New legal defence for weed possession

Terminally ill people who use illicit cannabis will have a defence to stop themselves being criminalised, under new government legislation. File photo.

Legislation being introduced by the government today will provide a legal defence for possession and use of illicit cannabis for those who are terminally ill.

It will also make medicinal cannabis more readily available to those suffering or dying in pain, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.

The legislation will deliver on the government’s 100 Day Plan commitment to make medicinal cannabis more available to people with terminal illnesses or chronic pain.

“Many New Zealanders will have watched a loved one struggling with a terminal illness.  Medicinal cannabis gives them another option to find relief and make the most of the time left to them,” says David.

“There is increasing evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis. Just last week, the World Health Organisation noted that cannabidiol could have therapeutic value and did not carry any addiction risks.”

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill being introduced today will:

  •   •  Introduce a medicinal cannabis scheme to enable access to quality products

  •   •  Introduce a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis

  •   •  Remove cannabidiol from the schedule of controlled drugs

“In time, this legislation will result in a greater supply of quality medicinal cannabis, including products made here in New Zealand.

“However, there will be people who can’t wait. So as an interim measure the legislation will create a legal defence for possession and use of illicit cannabis for people who are expected by their doctors to be in their last year of life. This does not make it legal for the terminally ill to use cannabis, but it means that they will not be criminalised for doing so.

“New Zealanders are a compassionate people. Medicinal cannabis products can help ease suffering and we should make it easier for people to get them.”


@ dumbkof2

Posted on 21-12-2017 18:52 | By GreertonCynic

You’re kidding, aren’t you? Have you actually seen the difference between heavy duty opioids (Kills people) and cannabis (no recorded overdose ever)? It’s actually easier to obtain synthetic heroine than pot.


Posted on 20-12-2017 18:09 | By Christine1965



Posted on 20-12-2017 16:28 | By waiknot

Absolute rubbish. The use of any drug for medicinal purposes is completely separate from recreational use. Think about other pain relief drugs, would you ban them because some idiots misuse them?

Yay for medicinal cannabis

Posted on 20-12-2017 15:50 | By Christine1965

Can’t believe how ignorant you people are. You’ve obviously never been unfortunate enough to watch a loved one suffer unnecessarily. There will be very strict guidelines in controlling this. Hope you never have to find out first hand the meaning of pain in your time left in this world. Walk a mile you ignorant lot.

Sure will....

Posted on 20-12-2017 14:18 | By Marshal

Heaven forbid, It could lead to widespread alcohol abuse.. And the proliferation of prescription drugs.. Oh no..


Posted on 20-12-2017 13:37 | By dumbkof2

wont be long before the druggies turn up claiming unbearable pain etc to get their drugs. will lead to more potent drugs use

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