The first vote on Green MP Chloe Swarbrick’s medicinal cannabis bill is on Wed, Jan 31st. It’s going to be a conscience vote, meaning MPs can vote on their personal conscience, rather than along party lines.
Why it’s important:
Medicinal cannabis has proven benefits for numerous health conditions. Even if you don’t need it yourself, you’re likely to know someone who will need it one day.
This bill is the strongest medicinal cannabis legislation before Parliament. It represents real reform. It would allow patients to use cannabis and cannabis products, and grow their own or have someone else grow it for them.
The Labour-led Government recently proposed their own medicinal cannabis legislation. But that only offers legal protection to terminally ill people at first, and it’s not clear yet whether it would actually create an affordable or accessible cannabis industry in New Zealand. We need to do better! We need Swarbrick’s bill to pass.
What we all need to do:
Contact your MP – either your local MP, or any MPs who you feel represent you. We need MPs across party lines to support this bill. Remember, 80% of Kiwis are ready for legal medicinal cannabis – but many of our MPs are timid; they need to be reminded that the public wants this bill to pass.
Explain your concerns, and why this particular bill matters. Here is a sample letter that you can send, below. (Feel free to put it in your own words instead, of course!)
MP contact details:
I am writing to you about Chloe Swarbrick’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which is coming up for its first vote this week.
The majority of New Zealanders want medicinal cannabis legislation that allows safe legal and affordable access for patients.
Swarbrick’s bill follows the model of successful medicinal cannabis laws already working overseas, such as those in the US and Canada.
The Government’s own proposed cannabis legislation would still leave most current medicinal users at risk of prosecution.
Please vote for Chloe Swarbrick’s bill to progress to Select Committee, so that New Zealanders can make submissions on this important human rights issue.