To: All MPs, NZ Parliament

Legalise the use of medicinal cannabis

Legalise the use of medicinal cannabis

Support the Proposed ‘Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill’ (2017)

This Bill will make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

The proposed Member's Bill says:

“The purpose of this Bill is to make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.”

This will mean a person living with a qualifying health conditions will have the right to "cultivate, possess or use the cannabis plant" or cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, as long as the person is supported by a registered medical practitioner.

Qualifying health conditions include any terminal illness, any severe chronic disorder of the immune or nervous system, and chronic pain.

Why is this important?

In June 2017 the ActionStation community won a campaign to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

The changes are welcome but do not make a big difference for people in need. There is a lack of CBD only products on the international market and none being approved in New Zealand – meaning no greater access to products in the short term, and no real difference to the current situation.

Let’s now get behind the proposed Bill. The medical use of cannabis should be legal, accessible and affordable.

Many thousands of Kiwis, often older people, are using cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and in doing so are breaking the law as it now stands.

Support the legalising of medicinal use of cannabis, and show MPs that we want common sense approaches to an issue that is about our health, not law and order.

UPDATE - 2 June 2017
WIN! Today Associate Minister for Health, Peter Dunne, has just announced that the Government will allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Thanks to you and the over 6000 people who signed the petition calling for this change!
Associate Health minister Peter Dunne on Friday announced the medicinal cannabis product cannabidiol (CBD) would no longer require a person to get Ministry of Health approval to use it.
The changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine.

Mr Dunne said it was a move towards legalising medicinal cannabis, but wouldn't "immediately bring about a revolution".

"I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change.

"Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly."

Common sense has prevailed with overwhelming public support. This will make a huge difference to people dealing with severe chronic pain and improving their quality of life.

You can email the Associate Minister to congratulate him on his decision at p.dunne@minister.govt.nz

News coverage:
Kiwis will now be able to get medicinal cannabis from their doctor, Government announces
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/93268869/restrictions-on-medicinal-cannabis-product-to-be-removed-government-announces

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Medicinal cannabis is used by an estimated 178,000 New Zealanders to treat a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson's, appetite loss and nausea. It is currently possible to get legal access to cannabis drugs for medical purposes, however it is a expensive and prohibitive process.

Stories

“I hadn’t thought much about medicinal marijuana until Helen Kelly campaigned for better access last year. It’s not something you really have to think about, until you or someone you love is sick and in pain, and could be helped by a cannabis-based treatment. That is now the case for me. So, no more sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to make sure people whose health and well-being depend on access to medicinal marijuana treatments can get them from their doctor, safely and without risk of criminal charges.”
Marianne Elliott, Director of Strategy and Story, ActionStation

Jessika Guest moved from Whangarei to Colorado so that her daughter Jade, 7, could use medical marijuana. Jade's diagnoses include hypotonia (a state of low muscle tone) and epilepsy, which used to cause up to 40 seizures a day.
In Colorado, she has been on skin patches containing cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid - a non-activated THC which means the cannabis does not have high-inducing properties.
Mrs Guest said her daughter's seizures have since decreased in frequency by 90 per cent.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415156

[Alex Renton’s] treatment included groundbreaking use of medicinal cannabis oil, Elixinol, after a campaign by mother Rose and family after conventional treatments did not work.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/70155247/cannabis-treatment-teen-alex-renton-sparked-national-debate

McKee had his leg amputated 30 years ago after a car accident and smokes cannabis to relieve phantom pains. Last year, he fought charges of selling and cultivating cannabis all the way to the Supreme Court but lost and is now serving a six months' home detention sentence.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9655674/Cannabis-spray-priced-out-of-reach-say-patients

More information

Changes to medical cannabis legislation
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=171181

Why isn’t medical marijuana a shoe-in? (Toby Manhire & Toby Morris) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/297299/why-isn't-medical-marijuana-a-shoe-in

Support for cannabis reform: why so high?
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/311073/support-for-cannabis-reform-why-so-high

Nelson lawyer Sue Grey takes government to High Court over cannabidiol
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/88612808/nelson-lawyer-sue-grey-takes-government-to-high-court-over-cannabidiol

Helen Kelly backs medical marijuana
http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/helen-kelly-backs-medicinal-marijuana-2015060910

New Zealand urged to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/77453718/New-Zealand-urged-to-grow-cannabis-for-medicinal-purposes

Medicinal cannabis
https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/cannabis/medicinal-cannabis
https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/august-2015/QandA-Toni-Maree-Matich

How it will be delivered

Delivered to Parliament.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • This plant had originally bought to New Zealand by French nun Suzanne Aubert for medicinal purposes. She grew its growth on the Wanganui River to add to the natural medicinal rongoa(medicine) to help our Maori people with their healing for unwellness and sicknesses. That was the true intent for that plant, for healing only.
  • I have Chronic Pain which make living a remotely normal life extremely difficult. Working full time, or driving for more than a max of 1hr/day, is EXTREMELY painful for me. As there is evidence that medical cannabis can be useful for Chronic Pain I would very much like the opportunity to be able to legally try this medication and see if it can help with my Chronic Pain... Maybe then I would be able to be able to work full time like a 'normal' person (and therefore also pay more taxes).
  • because there are people suffering. which is unnecessary, and illegal

Updates

2017-06-06 12:24:42 +1200
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Petition is successful with 6,231 signatures

2017-06-02 10:50:13 +1200
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Petition is successful with 6,226 signatures

2017-02-03 08:50:54 +1300

5,000 signatures reached

2017-01-26 19:13:39 +1300

1,000 signatures reached

2017-01-26 12:46:07 +1300

500 signatures reached

2017-01-25 20:46:13 +1300

100 signatures reached

2017-01-25 19:10:06 +1300

50 signatures reached

2017-01-25 18:36:36 +1300

25 signatures reached

2017-01-25 18:16:39 +1300

10 signatures reached