Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Cannabis referendum: More than 100 doctors back legalising recreational use

More than 100 doctors have come forward to put their names behind cannabis legalisation, in response to the New Zealand Medical Association's backtracking from opposing the bill to neutrality.

They say they fear the Medical Association's decision to oppose the cannabis referendum and legalisation, without having consulted its members, could lead to the referendum failing.

The NZMA only changed its stance to a neutral one after several doctors came forward to RNZ complaining about its stance, and NZMA chair Dr Kate Baddock admitted that it did not consider the proposed legislation before opposing the referendum.

Dr Emma Clare, who has worked as a youth health GP, said many doctors thought the referendum would pass, and so did not speak up about the NZMA's anti stance.

That was until polling showed the referendum was unlikely to pass.

"I just feel a bit helpless, really," Dr Clare said. "I thought it was going to pass, I really did, and then the last few polls have been really disheartening.

"Then this NZMA stuff came out and I wondered, what can be done here.

"I was surprised about the NZMA's stance on it."

The NZMA had an existing policy formed in 2012 opposing the legalisation of recreational cannabis, but advocating for a decriminalisation of the drug.

While the policy had been reiterated since then, Dr Clare said the age of the policy also baffled her.

"If you have a statement from 2012, you're unable to take into account some of the evidence from countries that have subsequently legalised cannabis and have seen some evidence of harm reduction with the legalisation model."

Dr Clare posted on doctors' groups on Facebook, asking who would be willing to put their name behind the campaign to legalise recreational use of cannabis.

She said it should be clear cut that legalisation was the best outcome, and that decriminalisation would not go far enough.

"My assessment of the evidence I've seen, it's pretty overwhelmingly in favour of legalisation and that's the same conclusion that the Public Health Association has reached.

"But I also think, in the New Zealand context we have an added imperative to legalise because of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"We currently have this situation where Māori are disproportionately being harmed by this criminalisation of cannabis, and as Treaty partners we have to try and rectify some of that inequity."

Dr Clare said not all doctors wanted recreational cannabis legalised, and there was a very real split between medical professionals.

She said no group could claim to be speaking on behalf of all doctors, but wanted to make it clear that a large proportion of doctors did support legalisation.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Rightwing Populism Will Make You Sick—Really

The four countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections in the world are all led by rightwing populists: the US, India, Brazil, and Russia. Throw in the United Kingdom, which has the largest infection rate in Europe, and you have a common pattern. ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Early Voting Is OK, If You Know Who To Vote For

Early voting is now open which is great for the 80% or so of the population whose vote does not change from one election to the next. They can go out and vote at their convenience without having to wait for election day. But for those who are yet even ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On How The US Supreme Court Is Undermining American Democracy

If Joe Biden is elected President next week, here comes the bad news. If Biden tries to defend Obamacare, combat climate change (via say, a variant of the Green New Deal) or tries to improve the access of US women to abortion services , he will run afoul ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>


The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog