Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Should marijuana be legalised for medicinal use?

Should marijuana be legalised for medicinal use?

By United Future MP and health spokeswoman Judy Turner

Cannabis should be legalised for medical use if - and only if - there are compelling arguments put forward by the medical and scientific communities.

At that point, there would be no reason for United Future to oppose cannabis as a medication, any more than there would be to oppose the use of morphine, similarly illegal on the streets, but prescribed as needed by GPs the length and breadth of New Zealand.

It goes without saying that one would expect that as a medication, it would be handled in the usual manner - by prescription and with the appropriate controls, checks and balances that apply to all medicines.

However, what is clear at this point is that the case for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes is not being pushed in any significant manner by the scientific and medical communities - indeed there are substantial bodies of opinion within these communities that question whether the side-effects would out-weigh the benefits.

That is a matter for experts to probe. It is not a matter for politicians, any more than would be the use of any other substance being proposed for medical use.

What is perhaps of greatest concern is that the main proponents of cannabis use for medicinal purposes are the drug's recreational users. When the argument is put forward by Medsafe, United Future will listen.

The very fact that the media is so interested in whether or not cannabis, a drug, should be legalised for medicinal purposes is indicative of the general blurring of issues surrounding cannabis.

The fact is that the discussion on cannabis as a medication is not being properly separated from the issue of legalisation of the drug for general use. And clearly this is because the main proponents of the medical argument are also those who call for its full legalisation.

At that point, one can legitimately ask if the push from recreational users is simply part of an overall strategy to obtain legalisation? One can ask if the argument is really little more than a Trojan horse to promote overall acceptance of the drug?

United Future makes no apologies for taking a strong anti-drugs stand and will continue to do so. The issue of what is a medicine and what is not should be decided by the experts, and not those running pro-drug agendas.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news