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Green Party backs medicinal cannabis

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/12/2016

Co-leaders of the Green Party, James Shaw and Metiria Turei © Getty Co-leaders of the Green Party, James Shaw and Metiria Turei The Green Party will support legalising medicinal cannabis if they form government next year.

Health spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter says New Zealand's current laws are harmful and out of date and should be replaced with recommendations made by the Law Commission.

The shift in policy would see medicinal cannabis regulated.

"There has been a shift in public attitudes on medical marijuana and the legalisation of cannabis, with growing support for a harm-minimisation approach," Ms Genter said.

"Doctors should be able to prescribe medical marijuana if that is the best medicine for chronically or terminally ill people."

Ms Genter said unless lawful medicinal cannabis became reasonably accessible people would continue to turn to the unregulated black market.

The party is also calling for adults to no longer be penalised for growing or using small amounts of the drug, saying making criminals out of users does more harm than the drug's effects.

Their first step would be to implement the 144 recommendations put forward by the Law Commission in 2011.

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