'It's random, it's haphazard, it's free-for-all' – Peters fiercely against Chloe Swarbrick's medicinal cannabis bill

Source: 1News

Medicinal cannabis is set to be a burning issue this week, as two Bills of varying degrees go to the House to make access easier for patients with terminal illnesses.

The first Bill to be voted on today was introduced on December 20 by Health Minister Dr David Clark, but politicians will vote today to send it through to Select Committee for further development. 

The PM said this has support across the three parties of government. 

MPs will vote as a party on the legislation, and there will not be a referendum on the new bill, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

National met today to discuss their position on the bill. 

However Green MP Chloe Swarbrick's Bill is to be introduced tomorrow as a conscience vote which allows MPs to vote how they wish.

But Deputy PM Winston Peters spoke strongly against the Greens' Bill and said he wouldn't be supporting it. 

"It goes far too far. There is no restriction at all, it's random, it's haphazard, it's free-for-all now."

Ms Ardern had said there had been party support from NZ First for the government's tighter medicinal cannabis Bill. 

As well as opening up access for patients with any terminal illness, severe chronic disorder of the immune or nervous system and chronic back pain, Ms Swarbrick's Bill would allow them to grow their own supply. 

This Bill will "go a step further" from the government's bill, Ms Ardern said to reporters today. 

"I made it really clear [the government's bill] was a vast improvement of where we are now in terms of people's access to medicinal cannabis."

"There are some that would have liked to go further, Chloe Swarbrick's Bill is an opportunity for those people with that view to have that debate."

"We want to test whether there is an appetite in parliament to do that."

Ms Ardern said she would be supporting Ms Swarbrick's Bill to Select Committee.