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Cannabis should be given interim product approval

Cannabis should be given interim product approval


MEDIA RELEASE - 6/1/14


The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is calling on the Government to change the law to allow cannabis to be included in the Psychoactive Substances Act.

Herbal cannabis should be given immediate interim product approval under the Psychoactive Substances Act, said Dr Richard Goode, Vice President of the ALCP.

His call follows the Ministry of Health's admission that finalising the safety rules for the legal highs market was "taking longer than expected."

In 2012 former Associate Minister of Health, Peter Dunne, speaking on behalf of the current National government, promised that "if [manufacturers] cannot prove that a product is safe, then it is not going anywhere near the marketplace. None of these products will come to market if they have not been proven safe."

"Instead, we are now six months into a an interim period, during which time a dozen or so different synthetic cannabinoids have been approved by the Ministry of Health. And now that interim period looks to stretch to up to a year," Dr Goode said.

"The point is that none of these products has yet been properly safety tested. We know nothing of their long-term, chronic health effects. How long do we continue to test these products on consumers before we find out?

"However, we know a great deal about the long-term effects of cannabis, which is the most popular illegal drug in New Zealand. These synthetic highs are specifically designed to emulate natural cannabis, which we know is a benign, low-risk plant substance."

The ALCP exists to legalise cannabis for recreational, spiritual, medicinal and industrial purposes.

"Let's legalise cannabis now, so the Ministry of Health can have all the time it needs to get its act sorted, and cannabinoid connoisseurs can continue to get high on the real deal," Dr Goode said.

"God made cannabis before man made synthetic cannabinoids. In whom do you trust?"


ENDS

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