Green MP's marijuana Bill 'unworkable' - Peter Dunne
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says the public isn't ready for grow-your-own medicinal marijuana.
Green MP Julie Anne Genter's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot on Thursday.
"At the moment people who are chronically ill or terminally ill who are using cannabis to relieve their pain or nausea, or for sleep, are currently operating outside of the law," she told Newshub.
"My Bill would say that you're allowed to cultivate, possess and use cannabis if you have the support of a registered medical practitioner."
It follows Mr Dunne's loosening of the laws around medicinal products derived from cannabis that don't contain the psychoactive compound THC - that is, they don't get you high.
Doctors will soon be able to prescribe them without seeking approval from the Ministry of Health.
Mr Dunne told The Nation on Saturday he's in talks with Ms Genter about her Bill.
"I think that the Bill in one sense is unworkable. I think in another sense it changes the whole ballgame," he told host Lisa Owen.
"What she's saying is she's effectively going to decriminalise cannabis across the board. That's not the position of a number of other political parties. I don't think it's where the public is at."
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, Mr Dunne said he doesn't think it's a ploy to normalise marijuana consumption, with a view to legalising recreational use.
"I don't get the sense from her that that's necessarily even where she's heading."
Though the Greens do support full legalisation, Ms Genter told Newshub her Bill is not intended as a step down that path.
"This Bill is genuinely to get progress in the law so sick and dying people in New Zealand are not made to be criminals."