Medicinal Cannabis law reform

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, February 8th, 2017 - 30 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, journalism, labour, Media, national, newspapers, peter dunne, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

The Government is set to announce a reform to medicinal cannabis law.

From the Herald:

The Government will announce tomorrow that it is removing a significant hurdle to getting access to medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.

It is understood doctors will be given the right to approve patients’ requests for cannabis products, rather than Government ministers.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman strongly hinted at the change today.

“The question is whether we could make that process a lot less bureaucratic and give people quicker access in cases where they do need that access,” he told reporters at Parliament this afternoon.

“The real question is does it need to be signed off by a minister. And that answer is it probably doesn’t.”

Requiring Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne to approve applications “could be a bit too much bureaucracy”, Coleman said.

The current law is a joke.  Doctors can prescribe class A drugs such as morphine to people but if someone wants to use a cannabis derivative it has to go to the associate Minister for approval. Why?  Reefer madness I presume.

Like everything else during her life she did Helen Kelly campaigned passionately for the law to be changed.  Dunne’s refusal to even grant her application reflects poorly on him and on this Government.

Labour support for the policy was announced by Andrew Little in May  2016.  Yet again National is finally catching up and moving to adopt left wing policy.  The country should get rid of the delay and elect a progressive Government.

And the Herald has again outdone itself with signs of what can only be described as further evidence of clear anti progressive bias.  It is election year.  The media ought to be presenting the issues in a serious and balanced way.

30 comments on “Medicinal Cannabis law reform”

  1. dv 1

    Must be election year.
    (Also going to meet pike river families)

  2. Suzyiam 2

    We must be very wary of this legislation for again it is only the wealthy who will benefit.
    Allowing specialists to prescribe the ‘drug’ will require those unable to pay fees to go on waiting lists – which will be long. The medication will not be subsidised, and being extremely expensive, will be beyond the average wage earners affordability.

    This is a Clayton’s Promise and we need to be very careful not to promote it as a good thing. It will not allow a person to manufacture their own medical cannabis (which is relatively easy with a bit of care) nor will it allow anyone but the very wealthy to get it early and in enough quantities to actually assist.

    Please treat this promise in the manner it deserves to be – nothing more than a promise that will fool many and further punish the poor.

    • Stunned Mullet 2.1

      Perhaps ‘the specialists’ are in the best position to assess the benefit and utility of the product for the patient in front of them.

      Allowing persons to manufacture and use their own medications has its own inherent risks albeit only to themselves and in the case of cannabinoids the risks are small.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 2.2

      Personally I wouldn’t be it in such “class” terms but you’re right.

      https://thestandard.org.nz/petition-for-medicinal-cannabis/#comment-1293279

      So basically you’ll be able to get medical cannabis but until that bit of the law (referred to in the link above) is changed it’s going to be awfully expensive.

  3. shorts 3

    While this is good news it also carries a warning – as much as this is a reaction to Labour policy National are also making sure pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly over medicinal cannabis

    Now if there is or was a provision to license a local company to manufacture (grow) Medicinal Cannabis that would be something – there’s a industry waiting for development, people to be employed… a industry that is perfectly suited to the regions… or we can just gift offshore companies more of our money (in this case as neither drug currently allowed are covered by pharmacy its individuals money)

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      National are also making sure pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly over medicinal cannabis

      QFT

      Watch them. They’ll carefully write the legislation so that a monopoly comes out of it so that Big Pharma will get the profits.

      • emergency mike 3.1.1

        Yes. For quite some time now Dunne has shifted his standard line from ‘over my dead body’ to ‘this is a medical issue’. I’ve heard numerous interviews where he has clearly and very deliberately been repeating it. I only clicked why a while back.

        Over my dead body has become too ridiculous, so he’s trying to make the issue as narrow as possible. He will push for a very limited number of cannabis products to be approved, they will be needlessly expensive. He knows that medical is the first step to some kind of full legalization, but he’s trying hard to fight that. He’s trying to frame cannabis as the raw ingredient in just another pharmaceutical. It’s not.

        Peter Dunne associate minister of health has been rabidly anti-cannabis his whole career. But has a history of being a freedom lover when it comes to tobacco and alcohol. Lately he’s been trying to paint himself as a misunderstood medical cannabis reformer. It’s simply another grudgingly calculated stalling technique. He’s planning to hide behind ‘waiting for evidence’ for some time yet. This is a guy who said there were question marks about cannabis toxicity a year or two ago. Studies noted the remarkable non-toxicity of cannabis in the 80s. He needs to go.

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      Yep – drug company profits again – when it would be so easy just to allow people to grow a couple of plants for their own personal use.

  4. Adrian 4

    Assuming that ingesting home grown cannabis is a cure all is seriously misleading. As in most drugs the compounds in cannabis that are actually effective are found in small quantities in the plant, they need to be extracted, concentrated and refined to have the desired effect, hence pharmaceutical company involvement, although these can be small NZ companies of which there are already a few.
    Unsurprisingly the most benevolent compounds are not the ones that get you stoned.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Don’t need the Big Pharma companies – just the R&D and manufacture. Could do it all here through just small amount of government investment.

