Northland GP calls for binning the cannabis referendum, decriminalising the drug instead

Stuff co.nz 6 September 2020
Family First Comment: “The worst things that we see are probably related to the psychological harms … the effect that has on personality, the effect that has on anxiety, on mood, on the triggers for psychosis… She said it was contradictory to propose the legalisation of cannabis alongside a campaign to reduce smoking in New Zealand. “We’ve lost the argument with alcohol and cigarettes already and this is an opportunity to not lose this one.” As a medical professional, it was frustrating to see people confuse the referendum on recreational cannabis with medicinal cannabis, which is already legal. There was a legitimate pathway for people who needed medicinal cannabis. – Dr Kate Baddock, New Zealand Medical Association chairwoman.

A Northland GP has called for the proposed cannabis bill to be “thrown out”, and for the drug to be decriminalised rather than legalised.

Dr Kate Baddock, who is also the New Zealand Medical Association chairwoman, says she has been observing the harmful effects of cannabis on her patients for 30 years.

“The worst things that we see are probably related to the psychological harms … the effect that has on personality, the effect that has on anxiety, on mood, on the triggers for psychosis.

“We see it often enough now while cannabis is illegal that we would expect to see a lot more of it, if it were to be made legal.”

Last week the Sunday Star-Times spoke to people in favour of legalising the cannabis referendum, and this week those opposed had their say.

Baddock said there was no legal barrier to treating patients suffering from cannabis addiction, but if they went before the courts they often missed out on receiving the health treatment they needed.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cannabis-referendum/122667284/northland-gp-calls-for-binning-the-cannabis-referendum-decriminalising-the-drug-instead

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