The Green Party welcomes the move by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne to declassify a non-psychoactive substance in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), for therapeutic purposes today.
“It’s fantastic to see the Government finally accepting expert advice that CBD should be exempted from the Misuse of Drugs Act. This is one component of the Member’s Bill I put forward last month,” said Green Party health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“The Greens are committed to comprehensive drug law reform, including medicinal cannabis being legal, affordable, and accessible.
“It’s good seeing policy change that will help some of the people who are currently suffering, but the high cost of importing these medicinal products continues to be a barrier.
“My Bill would ensure that sick people have affordable access. Why should people have to pay thousands of dollars a month for imported medicinal cannabis products, when the plant is very cheap to grow here?
“We are decades behind other countries on this. It’s time to ensure we can produce our own cannabis-based medicines here in Aotearoa.
“Evidence and experience overseas shows cannabis has very few side effects compared to other pharmaceutical pain relief and sleep aids, including lower risk of dependency and absolutely no risk of death from overdose.
“The best way to minimise the harms associated with drug use is to build a culture that treats drug abuse as a health issue, not a criminal one,” said Ms Genter.