      And I’m pretty sure that you’ll find THC has many benefits and it’s also the drug that gets you stoned.

    • adam 4.2

      Adrian, just another apologist for the corporations, joy.

    • Jenny Kirk 4.3

      No need to ingest. How about making it into a cream for soothing sore joints or whatever else is hurting – cancerous tumours for example ?

      • Leftie 4.3.1

        Helen Kelly used a balm on her back.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 4.3.2

        Easier said than done when even a molecule of THC risks the police at the door. I know if I was thinking about manufacturing CBD-based products I’d be thinking twice. Or at least charging a fortune to cover all the additional costs needed to make sure there was no THC present.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The government should be doing massive amounts of R&D into medical cannabis and resultant drugs. It should then set up the necessary manufacturing process from growing high quality marijuana (Although it grows everywhere I understand that it grows really well in Northland) through to packaging and even sales to other countries.

    As it stands, both National and Labour are looking more at lining Big Pharmas pockets than actually doing what’s right which is to supply NZ with the drugs that we need.

  6. Antoine 6

    This is still pretty good news and hopefully will lead to further liberalisation of medicinal

    A.

  7. adam 7

    Don’t like this, and not 100% sure why.

    On one hand it could be seen as a step forward, on the other it is business as usual with the corporations profiting off suffering.

    It is not really policy, but claytons policy. It really does not make much sense, so I’m thinking the national party lifted it straight from labour without checking it. Yeah it true, the labour party policy around Medical Cannabis is pathetic.

    Why the sudden distrust of G.P’s?

    Where is the substance of this, what are the regulations?

    How white will this law be? Seriously how much will this law require hoop jumping, and knowledge of system – that is the domain of the dominate group in society?

    Ironic really when so many of the right wing trolls bang on about were all New Zealanders…

  8. Cinny 8

    The problem of cost still remains. How much do these products cost?
    Far much more than a prescription for opiates, I heard it will not be subsidised. Please correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    Another friend passed away from the cancer a few weeks back, he used cannabis to help him through, and it did. Family members would get the raw product and cook it into food for him to consume, like savoury cheese sticks laced with pot etc. He was able to eat right up to the end of his life, no nausea, it helped him with the pain, helped him to sleep. Cannabis helped him through the suffering of terminal cancer.

    Why would people fork out thousands for a medical marijuana product, when they can be fined only a few hundred of dollars for growing a plant in the back yard?

    Dunne may look like he is doing something, but really he is not doing anything except passing the buck rather than addressing the whole picture.

    • John up North 8.1

      Dunne is and always was a Dick!!

    • DeadSmurf 8.2

      Good points Cinny.

      I take opiate based painkillers every day and they are horrible to take, without fully alleviating pain. This policy change is unlikely to to help me as the two specialists I can use locally are not fans of cannabis for pain relief. My GP on the other hand who has to deal with my pain issues on a more regular basis is a lot more open minded.

      I would like a political party to approach this issue in a compassionate way that looks at the issues and not the prejudices of people not wanting drugs in society – my bottle of opiates are a class 2 drug according to the label.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Dunne, and National, are trying to make it so that only big business will be able to legally profit from this.

      As you point out though, this is something that competition will excel in as safe products are so easy to make but that competition is being actively prevented by this government.

  9. emergency mike 9

    I’m still in auto-moderation?

    [as far as I can see you just were just randomly caught in the filter. Happens to various people from time to time, it’s not intentional – weka]

    • emergency mike 9.1

      Thanks weka, my comments have been filtered for a while now.

      • weka 9.1.1

        How long? I know it’s really annoying, it happened to me a few months ago. You can probably try doing a few things at your end (will ask Lynn when I get the chance). Dump cookies? Upgrade browser? I couldn’t comment from my phone for a while, and in the end I used a different email address and user name, and I think a different internet connection and then it reset.

        • emergency mike 9.1.1.1

          Cheers for the tips. I’m not a big commenter, maybe 4-5 comments over the past couple of weeks. Not sure. Will try a different browser.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        I will have a look tonight to check you don’t have an old login.

        But usually it is a cookie option on your browser.

        Sometimes it is the wordfence

  10. BobInAkl 10

    Does anyone know of or a list of GP’s and oncologist’s that are supportive and helpful in working through the process? I have a friend who has terminal cancer that I think would benefit from cannabis in some form but don’t know where to start. Their current doctors and specialists are great and doing a good job but don’t know much about it and I don’t think my friend has time for them to get upto speed.

    • Cinny 10.1

      Hey Bob, so sorry to hear about your friend.

      Sadly cannabis is still illegal, and because of that many people will be scared of speaking out for fear of being imprisoned. How sad is that? How backwards is our country, it’s just horrid. Years of brainwashing and misinformation combined with fear (prosecution).

      May your friend find peace, may the law change and may people finally be educated.

      Sorry I can’t answer your question, but I did find this info, hope that helps.
      Patients and the Law

  11. Rae 11

    This is not a step forward, it is a step sideways, be careful to note that when praising the move

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