Scoop write

Travelers can now bring medical cannabis into New Zealand, thanks to a massive loophole in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

The loophole allows anyone who is lawfully prescribed cannabis overseas to bring one month’s supply of the medicine into New Zealand.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne flip-floped last week over the interpretation of the law.

Dunne initially said law professor Andrew Geddis was wrong to suggest people could bring medical cannabis into New Zealand, but on Friday Dunne backed down and admitted his previous statements were incorrect.

On Checkpoint with John Campbell, Dunne said that up to a month’s worth of cannabis could be brought into New Zealand.

“It is possible for people to bring in one month’s supply of any controlled drug for their own treatment. It has to be prescribed to them while they are overseas,” Dunne said.

According to Geddis, if customs or the police confiscate lawfully obtained cannabis, then those agencies could be prosecuted in court.

“It now appears that Peter Dunne agrees with my legal analysis. He just thinks I’m wrong about how quickly medical marijuana will become available in Australia, I can live with that,” Geddis said.

Cannabis Party leader Julian Crawford welcomed the news and said “this could open the floodgates for raw medical cannabis to be brought into New Zealand from countries like The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, USA, Australia and Uruguay”.

The loophole can be found in section 8(2)(l)(iii) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.