Grow-your-own medical marijuana Bill drawn from ballot
A Bill that would make it legal to grow your own medicinal marijuana will be debated in Parliament.
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," Ms Genter 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. This is very similar to the medicinal cannabis law in Canada, or what's been operating to some extent in California for the last decade."
Last week Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said cannabidiol - a cannabis product with no psychoactive properties - would soon come out of the Misuse of Drugs Act, allowing doctors to prescribe it without approval from the Ministry of Health.
This was also a part of Ms Genter's Member's Bill, but she says it's not enough.
"The medicinal products that contain cannabis that are available cost over $1000 a month. For most people, those pharmaceutical products are still completely out of reach."
They also need to be imported, unlike cannabis itself - which grows well in New Zealand.
"The reality is if we wait to go down a pharmaceutical track, it will be years and years and most people still won't be able to get the benefits because it's so expensive, and we're importing drugs from overseas rather than allowing people to do something which is actually quite easy and doesn't harm anyone," says Ms Genter.
She hopes to get cross-party support so the Bill can be looked at by a select committee.
"I definitely think it's time New Zealand catches up with the rest of the world," says Ms Genter.
Though the party supports full legalisation of marijuana, Ms Genter insists this 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."