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
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."