'Put up or shut-up': Simon Bridges talks tough to Govt over cannabis Bill

National Party leader Simon Bridges has stern words for Labour to explain why National withdrew their support for the Government's medicinal cannabis Bill and drafted its own.

"We've done the work the Government should have" by drafting a more comprehensive piece of legislation, he told Newshub Nation on Saturday morning.

"They never had a framework on which would could pin a regulatory regime. Put up or shut up. Show me a regime that we understand and we can work with."

National's Members Bill was introduced to the ballot on Tuesday on behalf of Whangarei MP Shane Reti, and provides more specificity around what cannabis products would be available and how they'd be dispensed.

Mr Bridges said his party wanted to work with the Government but grew frustrated by a lack of detail in their Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.

"You can't turn a Bill that's a dog into a pony."

The National leader couldn't provide an exact date for when the decision was made to pull support for the Government's Bill, but says it was "in the last couple of months".

Labour has called National's move a "political stunt", with Labour MP Michael Wood saying that the Opposition's Bill will just end up languishing in the Member's Ballot.

"The thing that National's put forward might have some merit, but it is just an idea. It's sitting in the member's ballot, it could be there for a couple of years."

Mr Bridges says he is confident that the new Bill will be adopted "in some form or another".

"I hope the Government seriously and honesty engage with it. I don't care about the credit, I think they should take the parts that work... and go with it."

Watch the video for the full interview.

Newshub Nation.

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