I read a TV news report that several Maori (indigenous) MPs are commenting on medicinal Cannabis..
1) The Green party still support the issue “We know there are many benefits in marijuana for those who are very sick,”
2) The main opposition Labour party agrees, but says strong prescription regulations for the drug are necessary.
“If a child is sick then I agree to them taking the pill form of cannabis, a pill is fine, but I don’t agree to them smoking the drug for their illness,” (smoking it is not the only option !)
3) The NZ-first party seems non-committal… on the fence until they see which side of the debate is greener.
“At the moment New Zealand First are waiting on advice from Pharmac (Govt. funding agency). They are the company responsible for analysing new drugs and determining whether or not they are suitable for New Zealand.” (Pharmac recently rejected a funding submission on Sativex.. costs >$1000/month)
4) The Maori party, also seem to be ‘sitting on the fence’.. looks likely to support medicinal cannabis, they won’t support a referendum.
“We don’t see the benefit in taking the issue to the public for their consideration. We believe that it is for experts and doctors to weigh up the benefits and negatives of the drug,”
The Green party, also seem to be unsupportive of putting it to public referendum too !
“The cost of a referendum is high and it’s also a lengthy process. We think it’s better to continue with the work to date by the minister,” The Minister certainly has a big decision ahead of him. (but is he listening to a majority of kiwis, who want law reform, OR ‘BIG PHARM’ ?)
It’s interesting that many other OECD countries are moving ahead on this issue, BUT here in Aotearoa/NZ it just seems to be ‘one step forward.. one step back.. going NOWHERE FAST’ 😦
btw; In traditional Maori medicinal practices.. they use therapeutic plants, which they call ‘Rongoa’. I read that a current practitioner has stated that cannabis could be included, under this title too.