The Green Party welcomes the passage of medicinal cannabis legislation that provides certainty and clarity to patients and their whānau.
“This is a huge day for New Zealanders in pain and suffering who’ve been denied the only medicine that works for them”, Green Party drug law reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said today.
“Too many New Zealanders are going into debt to access expensive big pharma products, or being turned into criminals in having to access an unregulated black market for cannabis.
“Through negotiation with Labour and NZ First parties we've managed to guarantee certainty for patients and their whānau that a local licencing, production, prescription and consumption regime will be established by the end of next year.
“Additionally, 25,000 New Zealanders in palliative care will no longer be threatened by criminal sanctions for using medicinal cannabis to ease their pain.
“We’ve also made sure that local New Zealand strains of medicinal cannabis can be used in the scheme so that a domestic market can develop rather than us relying on imported products.
“Over the past year I’ve heard from hundreds of New Zealanders whose lives this will improve. I’m sure all of my Parliamentary colleagues engaged in this debate have heard the same stories. Today’s law is compassion in action, with a strong footing in evidence-based policy.
“Today we move towards delivering on something the Greens have worked on for decades. Today is for champions and advocates like Helen Kelly, Rose Renton, Rebecca Reider, Nandor Tanczos and so many more bold and brave New Zealanders.”