The end of year information dump by the Labour-led Government includes Ministry of Health officials discussing a Green Party SOP allowing individuals with previous drug convictions to manufacture cannabis, National’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
“The intentions of the Greens to liberalise cannabis under the cover of medical need is a further indictment on the Government’s agenda to be soft on drugs.
“We strongly believe that medicinal cannabis manufacturers and employees need to be ‘fit-and-proper-persons’ and National’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill was very clear on the details around this, something that is absent from the Government’s Bill.
“The Greens have listened to one version of the pleadings from East Coast based Hikurangi Cannabis and ignored the rest of the industry who were completely behind the fit-and-proper-persons requirements in my Bill.
“The industry was adamant that it understood the need to be absolutely squeaky clean in this new industry and they were up for that.
“Members of the industry have also said that there are many suitably-qualified and experienced people to support the sector. This makes it is hard to see why the Government is pushing to have people with serious drug convictions in the industry.
“National’s Bill used the clean slate legislation requiring no terms of imprisonment and no convictions for seven years for employees and even tougher standards for license holders including no associations with gangs. We stand behind these requirements as essential and reasonable.
“The Green Party’s intentions are clear and we now need to be vigilant as officials create unknown regulations for medicinal cannabis.
“The National Party will maintain high vigilance and accountability to ensure that people with serious drug convictions are not allowed to participate in the sensitive medicinal cannabis industry.”