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No Compassion On Medicinal Marijuana

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today said New Zealand was lagging far behind the rest of the world in refusing to approve medicinal cannabis for people who genuinely need it and that it was high time we caught up.

This afternoon Danuiel Clark, a tetraplegic and campaigner for medicinal cannabis, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for possessing and cultivating cannabis for personal use - despite the judge expressing his sympathy at Mr Clark's predicament.

Mr Clark became a tetraplegic in 1991 after a road accident and now uses cannabis to relieve the pain and spasms associated with his condition and to avoid the need for a cocktail of pharmaceuticals which have serious side-effects.

"Danuiel Clark - like many people with serious injuries and disabilities - finds the proven medicinal qualities of cannabis to be extremely valuable in providing pain relief," said Mr Tanczos.

"I think it is outrageous that despite the support of his doctor and a number of specialists, Danuiel continues to be created as a criminal.

"What is this man supposed to do? He has found a natural herb with proven therapeutic qualities that works and is much better for him than the drugs prescribed to him. Yet time and time again he is busted and charged for trying to manage his pain. Who is this man harming? Where is the crime?"

Mr Tanczos said Health Ministers had the power to allow medicinal cannabis, yet no such permission had ever been granted.

"The argument that smoking cannabis may be harmful cuts no ice when you are in constant pain. It is just hogwash to claim to be concerned about the health of a man like Danuiel while denying him the use of the only effective medicine for his condition.

"New Zealand is like a crippled dog on this issue internationally. While we continue to drag our heels we are subjecting many sick and disabled New Zealanders, who are simply using a natural plant to increase their quality of life, to persecution and pain," he said.

"There is no reason on this planet to deny people who need it a relatively harmless and remarkably effective treatment," said Mr Tanczos.

"What has happened here today is a disgraceful example of ill-founded ideology winning over compassion and logic."


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