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Medicinal cannabis bill to be debated by New Zealand Parliament

Legislation to let people with certain medical conditions grow and use cannabis has the backing of a number of political parties in New Zealand.

The legislation would make it legal for people suffering from a terminal illness or debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a GP, allowing doctors to permit qualifying patients to grow and possess cannabis, as well as an immediate relative or other nominee.

Our friends across the ditch in the land of the long white cloud will debate whether to legalise cannabis for medical use, after a Green Party member’s bill was pulled from the ballot today.

Green MP Julie-Anne Genter, who has sponsored the bill, said medicinal marijuana should be legal, accessible and affordable.

But co-ordinator for the charity Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand Shane Le Brun said he wasn’t optimistic.

“I’m pessimistic because Labour says they’re all for medical cannabis and yet avoid debating the topic. National think the system now is good enough when there’s less than 50 people accessing it legally. I don’t think they have the numbers.”

The bill would encourage healthy debate but it was unlikely to pass, he said.

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