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New Zealand Minister's push for medical marijuana

Trials for medical marijuana should be encouraged despite "prejudice" from the medical profession, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says.

The debate over medical marijuana has sparked up after the Australian government announced a licensing scheme to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medical trial purposes this month.

And Mr Dunne says New Zealand was "highly likely" to follow suit if the trial products were approved.

He told TVNZ's Q + A programme it would be "very, very good" to get clinical trials in New Zealand.

"I do think there is a bit of prejudice there in the medical profession.

"At the moment we've got a lot of very general talk, we talk about medical cannabis - actually there's no such thing. There's medical cannabis products.


Do we need trials or not? The debate on medical cannabis

The potential reintroduction of medical cannabis in Australia is creating debate about the need for trials, which are set to start next year.  

The Victorian Government in partnership with the New South Wales and Queensland governments have committed to clinical trials for medical cannabis in 2016.

Australian medical experts say there is a need for more research into various aspects of medical cannabis in order to legalise a drug that is safe to use for patients.

In particular, medical experts believe it will not be possible to determine a safe dosage of cannabis for patients based on only one clinical trial.


NZ: Don't count on medicinal cannabis, says Dunne

New Zealand could piggyback on Australian research into the wider use of medicinal cannabis, but associate minister of health Peter Dunne is cautioning people against getting their hopes up.

The Australian government is hoping to pass legislation by the end of the year allowing cannabis to be grown for clinicial trials.

New Zealand already allows cannabis to be grown for research and scientific purposes, but Mr Dunne said no one had shown an interest.

He said he was keeping an eye on the Australian situation.

"No one has yet shown an interest in conducting clinical trials in New Zealand because they do not [consider] the market as big enough to make it worth their while. Australia's a different case," he said.


New Zealand Judge 'not blind' to medicinal cannabis debate

A judge has said he's "not blind to the debate" around medicinal cannabis in New Zealand during the sentencing of a man who used the drug to help him cope with Crohn's disease.

Peter John Crimp, 40, appeared in the Nelson District Court on Monday charged with possession of cannabis and a cannabis pipe.

The court heard that Crimp was driving on the Moutere Highway in the Redwood Valley about 7:50pm on September 19 when he was stopped by police.

While speaking to police, the officer noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle.

Police searched Crimp and his vehicle and found a small tin containing two grams of cannabis in his pocket and a small pipe.


Cannabis drink company 'trying to be risqué'

A New Zealand drug support agency says naming an energy drink Cannabis is irresponsible and trivialises drug use.

the South Island for a few weeks.

The company behind it, B100 Drinks, said it was completely legal.

"For Australia and New Zealand the product does not have hemp seed extract in it. It is not allowed in either country, so for the products here it is hemp free."

It does not contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects, the company said.

But concern has been raised over the drink's name.

Australian media have reported parents are outraged over the energy drink.


Cannabis hub plans for Christmas Island

AusCann has switched its focus from Norfolk to Christmas Island as it forges ahead with plans to grow and export medicinal cannabis crops.

An Australian company is now eyeing Christmas Island as a hub to grow and export medicinal cannabis.

AusCann is excited about federal government plans to allow the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes.

It wants to become the first Australian company involved in the commercial production of medicinal cannabis for export to Europe and elsewhere.

The company initially wanted to grow its crops on Norfolk Island.

But the end of self-governance in the offshore territory, among other frustrations, has seen the company switch its focus to Christmas Island.


Australia to Green-Light Medical Marijuana

Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes came a step closer to legislation in Australia, as ministers announced planned changes in legislature.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement Saturday that the parliament will debate a revision to the current law to provide for alternative treatment for those with debilitating illnesses, VICE News reports.

The announcement follows the move by the state of Victoria to create a legal framework around medical cannabis, and statewide sales are set to begin before 2017. Access will be given to children suffering severe epilepsy.


Cancer Council welcomes moves to legalise medicinal cannabis

The Cancer Council says legalising medicinal cannabis will be a huge relief for Hunter cancer patients.

The Federal Government has announced it will legalise the growing of the drug to help those suffering from debilitating illnesses.

The council's Hunter regional manager Shayne Connell said he hopes patients are delayed no further.

"It helps us to get around one of the big issues that we have had since about 1999 which is, 'how do we supply this in a way that's safe, is regulated and in the best interest of patients?" he said.

"So by doing that, and by alleviating some of that stress for local cancer patients, we are hopeful that this is another positive step in the right direction to have access to this treatment."


NZ: Peter Dunne dismisses 'emotional nonsense' in medicinal cannabis debate

The Government will not be swayed by "emotional nonsense" colouring calls for wider access to medicinal cannabis, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says.

The issue has hit the spotlight after outgoing Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly, who has terminal lung cancer, pleaded for the Government to improve access to medicinal cannabis.

Dunne told Radio NZ there was "a lot of very loose and uninformed talk" about current access to medical cannabis, which ignored the current procedures in place for those who wanted to use the drug for health reasons.


Australia Federal Government to legalise growing of medicinal cannabis; Labor calls for nationwide scheme

The Federal Government has announced it will legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

She said she had been moved by stories of people who got some relief from medicinal cannabis, sometimes legally imported but not always.Health Minister Sussan Ley said the Government wants to give people suffering from debilitating illnesses access to the most effective medical treatments.

"I have heard stories of patients who have resorted to illegal methods of obtaining cannabis and I have felt for them, because with a terminal condition, the most important thing is quality of life and relief of pain," she told AM.

"And we know that many people are calling out for medicinal cannabis.


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