Don’t Use Our Pain as a Political Football: Medical Cannabis Patients Plan Rally
PRESS RELEASE – 2 August 2018
Medicinal cannabis patients are tired of politicians playing games while they suffer and remain at risk of prosecution.
Medicinal cannabis users and allies are today announcing an art installation and rally in Aotea Square this coming
Saturday at 2pm, demanding a moratorium on arrests of medicinal cannabis patients while they wait for politicians to
work together on a medicinal cannabis legislation.
Patients have been appalled this week as the National Party have eschewed working co-operatively on the Health Select
Committee to develop a fair and affordable Medicinal Cannabis Bill – instead choosing to point-score by releasing their
own Bill. While their members Bill has some good points – the way they have chosen to work risks delays to patients
accessing safe and affordable medicine.
"Every day that goes by is another day of suffering and criminalisation for many thousands of patients in New Zealand,"
said Pearl Schomburg, convener of Auckland Patients' Group, a group of patients, caregivers and medical cannabis
advocates based in Auckland.
“We demand an immediate moratorium on prosecuting patients and supporters until the political fiasco around the
Medicinal Cannabis Bill is resolved and all parties work together for humane and affordable access to medicinal
“It’s ridiculous to claim the police are showing discretion to medicinal cannabis patients,” said medicinal cannabis
user Rebecca Reider, who was prosecuted in 2016. “Patients and caregivers are still regularly being dragged through the
courts. The whole process of being raided and prosecuted can be really traumatic, especially for sick people”.
People are encouraged to bring a decorated pot representing a medicinal cannabis patient to include in the art
installation. The rally will include topical balm demonstrations, acoustic music and inspirational speakers on medicinal
The Medical Cannabis Art Installation and Rally is Saturday 4th August at 2pm, Queen Street opposite Aotea Square.