Nats, Greens differ over legal cannabis suppliers
People with cannabis convictions should be able to supply legal medicinal cannabis and, if recreational use becomes legal, be offered a clean slate, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick says.
But the National Party says only “fit and proper persons” should manufacture legal cannabis.
Swarbrick’s comments follow an email exchange — released to the National Party under the Official Information Act — showing the Greens asked Ministry of Health officials to look at proposals for the medicinal cannabis legislation, including one that would “allow individuals with previous drug convictions to manufacture cannabis”.
The Greens’ proposal never came before the House, but that door has not closed.
Who should be eligible to supply medicinal cannabis will be a key aspect of the Government’s new regulatory framework, which will be in place by the end of the year.
National associate health spokesman, Shane Reti said medicinal cannabis makers and employees should be “fit and proper persons”. National has proposed clean-slate legislation requiring no jail terms and no convictions for seven years for employees, and even tougher standards for licence holders, including no associations with gangs.
“The Greens have listened to . . . East Coast-based Hikurangi Enterprises (which has a licence for medicinal cannabis) and ignored the rest of the industry, who were completely behind the fit-and-proper-persons requirements,” Reti said.
He called the Greens “soft on drugs” but Swarbrick, the Greens’ spokeswoman for drug law reform, dismissed that as “classic National Party hysteria”.