Thursday, February 01, 2018


Yesterday the House debated Chlöe Swarbrick's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill - and voted it down 73 - 47. I'm disappointed. While the government has made some positive moves on medicinal cannabis, its regime doesn't go far enough. In particular, it doesn't cover long-term chronic pain, and it doesn't cover the problem of supply. These are serious problems which are causing real suffering (and seeing people unjustly prosecuted), and they deserve a serious response from our elected representatives. Instead - pushed mostly by the old farts in National who identify medicinal cannabis as "drugs" rather than "medicine" - they've ignored it and left people to suffer (often while voicing pious platitudes about how the problem needed to be "debated" or "investigated", while voting against a select committee doing exactly that). What a pack of arseholes.

This issue isn't going to go away. Sick people are going to continue to suffer, and continue to take cannabis to ease their suffering. The only question is whether that suffering is compounded by prosecution. Personally, I would prefer a government which treated the sick with compassion rather than victimising them. But apparently that's too much to expect.

In the meantime, the governments bill did go to select committee. When they call for submissions, it might be worthwhile submitting asking for the regime to be expanded. And if you don't like how they voted last night, I suggest you email your MP and express your disapproval.