Health Minister David Clark said they have the support of the coalition – New Zealand First and the Greens – on this. (Photo \ NZ Herald)

A step forward for medicinal cannabis today.

The Government is to reveal the contents of the Bill it’s tabling at Parliament this afternoon, which is expected to include provisions to allow some terminally ill patients to legally use it.

Health Minister David Clark said they have the support of the coalition – New Zealand First and the Greens – on this.

“We wanted to make sure that medicinal cannabis is more accessible to people with terminal illnesses and chronic conditions, and the piece of legislation we will introduce will make progress.”

The bill is not expected to go as far as a Member’s Bill on the matter that’s already in front of the House, and would allow people with terminal illness to grow their own cannabis plants.

Chloe Swarbrick said she’s looking forward to seeing progression and debating hers as well.

“There are two different bills. I think the Government bill sets the minimum standards, and my one goes a little bit further.”

Swarbrick’s Bill, which she inherited after the original sponsor Julie Ann-Genter became a Minister, would allow people with terminal illness to grow their own cannabis plants, which isn’t expected to be a part of today’s announcement.

The Opposition have also made their view known.

Audio: Steven Joyce told Mike Hosking if the legislation acts as a backdoor to decriminalisation, the party will have to strongly consider its stance. National wants more details on the Government’s medicinal cannabis legislation before it decides whether to support it.

National said Labour’s talked big on medicinal marijuana law reform, and hopes they live up to it for campaigners’ sakes.

Health spokesman Jonathan Coleman said the anticipation amongst those who want reform is that they will be able to access loose leaf cannabis for medical conditions.

“I think anything short of that is going to be quite a back down for Labour so they’ve talked big on this, we haven’t seen the legislation yet, but when they make the promises they need to deliver on it.”

 

Source: Newstalk ZB

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