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Medical Cannabis opinion poll

Press Release: 12 July 2006

Medical Cannabis opinion poll & Stanlake murder enquiry show need for law change

The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) today welcomed the release of an opinion poll by TV3 and TNS that show two out of three Kiwis support allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis, while pointing to the Stanlake murder enquiry as a tragic example of a medical user drawn into a world of prohibition-related violence.

"By many accounts, Mr Stanlake sounded like a decent, community-minded chap who also happened to use cannabis medically to help treat his back pain," said NORML spokesperson Chris Fowlie. "He should have been able to safely access medical cannabis without having to consort with violent thugs."

"Perhaps if the Green Party's medicinal cannabis bill, now before parliament, was law this tragedy might have been avoided. Certainly, if there was no prohibition there would be no crime or violence surrounding the cannabis trade."

TV3's poll showed that 63% of respondents support allowing a doctor to prescribe cannabis to their patients.

Support was even among Labour and National voters, indicating widespread community support for the proposal.

A poll of doctors by the Green Party in 2003 revealed:

a.. One in five Kiwi doctors knew they had patients using cannabis medicinally;

b.. 47 per cent had patients who had discussed the option of using cannabis;

c.. 32 per cent would consider prescribing legal medicinal cannabis products;

d.. 30 per cent indicated they should be able to prescribe it.

For more information, please see our website: http://www.norml.org.nz/medical

ENDS

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