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Medicinal Cannabis bill passes final reading

New Zealand First welcomes the passing of the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill today in Parliament.

This legislation increases the availability and quality of medicinal cannabis for those suffering who desperately need other options. This Bill also includes an exception and statutory defence for those in palliation who possess and use illegal cannabis.

Health spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says this Bill takes a compassionate approach to the use of medicinal cannabis and to those dying in terrible pain it will make a real difference.

“New Zealand First promoted the inclusion of anyone in palliation rather than those who are defined as terminally ill, as was originally drafted.

“This was an important language change. We felt that the term palliation was more appropriate. Those requiring palliation are seriously ill, and the focus of treatment is on improving their quality of life.

“This change means that the number of people the defence will apply to could be as many as 25,000 individuals.

“New Zealand First celebrates the collaborative work and consensus which was reached, and thanks the Health Minister for his efforts,” says Ms Marcroft.

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