National says “maybe” to cannabis derived medicine, “definitely no” to decriminalisation

The Government is still refusing to budge on the recreational use of cannabis, but says it’s open to further discussion around its medicinal use.

The comment has once again re-lit debate around cannabis law reform the same day as “J-Day” protests across the country.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is giving an inch, but protesters at today’s J-Day in Auckland want a mile.

“Overall I want to make sure New Zealanders get access to the medications they want over time, but I don’t at this point support making marijuana available,” Mr Coleman said.

More than 1000 gathered in Albert Park for the annual protest — this year’s theme the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis.

Currently, non-pharmaceutical grade cannabis products can be accessed only with ministerial approval, but that’s rarely granted.

“If you’re dying in hospital, how are you going to be writing letters, and going and getting all these things together, and peer reviews and reports from consultants and things before you can get approval?” says cannabis supporter Chris Fowlie.

Teenager Alex Renton is one of only two people who has had approval to use medicinal cannabis. He died last year, but his mother’s petition lives on.

Campaigners say medical access is the first step, but they want more.

“We can’t just say, ‘Let’s have medical and not recreational.’ It’s not an either-or. We need reform on both of those,” says Mr Fowlie.

Mr Fowlie just wants to get off his face without running the risk of the popo getting in his way.

There really are a number of levels this can be looked at

  • Cannabis derived medicines
  • Doctor prescribed Cannabis for medical purposes
  • Decriminalisation
  • Legalisation

As far as National goes, they are barely considering dipping their toes into Cannabis based medicines, although as we saw yesterday, the Labour Party has prepared a private members bill.

Oddly enough, Marijuana reform may actually be the very first policy that may actually motivate some voters to come to Labour again.


– Newshub


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  • spanishbride

    I hope Labour get some traction with it because if John Key is true to form he will then promptly nick their policy and run with it.

    • Whitey

      You beat me to it SB!

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      Just a thought and not wishing to sound like an apologist for Labour but perhaps that is why they are so pants at coming up with policy.
      I wonder, have they actually the brains to work out that if they do and it happens to be a good idea (well even a broken clock is right twice a day!) JK will nick it.
      Then again how they think that constantly trying to smear him is a successful strategy, especially with the numerous unsuccessful attempts, probably shows that intelligence is not one of their strong suits.

  • Paul

    This is one issue that Labour could capitalise on and show some real initiative by leading the charge for de-criminalisation and showing that some within National and its support parties are out of touch. Instead Labour is shagging about with legislation for a referendum that perhaps, maybe, you know allow for some medical use.

  • biscuit barrel

    Non medicine cannabis is absurd to be taking to treat an illness

    Chris Fowlie says if you are dying in hospital ( they do have stronger stuff than cannabis for that ,like opium based medicines) how can you fill out paperwork.
    For a start the doctor does it. hello,!

    “The Minister or Ministry of Health has the power to authorise the medicinal use of cannabis products, but the application must be put forward by a medical specialist on behalf of the patient.

    Its nice to have the falsehoods rejected

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    I have a feeling that National maybe tapping into the feelings of the conservative nature of its supporters and kiwis in general. I am not sure that there is a groundswell of support out there for complete decriminilization


    No brainer to not unban it, at Weltec where I attend there are students who are already using Cannabis to make exams and study much easier also there are people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are using Cannabis to ameliate the unstable mood swings and etc