No Right Turn blogs:
Today is a Member’s Day, and the big debate today is likely to be on Metiria Turei’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill. The goal of the bill is to allow people with severe medical conditions to use cannabis for pain and nausea relief – something which ought to be a straight medical question of whether it is safe and effective. But the bill muddies the waters by letting those sick people get a license to grow their own or buy it from a designated agent – something which significantly reduces the cost, but which is bound to inflame the anti-drug wingnuts.
The Health Committee recently considered this issue in response to a petition from NORML [PDF]. Despite being told by the Ministry of Health that cannabis was a safe and effective medicine for some conditions with fewer and less dangerous side-effects than medicines currently in use, the furtherest it would go was recommending that one (prohibitively expensive) cannabis-based medicine be made easier to prescribe. Based on that, I think there’s no enthusiasm to pass this bill in this Parliament. Which means that people who find cannabis effective in treating their ailments will just have to keep breaking the law.
I might be pleasantly surprised, but I suspect No Right Turn is correct – that this very sensible Bill will be voted down, despite the evidence showing that cannabis is an extremely effective analgesic in these circumstances and has far less adverse side effects and is far cheaper (free if you grow it yourself) than alternatives.
Why can’t the other parties emulate the Greens by basing their policies on evidence, rather than pandering to often bigoted and uninformed public opinion?