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Dunne extremism a bitter pill to swallow

Dunne extremism a bitter pill to swallow

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today slammed Peter Dunne as "heartless", saying his vision of common sense is cold comfort for thousands of New Zealanders who could be denied the benefits of medical marijuana.

Nandor, the Green Party spokesperson for Drug Law Reform, rejected threats made by the United Future leader to block moves to legalise the medicinal use of marijuana, saying Mr Dunne's position is extremist.

"Peter Dunne is willing to deny thousands of New Zealanders relief from debilitating pain because he has staked his political credibility on no change to the law. His common sense agenda shows a lack of common humanity," said Nandor.

"Like the majority of New Zealanders, the Green Party welcomes any move that offers hope for the thousands of chronic pain sufferers in New Zealand.

"Mr Dunne has often accused the Greens as being the tail wagging the Government's genetically engineered dog, yet he is doing just that with his veiled threat to the Government's stability.

"The fact that only his party and New Zealand First are against this move proves how heartless Peter Dunne's vision of common sense really is."

Nandor said the Greens would support the move, removing the need for United Future support, but warned that the Health Select Committee must carefully examine the available options.

"One of the most effective uses of cannabis is for nausea relief. Limiting its use to a pill would make it inaccessible for people suffering the effects of chemotherapy and HIV treatments.

"The English model that Steve Chadwick advocates doesn't involve pills, rather it is dispensed as a whole-plant extract sprayed under the tongue. The committee should also look at a range of options, such as vaporising instruments already available that minimise possible health risks caused by smoking.

Nandor said marijuana should be made available immediately for people with a genuine medical need, as private funding of trials would be difficult to obtain.

"You can't patent cannabis, so there would be little profit in it for the big drug companies. I urge the Government to fund trials in the public interest for the use of medicinal marijuana."

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