Newshub are reporting that the NZMA no longer has a position on the current referendum on the legalisation of cannabis,
NZMA chairperson Dr Kate Baddock wrote a letter in NZ Doctor apologising to members who felt they hadn’t been given the chance to speak their minds.
Until Dr Baddock’s letter was published, the association opposed its legalisation.
It comes after at least one doctor quit her NZMA membership and others spoke out against the association’s stance on the cannabis referendum.
Dr Baddock said NZMA has opposed the legalisation of cannabis since 2012, saying it should be decriminalised and treated as a health issue.
Dr Baddock told RNZ last week NZMA “didn’t do anything” to further inform its position when the referendum was announced. She also admitted to not consulting members before previously choosing to oppose the legalisation of cannabis. New Zealanders will be asked in the election if they believe recreational use of cannabis should be legal.
TVNZ political reporter Benedict Collins on twitter,
So after staunchly opposing the legalisation of cannabis all year NZ Medical Association chair Kate Baddock has issued a statement and apology, in the middle of voting, saying actually the NZMA has “no position regarding the cannabis referendum”.
Followed by Green MP Chole Swarbrick’s response,
1.1 million New Zealanders have cast a vote. Already misleading “no” campaigns latched onto Dr Baddock’s misrepresentation of NZMA’s view with fervour – all year – and it spread far and wide. It’s far harder to undo a mistruth than tell it. This is just so disappointing.
If you haven’t voted yet, this quiz from the NZ Drug Foundation is a good explainer of what the various issues involved are and why to vote yes. Bullet points of the 8 key control measures of The Bill,
The Royal NZ College of General Practitioners has held a neutral stance, but provides more in depth explanations of the medical issues here.