Duncan Garner: Kiwis being let down by conservative stance on medicinal cannabis

OPINION: For so long, as the world moved to officially embrace medicinal cannabis, our conservative, do nothing, save my seat, don't frighten anyone politicians did basically nothing.

They heard the word "cannabis" and froze. And, in that time, people died painful deaths or lived painful lives.

The Aussies, the Yanks, the Europeans, were all at the knees-up - pain-free and relaxed while we in New Zealand faced the police, and a hell of a time getting access to what was then "illegal".

We had no idea what products were around, we were a backwater when others had front row seats on the beach with the best medicinal cannabis their Government's could prescribe.

Fast forward to today and Cannasouth, a New Zealand medicinal cannabis company that will list on the New Zealand sharemarket.

They're ready to go, their products are ready to go, but our politicians still let them down.

We don't yet have a framework, a regulatory body or an industry and yet, the law says it's all okay now.

We really have let Kiwis down in this area. Remember Rose Renton? Fighting for her late son to get access to medicinal cannabis before he died.

Or even Helen Kelly who had to take medicinal cannabis in the shadows so she didn't risk a police visit.

Good on those guys. Our grey, risk-averse politicians got this wrong.

Medicinal cannabis should be normalised, alongside all the other options - but hey, what did you expect? Bravery and courage? Sorry, you were mistaken.

Poor cancer drugs, poor medicinal cannabis lawmaking.

Our health system is not world class - she's a battler at best.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.