Shut up Peter Dunne, you had your chance, you bottled it

via TVNZ

Peter Dunne should shut up, he had his chance on cannabis law reform, instead he put in place a regime that probably directly led to people dying.

The former minister responsible for drug law reform is calling the Government’s bill on medicinal cannabis “half baked” and “a pretty sad gimmick” that fails to give sick people immediate access to good products.

The Government introduced the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill at the end of last year, which would develop a regime to ensure quality for domestic and imported products.

But it is expected to be two years before products are made and sold in New Zealand, so the bill includes a provision to decriminalise the use of cannabis for patients with a terminal illness, defined as having less than 12 months to live.

Peter Dunne, who used to be associate health minister, said the bill was underwhelming and the product of a naive 100-day pledge.

“They thought in Opposition, ‘How difficult is it to solve this problem? We’ll get in and sort it out in 100 days.’

“It’s a pretty sad gimmick. It doesn’t really change anything. It doesn’t improve immediate access to people and it doesn’t do anything about the cost of medication.

“They allowed an impression to be created, whether they intended to or not, that they could solve the problem with the wave of a wand. A lot of people who were suffering believed that, and they feel pretty let down.”

It is better than any bill Dunne put up while he was a minister…oh that’s right he did no such thing. He folded under the tiniest bit of pressure.

He said the bill was “half-baked”, adding that it would have been more honest to say that the work simply needed longer than the 100-day timeline.

“When they actually got to grips with the subject and found that wasn’t really possible (to fix in 100 days). So they said, ‘What can we do? I know. We will put in this stuff about compassionate use.’ People are not being prosecuted for compassionate use now.”

Defining who decriminalisation applied to was “fraught with difficulty”.

“When do you begin your last year of life? Becoming too specific in definitions may create more barriers rather than loosen some of them that are there at the moment.”

It is easy to fix, just legalise it, and match the laws to those in other jurisdictions. It isn’t that hard, but obviously was beyond the feeble mind of Peter Dunne when he was the minister and could actually effect change.

Now he just looks like an attention seeking fop.

He would do well to shut his gob, lest people start asking impertinent questions about his home life.

I’ve always said never trust a man in a bowtie, unless he is in a dinner suit or tails. Now his wife knows why too.


-NZ Herald