New Zealand’s Push for Medical Marijuana: Better Late Than Never

On June 2nd, New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister, Peter Dunne, announced that doctors will now be allowed to prescribe CBD to patients in need. Less than one week later, the government of New Zealand stunned the world with its newly found speed by preparing to start the debate on a full medical marijuana program.

Julie Anne Genter is the Spokesperson for Health in the country’s Green Party and author of the new medical marijuana bill. Genter took the time to speak with about this historic journey that could end cannabis prohibition in her country.

First, congratulations on your efforts. Can you tell me why it has taken New Zealand so long to enact cannabis reform, even though Australia has reformed and created a robust medical marijuana sector?

Thanks! New Zealand almost had change on our cannabis laws back in the 2005 election, but unfortunately, the Government that formed was reliant upon a minor party who insisted that any change in cannabis laws was off the table. This was a real setback and has meant that thousands of people have been criminalized subsequently.

My own party was ridiculed and stereotyped as hippies for wanting to see our…

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