Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Overwhelming support for medical cannabis law change

New UMR poll shows overwhelming support for medical cannabis law change, says NORML

A new poll conducted for cannabis campaigners shows New Zealanders want the law changed now, says NORML.

“What may be surprising to some is that most people want herbal cannabis sold at health food stores for therapeutic purposes, alongside the Marjoram,” said Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML NZ Inc).

The poll was conducted by UMR for Start the Conversation from 29th July to 17th August 2016.

The poll will be used by the group, which includes representatives of NORML, to decide whether to proceed with organising acannabis law reform referendum to coincide with next year’s general election.

76 per cent agreed when asked “Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that patients have safe legal access to affordable medicinal cannabis and cannabis products when prescribed by a licensed doctor?”

Only 12 per cent were opposed to this law change – including just 15% of National Party voters – with a further 12 per cent undecided.

URM’s previous cannabis poll in March 2016 reported that 72% of respondents agreed with “the use of marijuana being allowed for medical purposes”.

In the latest poll, respondents were also asked “Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that natural cannabis and medicinal cannabis products are treated as herbal remedies when used therapeutically?”

This was supported by 61 per cent of respondents, opposed by 24 per cent, with 15 per cent undecided.

“Support for medicinal cannabis does not collapse when the proposed model treats medicinal cannabis like a herbal remedy rather than a pharmaceutical,” Chris Fowlie noted. “Four out of five supporters of a strict approach that requires a doctor’s prescription would also support having medicinal cannabis sold as a herbal remedy at health food stores.”

Mr Fowlie had a hand in formulating the questions, and says the two variations where chosen to test support for medicinal cannabis law reform and to see what would be supported in a referendum.

Mr Fowlie says he was “not surprised” there was such strong support for an approach that would classify natural medicinal cannabis as a herbal remedy, allowing it to be obtained from health food stores, as this was the sort of thing he was hearing on the street and in social media.

“This depth of support was also shown in the recent NZ Drug Foundation Curia poll, where support for medicinal cannabis when limited to patients with a terminal illness was 82 per cent, and only dropped three per cent if it was allowed for “any medical condition””, added Mr Fowlie.

“The recent Curia poll revealed 65 per cent want cannabis either decriminalised or made legal. This new UMR poll shows a healthy majority want natural cannabis treated as a herbal remedy, and made easily available at health food stores, when it is used therapeutically.”

“John Key thinks cannabis law reform sends the wrong message, yet NORML’s message is getting through. Most New Zealanders now know cannabis is not only safer than alcohol but is also an effective remedy for a variety of conditions, and they want the law to change.”

“The message John Key needs to hear is that very few people support the status quo, including National Party voters, and he ignores them at his own peril,” said Mr Fowlie.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Start The Conversation is a group representing cannabis and community activists, researchers and policy analysts throughout New Zealand, including NORML, Helen Kelly, Prof Max Abbott, Dr Geoff Noller, The Cannabis Party,Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ, It’s Medicine (Rose Renton), MildGreens and more. Start The Conversation organised a cannabis debate at the Auckland Town Hall in June, which led to this poll, and is holding its next community forum in Whangarei on Saturday 17th September.

• Chris Fowlie is NORML’s spokesperson and a candidate for the Waitakere Licensing Trust in this year’s local body elections. He is running on a ticket of “Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol”, and says under the current law the Trust could run Cannabis Social Clubs for medicinal and/or research purposes. As with West Auckland liquor sales, any profits would be returned to the community.

• The UMR poll is available here: Changing Marijuana laws Jul-16.pptx

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels