19 Apr 2016

Govt urged to relax cannabis laws for terminally ill

8:21 pm on 19 April 2016

New Zealand should follow NSW and allow terminally ill people to use cannabis without the threat of being charged, the NZ Drug Foundation says.

Person rolling a joint

Cannabis (file) Photo: 123RF

NZ Drug Foundation principal policy advisor Andrew Zielinski said the government should consider adopting a scheme similar to that of New South Wales, where patients could access cannabis without fear of prosecution.

"People register as having a terminal disease ... than them or their caregiver won't be prosecuted by the New South Wales police for using whatever cannabis that they can source."

Mr Zielinski said the adverse effects of the drug were less of an issue with people who were terminally ill.

The guidelines for medical cannabis applications are already under review, and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has said the process needs to be fine-tuned.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs