November 28, 2018
Bureaucrats to fore as dope rules set
Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand says the Government needs to avoid rules for cannabis being set by unelected bureacrats.
Coordinator Shane Le Brun met yesterday with National MP Shane Reti and the Greens' Chloe Swarbrick, who have been prominent in the debate in parliament.
He says now the National Party has done its point scoring with Dr Reti's private members bill, there is the opportunity to get cross party dialogue around regulations.
Under the Government bill now before parliament, the power is concentrated in the hands of Health Minister David Clark and officials in Ministry of Health, and there is as yet no indication to how the system will work.
In the meantime, there has been no work done to improve the existing rules, which require a specialist to prescribe medical cannabis.
"Getting specialists to sign off is a very hard thing, especially for chronic pain. People have to go doctor shopping and travelling around the country and Skype calls up and down the country to get that to happen. So if they had a review, there is nothing in the law or the regulations that said a GP can't prescribe THC. It's all up to the ministry and the little criteria that they invented," Mr Le Brun says.
He says at the pace the Health Ministry is moving, the referendum on recreational use of cannabis could happen before the medical cannabis situation is resolved.
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