Stuff co.nz 3rd August 2014
Debate over medical cannabis has been hijacked by “nuisance” campaigners who are making it harder for people with serious diseases, says Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.
The Government has come under renewed pressure to conduct trials on medicinal cannabis products, while New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said last week he was in support of NSW becoming the first Australian state to legalise medicinal cannabis for terminally ill patients.
Dunne believed there was only a small number of cases where people were “genuinely ill” and that many who lobbied him on the subject were secretly hoping to legalise weed for recreational use.
“There are a lot of people leaping on the bandwagon because they see it as a way of achieving another objective, which has nothing to do with medical cannabis,” he said. “They’re a nuisance. Sadly what they’re doing is muddying the waters for those who may have a genuine case.”
The comments have drawn criticism from parents of children with rare diseases who say Dunne has deflected responsibility on the issue.