Medical Marijuana Arrests Moratorium – New Zealand

Posted on 05/08/2011


A moratorium on arrests for medical cannabis – as recommended this week by the Law Commission – should be top priority for Government said Auckland Greencross today.

“The Commission’s report recommends that clinical trials for medical cannabis be given the green light here and that patients should be left alone by the law,” said Stephen McIntyre, spokesman for the medical cannabis users’ support group.

He said Auckland Greencross backed both recommendations and that there were many patients ready and willing to be part of such trials.

“Our clients have already been given their doctor’s support to use cannabis medicinally and many of them are ready to sign up right now to demonstrate how safe and effective it is for them.”

Mr McIntyre said that the current law was continuing to make it very difficult – and at times impossible – for patients to begin discussing the option of using medical cannabis with their GP or specialist.

“These are people that are unwell and feeling marginalised and they are frightened by the thought of discussing something that could see them arrested and taken to court.”

“On the other hand, we know that even when doctors here are aware of cannabis being used medicinally, many still don’t feel informed enough about which conditions can be treated, what the appropriate dosages are, and what the potential risks might be, to be able to confidently support their patients.”

“That’s why trials are going to be so important, and why a moratorium right now on arrests will allow both parties on start talking honestly and openly; as it should be between doctor and patient.”

With regards to medical cannabis, Mr McIntyre said the Law Commission had made sound, sensible and compassionate recommendations that recent polling shows two out of three Kiwis agree with.

“The message being sent to Government here is clear: stop criminalising and stigmatizing the use of medical cannabis.”

“For our patients and for the hundreds of thousands of sick, disabled and dying New Zealanders who choose cannabis as a medicine, this is a real priority.”

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