MEDIA RELEASE: Medicinal Marijuana Regime Should Be Cautious But Compassionate

Media Release 10 March 2021
Family First NZ is welcoming National MP Dr Shane Reti’s medicinal marijuana bill, due for its 1st Reading today, saying that the balance between caution and compassion appears to be right.

“We support a cautious and researched approach around this issue, and we also support a compassionate response to those in real need. This latest attempt ticks the boxes in terms of dealing with the concerns we raised in our earlier submission,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Ultimately, the medical profession should be dictating the direction of this debate, not politicians, anecdotal-wielding business lobby groups, or marijuana advocates with a hidden agenda of recreational use.”

“There should be legitimate and responsible scientific research on the potential benefits and risks of medicinal cannabinoids. Neurologists, palliative care and pain specialists should have a key role in this process.”

“We need to say no to ‘medicinal marijuana’, and yes to ‘medicinal cannabinoids’ products.”

As the NZMA said in 2017, “given the possible harms associated with smoking cannabis and the availability of other modes of administration, it is difficult to justify a place for smoked cannabis as a medicine.”

Family First is supporting the rapid expansion of further quality research into the components of the marijuana plant for delivery via non-smoked forms, and the establishment of a programme that allows seriously ill patients to obtain other non-smoked components of marijuana approved and listed by the Ministry of Health via their doctor – with appropriate funding and pricing for patients. Neurologists, palliative care and pain specialists should have a key role in this process.

READ Family First Submission to the Government’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill 2018 Bill

Briefing Paper previously sent to all MPs

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