A political party in New Zealand has guaranteed patients access to medical marijuana if elected to office in November.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) said it will disband Medsafe if elected to ensure that cannabis and other natural medicines are freely available to patients who need them, reports Scoop.
According to the group, Medsafe in 2007 began a “modern day witch hunt” against the natural health industry in New Zealand, prosecuting merchants and seizing stock from producers of natural remedies who say their products have therapeutic benefits.
The action followed decades of persecution of medical cannabis users in New Zealand. According to the ALCP, cannabis is “an extremely effective and safe medicine.”
Anna (not her real name), an Auckland resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said she thought medicinal cannabis was “a crock” when someone recommended it to her.
“Well lo and behold it was no crock,” she said. “It turned my life around.”
“I had cannabis and I functioned, I could be an active part of the community and that is all I wanted,” Anna said. “I wanted my independence.”
Anna said she hated being treated like a criminal.
“Why the hell should we keep hiding what we do?” she asked. “I’m not hurting anybody but they are quite prepared to hurt me.”
“We should be looked after and not be made to feel that we are no better than a methamphetamine cook,” Anna said.
According to the ALCP, Medsafe have failed to distribute the pharmaceutical cannabis alternative Sativex to patients in need, as well as refusing to allow the industrial hemp industry to develop in New Zealand.