A more compassionate approach to medicinal cannabis

Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health

New Zealand First is welcoming changes being made to the medicinal cannabis bill.

The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill returned to Parliament today for its second reading debate.

Hon David Clark, Minister of Health outlined planned amendments which will be introduced via a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) during the Committee Stage. These include a new amendment promoted by New Zealand First which broadens the scope of the exception and statutory defence in the Bill to apply to those in ‘palliation’ rather than with “terminal illness.”

“This is an important language change. We felt that the term palliation was more appropriate. Those requiring palliation are seriously ill, and the focus of treatment is on improving their quality of life,” says New Zealand First spokesperson for Health, Jenny Marcroft.

“There was clear support from public submissions for the exception and statutory defence, and many wanted it to be extended further.

“This change will mean that the number of people the defence will apply to is as many as 25,000 individuals,” she says.

“If the original exception and statutory defence was kept it would only apply to terminally ill people with less than 12 months to live, which would have been difficult to accurately assess.”

“New Zealand First welcomes the collaborative effort and consensus which was reached, and thanks the Health Minister for his consideration,” says Ms Marcroft.



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