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Green Party's medicinal cannabis Bill voted down in Parliament

The Green Party's medicinal cannabis Bill that was introduced by Chloe Swarbrick into Parliament today has not passed its first reading, suffering a substantial loss in the voting tonight.

The vote wasn't a close one with only 47 MPs voting for the Bill and 73 against.

Earlier today Ms Swarbrick gave an impassioned speech in support of her Bill, referencing personal stories of those suffering from illnesses that find relief from medicinal cannabis and also calling for cross party support.

She said the government has a "moral obligation" to New Zealanders to pass the Bill and help end people's suffering.

National MP and former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman spoke directly after Ms Swarbrick and was strongly opposed to the Bill, calling it "decriminalisation by stealth".

A watered down medicinal cannabis Bill was introduced by Labour yesterday. The Bill passed its vote and will head to a select committee.