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Almost 3000 voice support for medicinal cannabis

22 November 2006

Almost 3000 voice support for medicinal cannabis bill

Almost 3000 people have voiced their support to Parliament on a petition for a Green Party private member's bill that seeks to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal reasons.

Green MP Metiria Turei's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, which would allow registered medical practitioners to prescribe cannabis to patients with specific serious medical conditions, was recently pulled from the Ballot.

The petition asks that Parliament 'give urgent consideration to changing the law to allow individuals to obtain, possess and use cannabis for treatment of serious medical conditions when this has been recommended or endorsed in writing by the individual's registered medical practitioner'.

"I expected that my bill would be debated today in Parliament, but I have decided to delay it until next year to give MPs and the community more time to consider the issues and the best legal framework for change," Mrs Turei says.

"I am very pleased to have sponsored this petition, which will be discussed by the select committee. It will give MPs the opportunity to consider the evidence and look at the legal framework for prescription cannabis. "The Health Select Committee has already recommended in 2003 that the Parliament 'pursue the possibility of supporting the prescription of clinically tested cannabis products for medicinal purposes'. This petition will give them the opportunity to investigate in detail the research and various models for doing just that.

"My bill will be able to be used by Parliament as a tool for making changes to the legal framework. My primary concern is that it is doctors and not politicians who make the decisions as to whether a patient can benefit from and access cannabis for medicinal purposes."


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