Government’s cannabis plans include legal defence for terminal patients who use

By December 20, 2017 Recent News

Stuff 20 December 2017
Family First Comment: “The Government will not be legalising medicinal cannabis…”
It won’t be the end of this campaigning…
“But some activists and terminal patients would likely see the move fall short of expectations created during the election campaign. Labour campaigned on introducing legislation to “make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain”. During a televised leaders debate, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her party would legalise medicinal cannabis.”
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The Government will not be legalising the medicinal use of cannabis, but it will allow terminal patients caught growing cannabis to use their illness as a defence to avoid prosecution.

New legislation introduced by the Government on Wednesday will also introduce a medicinal cannabis scheme to enable access to medical-grade cannabis products and remove cannabidiol from the schedule of controlled drugs.

That meant eventually, patients with a prescription would be able to access medicinal cannabis products at a pharmacy.

That scheme would take time to implement, but as soon as the law was passed patients with less than 12 months to live, who had been caught using the raw form of cannabis, would have a legal defence.

How that worked in practice, was not yet clear. Health Minister David Clark said he expected police to use discretion when dealing with terminally ill patients.

A medicinal cannabis committee would provide advice about the prescribing process, and whether pre-approval from the ministry to prescribe should continue.

The committee would also set minimum product quality standards to improve patient safety, and allow for the domestic commercial cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products.

Clark said he also expected the cost of cannabis products to come down, once new products were being manufactured in New Zealand.

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