'Absolutely yes': Jacinda Ardern succinct and stubborn on medicinal cannabis use

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has very firmly locked in her position on medicinal use of cannabis, a succinct answer in a debate strongly paralleled by National leader Bill English.

In the TVNZ leaders debate, both were asked to answer in 30 seconds whether they would legalise cannabis for medicinal use, for pain relief or extending life.

"I don't need 30 seconds, Mike, the answer is absolutely yes," Ms Ardern said to host Mike Hosking.

The attention quickly turned to Mr English, who wasn't quite as quick on the draw with his answer.

"We think to make cannaboid- cannabinoid, ah, p-products more widely available, they still need to go through a proper clinical process so we can guarantee the safety of the product for people, so ah, that's been liberalised a bit in the last couple of years," he said.

"We're willing to take that further, but we think that the drug should have to meet the same tests as any other drug, or we'd be putting patients at risk."

In June, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced restrictions on cannabidiol (CBD) would be removed, allowing Kiwi doctors to prescribe the medicines without needing approval from the Ministry of Health.

The medicines still have to be imported overseas, which Labour wants to change.

Instead, it wants medicinal cannabis to be able to be grown in New Zealand.