Julie Anne Genter's medicinal cannabis bill, David Seymour's euthanasia bill to be debated in Parliament




Parliament is set to debate two big controversial issues - euthanasia and medicinal cannabis - in election year. 

medical marijuana concept

Medical cannabis.

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ACT leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill was drawn from the member's bill ballot today, along with Green MP Julie Anne Genter's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. 

The controversial issue of euthanasia is going to be debated in Parliament again.
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Both will go on Parliament's agenda for a first reading.

The End of Life Choice Bill gives people with a terminal illness or a "grievous and irremediable medical condition" the option of requesting assisted dying.

It defines those eligible and details a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure it is a free choice made without coercion.

It also outlines a stringent series of steps to ensure the person is mentally capable of understanding the nature and consequences of their decision.

MPs will have a conscience vote on the bill, and parties won't take positions on it.

"Fantastic news, long awaited," Mr Seymour tweeted.

Assisted dying has been debated twice before by Parliament, the first time was in 1995, when the Death With Dignity Bill was defeated 61-29 on its first reading.

The second time was in 2003, when another Death With Dignity Bill was defeated 60-58, also on its first reading.

Green MP Julie Anne Genter also Tweeted her excitement about her medicinal cannabis bill being pulled from the ballot this afternoon. 

The purpose of the medicinal cannabis bill is to make the drug legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or chronic illness to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

The bill aims to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act to give a person living with a terminal illness the right to "cultivate, possess or use the cannabis plant" and or "cannasbis products for therapeutic purposes" as long as the person is supported by a registered medical practitioner. 

Currently, cannabis-based products can only be used with permission from the Ministry of Health and are dealt with a case to case basis. 

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