Greens medicinal cannabis Bill fails at first reading

Medicinal cannabis with extracted oil in a bottle
Photo credit: Getty

Chloe Swarbrick's medicinal cannabis Bill has been defeated at first reading, going down with 47 votes for and 73 votes against.

The Member's Bill was originally written by Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter but taken over by Ms Swarbrick.

The Green Party backed Bill would have gone further than the Government's current medicinal cannabis Bill, which passed its first reading on Tuesday

 It would have allowed anyone suffering a terminal or debilitating illness to use cannabis and had provisions for people to grow their own cannabis for medicinal uses.

Ms Swarbrick said she was "gutted" the Bill did not make it past the first reading.

"I'm gutted that cynical politics won tonight, not the voices of the vulnerable and the sick who are presently being criminalised because of archaic law demonstrably unfit for purpose," she wrote.

"With 78 percent of NZers in favour of the premise of our Bill and just 39 percent of MPs voting for it, this has demonstrated we're far from a House of Representatives."

Green MP Gareth Hughes also tweeted his disappointment about the vote, saying it was unfortunate it was defeated.

"Many speeches about the need to get it right, to have a debate yet Parliament voted against considering @NZGreens medicinal cannabis Bill," he wrote.

The Bill was a conscience vote. All Green MPs, most of Labour and ACT's David Seymour voted for the Bill. Every National and NZ First MP voted against it. 


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