New Zealanders deserve a positive and solutions-focused discussion on access to medicinal cannabis, which should be legal, and affordable.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has has a members’ bill (originally written by Julie Anne Genter) before parliament which would legalise access to cannabis products for New Zealanders suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition.

We’ve seen a sea change in public attitudes about medicinal cannabis in recent years, thanks to the many brave people who have spoken out about their experiences with chronic pain and terminal illness.

The most recent Ministry of Health study found that of 400,000 New Zealanders who use cannabis, a whopping 42% do so for medicinal purposes, to alleviate pain or nausea. It’s time for our laws to catch up with what is already happening - so those suffering don’t risk jail for no reason other than archiac, cruel laws.

Going down a pharmaceutical route is going to price cannabis out of people's hands. Until people can legally grow their own cannabis or designate someone to grow it, patients across Aotearoa are likely to remain criminals. We can do better than this.

Current cannabis laws are out of date and causing harm, including the criminalisation of individuals and families at a significant cost to the economy. We still don’t have affordable access to medicinal cannabis in New Zealand. Unless lawful medicinal cannabis is made reasonably accessible, current strong demand will continue to be met largely by an unregulated black market.

The Green Party has always campaigned for a compassionate approach to medicinal cannabis, and as a partner of the Government we want to see this done right. Supporting this bill through to Select Committee will ensure the best range of options for medicinal cannabis law change are debated by the public.

Drug Law Reform Policy

The Green Party recognises that:

  1. Drug policy should be rational and based on credible and scientifically-valid evidence.
  2. There can be adverse health, social and economic consequences from the use of drugs for both individuals and society.
  3. Not all drug use is problematic.
  4. Some individuals in society will choose to use drugs, regardless of their legal status.
  5. Prohibition of drugs can cause more harm that it prevents.
  6. Drug policy should have a primary focus on improving public health instead of trying to punish users.


This was a members' bill previously promoted by Julie Anne Genter, but adopted by Chloe Swarbrick. It was voted down in 2018, but we have worked with our Government partners to develop a medicinal cannabis regime to be in place for 2020 that will be more affordable and accessible for New Zealanders.

DOWNLOAD FULL POLICY

Latest Drug Law Reform Announcements

Story

Extend transitional medicinal cannabis standards to ease patients’ suffering

The Green Party is calling on the Minister of Health, Andrew Little to extend ‘transitional standards’ for medicinal cannabis to prevent thousands ...
Read More

Story

Chlöe Swarbrick puts Bill aimed at minimising alcohol harm in Members’ ballot

Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick has put the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill into the Members’ ballot.
Read More

Story

Service providers and communities call on Government to treat drugs as a health issue

The Green Party supports the open letter released today by a cross-sector coalition calling for the Government to treat all drug use as a health is...
Read More

Story

Legal drug checking this festival season will help protect our young people: Green Party

The Green Party are glad to see urgent law changes to ensure legal drug checking services by this summer festival season.
Read More

Story

Green Party responds to final election results from specials

Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today: “The final results are in and we’re incredibly excited to confirm our outstanding success this e...
Read More

Story

Close preliminary Cannabis result means a wait for the specials: Greens

A close preliminary result for Cannabis legalisation and control shows that we won’t know for sure what the result in until the specials come in, G...
Read More