s final vote in Parliament today. Minister of Health David Clark called it the most progressive bill ever, which will grate on those who were hopeful the Government would treat medical and general use of cannabis as boldly as a growing number of countries and states around the world. But at least it’s a start.

NZ Herald: Medicinal cannabis bill passes third reading

A bill that gives terminally ill people a legal defence for using illicit cannabis products has passed its third reading in Parliament today.

The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill also gives them a defence to possess utensils for using cannabis.

That defence comes into force as soon as the bill receives royal assent.

Last month, during the bill’s second reading, Health Minister David Clark made changes to the bill that expanded the defence to all people needing palliative relief, rather than just those with a year or less to live, as it previously was.

The changes also created a requirement for regulations for the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme to be in place no later than one year after the law comes into effect, allaying concerns that it could take as long as 2020 before the regulatory framework was in place.

It made clear that cannabis varieties already in New Zealand could be used for medicinal products, prompting at least one therapeutic cannabis company to call for illicit growers to come forward with their unique strains.

Following the bill’s passing, Clark said the statutory defence would be available to around 25,000 people who could benefit from palliative care.

But it wasn’t progressive enough to cover people suffering from chronic pain and debilitating illnesses that are hard to treat with conventional medicines.

Greens are happy they have finally got somewhere on freeing up cannabis laws.

National are acting like numpties. After voting for the bill initially they voted against it today and are grizzling about the bill. They had held up doing anything meaningful about dysfunctional drug laws through their last nine years in Government.

Leave a comment


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  11th December 2018

    FINALLY !!!

  2. PartisanZ

     /  11th December 2018


  3. PartisanZ

     /  11th December 2018

    “acting like numpties” is being extraordinarily kind to National …

    Just a week ago in the paper Shane Reti was claiming the extensions were his and the Bill depended on National’s support …

    “Numpties” doesn’t come anywhere near it!

  4. Ben Waimata

     /  12th December 2018

    If I was terminally ill and needed medicinal cannabis I doubt that the long term legal ramifications of a conviction for use would have worried me much under the old system. Possibly this is useful as a precedent, but seems more like a waste of time.

  5. All the terminally ill or palliative patients can now legally sit in front of schools & ‘smoke DOPE’ or so Natl would have us believe !



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