Is pride keeping Peter Dunne from doing the decent thing? Or is it something more sinister?

I’ve covered the issue of legal highs versus natural marijuana many times. ?And I’ve also shown how medical marijuana isn’t just some sneaky back door for people to justify the use of what continues to be an illegal drug, but it is at times the only substance to bring relief to very painful or distressed lives.

Yet our champion of the legal high, Peter Dunne, keeps wanting nothing to do with the idea.

Debate over medical cannabis has been hijacked by “nuisance” campaigners who are making it harder for people with serious diseases, says Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.

The Government has come under renewed pressure to conduct trials on medicinal cannabis products, while New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said last week he was in support of NSW becoming the first Australian state to legalise medicinal cannabis for terminally ill patients.

Dunne believed there was only a small number of cases where people were “genuinely ill” and that many who lobbied him on the subject were secretly hoping to legalise weed for recreational use.

“There are a lot of people leaping on the bandwagon because they see it as a way of achieving another objective, which has nothing to do with medical cannabis,” he said. “They’re a nuisance. Sadly what they’re doing is muddying the waters for those who may have a genuine case.”

The comments have drawn criticism from parents of children with rare diseases who say Dunne has deflected responsibility on the issue.

You have to wonder where his head is at. ? When you look someone in the eye that is in excruciating pain every hour of their lives, and tell them that they?can’t have low medical quantities of THC as pain relief, because it will open the door for others to abuse it, what sort of objectives do you have as a minister?

Is all just about money and law an order? ?

New Zealand Drug Foundation director Ross Bell said people wanting to access non-psychoactive cannabinoids were not plotting to smoke marijuana.

Dunne’s “reflecting a common fear that politicians have that somehow medical cannabis might be a back door to allowing recreational use – but it’s a fear that doesn’t have a basis in reality.”

Bell said those leading the call for medical cannabis weren’t “stereotypical law-reform, smoking on the steps of Parliament kinds of guys. They’re patient groups, cancer sufferers, people suffering from MS and most recently kids with seizures.”

Jessika Guest, who moved from Northland to America in order to get cannabis oil for her six-year-old epileptic daughter, said claims of a hidden agenda were “ridiculous”. “That argument is so far beyond what the truth really is, I find it totally ridiculous and ignorant to what’s really happening.

“Why would so many people be breaking the law to give cannabis to their children and why would they be so public about it?”

Guest and her children Jade, 6, and Ethan, 8, last week left behind husband Brendan to relocate to Colorado – where cannabis oil is legal. Without a law change in New Zealand the family would not return to their home in Whangarei.

Medicinal marijuana support group Green Cross director Billy McKee said the Government’s inaction on medical cannabis reform was “like torturing people”.

“That’s the most frustrating thing for us – we’ve got the medicine within reach. [Dunne] can sign a piece of paper for one poor dying kid to use CBD cannabis oil but he won’t do that.”

Nope. ?He won’t.

He should reflect on the fact that right now he’s left a legacy of the legal high fiasco. ?I don’t doubt it was done for all the right reasons, but at the same time, it had a very predictable outcome. ?After all, the results were easily observable overseas.

What is wrong with doctor prescribed, pharmacy dispensed, THC based medicine?

What’s wrong with Peter ?Dunne?


– Sunday Star Times