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Medical Cannabis: Terminal vs Severe and Debilitating?

Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ

“MCANZ”

Terminal vs Severe and Debilitating?

The exemptions outlined for the terminally ill by Labour’s Medical Cannabis bill do not go far enough, and have been universally panned by patient advocates and policy experts. “David Clark’s excuse for failing to deliver on Labour’s election promise is that there is a high portion of New Zealanders with chronic pain, many of those however would not be severe such as those who suffer from comparatively mild conditions such as osteoarthritis”

“The Ministry of Health’s Non-pharmaceutical application guidelines have a terminology of “severe or debilitating condition” using that definition instead of terminal would be a far more effective way of protecting patients. If such terminology is good enough for prescribers it should be good enough for police and the courts.”

“If such a change creates any extra administrative load for the courts to determine ‘severe or debilitating’ it would be short term only, as police would be on the receiving end of an attitude adjustment, the cost in administration pales into comparison against the significance of what it offers a very ill and vulnerable cohort of New Zealanders.” Says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun MCANZ Feels that the best solution to the criminalization of patients is to disrupt police prosecution habits directly, before they get to court.

“The Solicitor General’s prosecution guidelines could be easily reviewed and updated to include a specific clause in the public interest test section. Such a clause counting against prosecution could be worded along the lines of ‘where the Misuse of Drugs Act has been breached for a significant therapeutic benefit’”

“Intervention before prosecution is critical to the safety and wellbeing of patients, most of whom are on benefits who can ill afford costly legal battles, and the seizure of what for many is an essential medicine”. Says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun

“The contradictions in allowing terminally ill to access but not providing them with a way of doing it, is as bad as denying all with pain the chance of taking a medicine that works. We need to educate society over the benefits of medicinal and how it can change lives.”

“To deny Medical Cannabis any longer is to show a disregard for people in chronic pain and who are in effect suffering at the hands of government policy. Change it now, it’s need not be complex, it can be simple, but they need to work with those of us who can no longer take opioids and other strong drugs who want our quality of life back.” Says MCANZ Spokesperson Dr Huhana Hickey MNZM

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