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Genuine action on medicinal cannabis needs genuine collaboration

Alleviating the pain and suffering of patients and their whānau denied access to legal medicinal cannabis requires urgent, open and collaborative cross-party action, the Green Party said today.

“We are aware that National intends to table a completely new bill on medicinal cannabis – the third one before the House in the last six months,” says Green Party Drug Law Reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick.

“It’s a real pity that they’ve rejected all our previous attempts to work together on sensible drug law reform, and have denied our requests to even show us what they’re proposing.”

The National Party voted down Chlöe Swarbrick’s member’s bill which would have introduced a comprehensive prescription-based medicinal cannabis regulatory framework in January of this year.

“We’re happy to see the National Party respond, finally, to the need for a new common-sense medicinal cannabis framework, involving the prescription from and support of medical health professionals, but it’s disappointing that they voted down exactly this scope in my Member’s Bill earlier this year, wasting time and public funds as patients suffered,” said Ms Swarbrick.

“The Green Party have a plan for sensible drug law reform and want to continue the compassionate, respectful, evidence-based conversation we’ve been having on these issues. We would love for the National Party to be part of that.

“This is the time for real progress on medicinal cannabis, and cynical politics shouldn’t get in the way of that.”