Today I wrote to an opposition MP in NZ parliament, regarding reports that he is preparing a ‘members bill’, to allow wider access to medicinal cannabis:
(opposition member) MP
kia ora Sir
I wrote to you in July, to say “good onya”.. when I first heard you were considering a members bill on Medicinal Cannabis. Quite a bit of ‘water has flowed under the bridge’ since then:
1) recent polls showing at least 80% support the issue (Herald-digi, Newspaper)
2) TV discussions by the minister on the current law & possible changes, BUT only pharmaceuticals
3) TV Interview with ‘a mother’ (use of Elixinol for her son) calling for reform to current laws
4) Interview with ‘the CEO’ from UICNZ (United in Compassion).. she has had meetings with ‘the minister’ & also been on TV with him. She is spear-heading med-use, but appears to be in ‘the Govt.’ camp on pharmaceuticals only ?
5) increasing research & change in: USA states, Canada, many countries in EU, Israel etc.
6) challenges by the ‘Cannabis Party’ that medicinal use should follow these other countries & allow ‘natural Raw herb’ uses in addition to pharmaceutical extracts
7) Australian states are commencing medicinal trials
8) admission by ‘outgoing Union boss’ that she has used ‘illegal cannabis oil’ to ease her suffering from cancer
It seems that the Labour is now ‘leading the charge’ somewhat, as the Greens seem to have ‘other priorities’.
I’m sure you are aware that in 2016, the United Nations have scheduled a Special session of the General Assembly (UNGASS 2016) to address the changes
occurring on the world stage around drug laws. I am certain that a majority of kiwis do not want to hear that this Govt. has said we support the ‘status quo’.
I appeal to you, to start some debate in parliament (Question time ?) to bring this onto the agenda.
The current regime, is actually creating harm by making access to medicinal cannabis extremely difficult to get approval. The only currently approved cannabis drug (Sativex) is not covered by Pharmac (Govt.) funding & I read it costs patients over $1000/month, which is probably more expensive than buying ‘illegal black-market herb’. This is totally ridiculous !
Why is it that a GP doctor can prescribe a class A opiate without further approval by a specialist & the ministry of health, BUT cannabis (Class C) requires this ? Again totally ridiculous.
‘The minister’ stated that cannabis is not a medicine in its ‘raw form’ if so, why are nearly all these other countries, allowing it to be prescribed for pain relief etc. ? (see attached pictures: prescription in USA)
I look forward to further developments on this.
Advocate for Cannabis Law reform
I was quite surprised that about 40 minutes later I received this in my inbox:
‘yes I am working on a legislative change that will improve access and availability of medicinal cannabis so pleased you are supportive. Regards’
I do hope that the momentum does continue in Aotearoa/NZ