New Zealand - Government To Put Forward Medicinal Cannabis Bill

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Ron Strider

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One way or another New Zealand looks to be making a move on medicinal cannabis.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed the Government will introduce a Bill to Parliament on Tuesday around cannabis but is keeping quiet on its contents.

It's expected that the legislation would make it easier for people with a terminal illness or debilitating condition to access medicinal cannabis.

There's already a Bill before the House on medicinal cannabis.

A member's Bill introduced by Green MP Julie Anne Genter, and now in the name of her new colleague Chloe Swarbrick, would also make it easier for people to access medicinal cannabis with the support of a medical practitioner.

But it would also allow people with a terminal illness to grow their own cannabis for personal use.

Ms Ardern says having two Bills will give MPs options, but the Government's Bill guarantees an improvement on the status quo.

"Members will have other options in that regard but what we are producing is a Bill that we know has the support of the House to get through," she said.

There's no indication from the Green Party that Ms Swarbrick intends to withdraw her Bill, which Ms Ardern says has a number of differences to what the Government will put forward.

Greens leader James Shaw says it would be great to get support for both Bills.

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