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Greens call for medicinal use of marijuana

Greens call for medicinal use of marijuana

The plight of seriously sick or disabled people who are being denied pain-relief is the motivation behind a private members bill seeking to allow medicinal use of cannabis, Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

The purpose of the bill, which is entered into today's ballot, is to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 so that cannabis can be used for medicinal uses.

"International research shows that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine," said Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"Overseas, it is used by sufferers of multiple sclerosis and spasticity, for relieving pressure associated with glaucoma, for pain relief, for treatment of nausea in chemotherapy and other medications, and for helping the appetite of people with HIV.

"It is legal to use it for these purposes in Canada, the Netherlands and various US states and Britain, Ireland and New South Wales are looking at trialing the medicinal use of marijuana, after strong recommendations from the medical community.

"In this country, the Pharmaceutical Society has acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for a wide range of ailments while there were many submissions to the Select Committee Inquiry into Cannabis in support of a law change.

"The hysteria presently coming from head-in-the-sand opponents of drug law reform in this country is deflecting attention from the issues is an attempt to personalise and trivialise debate.

"This Bill would ease the suffering and increase the quality of life of thousands of New Zealanders. These are goals that MPs from all political parties should support."

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