Medicinal Marijuana Regime: Cautious But Compassionate

Media Release 6 May 2021
“Family First NZ supports a cautious and researched approach around medicinal marijuana, but also supports a compassionate response to those in real need. That’s why we supported Dr Shane Reti’s medicinal cannabis private members bill – a bill which was met with deafening silence by cannabis advocates during the lead-up to the referendum, and voted down by Chloe Swarbrick and the Greens,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Green fairies should have regulation around distribution, safety and efficacy, just as we regulate chemists when they administer drugs.”

“Ultimately, the medical profession should be dictating the direction of this debate, not politicians, anecdotal-wielding business lobby groups, or marijuana advocates with a hidden agenda of recreational use.”

“There should be legitimate and responsible scientific research on the potential benefits and risks of medicinal cannabinoids. Neurologists, palliative care and pain specialists should have a key role in this process.”

“We need to say no to ‘medicinal marijuana’, and yes to ‘medicinal cannabinoids’ products.”

As the NZMA said in 2017, “given the possible harms associated with smoking cannabis and the availability of other modes of administration, it is difficult to justify a place for smoked cannabis as a medicine.”

Family First is supporting the rapid expansion of further quality research into the components of the marijuana plant for delivery via non-smoked forms, and the establishment of a programme that allows seriously ill patients to obtain other non-smoked components of marijuana approved and listed by the Ministry of Health via their doctor – with appropriate funding and pricing for patients. Neurologists, palliative care and pain specialists should have a key role in this process.