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'Medicine-by-survey' charade shows Green obsession

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 2 October, 2003

Turner: 'Medicine-by-survey' charade gives away Green obsession

A Green Party survey on the medicinal use of cannabis was just further evidence of their determination to make it a parliamentary issue rather than a medical one as it should be, United Future's Judy Turner said today.

"And all as a back-door approach to changing the legal status of cannabis for recreational use," Mrs Turner, the party's health spokeswoman, said. "I'm not aware of the Green Party having surveyed doctors to gain their opinion on the possible introduction of other potential medicines.

"And as such, I'd have to assume that their interest in cannabis extends beyond the few substances in it that may be of medicinal use, to the fact that it's green, leafy and they can smoke it.

"If the Greens were genuine in their concerns, they would be lobbying Medsafe, which sets the medicines schedule in New Zealand, not politicians.

"I am sure pharmaceutical companies would be thrilled if the Greens lobbied on their behalf to have the many new drugs they are developing promoted for consideration on our medicines schedule.

"And frankly, it would be a complete turnaround from their current position or actively promoting substances that destroy the health and well-being of many New Zealanders," Mrs Turner said.

"For the record, United Future believes that should cannabis ever be used for medicinal purposes, that it should go through the same rigorous process that any substance goes through before being approved as a medicine.

"It is an issue for scientists and pharmacists, not politicians and drug aficionados desperate to promote their favourite substance by any means possible."


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