Candidate airs views on medicinal cannabis issue

Tuesday June 12, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

Tupapa Maraerenga independent candidate Teresa Manarangi Trott says the Cook Islands has always followed New Zealand medical programmes.

And she says there is an expectation that relaxation of the cannabis laws in New Zealand and the legalisation there of one form of non-psychoactive medicinal cannabis are likely to apply to Cook Islands if the government agrees.

She was replying to a question also asked of the three main political parties which said: “A number of countries around the world are relaxing their cannabis laws and are either legalising its use or allowing it to be prescribed for medical purposes (as one form of it is already in New Zealand). Does your party see any need to relax the Cook Islands’ cannabis laws?” 

“There are a number of opportunities here that the Cook Islands might want to consider including possible medicinal agriculture farms in the outer islands that would boost economic development on at least one island,” Manarangi Trott said.

Hers was a more comprehensive answer than that supplied by a One Cook Islands Party spokesman, who wrote simply, “No”.

The Cook Islands Party, however, was more forthcoming, saying it would stage a review conducted on the Crimes Act looking at the penalties relating to possession of cannabis and how they might be adequate in 2018.

“The Cook Islands Party has yet to develop a policy on medical cannabis but informally the Cook Islands Party would welcome discussion on how to provide or produce medicinal cannabis for domestic use.”

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