Cannabis referendum: how legalisation could change access for medicinal cannabis patients

Stuff co.nz 4 August 2020
Family First Comment: A puff piece to persuade people that the referendum is about medicinal cannabis – which it’s not! But at least they quote us….
“Say Nope To Dope campaign spokesperson, Aaron Ironside, said medicinal cannabis campaigners’ “deafening silence” after the drawing out of the ballot of National MP Dr Shane Reti’s medicinal cannabis private members bill, which sought to improve access for patients, showed the “true agenda” of campaigners. “This is evidence that their campaign is fraudulent,” he said.”

Many medicinal cannabis patients say they’re “holding out all hope” for recreational cannabis to be legalised, so they have safer, more affordable options, and can stop turning to the illicit market.

In September, New Zealanders will vote on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which has been written to give Kiwis an idea of what the law for recreational cannabis might look like.

If the bill is passed and brought into law after the election, what would change for medicinal cannabis patients?

New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis regime officially took effect on April 1, 2020, but thousands of Kiwis are still relying on the illicit market, due to the limited and extremely high cost of accessing cannabis-based prescriptions.

For those who have gone down the legal route, their only option is to pay hundreds of dollars each month for a handful of approved but non-funded medicines.

Say Nope To Dope campaign spokesperson, Aaron Ironside​, said medicinal cannabis campaigners’ “deafening silence” after the drawing out of the ballot of National MP Dr Shane Reti’s medicinal cannabis private members bill, which sought to improve access for patients, showed the “true agenda” of campaigners.

“This is evidence that their campaign is fraudulent,” he said.

“If they supported this bill, it would undermine their ultimate goal of legalising cannabis for recreational use.”

He said it supported further quality research into the prescribed medicinal cannabis, for delivery via non-smoked forms, and had called for campaigners to “drop the facade” of helping patients.

“Their focus is purely on the right of people to use drugs for recreational reasons.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cannabis-referendum/122247529/cannabis-referendum-how-legalisation-could-change-access-for-medicinal-cannabis-patients

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